Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Howl Turns 50

I actually got a letter from Allen Ginsberg in November 1991. On the same day as a letter from Tom Clancy. Too funny!

Here is the letter I sent to the poet Allen Ginsberg in 1991 at the start of my effort to include the thoughts of influential Americans in my research on Presidential Succession. I thought it was very interesting that he was willing to respond to my queries even though I had misspelled both his first name and last name. He was known for large correspondence. He wrote his responses onto my original letter with an angry script (fine point black felt tip pen - I think). He responded only 2 weeks after my mailing to him. I have put his responses below my questions.

November 18, 1991

Alan Ginsburg (Corrected to Allen Ginsberg)
c/o City Lights Bookstore
261 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133

Dear Mr. Ginsburg,

I ask for you assistance on a research project. The attached letter is an example of one I have sent to 94 current or former cabinet officers who served from 1969 to the present for their thoughts on the Presidential Succession Law. I hope to expand my study by contacting influential Americans for their interpretation on these issues. Please consider these questions and read the attached letter before responding.

1. How do you think a succession to the Presidency by someone low in the line of succession would work?
- Who knows?

2. Would people of any political stripe accept a Secretary of Education becoming President?
- Why not?
Obviously, any situation that caused the death or incapacity of 17 more senior people would have to be catastrophic.
- I don't think so, not at all

3. Would the rule of law hold?
- Did it ever? Iranscam, CIA dope peddling, etc ??

4. How would the press cover the transfer of power?
- On a cowardly manner except for underground or dissident press. The New York Times still hasn't reported on what seems to me to have been a takeover of power by Military-Industrial-Nuke + CIA Oligarchy since 1970's - (about '72).

(signed) Allen Ginsberg

He also put a return address label below his signature:
Allen Ginsberg
P.O.B. 582 - Stuyesant Station
New York, N.Y. 10009 U.S.A.

Later, I found some of the same text almost verbatim in one of his poems, in a bookstore in North Conway, NH.

All of my poems are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage. See all 18,840+ of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

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