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Allen Ginsberg, Revisited by His Right-Hand Man: Pt. 4

Screen shot 2012-04-29 at 2.54.05 PMPaula Litsky Bob Rosenthal at Ginsberg’s funeral.

It’s the last day of National Poetry Month, so here’s the final installment of our interview with Bob Rosenthal, conducted at Allen Ginsberg’s old 12th Street apartment, where Mr. Rosenthal worked as his secretary for nearly two decades. (Parts one, two, and three of this leisurely conversation ran last week.) As Ginsberg grew older and ill, his assistant followed him to a 14th Street loft purchased from the painter Larry Rivers; when Ginsberg died in 1997, Mr. Rosenthal became executor of the poet’s estate and guardian of one of his last meals.

Allen’s Addictions
Allen always had some pot around – he was a pot propagandist and so if a joint was being passed around and someone was going to take a photograph he would grab the joint so he’s got it. But actually, I rarely ever saw him smoke. He had pot for boyfriends – it’s a good line: “Oh, you want to come up and smoke?” It was really for them. He would go to LSD conventions with the big guys – the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Library guys, Huxley and all those guys. They would give him acid and he would come home and put it in the refrigerator and that was cute. There was a little vial of LSD and it said “Do not take without permission of Allen or Bob” – so I guess Bob had permission. So that was nice. But I never saw him on LSD. Read more…

St. Marks Place, Circa 1944

UntitledStephen Rex Brown Extras on the set of “Kill Your Darlings”

‘Kill Your Darlings’ Shooting at Holiday Now

UntitledStephen Rex Brown The film crew outside of the Holiday Cocktail Lounge.

“Kill Your Darlings,” starring Daniel Radcliffe along with Jennifer Jason Leigh, former local David Cross, and Michael C. Hall (also no stranger to the neighborhood) is filming at the vacant Holiday Cocktail Lounge right now.

A couple of weeks ago, The Times looked back at the incident on which the film is based: 68 years ago, Beat muse Lucien Carr, then 19 years old, stabbed an older suitor with his Boy Scout knife and dumped his body in the Hudson River. Mr. Carr (played by Dane DeHaan in the film) confessed to his friends William S. Burroughs (played by Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (played by Jack Huston) before eventually turning himself in and being convicted of manslaughter. Mr. Radcliffe plays Allen Ginsberg, who was well familiar with the Holiday while it was open.