Tag Archives: beat

Obviously Pregnant???

devilTimid Readers, Please do not let the image of the devil scare you. We just post that to focus the attention on good things which have been turned to evil.
Like the Bible.
On Christmas Eve, Michael Hendrick reportedly attended a function to celebrate the spiritual holiday. The highlight was the host telling a story as it was described. The ‘story’ was the saga of the birth of Christ. It may have deserved a better designation than ‘story’but when the Bible is read from a Kindle or an I-Pad,  it stops being the Word of God.
According to the E-Bible, Mary was not with child as we have been taught these many years. No, now we learn that the Mother of the Christ was not ‘with child’ but she was obviously pregnant.
The first definition of ‘pregnant’in Merriam Webster is ‘cogent,’ meaning…: very clear and easy for the mind to accept and believe ~ or we can look at meaning One – having power to compel or constrain.. The word ‘obviously’ is not one which even appears in the Bible. The first known use of the word ‘obvious’ occurred in 1603…confusing? fuck, yeah!

So what are they doing to the message of the Living Christ which was put in text for good reason? We do not know. It is subversive and changes the way today’s so-called christians look at the scripture. A true Christian would protect the Word of God…what would YOU do?

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Michael Hendrick Walks Into A Bar With A Duck Under His Arm…

Michael (24)

Dateline Ellensburg, WA

Gentle Readers,

We are now back in full blog stride but we have a situation. One of the staff, Michael Hendrick, insists on using his full name and refuses the editorial ‘we’ or the ‘royal we,’ as Jeff Bridges refers to it in The Big Lebowski..

Only he knows why…he says he makes a better character than he does as writer…we will bear with him and allow this capricious act while always bearing in mind that he is a unpredictable and given to wacky antics. He claims to have met the embodiment of the spirit of Jan Kerouac. She lives in a bird that haunts the street in front of the house where she used to live in Ellensburg, Washington. Hendrick found her there by accident after having sworn off the ‘beat scene’ but, like Michael Corleone or Silvio Dante, he says, ‘everytime I try to get out, they pull me back in.’

Here is a photo of Jan Kerouac and the famous father who abandoned her after blood tests proved she was his daughter. kero Jack Kerouac, a hero to many, often did heartless things. Fans like to remember the virile young writer but tend to get pissed off at the honest facts that he was a drunken lout who was chronically thrown in jail for public urination, intoxication and fighting (although his style of fighting seemed to involve mouthing-off drunkenly and being beaten as a result). Jack lived with his mother since he could not take care of himself as a drunk. Jan took care of herself here in Ellensburg by doing all sorts of menial tasks. Here she is washing dishes at The Cafe on Third Avenue, which is still here. As you see, she could be a happy soul at times…Jan Kerouac Working as a Dishwasher

So Michael Hendrick claims to have somehow communed with her spirit in the form of a bird…he may be in the third person now but he still sounds just as crazy!!!!

Stay tuned to find out more….600full-jan-kerouac

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very short review of new Chuck E. Weiss record…for amazon reviews, really…

ImageGentle readers,

You need to check this out….

Red Beans and Weiss…new LP by Chuck E. Weiss

take a deep trek through american roots music, knuckleheads, pee pee houses, nazi death camps, buddhist teachings and more!!!
sample it and see!!!!!!!!! forget about Tom Waits and Johnny Depp being on the project – Chuck is the Man!
i heard this online before it was released and ordered it. it is almost like a companion to ‘Extremely Cool’…maybe better…
this is such a fantastic record, you don’t know what to be most fascinated by next.
some songs are searing R&R and some, like ‘Shushie’…would be a wonderful soft song for just about anybody to cover…others just blow you away, like ‘Bomb the Tracks,’ which comes on like an all out rock and roller and addresses cultural issues like why we didn’t bomb the tracks the trains used to take Jews to concentration camps in WW2 (which IS a good question)…the lyrics here are unreal…he sums up the basic tenets of Buddhism in two lines of lyrics in ‘Knucklehead Stuff’ …’Kokamo’ comes on so slick and smooth it takes several hearings before you realize it starts out with an oral ‘dismembering’ (my word not his) on Lovers Lane…or how about Stalin drawing futuristic pictures of Huckleberry Hound while Winston Churchill befalls an ill fate???…yep, not only is it all here…it’s all here and more – rocking to the hilt and is an excellent choice for Best Record of 2014 in all classes!!!!!

this is a free blog and, as such, you must put up with the typos….

