Allen Ginsberg takes a photo of Marcus Ewert.
Marcus Ewert, author of the Lambda Award–nominated children’s book 10,000 Dresses, has kissed and told all in an interview with Vocativ about his sexual experiences with the Beat Generation’s Allen Ginsberg and William S Burroughs.
At 17, Ewert, now 43, was living in the suburbs of Atlanta. But he had big dreams and was determined to lose his virginity to Ginsberg, his literary idol.
“Allen and Burroughs were still alive and they were both gay, and in their work it was pretty explicit that they liked teenage boys,” Ewert says. “Allen has all these poems about sleeping with boys in Naropa, which is where I realized I could go to meet them. So, I was like, perfect, I know what to do . . . Allen and Burroughs teach there? You don’t have to tell me twice.”
Ewert moved to Colorado to study at the Naropa Institute, now known as the Jack Kerouac School of Naropa University, and at a party for students and faculty went up to Ginsberg with a planned come-on.
“I’d worked out this little phrase that I wanted to say to him: ‘Hello, Mr Ginsberg, my name is Mark Ewert, and I would like to make you breakfast, lunch or dinner sometime,’” Ewert says. “The idea was, Oh, that’s cute, I’m going to be making him a meal. That’s nice, everyone likes that. It sounds very sweet and devoted, and kind of implies that I’m going to make you a meal the morning after.”
“When I said that he did a double take and looked at me, like, what is this kid’s deal?” Ewert says. “I think he was kind of charmed that I was being so direct.”
Shortly after the introduction, Ewert was invited to Ginsberg’s campus apartment.
“Basically he blew me; that was a big part of it,” Ewert reveals. “And he was really good at it. He did this thing where he had his hand and his mouth working at the same time, and he’d take time out to explain to me what he was doing. He was like, ‘See, you do this with your hand so that way your partner’s penis is always being touched, and when your mouth is off it, your hand is there and it keeps it warm and it keeps the sensation constant, and that shows real consideration to your partner.’ It’s very Allen that he’s always peppering anything he’s saying with little tutorials. But I was totally down for that — it was what I’d signed up for. I wanted the tutorial, I wanted to understand how the fucking world worked. I wanted somebody to help me and mentor me.”
The relationship continued on and off for eight years, with Ginsberg even introducing Ewert to the other object of his desire, William S Burroughs. The two met at Burroughs’s New York City apartment shortly after.
“I don’t think there was any oral at all, I think it was just hand jobs and humping,” Ewart recalls. “At one point I felt this little splash of fluid against my leg and, you know, he’d cum, and then I probably jerked myself off and came. And then we’re lying in bed in this post-orgasmic peace and after a while he goes, ‘Ah, that was great. That was the first time this has happened in years. And I’m super happy because I had enjoyed it. Also, the little calculating, crusty 18-year-old part of me was excited by the fact that he hadn’t had sex in a long time. He’s already 70-whatever, and I’m guessing he’s not going to have a lot of sex besides me going forward — he’s not going to live that much longer. I was like, That’s awesome, I’ll go down in history as the last person to have had sex with William Burroughs.”
Read Ewert’s complete story here.