Peter Orlovsky Tribute. {Leave your fave remembrance in comments here}

Via on May 27, 2010

On the Death of Peter Orlovsky. ~ Anne Waldman

“The Shellean farmer astride hid Pegasusian tractor” as Gregory Corso once knighted him passed on today, May 30 2010 to the elysian fields, a bardo of becoming.

First glance hour earlier Peter was resting with “trach” in throat in orange sheets at the kind Vt Respite Center in Williston, Vermont (but no extra tubes/ heroic measures for this advanced cancer on his lung!), a copy of the Songs of Saraha by his pillow, photo of beloved Allen Ginsberg companion of many years on the wall, other Buddhist images, iPod of music he loved including chants by Buddhist nuns, cards from friends and out the window a bird feeder with finch and red-winged blackbirds landing/taking off. Chuck and Judith Lief, faithful guardians and friends at his side. He had been moved less than 48 hours earlier from intensive care at a hospital in Boston, finally to hospice.

His body we were touching we noticed suddenly turned cold like death was in the room. We got the nurse. Judy and I stepped out when suddenly Chuck called us back. Peter had opened his eyes. Chuck said “It might be the last time.” By his side now, looking into his eyes told out love, I thanked him for his presence in our lives, his poetry his care and love for Allen, his work at Naropa. Ah, I thought a flash of recognition shivering through! slight movement of mouth, light coming in on his handsome face through the window now, and Judy singing om a hum vajra guru padma siddhi hum in crystal voice said “don’t be afraid”.

Joined in. Last breaths, one coming late, staggered: his heart/breath stopt. Poet Christina Lovin in room with nurse gave gentle witness who checked the clock 11:39 I think or so a.m. Earlier we’d played recording of Peter singing his Raspberry Song with great heart-soaring yodel and “how sweet you are”. “Make my grave shape of heart so like a flower be free aired and handsome felt”  (“The Snail”).

Tibetan Book of the Dead readings, in full final repose arranged with blue shirt, hands folded, consciousness a joyful gardener sprite?

no fear, no fear working its way out…

Anne Waldman 5.30.2010

Vt Studio Center

~

Looooooooooove this!


Psychiatrists Convention Jan. 14. 1966 – Velvet Underground First Public Appearance(super 8 films). Lou Reed & Velvet underground;

At the Dom on 8th Street (Manhattan) april 1966

Village Gate June 7. 1966
Barbara Rubin, Tuli Kupferberg, Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Ed Sanders, Gerard Malanga, Andy Warhol.(Storm De Hirsch)

Update:

From Chuck Lief:

“Peter died this morning at 11:30 am. We are working on the funeral arrangements now, which will take place at the Karme Choling Meditation Center in Barnet. Vermont. Most likely on Wednesday June 2. Judy and I—and particularly Peter—appreciate all your support and good wishes.”

Thanks to Chuck and Judy for taking such good care of Peter, and thanks to Peter for loving Allen, for all the poetry and song and organic vegetables, and for being so sweet to me when I was a kid-poet. Goodbye, dear Peter. ~ Steve Silberman

Please send prayers, metta (loving-kindness), and good thoughts to Peter Orlovsky.

Update:

Got this heartening news from Peter Hale today. Chuck Lief, the wonderful member of Allen and Peter’s sangha who is taking care of Peter, also left a note on the Our Allen wall.

Love beams to Peter.

Steve

Hey Steve,

Just heard that they were able to get him to Vermont today. He improved enough in the night that travel was acceptable. He’s now checked in to the Hospice, and as Chuck put it “The contrast from Boston is incredible. The staff is exceptional and the Doctor is perfect for this stage. All about comfort care and dignity.” Seems to have improved Peter’s mood immensely. Still no telling how long he’ll last, but at least he’s in a very comfortable situation.

You could write him at Vermont Respite House, 99 Allen Brook Lane, Williston, VT 05495-2102. From what I gather hearing from people really does help.

besos, Peter

~

Original:

A sad update about Allen’s comrade and our friend Peter Orlovsky. Please keep him in your thoughts and meditations. Let’s send him a big out-breath of love and appreciation. ~ Love, Steve Silberman

~

Peter Orlovsky, long time companion of the late Allen Ginsberg, and longtime Naropa poet and Dharma maverick is in critical condition. Chuck and Judy Lief are attending to him. This message below is from Peter Hale, Director of the Ginsburg Trust: Respite House is a hospice.

