Sunday, July 15, 2012

In My Father's Pants - 1975 Naropa Class Improvisation


                                                              [A Pica Pole - illustration by Benjamin Redington]

More quirky poetic roll-calls (this one from August the 1st, 1975). If you're not yet familiar with this teaching trick of Allen's, see here, here and here

AG: We'll take the roll, (and), the lines, rather than beginning with a word, will end with, "in my father's pants". So when you answer the roll, just fill in whatever is in your father's pants in your mind - "I found eternity in my father's pants"

Student: "He's filled with printer's ink and has a pica-pole down in my father's pants"

AG: He's filled with ink and has a what?

Student: Pica-pole.

AG: "A pica-pole down in my father's pants"? - A pica-pole? What's a pica-pole?

Student: It's a measure that measures picas.

AG: For printers?

Student: Picas. Right,

AG: Pica-pole?

Student: P-I-C-A

AG: Pole

Student: "When my mother's yelling, I'm glad I'm not in my father's pants"

AG [to student, Walter Fordham]: - Walter Fordham, what are you doing in your father's pants?

Student [Walter Fordham]: - "Coins, switch-blade, matches and pipe in my father's pants"

AG: What was the first word?

Student [Walter Fordham]: Coins.

AG: Oh, coins.

Student: "My mother moved to my father's pants"

Student: "I tried for years to fit in my father's pants"

Student: "I tried to swim in my father's pants"

AG: Across what?

Student: "Cigar butt and pretzels in my father's pants"

Student: "Big red bony hands in the pockets in my father's pants"

AG: "Big red bony hands in the pockets of my father's pants"

Student: "Christmas morning in my father's pants"

AG: Christmas morning?

Student: "She'll never be in my father's pants"

AG [to class in general]: Where's Martha Flynn?

Student: She's in.. she's stuck in Delaware..she couldn't come.

AG: Oh she never came (so she's out)

Student: "She never came in my father's pants"

AG: "Martha Flynn, stuck in Delaware, never came in my father's pants"

Student: "Stamps from Ecuador in my father's pants"

Student: "I feel like a fool in my father's pants"

AG: "I feel like a fool in my father's pants"

Student: "There's an endless pocket in my father's pants"

Student: "Soot from Cleveland factories in my father's pants"

AG: "Soot from Cleveland factories in my father's pants"

Student: "Rock chips, hammers, my mother's legs in my father's pants"

AG: "Rock chips, hammers and my mother's legs..."?

Student: "I found the truth in my father's pants"

AG: You found the truth? Well.. There's a tendency for everybody to be very abstract "in (their) father's pants". I mean, you might find some cumulus rain-clouds in your father's pants, or something.

Student: "I couldn't fit in his shoes so I left his ashes in my father's pants"

AG: Umm.. You couldn't fit his ashes in his shoes or you couldn't... ?

Student: "Foreign coins in my father's pants, foreign coins in my father's pants"

AG: Foreign coins?

Student: "Fifty-seven years have made their way through my father's pants"

AG: "Fifty-seven years have made their way through.. ? Did I miss anybody?

Student [Eva Marino]: Yeah, me, Eva Marino

AG: Pardon me?

Student [Eva Marino]: Eva Marino

AG: What's your last name?

Student [Eva Marino]: Marino! - M-A-R-I-N-O

AG: I don't have it listed, but that's alright. Are you sort of signed-up or something? (for) credit? , Anna Marino?

Student [Eva Marino]: Eva!

AG: Eva Marino, what about your father's pants?

Student [Eva Marino]: "Grey-striped cuffs on the bottom of my father's pants"

AG: Grey-striped cuffs...? - Okay, anybody else registered that I didn't get

Student [Paul Cotton]: I'm auditing this class.

AG: Yeah, what's your name?

Student [Paul Cotton]: Paul Cotton

AG: Is this the first time you've been here when I've called the roll?

Student [Paul Cotton]: No, I was here once before.

AG: Uh-huh.. What happened in your father's pants?

Student [Paul Cotton]: "Worms are squirming in my father's pants"

AG: Who else?... Yes?

Student [Rachel Peters] - Rachel Peters. I just registered.

AG: Yes

Student [Rachel Peters] - "You could fit a Mack truck in my father's pants"

AG: You could fit a Mack truck in? - Knutson, Tom

Student [Tom Knutson]: Knutson, Tom, I was registered from the start.

AG: Uh-hun

Student [Tom Knutson]: "Secret subtle mysteries and me in my father's pants"

AG: Secret sun mysteries?

Student [Tom Knutson]: Subtle

AG: Subtle mysteries. Who else? Who else? [points to unidentified student] What was your line?

Student: "My mother's ground-up breasts with melted cheese..rancid..."

AG: Alright, alright..yes, anyone I missed?

Student [Michael Bartuccio] - Michael Bartuccio - "Secret chemical energy Father, secret chemical energy.."

AG: ..in your..?

Student: Father's pants.

AG: Okay, (we're) in (William Carlos) Williams' pants at this point, back to Williams' pants
[class continues with discussion of William Carlos Williams (see earlier and subsequent segments]

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