Anne Waldman's Stellar Example

Gregory Corso invaded my shower one day in the little Townhouse apartment I return to in dreams as “Remember Some Apartments”. It was named “Emerson Apartments”. Ralph Waldo Emerson had always been an inspiration for my memory of this place although he would not have appreciated the commune spirit. Gregory was always barging in, rooting around looking for valium or anything palliative and high-making, gesticulating , checking out my books –did I have any art books? – and would I ever be as good as Jane Austen? So there was that, the sense of invasion.

I was soaping my hair with lavender shampoo. We decided we would probably never sleep together. That was a good idea because he was so complicated to think about sleeping with. I mean it wasn’t even an issue or much of a discussion. I was not going to get my transmissions from Beat poets, I proclaimed, by sleeping with them! I said would you be my pal? And will you behave? He hugged me as we were water rats together in the shower.

(This was 1975, Boulder, Colorado during a summer session of

The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University)

Anne Waldman

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Corso's Dark Romanticism

In the Spring of 1973, I was the associate editor of the Gregory Corso issue of Michael Andre's literary magazine, Unmuzzled Ox. Part of my duties consisted of squiring Gregory around New York City. Our first outing was a reading by George Economou at Dr Generosity's Pub, where Gregory went off the deep end over something in a poem and started screaming at George.

Gregory, in whom I had no interest whatsoever as anything but a colorful literary figure, developed a big crush on me. At that point, he was heavily drug addicted, partially toothless and looked like a street person. He kept trying to get me to go out with him, which I refused in a nice way. He would call me up in various stages of intoxication and withdrawal, sometimes quite late. When he was mellow, he would wax romantic; when he was crazed, he would call me at midnight and say he was going to kidnap and rape me. He said something like that to my roommate, who almost called the police. 

Eventually, he lost interest, or went back home, I don't recall. I saw him at readings after that, and he was nice, acted as though his behavior had never happened.
Dr. Iris Brossard, Centracare Health System, St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

When I introduced my date, he said, "I'd like ta shove a rose in ya, without the thorns...  Hey, that's pretty poetic, eh?"  Then he laughed maniacally & gave her a bear hug in his overcoat.

Gary Shilling, From May 29, 1992, in front of CBGB, in the Bowery, New York City.