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Allen Ginsberg, Jackson Pollock, Tupac Shakur and Big Vladdy

putinfishyginsygrantparkputin4Gentle Readers,
With one eye on the wheel and both hands on the road, we do our best to keep abreast of odd things happening around the world.
Fitting this dubious category is the statement made by Universal Bully Vlad (the impaler) Putin. News media this week carried a clip of the blue-eyed dapper dungeonkeeper saying…

“The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg and Jackson Pollock. I don’t need a visa to access their work….”

Now isn’t that an interesting statement? It makes us look at him in a different way. Patti Smith recently described him taking the world’s biggest nastiest shit, the worst ever taken or left, in a solid gold commode. He really is not a nice man. He was head of the KGB and many people died under his hand, many literally by his hand.

At this point, Informed Intellects, we feel it necessary to note that this blog has always been a friend and has supported the LGBTQ community. The following statements are merely speculation of the purest form. We seriously wonder if Mr. Putin is gay? We look at his baby blues and they way he just loves his wardrobe, the fact that we never see Russia’s ‘first lady’ (although her meat could be hanging to dry for a future state dinner appetizer). Most world leaders do not have pics like this on their Facebook page, do they?putin3

It leads us down the path of trying to figure out what the brute thinks…we look at his choices. There is a lot to be learned from all three of these artist. Oh my, he likes the Arts…he named a poet, a painter and a poet rapper. We have to admit that we enjoy the work of all three as well.

Jeepers…as odd as it sounds, we made a mistake!

Putin didn’t say that, it was another Big Vladdy, Vladislav Surkov. On Monday, The New Republic said this of Surkov… was the chief architect of Putinism. He reduced the elimination of democracy, civil society, and a free press to a handful of cynically named “technologies.” (Given Russia’s historical and cultural uniqueness, he wrote, it needs something called “sovereign democracy.”) He invented the various ways to control, manipulate, marginalize, and co-opt Putin’s political opponents, always with the deft touch of a chess master.

Most blogs would wipe the mistakes clean, so as to look intelligent but not us…we shall take you along with us the thought process for reckoning this situation out…we think they both suck but we can understand what Putin likes about the Big Guy. Hey, everybody needs to let it loose sometime, yeah? Those big shoulders and swarthy dark looks may be what Putin goes for.putinlovey
For his side, we must admit that although Pollock was sexually ambiguous, we suspect that Vladdy really has a thing for Ed Harris, who could do a good Putin without make-up we bet. And is it Ginsberg that interests him or is it James Franco, who played him recently in a film? Tupac? Well, look at the guy…smooth skin, big beautiful eyes (like Putin!)…put the right doo rag on him and he could look downright sweet! We do not wish to insult Mr. Shakur or his estate, however, since we do respect him for his work and for not being the usual thug, as he was expected to be. He was a good man.

So what are we saying here? As usual, we don’t know…we just ramble and throw out thoughts for you to gesticulate upon. We found it to be a strange statement and it was much-overlooked so we had to tell you, Dear Readers, so you could have something to discuss after dinner…speaking of dinner, be sure to dress well!putin

As usual, this is a free bog so if you spot any typos, just put up with them!

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Whatever Happened To This Blog?

Michael (6)Gentle Readers, for months, perhaps a year, we have been putting you off and have let this once-heralded blog slip into near obscurity. Today, we return and not only that – we return with our original name.
We remain uncertain as to whether we were trying to protect ourselves or trying to get laid when we changed the words ‘substance abuse’ to ‘substantial abuse’.
Too much information on one’s pattern of substance abuse can put low on the list for certain social invites. The fact remains that, as a result of being fed beer regularly as a baby (imagine yourself sucking from a beer bottle as tall as yourself…but just on weekends…), the editorial we naturally became alcoholic. We missed out on all the fun of gateway drugs – ha, ha, as if such a thing exists. We are not Hippies because we were born too late but we did manage to ingest LSD in every decade since the seventies, inclusive, and still keep the old neuro-plasticity working well enough to keep your attention!

We thank all the people who kept reading old entries of the blog while we were out of action.

