Archives for posts with tag: beat authors

one 1
by Thomas R. Thomas

I met
my life
my life
on the road
to Los Angeles

I was

for the first time
there was

had arrived

“*one 1*” is based on page 1 of the novel On the Road by Jack Kerouac.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Thomas R. Thomas was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the San Gabriel Valley west of LA. Currently, he lives in Long Beach, California. For his day job, he is a software QA Analyst. He volunteers for Tebot Bach, a community poetry organization, in Huntington Beach. Thomas has been published in Don’t Blame the Ugly Mug: 10 Years of 2 Idiots Peddling Poetry, Creepy Gnome, Carnival, Pipe Dream, Bank Heavy Press, Conceit Magazine, Electric Windmill & Marco Polo, and the Silver Birch Press Summer Anthology. In November 2012, Carnival released his eChapbook, Scorpio, and Washing Machine Press released a chapbooklette called Tanka. In October 2013, World Parade Books published a book of his poetry, Five Lines. Visit the author’s website at

by Donna Hilbert

saw Ezra

            mandarin statue

aquiline in abstraction

            a tear drop by the aqueduct

chestnut trees in bloom

“Pount at Spoleto” is based on Lawrence Ferlinghetti‘s poem of the same name, found  on page 174 of These Are My Rivers: New & Selected Poems 1955-1993. Watch Lawrence Ferlinghetti read the poem on

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Donna Hilbert’s latest book, The Congress of Luminous Bodies, is availble from Aortic Books or at Green Season (World Parade Books), a collection of poems, stories, and essays, is now available in an expanded second edition. Donna appears in and her poetry is the text of the documentary Grief Becomes Me: A Love Story, a Christine Fugate film. Earlier books includeMansions and Deep Red from Event Horizon, Transforming Matter andTraveler in Paradise from Pearl Editions, and the short story collectionWomen Who Make Money and the Men Who Love Them from Staple First Editions (published in England). Poems in Italian can be found in Bloc notes 59 and in French in La page blanche, in both cases translated by Mariacristina Natalia Bertoli. New work is in recent or forthcoming issues of 5AM, Nerve Cowboy, Pearl, and Poets & Artists.Learn more at

by Winston Plowes

My heart hates me.
Growing just behind my throat.
Like swimmers
with the dizzy procession of waves.
We loved,
parts of us loved,
and the rest of us will remain two persons.

“Drift” is based on page 178 of Jack Spicer‘s collection My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan Poetry, 2008).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Winston Plowes is an award-winning poet who lives in the U.K. His poetry has won competition and and has appeared in Found Poetry Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Big Issue, Turbulence, The Best of Manchester Poets, Words Undone, and many other literary journals and has been aired on local and national radio.

the black waters of lethe
by George McKim

in my dream
Garcia Lorca

i saw you
walk on the black waters
of lethe

“black waters of lethe” is based on “A Supermarket in California” by Allen Ginsberg.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  George McKim has an MFA in Painting. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Dear Sirs, Shampoo, Diagram, elimae, Ditch, Cricket Online Review, Blaze Vox, The Found Poetry Review Pulitzer Remix Project, and others.

by Gary Snyder

A parking meter that won’t take coins
a giant sprinkler valve wheel chained and locked
a red and white fire hydrant
a young dandelion at the edge of the pavement


“Standup Comics” appears in Gary Snyder‘s 2004 collection DANGER ON PEAKS, published by Shoemaker Hoard, available at


As fans of erasure poetry (find out more about this art form at and, Silver Birch Press is accepting submissions of poems that use the writing of Beat authors as source material. For examples of erasure poetry, see this link. If you’d like to participate — and see your work on this blog, here’s the scoop.

1. Select a page from the work of a Beat author (poetry or prose).

2. Photocopy the page, then mark out, white out, circle, or in some other way (see examples), eliminate some of the words. The remaining words constitute your Beat Erasure Poem.

3. Scan (or take a photo of) your marked-up copy and create a PDF or JPG file.

4. Create a separate typed version in MSWord or in an email.

5. Send an email with your erasure poetry to along with your name, contact information, and the Title, edition, and page number of the book.

PHOTO: Jack Kerouac times two.


April 28, 2013 marked the 90th birthday of Carolyn Cassady— the accomplished and gifted woman associated with Beat writers Neal Cassady (one-time husband), Jack Kerouac (friend and lover), and Allen Ginsberg (friend and confidante). She wrote about these iconic figures and much more in her 1990 memoir OFF THE ROAD (available at

Carolyn showed artistic gifts from her early years — at age 12, joining a theater troupe in Nashville, where she won awards for her set designs. She received a scholarship to Bennington College (Vermont) — studying with choreographer Martha Graham, philosopher Erich Fromm, and poet Theodore Roethke — and earned a B.A. in drama in 1944. After graduation, she served as an occupational therapist for the U.S. Army, then moved to Denver in 1946 to study for her master’s degree at the University of Denver while working as a teaching assistant at the Denver Art Museum.


Fate intervened in 1947, when she met future husband Neal Cassady and his friends Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. While dating Cassady, Carolyn learned he was still married to his first wife, so she moved to California to pursue work as a costume designer in the movie business. Before starting the job, it became clear she was expecting a little Cassady — and decided to reconcile with Neal. They had three children together — and, in all, spent 16  tumultuous off-again-on-again years with each other, divorcing in 1963.

In 1983, Carolyn moved to England and continued to work as an artist and writer, until her passing on September 20, 2013

Photo: Carolyn Cassady in the early 1950s with Jack Kerouac and her daughter Cathleen


Book of DreamsJack Kerouac‘s dream diary originally published by City Lights Books in 1961 and reissued in 2001, is  Kerouac at his most Kerouacian (or is it Kero-Wacky-an?) — which is a good thing. Whatever he writes, Kerouac’s deep, utter charm and sincerity shine through.

In the book’s preface, Kerouac writes:“The reader should know that this is just a collection of dreams that I scribbled after I woke up from my sleep — They were all written spontaneously, nonstop, just like dreams happen, sometimes written before I was even wide awake — The characters that I’ve written about in my novels reappear in these dreams in weird new dream situations…and they continue the same story which is the one story that I always write about. The heroes of On the RoadThe Subterraneans, etc., reappear here doing further strange things for no other particular reason than that the mind goes on, the brain ripples, the moon sinks, and everybody hides their heads under pillows with sleepingcaps. Good. And good because the fact that everybody in the world dreams every night ties all mankind together shall we say in one unspoken Union and also proves that the world is really transcendental…”

Book of Dreams also includes a “Table of Characters” where Kerouac lists how the dream players correspond with characters in his novels. For example, Cody Pomeray in JK’s dreams is Dean Moriarity in On the Road.

Find the book here at


“It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.” JACK KEROUAC, On the Road

Photo: Sunset MagazineALL RIGHTS RESERVED
May 27, 2012 marked the 75th anniversary of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Renowned the world over as a masterpiece of art and engineering, the Golden Gate ushers 120,000 cars to their destinations each day.

In a 1987 newspaper column, journalist Herb Caen described the Golden Gate this way: “The mystical structure, with its perfect amalgam of delicacy and power, exerts an uncanny effect. Its efficiency cannot conceal the artistry. There is heart there, and soul. It is an object to be contemplated for hours.” 

“…mint, mint, everything smelling of mint, and one fine old tree that I loved to sit under on those cool perfect starry California October nights unmatched anywhere in the world.” JACK KEROUAC, The Dharma Bums

Photo: “Lake Almanor, Northern California” by Bernie DeChant, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED