Tag Archives: beat culture

We’re Baa-ack!!!

     Gentle Readers,

     Much thanks to you for keeping this blog active by reading the archives for the past few weeks. Your visits are appreciated.  We have been busy with a few things, the least of which is putting the final touches on the soon-to-be-released ninth issue of Beatdom, the Drugs Issue and also the Fourth Anniversary Issue.

     We will be moving to a new format which will make owning a copy of your own much easier.  This issue has been graced by the work of Rachel Harper, who did the great cover art you see here, as well as a very cool table of contents. Rachel is a very busy Philadelphia artist and we were very fortunate that she took the time from her overwhelming schedule to provide us with such nice images.

     Inside, behind the cover, we have some excellent stories and essays by Chuck Taylor, Katy Gurin, David S. Wills, Geetanjali Joshi Mishra and more.  As for Yours Truly, we shall have two stories in this issue; one on ‘drugs and creativity’ and another which reviews two Beat-related DVDs, The Life & Times of Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs: A Man Within.  This is also out first issue as ‘Editor,’ so we pat ourselves on the back for that and give a ‘tip’o’the’hat’ to David S. Wills for the honor.  David started Beatdom four years ago, at age twenty…no mean feat.  Since then, he has made the Beatdom name familiar around the world by

     This is the ‘Drugs’ issue, so do not be surprised if you hyperventilate while reading it.  We are just tying up loose ends and will send out a shout when it is ready for sale.  We also have been working on tee shirts using the cover art.  Get your order in early if you want one of those.

     Another thing which kept us from the blogosphere was Zoning…no, not the type of zoning that we are known for here at CFYSA.  Zoning is the new novel by Spencer Kansa, which will be released by Beatdom Books in July.  William S. Burroughs, a mentor of Kansa, read it and noted that it ‘reads like an urban Celine’. Fans of Burroughs will enjoy the wild ride that Zoning takes them on, stretching time and space in a fantastic tale of two earthlings bound for no good. Fans are lining up in Scotland already to get a copy.  We have been busy with the reading and editing and all those attendant duties and look forward to both the launch of Beatdom Books and Zoning

     Beatdom Books will also be publishing The Dog Farm, the much-awaited, sometimes acrimonious memoir of life in the armpit of South Korea, by David S. Wills.  Having read it a few times, we must admit to enjoying it more with each read.  Again, we will tell you when it is available.  It is a tale of the Beat road of today.

     Pardon us fro the brevity of this blog…we apologize for our absence and hope to be back on our schedule and amusing you all a few times a week, as we get nack to business as usual.

    We thank you again and it is good to be back!!!

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Hush…People Are Getting Naked In Omaha

                                                                                          Listen Closely, 

         Gentle Readers, 

        And you may be able to hear people getting undressed in Omaha, NE.

They are getting ready for tonight’s performance of Lit Undressed: The Spirit of the Female Beats.

Your Humble Narrator, was lucky enough to be asked by the Group to write an original composition for the event.  The piece, which appeared on this blog a month or two ago, was written about the strength of my mother and will be performed on stage this evening.

This is an honour for Your Narrator, as anytime someone requests me to write for them, I take it as the most high sort of compliment.  The East Coast is a far fly from Omaha, so the author will not be able to see his work as it is read.  It is very gratifying, though, to have the attention of such intellectual activists.

There is a reason for all of this, which is best spoken by Timothy Schaffert, Director and Founder of the Omaha Lit Fest.  As he posted on the LU Facebook page:

 
With much respect to nude performance artistry such as Marina Abramovi, and performance poet Hedwig Gorski, Lit Undressed is a project combining nude performance with fiction reading with an emphasis on literature beyond the naked.

In September, in cooperation with (downtown) omaha lit fest, the first Lit Undressed performance ensued at RNG Gallery. “Undressed/Untold: A Body/Text Event” featured original fiction written by contemporary published authors, as well as excerpts from classic literature in reference to the body in some respect. The writings were read aloud by six male and female readers to a sold-out audience of 50. Selected readers were also adorned with body-text-paint.