We also thank Paul Krassner – for inspiration. We contacted him regarding some Beatdom business. Although he influenced us greatly over the years, from MAD to High Times magazines, we felt a pang of guilt when viewing his bibliography. He never shies away from a topic. He is fearless. He wrote a lot about drugs and put them in the titles of his books. He has integrity. We were afraid we would never be able to get laid if we had to explain our substance abuse issues…a pretty lame excuse, looking back.
Mr. Krassner helped change the course of American history to a degree. His activities during the sixties – his outspokenness, sense of humor and respect for Truth – allowed many others to open up with their personal views. Somebody always has to break the ice in a repressive situation and he melted minds. Conversely, The Realist allowed so-called ‘broken minds’ to melt the ice of the oppression of the time through humor. We remember how you Dear Readers love illustrations, so here is the book to look for…confessions…if you do not buy it and read it, you will not know what we are writing about when we refer to it in future important dispatches.
Anyway, there is a lot to learn about him and we encourage you all to pick up copies of his books. The best place to find them is on his website, http://www.paulkrassner.com

So, with all that being said, we shall now resume the blog as it ran a few years ago, three to four times a week. We will try to be more politically-minded and will try to be less silly. Things have gotten a lot more serious since we reported Governor Christie getting stuck in his gubernatorial bathtub and being pried out with two boat oars and a handy few pounds of butter from the larder….ah…”larder”… We thank the Gov for allowing us to resurrect an old word! May we gain from his girth.
Another reason for our return lies in the excitement we feel as we explore new lands. Native to New York, we left the east coast and drove west this past summer. After a lifetime in the Eastern Standard Zone except for vacations and other excursions, we find great novelty here in the State of Washington. We knew the diversity of topography to be extreme but the last thing we expected was to wind up stuck in a desert, much less the scablands. Everybody said it rains all the time here.
Not so.
We never experienced such pesky sunshine in all our days. Sun, sun, sun…nothing but sun, all summer. Like Bob Dylan asks a recent LP, “Don’t you know the sun can burn your brains right out?” Speaking of Dylan, we can’t help but compare the area to the locale depicted in the film Masked and Anonymous. With all the Native Americans, Mexicans, sand and abandoned junk cars, the resemblance strikes us as uncanny. In fact some areas here are so bleak as to resemble Afghan mountain ranges; so much so that troops bound for that bloodbath got used to the elements by training near here.
Fall arrived and clouds followed and as the sky got darker, things got brighter. We love rain! The first good rain to come in brought our first dust storm along with it. A fantastic sight! A cool thing to view from the safe confines of a car with rolled-up windows.
There is so much here to discover in Washington, we didn’t know where to start so food is never a bad idea. Crossing the US, we noticed portions of food increasing in size as we pushed westward. True, we settled for road food but it actually tasted good and we had to start comparing fast foods, just to see the cultural anomoly we are faced with.
It started at the ‘Steak’N’Shake’ somewhere in Michigan. Years passed since the last fast food burger touched my lips. It came down to ‘eat or starve’ so we went with Steak’N’Shake. It was amazing! The first thing that freaked us out was the whipped cream and cherry on the milkshake…we remembered that from soda fountains in the distant past. When we opened up the burgers, a cornucopia of veggies stuck out from the bun. While we chose our move to a liberal land where pot is legal, as is same-sex marriage and assisted suicide, liberal portions never occurred to us.
So amazed were we, that to push the idea to the limit, we tried a McDonalds…we must report that our two kitties, along for the trip, actually ate some of the ‘meat’. We tried the same thing in Pennsylvania and they shunned it. Finally, even McDonalds had a cherry on top of the shake.
Now here is the rub.

