Archives for posts with tag: beat poets

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A POEM FOR DADA DAY AT THE PLACE APRIL 1, 1958
by Jack Spicer

I
The bartender
Has eyes the color of ripe apricots
Easy to please as a cash register he
Enjoys art and good jokes.
Squish
Goes the painting
Squirt
Goes the poem
He
We
Laugh.

II
It is not easy to remember that other people died
besides Dylan Thomas and Charlie Parker
Died looking for beauty in the world of the
bartender
This person, that person, this person, that person
died looking for beauty
Even the bartender died

III
Dante blew his nose
And his nose came off in his hand
Rimbaud broke his throat
Trying to cough
Dada is not funny
It is a serious assault
On art
Because art
Can be enjoyed by the bartender.

IV
The bartender is not the United States
Or the intellectual
Or the bartender
He is every bastard that does not cry
When he reads this poem.

SOURCE: Poetry (July/August 2008)

PHOTO: “Blabbermouth Night, an open reading and forum, at The Place” by C.R. Snyder, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jack Spicer (1925–1965) was a poet often identified with the San Francisco Renaissance — the name given to the emergence of writers and artists in the Bay Area at the end of WWII. In 2009, My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer won the American Book Award for poetry.

ABOUT DADA: Dada is a movement that began in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire. Its founders struck upon this essentially nonsense word to embody a playful and nihilistic spirit alive among European visual artists and writers during and immediately after World War I. They salvaged a sense of freedom from the cultural and moral instability that followed the war, and embraced both “everything and nothing” in their desire to “sweep, sweep clean,” as Tristan Tzara wrote in his Dadaist Manifesto in 1920. In visual arts, this enterprise took the form of collage and juxtaposition of unrelated objects, as in the work of French artist Marcel Duchamp. T.S. Eliot’s and Ezra Pound’s allusive, often syntactically and imagistically fractured poems of this era reflect a Dadaist influence. Dadaism gave rise to surrealism. (SOURCE: poetryfoundation.org.) To read more about Dadaism, visit wikipedia.org.

ABOUT THE PLACE: Between 1955 and 1959, The Place at 1564 Grant Street was at the center of San Francisco’s Beat culture — a bohemian bar managed by Knute Stiles and Leo Krekorian. In a 1986 interview published in North Beach Magazine, Krekorian, known as the “Grandfather of the Beats,” explained some of what was special about The Place: “When Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road people started hitchhiking to San Francisco from all over the country, even from foreign countries, and their first stop was The Place. They walked in with the luggage and I usually let them park their stuff a few days until they got squared away.” (Read more of this essay by Mark Schwartz & Art Peterson, originally published in The Semaphore #181, Fall 2007 at foundsf.org.)

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one 1
by Thomas R. Thomas

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

I was
sweetly
intellectual

Then
for the first time
there was
Marylou

I
had arrived

SOURCE: “one 1*” is based on the first page of Chapter 1o in 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 thomasrthomas.org.

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The makers of the original Magnetic Poetry Kit present Beat Poet, a magnetic poetry kit with over 200 hep cat word magnets. This box of words really zings, daddy-o, and celebrates one of America’s best known literary movements. The kit includes words like jazz, generation, road, bohemian, freedom . . . and many more! Find a complete list of words here. Kit contains over 200 themed magnetic word tiles — all for just $11.95. To order, visit magneticpoetry.com. To create a poem online from the original kit, visit this link. If you do, please send a copy to silver@silverbirchpress.com.

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shadowed
by Alexis Rhone Fancher

I am ice
I am water
I am frost
cut by glass
I am a
whistle thru my teeth
 
I lose my hat
 
My eyes are locked
my bones are soup
I am stone
I am mad
I stare out. broken.

SOURCE: “shadowed” by Alexis Rhone Fancher is based on “I Am a Shadow” by Diane di Prima.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexis Rhone Fancher is an L.A. based poet/photographer whose work can or soon will be found in Rattle, Fjords Review, The MacGuffin, Deep Water Literary Journal, BoySlut, Carnival Lit Magazine, Luciferous, HighCoupe, H_NGM_N, Gutter Eloquence, GoodMen Project, Bare Hands, Poetry Super Highway, The Juice Bar, Poeticdiversity, Little Raven, Bukowski On Wry, numerous anthologiesand elsewhere. Her photographs, published worldwide, include a spread in HEArt Online, and the covers of Witness and The Mas Tequila Review. A member of Jack Grapes’ L.A.Poets and Writers Collective, Alexis was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in 2013. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weeklywww.lapoetrix.com

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THE TOWN AND THE CITY (Excerpt)
by Jack Kerouac

George Martin, almost as drunk as a lord, was singing loudest of them all, while the mother sat at the piano playing with a radiant and happy flush on her face. It made Mickey happy, yet also somehow sad to see his mother laughing and playing the piano like that. At Christmas, he always liked to just sit beside her on the couch. She let him have red port wine to drink with the walnuts, and watch the warm soft lights of the tree, red and blue and green, and listen to Scrooge on the radio. He liked to listen to Scrooge every year. He liked to have the house all quiet and Scrooge and Christmas songs on the radio, and everybody opening the Christmas presents after midnight Mass….