~ via Ellen Pearlman

Dear  folks, just got this from Chuck Lief,

“Peter has taken a serious turn for the worse. His right lung is basically not functioning and he has developed pneumonia. Not clear how stable we can get him. Judy and I are en route to Boston. If we can do it we are still going to bring him to Respite House tomorrow, one of us in the ambulance. But we may not have that choice.

If you want to let people know this would be a good time to direct thoughts to Peter.”

A contextual note from ele editor Waylon Lewis: Peter Orlovsky was the charming, wild, nutsy, sweet longtime partner to poet Allen Ginsberg. I grew up knowing him in Boulder, Colorado and later at Karme Choling in Vermont, and he was never anything but sweet, and charming. Our elephant community love and best wishes to him right now. Most photos from Allen Ginsberg dot org:

[galleria]

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34 Responses to “Peter Orlovsky Tribute. {Leave your fave remembrance in comments here}”

  1. DarrinYES says:

    Blessings on you and your loving circle of community, Peter.May you have the best outcome. Know that you have fostered a legacy that will endure for the ages.

  2. Tee says:

    Sending you wishes of peace and comfort and happy memories to guide you on your path to your next whence.

  3. aDelPhinium says:

    Your words have meant so much to me. Medicine Buddha prayers to you.

  4. He was also at the '76 seminary with you and me and Allen G. Do you have the big black and white group photo of '76 seminary at Land O Lakes, Wisconsin? At that seminary Peter and Allen were hero-bodhisattvas of the rota, volunteering so often to do dinner dishes before Rinpoche's evening talks.

    Love, mom

  5. Love and thanks to a pioneer of words, dharma, and love itself.

  6. Margaret says:

    Peter,

    I was in a fabulously outrageous class you taught at Naropa during the 80s at 1111 Pearl up in the attic classroom. How I loved the class and loved you. All the best to you now and always.

    Margaret

  7. Lee Ann Brown says:

    Peter Thanks for welcoming me to NYC in 1987! Love Lee Ann Brown

  8. darlonious says:

    Dear Peter,

    What can i say..we do not know each other "formally" but who cares about formalities in times of wanting to send love to someone i do not formally know,but what i do know is that you are beauty–full xox

    thanks on behalf of the universe for your spirit on this planet earth–your words wonder-full words of love honesty and love some more.
    courageous heart
    clear open heart

    i feel sad that you are sick
    why do all the creative souls go too soon and leave us with the neo-cons like sara pale pale palen?lol
    anyway
    hope there are people there to hug you lots and lots.
    i send you hugs and love and courage and joy and giggles.

    i'll leave you with my name
    darlene dunn
    (chime lhamo)
    i love you stranger

  9. Susan says:

    first met Peter and Allen proclaiming love at Dartmouth (of all places) in the 60's – enjoyed his big sweet heart through the years – esp way back when, doing kitchen rota at RMSC – we'll miss ya' Peter – but the path awaits!

  10. Richard Weiner says:

    One of the greats. I was at a fire puja in 1985 or 86 at Karme Choling and Peter was living there, looking very soft and fragile and almost apologetic for some reason. I passed him while we were walking up to the hut from the dining room once, turned back around and said, "I really like your poetry." he said thanks with a big smile. I really did like his poetry. Bon voyage, Pete!

  11. Jeff Bloom says:

    At 1976 Seminary in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin, Peter ran for several miles a day in shorts and sneakers (no shirt). For most of Seminary, the temperature ranged from 0 degrees to – 30 degrees everyday. No one else dared follow suit.

  12. Rochelle weithorn says:

    Dearest Peter
    You stood outside the NY Shambhala Center
    Shortly after Allen passed
    Counting beads on your mala you chanted
    "Did you know Allen is dead"
    Yes we said walking up to you
    Yes we know Allen is dead — come upstairs.