It is sort of like Lenny Bruce’s ‘Jew vs Goy’ bit…only it seems like Lenny was wrong on that one. He said anybody who lives in New York is jewish, whether they are goyim or not. While admittedly goy to the catholic degree at childhood, we can’t help but feel that the whole northeast seaboard, as well as points as far west as Chicago, create the true demarcation.
Try to find some real foods, foods we grew up with and now we seem to have entered a weird zone of culinary depravity. Perhaps being in the east, where European immigrants first landed, exposed us to a variety of victuals. Ethnic foods spread out from immigrant neighborhoods as they became popular with other cultures.
Brie, capers, anchovies, hummus, halvah, Finlandia or Jarlsburg brand swiss or Parmigiano-Reggiano, olive oil from Italy, couscous…mention these items and prepare to be met with a blank stare. Other seemingly unbotchable staples – pizza and bagels, for instance – get ‘the treatment’. To find a simple slice of pizza (crust, sauce, cheese and spices) the closest option is to send out for a Papa John or Domino imitation pie and cut it in the shape of a slice…or make your own. The concept of an italian pizza shop where you can walk in and buy a slice is exactly that, here on the eastern part of the state, a concept. It is an idea that does not exist. Maybe you can get it in Seattle but we have not gotten that far yet.
Forget bagel shops…but the street tacos rule!
We admit to enjoying a bagel at the most fabulous hotel we could find this side of the Cascades, The Davenport Hotel in Spokane. hotelHere, birthplace of Crab Louis (after Louis Davenport), they referred to the smoked salmon as lox and knew well enough to put capers on the plate. For as many salmon as swim through here every year, we expected that most people would be familiar with lox. Maybe they are better off. I did see a number of big fish float belly up in the Columbia River just around migration time, when the state warned residents not to eat the local fish due to dangerous levels of pollutants in the filets.
Hordes of homeless tweakers who live under bridges and eat these fish since a little added protein never hurts a meth binge, are likely unaware of these warnings. A lot of homeless drifters hang here, though, so that makes us feel welcome. Hitch-hikers spot the roads, too. We hadn’t seen one since 2003 in Ireland. No wonder the serial killers like it here.
There is so much to say, so much to compare, so much to type that we will hold it for another day, tomorrow maybe…
~

Sorry for not really promoting the substance abuse this time. We did drink beer while driving across most of the states, though. We shall make up for this in due time.
Thanks all, for coming back to read this blog, and it feels good to be back!

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Some Good Reasons To Buy Beatdom Issue 9

Cats and Kittens, Cherished Readers,

Open minds that have no leaders,

We return to you today after quite a long break in the action, although we see you have been reading daily and we appreciate the patronage!

Our disappearance was caused due to the fact that Your Humble Narrator is now Co-Publisher of Beatdom Books and we published our first two exciting volumes in the month of July…Beatdom Issue Nine and Zoning by Spencer Kansa, which we shall tell you about in the next blog.

     So why buy the new Beatdom? Ten dollars…one dollar per reason…as we have changed the format to that of a more traditional literary journal and also have gone to black and white, save for the excellent cover illustration by R.H.Harper, an excellent Philadelphia artist.

     First and foremost, you will find a lot of great writing from our regular crew of writers, as well as some new faces. We have new, yes NEW, photos of Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Norman Mailer which have never been published before and were donated to us by the remarkable Jerry Aronson, whose DVD, The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg is reviewed at length, as well as a review of the PBS Naked Lens film by filmmaker Yony Leyser,  William S. Burroughs: A Man Within. You can find reviews of both of them on this blog space if you use the search function but the review in Beatdom, with the photos from Jerry, make an exceptionally fine piece.

     The cover is so nice that you will be sure to look hip while reading it, so that is a reason in itself and it is a real conversation starter…just look at that cover…and there are numerous other great illustrations inside…you may ascertain from the cover that this is our ‘Drugs’ issue, so we have a number of articles with a droogy theme, as well as straight essays and poetry.

     …which brings us to yet another reason, which is the excellent fiction by Katy Gurin, Chuck Taylor and Dan Leo (as well as by Your Humble Narrator) and the accompanying illustrations and art by award-winning filmmaker Waylon Bacon and Haydn Lock.

     Then, we have the scholarly studies from around the world, like the essay on Hunter S. Thompson in Kentucky, by Rory Feehan in Ireland, and a detailed look at Mr. Burroughs’ forays into the jungles of South America in search of yage by Nick Meador and Geetanjali Joshi Mishra’s insightful look at Allen Ginsberg, From Ganja To God, about the late poet’s experiences with ganja in India, and a look at Burroughs’ groundbreaking work with yage by David S, Wills, our fearless leader.

     We have poetry smuggled out of the heart of a womens’ prison, poetry about addiction and poetry about supermarkets, plus more poetry, for the verse-lovers in the crowd.

