Thursday, 3 July 2008

03 July 2008

hatred for a local prowlcop car they went to Neal to do their revenge; he stole the prowlcar and wrecked it, or otherwise damaged it. Soon he was back in reform school and Brierly washed his hands of him. They became in fact tremendous ironical enemies. In the past winter in N.Y. Neal had tried one last crack for Brierly’s influence; Allen Ginsberg wrote several poems, Neal signed his name to them and they were mailed to Brierly. Taking his annual trip to N.Y. Brierly faced all of us one evening in Livingston lobby on the Columbia campus. There was Neal, Allen, myself and Ed White and Hal Chase. Said Brierly “These are very interesting poems you’ve sent me, Neal. May I say that I was surprised.” “Ah well,” said Neal, “I’ve been studying you know.” “And who is this young gentleman here in glasses?” inquired Brierly. Allen Ginsberg stepped up and announced himself. “Ah,” said Brierly, “this is most interesting. I understand that you are an excellent poet.” “Why, have you read any of my things?” “Oh,” said Brierly, “probably, probably”---and Ed White, whose love of subtlety later drove him mad over Boswell’s Old Sam Johnson, twinkle eyed all over. He gripped me in the arm and whispered “You think he doesn’t know?” I guessed he did. That was Neal’s and Brierly’s last stand together. Now Neal was back in Denver with his demon poet. Brierly raised an ironical eyebrow and avoided them. Hal Chase avoided them on secret principles of his own. Ed White believed they were out for no good. They were the underground monsters of that season in Denver, together with the poolhall gang, and symbolizing this most beautifully Allen had a basement apartment on Grant street and we all met there many a night that went to dawn---Allen, Neal, myself, Jim Holmes, Al Hinkle and Bill Tomson. More of these others later. My first afternoon in Denver I slept in Hal Chase’s room while his mother went on with her housework downstairs and Hal worked at the museum. It was a hot high-plains afternoon in July. I would not have slept if it hadn’t been for Hal Chase’s father’s invention. Hal Chase’s father was a mad self-styled inventor. He was old, in his seventies, and seemingly feeble, thin and drawn-out and telling stories with a slow, slow relish; good stories too, about his boyhood

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