    We offered feast food in the kitchen before
    The feast which is not kosher — but you
    Were Allen's Peter which made it kosher

    One of the last of the Beat Warrior's
    We loved you dear Peter and we cry
    Ki Ki So So for your next grand adventure!

  13. Jessica says:

    I wrote this little anecdote — my only memory of Peter — some time ago. Several people have encouraged me to share it. So here it is:

    *It Was All Peter Orlofsky's Fault*

    Peter Orlofsky stayed with us once when I was a kid.

    We were living in subsidized housing in those days, in a fourplex in the north end of Dartmouth, right on the edge of the very poor and the middle class. A friend of mine lived in a comfortable house across the street—it had a big yard which sloped down to the lake and it was full of books, nice furniture, and a stay-at-home mom. Meanwhile, the girl next door complained that her brother had gone to jail for armed robbery but she wasn’t allowed to have his room. And the kid who lived a few houses down had a huge scar half the length of his torso where the doctors had cut him open to save what remained of his rotting stomach after some of the older kids convinced him to drink Drano. Behind us were blocks and blocks of identical cheap apartment buildings which I was instructed to stay away from, especially at night.

    Our house wasn’t as bad as you might expect. It was spacious and clean, but that might’ve been because we didn’t have any furniture. We had just arrived from BC and the most expensive thing we owned was an ancient white Volvo station wagon covered in crumbling rust holes and rust protector so that it looked like a block of swiss cheese with measles.

    The neighbours already viewed us with suspicion. They loved to talk about the weirdo hippies with far too many children who ate green noodles and tofu (which they heard as toad food). At first they took pity on us and gave us things like ugly brown and orange curtains for the picture window and old plastic toys they didn’t want anymore. Then Orlofsky arrived.

    My mother and stepfather knew Orlofsky and Ginsberg from the seminary they did together at Lake Louise. The Halifax sangha was tiny back then, so when Orlofsky showed up out of the blue he called us desperate for a place to stay. My mother fretted because it was Sunday and nothing was open, so she had no choice but to prepare the dinner she already had planned: hiziki seaweed with brown rice and carrots. Orlofsky didn’t complain. He was a gracious guest, if a bit smelly in his tattered, slightly soiled white suit. It would’ve been a pleasant visit except that in the morning he went outside in his suit, tie, and bare feet and started wandering around in the neighbours’ back yards picking up random bits of garbage. I don’t know what he was doing or why. But I do know that the neighbours didn’t speak to us for a long time after he left and I never got a free toy again.

    *Please note that this is from the perspective of an 8-yr old kid trying to fit into a new, strange world. In retrospective I deeply appreciate Orlofsky's unconventionality, but at the time his visit was one more nail in the coffin in my attempt to be "normal."

  14. phyllis segura says:

    I just posted some photos of Peter on the facebook page of Our Allen. Personally, Peter was always encouraging and several times helped me cut through hesitation. Om Ah Hum.

  15. Bob Temple says:

    I remember Peter at Naropa in the late 1970s. There was a potluck for us poetics students where Allen announced "Let's everyone take their pants off and get comfortable."
    Peter was very strong, very physical. He spent most of the party washing all the dishes.

  16. Clarke Warren says:

    Peter Orlovsky, may your simple and sincere presence provide you with wide open expanses and untangled paths.

    Peter was the unspoken peacemaker. Amidst the sometimes turmoil of poetic personalities during early Naropa days, and some resentments by some of those toward Chogyam Trungpa, Alan was the active voice of balance and conciliation, and Peter was the inactive presence of unruffledness. His simple warm presence and unassuming yet enduring dedication to meditation practice impressed me. The zafu (meditation cushion) under his arm as he walked to the meditation hall seemed like he was born with it.

    I was the meditation instructor to the visiting poets at Naropa during the summer of 1974, as requested by Alan, so encountered a dizzying spectrum of poets coming and going, and many dramas. Alan would insist I give instruction in meditation to as many visiting poets as would acquiesce, whether they were really interested or just doing it because Alan asked them to. Peter and Alan’s father were the most sincere and unassuming people I encountered. I felt they were giving me meditation instruction through their uncontrived and receptive presences.

