From the mid-sixties on through, photographer Gordon Ball took thousands of photos of Allen Ginsberg and his many friends and colleagues: Robert Creeley, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, Herbert Huncke, Philip Whalen, William S. Burroughs, and many others.
“We often think of photography as an individualistic, solitary art — a single man or woman working the alchemy of a dark room, or one with a frequently small sometimes large mostly metal object that has a magical, transforming effect on others before that little ‘click’ is ever heard. We don’t usually speak of Annie Leibowitz and collaborators, of Alfred Eisenstadt and partners, of Robert Frank and co-workers in the writing of light. But much of whatever I may have managed to do in photography involves, in a variety of ways, a debt to others — and wouldn’t have been possible without them.”
Jacket 17 is perhaps my favorite among all the forty glittering habiliments; exploring a dozen aspects of fakery and forgery, which one distinguished contributor identifies as the very heart of poetry. The jewel in the crown of Jacket 17 is the Ern Malley hoax of 1943: it inspired Ashbery as a young man, and opened the world’s eyelids to the dark energy from the bottom of the planet. Here it is, in relentless detail: Faking Literature: Patrick Herron: Ken Ruthven’s Faking Literature (and Ern Malley) Faking Literature: The Bibliography Ken Ruthven: — 25 pages of rare and hard-to-find source materials (including Ern Malley) Girls on the Run: Michael Leddy: Lives and Art: John Ashbery and Henry Darger (and Ern Malley) John Ashbery and John Kinsella and John Tranter (and Ern Malley) — ‘The Ern Malley poems’
Poet Carl Rakosi died on Friday afternoon 25 June 2004 at the age of 100, after a series of strokes, in his home in San Francisco. [Some eight months before,] My wife Lyn and I were passing through California in November 2003, and we stopped by to have a coffee with Carl at his home in Sunset. By a lucky coincidence, it happened to be his 100th birthday. He was, as always, kind, thoughtful, bright and alert, and as sharp as a pin. We felt privileged to know him. Here are some poems and other bits and pieces in Jacket magazine, starting with a poem from Carl in 1996:
[»»] Poem: “The Citizen" [»»] Carl Rakosi in conversation with Tom Devaney, with Olivier Brossard [»»] Carl Rakosi: audio recordings at U Penn (a note from Al Filreis, University of Pennsylvania)
When he ceded control of the group, Francis [Saint Francis of Assisi, AD 1181–1226] hoped that he could still lead the men by example, but his influence quickly waned. This enraged him. “Who are these who have ripped my order and my brothers out of my hands?” he shouted. Once, when he saw a new building that he thought the community had erected for itself, in disregard of the rule of poverty, he climbed up to the roof and began prying off the tiles and throwing them to the ground. Breaking with his earlier, gentle practice, he cursed people who opposed his ideas.
[»»] Thomas Fink: David Shapiro’s ‘Possibilist’ Poetry [»»] David Shapiro (in conversation with John Tranter, 1984) [»»] David Shapiro: Six poems (from A Burning Interior, 2000) [»»] The Weak Poet [»»] Light Bulb