Wednesday, June 2, 2010

a late start to getting out the door to the studio... so, yeah, dennis hopper and louise bourgeois dead and now we can add peter orlovsky to the list of the gone and remembered. sadly, very little has been mentioned thus far on his passing. in a way, thats fitting, given his life story. if orlovsky is remembered at all, he is remembered for many things- his gentle soul, his empathy and his 3 decade relationship with allen ginsberg. you can add to that, his madness and the sparse body of work that is his poetry, maybe in that order... like all the Beats, his output was spotty on quality and heavy and hard with sentiment and feeling. but as with most of the Beats, there was true beauty to be found. if you can find his piece,"frist poem" (misspelled, as much of his writing was...), read it a few times and then meditate on it. it's a golden, lyrical work-- as strong as anything written by his more celebrated contemporaries.

2 weeks ago i was staying in north beach, san francisco, walking the same streets and hanging in vesuvio's and city lights and remembering these poets and freaks who gave me so much as a much younger man... in 1991 (or thereabouts, it's a bit of a haze...), i met peter, gregory corso and ginsberg at a reading and book signing. corso was crazed and mumbling, ginsberg carried himself as a stoned academic (fitting) and peter sat smiling, cinematically handsome-- as i recall, now and then patting corso on his back, as if to placate and mellow out the youngest of the Beats-- his hair grey and uncombed, sadly incoherent.

as a young-ish poet, trying to establish myself and publishing for the first time, it was a heady, tragi-comic evening... but encounters with true poetry sometimes are.

1 comment:

Rico said...

Wow, two posts in one day. And Kingston too!

I was intersecting you in SF, unbeknown to either of us of course. Spent my time with the Beats as well, specific time, specific place inside. painting is a natural extension of poetry...or is it the other way?

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars”