Peter Orlovsky

Click image for enlargement

click for enlargement

Peter Orlovsky was staying with painter Robert LaVigne in San Francisco in 1954 when Allen Ginsberg dropped by for a visit. The two fell together almost instantly, and remained a couple for three decades. Their relationship had rocky periods and was never monogamous (Peter Orlovsky had heterosexual leanings, for one thing), but it apparently survived, as a close and important friendship at least, until Ginsberg's death. The relationship apparently provided enormous inspiration for Ginsberg, and the two were inseperable for much of the 50's, 60's and 70's.

Orlovsky has written and performed his own poetry, though he never fully established a literary identity for himself that transcended his status as Ginsberg's lover. His poems have a charm and a certain logic, though, and his legacy may someday find its own enthusiastic fan club.

He can be seen romping in a meditation circle with Ginsberg, Mick Ronson, Roger McGuinn and many others in Bob Dylan's great but difficult-to-find 1997 movie 'Renaldo and Clara.'

Literary Kicks
by Levi Asher