you’d admit that you don’t even wantnto impose what you believe in onnyourself.nGinsberg: I certainly would not like tonimpose any conception on myself.nLofton: But I’ve read that you don’tnwant to proselytize for homosexualityneven though you’re a homosexual.nAnd I’ve read that you would like tonhave children. Would you want yournkids to be homosexuals?nGinsberg: If they would have as rich anlife as I have had I wouldn’t object.nLofton: Rich? Rich by what standard?nGinsberg: Appreciative of the phenomenalnworld, creative in the world ofnmusic and poetry and genuine speech,ntogether with body and mind. . . .n[At this point we disagree about hownbest to communicate with people.]nGinsberg: If you really want to changenpeople, or enlighten them, or to communicatenwith them, you have to giventhem space to come out of themselves.nLofton: No. Space. You’ve had toonmuch space.nGinsberg: You have to do it gently so itnisn’t just a contest of your will or egonagainst theirs. In a sense what you do isnpresent your feisty, cock-a-doodle-donego —nLofton: No, no. Nice try. Another adnhominem attack. And this is anothernsad thing about unbelievers such asnyourself. Since you’re egocentric, younassume every other person is acting likenyourselfnGinsberg: I’m trying to be candid withnyou.nLofton: Fine. And I’m saying that younare candidly wrong.nGinsberg: Look, I’m just trying to tellnyou what I’m thinking about.nLofton: But I haven’t, in this conversation,nimplied, in any way, that younare saying anything you don’t reallynbelieve. My problem is with what younreally believe.nGinsberg: Why aren’t you thankfulnthat I’m at least being candid?nLofton: No. Candid, schmandid. I’mnconcerned about your soul. Do younbelieve you have a soul?nGinsberg: I’m not sure there is anpermanent soul to worry about. That’snone of those arbitrary conceptions soncharacteristic of monotheism. ThenBuddhists say you don’t have to worrynabout that. The question is the transparencynof your thoughts, not gettingnattached to conceptions of the soul.nBut leaving the whole space open sonwhat you think is soul can dissolve, andnopen up to the great space that exists.nAppreciate^ the actual vastness of thenplace where we are now.nLofton: What does this mean?nGinsberg: Out the window is all ofnWashington, the sky —nLofton: Mr. Ginsberg, the earth is thenLord’s and the fullness thereof I don’tnneed to be told by an unbeliever aboutnthe great marvels of the world and thenuniverse.nGinsberg: I think we all need to benreminded of the vastness of the placenwe are in. And we forget that when wenget into these little suits and argumentsnabout—nLofton: About God? I think morenimportant is Who created all of this,nnot its vastness.nGinsberg: You know people couldneven believe in God but not reallynappreciate how vast He or the universenis.nLofton: I agree with that.nGinsberg: People can get hung up onnthe words, on the possession of thenideas and take pride and vanity in theirnbeliefnLofton: Sure.nGinsberg: So you have that little problemnto deal with.nLofton: You think pride and vanity arenbad?nGinsberg: It depends whether you arenaware of it or not. If you are aware ofnyour pride, it probably does less damagenthan if you are not. Then, at least,nyou see through it and use it in a waynthat is above conscious. . . .nLofton: Drugs. You seem to haveningested every drug imaginable and —nGinsberg: [laughing] I never did getnaround to crack or coke.nLofton: Let me finish my question.nAnd you probably ingested many drugsnwhich are not imaginable but which,nalas, do exist. What is your opinionnregarding the use of drugs? And whynhaven’t you taken crack? Can’t younbuy any, or is there a crack shortage?nGinsberg: Well, the word “drug”ncomes from a word meaning driednherb. I’ve tried peyote, which is annAmerican Indian sacrifice —nLofton: I know the list. But whatnabout now, the current debate aboutndrugs? Should all drugs be legalized?nGinsberg: The most interesting onenI’ve tried recently is ecstasy, whichnnnis misnamed because empathy is itsnquality.nLofton: But should all drugs be legalized?nOr are you concerned that toonmany people are using and being damagednby drugs?nGinsberg: First, we have the difficultnproblem of the drug I just got off of,nnicotine. I just quit smoking a weeknago. . . .nLofton: Why did you quit?nGinsberg: The pain of being addictednwas greater than the pain of stopping.nMy gums were used to being inflamed.nLofton: How much did you smoke?nGinsberg: By this time it had gottennup to a pack a day.nLofton: Then maybe the way I cannmake you believe in God is to makenyour gums hurt.nGinsberg: It certainly stopped menfrom smoking. Anyway, that’s thenworst drug I’ve ever had personally innterms of addiction. Alcohol I’ve nevernhad trouble with because I don’t drink.nLofton: Should all drugs be legalized?nGinsberg: They’re all different andnshould be treated differently. Marijuanancould be decriminalized completely.n. . . Heroin I would medicalizencompletely and take away from thenhands of the police. Heroin addicts arensick like alcoholics and should be treatednas such.nLofton: But are these really addictions?nDo you believe that some peoplenare simply suicidal and have a deathnwish, and just choose to destroy themselves?nGinsberg: I think some people donhave that. Not all. But some. Andnsome are just hyper-addictive types.nLofton: Do you know what the 36thnverse of the Proverb 8 says?nGinsberg: Do you want to know mynview on drugs?nLofton: Yes, but I thought God’s viewnmight be more important so I interruptednyou.nGinsberg: Go right ahead. You’re verynselfless, I must say.nLofton: Indeed. Why else would Income to talk with Allen Ginsberg on anSunday? It certainly can’t be selfinterest,ncan it?nGinsberg: No, I have to hand it to younfor that. It’s probably one of the morengenerous things you have done recent-nly.nLofton: Thank you. In Proverbs 8, then36th verse, we are told that all whonDECEMBER 1989/53n