this morning i had to wake up early again. it seems for the past two weeks i've had a hard time adjusting to the earlier schedule, the whole running to turn the alarm off while i clumsily fall back into my bed if only to catch 5 or 10 minutes more of sleep. and well, normally winter sundays are sleep-in late, hot chocolate marshmallow days, but with the enthusiastic invitation of bob holman it was hard to turn down a trip to atlantic city, along with Celena Glenn, discussing ginsberg and listening to bunny rabbit the whole way....haha. It was a nice random moment this morning to have Bob and Celena both walking with me to the corner Bodega around my house for a coffee. On to the trip--So yea, today I gambled. I made some money and had quite the beginners luck. black jack is my new ish. btw, hilarious--we had this older chinese man named Eddy as our dealer. he stuttered when he spoke but had no issues with clowning you in front of the whole table, so it was great, his sense of humor was kind. we didn't gamble long. thats not quite what we came there for...
In the early 1960's, beat poet Allen Ginsberg embarked on a journey to India, one that served as a pilgrimage of sorts. This trip provided Allen with a great length of spiritual awareness and reflection. fifty or so years later I receive a phone call from Bowery Poetry Club owner and founder, Bob Holman, who informs me of his decision to embark upon this same journey as Ginsberg. This is where bob's brilliant sense of humor comes into play--he invites Celena Glenn aka Black Cracker and I to road trip with him for the New Jersey Taj Mahal in ode to sir Ginsberg and the embarrasing American rendition of the Indian Memorial. This trip will be filmed as an independent documentary that will follow Bob through this long journey. Our trip to Atlantic City was special for two main reasons, one--i have never been to Atlantic City and have always wanted to play the slots, and two, well it was honor to hear Holman talk of Ginsberg the way he had. The way his eyes lit up with excitement and the words spun around. You could see him reminiscing in the creases of his face, the way he remembered his own journey to poetry, and more importantly how he told it. It was kind of like one of those moments where everything sits still and its almost like you've traveled back in time, its sort of how I felt this one time where I saw Miguel Algarin of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe walking down ave B in the Lower East Side, while a group of a disgustingly drunk white folk stumbled around him... I imagine time is the only God we know, if there is a God that taketh and giveth then it is time who best resembles him or her.
(Celena Glenn and Bob Holman at the Taj Mahal)
On our drive back from Atlantic City, Bob Holman asked me a question I never thought to answer, and it made me wonder-- when "Howl" was written and performed it served as a generational testimony, Bob wondered if Celena and I had a reference point, a contemporary work that could be used to best compare with Howl or Ginsberg. Sorry to say Holman, I don't think we've had a Ginsberg in our time, but I don't think this generation calls for a Ginsberg. I dont know, I mean we've had some incredible minds in our generation, I wouldnt feel comfortable comparing any of them to Ginsberg tho. Its just not a comparison that should be made. The question of comparing involves a whole host of things. I did mention that Celena Glenn was one of the inspiring poets I have come across to truly relate and reveal generational issues incredibly but I'm not sure how many other people would give her that type of credit which she completely deserves, and this is also something to consider, there are poets or artists out there that do justice to some of the old timers if not even better, but not all of them get the shine they deserve. The media has definitely skewed things. I think with the influence of Hip Hop we've been able to see some artists that have spoke to the generational issues of our day and age. But poets don't have the same influence as they used to. This is not to say we have no influence, quite the contrary. I simply believe that our collective consciousness is at a different place.
( Celena Glenn and I on our way to the Casinos)
(Bob Holman at the Atlantic City Buffet )