RAY BREMSER MEMORIAL
SECTION SEVEN

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COLUMN SEVENTY-FOUR, AUGUST, 1 2002
(Copyright 2002 Al Aronowitz)

INTRO TO 'POEMS OF MADNESS'
RAY BREMSER AND HIS POETRY


(Photo by Myles Aronowitz)
(Copyright - 1998 Myles Aronowitz)

[RAY BREMSER AND HIS POETRY by Allen Ginsberg originally appeared as an introduction to POEMS OF MADNESS in 1965. Reprinted by permission of the author's estate]

RAY BREMSER BORN 1934 JERSEY CITY GRADE SCHOOL ARMED ROBBERY AGE 19 BORDENTOWN REFORMATORY SIX YEARS THERE COMPLETED HIGH SCHOOL & POEMS OF MADNESS FORWARDED WITH CORRESPONDENCE TO THIS A. GINSBERG AND THAT G. CORSO IN PARIS.  RELEASED 1958 PUBLISHED IN YUGEN MAGAZINE & DON ALLEN NEW AMERICAN POETRY ANTHOLOGY GAVE READINGS PRINCETON BROWN & WASHINGTON DC TOUR WITH FELLOW POETS LIVING THEATER, MARRIED BONNIE (NEE FRAZER.)

PHILADELPHIA TV PRO-MARIJUANA-LEGALIZATION        SPEECH INSPIRED BORDENTOWN PAROLE INVESTIGATION.  AFTER SIX MONTHS TRENTON STATE PRISON (BLUES FOR BONNIE 1960) FOR 'GETTING MARRIED WITHOUT PERMISSION" INTERVENTION BY THE LATE DR.  W. C. WILLIAMS AND LAWYERS SECURED RELEASE.  ROMANCE WITH FUZZ CONTINUED, BREMSER IMMEDIATELY RE-ARRESTED BAILED OUT THEN INDICTED FOR JERSEY CITY ARMED ROBBERY ON I PRESUME FALSE/MISTAKEN IDENTIFICATION.  POET WIFE & CHILD FLED TO MEXICO HALF-YEAR, ABDUCTED/DEPORTED TO LAREDO TEXAS AS FUGITIVE, AS IN WILLIAM FAULKNER'S WILD PALMS.  BAILED OUT AGAIN RETURNED TO MEXICO ANONYMOUS ANOTHER HALF-YEAR.  REARRIVED IN STATES TO PUBLISH POETRY 1962 BUSTED IN NY  'tRACES OF MARIJUANA IN HIS ADDRESS BOOK? CHARGE DISMISSED, HELD ON JERSEY ROBBERY WARRANT BAILED OUT CROSSED RIVER & SPENT 3 MONTHS IN CAN WAITING.  INEPT LAWYER UNFRIENDLY POLICE AND JURY CONVICTION ALAS 3 YEARS AS OF FEB. 1963 EXPENSIVE KAFKIAN APPEAL PENDING, SO PASSETH OVER A YEAR TO NOW.

IN BREMSER POETRY WE HAVE POWERFUL CURIOUS HOBOKEN LANGUAGE, CRANK-BLAT PHRASING, RHYTHMIC MOTION THAT MOVES FORWARD IN SECTIONS TO CLIMAXES OF FEELING.  IMAGINATION SHIFTS IN AND OUT OF HEARD-ABOUT PLACES IN SPACE & TIME, AMERICAN PRIMITIVE, JAILHOUSE PRIMITIVE, & DRAMATISES KEY IDEAS - PERSONAL EMPATHY WITH EGYPT AND A POP ART APPROACH TO PLATONIC ARCHTYPES.  WHERE IS THE TRUTH IN THIS?  THE TRUTH HERE IS THE      REALIZED EXPRESSION OF EMOTIONAL AWARENESS. POETRY A       RHYTHMIC ARTICULATION OF FEELING, EMOTIONAL PHYSIOLOGY VOCALIZED.  NOW THE PIPER'S PIPED, BUT HAD NO HUMAN REWARD IN HIS AMERICA - THUS HE GOES WILD, PIPING INHUMANELY.  

    "I     PASSED OUT AT THIS POINT AND WAKE AGAIN AMIDST ROWERS ...    
      I     PRETEND TO PURE DISLOCATION AND END IN THE PALACE OF A
            GREAT QUEEN
   WHOSE BATH HAS BEEN DRAWN AGAINST LOGIC ..."

ALSO HE'S FUNNY; ON FUNK, FUNKY.  ECHOES OF AMPHETAMINE ECHOLALIA - THE LINE CARRIED OUT THROUGH ITS LAST MENTAL PIP'sQUEAK OF IDEA-RHYTHM.  A MOUTH HOPPED UP WITH UNNATURAL DACTYLS, OR SOME KIND OF MANY-FOOTED GREEK MEASURE.

'tHE ZEAL OF GOSPEL, ELATION
 WHAM/CYMBAL/WHAM"

THE LATER WRITING IS VERY JAZZY, SCATTING RELATED TO MONK COLTRAINE TAYLOR CHARLES AS WELL AS METH-FREAK HEAD NOISES.  AWE OF THE UNIVERSE ENTERS INTO THE POETRY WHICH IS A BIG PILE-UP OF WORDS SOME TIMES INTO HART CRANEISH CLANG-LINES.

"GREAT EDIBLE CROTCH FULL OF HERMITAGE LORE
 AND EXCUSABLE GLOOM!"

THAT TAKES A CERTAIN GENIUS. BUT THE REAL MEASURE OF INSPIRATION IS THE OPENING UP OF THE BARDIC BREATH & THE SUMMONING FORWARD OF RHYTHMIC POWER FROM THE BREAST FOR THE SUSTAINED FLIGHT OF PROCLAMATION THAT CLIMAXES THE POEMS OF MADNESS.

ALLEN GINSBERG

NEW YORK MAY 27, 1964

 

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