by Roberto Valenza
Gregorio Corso died Jan. 17th 2001
As Gregory grew older he looked more and more
like an Aborigine, forever on a walkabout through
a strange vision, poetic for him.
I spent some great time during 81,82 with him
getting as stoned as possible on cheap wine, heroin,
pills, whatever came around.
He told women I was hot and they'd take me home.
He was the total anarchist, a beatnik in the full
definition of the word, as it was invented.
We didn't really discuss poetry per se, we thought poetry,
loved it, robbed it out of City Lights Book Store.
Gregory told me many aboriginal teachings: "Don't wash
often, you need to keep your natural juices on your body,
protect yourself from these straight fuckers," was one.
He read his poetry as if Mercury the messager was standing
next to him and Shelly was whispering in his ear.
Corso was not as famous as the other guys because he didn't
pose for every camera that showed up.
One day we were in the pad of a couple who were artists.
They were bitching about how they couldn't sell any paintings.
Gregory grabbed some brushes, a small canvas, did a portrait
of some guy walking below the window.
He ran out saying, "Watch this," I followed.
In ten minutes he sold it for one hundred dollars, brought food,
Upstairs we all ate with the artists, they wearing blank faces.
Me and him went over to the Mission and got some good dope.
81, 82, New Year's Eve, we got arrested in the middle of Columbus
Street while smoking pot.
Some dude tried to beat him up in the paddy wagon, I jumped the
guy and saved Gregory from a good beating.
Stuff like that makes guys tight.
Some loved him, some hated him, most knew they were in the
company of the real deal.
May the Gods of Muse chariot you into the Pure Land of Amitabha.
May you receive everything you forgot to grab while you were here.
May your children prosper from your infamous fame.
You placed the Beatnik in the beatnik and walked through the world
with your own jaded beat.
May Italian operas be sung into your coffin as they lower you into the
underground of Rome.
Jan. 19th 2001 Pensacola, Florida
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