Archives For May 2012

Teenage Dream

you stole the words

from my dreams

covered them

in black ash

and they melted in the flames of your hands


it was the year when

the streets were dark

and we would erode under the sun

waiting to be carried away


we poisoned ourselves

just to feel alive

then hide from

the monsters of the night


too young to live

we wanted to kill

the light

and bask in

the teenage dream


too close to home

but too far

to hear

the screams


we were forever

on the run

looking for the everlasting

or surrendering


the ghost

first voice

with a sadly smile I’m
watching you escape
finally from my beauty bruising
and knowing
knowing you will freely fly
with scorched and soaring certainty
to these temples of our earth
and other earths and learn
all my mistakes, mischance teaching
understand the womb with
teeth from which you leapt
so surely
wings you borrow from charcoal
portraits of first voice before you
circles manifesting everywhere they
come from the ground and keep
rise until they
bounce right off the
sky’s the limit isn’t
disappearing you and your
smudge and shout depart to
whisper English into English
ears and hearts and past that into
space and stars and staring
lovely lonely things that I don’t
knowing and to
know you I am grateful
and sure of your velocity
among expected and expecting
much more that your usual
I know all of how you
scream and songs
you teach
me as I used to fall asleep
in pieces
you broke so many times
and proud of you now for
reclaiming brilliance no
gods could take you from me
and telling you of how
you came to be
from me, just me, I
know that story, you
know your duty
to tell that story and others
stories again and again maybe
you’ll heal America’s
broken throat, or escape
to rainy salty cities over
seas of lights and tasting
how many sprained limbs and bruised
consciousness will you see and sort and save
before returning
if you do
to me to nestle
precariously between what’s sure to be
two softened tired arms
devoid of teeth and instead
full of something
sharper waiting
for the gun to sound.

Light’s fading now I squint to
seeing you fearless flee I know
you’ll be exactly
fine and more than that you’ll find
what we needed
to survive.

Happy Birthday to Mikhail Bulgakov, from Patti Smith and Beatdom!

On May 15, 1891, Mikhail Bulgakov was born.

Today, also May 15, Patti Smith was kind enough to talk to Beatdom about writing, her favorite Apostles, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, William S. Burroughs, and Herbert Huncke, among other things. You will have to wait until Beatdom Issue 12 comes out to read the full interview, but since today is Bulgakov’s birthday, and Patti likes to keep track of such things, we thought we would share the birthday salute, along with these words from one of the greatest singer-songwriters living today. On June 5, she will release her first collection of new material since Trampin’ in 2004, and Bulgakov, and a favorite canine character of his, figure prominently in the work.

Here is what Patti had to tell us about Mikhail Bulgakov and the connection to her new CD/album/LP/digital download, or whatever you prefer to call it…it is her new music.

“Bulgakov is one of the great Russian novelists and playwrights who was suppressed by Stalin and, very simply, he wrote one of the masterpieces of the Twentieth Century,  The Master and Margarita. I am not really ready to give a lecture on political culture today but I do like to wish him a Happy Birthday. I think the best way to know Bulgakov is to read him.

“The album title (Banga) came from the dog in The Master and Margarita. It was Pontius Pilate’s dog and his dog’s name was ‘Banga.’ The reason I wrote a song for Banga, for those who have not read the book, Pontius Pilate waited on the edge of Heaven for 2000 years to talk to Jesus Christ and his dog, Banga, stayed faithfully by his side and I thought that any dog that would wait 2000 years for his master deserves a song. Its really a song for my band and for the people. It’s a high-spirited song, dedicated to love and loyalty.”

High-spirited, dedicated to love and loyalty…sounds like familiar territory for Patti. As usual, we hear Lenny Kaye’s great guitar playing, Tony Shanahan working the grace out of the keyboards and bass, and the rock-steady beat of Jay Dee Daugherty. There is love and loyalty for you – Kaye has been with Patti since 1974, Daugherty since 1975, and Shanahan since 1988. New to the mix are Patti’s son Jackson Smith on guitar, and Jack Petruzzelli, a new face in the Patti Smith Group since 2007, on guitar and bass. Old friend Tom Verlaine makes an appearance, as does Patti’s daughter Jesse Paris.

There is a sense of continuity to this LP, more than with many past offerings. The sound is fantastic but is undoubtedly better live and loud. The subject matter starts with Amerigo Vespucci and Christopher Columbus makes an appearance near the end. Mixed in are songs dedicated to Johnny Depp, the survivors of last year’s Japanese nuclear disaster, Amy Winehouse, Nikolai Gogol and, of course, Bulgakov. Plus there is a lot more, but we have only had three days to listen, and, as usual, it is lyrically dense.

It is noteworthy to mention that Mick Jagger,  one of her early role models and heroes, wrote the Rolling Stones song, Sympathy For The Devil, after reading the same book. It seems like the best way to enjoy Banga is to order the deluxe edition (featuring the excellent bonus track, Just Kids, which is a classic that seems perfect for a loud performance), along with her most-recently released book, Woolgathering, and order yourself a copy of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. You can pre-order today, while it is still Mikhail’s birthday!

We hope you enjoy all three but especially some long-awaited new music from Patti, one of the most talented living performers. For more information on how to pre-order Banga, please visit


the sight of you
by time and especially tired, standing
in a crowd of equals
I could hear your laugh from
way high away and far asleep, distressed,
in a camel coat
soft hands in long pockets, waiting
for the stage
unhinged me
disheveled me
threw me off completely
song alone enough but physical presence-
god, I could hear your voice
it had been so long
it’s been so long and even costumed
you were beautiful
and inside me loneliness tore
away, tore
me away from my own dream
into a field of memories
I knew because of the lights
hovering above the water, mesmerized
totally slipped
brain in a brilliant forget mode shining seeing tendrils
of you
in the everywhere



spilling out and over listening to yawn and hiccup of

people preachers someone knew. Indoors on ugly carpet

feet bleeding begging for an ounce of grace

but Nothing comes, faster than he could even run

a curlyheaded gauntfaced lover shouting from the lawn

shouting from the lawn to our thick windows how to care he

taught us all a hell of a lot of things but not about

how to die so we will live I guess,

when all we want to do is watch the thin lips tremble

tongue and heart and hands run rampant because

he was an Opinion

growling about hurt and burnt and

scared first sex and angry loving wretchedness and

how to grow and hate, respect, the dying

starry tigers in your simple supernova eyes.

They built the pyramids for you and you didn’t

even blink. They hung the birds midflight through

skyscrapers the other afternoon in New York

City and waited all night for your clipped warm

approval but it didn’t come because

you were in Africa starving for royalty and

reading Socialist essays so they took them down

and now the skyscrapers are crumbling.

I took a look around and decided

not to cry.

Collected Poems of Lenore Kandel

UPDATE: Competition now closed.

On May 10th, at San Francisco’s Beat Museum, North Atlantic Books is hosting a special event to celebrate the release of the Collected Poems of Lenore Kandel.

Beatdom is running a special competition on its Facebook page to giveaway a copy of this wonderful collection (hardcover, price $35). Head on over and “like” our latest status to be automatically entered for a chance to win!

More about Kandel on Wikipedia.