Noble and Legendary Typewriters, as evidenced at The Beat Museum, North Beach, San Francisco, Republic of California.
Full of mis-spoken words, forgotten names and other sloppiness comes annotated thoughts (squished through time and space) for shut-ins, drifters and sufferers amidst erstwhile festive melancholy times of disruption and tumult, including poems – read alongside mosquito and rooster sounds – by:
- Sohaib Ahmed
- Alan Halsey
- Charles Bukowski
- David Smalley
- Kat Code
- Dave Olson
- John Monroe
- Allen Ginsberg
- Unknown Urban Legends
- Marc Zegans
- Leif Baradoy
- Evan Leeson
- John Sinclair
For the shut-ins: Transient Cultural Riffs – Postcard #81 (70MB, 48:41, 192kbps mp3, stereo)
riffs about John Lennon and Ono Yoko and Marshall McLuhan
musical riffs by Chet Baker Quartet with Russ Freeman
Plus name checks for Neal Cassady, Jello Biafra, Dave Madden, Allen Ginsberg’s holy cock, dine and dash, Ken Kesey, Gary Snyder, Alan Watts, Beat Museum, City Lights, Grateful Dead, Beat Museum, City Lights Bookstore, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jim Robson and more… (note to self: add links).
Dylan and Ginsberg at Jack Kerouac’s grave in Lowell, reading excerpts from Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues, the first poetry that hit Dylan to the soul.
Sure, you could experience the Beat sensibility on film by watching The Beat Generation. But why settle for that high-gloss Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature treatment when you can get an unadulterated half-hour chunk of the real thing above, in Pull My Daisy? Both films came out in 1959, but only the latter comes from the lens of photographer Robert Frank, he of the famous photobook The Americans. And only the latter features the unconventional performing talents of Allen Ginsberg, David Amram,Delphine Seyrig, and Jack Kerouac.
That Kerouac himself provides all the narration assures us we’re watching a movie fully committed to the Beat mindset. “Early morning in the universe,” he says to set the opening scene. “The wife is gettin’ up, openin’ up the windows, in this loft that’s in the Bowery of the Lower East Side of New York. She’s a painter, and her husband’s a railroad brakeman, and he’s comin’ home in a couple hours, about five hours, from the local.”
Kerouac’s ambling words seem at first like one improvisational element of many. In fact, they provided the production’s only element of improvisation: Frank and company took pains to light, shoot, script, and rehearse with great deliberateness, albeit the kind of deliberateness meant to create the impression of thrown-together, ramshackle spontaneity. But if the kind of careful craft that made Pull My Daisy seems not to fit within the anarchic subcultural collective persona of the Beats, surely the premises of its story and the consequences thereof do. The aforementioned brakeman brings a bishop home for dinner, but his exuberantly low-living buddies decide they want in on the fun. Or if there’s no fun to be had, then, in keeping with what we might identify as Beat principles, they’ll create some of their own. Or at least they’ll create a disturbance, and where could a Beat possibly draw the line between disturbance and fun?
Freshened up the music stash with live recordings from archive.org -including Warren Zevon, Billy Bragg, Jack Johnson, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Burns
Wanna travel in Kerouac’s steps without all the mountain-y work? The house he and Gary Snyder lived in (as detailed in Dharma Bums) is gone but the folks around suggest the ghosts are there, hanging out, waiting for a yabyum.
Jack Kerouac – A Homestead Headlines Article by Chuck Oldenburg, March, 2002
Now and then, strangers knock on Maverick’s door at 370 Montford. They want to see where Jack Kerouac used to live. The house is on Homestead’s open space land which Maverick maintains. He has lived there since 1966.
A 1916 map shows that Anton S. Perry owned the 1.07 acre lot at 370 Montford. He lived in the existing house and milked cows twice a day on the Dias ranch across the valley. In the 1930’s, Tony also worked part-time maintaining Three Groves and Stolte Grove just as Maverick does today. Tony built a shack up the hill near the back of the lot close to Pixie Trail.
In 1956, the old Perry house was occupied by Locke McCorckle, a poet/carpenter. He and his family lived frugally, considering themselves refugees from American consumerism. Locke’s brother-in-law, also a carpenter, converted the shack into a habitable cabin. Locke invited Gary Snyder to stay there. Gary named it Marin-An.
Gary and Locke were beat generation poets and writers who hung out with Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, Kenneth Rexroth, William Burroughs, Peter Orlovsky, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, Gregory Corso and Jack Kerouac.
In the spring of 1956, Gary invited Jack to join him at Marin-An for rent-free peaceful living. They both took Buddhism seriously. Jack Kerouac describes the site and his experiences there in “The Dharma Bums.” Poetry readings, meditations, serious discussions and co-educational picnics and parties, always with lots of wine and sometimes with nudity. Gary left on May 15, 1956 for a monastery in Japan. His going away party, which lasted three days, was pretty wild. It is described in “The Dharma Bums.”
Jack wrote “The Scripture of the Golden Eternity ” before he left Marin-An on June 18, 1956 to take a fire lookout job in northwest Washington. In December 1956, “On the Road” was accepted for publication, almost six years after he wrote it. In 1957 he wrote “The Dharma Bums.”
The cabin was condemned in 1961 as a fire hazard and demolished. Maverick rehabilitated the house to accommodate his family. In the early 1970’s, the property became part of Homestead’s open space. Some consider it a sacred site with ghosts of the beat generation and Jack Kerouac.