Ginsberg's Mind Writing Slogans

Mind Writing Slogans

by Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg

"First Thought is Best in Art, Second in Other Matters." - William Blake

I Background (Situation, Or Primary Perception)

  • "First Thought, Best Thought" - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  • "Take a friendly attitude toward your thoughts." - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  • "The Mind must be loose." - John Adams
  • "One perception must immediately and directly lead to a further perception." - Charles Olson, "Projective Verse"
  • "My writing is a picture of the mind moving." - Philip Whalen
  • Surprise Mind - Allen Ginsberg
  • "The old pond, a frog jumps in, Kerplunk!" - Basho
  • "Magic is the total delight (appreciation) of chance." - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  • "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman
  • "...What quality went to form a man of achievement, especially in literature? ... Negative capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason." - John Keats
  • "Form is never more than an extension of content. - Robert Creeley to Charles Olson
Allen Ginsberg
  • "Form follows function." - Frank Lloyd Wright*
  • Ordinary Mind includes eternal perceptions. - A. G.
  • "Nothing is better for being Eternal
  • Nor so white as the white that dies of a day." - Louis Zukofsky
  • Notice what you notice. - A. G.
  • Catch yourself thinking. - A. G.
  • Observe what's vivid. - A. G.
  • Vividness is self-selecting. - A. G.
  • "Spots of Time" - William Wordsworth
  • If we don't show anyone we're free to write anything. - A. G.
  • "My mind is open to itself." - Gelek Rinpoche
  • "Each on his bed spoke to himself alone, making no sound." - Charles Reznikoff

II Path (Method, Or Recognition)

  • "No ideas but in things." "... No ideas but in the Facts." - William Carlos Williams
  • "Close to the nose." - W. C. Williams
  • "Sight is where the eye hits." - Louis Zukofsky
  • "Clamp the mind down on objects." - W C. Williams
  • "Direct treatment of the thing ... (or object)." - Ezra Pound, 1912
  • "Presentation, not reference." - Ezra Pound
  • "Give me a for instance." - Vernacular
  • "Show not tell." - Vernacular
  • "The natural object is always the adequate symbol." - Ezra Pound
  • "Things are symbols of themselves." - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  • "Labor well the minute particulars, take care of the little ones.
  • He who would do good for another must do it in minute particulars.
  • General Good is the plea of the Scoundrel Hypocrite and Flatterer
  • For Art & Science cannot exist but in minutely organized particulars." - William Blake
  • "And being old she put a skin / on everything she said." - W. B. Yeats
  • "Don't think of words when you stop but to see the picture better." - Jack Kerouac
  • "Details are the Life of Prose." - Jack Kerouac
  • Intense fragments of spoken idiom best. - A. G.
  • "Economy of Words" - Ezra Pound
  • "Tailoring" - Gregory Corso
  • Maximum information, minimum number of syllables. - A. G.
  • Syntax condensed, sound is solid. - A. G.
  • Savor vowels, appreciate consonants. - A. G.
  • "Compose in the sequence of musical phrase, not in sequence of a metronome." - Ezra Pound
  • "... awareness ... of the tone leading of the vowels." - Ezra Pound
  • "... an attempt to approximate classical quantitative meters . . . - Ezra Pound
  • "Lower limit speech, upper limit song" - Louis Zukofsky
  • "Phanopoeia, Melopoeia, Logopoeia." - Ezra Pound
  • "Sight. Sound & Intellect." - Louis Zukofsky
  • "Only emotion objectified endures." - Louis Zukofsky

III Fruition (Result, Or Appreciation)

  • Spiritus = Breathing = Inspiration = Unobstructed Breath
  • "Alone with the Alone" - Plotinus
  • Sunyata (Sanskrit) = Ku (Japanese) = Emptiness
  • "What's the sound of one hand clapping?" - Zen Koan
  • "What's the face you had before you were born?" - Zen Koan
  • Vipassana (Pali) = Clear Seeing
  • "Stop the world" - Carlos Castafleda
  • "The purpose of art is to stop time." - Bob Dylan
  • "the unspeakable visions of the individual - J. K.
  • "I am going to try speaking some reckless words, and I want you to try to listen recklessly." - Chuang Tzu (Tr. Burton Watson)
  • "Candor" -Whitman
  • "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin." - William Shakespeare
  • "Contact" - A Magazine, Nathaniel West & W. C. Williams, Eds.
  • "God appears & God is Light
  • To those poor souls who dwell in Night.
  • But does a Human Form Display
  • To those who Dwell in Realms of Day." - W. Blake
  • "Subject is known by what she sees." -A. G.
  • Others can measure their visions by what we see. - A. G.
  • Candor ends paranoia. - A. G.
  • "Willingness to be Fool." - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  • "Day & Night / you're all right." - Gregory Corso
  • Tyger: "Humility is Beatness." - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche & A. G.
  • Lion: "Surprise Mind" - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche &A.G.
  • Garuda: "Crazy Wisdom Outrageousness" - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  • Dragon: "Unborn Inscrutability" - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  • "To be men not destroyers" - Ezra Pound
  • Speech synchronizes mind & body - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  • "The Emperor unites Heaven & Earth" - Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  • "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world" - Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • "Make it new" - Ezra Pound
  • "When the music changes, the walls of the city shake" - Plato
  • "Every third thought shall be my grave - W Shakespeare, The Tempest
  • "That in black ink my love may still shine bright." - W. Shakespeare, Sonnets
  • "Only emotion endures" - Ezra Pound
  • "Well while I'm here I'll
  • do the work -
    and what's the Work?
    To ease the pain of living.
    Everything else, drunken
    dumbshow." - A. G.
  • "... Kindness, sweetest of the small notes in the world's ache, most modest & gentle of the elements entered man before history and became his daily connection, let no man tell you otherwise." - Carl Rakosi
  • "To diminish the mass of human and sentient sufferings." - Gelek Rinpoche
    Naropa Institute, July 1992
    New York, March 5, 1993
    New York, June 27, 1993

* Quoting his mentor; Louis Sullivan.
Allen Ginsberg "Mind Writing Slogans" © 1992, 1993 by Allen Ginsberg, in What Book: Buddha Poems From Beat To Hiphop, Gary Gach, ed., copyright © 1998 by Gary Gach. Parallax Press, Naropa Institute, July 1992, New York, 5 March 1993, New York, 27 June 1993

Allen Ginsberg reads "Howl," (Big Table Chicago Reading, 1959)

In 1959, Gregory Corso and Peter Orlovsky accompanied Ginsberg to Chicago for a benefit reading for "Big Table" [named at Kerouac's suggestion], a newly established literary publication born as a result of censorship of the student magazine the Chicago Review. The reading took place on 29 January, 1959.