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“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” –Allen Ginsberg

This is the most beautiful quote I’ve ever read. I live by it everyday and you should too. “Don’t hide the madness.”

I don’t know why, but I just got the urge to show this to everyone. Enjoy.

One of my favorite interviews by Allen Ginsberg. Enjoy!

This is a video of a brave homosexual student confronting a hypocritical Republican speaking at a college. This student should be proud he spoke out. I call him a modern day Beat.

This is a 1967 news broadcast displaying the horrendously vulgar homophobia that The Beats fought against. I recommend everyone seeing this to watch the video and go out and read the Bill Morgan book, “I Celebrate Myself: the somewhat private life of Allen Ginsberg”.

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  Have you ever looked at someone and thought, “That’s the one for me! That’s the person I want to spend the rest of my life with!” even though you had no idea who they were or if you’d ever see them again? Love is a tricky thing to understand. If you ask any scientist or neurosurgeon, you’ll hear that love is only a rush of chemicals to the brain making you act stupid by clouding your rationality. If you ask any teenage girl, you’ll hear the poetic answer, “Love is when you, like, really care for someone and you, like, don’t care if they have a zit on their forehead or whatever.” Any little girl or boy will definitely refer you to some Disney  fairytale like Cinderella or Snow White.

  The truth is, love is too hard to explain rationally. It isn’t just a word, it’s a feeling. It’s that special tingly feeling you get in your stomach whenever you look at the person you admire. It’s no longer desiring anything but the affection of one singular person forever. It’s… It just is what it is. I think we can all agree on that simple explanation.

  Unfortunately, true love is hard to find nowadays. Divorce is the killer of 60% of marriages. (30% is death, and 10% is other) Every time you turn on the news or look in the paper, somebody somewhere is getting split from the person they once cared for. It’s unfortunate that many children have to come from separated households. It becomes even worse when parents are bitter rivals in the presence of their own impressionable children. What are those kids supposed to learn from that kind of selfish behavior? That love can be found, but it’s short-lived?

That’s something no child should believe.

  Love is supposed to be beautiful, yet in our modern culture, broken relationships have become normal, almost celebrated rituals. Even the fairytales we once loved as children have become nothing but cruel lies. We just can’t find a happily in love couple anymore to model ourselves after.

Or can we?

Despair not, fair readers, for I am here to tell you about the love connection of Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky.

  In December of 1954, Allen Ginsberg traveled to artist, Robert LaVigne’s, apartment where he’d intended to spend an afternoon just hanging out. Then, Fate struck. On one of LaVigne’s walls he saw a painting of a young man with blond hair posing nude on a couch, surrounded by onions. Allen was instantly enchanted by the man’s shy, yet pleasing, smile. His heart melted, and he knew he had to meet this person, this Russian angel! He turned to his friend and asked in a breathless voice, “Who is that?” Just then, the man from the painting walked in with all his blond and stupendous splendor.

  LaVigne introduced the two, “Allen, this is Peter Orlovsky. Peter, this is Allen Ginsberg.” and the two instantly clicked.

  For the next few weeks, the two conversed in a local cafe, sharing their stories and getting to know each other thoroughly. Sounds like the cliche beginning, right? Well, it’s actually a little complicated.

  While Allen was gay and in love with Peter, Peter was straight. He slept with a few men out of passive affection, but nothing more. After hearing of his friend’s confessed desire, he withdrew for awhile to think on everything. Peter didn’t want to be tied down to a man forever. He wanted girlfriends, female lovers, etc. How could he give up his entire life to be with someone who didn’t even arouse him sexually? That didn’t seem fair, nor did it seem right. But after a while of thinking, Peter met Allen in their favorite San Francisco cafe where they talked about the future until 3:00 AM. On that night, they clasped hands and vowed to each other that they would help the other get into heaven when they died and they would always love each other no matter what.

  Allen, in interviews, stated that the entire world seemed to illuminate and the cafe became an eternal place. Even the heavens seemed to shower with gold. He said, “For the first time, I found somebody who loved me completely.”

  Time passed and the pair had to separate for a time so Peter could rescue his younger brother, Lafcadio. They reunited soon afterwards late one night at one o’clock when Peter and his brother arrived at Allen’s apartment doorstep. The two friends clasped each other, realizing that they had missed one as much as the other had. Later, they made love in Peter’s bed where he whispered in Allen’s ear, “I love you.”  Though he was straight, Peter still managed to feel something for his companion. And needless to say, it forever sealed their everlasting relationship.

