Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Hole In My Knee Pants - 1975 NAROPA Class Improvisation



We've featured two of these before ("Death is..." and "Marijuana makes", here's a third -compositional roll-calls, (NAROPA) class collaborations. This particular one dates from July 28, 1975.

AG: If you're not on the roll, see me after (the class). If you are on the roll, answer. Just fill out (complete) the sentence - "A hole in the pants at my knees..","A hole in the pants at my knees..", No, it's not [Allen corrects himself] - "A hole in my knee pants..." And you can fill it out any way you want. Like -"A hole in my knee pants makes my head feel it's full of oatmeal".

Student: A hole in my knee pants?

AG: A hole in your knee pants.

Student: A hole in my knee pants makes you cold.

AG: A hole in your knee pants is covered with flower print patches.

Student: Right.

Student: A hole in my knee pants makes me take a tea stance, waiting for Bonnie to patch 'em.

AG: Makes you "take a tea stance, waiting for Bonnie to patch 'em"?

Student: Right.

Student: A hole in my knee pants lets me see my pretty bony knees.

AG: So you see your pretty bony knee - that's pretty good.

Student: A hole in my knee pants is a hole..

AG: What?

Student: A hole from my knee pants is a hole from falling out of trees.

AG: "A hole from falling out of trees"? So that's pretty literal. "A hole in my knee pants fell out of trees"?

Student: A hole in my knee pants explains why I have no knees

AG: "A hole in my knee pants explains why I have no knees"

Student: A hole in my knee pants makes my pants feel like a chimney during the winter.

AG: Makes your pants feel like a chimney during the winter?

Student: A hole in my knee pants is a chance for decoration.

AG: What?

Student: A hole in my knee pants is a chance for decoration.

AG: "Is a chance for decoration"? Well, hop it up a bit, "tantric decoration", or something..

Student: A hole in my knee pants reminds me of cold Canadian air.

AG: "Reminds me of cold Canadian air"

Student: A hole in my knee pants makes a kaleidoscope of hair.

AG: "Makes a kaleidoscope of hair"?

Student: A hole in my knee pants somewhere, someplace, in the future

AG: "A hole in my knee pants somewhere, someplace, in the future". Okay.

Student: A cigarette burn, perhaps?

AG: Huh?

Student: A cigarette burn perhaps.

AG: "Somewhere someplace, in the future, a cigarette burn, perhaps?"

Student: A whole in my knee pants, rememberance of Gregory.

AG: "A whole in my knee pants, rememberance of Gregory". Incidentally, Gregory Corso is in San Francisco.

Student: A hole in my knee pants. I wonder if anyone knows this.

AG: "I wonder if anyone knows this".

Student: A hole in my knee pants is better than two in the bush.

AG: "A hole in my knee pants is better than two in the bush?" Right on. Richard B Weary [student's name?], fill in the hole.

Student: A hole in my knee pants because birds have plucked it

AG: "A hole in my knee pants"?

Student: Because birds have plucked it.

AG: Well, now. Finish a regular sentence. "A hole in my knee pants is because..

Student: Yeah

AG: You want to put an "is" in there

Student: Yes

AG: Or not?

Student: Dash?

AG; Okay. "A hole in my knee pants - birds have plucked it. Richard Waring? [calls to the student]

Student [Richard Waring]: That was me.

AG: Oh, that was you? There's a hole in my head.

Student: A hole in my knee pants is not material.

AG: "A hole in my knee pants is not material"?

Student: A hole in my knee pants is embarrassing.

AG: That's too abstract. Who does it embarrass?

Student: It embarrasses my mother.

AG: "A hole in my knee pants embarrasses my mother". "A hole in my knee pants..."

Student: A hole in my knee pants is immaterial

AG "Is immaterial"? Didn't someone say that already?

Student: - Non-material.

AG: Is non-material. Is immaterial.

Student: Okay, "A hole in my knee pants for air down there".

AG: Okay. But remember, it's like a poem. So we're trying to get each line a complete thing. "For air down there"? It might have a verb, you might throw a verb in, unless you want to put a dash - "A hole in my knee pants - for air down there". Visualize what you're doing, as if it's written on a page, too. [Allen addresses the next student] Larry Leahy, "A hole in my knee pants..."

Student [Larry Leahy]: ..means nothing at all to me.

AG: Larry Leahy, [recalling a previous class collaboration] "Marijuana makes...?"

Student [Larry Leahy]: My knee pants sprout holes.

Student: "Marijuana makes.." "Marijuana makes me broke"

AG [continuing] - Kay Waldo? - "A hole in my knee pants..."?

Student [Kay Waldo] - A hole in my knee pants like a sunflower desperado

AG: Dash? - " - like a sunflower desperado". Okay, that's not bad. "Robs banks like a sunflower desperado". Gotta get a verb in there.

Student: A hole in my knee pants is like a lost weak caboose

AG: "A lost weak caboose"?

Student: Yeah

AG [calling to student] - Tom McGee? - where are you Tom McGee?

Student: [Tom McGee] - A hole in my knee pants lets my spirit wander

Student: A hole in my knee pants begs to be detached from the whole W-H-O-L-E.

AG: Now we gotta get one (from you) that you haven't written down. Tom Savage [calls to his student] - "A hole in my knee pants...

Student: [Tom Savage] - A hole in my knee pants I got from a sniper in New York City.

AG: Okay. "- I got it from a sniper in New York City". Anybody I missed? Anybody didn't get a chance to have a hole in his knee pants?

Student: A hole in my knee pants makes me able to see.

AG: Makes you able to see? That don't make sense. You failed. Are you registered in this class? What's your name.

Student: Alex Dunne.

AG: Alex?

Student: Dunne D-U-N-N-E

AG: D-U-N-N-E - I guess I don't have it written down that's why.

Student [Alex Dunne]: I was too late.

AG: Okay, D-U-N-N-E. You passed then. If you registered - "Makes me see" - See what?
Student: Outside.

AG: Too vague. What do you see? I'm just saying to fill in the line to make it interesting - "Makes me see.. microphones"?

Student: [Alex Dunne] - Makes me see my shoes.

AG: Makes me see my shoes, Makes me see....?

Student: Makes me see other knees

AG: Okay, "The hole in my pants makes me see other knees". [Allen moves on to other matters] - Those who didn't get a questionnaire, ask for one at the next class.

Student: You've forgotten me.

AG: Oh.

Student: My knee-cap, it's ok, the microphone.. "Makes me want to (scrape?) my knee...

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