Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Peter Orlovsky has left the planet...
Sadly another mourning hits art and counterculture: Peter Orlovsky (b. 1933), longtime partner of Allen Ginsberg and a poet on his own right, died May 30 in Vermont for lung cancer. He met Ginsberg in 1954 in San Francisco, two years before Ginsberg's publication of his best-known poem "Howl". In the late fifties and during the sixties they extensively traveled together. In 1957, they met William Burroughs in Tangers, Moroc; afterwards they lived with him, Gregory Corso and others at the famous "Beat Hotel" in Paris. In 1962-'63 they made their first trip to India (as told in Ginsberg's Indian Journal.) Later they became buddhists and met their life-long spiritual teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche. They helped Trungpa and New York poet Anne Waldman in founding the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.
Peter can be seen in Bob Dylan's movie Renaldo and Clara while meditating in a circle with Allen, Roger McGuinn and others.
Among other poems Orlovsky wrote Dear Allen, Ship will land Jan 23,58 ('71), Clean Asshole Poems and Smiling Vegetable Songs ('78) and Straight Hearths Delight: Love Poems & Selected Letters (with Ginsberg, '80).