Gregory Corso – “Gregory Corso”

February 24, 2010 at 11:02 pm (Gregory Corso, Poetry & Literature, The Beats)

Budger of history Brake of time You Bomb
Toy of universe Grandest of all snatched sky I cannot hate you
Do I hate the mischievous thunderbolt the jawbone of an ass
The bumpy club of One Million B.C. the mace the flail the axe
Catapult Da Vinci tomahawk Cochise flintlock Kidd dagger Rathbone
Ah and the sad desparate gun of Verlaine Pushkin Dillinger Bogart
And hath not St. Michael a burning sword St. George a lance David a sling
Bomb you are as cruel as man makes you and you’re no crueller than cancer
All Man hates you they’d rather die by car-crash lightning drowning
Falling off a roof electric-chair heart-attack old age old age O Bomb
They’d rather die by anything but you Death’s finger is free-lance
Not up to man whether you boom or not Death has long since distributed its
categorical blue I sing thee Bomb Death’s extravagance Death’s jubilee
Gem of Death’s supremest blue The flyer will crash his death will differ
with the climbor who’ll fall to die by cobra is not to die by bad pork
Some die by swamp some by sea and some by the bushy-haired man in the night
O there are deaths like witches of Arc Scarey deaths like Boris Karloff
No-feeling deaths like birth-death sadless deaths like old pain Bowery
Abandoned deaths like Capital Punishment stately deaths like senators
And unthinkable deaths like Harpo Marx girls on Vogue covers my own
I do not know just how horrible Bombdeath is I can only imagine
Yet no other death I know has so laughable a preview I scope
a city New York City streaming starkeyed subway shelter
Scores and scores A fumble of humanity High heels bend
Hats whelming away Youth forgetting their combs
Ladies not knowing what to do with their shopping bags
Unperturbed gum machines Yet dangerous 3rd rail
Ritz Brothers from the Bronx caught in the A train
The smiling Schenley poster will always smile
Impish death Satyr Bomb Bombdeath
Turtles exploding over Istanbul
The jaguar’s flying foot
soon to sink in arctic snow
Penguins plunged against the Sphinx
The top of the Empire state
arrowed in a broccoli field in Sicily
Eiffel shaped like a C in Magnolia Gardens
St. Sophia peeling over Sudan
O athletic Death Sportive Bomb
the temples of ancient times
their grand ruin ceased
Electrons Protons Neutrons
gathering Hersperean hair
walking the dolorous gulf of Arcady
joining marble helmsmen
entering the final ampitheater
with a hymnody feeling of all Troys
heralding cypressean torches
racing plumes and banners
and yet knowing Homer with a step of grace
Lo the visiting team of Present
the home team of Past
Lyre and tube together joined
Hark the hotdog soda olive grape
gala galaxy robed and uniformed
commissary O the happy stands
Ethereal root and cheer and boo
The billioned all-time attendance
The Zeusian pandemonium
Hermes racing Owens
The Spitball of Buddha
Christ striking out
Luther stealing third
Planeterium Death Hosannah Bomb
Gush the final rose O Spring Bomb
Come with thy gown of dynamite green
unmenace Nature’s inviolate eye
Before you the wimpled Past
behind you the hallooing Future O Bomb
Bound in the grassy clarion air
like the fox of the tally-ho
thy field the universe thy hedge the geo
Leap Bomb bound Bomb frolic zig and zag
The stars a swarm of bees in thy binging bag
Stick angels on your jubilee feet
wheels of rainlight on your bunky seat
You are due and behold you are due
and the heavens are with you
hosanna incalescent glorious liaison
BOMB O havoc antiphony molten cleft BOOM
Bomb mark infinity a sudden furnace
spread thy multitudinous encompassed Sweep
set forth awful agenda
Carrion stars charnel planets carcass elements
Corpse the universe tee-hee finger-in-the-mouth hop
