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Allen Ginsberg Fires Back at Irresponsible journalism in 1959

Hello there. Here I am, back at Owl Farm after an outing to Glenwood Springs with my friend Cameron to fix a broken brake light on my car. My friend at the Audi dealership was kind to fix it in two seconds flat (or so) which left us with extra time to peruse a wonderful book of Ginsberg’s letters, (Published by Da Capo — yes, same publisher who published my edition of Hunter’s interviews.) This book, edited by Bill Morgan, is a great book titled “The Letters of Allen Ginsberg” Here is a clip from a letter Allen wrote to the New York Times on February 17, 1959. (same mac formatting, sorry for the inconvenieance!) Scathing media attacks continued to plague Ginsberg and the Beats. Morgan notes that sometimes Ginsberg would fire off a letter in hopes of reaching a sympathetic ear. ………………………………………….. “Sirs: Your account of our incarnation in Chicago was cheap kicks for you who have sold your pens for Money and have no Fate left but idiot mockery of the Muse that must work in poverty in an America already doomed by materialism. You suppressed knowledge that the Chicago Review’s winter issue was censored by the University of Chicago; that the editors had resigned to publish the material under the name Big Table; that we offered our bodies and Poetry to raise money to help publish the magazine, and left Chicago in the penury in which we had come. You quoted what was charming in our speech out of context; you ignored the main event, the reading at the Sherman Hotel which was a religious intellectual exposition of poetry’s Truth; you perverted the beauty of Orlovsky’s tears; you spat on the appearance of the Soul of Poetry in America at a time when America needs that soul most; you brainwashed your millions of readers. You are an instrument of the Devil and crucify America with your lies; you are the war-creating Whore of Babylon and would be damned were you not mercifully destined to be swallowed by Oblivion with all created things. ALLEN GINSBERG PETER ORLOVSKY GREGORY CORSO in respect to Shelley New York City…… yep. I wonder if he reached a sympathetic ear. We miss Allen Ginsberg. your friend, Anita p.s. if you’re wondering what “penury” means, which I had to look up, surprisingly, since it turns out It feels as if I’ve lived this word: “n 1. extreme poverty, 2: extreme frugality. (of course, poverty is RELATIVE… especially considering that my big problem today was a forced upgrade to a new cell phone which is completely useless since I have no idea how to use it. Poor poor pitiful… never mind.)

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