Lofton: Excuse me, but you raised thenidea of having sex with a truck.nGinsberg: You extended it.nLofton: I’m just trying to accommodatenyou. And you’re attacking menagain.nGinsberg: No, I’m not attacking younat all.nLofton: I even offered to drive thentruck. And you attacked me.nGinsberg: You sure did.nLofton: But to hell with you. I won’tndrive the truck. Get your own truck.nGinsberg: Oh, you can’t get out of itnthat easily. You’ve already driven thentruck in my mind. Gosh, you’re funny.nBut you’ve got this sort of contentiousnobsession — God knows what’s underneathnall that.nLofton: Well, yes. He does know. . . .nGinsberg: You’ve got to remembernthat I’m talking on the basis of thenexperience of remembering my unconscious.nAnd maybe you’re not asnaware of what’s going on in your mindnas I am. And therefore when youncondemn impulses or fantasies that I’mnwilling to be candid about, you maynnot be so familiar with your own mindnas to know that you do contain —nLofton: Well, let’s clear this up rightnnow. If I had the fantasies you have, Inwould also consider them rotten. Theynare rotten not because you have themnbut because they are rotten desires,npreferences.nGinsberg: But what if you find humannnature does contain such a great spectrumnof fantasy, a different aspect ofnreality, as a kind of way of checking outnall the possibilities —nLofton: Mr. Ginsberg, the Book ofnJeremiah says that the human heart isndesperately wicked. You don’t have tontell me — a born-again Christian, Calvinist.nReformed, Puritan — about thenvariety of evil fantasies human beingsnhave. I read the Bible, sir, and it tells usnall about this. And it tells what is to bendone about this.nGinsberg: But you don’t read yournunconscious, the contents of yournmind, very carefully. You don’t remembernyour dreams, your daydreams,nsubliminal thinking.nLofton: You know why?nGinsberg: Why?nLofton: Because I’m not like you. ThenScripture, talking about unbelievers,nasks the question, why do the heathennrage, and the people imagine a vainnthing? (Psalms 2:1). The Scripturentells us to trust the Lord with all ournheart and lean not to our own understandingn(Proverbs 3:5). You are annunbeliever. You lean to your own understanding.nYou’re a heathen whonimagines vain things. You have annoveractive imagination, a kind of mentalncancer.nGinsberg: No, it’s not quite like that.nDo you know anything about meditationnpractice?n[At this point he says he’ll show menhow to meditate. I say fine, but ask himnif he plans to take his clothes off. Hensays no. I meditate. We resume theninterview.]nLofton: I’ve read that you are afraid ofndeath.nGinsberg: No, I was talking morenabout the pain, like dying under torture,nor from cancer of the eyeball.nSomething like that would bothernme. . . .nLofton: The 1970 Current Biographynsays that you aren’t a proselytizer fornhomosexuality. What does that mean?nGinsberg: I’m sort of reporting mynexperience rather than attemptingnto —nLofton: So you’re not saying thatnhomosexuality is good, or better?nGinsberg: I’m observing my ownnmind and consciousness and reportingnon that and trying to be candid. WaltnWhitman, who was a very great poetnand, incidentally, gay, said he thoughtnthat for poets and orators of the futurenthe great quality would be candor,nfrankness, truthfulness — like firstthought-best-thought,nthe notion ofnnonmanipulative communication rathernthan trying to dress it up and lookngood for the outside.nnnLofton: Well, Walt Whitman sufferednfrom, if I may say so, what might bencalled terminal candor — not unlikenyourself I mean, who cares? You don’tnhave to tell us everything, instantlynreporting on everything you feel. Whoncares?nGinsberg: Nobody could report instantlynon everything.nLofton: But some of you have triednhard. You have said you write downnevery dream you have. You report onnevery little impulse from the brain.nGinsberg: But it’s like a musician whonhas to practice and limber up for six ornseven hours before he gives a concert.nAnd so you get certain selected dreamsnand impressions you finally report onnin a little book of collected poems. Younhave to do a lot of writing before younget sort of into shape and get practicenenough to get an old dog attitude andnare able to do it accurately.nLofton: Well, some people do this andnsome people don’t.nGinsberg: Yeah. But the ability tontranscribe comes from experience.nAnd you build on it, learning yournmistakes and blessings. So I don’t thinknWhitman wrote too much. He’s consideredna great classic around thenworld.nLofton: I don’t consider him as such.nGinsberg: You don’t like Whitman?nLofton: No.nGinsberg: Have you read Whitman?nLofton: Some.nGinsberg: What have you read?nLofton: It really doesn’t matter.nGinsberg: Do you remember thenname of the poem you read?nLofton: Yes, one that says somethingnlike: “So, I make mistakes. I contradictnmyself So what? I contain all things.”nThis is absurd. Talk about arrogance.nGinsberg: Dig this.nLofton: I’m diggin’ it.nGinsberg: He says: “Do I contradictnmyself? Very well. I contradict myselfnI am large. I contain multitudes.” Donyou know what he meant by that?nLofton: Probably nothing good. And Indoubt if he knew what he meant.nGinsberg: Yeah, he did. I know whatnhe meant.nLofton: How do you know what henmeant?nGinsberg: [laughs] Because I amnlarge. I contain multitudes.nLofton: But you might contradictnyourself.nDECEMBER 1989/49n