over its long long dead Nor
From thy nimbled matted spastic eye
exhaust deluges of celestial ghouls
From thy appellational womb
spew birth-gusts of of great worms
Rip open your belly Bomb
from your belly outflock vulturic salutations
Battle forth your spangled hyena finger stumps
along the brink of Paradise
O Bomb O final Pied Piper
both sun and firefly behind your shock waltz
God abandoned mock-nude
beneath His thin false-talc’s apocalypse
He cannot hear thy flute’s
happy-the-day profanations
He is spilled deaf into the Silencer’s warty ear
His Kingdom an eternity of crude wax
Clogged clarions untrumpet Him
Sealed angels unsing Him
A thunderless God A dead God
O Bomb thy BOOM His tomb
That I lean forward on a desk of science
an astrologer dabbling in dragon prose
half-smart about wars bombs especially bombs
That I am unable to hate what is necessary to love
That I can’t exist in a world that consents
a child in a park a man dying in an electric-chair
That I am able to laugh at all things
all that I know and do not know thus to conceal my pain
That I say I am a poet and therefore love all man
knowing my words to be the acquainted prophecy of all men
and my unwords no less an acquaintanceship
That I am manifold
a man pursuing the big lies of gold
or a poet roaming in bright ashes
or that which I imagine myself to be
a shark-toothed sleep a man-eater of dreams
I need not then be all-smart about bombs
Happily so for if I felt bombs were caterpillars
I’d doubt not they’d become butterflies
There is a hell for bombs
They’re there I see them there
They sit in bits and sing songs
mostly German songs
And two very long American songs
and they wish there were more songs
especially Russian and Chinese songs
and some more very long American songs
Poor little Bomb that’ll never be
an Eskimo song I love thee
I want to put a lollipop
in thy furcal mouth
A wig of Goldilocks on thy baldy bean
and have you skip with me Hansel and Gretel
along the Hollywoodian screen
O Bomb in which all lovely things
moral and physical anxiously participate
O fairylike plucked from the
grandest universe tree
O piece of heaven which gives
both mountain and anthill a sun
I am standing before your fantastic lily door
I bring you Midgardian roses Arcadian musk
Reputed cosmetics from the girls of heaven
Welcome me fear not thy opened door
nor thy cold ghost’s grey memory
nor the pimps of indefinite weather
their cruel terrestial thaw
Oppenheimer is seated
in the dark pocket of Light
Fermi is dry in Death’s Mozambique
Einstein his mythmouth
a barnacled wreath on the moon-squid’s head
Let me in Bomb rise from that pregnant-rat corner
nor fear the raised-broom nations of the world
O Bomb I love you
I want to kiss your clank eat your boom
You are a paean an acme of scream
a lyric hat of Mister Thunder
O resound thy tanky knees
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM
BOOM ye skies and BOOM ye suns
BOOM BOOM ye moons ye stars BOOM
nights ye BOOM ye days ye BOOM
BOOM BOOM ye winds ye clouds ye rains
go BANG ye lakes ye oceans BING
Barracuda BOOM and cougar BOOM
Ubangi BOOM orangutang
BING BANG BONG BOOM bee bear baboon
ye BANG ye BONG ye BING
the tail the fin the wing
Yes Yes into our midst a bomb will fall
Flowers will leap in joy their roots aching
Fields will kneel proud beneath the halleluyahs of the wind
Pinkbombs will blossom Elkbombs will perk their ears
Ah many a bomb that day will awe the bird a gentle look
Yet not enough to say a bomb will fall
or even contend celestial fire goes out
Know that the earth will madonna the Bomb
that in the hearts of men to come more bombs will be born
magisterial bombs wrapped in ermine all beautiful
and they’ll sit plunk on earth’s grumpy empires
fierce with moustaches of gold.

