Poet Ginsberg In Town To Sell New Book

Flanked by a platter of chablisfilled glasses, poet and self-styled cultural rebel Allen Cimsberg came to the Grolier Book Store Saturday to sign copies of his new 800-page anthology of poems.

A smiling teenager from Phillips Academy in Andover, who had heard Ginsberg read poetry at his high school, told the writer he liked the graphic homosexual images and anti-American flavor of his poetry.

"What did your classmates talk about after I left? Did they say I was a dirty old man?" Queried the short, pot-bellied Ginsberg, whose long beard shows strands of grey.

"No, not really. There was a lot of conversation afterwards, but many of them agreed with what you were saying. And, you know, it was pretty shocking."



Ginsberg inscribed a quote from author Jack Kerouac and stamped an orange-ink copy of his Buddhiss name, "Loon of Dharma," Into the young man's book.

Other Ginsberg followers crammed into the small Plympton St. bookstore for one of the 58-year-old poet's many Boston autographing and interview sessions this past weekend to promote his book, "Collected Poems 1947-1980."

Part of the group of literary and cultural iconoclasts known as the Beatniks, Ginsberg first gained popularity in 1956 after publishing his poem, "Howl," Ginsberg's other well known pieces include "Kaddish" and "A Supermarket in California."

On Friday, Ginsberg signed book at the Coop, where salesclerks told Ginsberg to cut some of the conversation with fans so that all books could be signed.

"It's no fun if you don't have any conversation," retorted Ginsberg, adding that he asked many people what they did for a living that enabled them to buy his $28 book.

In what he calls "intensive babbling," the writer read some of his poetry over local radio shows.

'Go Fuck Yourself'

During his program for WBCN yesterday, he recited his poem, "America," which includes the line, "America. . .go fuck yourself with your atomic bomb." Although WBCN officials were wary of the line, they went ahead and let Ginsberg read it anyway.

Ginsberg said he will return today to Manhattan, where he makes his home, after staying with a friend living in Cambridge since Thursday.

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