Saturday, March 08, 2008


"America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel."

H/T the Literary Outpost.

This is Ginsberg reciting his poem but I don't know why the word order is changed from the original. I'm sure Bent could help us with this.

I think this re-mix is fantastic. I've emailed the creator of the video to ask her/him about the music and video that was chosen. I love how Ginsberg is adopted and recreated as contemporary political and social commentary.

UPDATE: Here's the reply I received from the video's author.

The project had more to do with American history (1932-62) than Ginsberg himself or the Beat movement. It accompanied an essay about how we got from the New Deal to the Communist witch hunts and Cuban Missile Crisis.

The music is from Angelo Badalamenti and the Prague Philharmonic. The reading is from a Library of Congress recording from San Fransisco in 1959. The video is public footage from news reels from the above period and my own archive of family home movies from the Fifties and early Sixties.

I suppose the intention is to project how the population's own divided feelings about the national identity reflect Ginsberg's confused feelings about his own identity as American.