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 k / o
                                       politics + culture

Thursday, August 04, 2005

new york, 1987: Allen Ginsberg

My friend Bevin said we should go down to the Lower East Side to hear Allen Ginsberg give a reading at the Gas Station.

The Gas Station was on 2nd Street and Avenue B, if I remember right. New York had other, similarly named locales....the Kitchen, the Tunnel, the Limelight.

Turns out that the reading was actually Ginsberg reciting the work of a Japanese poet. So, a hundred or so of us sat, hushed, in the former auto repair bay of this recently abandoned gas station.

The Japanese poet smiled, (was it Nanao Sakaki...I wish I could remember) sitting next to Ginsberg the whole time. We listened. Ginsberg read and read. It got past midnight. We rearranged ourselves on the hard cold October floor.

As if to reward us for this state of things, Ginsberg finished with two of his own poems. One a graphic recounting of an encounter he'd had on Times Square in the late-40's...ahem....and the other was...his "Santa Claus Mantra".

All I can remember was the line, repeated, or rather, bellowed...joyfully...and following obvious improvisational variations:

U.S. out of Central America
Ho! Ho! Ho!
U.S. out of El Sal-va-dor
Ho! Ho! Ho!

Needless to say, the image of Ginsberg pretending to be Santa for twenty long minutes of political matra/ranting is indelibly etched in my brain...as is the beaming, enigmatic grin of the Japanese poet


  • DUuuuuude,

    No Link to MLW????

    By Blogger Maryscott OConnor, at 8:51 PM  

  • Chill, O Socal one.

    The words "my left wing" appear directly below this piece....with a link, on my front page...and have been there all along...you are accruing hits from my site at a MIGHTY pace I am sure.

    Further, there are about fifteen other hotlinks down below to the right....under the header "blog network"...see them?...they're the ones that say...."My Left Wing" over and over again....they should work.

    Blogging is SUCH a dirty business.

    By Blogger kid oakland, at 9:02 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Maryscott OConnor, at 9:17 PM  

  • Blogger hates me; that was doubleposted by a PHANTOM.

    Got your email, kid -- you are a gentleman and a scholar.

    LOVE this blog. ALL kid O in one place; who could ask for more?

    By Blogger Maryscott OConnor, at 5:57 AM  

  • Beat poetry. part of the experience was the experience. You experienced the poetry, but the cold floor was the experience.


    no more. connecting through the nets that are inter-co-netted. buzz. zap. words like clicks. blogs clog and fog my brain. it's insane. no more us. just me here. you there. everyone surrounded by clean warm air. no pain comes with your wordsmith gain. it's a new communication game. pardon me as i logout.

    *clicking fingers appreciated*

    By Blogger NYBri, at 8:17 AM  

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