     Another fine reason to buy this treasure-trove of Beat knowledge and enjoyable fiction and poetry, as we mentioned earlier, is that we have made it available at the ridiculously low price of $9.99 a copy, plus $2 for shipping…that is two dollars in America and two euros for international customers. Our first copy was sent to a reader in Australia…if you order quickly (www.beatdom.com) you may even get your copy before the first one hits the land down under.  We have squeezed the large, airplane-browsing-sized, full colour issues into a standard format literary journal, so it is easy to keep in pocket or purse. In fact, we dare you to find something better to read at that price and if you find something even half as hip, we want to know about it.

    This is actually an old reason, but Beatdom is the world’s most popular Beat-themed literary journal. We have readers on every continent except Antartica and we may open an office there just to stimulate sales…when we have the cash, that is…which may be a while since we only hope to break even on this endeavor…as has always been the case with Beatdom, all along…we are not here to get rich on your hard-earned book money. We are here to keep the Beat spirit alive and let you know what is happening in the world of Beatdom.

     This issue was printed and bound by the prestigious Sheridan Press. We chose them so that we could offer you the best in quality, not just in the writing and art but in the reproduction of such fine work. Sheridan is a venerable force in the publishing industry, printer of the best among literary journals…and that is why we chose them to bring you the finest Beatdom possible.

     It will not be online for immediate free download, like the older, more expensive issues were. It will be in the future – but at the moment, the only way to see it is to open a copy and start enjoying yourself. To older readers, consider this a literary take on ZAP Comix…great art, good messages and hip from beginning to end.

      Also, check out the cover illustration for David Wills’ upcoming (on Beatdom Books) novel The Dog Farm. You may have heard recent news about the glow-in-the-dark dogs which were created by those krazy koreans but Mr. Wills gives you a whole new view of South Korea.

    So what are you waiting for? You can buy it with check, money order or Paypal. Orders paid with check or money order will be shipped once funds have cleared, which is overnight in the day of instant wire transfer…so take a chance…don’t be a mooncalf, don’t be a fuddy duddy…get hip and get yourself a copy of Beatdom Issue Nine…it may sell out before you get the chance…

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From the Poetry Corner ~ You Do Not Know Me

                                                                             Gentle Readers,

     Once again we ask you to forgive our absence, this time due to the death of my Verizon modem, which served me for a remarkable six and a half years.  Once the problem was established, a new modem was ordered and we found ourself lost offline.  It took a full week, then sputtered and we were off for another day.

     We got a lot of real world stuff done, instead of sitting on Facebook but we did feel strangely disconnected.  We did see the first episode of the new season of Law and Order: Criminal Intent and we are making the prediction that Bobby Goren will find happiness this season and then find death.  You heard it here first, folks!

     Anyway, the poem is self-explanatory, unlike three poems I will publish in Beatdom in a few weeks.  They are strange poems and part of a longer story, which you can read in Beatdom Issue 9, the Drugs Issue.  In it, I present an essay which is a third essay, a third poetry and the final third is a bite of real life humour, all rolled into one conveniently titled entry, “At The Holiday Inn”.

     In the meantime, while you wait, this is one from last week, called You Do Not Know Me.

I only exist

in the words on this page.

That is my act.

This is my stage.

Very few know me –

it’s a very rare sort

who have looked in my eyes

and heard my retort.

You may know my name

but not what is inside.

A handful have loved me

with arms opened wide.

To most I am Phantom,

locked in my screen,

I  keep writing for you

for all that it means.

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Beatdom Books, Exclusive Pics, Edgar Allen Poe and Other Things

     Readers, Tweeters and Brain-Feeders,

     At left you see an exclusive photo of Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs.  It was taken by affable filmmaker Jerry Aronson, who brought us the wonderful movie, The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg.  Jerry, in his kindness, allowed us to use five rare photos (four previously unseen in print) to illustrate the review of his DVD re-release of the work, which include an extra DVD with tons of great material – a review of which will be found in Beatdom Issue Nine, The Drugs Issue.  Look for Issue Nine and the review next month.  Also see www.allenginsbergmovie.com

     If you have been on the Beatdom website, you will know that we are celebrating the Fourth Anniversary of Beatdom, the world’s most popular Beat-themed literary journal.  We are also celebrating the birth of Beatdom Books,  a new publishing concern which will be publishing books by literary gadflies Spencer Kansa and David S. Wills, who will both publish novels on Beatdom Books this year.