Gregory Corso

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“The Pete Townshend Page #5”

February 24, 2010 at 10:21 am (Music, Pete Townshend, Reviews & Articles)

More from the pen of Townshend. Written for Melody Maker, Dec. 12, 1970…

 

IS ROCK DEAD?

England and America have ways of describing the coming doom for Rock, or pop if you like.

In American magazines it is often that you see articles bemoaning the demise of some or other old time rock act, or complaining that the newer rock people headed by the Beatles and Stones are declining even more rapidly than their original heroes.

The reason people are so quick to become disgusted with the leading edge of Rock whenever it loses its sharpness, is because of what always appears to fill the gap it leaves. Someone once said to me that they became a John Mayall fan afresh, each time nothing else was happening that was exciting in music, You could always rely on him to he there playing good music when others were going up and down like yo yos. Normally one has to put up with Bobby Vee or ageing singing comedians.

Recently American papers, have run full scale articles which run like obituaries. Talk of, “The lack of excitement in the air,” and the “Mere human-ness” of the Stones. Obviously time has a lot to do with it. Unless one hides, like Dylan does, a Rock Star is not likely to keep all his original mystical power when people know him and his hang ups as well as the kid next door.

CHEMISTRY

But there is a chemistry remaining, after the glitter has faded, which indicates that there is, and was, more to Rock than screaming kids and “House full” at the Liverpool Empire. That chemistry has remained for the last three years in my opinion. It’s that long since I was tempted to scream with delight at a concert, at one of my heroes (Jimi Hendrix on stage). Since the Stones stopped stage work, and the Beatles finalised their own public efforts at Shea, the onus of focus has been on records and interviews.

Magazines like Rolling Stone, Fusion, Crawdaddy, Melody Maker, and others with hip format and enough staff to deal with Rock without becoming mere diaries have run interview after interview with Rock heroes. Rather than go to see the man, we stroll up to the record shop, buy his album and read his words in the paper.

Rolling Stone once ran an interview with myself, or rather my oratorio, through eleven pages of their paper. At the time I figured it would be one of the best things that ever happened to me. Read it today, and you’ll see that most of the early excitement and feedback that was happening as we worked on Tommy was dissipated in that article. I had said so much of what I had wanted to say in Tommy, in print, and thus made it harder to say musically and get off on it.

One of the most incredible things about the sixties Rock was the fact that it took itself seriously enough to spread itself through eleven pages. How many kids actually bought a record because of the good sense made by the guy who made it? More like; “buy it because he’s a bastard.”

Deep Purple have done far far better smashing guitars (and loving it) than bashing their musical heads against the elite musical analysts that make up the album market today. The Move and ourselves used similar tactics, you’ll remember. But we’re still here today, many others aren’t. 

Some of the things that happened in the sixties are so heavy that I’m sure in ten years all of the present Rock hierarchy will remember the sixties with tears in their eyes. Hendrix, The Cream, The Band, Zeppelin, Crosby Stills and Nash, Woodstock, Shea Stadium, Albert Hall, Saville Theatre, Isle of Wight, Kinks, Cocker, Small Faces, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick Tich? Was it that incredible?

Good bands abounding, and plenty of them pop biased with their eyes on the singles market, but aren’t all of them old men? Wasn’t Jimmy Page a session man before he became a teenie idol? Wasn’t Clapton wearing ivy league jackets and crewcuts before he played blues with Mayall? Weren’t The Band backing Dylan, rather badly, before their own mind blowing appearance? Rock is AIMED at young people, it hopes to tell them about themselves, it hopes to gather up the excitement of being young and frustrated and glorify it. It doesn’t usually mean that because the hunter gets his prey he becomes hunted himself, but you have heard of Karma? They’ll get you in the end. Rock is self destructive by its very nature.

HAPPY

A band like the WHO, for example, are only happy when they are reaching and stimulating a young audience. Like the Faces, we started fairly young and made good, our audience has grown with us. But a lot of them have found solace in an aspect of life that we can’t get off on. We have to be exploding, moving, smashing things, too loud, lairy, hairy, over intellectual even. It’s got to the point that we realise that even though five years ago we sang, “Hope I die before I get old,” today we say, “We didn’t mean it.” We did mean it. We didn’t care about ourselves or our future. We didn’t care about ourselves or our futures. We didn’t really even care about one another. We were hoping to screw the system, screw the older generation, screw the hippies, screw the Rockers screw the record business, screw the Beatles and screw ourselves. We’ve been most successful on the last account. I think that speaks for a lot of the groups in the sixties.

We didn’t really want to end up yabbering in pop papers about our hangups, we wanted to die in plane crashes or get torn to pieces by a crowd of screaming girls.It all began to change when Paul sang, “When I’m sixty four” SlXTY-FOUR? Of course, there is such a thing as living till old age, there is such a thing as leaving the rat race and settling down. See Paul himself – see Dylan.

In the seventies is there a different mood? My arse there is! The best new bands like Free for example sound incredibly 1965. Their sound is inspired so it seems by all the music that inspired the Stones and the Small Faces and ourselves. Elton John, who I must say has my approval, is also an incorrigible rocker. Leaping all over the stage like Steve Marriott yet making records that speak of the most fantastic nostalgia and feeling. But there are not half enough Frees and Elton Johns, Far too many are at first content with a rapid up and down pop 30 existence. Making a hit record and then finding it almost impossible to be taken seriously. When they are first in the charts they are apparently happy, but in the end the emptiness of a life focused on single sales is clear.

