[Mary Help of Christians R.C. Church facade with cornice pigeons across East 12th Street from 4th floor no elevator living room window, my apartment with Orlovsky a decade by then, rent controlled, we’re still there. This was September 29, 1985. photo c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]
"It was when she recollected meeting Allen Ginsberg for the first time that I understood something, something that perhaps even Alicia is not aware. Allen, she said, was more than a poet, more than a mortal, he drew people to him, he had the gift of attraction, and people couldn't, nor would they have wanted to, resist being in his immediate space."
(from "An Interview with Alicia Ostriker" by Melissa Cundieff-Pexa in the current (Summer 2012) Nashville Review)
"a cross between holy man and Jewish mother"
(David Talbot's description, cited in Ellen Ullman's review in last weekend's New York Times Book Review - (er..that sounds about right!)
"Never in my life have I ever seen anybody captivate an audience the way he did. It was incredible...And it was all real. I mean he would talk to the audience just like he was talking to one person, you, or me, alone. He talked of happiness, loneliness, his fear of dying, everything. In one of his stories he talked about eating his egg in the morning and looking out his window to the Mary Help of Christians Church and watching the pigeons and nuns and Avenue A freaks all walking down Loisaida Avenue..." (Dito Montiel - A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints)
More sad NYC urban-development news. Mary Help of Christians Church, subject of (literally!)
hundreds of photographs by Allen (he lived, literally, just across the street from it) is slated for demolition, starting this Fall. Here (and also here)'s recent coverage from the inestimable E.V.Grieve - And is it too much to add that his favorite Chinese restaurant is about to be turned into a Starbucks?
So, lets turn to positive news - finally (and it's been a while in gestation), the Dutch Ginsberg collection, "Howl, Kaddisj en andere gedichten" is out. All of Simon Vinkenoog's post-1965 Ginsberg translations, plus 3o additional ones from the sensitive pen/sensitive mind of editor, scholar, translator, Joep Bremmers. A complete list of the poems included in this handsome bi-lingual edition may be found here.
& there's a new On The Road trailer just out (in anticipation for the movie's upcoming Fall distribution - October in the UK, December in the US) - have you seen it? - Similar to the old one, but significantly different. MTV, for example, has the footage here.
And, OTR die-hards - there's more footage, and an interview (in English) with director, Walter Salles (it's been up for a couple of weeks now) via Swedish tv here.
Stay tuned to ontheroadfilm.livejournal.com for all such "On-The-Road-movie" updates.
Joanne Kyger writes on Harriet, the Poetry Foundation site, about her dear friend, Lew Welch (see our previous post on the re-issue of "Ring of Bone", Lew's classic, a book which we really cannot too-highly recommend).
Maureen Hurley's personal recollections of Lew, incidentally, ("Mom and the cabbie..") is another must-read.
She (Joanne) will be writing several other posts, it seems, in the coming month, for the Harriet blog. Very much looking forward to that!
"When I first met Allen, he was a young Socialist, bohemian, artist intellectual living in San Francisco's North Beach, and even then his sparks of imagination kept him high above intellectualism. Allen grew from intellectual to what I would call "Mahatma", as in Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma meaning "Big Soul"
And again, "It wasn't Allen's nature to be jaded.."