Beginning with "long poem of these States," The Fall of America is the follow up book to Ginsberg's Planet News. . . . chronicle tape-recorded scribed by hand or sung condensed, the flux of car bus airplane dream consciousness Person during Automated Electronic War years, newspaper headline radio brain auto poesy & silent desk musings, headline flashing on road through these states of consciousness. . . .
Includes Ginsberg's condemnation of America's actions in Vietnam, along with commentary about the moon landing, the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the death of Che Guevera, and more personal events such as the passing of Ginsberg's friend and former lover Neal Cassady. Many of the poems were initially composed on an Uher Tape recorder, purchased by Ginsberg with the help of Bob Dylan.
Poems in the collection include: "Beginning of a Poem of These States;" "Elegy For Neal Cassady;" "On Neal's Ashes," "Please Master," "Hum Bom!" and "September on Jessore Road."
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From The Fall of America:
Jerry Rubin arrested! Beaten, jailed, coccyx broken --
Leary out of action - "a public menace ... persons of tender years ... immature judgment ... psychiatric examination ..."
i.e. Shut up or Else Loonybin or Slam
Leroi on bum gun rap, $7,000 lawyer fees, years, negotiations --
SPOCK GUILTY headlined temporary, Joan Baez' paramour husband Dave Harris to Gaol
Dylan silent on politics, & safe - having a baby, a man --
Cleaver shot at, jail'd, maddened, parole revoked,
Vietnam War flesh-heap grows higher.
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"[Ginsberg] is never negligible, and he is often (the only true test) unforgettable."—Helen Vendler, New York Times Book Review
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997), the son of Naomi Ginsberg, Russian émigré, and Louis Ginsberg, lyric poet and school teacher, in Paterson, N.J. To these facts Ginsberg adds: "High school in Paterson till 17, Columbia College, merchant marine, Texas and Denver copyboy, Times Square, amigos in jail, dishwashing, book reviews, Mexico City, market research, Satori in Harlem, Yucatan and Chiapas 1954, West Coast 3 years. Later Arctic Sea trip, Tangier, Venice, Amsterdam, Paris, read at Oxford Harvard Columbia Chicago, quit, wrote "Kaddish" 1959, made tape to leave behind & fade in Orient awhile. Carl Solomon to whom "Howl" is addressed, is a intuitive Bronx dadaist and prose-poet."