  The couple managed to stay together for FORTY YEARS braving fame complications, drug use, a car crash, a few deaths, and even a brief separation so that Peter could kick his dependence on alcohol and even Allen himself. They did date a few others during their time, but they both had a special place in their hearts that no man or woman could ever steal. Sure, like many other couples they fought, but they’d always end up back in each others arms with apologies on the lips.

  At Allen’s deathbed, Peter leaned over and kissed his head, whispering, “Goodbye darling” just seconds before poor Ginsberg breathed his last painful breath and disappeared from our earth forever. Orlovsky went to his lover’s funeral distraught and became furious when two blue haired old ladies asked him who he was and why he was there. He threw up his arms and yelled with tears in his eyes, “I’m Mrs. Allen Ginsberg!” Thankfully, the old ladies let him in. Thirteen years later, he died of lung cancer at the age of seventy-six. Thus, he followed Allen into the next eternity where I conclude they walked through the gates of heaven together, completing their vow.

  If my blog post on this hasn’t convinced you that these two represent everything loving someone is, then I suppose you’ll have to Google it for yourself. However, for those who are convinced that through 40 years, these two men managed to love each other like the first time they met, then good on you. You, like me, have something to hold on to when faced with the troubles of infatuation. You can remember, like I do, that there’s somebody out there for everybody. You just have to look in the most unusual of places to find them. A coffee shop, a bakery, or maybe even an artist’s apartment.

Either way, love exists in the purest of ways. You just have to remember Peter and Allen’s long legacy together. If they could make it, you certainly can.

Why do heroes die?

Because they’re human? Because they’ve finished what they had to do? Or is it because they simply must to make way for a new hero for a new generation?

For four hours, I’ve been asking myself this question over and over, pondering why the good guy’s forced to die in the end while there’s still so much to do. Yet… I am still at a loss. Certain things bring a hero to madness, sometimes making them take their own life or go the way of the dastardly ulcer in that they literally worry themselves to the grave. But then others are just cruelly taken from the world by the sinister Sisters of Fate.

One of the great examples of a hero lost too early is the sad tale of Jack Kerouac. Like the rest of us, he was human in that he had faults. Addiction to the tonic was the flaw that in 1969 would prove to be fatal. He was one of the greatest writers the world ever knew. He could tell a story on paper like one might tell it verbally. He was so frank and precise about every detail that you actually felt what Kerouac felt on his travels through life.

Unfortunately, while many saw and appreciated the true soul put into his work, others saw his writing as useless pieces of paper filled with rambling nonsense. The scathing reviews and coining of the degrading phrase “beatnik” to describe those involved in the Beat Generation eventually drove poor Kerouac to drink more so that he felt comfortable with himself. This sweet Catholic boy from Lowell, Massachusetts was portrayed as a dirty lazy bum with no talent by heartless media corporations that didn’t care if the stories they ran dwindled his confidence and drove him to the alluring bottle of whiskey.

After a few years, it all hit the fan. Jack started drinking before interviews to calm his shy nerves. He became known as a sloppy drunk by the press. Nobody except a few close friends knew what this man–this hero of literature–was going through. Sadly, after 29 (estimated) years of drinking, it all came crashing down. Jack Kerouac died in a Florida hospital of stomach hemorrhages. He died a broken man, broken from all the torment and grief he’d gotten for just being himself. This man–this legendary hero for all free thinkers–died at age 47.

No hero should die that young. He had two kids and all!

And of course, we can never forget Allen Ginsberg.

Allen died at 72 years old of liver cancer and hepatitis complications. Sure, 72 and 47 are a ways apart, but that’s still too young. After reading his biography (a slightly false rendition of Ginsberg’s life, but a biography nonetheless) I Celebrate Myself: the somewhat private life of Allen Ginsberg, I couldn’t stop from sobbing at how much pain this wonderful genius of a man went through.

So again, I must ask everyone reading this in the near future, why must a hero die?

If you have a theory, I’d love to hear it.

I dedicate this blog entry to the late Beats:

  • Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)
  • Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)
  • William Burroughs (1914-1997)
  • Neal Cassady (1926-1968)

and finally, in memoriam of the sweet and loving

  • Peter Orlovsky (1933-2010)

I miss you all very much.

Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg

This is the great poet around the age of seventy.

 

Allen Ginsberg: The Literary Liberator.