Louise Landes Levi

A Talk
given for the presentation of

HOWL KADDISJ en Andere Gedichten

(HOWL Kaddish & Other Poems),


Allen Ginsberg -
translated into Dutch by Simon Vinkenoog & Joep Bremmers.

RUIGOORD - Amsterdam, 14 Oct. 2012


(fr. The prajnaparamita-melody
by Allen Ginsberg)

When I was 15
I wanted to marry Allen . A women poet JPV who I later knew
quite well was fucking both both him & Peter
at the time so it was not entirely out of
the question.

I didn't meet him until I was 20 - at a restaurant for
cheap fried rice on Telegraph Avenue
in Berkeley, California
wanted to know
what Creeley cld. possibly mean w. those
unabashed love poems ( for his wife, Bobby).
I, wearing cut off jeans - sat down, on their
Invitation & a hard time answering.
Even Peter cldn't explain how Creeley cld.
possibly love his wife
that much
Peter & Allen were in town, it was 1964 -
for the great reading at the university.

I later learned,
Unfortunately, that for Allen, I looked
exactly like his mother. He had his secretary pull out
a picture of Naomi, at 17, cross legged in front of a
house in Russia, to prove the point.
Must ALL Jews look alike? I wondered but understood
that every time he saw me, he suffered the kind of
trauma that's inestimable - not because of me, but via
association - The Lamas said
Allen was a kind of Bodhisattva - He met his teacher
Chogyal Trungpa while hailing a taxi on e.12th street
Trungpa happened to be standing there & asked if he
cld. get in too, or visa versa .

I was part
of the circle of people who were
his intimates, when I returned in 1988, to NYC. I was
their intimate not his, he was Ginzy, Uncle Ginzy - I
was something like a distant, not really
acceptable cousin. Allen chose his own
& protected them & was
by them.
He told Gregory to keep away fr. Ira.
When Gregory was on the death bed &
Ira was often in attendance, he said
'This is fun why did Allen say I shld. keep away fr. Cohen?'
Ira said, famously, that there
wasn't room for two bearded Jewish poets
on one island
- .

Simon said, no one outside, everyone on the inside
Simon was an anti hero but not anti anyone.
A psychic told me that Allen, in the
other realm was aware of his inconsistency w.
relation to me & wld. appear fr. the other realm, to
visit? After he died I was traveling around w. the Mira
( translations) & talked abt. him as an original (or
seminal) bhakti - indeed he was around when Shri
Prabhubad first sang Hare Krishna
on the Lower East Side
in NYC.
I'd sing his lyrics to Amazing Grace-
to prove the point.

To those like Simon, Hans, & Johnny Van Doorn,
who saw or heard me on the streets of Amsterdam in the 80s,
these words will seem especially moving:

I dreamed I was in a homeless place where I was left alone
Men looked right past me into space & gazed w. eyes of stone.

Woe working man who hears the cry & can not spare a dime
Nor look into a homeless face afraid to spare the time.

O homeless heart on many a street accept this change fr. me
A friendly smile or word is sweet as fearless charity.

So rich or poor no word to speak a smile upon yr. face
The homeless one that you might meet receives Amazing Grace.

( nb Allen’s lyrics to American Gospel Amazing Grace)

Allen appeared in dream.
Studying Buddhism myself, but not w. Trungpa
of whom I was afraid, i assumed or hoped other
students were dreaming of Saints, not me - I dreamed
of poet - writers: Gregory, William,
Franco Beltrametti

.The 2 dreams I
had of Allen were highly initiatory & linked to erotic
energy - as in the Tibetan tradition of visionary text.
In 1994 there was a big celebration for Allen at Naropa -
the Jack Kerouac School of
Disembodied Poetics which
he established, along
w. AW at the request
of Trungpa.

A strangely dissimilar portrait of Allen,
by Francesco Clemente (the founder of Hanuman
Press) was on the cover of the announcement - I had
recently, for the umpteenth time, been thrown out of
the tower & was seeking refuge in a house in near by
wood - at the time I was writing a libretto for the
Kama Sutra - I looked at the picture & was
deeply saddened not to be at the event. Falling
asleep beside an outdoor well - I dreamed that Allen
blew the seed syllables of love - fr. the KS - into my
chakras, one by one. - Around this time he was
interviewed on French TV – he had been awarded the
Legion of Honor - when asked
What was the optimal environment for the transmission of knowledge? he replied ,
unhesitatingly in bed. I wrote this poem at that time.



