John Giorno: Suicide Sutra (1973)

 |   |  1 min read

John Giorno: Suicide Sutra (1973)

An important warning before you listen: Do not push play if you are suicidal, off your medication or are having a really hard time of it right now. Especially don't push play if you have access to a firearm.

This disturbing piece was written by New York poet John Giorno (born 1936) and appeared as a piece on his Dial-A-Poem phoneline which he founded in the late Sixties. People could ring in and hear poems by many writers, aomg them William Burroughs, Patti Smith, Ed Sanders, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, Amiri Baraka, John Cage, Anne Waldman, Jim Carroll and Laurie Anderson. Over a million calls were logged in the five months it ran in New York.

sugaralmeatYou can still hear some of the readings here.

There were a number of albums released of the poets, many of whose work was political.

There were also cutting edge sonic experiments and readings to music.

Needless to say many of them pushed the boundaries of language and so there was inevitable controversy.

This seven minute piece would certainly be upsetting to some of fragile emotional disposition.

Hence the warning.

And you have been warned. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Paul McCartney: My Valentine (2012)

Paul McCartney: My Valentine (2012)

For the past few years on this day (February 14), it has been Elsewhere's habit to post the lovely Valentine by Nils Lofgren (with help from Bruce Springsteen) but this time . . . Paul... > Read more

Peter Cape: Coffee Bar Blues (1959)

Peter Cape: Coffee Bar Blues (1959)

The idiosyncratic Peter Cape (1926-79) has appeared at Elsewhere's From the Vaults previously, with his Kiwi vernacular classic She'll Be Right (here). He wrote about things that ordinary jokers... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Burning Spear, Marcus Garvey/Garvey's Ghost (1975)

Burning Spear, Marcus Garvey/Garvey's Ghost (1975)

In Ted Bafaloukos' '78 film Rockers -- a lightweight comedy but excellent quasi-doco about the world of Jamaican music with a stunning cast of reggae luminaries -- there are any number of... > Read more

Savoy Brown: Voodoo Moon (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Savoy Brown: Voodoo Moon (Ruf/Yellow Eye)

Many years ago Pete Frame would produce books of meticulously drawn family trees of rock bands. His Sabbath Bloody Sabbath tree filled two tightly written gatefold A5 pages and traced Black Sabbath... > Read more