Elise Cowen with Allen Ginsberg. Elise was in love with Allen. What Allen loved Elise loved. She typed up is famous poem Kaddish, along with many other of his poems and work. Elise wrote poetry of her own, but very little is left. She committed suicide when she was twenty-nine. After her death her parents burnt most of her work due to their shame of her lifestyle. Fortunately her friend Leo Skir had 83 of her poems hidden away in his basement.
“At a poetry conference attended by Howard Moss, an elderly poet just back from Nigeria was extolling the rare privilege of moving among a race of women proudly nude, whereupon the bard of the Beat generation rose from his seat, stepped up onto the dais and, without a word, without a smile, without a single depreciating gesture, Allen Ginsberg took off all his clothes.”
Dear Peter - Been here a week, went to zoo with Bill [William S. Burroughs], several afternoons in East Berlin learning Brecht style MUSIK from poet Wolf Biermann - Now sitting in Cafe Zillemarkt off big [?] cafe avenue...looks like cobblestone floored Cafe Figaro - shooting mouth off about politics - probably wrong - Vodka with Bill + lisping thin boyish wrinkled Samuel Beckett - he sang Joyce lyrics he heard from Joyce's lips. See you the 15th. Allen
Aurthor and musician Carl Waldman talks about the Beats, Sikelianos, New York, and Native Americans
First and Second Generation Beats: Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Denise Mercedes, Julius Orlovsky, Gordon Ball, Gregory Corso, Ray Bremser, and Bonnie Bremser at East Hill Farm (1971). Photo by Allen De Loach.