Archives For December 2012

The Beat Rap Sheet

But yet, but yet, woe, woe unto those who think that the Beat Generation means crime, delinquency, immorality, amorality … woe unto those who attack it on the grounds that they simply don’t understand history and the yearning of human souls … woe in fact unto those who those who make evil movies about the Beat Generation where innocent housewives are raped by beatniks! … woe unto those who spit on the Beat Generation, the wind’ll blow it back. — Jack Kerouac Continue Reading…

What to Expect from Beatdom #12

It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here!!!!

That’s right, ladies and gentleman. Beatdom #12 – the CRIME issue – is now on sale. You can purchase your copy on Kindle or good old dead tree format, both from your favorite industry-crushing internet monopoly. The Paypal link from Beatdom Books is coming soon…

If you’ve read Beatdom before, then you’ve probably already placed your order for this new installment. You know what to expect, as we always deliver the best of the best of the best. But for those of you out there who have never before set eyes on the beatest literary journal around, let me give you a run-down of what to expect:

Firstly, let’s talk about the interviews. Beatdom editor, Michael Hendrick, has been busy talking with Patti Smith and Amiri Baraka – two of the biggest names in their respective fields. The conversations span politics, pens, and poetry. David S. Wills talked to none other than Joyce Johnson, one of the key influences in bringing to light the women of the Beat Generation. She discusses her new book – The Voice is All.

Then there are the essays. As always, you can count on Beatdom to bring you the finest in literary criticism and history analysis, and this time we have once again triumphed. We start with David S. Wills’ essay, “Beat Rap Sheet,” in which he highlights the criminal records (or unrecorded criminal activities) of the Beat trinity- William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg. Matthew Levi Stevens takes it from there with a deeper look into the criminality of Burroughs, whose psychologist once referred to as a “gangsterling,” for his juvenile obsession with bad guys. We take a slight detour from the Beat route to look at Raymond Chandler and his portrayal of Los Angeles’ infamously mean streets, before returning to the Beats with essays by Chuck Taylor and Philip Rafferty, who discuss the value of Kerouac’s poetry and the extent to which the Beats were truly Zen, respectively.

Poetry is always a huge draw for our readers, and this time around we’ve packed a lot of quality verse into our little magazine. Our poets for this issue are Jamie McGraw, Catherine Bull, Michael Hendrick, Velourdebeast, Kat Hollister, Holly Guran, MCD, and Alizera Aziz.

We have fiction from Beatdom regular, Zeena Schreck, who has given us her theatre monologue, “Night Shift, Richmond Station,” and also from newcomer, Charles Lowe, with his tale of life in China, “Baby American Dream.” Both continue our exploration of the criminal element.

Jerry Aronson, director of the magnificent documentary, The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, is back with a special Beat photo, and Spencer Kansa, author of the first ever Beatdom Books publication, Zoning, recounts a visit he paid to the late Herbert Huncke – the very man who inspired Burroughs and co. to their own criminal exploits in the 1940s.

We also have a review of Ann Charters and Samuel Charters’ book, Brother-Souls, which examines the life of John Clellon Holmes. The review functions also as a biographical essay, detailing some of the more interesting aspects of Holmes’ life.

Finally, we wrap up this outing with yet another piece of artwork from the one and only Waylon Bacon, entitled “Rogues Gallery.”

Holy Saint Man of Seventh Avenue South

by G.K. Stritch – find her on Amazon

When I was a little girl, early in the 1960s, my mother and father and sisters and brother and I were driving home from an outing at New York’s Central Park Zoo. My father drove down Seventh Avenue South and as we headed toward the Holland Tunnel a bearded, bespectacled man wearing sandals stood on the corner waiting for the light to change. I had never witnessed one such as this and asked my father, “What is that?”
“That,” he said, “Is a member of the Beat generation.”
Well, that was really too much, interesting and strange and frightening. I swear the man looked exactly like Allen Ginsberg. I was happy we were in the safety of the car and hoped the Beat didn’t see my staring at him. I’m sure I had never seen such a full black beard or a man wearing sandals on a city street. Where we came from, a small industrial city twenty‐six miles outside the big city, there were no bearded sandal‐wearing men. Who wore sandals and beards? Holy saints and prophets and here was the holy saint man of Seventh Avenue crossing the street.
“What does he do, the Beat?”
‘He writes poetry and drinks coffee and maybe plays jazz.”
“Where does he live?”
“Probably around here in one of the buildings.”
I didn’t know what to make of it. My father glanced at me and said, “Now sit down and stop staring.” I sat down and watched until saint man was gone.
Before I was born, my parents lit out to California, that’s Cal‐i‐forn‐i‐ay, like in the song, “There’s gold in them thar hills.” Dad couldn’t find a job, so as a newborn babe in 1957, my parents with my two older sisters, crossed country with me on the front seat. They were on the road and Dad wrote poetry and he drank coffee and my parents had a friend who played jazz, so maybe Daddy‐o, who knew so much about saint man, was a Beat man, too.