- File Size: 84789 KB
- Print Length: 206 pages
- Publisher: Beatdom Books; 2nd edition (September 15, 2016)
- Publication Date: September 15, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01LXV5F7A
- Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,308,959 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Don't Hesitate: Knowing Allen Ginsberg '72 through 97 Kindle Edition
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|Length: 206 pages|
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About the Author
Don’t Hesitate is a masterpiece of candor. It is beautifully written and designed, making it a pleasure to read and re-read. One would like to pigeon-hole the book and say that it is a collection of poems; a collection of letters; a memoir; a love story; a character study; a coming of age story; a guide to meditation and enlightenment; but it is not just one of these things — it is all of them. —Bill Morgan, author of THE BEAT GENERATION IN SAN FRANCISCO
In Don’t Hesitate: Knowing Allen Ginsberg, youthful poet Marc Olmsted ricochets from one erotic and artistic incarnation and milieu to another before ultimate commitment to Tibetan Buddhism. This riveting account—letters, cards, drawings, photos as well as brisk perceptive narrative—is as incisive in self-depiction as in its rendering of many others from scene to scene, across the continent, across a quarter century, North Beach to CBGB to Buddhist retreat. Equally revealing of elder and younger poet alike, it’s a testament not only to love but, perhaps most importantly, friendship. — Col. Gordon Ball, author of 66 FRAMES
Who better to illuminate on the life and times of an elder Allen Ginsberg than his longtime intimate and student Marc Olmsted? From 1974 onward from North Beach to the Naropa Institute’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and elsewhere the Beat master engaged Olmsted‘s eager attention. Readers will delight in the insight that has emerged from that comradeship. —Neeli Cherkovski, author of HANK: THE LIFE OF CHARLES BUKOWSKI
Olmsted’s sinuous poetry moves on the page… thoughts at the instant they become muscular movements. —Michael McClure, author of HYMNS TO ST. GERYON AND OTHER POEMS
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That's the story Marc Olmsted tells in this memoir.
Complete with an intro by noted Ginsberg archivist & biographer Bill Morgan, and full of unpublished letters between the bearded bard and the aspiring acolyte, this road trip takes you from their first meeting in the '70s through Allen's death in 1997.
Along the way there's lots of sex, drugs, rock & roll, and madness of the nut house variety. There's vivid scenes inside the indi movie world of L.A., the punk scene in S.F., the drug dens of N.Y., and the meditation sanctuaries in Boulder. The narrator is a poet, painter, lead singer, script writer and general bohemian bon vivant who lived to tell the tale of drunken stupors, pansexual trysts, A.A. meetings, bad poetry and good.
And the colorful linear narrative is augmented with a scrapbook collage of hand-written letters and postcards from Allen, photographs, film strips, show posters, lyric sheets, script excerpts, newspaper clippings, you name it, all telling the candid story of a long day's journey into light.
In fact the opening word of the book — Bill Morgan's introing "Candor" — is the operative word for the entire endeavor. The author doesn't try to come across like he was some secret Peter in Allen's life, but rather is quite openly confessional about his screw-ups, his insecurity, his being too drunk to remember, his bad choices — ya know, like real people's lives. It ain't all pretty. But it's pretty page-turning.
And if you're a fan of the Beats, it's chock full of both major and minor characters you'll know. There's Gregory being a pain and McClure being a host. There's Steve Silberman writing articles and Chris Felver taking pictures. There's tender-hearted Buddhists and hollow-eyed junkies. There's dreams of literary immortality and morning afters of poet's poverty. And overall there's the arc from '70s hedonism through the downer of AIDS and the Reagan years into the collective maturity of the '90s.
With the passing of all but a handful of the Beat founding fathers (and mothers) we're now in an era where it's left to the disciples to spread the gospels. And the best of them, like Olmsted, have learned their lessons well and morphed quite naturally from student to teacher.