Ginsberg Somewhere in Some Slum

by Tim Gilmore, 6/26/2012

Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs’s Boyfriend (and Lust Interest in Burroughs’s novel Queer), Drinking Rum in “Moldy Apartment in Slums”

Two very different documents, 44 years apart. A 1998 obituary and a Ginsberg letter to Jack Kerouac, January 1954.

a)     “Adelbert Lewis Marker, a longtime resident of Jacksonville, passed away Saturday, April 25, 1998 at the age of 67. Mr. Marker was born May 5, 1930 in Gate, Oklahoma and had honorably served his country in the U.S. Army in Germany. He traveled worldwide and worked as an accountant supervisor for Philco-Ford Corporation in Vietnam and Bell Helicopter International in Iran. He was the retired owner of a small business in Jacksonville. He was a sailing enthusiast and enjoyed many hours on the water. He is survived by his wife, two sons, two grandsons [etc.].”

b)    “Saw Marker in Jacksonville—a sweet fellow who donated $12 to my trip on his own hook, very simpatico—but, and, I must say Bill’s taste in boys is macabre—(to say the least etc.). He is so starved-looking and rickety and purseymouthed and “laid”—French for ugly and with a disgusting birthmark below left ear—and skin the texture of a badly shaved hemophiliac. The first sight of him was a shock—poor poor Bill! To be in love with that sickly myopic pebblemouthed scarecrow! Had great long talk about mystical ignu’s personality and drank rum and stayed in big moldy apartment in slums house that he owns.”