Although some of the poets that I’ve put up here on the “Poems that I Love” are friends, Allen is perhaps the most famous one that I met more than once. When I lived at the Hartford Street Zen Center, he would show up about 4 in the afternoon to have tea with Phil Whalen. Quite often on those afternoons, a younger man would ring the bell and ask if he’d found the Philip Whalen zendo. My signal that Allen would be coming round in a bit and I’d better get the water boiling. Their conversation was pretty tame for old beat-nicks, but the laughter constant. Only once or twice did Ginsberg stay for evening zazen.
Allen also did two benefit readings for Hartford Street and Maitri hospice so I got to work with him in a more direct way. He was fun, but a consummate professional, attending to the minutest detail.
A Supermarket in California
An Eastern Ballad
Father Death Blues (Don't Grow Old, Part V)
The Lion For Real
And more than a few pictures!