Thursday, September 09, 2010

Memorial Reading for Peter Orlovsky (1933-2010) at St. Mark's Church on September 22, 2010

There will be a memorial Reading for poet, Peter Orlovsky on Wednesday, September 22, 8pm. St. Mark's Church. 10th St at 2nd Ave, NYC. The event is free.

Peter Orlovsky (July 8,1933-May 30, 2010) Poet, singer, farmer, yodeler, banjo-picker, Buddhist practitioner, Allen Ginsberg's lifelong-companion, Kerouac's Simon Darlovsky in Desolation Angels & George in The Dharma Bums, the generous & wonderfully whimsical Peter Orlovsky, was an unforgettable & hugely colorful presence in the East Village, and in and around the Poetry Project.

Please join us in a night of music, video, song and poetry, as some of his closest friends pay tribute to him including: Chuck Lief - Philip Glass - Ed Sanders - Steven Taylor - Hal Willner - Janine Pommy Vega - Andy Clausen - Patti Smith - Anne Waldman - Gordon Ball - Rosebud Pettet - Simon Pettet - Bill Morgan - Anselm Berrigan - John Godfrey - and others TBA

The following photos were taken at Peter's Sukhavati ceremony at Karme Choling, June 2, 2010

Photo: left to right: Peter Hale, Bev Isis, Bill Morgan, and Juanita Plimpton (nee Lieberman)

Photo: Juanita, Anne Waldman, and Bev in the Karme Choling Parking lot.

Photo: "Wake" in the packed shrine room at Karme Choling after Peter's Sukhavati

Account of Peter's Death by poet and long time friend, Anne Waldman who was able to be with him at the time of his death during her residency at the Vermont Studio Center :

Death of Peter Orlovsky “The Shellean farmer astride hid Pegasusian tractor” as Gregory Corso once knighted him passed on today, May 30 2010 to the elysian fields, a bardo of becoming. First glance hour earlier Peter was resting with “trach” in throat in orange sheets at the kind Vt Respite Center in Williston, Vermont ( but no extra tubes/ heroic measures for this advanced cancer on his lung!), a copy of the Songs of Saraha by his pillow, photo of beloved Allen Ginsberg companion of many years on the wall, other Buddhist images, iPod of music he loved including chants by Buddhist nuns, cards from friends and out the window a bird feeder with finch and red-winged blackbirds landing/taking off. Chuck and Judith Lief, faithful guardians and friends at his side. He had been moved less than 48 hours earlier from intensive care at a hospital in Boston, finally to hospice. His body we were touching we noticed suddenly turned cold like death was in the room. We got the nurse. Judy and I stepped out when suddenly Chuck called us back. Peter had opened his eyes. Chuck said “It might be the last time”. By his side now, looking into his eyes told out love, I thanked him for his presence in our lives, his poetry his care and love for Allen, his work at Naropa. Ah, I thought a flash of recognition shivering through! slight movement of mouth, light coming in on his handsome face through the window now, and Judy singing om a hum vajra guua padma siddhi hum in crystal voice said “don’t be afraid”. Joined in. Last breathes, one coming late, staggered: his heart/breath stopt. Poet Christina Lovin in room with nurse gave gentle witness who checked the clock 11:39 I think or so a.m. Earlier we’d played recording of Peter singing his Raspberry Song with great heart-soaring yodel and “how sweet you are”. “Make my grave shape of heart so like a flower be free aired and handsome felt” ( “The Snail”). Tibetan Book of the Dead readings, in full final repose arranged with blue shirt, hands folded, consciousness a joyful gardener sprite? no fear, no fear working its way out… Anne Waldman 5.30.2010 Vt Studio Center

Photo: Peter looking peaceful in the Karme Choling shrine room.

Photo: Peter with rose petals in honor of his gesture upon Allen's Sukhavati in 1997.

The following links provide additional information or memorials:

Internment of Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky's Ashes at Shambhala Mountain Center, August 28, 2010

"Impossible Happiness: An Eulogy for Peter Orlovsky" by Steve Silberman

Visit Facebook group: "Our Allen"

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