    At the first Vajradhatu Seminary in 1970 (3-month intensive practice and study with Trungpa Rinpoche),I rememeber Alan furtively cleaning and preparing his small room for Peter’s impending arrival. The genuine love was apparent in the fusiness. When Peter arrived,it was as though the earth had arrived beneath Alan’s feet. They were as natural as Ma & Pa Kettle.

    Clarke Warren

  17. Clarke Warren says:

    Correction from ClarkeWarren: first Vajradhatu Seminary was 1973, not m1970.

  18. Juno Gemes says:

    Vale Peter Orlovsky – kind gentle man , great microbiotic cook, patient friend. I will always remember that week with you and Allen in Amstradam 1979 – visiting Anne Franks House….only time ever I had one exposed roll of film stolen. But I still have the other one. Your graceful warm presence is etched in light on my memory. Into the Bardo all peace around and within you.With Love and gratitude
    Juno Gemes

  19. [...] Anne Waldeman, On the Death of Peter Orlovsky: First glance hour earlier Peter was resting with “trach” in throat in orange sheets at the kind Vt Respite Center in Williston, Vermont (but no extra tubes/ heroic measures for this advanced cancer on his lung!), a copy of the Songs of Saraha by his pillow, photo of beloved Allen Ginsberg companion of many years on the wall, other Buddhist images, iPod of music he loved including chants by Buddhist nuns, cards from friends and out the window a bird feeder with finch and red-winged blackbirds landing/taking off. Chuck and Judith Lief, faithful guardians and friends at his side. He had been moved less than 48 hours earlier from intensive care at a hospital in Boston, finally to hospice. MORE [...]

  20. [...] Anne Waldeman, On the Death of Peter Orlovsky: First glance hour earlier Peter was resting with “trach” in throat in orange sheets at the kind Vt Respite Center in Williston, Vermont (but no extra tubes/ heroic measures for this advanced cancer on his lung!), a copy of the Songs of Saraha by his pillow, photo of beloved Allen Ginsberg companion of many years on the wall, other Buddhist images, iPod of music he loved including chants by Buddhist nuns, cards from friends and out the window a bird feeder with finch and red-winged blackbirds landing/taking off. Chuck and Judith Lief, faithful guardians and friends at his side. He had been moved less than 48 hours earlier from intensive care at a hospital in Boston, finally to hospice. MORE [...]

  21. Dear Ann Waldman,

    Can’t find a place to write to you personally. Beautiful – thank you for it, the poem above and the piece you wrote notifying of Peter’s passing.

    Peter Orlovsky was the handsome younger poet who accompanied
    Alan Ginsberg around when I first met him, them. Peter had a long blond ponytail and often didn’t wear his shirt. He had a great build. He also had a girlfriend who came along sometimes and he speaks of her in the above poem. When Alan’s performance in the Rolling Thunder Revue was deemed too lengthy and was cut, Alan and Peter stayed on as baggage handlers. That’s how I got to know Peter, a dear and sensitive man, devoted to Buddhism. I thought of him only last week, hoping to see him while I was in New York, but time ran short and has run out.

    I hope you will write to me.

    XO across the years.

    Ronee Blakley

  22. [...] Make my grave shape of heart: Peter Orlovsky, 1933 – 2010 Jump to Comments I was sad to read yesterday that Beat legend, Peter Orlovsky had passed away on May 30. Orlovsky, who was Allen Ginsberg’s life-long partner, died in Vermont as fellow Beat legend Anne Waldman writes,  ”with “trach” in throat in orange sheets at the kind Vt Respite Center in Williston, Vermont (but no extra tubes/ heroic measures for this advanced cancer on his lung!), a copy of the Songs of Saraha by his pillow, photo of beloved Allen Ginsberg companion of many years on the wall, other Buddhist images, iPod of music he loved including chants by Buddhist nuns, cards from friends and out the window a bird feeder with finch and red-winged blackbirds landing/taking off.” (Read Waldman’s full tribute here) [...]

