With Allen in Arkansas: An Ozark Diary, by John Wood (May 2011)

November 1, 2012 § 1 Comment

with Allen Ginsberg

from left to right: Sandra Wood, John Wood, Frank Stanford, AG, Peter Orlovsky, Lynnice Butler, Jack Butler

May  2011  There was much more, of which I can only recall bits now.  It became too exhausting to keep such a pace and then write it all up at the end of the day.  I do remember that the next day Allen, Peter, Jim, Frank, Jack and Lynnice Butler, andSandy and I all went to Eureka Springs to see The Christ of the Ozarks, a tasteless monstrosity built by Gerald L. K. Smith, the anti-Semite.  A brochure given out at the statue remarked how it could support two Volkswagen busses from each arm and withstand certain high mile an hour winds.  Smith also owned an “art gallery” in Eureka called The Christ Only Art Gallery; however, the first painting you saw when you entered was a painting of Smith.  I remember that Allen made a comment to whomever we paid the entry fee that he had a beard just like Jesus had.  I also recall that on the drive to Eureka we saw a large Pileated Woodpecker and Frank told us about local woodpeckers.  All day Allen had talked about wanting to go to Gabilee, but none of us thought that was a good idea.  « Read the rest of this entry »

With Allen in Arkansas: An Ozark Diary, by John Wood (Saturday, May 3, 1969)

October 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Saturday, May 3, 1969—Allen had lunch with his old roommate and met all of the poets in Old Main at 1:30 for a workshop, criticism on the poems, etc.—didn’t get to everybody.  I got him off the subject on Lamantia.  And then Jim did on Neal Cassidy, which was wonderfully interesting.  Allen said he was the only man to ever make it with Cassidy and talked of his gentleness, turning everybody on, his life, death, etc.

About 3:30 we went over to the Student Union for about 30 minutes for cokes and Allen got a sandwich—talked about this and that—just being with him was moving—so beautiful a man.  John Clellon Holmes had told me Allen was the only “great” man he had ever met.  It’s true, I think—never have I met anyone so humble and so honestly modest. « Read the rest of this entry »

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