Jason welcomes under-qualified window-washer Dave Olson & his fantastic beard & beautiful hands for a natter about punching or hugging Dostoevsky, see-through loincloths, meeting REM, borrowing mustard from Allen Ginsberg, dodgy Greyhound stations, working out the writing life math, and how cheerleaders are people too. There's ropey Egyptian history, a savage polemic, the details of hippy teacher Mr Boris's new motorized home, a few bits & Brother Bobs of Dave's early poetry & prose, & Jason getting his King Tut timeline wrong by only 3700 years. An unnerving—if not terrifying—time is guaranteed for all. Music by the outrageous DJ Max in Tokyo. Many thanks, wherever & whoever & however you are, for listening.
Quick hits (while pausing music by Neal Casal and next up Television –the band not the communication medium – to talk about Kerouac in Kobe interview in Simon Warner’s “Rock and the Beat Generation” newsletter and encouraging you to sign-up… plus:
* remarks about two inspiring poets: Ron Whitehead & Marc Zegans
* the conundrums/excitement of adding sparks to tinder to help a creative project gain kindling-like momentum
* review of upcoming storytime on “writers read the early sht” with Jason Emde
* a note about my occasional podcast “Postcards from Gravelly Beach” and the machinations of moving feeds from relatively ancient times
* a hint I’m working on a poetry book tentatively titled “a circumnavigation of sorts”
* something about my weird illness ME/CFS and recent articles in the Atlantic and San Francisco Chronicle
+ usual thing about “let me know you’re paying attention and I’ll send you a postcard” maybe
PS I’ll add links to relevant things later / still in the barn listening to records and writing letters. In the meanwhile, you’re clever and I’m confident can figure it out on your own.
Yup, that is a signed *by councillor Joe Keithley and Randy Rampage (rip)* original pressing of DOA’s Hardcore 81 on the wall
Another charming, delightful, and thoroughly engaging video from Dave Olson. Really appreciated his warm shout out on behalf of Lyon Street and my work as a creative development advisor and friend to writers and artists of all stripes.
Thank you Dave!! I included Richard Hell in the 48-hour non-stop music & poetry NEW ORLEANS INSOMNIACATHON which historian Douglas Brinkley and I produced in August 1996. I introduced Richard to a packed house. Doug and I got a historic marker put up in front of William S. Burroughs home there in Algiers, across the Mississippi River. Burroughs did a phone interview with us, as part of the INSOMNIACATHON. We included many of The Beats. Dave, you’re interview in Simon Warner’s important and fantastic fun Rock and The Beat Generation is excellent! I love your posts! Keep up the great work!!
One more note:
… float up all the poetic boats and gently encourage reader to dig into your works on their terms. I’ve found – in the journey of a creative artist – sometimes the rewards come unexpectedly and are different than originally thought, so whilst waiting, can feel a bit lonely so best make yourself comfortable to enjoy the experience.
The great poet Gary Snyder’s “entire” collection of published – and previously uncollected works – was recently assembled and published by the “Library of America” (realizing here I don’t really know exactly what the Library of America is but certainly recognize their distinctive cover art).
Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems | Myths & Texts | The Back Country | Regarding Wave | Turtle Island | Axe Handles | Left Out in the Rain | from No Nature | Mountains and Rivers Without End | Danger on Peaks | This Present Moment | Uncollected Poems, Drafts, Fragments, and Translations
Anyway, to commemorate the occasion, there was a video-teleconferencing-event with various collaborators, writers, enthusiasts, naturalists, acquaintances, a noted elected official, and so on providing personal anecdotes about esteemed Mr. Snyder as well as reading a few particular favourites from his extensive canon.
For my own reference (and yours), here are a couple of screenshots from (what was the early morning in Japan) event with Gary and Poet Wang Ping who shared her wonderful story about Axe Handles which includes a real life incident involving *the* axe handle, the real kid (now adult), and the actual Ezra Pound book – whew.
A rollicking rapid-fire, mixed-media introduction to The Beat Generation – made especially for youth (specifically, a 11th grade lit class at a DoD base school) – with topics including:
what made The Beats, the beats (ergo: time, place, circumstance, intentions, global mindset, searching for “holy”)
characteristics of style (freeverse, spontaneous prose, collaboration, diversity, art + craft + integrity)
notable writers and characters including: Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Neal Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
roots and branches extending from the Beats like: Merry Pranksters, folkies, hippies, yippies, punks, DIY and even “digital nomads”
riffs about censorship, “obscenity” trials, sexuality, religiosity
call to action about the importance everyone with something to say “saying it” – including YOU
plus more notable writers: Gregory Corso, Richard Brautigan, Ruth Weiss, Diane DiParma & currently working Ron Whitehead and Anne Waldman
namechecks and cameos for: The Clash, Tom Waits, Jello Biafra, Ken Kesey, Wang Ping, Masa Uehara, Nanao Sakaki many more…
Presented from a historic barn in provincial Japan with vinyl records, artifacts, ephemera, loads of books, postcards etc – by storymaker Dave Olson who invites you to ask questions via postcard (address included within).
a card and dossier of treats from a rambler in Salish Sea (w/ lovely inky pen writing; Richard Brautigan collage poem from a mysterious source as a tribute for the poets birthday; &, Jack Kerouac 100th birthday tribute double CD from Bear Family Records in Germany.
In reply to someone’s “hot take” about how major media doesn’t give a shit about poetry (whatever)…. I replied:
Do any poets give a shit about major media?
Roll your own chap books, build your own culture, wander widely to find your audience, make *things* every day, stick poems to message boards in grocery stores & telephone poles next to lost cat flyers, mail 500 poetic postcards a year, find the renegade youth to mentor, transcribe stories from grandmothers, but every used great copy of poetry you come across for $3 and abandon them on buses with a note, go *everywhere* just to find coffee shops with a good table in the back corner and write so fast you’re inky pens run out.
Then paint poems on post boxes, make a painting of the poem on the post box and do an exhibit with other paintings of post boxes with poems (preferably at a goat farm in the country)…
Strangely, people show up, people ask questions, people want to be part of whatever it is that they’re doing even if you or them don’t understand it.
Doing these things, I find very little time for erstwhile mass media or even submissions to *highbrow* literary journals (plus rejection letters need a return address and well, I don’t always have one).
Poetry is for you to create and share with those who seek the goods. Carry on accordingly.
Riffs about home reform with new rooms, woodstove and tea ceremony area (thoughts of Ichiro and pals coming home from school) heat pump for humidity control for responsibly curating and collecting books for a legacy library.
And a rundown of recent new/used records including acknowledgement of Shred Kelly, Nice Horse, and (Buffalo Tom’s) Bill Janovitiz’s community building in times of tumult + musical memories in tangible form with David Bowie Let’s Dance picture disc, Hüsker Dü covers, Dead Kennedys, Sonic Youth’s Dirty (Europe 92), War on Drugs (comfort foods), literary keeners The Weakerthans from Winnipeg, and importantly pal Pat WOOD on Awesome Death’s “To Be Determined.”
“Civilizations east and west have long been on a collision course with wild nature, and now the developed nations in particular have the witless power to destroy not only individual creatures but whole species, whole processes, of the earth. We need a civilization that can live fully and creatively together with wildness.”
Gary Snyder in Etiquette of Freedom / Practice of the Wild
mixed-media art library, global diary, project dossier and whole life documentation