  23. Thank you very much for your loving tribute, Anne. I wrote and directed a live event commemorating the publication of the scroll edition of "On the Road" for Vesuvio Cafe and the Beat Museum in San Francisco in 2007 while living in the heart of North Beach and I can attest that the pulse of the Beat movement is still — pardon the unintended pun — alive and beating there, very much so. The European tourists, in particular, will linger at Vesuvio and City Lights Books for hours, just absorbing the Beat culture, the books in Ferlinghetti's store and the vintage images of Jack and Allen on the walls at Vesuvio. Sad that another remnant of that culture has passed on, so very few remaining.

  24. RI Sutherland-Cohen says:

    Every time I spy a sunflower I will think of the light you brought to many.

  25. [...] Ginsberg. When going to the inevitable website, PG learned that Peter Orlovsky died May 30, 2010. Mr. Orlovsky was the longtime lover of Mr. Ginsberg. Clearly, it was time to hit the keyboard. Allen Ginsberg [...]

  26. Jeffrey Buhl says:

    I sang harmony and played guitar with Allen on "Meditation Rock" and others (Scott McDaniels also on guitar at Naropa) in the early/mid 1980s when Steven Taylor was not around. When Peter would appear with the group as in the video above I called him the "Go-go meditator."

  27. Adam Hart says:

    Peter -he who teenage I read about painting his NY windows black- arrived like serendipity with Allen one day at Tail of the Tiger spring of 1973 . Allen on crutches was the devout one to Peter's wayward rambling and yodelling in the grounds often to be heard trickling into the shrine room. Downstairs he frenzied lectured me on keeping my finger nails clean. Still later in London at a gig with Allen I understood more about this big hearted crazy nurse-poet revealed in his long poem about obsessive compassionate examination and treating wounds of a a magot ridden beggar outside their hotel in Indian city.

    all pow to peter!

    Adam Hart

  28. Robert says:

    Bless you Peter. You were a solid man. Seeing to the heart of everyone before you when so many were drawn to the flame of fame. You in meditation breathing, banjo picking loud voice proclaims, you cooking, spaghetti with white clam sauce in the Marine Street Townhouses for faculty in the first years of Naropa, the year of Father Death and Plutonian Ode. Eyes closed in deep meditation on the train tracks at Rocky Flats as the heavy engine pulling it's awful load of plutonium, the raw stuff of megadeath, approaches. You at Libre, the year of "Clean Asshole Poems and Smiling Vegetable Songs" early in the high mountain morning wearing only boots and a pony tail splitting wood for the stove in perfect, hard strokes of the long, handled axe in harmony with a healthy body and clear mind. Dancing in a crowded apartment, you lift me and my dance partner suddenly, gracefully and dance us like dolls sitting on your outstretched arms. Bless you.

  29. [...] Beat Gregory Corso. Waldman’s accounting of Orlovsky’s final moments can be found here. Posted in News Tags: Bay Area Poetry « ‘Mac Dre Day’ Celebration Ends With One Man [...]

  30. Marc Israel says:

    Hopefully I can embed this video down below, but if not, here is a link to a scene with Peter from "Frankenstein's Little Monster", a film born out of time spent at Karme Choling in 2001. it is very precious to me as a document of Peter as an older man, of his humor, warmth, & charm, and also for his knowledge and "take" on hindu philososphy, which he gathered up living in India in the early 60's. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zfzo_acsdxQ

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Zfzo_acsdxQ&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Zfzo_acsdxQ&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

  31. K.J. Maj says:

    I remember watching online your passion and whisper during the evening honoring Allen in his transition at the Moment. You were so: There and you brought…all of us: There. And now, that Thereness has become you. Farewell sweet man reconnecting Spirit with Allen. Two becoming One remaining One reconnecting as One. One of a kind. Continue: On. Bells, flowers, beads, chanting, Love.

  32. [...] Ginsberg. When going to the inevitable website, PG learned that Peter Orlovsky died May 30, 2010. Mr. Orlovsky was the longtime lover of Mr. Ginsberg. Clearly, it was time to hit the keyboard. Allen Ginsberg [...]

  33. Kecia Hykes says:

    Does this work on the Verizon IPhone 4? Not the s

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