     Kansa’s offering,  Zoning, will be a welcome addition to the book collections of fans of William S. Burroughs.  Burroughs, in fact, praised the work by Kansa and even provided him with a photo for the cover, which we will be using.  Kansa’s voice, though new and original, channels some of the old, guttural Burroughs panache in it’s own way.

     When we say “we” in this case, we are not referring to the ‘editorial we’ (as used in The Big Lebowski) but the “we” as in David S. Wills and myself, Your Humble Narrator. 

     Mr. Wills has spent three years in Asia, literally sweating over his long-awaited ‘asian rum diary,’ The Dog Farm, which is sure to win him a whole new cadre of Korean critics.  Mr. Wills and myself will be partners in Beatdom Books.  Having spent a drunken fortnight in discussion of all things written and worldly with Mr. Wills last August, we found him to be a most agreeable and far-sighted man, and we are happy to form this new company with him.  He even gave me a hot tip on an asian casino stock which has taken care of my real estate taxes for this year and the next.  That is a good partner.  Cheers, David!

     Now we get to the ironic part.  In digging around the grey matter, looking for a snappy title for this blog, we hit upon the word ‘beat’ and thought we would use a line from Edgar Alllen Poe’s great story of terror, The Telltale Heart.  From the bookcase, we plucked a copy of The Assignation and Other Tales by Poe.  The book is a Claxton Edition,  printed (perhaps) in the 1800s by Belford, Clarke & Company.  There is no year of publication in the book anywhere.  Belford, Clarke was a Chicago-based company but a tiny note in print says the volume was printed by Trow’s Printing and Bookbinding Company of New York.  It may be valuable – perhaps for it’s place in print history.  Though not having exhausted the internet with a search as yet, this brings back memories of last Spring, when we tried to find the value of a couple copies of The Outsider, a hand-printed literary journal published in New Orleans in the early 1960s.

     Google led me to an article on a film, The Outsiders of New Orleans: The Loujon Press, made by Wayne Ewing in 2007.  The article led us to write an email to the author, who happened to be David S. Wills.  While the value of The Outsider (Issues 2 and 3), has yet to be determined, the idea was to sell them and clear some shelf space.  As it happened,  we were invited to write an essay for Beatdom and have been a regular there ever since,  becoming Assistant Editor while working on Issue Eight – The Sex Issue.  When the book collection started, we never considered what trouble it would be to get it out of the house.  Now it is growing organically, with books holding our own work taking up even more space!

     Irony is the way of the world and it always is amazing to see how one thing can lead to another.  A year ago, serious writing was a thing of the past.  Within the last year, we have published in three issues of Beatdom, wrote requested material for a live, naked performance celebrating women Beats, Lit Undressed, held in Omaha, NE, and have embarked upon a new endeavor in the world of publishing.  This being our 54th year on this sphere, we are happy with ourselves and with you,  Kind Readers, for your continued support!

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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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In the Poetry Corner With the Metal Machines

     Brilliant Readers,

     We were happily surprised that our last blog from the Beat CookieJar went over so well! We had been trying to think of new subjects, like K2, which would cause a stir but were happy to see that a bit of poetry gets more readers than a rant about our less-than-stellar form of government. The last poem got more views than anything we posted since the one about Obama getting the shotgun blast to the face.

     You may wonder what iambic pentameter is doing in the Beat jar but Allen Ginsberg told me I had a gift for the rhyme and that a lot of my poems would make very good song lyrics. It is on record in the Ginsberg Archives, if you care to see. Ginsberg, himself, had taken an interest in songwriting and rhyming meters at the time, which was during the heady ‘Punk’ days of the mid-1970s.

     All of my poems are open to interpretation since I will never explain them, so take it as you will and this one is titled, Metal Machines.

                                

                                    The metal machines move, mashing,

                                    gleaming, reaming blades all gnashing

                                     – a million daggers slashing,

                                     slicing, tearing, digging, thrashing –

                                     and chains that strike home smashing.

                                      like a billion forearms bashing;

                                      the victim stands alone.

                                      The victim’s skin flies, splashing,

                                       his life before him, passing –

                                       – before his eyes all flashing –

                                       like a flaming film impassioned,

                                       while the machine keeps fiercely crashing

                                       through the skull and finally smashing

                                       dead, bruised skin and splintered bone.

                                               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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