The Kid from Red Bank
Sep16

The Kid from Red Bank

“Count Basie’s swing arrangements are not blaring, but they contain more drive, more power, and more thrill than the loudest gang of corn artists can acquire by blowing their horns apart.” i Jack Kerouac Count, bink-bink! The Kid from Red Bank On the River Navesink Red Bank Boogie One O’Clock Jump Stomp and stamp and stump the band Give the man a mighty hand Tinkling keys Fats Waller knees William Basie’s simple swing Keep your flashy...

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The Beat Generation at War
Sep13

The Beat Generation at War

  From Beatdom #15 – Available now on Amazon as a print and Kindle publication: The Beat Generation is often viewed as apolitical, apathetic, selfish, and borne out of the post-WWII era of prosperity. They are viewed as rich kids who chose a bohemian lifestyle as a matter of fashion, as part of a teenage rebellion that went on too long, and inspired too many imitators, and eventually morphing into the beatniks and hippies...

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Literature
Sep11

Literature

“ . . . companionship . . . definition of literature . . .” i Jack Kerouac In memory of Patrick and Paul Let me reach for another book And another and another Let me climb that ladder That soars up high As I reach for another and another book Not any old book But books that speak to my soul And tell me I have traveled this road before you And as Thoreau said “If it is not a tragical life we live, then I know not what to call it” And...

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Tristessa
Sep03

Tristessa

Tristessa Black tresses Dirty dresses You mess-a Mucha lucha, Muchacha, señorita Esperanza Junk is a drag “It is a way of life.” i Just ask BOOL No gains, all loss (Not everyone as smart as old Harvard Lee, anthropologist) Junk is called junk because it is junk “They all looked like junk.” ii Hope is gone, Esperanza Replaced with junk Sickness Hopelessness Tristessa Junk is a drag Junkies are a drag Goodbye peachy coffee complexion...

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Melvillian Flat
Aug06

Melvillian Flat

There’s something about this second-floor Red Bank flat that hints of Melville, poor Bartleby scribbling away at his lonely desk, (or Kerouac when he took the job in the Hartford filling station and typed away gloomy hours). Maybe it’s the curve of the rounded windows or the rectangular window facing the street with its late nineteenth- century commercial buildings or the hardwood flooring with its long planks or the kitchen stool I...

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Of the Beautiful Alene Lee
Aug01

Of the Beautiful Alene Lee

It was Paradise Alley so long ago In the alphabet downtown east Lived a subterranean in clouds of strong dark tea By the name of Alene Lee San Fran or New York City Names, places changed but ‘tis the same Heavenly Lane and hipster games Pillow talk and pushcart walks Of the beautiful Alene Lee Of the beautiful Alene Lee He was young and drunk and jazzed She younger and cool and sweet High cheekbones and velvet slacks She was brown and...

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Setting Kerouac to Music: An Interview with Kubilay Uner
Jul29

Setting Kerouac to Music: An Interview with Kubilay Uner

This article originally appeared in Beatdom #14 – the MOVIE issue.     Kubilay Uner is the composer for the 2013 movie, Big Sur, based on the Jack Kerouac novel of the same name. He has worked with Michael and Mark Polish – the brothers behind the movie – on various projects, as well as performing live scores in concert halls. I spoke to him about setting Kerouac to music for the big screen.   *   Has Kerouac been...

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Fracas is a Bar
Jul27

Fracas is a Bar

Fracas is a bar I live not far Oh, the place is full of history Involving many a cop and car A big melee comes to memory About the night Of the smashing fist fight In the parking lot And not a little but a lot From near and yon two hundred folks Online zine screamed and spoke The place shut down With nary a frown But soon reopened Sharply spoken About hush-hush dollars And boy, folks hollered Things calmed down In the town But now new...

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