                                                                             fr. the KS / 


                                                                             the holy well, 


Later I bring a German boy friend
to the same place. His mind is full of Nazi hate. I
offer him in real life what Allen offered to me in
dream.- ie. I blow the seed syllables of love directly
into his charkas. I later learn that it was in this house
that the SS had raped the poor women of Bagnore. We
were reversing

Years later
I am in Turners fall, Upstate NY
The wife of my estranged Dutch partner JB now
lives near by. I have tried in vain to waken the latent
desires of my present partner - a Jew fr. NYC - w.
determination, even skill & devotion.
( I mention this in relation to Allen & Simon’s
monumental contribution to Western social &
philosophical thought, insisting, in defiance
of Cartesian principle - on the non- dual nature
of body & mind, flesh & spirit. mind & heart.

In the dream
that followed my ritual - Allen appears,
5 yrs. after his actual death, as a 30 yr. old professor
& delivers a detailed lesson in poetics - fr. his podium
in the universal university of poetics, somewhere in space.

Simon was a beloved mentor. I never wanted to marry
him. His then wife, Barbara was my closest friend &
translator. I was a fortunate participant in his
household life & drama & usually present for
the visits of Allen, Gregory & Peter.

In the tower
I dream of Simon & Anne Waldmen

Conveniently I forget the dream of A
Simon is organizing a readng. I am there & want to read a poem called in the dream



I am too disorganized to do so \
Simonwas always like a guardian & the fact that I am too disorganized to read my poem
is an inexplicable
disaster ...

In the dream he has no option
but too continue,
sans moi

Anyone listening this afternoon shld. tonight go to
you tube & watch HOLY COMMUNION - filmed at the
Royal Albert Hall, LONDON in 1964 –
to see the amazig synergy between SV & AG & why
when I heard FUCK ME MY MASTER in Simon's
translation at the Cosmos in 1986 the translation
was indisputably as good as the original
.Allen, who was of course
present wld. agree


Allen's death came unexpectedly - tho he was afflicted
by various conditions, uncommonly
for a man of his age,
Meeting his life long love
& companion, in fr. of KKs - the neighborhood
restaurant, on lst. Avenue some months after his
death, Peter Orlovsky lamented, It wasn't supposed to happen in this way - He was going to
live at least until 80 -

I was in Merigar when the news along w. the comte
Halle Bep came through. The Buddhists were not
particularly interested in my despair nor in my
determination to get to a reading at City Lights, Italia -
a performance by
the FUGS -

I knew I had to get there.
Hitchhiking to Florence,
in a large truck, the driver asks
do you mind if I make a stop on the way?
of course not.
He picks up his car, a MERCEDES
& escorts me in style to City Lights. Italia. I change
my clothes in the socialist cafe de URL (Howl in Italian)
next door. I approach the entrance to the book store,
LF's poem - Allen Ginsberg Dying- w. a photo of a
youthful Allen, the staff of Neptune in his hand, his
body erect on a beach in Japan, is on the door. I
experience a moment outside of time.
The impact of Allen's death is mitigated in this
moment. Being transcends the moment. The being is
more than the moment
( Henri Michaux).

Since I found out
that DYING is something
one does & not something that

happens You taught me how to live &
you taught me how to die ..

Ubandini you died not in grief but w.
desire Michaelangelo to his servant Ubandini
& 4 centuries later Steven

Poems quoted fr. following volumes.

1. Le Lampade di Casa Sono State Accesse, MA
(The House Lamps have been Lit, BUT)
Super Nova, 1996 - Original Enlgish
w. facing Italian Translation.

2- Chorma
Porto Dei Santi, 2000
w. facing Italian translations

3. Banana Baby
Super Nova, 2006
w. facing Italian translations.

Louise Landes Levi (NYC) poet/musician, traveller & translator fr. Middle-
Hindi, French & Italian & Dutch.. Her latest books;
The Book L (2010) Cool Grove Press, Tree
Manifesto ( Il Bagatto, 2012 & forth
coming w. Station Hill Press, Crazy
Louise, or La Conversazione
Sacra. Forthcoming re-

cordings. w. Sloow Tape & Exstatic Peace
label. She has lectured at the Naropa Institute,
the Manhatten School of Music, Bard College & the
Jivamukti & Laughing Lotus Yoga centers, NYC
Louise lives in Bagnore, Gr. Italy, in a small
tower, when not working wherever she can.
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