Tag Archives: John Giorno

JOHN GIORNO

I am standing on the corner of Stanton and Chrystie,
waiting for the traffic light to change.
A man is sitting on the steps of a building
holding his young son on his lap.
He is eating fried chicken
from Chico’s take-out on Houston.
He chews on the wings
and feeds bits of the breast to his son. The man finishes eating
and puts the leftover chicken and bones,
french fries and soda can in a paper bag
and leaves it on the sidewalk.
A brown dog from a neighboring building,
snoops around
gets his nose in the bag,
chews on the bones
and makes a mess.
The man hits the dog with a newspaper,
and it yelps and runs away.
A black cat sitting in a window,
watches wide-eyed,
staring down at the dog,
chicken bones and gristle. I see their past and present lives.
The man eats the chicken
and the chicken
was his mother,
who had died of cancer two years ago; the dog chewing on the bones
was his father,
who had died of a heart attack five years ago;
and the cat in the window
was his grandmother;
and his young son, whom he holds so tenderly,
was the man who killed him in his previous life.
His wife comes home with groceries
and takes the boy into the building.
She had been his lover in many past lives,
and was his mother for the first time in this one.
The world just makes me laugh. Fill what is empty,
empty what is full,
light
as body,
light
as breath.Welcoming the flowers:
daffodils
baptized in butter,
lilacs lasciviously licking the air,
necklaces of wisteria
bowing to magnolia mamas,
the cherry blossoms are razor blades,
the snow dahlias are sharp as cat piss,
the lilies of the valley are
lilies of fur,
lilies of feather,
lilies of fin,
lilies of skin,
the almost Miss America rose,
the orchids are fat licking tongues,
and they all smell so good
and I am sucked into their meaty earthy goodness. You make
my heart
feel warm,
I lay my head on your chest
and feel free,
filling
what is empty,
emptying
what is full,
filling what is
empty, emptying
what is full,
filling what is empty, emptying what is full,
filling what is empty, emptying what is full,
the gods
we know
we are,
the gods
we knew
we were.I smell you
with my eyes,
see you
with my ears,
feel you
with my mouth,
taste you
with my nose,
hear you
with my tongue,
I want you to sit
in my heart,
and smile. Words come from sound,
sound comes from wisdom,
wisdom comes from emptiness,
deep relaxation
of great perfection. Welcoming the flowers:
armfuls of honey suckle
and columbine,
red-tipped knives of Indian paint brush,
the fields of daisies are the people
who betrayed me
and the lupine were self-serving and unkind,
the voluminous and voluptuous bougainvillea
are licking fire loving what it cannot burn,
the big bunch of one thousand red roses
are all the people I made love to,
hit my nose with stem of a rose,
the poppies have pockets packed with narcotic treats,
the chrysanthemums are a garland of skulls. I go to death
willingly,
with the same comfort and bliss
as when I lay my head
on my lover’s chest. Welcoming the flowers:
the third bouquet is a crown of blue bells,
a carillon of foxglove,
a sunflower snuggles its head on my lap
and gazes up at the sky,
may all the tiny black insects
crawling on the peony petals
be my sons and daughters in future lives,
great balls of light
radiating white, red, blue
concentric dazzle,
yellow, green
great exaltation,
the world just makes me laugh. May sound and light
not rise up and appear as enemies,
may I know all sound as my own sound,
may I know all light as my own light,
may I spontaneously know all phenomena as myself,
may I realize original nature,
not fabricated by mind,
empty
naked awareness. — John Giorno

John Giorno—poet, artist, organizer, AIDS activist, Buddhist, catalyst, muse, husband of Ugo Rondinone, star of Andy Warhol’s Sleep—died last week at home: 222 Bowery in lower Manhattan.

From top: John Giorno at the Chelsea Hotel, New York City, 1965, photograph by William S. Burroughs; Giorno, Don’t Wait for Anything; Giorno with Ugo Rondinone (right) in front of Rondinone’s Target, New York City, 2005; Andy Warhol, Sleep (1963), still; Giorno performing at the Tibetan Benefit, Washington Square Methodist Church, New York, 1974, photographed by Gianfranco Mantegna, courtesy the John Giorno Archives, New York; poster for the Nova Convention, 1978, organized by Giorno, James Grauerholz, and Sylvère Lotringer; Keith Haring (left), Burroughs, and Giorno in 1987 at a shooting range in Lawrence, Kansas, where Burroughs lived after leaving New York City, photograph by Kate Simon; Brooklyn Rail poster for performance events during the exhibition Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno; Giorno, The World Just Makes Me Laugh. Images courtesy and © the John Giorno Archives, the artists, the filmmakers, and the photographers.

JOHN GIORNO AT WARHOL DRAWINGS PANEL

A trove of over 150 drawings by Andy Warhol—now on view at the New York Academy of Art—trace nearly four decades of work by the hand of the artist who wanted to be a machine.

This week—in conjunction with ANDY WARHOL: BY HAND—join curator and Warhol associate Vincent Fremont, curator Donna De Salvo, and poet, artist, and Warhol actor John Giorno for a panel discussion on the exhibition, moderated by curator and New York Academy of Art president David Kratz.

ANDY WARHOL: BY HAND—

DRAWINGS 1950s–1980s

JOHN GIORNO, DONNA DE SALVO, and VINCENT FREMONT panel

Monday, February 11, at 6:30 pm.

Exhibition runs through March 10.

New York Academy of Art

111 Franklin Street, New York City.

From top: Andy Warhol, Two Male Heads; Andy Warhol, Self Portrait, 1986 synthetic polymer paint on paper; Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, 1975; Andy Warhol, Serious Girl, circa 1954, ink and graphite on paper. Images courtesy the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS).


J. HOBERMAN — NO MISTAKES

The radical filmmaking practice of Andy Warhol within the context of the work of Oscar Micheaux and Orson Welles is the subject of a lecture by J. Hoberman this weekend.

Hoberman—a contributor to Artforum and The Nation—was a film critic for The Village Voice for over thirty years.

J. HOBERMAN—NO MISTAKES

ANDY WARHOL’S NEW HISTORY OF CINEMA

Sunday, February 3, at 4 pm.

Whitney Museum of American Art

Hess Gallery and Theater

99 Gansevoort Street, New York City.

From top: Andy Warhol, Sleep (1963), film still (John Giorno); Oscar Micheaux, Within Our Gates (1920), film still; Orson Welles, The Lady from Shanghai (1947), film still (Welles and Rita Hayworth).