When one reads a book, they are immersed into the atmosphere of the piece; not in their real-world anymore, not clothed or unclothed, not worrying about looks or happenings; simply naked in all senses. This project also hopes to encourage comfort with all body-types and forms.

“We at the (downtown) omaha lit fest are very intrigued with the project Sally Deskins has developed—the first of what I hope will be many events under her “Lit Undressed” title. Sally, an artist’s model, first approached me with an idea—she wanted to read literary works, naked, for an audience. She’d heard tell of such events in other cities, and wondered if it might work in Omaha.

Why not? Though the mayor of Omaha once run Gypsy Rose Lee out of town before she had a chance to fan even a single feather, that was more than seventy years ago.

I loved the idea of the silent artist’s model finally speaking. No longer would she (or he—Sally’s event includes men) stand still as a figure-lesson in a classroom, a series of shadows and lines inspiring another person’s art, but rather she’d become the art and artist herself, the storyteller, the centerpiece not just of our gaze and technical scrutiny, but of our attention, our interest, conveying emotion, ideas.

It eventually became clear, as the project developed, that Sally’s interests were in the tradition of any number of body-related art projects, from literature itself (in among works by contemporary authors, the artist’s models at the “Undressed/Untold” event at RNG Gallery will also read excerpts from “Frankenstein,” Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People,” and the very adult work of the children’s book author Roald Dahl: his classic horror tale “Skin”) to the films of Peter Greenaway and Matthew Barney, the body-altering performances of Bob Flanagan and Orlan, the organized-civil-disobedience of photographer Spencer Tunick, and the body/text experiments of author Shelley Jackson, who famously oversees an ongoing fiction project for which more than 2,000 people have had single words from her short story tattooed on their skin. The new works for “Undressed/Untold” include those by Omaha authors (the sensual realism of Trilety Wade, the confessional erotica of Karen Bowerman, the poetic discord of Tim Siragusa, and the playful and meditative poetry of Deskins herself) and by authors with Omaha roots (Rachel Shukert and Zachary Shomburg). The new work includes short-short stories and poems that ask you to see familiar tales (“The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “Goodnight, Moon,” to name a few) in unfamiliar ways.

But, of course, beyond all that, there’s the simple fact of the nudity (live!), which, in our neo-puritan culture, we tend to relegate to the dark halls of the peep show. To be naked in a public space is to collide with our sense of the private space, and it’s that marriage of the public and the private that so often gets folks’ panties in a bunch. To unclothe, to allow your body to be read—scars and all—may be the most primitive and powerful expression of all.”

So, if you are in the area, go and enjoy it. I wish i could!!!

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Obama’s Xmas Gift To Us All. I’m Dreaming of a Blighted Xmas – K2

     Kind Readers, a thousand pardons for my disappearance over the past few days. Reports of my suicide are slightly exaggerated but if you peer to the left, you see the rocks of Doolin, where I would presumably wash ashore. It is a pleasant place, as I noted, but I plan to stick around. I was overcome by either food poisoning or a stomach flu, but in either case, the need for descriptive words at this time would do no more than unsettle your lunch, so I shall simply ask you to excuse my absence.

     Oddly, I started feeling ill while I was in the town of Jim Thorpe, PA, a place that throws a black shadow over Irish-American history – as I was reminded as I passed the ‘Molly McGuires’ Bar’ and the courthouse where the coal miners were prosecuted and sentenced to death. As I clutched my stomach while holding the steering wheel with the other hand, I passed the historic Packer Mansion.

