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Prison

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  • mandreox
    As an editor I got to know certain graduates of the prison system. Gregory Corso, the poet, was imprisoned for robbing a gas station. The judge was angry
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 1, 2005
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      As an editor I got to know certain graduates of the prison system.
      Gregory Corso, the poet, was imprisoned for robbing a gas station. The
      judge was angry because Gregory and his friends used walkie talkies,
      and, despite Gregory's youth, sentenced him to three years. As a kid
      Gregory was entangled in classic New York gangs with names like Tiny
      Tims and Lucky Gents. He was a junkie all the time I knew him. Malcolm
      Morley, the painter, spent time in prison in England for burglary;
      Malcolm was messianic and a law unto himself and in the U.S. invented
      Photo-realism. Daniel Berrigan, priest, poet, and activist, still
      regularly goes to jail for Thoreauvian civil disobedience. Dan is also
      a quirky sneak-thief.
    • parrishparis
      Michael, I heard that it was a department store that Gregory robbed. This would have been in about 1944. Were there gas stations in NYC at that time? I
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 1, 2005
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        Michael, I heard that it was a department store that Gregory robbed.
        This would have been in about 1944. Were there gas stations in NYC at
        that time? I suppose there were, but I understood that he stole coats
        out of department stores. Why would he need walkie-talkies though to
        rob a gas station? I never quite understood the use of the
        walkie-talkies.

        There are many versions of this story. By the way, I am trying to
        compile a list of Gregory Corso anecdotes for publication. I have
        heard so many of them over the years. It seems that he knew almost
        everybody in the art and poetry scenes in America.

        When I wrote my book Gregory Corso: Doubting Thomist (Southern
        Illinois UP 2002), I retold some of them in the opening pages. I was
        more interested in the theological implications of his writing. It
        seems that someone should write a biography. His is such a colorful
        life! So far in the last week since I've asked for anecdotes I've
        gotten about 30 and hope to get at least ten times that number. I saw
        yours that you put on the Silliman blog. May I use it? Does anybody
        else on this list have any? If so, please send them to me at
        olsonjk@...

        The photograph that I put on the cover of my Corso book is also by
        Ginsberg. He was an amazingly talented photographer, I think. The
        one on my book features Corso looking up at an effigy of Christ which
        is actually in Lowell and is in a grotto that Kerouac writes about.
        Corso was asking why Jesus doesn't come down and talk to them. You
        can see this photograph if you go into Amazon.com and look up my book.

        I haven't heard from you in a long time. Where are you now? Are you
        still in NYC?

        I live in the Catskills and teach philosophy at a small branch of
        SUNY. I am married and have three smallish kids. The last time we
        communicated was a couple of decades ago when I lived in the Pocono
        Mountains, I believe.

        -- Kirby Olson



        --- In unmuzzledox@yahoogroups.com, mandreox <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        > As an editor I got to know certain graduates of the prison system.
        > Gregory Corso, the poet, was imprisoned for robbing a gas station. The
        > judge was angry because Gregory and his friends used walkie talkies,
        > and, despite Gregory's youth, sentenced him to three years. As a kid
        > Gregory was entangled in classic New York gangs with names like Tiny
        > Tims and Lucky Gents. He was a junkie all the time I knew him. Malcolm
        > Morley, the painter, spent time in prison in England for burglary;
        > Malcolm was messianic and a law unto himself and in the U.S. invented
        > Photo-realism. Daniel Berrigan, priest, poet, and activist, still
        > regularly goes to jail for Thoreauvian civil disobedience. Dan is also
        > a quirky sneak-thief.
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