Please allow me to go off on a brief tangent. One of the basics of formal ballet esthetics is the importance of giving the *impression* that dancing is totally spontaneous, by relying on rock-solid technique to maintain control. It's extremely difficult to dance ballet, even for top dancers in their athletic, conditioned prime. But it has to seem effortless and spontaneous. Once the audience sees the sweat, it's not art, it's competitive sports. But that illusion of *spontaneity* is not spontaneous, it's rehearsed and tightly controlled. Acting is the same. Stanislavski, who wrote extensively on this, established that if an actor has not experienced his character's emotions in his own life (and how many actors playing Macbeth have killed a king?), he has to find a substitute (maybe he can recall a summer job, long ago, when he stole some money from a cash register). So, though the spontaneity of his performance is not *really* there, it's part of his job to create the illusion of spontaneity, maybe by recalling the guilt associated with his theft. So to come back to Al's question, in the case of ballet and acting, both performance arts, control creates the illusion of spontaneity. But poetry is not usually performance art. Poems (including Ginsberg's) were conceived, produced, and delivered to an audience. I don't think they were performance art. The kind of spontaneity we are talking about is not the same as in performance art. Here, spontaneity means something like...the first surfaced, virginally-intact vision, uncensored, quick-don't-think, non-selected. This anarchic, all-inclusive lack of discrimination will reflect, the Beats hoped, a common humanity which all readers will recognize as true, a new freedom, an unburdening of deadening past history and all past conventions, a new way again of "making it new." I visualize the process as a poet sitting, purposefully "tuning into" (chemically- or meditation- or however-facilitated) a subject, and becoming a vessel, a chanelling medium, a spectator/annotator of his own perceptions; his respirations, as in "Howl," providing the rhythms of the poem. True spontaneity (the desired goal) is achieved like so, and only when the mind just disappears. Maybe in this context, then "...the best minds of my generation (being) destroyed..." wasn't such a bad thing.