LOVE YOU ALL!
TUESDAY AUGUST 31 2021
TUESDAY AUGUST 31 2021
Beat hotel in Venice…
and burger king.
Wandering in Venice is like being in a Time Machine. Those old, ancient polished stones by the footsteps are, perhaps, the best visitingcard for Venice.
Fondamenta alle Zattere, that is the house in which John Ruskin lived in 1877 now it is an inn.
 Modigliani House  Rio de le Romite  Locanda Montin (The Beat hotel in Venice at the time of Beat generation in the Sixties of past century.)
That summer, Gregory rented a house in Venice, which he shared with Jean-Jacques Lebel; it was where Modigliani had lived in 1903. They each had a large room and there was a palm tree in the garden. Jean-Jacques shared his room with his girlfriend, the American poet Sandra Hochman, who later won the Yale Younger Poets Award for her 1963 collection Manhattan Pastures. Jean-Jacques said, “She was a very charming lovely American sexual hysteric. And Gregory asked me to share this house with him and we had a wonderful summer. Alan Ansen was there and Harold Acton, an English lord, a friend of the Queen, multimillionaire with this fantastic art collection in Florence. He was gay and he liked the beatniks, he liked us a lot. I wasn’t gay and Gregory wasn’t gay but he liked Alan Ansen and they used to go out looking for boys together.” Gregory enjoyed dining with Acton and Ansen and moving in their upper-class circles. He bought himself a dinner jacket and went to the Casino, where he naturally lost what little money he had brought with him. Then his luck changed. Jean-Jacques remembered, “I remember Gregory7 getting money for Gasoline from Ferlinghetti. It was a $1,000 check. It was the first $1,000 check he ever had. He didn’t know what to do with it. He didn’t have a bank account, neither here nor in America. It took two weeks to find a way to translate it into Italian lira. And he went into the choicest tailor, on St. Marks Square, where Harold Acton got his suits. So Gregoiy got this suit made out of white alpaca. He was so proud. I think he spent half of his check on that suit. It was a suit for a prince. He came to the restaurant and said, ‘Look at my suit man, no more of this Lower East Side shit for me, man! I’m a prince!’ and everybody applauded, everybody was so happy. And after a week he had never taken it off, he slept in it, he spilled wine on it, vomit on it. And from white it had become a sleazy disgusting grayish color, and it was full of spots. But he still wouldn’t take it off, ‘Look at my suit man! Look!’ “I remember very well, one evening we were leaving Montin’s on the Dorsoduro, that fantastic restaurant where we all paid for our dinners with our paintings. It’s a traditional artists’ place where we all used to eat, on a small canal. Everybody had lots to drink. There was Alan Ansen and Gregory. And Sandra had this big enormous New York Jewish ass. That’s what I liked about her, and everybody liked. It’s disgustingly chauvinistic but it’s the way we felt. And Gregory was not a sexual person at all, but that evening, I don’t know what happened, he felt that he was allowed to be a little bit of a rascal and he did something very New York Italianish. He went ‘Ugh!’ and he grabbed her ass. And Sandra, remember she’s trying to behave like a lady, she turned around and said, ‘Oh! Gregory, man, stop it!’ and he says, ‘Wassa matter Hochman?’ He called her Hochman. ‘Why is it this Frenchie can see your ass, and I can’t see it? That’s
discrimination, man! I wanta see it too!’ You know what she did? She just shoved him. Right into the canal. It was one of the small canals, the Rio delle Eremite, and immediately all the Italians start screaming, ‘Man in the canal!’ And it was filthy. They dragged him out from a gondola and there was the $500 alpaca suit and it was just like an old Kleenex out of the gutter. And he says, ‘Hochman, what did you do to me? I’m a poet. You don’t throw poets in canals, Hochman!’ He started raging. It was wonderful and horrible at the same time. She shouldn’t have done it but Christ, it’s her ass, you know? These things happen. Oh God, his poor suit was all fucked up.” Gregory, broke as usual, returned to the Beat Hotel from Venice. The Casino had taken the remainder of his royalties. Bill regarded the situation with equanimity: “Of course Gregory was always in and out. I remember someone saying, ‘Gregory is difficult.’ Well he’s a poor Italian thief. He went to reform school. He was brought up in that whole atmosphere of being a thief. He had sense enough to get out. See there’s not so very many ways out from that; one of course is the Mafia, but not anybody can get into that. They all want to but they don’t want so many of them. Gregory decided he was a poet and he just stuck with it. He called up Auden in the middle of the night. ‘This is Gregory here!’ ‘Gregory who?’ ‘Gregory the POET!’ “Gregory had no visible means of support and managed to live in Paris on his wits, able to cadge a drink here, a meal there, to sell something or be given gifts, usually by women. My dear he always had girls. Always had girls. He had one there called
April, or was she November or September or something? Yes he did. He always wanted his rocks off. He always came up with something. He was always writing big manuscripts and annotating them and selling them as first drafts. Somebody else would find they had one too. He wrote a great deal when he was there.’’
Miles, Barry. The Beat Hotel: Ginsberg, Burroughs and Corso in Paris, 1957-1963 Grove Atlantic.
Rio (Canal) de le Romite,
where poet Gregory Corso took a dive.
The “Beat Hotel” in Venice.
Street sign to Natural History Museum
This is one of the stables where in the past time
cows produced a high amount of milk for Venetian people.
Sestiere of Santa Croce, Fondamenta dell’Arzere.
(by Fondamenta de la Misericordia, Canaregio)
Masks everywhere. This one near Campo San Barnaba.
photographs taken by rinaldo rasa in venice
sunday may 26 2019
For my italiani amici
… my belli italiani amici
is as far
as the eye
as my eye
is to me
“dove my casa?“, venice 1987
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