INTERVIEWER: How come you’ve never written about Jesus? You’ve written about Buddha. Wasn’t Jesus a great guy too?
KEROUAC: I’ve never written about Jesus? In other words, you’re an insane phony who comes to my house . . . and . . . all I write about is Jesus. I am Everhard Mercurian, General of the Jesuit Army.
Ginsberg: Yeah, but you know, I was trying to imitate Kerouac.
GP: That's interesting.
Ginsberg: I was a student of Kerouac's, Kerouac broke ground, and I moved in on that territory. And he said, "You guys," me and Gary Snyder, "you guys call yourselves poets. I'm a poet, too, except that my verse line is longer than yours. I write verses that are two pages long!" Like the opening sentences in The Subterranians. Which are beautiful, poetic sentences, you know.
GP: He was the key influence, then.
Ginsberg: Yeah. I would say him and Burroughs. He was the key vocal influence or verbal, and Burroughs the key intellectual.
GP: And then, of course, as everyone's written about, also Blake and Pound and Whitman and Williams.
Ginsberg: Well, I had a good education, I had a regular Columbia education, but I also had the advantage of an education through Kerouac and Burroughs and the books they suggested, but also through my father, who was very well cultivated in poetry.
Now and Forever, by Allen Ginsberg
autostraddle: I’ll settle for Immortality—- Not thru the body Not thru the eyes Star-spangled high mountains waning moon over Aspen peaks But thru words, thru the breath of long sentences loves I have, heart beating still, inspiration continuous, exhalation of cadenced affection These immortal survive America, survive the fall of States Departure of my body, mouth...