“A Fish With Frog’s Eyes”:  Bob Kaufman, George Romero and the Power of Radioactivity
Apr23

“A Fish With Frog’s Eyes”: Bob Kaufman, George Romero and the Power of Radioactivity

By Kurt Kline   In the poetry of Bob Kaufman, the poet is the healer, journeying down into the underworld of the American psyche in order to heal the wounds of racism, capitalist exploitation, and war. If Kaufman is, as many critics have suggested, a shaman, it is perhaps most properly in the tradition of Hoodoo, which employs music as a mode of otherworldly transport or to facilitate trance states. If Kaufman recuperates the...

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Anita Sings in Black Hat and White Feathers
Apr15

Anita Sings in Black Hat and White Feathers

“They went into Anita O’Day’s club and there unpacked and played till nine o’clock in the morning.” i Singer’s singer nightingale Belle’s voice clearly sailed Scat scatting dress flounces Jazzy gal bouncy bounces Uptown rhythm Off the Beat Ahead of the beat Behind the beat Tapping feet Hip club cool heat Down Beat noted Belle totted Gene drummed Roy thumbed Horn taboo Improv cool Newport Jazz breezy money July day sweet as honey,...

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Pulling Our Daisy: The Illusion of Spontaneity
Apr11

Pulling Our Daisy: The Illusion of Spontaneity

1959 was an important year in Beat Generation history. It was the year that William S. Burroughs published Naked Lunch from Paris’ Beat Hotel, that the Beats were first profiled in Life magazine, and the year the MGM released a sensationalist cinematic nightmare called The Beat Generation. In the previous three years, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac had shattered the notion that young people must conform to strict social codes, and...

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Doctor William S. Sax and Bird of Paradise
Apr09

Doctor William S. Sax and Bird of Paradise

Doctor William S. Sax and Bird of Paradise Faust Part Three Sad Catholic childhood as dark nuns weep in rain i And Saint Thérèse turns her head Vanilla pudding and snow swirls dust Milk Street ii Brown banks of Merrimac muck And child ghosts and fantasy Sax hides in darkness (Round Midnight) The Shadow Under porches Count Condu below evil Castle Castle Hill, Snake Hill Fury river roars white horses of the apocalypse Nightmares and...

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Young Charlie Parker
Apr01

Young Charlie Parker

“All you need is one person in your whole life to really be listening.” i Young Charlie Parker Lester Young, Charlie Parker Chu Berry, berry, young Charlie Parker Charlie Parker from Kansas City The swingiest, stompingest this land’s city Shoot’em up cowboy city Gangster city Nighttime city Charlie original Charlie natural And they once laughed him off the bandstand And that broke his heart But he hoboed out In the last years of the...

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Lobster Tail in Downtown Red Bank
Mar28

Lobster Tail in Downtown Red Bank

Lobster tail in downtown Red Bank A big lovely lobster tail sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar Takes up the white cardboard bakery box tied with red-and-white- bake shop string Nestled in pristine white bakery paper Layers and layers of light flaky leaves shaped as shell Crisp to the tooth One crunchy bite Fresh sweetened rich French cream oozes out Another bite will set you right Next bite lightens up this sad old world Lobster tail...

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Iced Coffee and Donuts
Mar25

Iced Coffee and Donuts

“. . . the splendors of coffee cakes and Danish crullers . . .The coffee counter . . .”i I’m a late bloomer, folks, a late bloomer Never ate donuts and coffee until now 2014 And can’t get enough of that bitter cold iced-coffee stuff In big plastic cup with bright colored straw and lid And the crunch of sugary donut Filled with luscious fruity jam Covered in cinnamon powder Sticky and sweet Soft yeasty treat Not to be funny Funny it’s...

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The Sea Is My Sister
Mar19

The Sea Is My Sister

The sea is my sister Perth saint is my brother Brothers are uncles Uncles and nuncles Philip, James, Frank, and Joe Joseph sailor did go The sisters Kulchicovsky One, two, three, me The house is my home Car and trees are the key To life in the suburbs Bored malls alien me Sea far away green-and-gray sea foaming sea All sorrows get drowned in my dry cup of tea Aunts, yes, three Marys and crosses a’plenty (Believe that there will be...

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