Zen-poetical exchange of words with Allen Ginsberg, Brighton (England), Quaker Meeting House, 1979.
He's performing, meant-to-be improv. talking blues or something, growling & howling with his Harmonium. Disappointingly, he is, for medical reasons as he explains, minus his trademark beard.
I, sat in front row, at his feet, admiring.
Interval, the Grand Old Man's standing by Grand Piano, laboriously signing a pile of books for sale, repeating his autograph over & over.
Taking advantage of a lull in trade, I sidle up to this living legend, who has already entered the annals of history. A little nervous, I try to break the ice with a friendly, tongue-in-cheek, good-natured sort of quip:
- You should use a rubber-stamp!
unconscious internal rhyme...
- IT WOULD LOSE ITS VALUE,
G replies, without a smile. End of conversation, & I beat a hasty retreat, having failed to buy any merchandise.
In retrospect, I wonder, does this illustrate a difference between us, eg. I have a sense of humour (& the human), he, on that occasion, didn't?
Unlikely to be an incident he remembered, but it stuck in my mind. Maybe the moral is: don't meet famous men...you may be disillusioned. Or better still, don't have any illusions...