Saturday, we sat in an old meat processing plant on folding chairs facing a make-shift stage, while Annie Sellick swayed in her red dress and sang to us the most amazing jazz. Something about the whole thing just seemed so tremendously blessed. This is a great way to hear jazz, in rooms intended for something else.
I keep quoting Ginsberg, because I adore him, and I adore him because, as far as poets go, he’s kind of like jazz in an old crumbling building right next to the river. He’s always taking words and phrases that seem like they were intended for something else and through some raucous process turning them into poetry.
William Carlos Williams kind of does this–taking words that are intended for something else and making poems out of them.
This is Just to Say
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
But Williams seems, at least to me, like he’s elevating the ordinary into poetry. Ginsberg’s talent is slamming poetry into the ordinary.
I wanted to find online Ginsberg reading “America,” so that you could hear it for yourself, but I could only find this little snippet. Still, click away and then check out the rest of the website. It has audio clips, so you can hear him.