     Some Packers had been along on the infamous Donner Party, which lost itself in the Rockies en route to the West Coast one 1880s winter and some members of the group stayed alive by cannabalism, consuming the flesh of their fellow travelers. I had not thought of these facts for some time and when I saw the Packer Mansion, I was reminded of the Donner Party and how I always give my name as ‘Donner’ when making dinner reservations, so that, at some point, my dinner companion and I will be sitting at the bar and hear the Donner Party being summoned. As I lay on the sofa, trying my best not to vomit or lose all control of my stomach, I flipped on the tv for amusement and, Voila!, Christian Slater starring in The Donner Party! What a coincidence!

     But that was the other day and this is now. My abdominals are sore from the constant wretching but I feel well enough to blog, so here goes:

The Week Before Xmas

‘Twas the week before Xmas and in the White House 

Obama and Gil K were torturing a mouse.

Their consciences hung near the mantel with care

in hopes the pharma-lobby soon would be there

to give them the cash that they love way too much

to spend on the drug war, since ‘enough is enough’.

While they concurred on many mean ways to humble ya’

They smoked phat joints (legal in District of Columbia)

‘We’ll fix those bastards who elected me now.

I am not some servant, not one to be cowed.

Those liberals stink ‘cuz they think they still own me.

I am way above all of that ‘honest’ baloney.

So, if my office has not found enough morons to screw,

we’ll add to the insult and take their K2.”

Gil liked this idea and smiled from within.

He had a game that would make sensible heads spin.

Wait until Xmas Eve and take the Spice from the shelf

and keep it for a year, ruining next Xmas, as well.

The drug war has already cost over a trillion

so who’s going to mind just another hundred million

dollars it takes to waste on a dream

that noone believed, anyway, it seemed.

There are kids without presents and kids without food,

kids with no warm clothes and sick little ones, too!

Why spend the money helping kids like we should?

A new prison in your neighborhood would look mighty good.

The people who smoke pot (known as drug abuse victims)

make us wonder why we take those with problems and kick them?

If these are the victims, then there must be a crime

since victims are prey of the criminal minds

who run this old country which once was a leader

of the whole darned free world but now has seceeded

from logic or forethought or the least care for others

and much prefers prisons where minds rot and thoughts smother.

So off in the sleigh go Ol’ Gil and Obammy

with not even so much as one Xmas salami

instead they took empty bags to be filled

with substances unknown, yet certain to kill.

They laughed at the people, all sleeping below –

– too bad they elected this pathetic freakshow - 

“On DEA! On FBI! On Homeland Security!

On ATF Agents,” Gil sneered and drooled luridly.

They flew through the night in taxpayer-owned sleigh,

“We must collect all of the K2 by day, yeah!

Take it from gas station, boutique and bodega.

Take from people who smoke for relief from the cancer

To steady their stomachs, one of life’s second chances.

Take it from kids ‘fore they find it themselves

Take all that we can because we need it ourselves.

It is nice to have medical marijuana in Washington

So we can smoke freely. The lower class – we caution them

About all the evils and deleterious effects

Which makes it legal for Senators but not for rednecks

Who have no address like us Pols in DC,

Which allows us to smoke all we want and stay free

And pass all the laws that take care of ourselves

While the commoners have nothing to smoke with the elves.”

Oh, this was a great plan, well thought out and selfish.

It came from our Gil, who has a brain like a shellfish.

He has admitted the war is a failure,

Yet still signs the papers so the feds can come nail you.

The whole world was watching as the sleigh rode the black,

Wishing it would crash, fingers crossed behind backs.

The president spotted a small store below,

Which gave off an aura, aromatic, that glowed.

“Here’s where we’ll start,” as he pulled on the reigns,

“At this little place,” said our Gil with no brains.

So slowly descending, they lit on the place

Where their heads were blown off – shotgun blasts to the face.

So, now it is snowing, the world looks so fresh.

A soft wind is blowing, two more morons dead.

Had they stayed at home and just minded their business

And let people live and quit making them victims

They would still be alive but the trouble, it seems,

Is that some people don’t view our Bill Of Rights as a dream. 

Article VI

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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