Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Month: May, 2007

An Influential Neurotic Bodhisattva Bard

A few months after Mev died, I read all of Allen Ginsberg‘s poetry and several volumes of essays and journals. Somehow, his spirit cheered me. Recently, I’ve read several books about Ginsberg and what follows are a few excerpts from and about this influential neurotic bodhisattva bard.

Journalist Jane Kramer: “Once Allen Ginsberg actually came into your life, he settled there–intimate, indispensable, and so familiar that you could not imagine your life before him.” From “Howl” Fifty Years Later: The Poem That Changed America, edited by Jason Shinder, page 148.

Allen Ginsberg: “Cultivate the habit of noticing your mind and registering your own mind, too. Don’t wait to be discovered. Discover yourself. Publish your own work and circulate your work.” Quoted in American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and the Making of the Beat Generation, by Jonas Raskin, xvi. Read the rest of this entry »

Truth Speaks for Itself by Lynn Lassalle-Klein

Dear Mark,

I read The Book of Mev last summer while we were in Twain Harte for a summer vacation on the lake. Well, there is no way to sum up all the feelings I experienced. I never really read any of Mev’s stuff (who had to, since I’d hear it from her own mouth!); but I learned so much about her, and her writings, and the stories they conveyed, and what she was about. In a way I got to know her more deeply than I did when you guys were here. And then I learned so much of what your life with Mev was like — all of its phases. The Mark I love really shone through, because your writing rang with truth. Whenever I’ve given talks or retreats, and I start to freak out (“What will I say?”), Bob always tells me to just tell the truth, because people will recognize it as truth, and the truth will speak for itself. And I think your experience, and the feelings you conveyed, will end up being allies for very many people who’ve gone through experiences similar to yours (I plan to share it with a friend who recently lost her husband to a long struggle with MS). So! I don’t mean to get all heavy on you, but thank you for writing that book.

–Lynn lives in Alameda, California with her husband Bob and three children Kate, Rosie, and Peter. She and Bob are both graduates of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.