Allen Ginsberg: On "Wichita Vortex Sutra"

The way this was determined was: I dictated it on this Uher tape recorder.  Now this Uher microphone has a little on-off gadget here (click!) and then when you hear the click it starts it again, so the way I was doing it was this (click!); when I clicked it on again it meant I had something to say.  So--if you listen to the original tape composition of this, it would be

 

That the rest of earth is unseen, (Click!)

 

an outer universe invisible, (Click!)

 

Unknown (Click!) except thru

 

(Click!) language

 

(Click!) airprint

 

(Click!) magic images

 

or prophecy of the secret (Click!)

 

heart the same (Click!)

 

in Waterville as Saigon one human form (Click!)

So when transcribing, I pay attention to the clicking on and off of the machine, which is literally the pauses, as words come out of my--as I wait for phrases to formulate themselves. . . .

And then, having paid attention to the clicks, arrange the phrasings on the page visually, as somewhat the equivalent of how they arrive in the mind and how they're vocalized on the tape recorder. . . .

It's not the clicks that I use, it's simply a use of pauses--exactly the same as writing on a page: where you stop, you write, in the little notebook, you write that one line or one phrase on one line, and then you have to wait for another phrase to come, so you go on then to another line, represented by another click.

. . . These lines in "Wichita" are arranged according to their organic time-spacing as per the mind's coming up with the phrases and the mouth pronouncing them.  With pauses maybe of a minute or two minutes between each line as I'm formulating it in my mind and the recording.

. . . Like if you're talking aloud, if you're talking--composing aloud or talking aloud to yourself.  Actually I was in the back of a bus, talking to myself, except with a tape recorder.  So everytime I said something interesting to myself I put it on tape.

Details

Criticism Overview
Title Allen Ginsberg: On "Wichita Vortex Sutra" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Allen Ginsberg, Donald Allen Criticism Target Allen Ginsberg
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 15 Jun 2020
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Composed on the Tongue: Literary Conversations, 1967-1977
Printer Friendly PDF Version
Contexts No Data Tags No Data

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