They all went in the house. The singing went on around the piano; big Mr. Cariter was doing a crazy dance with his wife’s hat on backwards. It was too much for Mickey who had to sit down in a corner and giggle. For a moment he was worried when the Christmas tree shook a little from side to side, but it had been well secured to the floor—Joe had done the job himself—and he guessed it wouldn’t fall over. He went and threw more tinsel on the branches.

Ruthey was whispering to Mrs. Mulligan: “That’s Mickey’s blue star up there on top of the tree. Every year we’ve got to get up on a chair and put it up or else! You know, or else!”

Mickey heard, but he paid no attention. He just stood before the tree with his hands clasped behind him. Then his mother came running over and threw her arms around him saying: “Oh, my little Mickey! He loves his tree so much!”

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Issued by Harcourt Brace in 1950, The Town and the City was Jack Kerouac‘s first published novel.

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AT CHRISTMAS
by Barbara Eknoian

I see innocent fall of snow
from roofs
bedangled icicles
tracks of people
and a great pall of wind
The grief of birch
bent and wintering in woods
Our baseball field is lost
The blizzard oversweeping all
I reach the top of the hill
view the pond at the bottom
ice skaters thronging by
I circle the pond, the houses
the French Canadian paisans
are stomping their feet on porches
Christmas trees on their backs
Dusk’s about to come
I’ve got to hurry,
the first heartbreaking light
comes on red and blue
in a little farm window
across the pond

“At Christmas” is based on Jack Kerouac‘s story “Home at Christmas,” found on page 5 of the Beat Collection edited by Barry Miles, available at Amazon.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbara Eknoian’s work has appeared in Pearl, Chiron Review, Silver Birch Press anthologies, Re)VerbNew Verse News, and Your Daily Poem. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her recent releases include her first novel, Chances Are: A Jersey Girl Comes of Age (available at Amazon.com) and her poetry book, Why I Miss New Jersey (Everhart Press, available at Amazon.com). Her new mantra is Carpe Diem.

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PSYCHOANALYSIS: AN ELEGY (Excerpt)
by Jack Spicer 

…I would like to write a poem…
As slow as the summer seems
On a hot day drinking beer outside
Or standing in the middle of a white-hot road
Between Bakersfield and Hell*
Waiting for Santa Claus.

***
Read “Psychoanalysis: An Elegy” by Jack Spicer in its entirety at poets.org.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jack Spicer (1925–1965) was a poet often identified with the San Francisco Renaissance — the name given to the emergence of writers and artists in the Bay Area at the end of WWII. In 2009, My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer won the American Book Award for poetry.

ILLUSTRATION: “Desert Santa” by laylooper. Stickers available at zazzle.com.

*NOTE: Hell, California, is located in Riverside County. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

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Released in July 2012, The Beat Hotel (directed by Alan Govenar) is an 82-minute documentary that tells the story of a remarkable group of artists — including many of the prominent Beats writers — who in 1957 converged in a cheap Paris hotel, where some of their greatest works were born.

Hotel residents included Beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, along with novelist William Burroughs. Ginsberg began his magnum opus, Kaddish, in the hotel, located in Paris’s Latin Quarter, while Burroughs completed his most renowned work, the experimental novel Naked Lunch. Joining these Americans were artists from a variety of persuasions (photographers, painters, musicians, performance artists) who hailed from France, Britain, and other parts of the world.

The Beat Hotel tells the story of the power of art and the power of artists to influence one another in positive ways. Hotel owner Madame Rachou only allowed artists to reside in her establishment — and charged them next to nothing to live there. She felt that artists needed time and space to create — and this was her way of acting as a patron of the arts.

A good time was had by all in The Beat Hotel — and this documentary makes you feel as if you were part of it all. Eddie Woods, contributing editor for several Silver Birch Press anthologies, appears in the film — delivering a lively poetry reading outside the hotel. 

Find the movie at Amazon.com.

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$$ Abomunus Craxioms $$

by Catfish McDaris

Mummies are dancers

alcoholics make root beer

jazz down the river

licking stamps

fat automobiles laugh

 

Men die become seagulls and fly

roaches are not happy

people are not very happy

 

People get sicker quicker

the sky is the way out

laughter sounds orange

reality xists

“$$ Abomunus Craxioms $$” is based on the poem of the same name by Bob Kaufman, found on page 306 of  The Beat Book: Writings from the Beat Generation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Catfish McDaris has been active in the small press world for 250 years. He lives in a cave at a nudist colony. His biggest seller is Prying: with Jack Micheline & Charles Bukowski. His latest book is a hardcover called Jupiter Orgasma from Lulu.com.

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REMBRANDT—SELF PORTRAIT
by Catfish McDaris

Magnificent girl
peachwolf browngold
shepherd foxglove an angel
 
I believe in God
sorrow of men
death of a friend
life sadness
 
Each brush stroke
feeding the void
 
Paint the human
face the inhuman
gold jewels let
lightdrench the
saddest.

“Rembrandt Self-Portrait” is based on Gregory Corso‘s poem of the same name, found on page 15 of The Beat Book: Writings from the Beat Generation

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Catfish McDaris has been active in the small press world for 250 years. He lives in a cave at a nudist colony. His biggest seller is Prying: with Jack Micheline & Charles Bukowski. His latest book is a hardcover called Jupiter Orgasma from Lulu.com.