Friday, June 17, 2005

Meeting Allen Ginsberg

From the diary: “March 15, 1985

“Went to the Luther Burbank Center … for Helen Luster’s memorial service. … Paul [Mariah] started out by read 3 of Helen’s poems … Then he introduced Allen Ginsberg who sang a song [accompanying himself on the harmonium, which instrument I was seeing for the first time] … [After several others reminisced] we all joined hands and Paul read a poem he’d written [for the occasion].

“I was introduced to Ginsberg twice. He called me ‘Sport’. [Both times] I was introduced I was called ‘great,’ ‘talented,’ ‘poet.’ groan Introduce me that way when I deserve it.”

“As Mom and I were leaving we noticed Ginsberg and his companions (Wendy somebody and a Japanese (?) man) had a flat tire which they were trying to change. I was a clod. I told Mom, ‘What can I do?’ and didn’t offer to help. Now I feel like a fool. Why didn’t I at least offer?”

For those curious about such things, I was 19.


David Lee Ingersoll said...

You clod! You could have offered to read poetry to them while they worked!


Legend has it that one of the filing cabinets we own once belonged to Allen Ginsberg. (Sarah will insist that it's no legend. But how do you prove such a thing?) It is, of course, the heaviest damn filing cabinet that we own. Even the drawers are heavy.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Well. They were old. And I was young and strong, theoretically. I'd never changed a tire before. I was wearing my nice clothes.

I'm not much of a fan of his poetry. But if I were any good at networking he would have been a useful contact, right?

David Lee Ingersoll said...

I know. Young and strong. But I don't blame you. I've still never changed a tire. I've tried a couple of times and then decided that there were some jobs best left to professionals. Even if I managed to get the tire off and the spare on I'd be constant paranoid that I'd done something wrong that I would only discover at 70 miles an hour.

I stick to screwing up things like plumbing and wiring.