Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Allen Ginsberg to Timothy Leary: We Are "Complete Successful Failures"

by Stephen J. Gertz

For Timothy & Barbara Leary
amid the noise of kisses and chatter in H'wood
late evening in March, dining with Agents
photographers, poets, reprobate-politicos
intelligent wives, beautiful
feet & noses, candle light, salad, champagne
Rock 'n roll bands coming out of our mouths
all of us complete successful failures.

March 11, 1985
Allen Ginsberg

(1) Refuge name: Lion of Dharma
(2) Bodhisattva name: Heart of Peace

That must have been some Hollywood dinner party. Note that Ginsberg has capitalized "Agents," leading us to wonder whether he's referring to talent agency reps or nameless functionaries of a shadow government.

The other "complete successful failures," whose identities, at this point, remain a mystery, I suspect were equally stellar complete successful failures.

This is one of the most dramatic book inscriptions I've ever come across, simply because I don't think Ginsberg was capable of writing a sentence without poetry. It just flowed from his pen as if the ink was infused with holy water.

This copy of Ginsberg's Collected Poems 1947-1980 is being offered by Benjamin Spademan, who is asking £5,000 ($7,400).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to BOOKTRYST by Email