Dave Dee etc, The Trems, Fairweather Low, Love Affair, Mann, and so on all have suffered from top thirty boredom. Their fans were happy enough with them as they were. But the key is that their fans were looking at music from a different angle than their heroes. While little girls were comparing Steve Ellis’s angelic features to their favourite teddy bear he was at home listening to Cream albums and imagining himself as a kind of Leonard Cohen or James Taylor figure. In 1971 there is going to be a change. Rock musicians like ourselves are going to have to admit we are pigeon holed by our own past, and newer groups are going to have to realise that it’s bands like Free and Elton John that they have to whip, not White Plains, however much the fans may insist that they will “love you even when you’re not in the charts.” Bloody liars they are. If you want to cause something new to happen in music it has to be made to happen, and it has to be new.

Rock is far from dead. Far far from dead. If life in the Who is anything to go by it’s just started. I hate to use such a zoot expression but its “own up time.” Technology has advanced to a state where sound can be produced that is practically celestial – where a concert can sound as good as a recording or better, where machines are available that can invent sounds that the ear and brain have never heard before. When you boil it down, there is only one medium that can make use of it all, that can reflect the explosive media-saturated frustration that will be our millstone in ten years. Rock. Rock is music, but with a difference. It’s music WITHOUT A PAST. Once we become aware that Rock does have a past, that there is history, that there is an up and down, we have to close our eyes and look ahead. Something new is waiting. And we won’t see it if we are still asking questions like is rock dead? Burn this paper.

THOU SHALT NOT MULTI-TRACK

For those of you who were interested by my moans about TV miming, here is an excerpt from what looks like it might become a continuing saga.

Don Smith, a young and untypically together Musicians Union organiser read my grievances last month and we talked about it at his office. It seems that he is keen to get a better empathy going with group musicians, but he has the impression that groups that don’t use any outside musicians on their records are in the minority. Try FREE, MOODY BLUES, LED ZEPPELIN, PAUL McCARTNEY, TRAFFIC, FAIRPORT CONVENTION, FACES, CREAM, JETHRO TULL etc., etbloodycetera.

No, the point is that when the decision was made to ban TV miming and the use of backing tracks not made especially for the TV shows the decision was made with complete disregard of the fact that most of the popular rock albums and singles made in this country are made by groups, not solo artists.

By making rules to protect the cosseted session men in London they make it technically possible to blacklist group musicians from different bands that wish to appear with one another on TV. They can play with a group of their buddies on their record only if they appear on television too to plug it.

Don Smith is a clearly considerate man, but all the consideration and good will in the world does not alter the fact that even multi-tracking is against Union rules. Multi-tracking is common procedure in recording these days, but to protect a few starving session men from having to sell their Rolls’s it has been made an offence for a Union member to multi-track, i.e.: The whole of Paul McCartney’s album was made in defiance of the Union. In fact, every time someone multi-tracks they are supposed to send a letter to the Union asking permission! All you Union members with Revox’s better flog ’em, and learn to read and write music. That’s the only way you should really be able to end up with more than one instrument.

Also, all you studios making cheap demos for up and coming musicians should realise, only one track per instrumentalist thus making it impossible for -a hard up composer to make a decent demo without a £300 recording session.

Don Smith says that now that the wheels have been put in motion the only way that the rules could be modified so that session men remain protected without groups like ourselves suffering is to put forward a motion for change in the rules and get musicians throughout the country (there have to be a good number in each region) to get out to their branch meeting and vote on it.

Anyone that would be willing to vote for a motion relaxing the backing track and multi-tracking rules applied to TV and recording today should write to me c/o T.V Miming Question, Track Records, 70 Old Compton Street, W.1. If enough people get out to their branch meeting and vote the motion through, we’ll see more music on the box, see more music in the charts and hopefully, see more pop on television. I’m sure that we’ll hear better sound.

Or just send a postcard with your name and address, M.U. number and region. We’ll tell you when to put on top hat and tails and go to vote If you happen to be free.

Pete Townshend

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