Dylan the (Secretly) Well Dressed
Feb26

Dylan the (Secretly) Well Dressed

“You never seem to give yourself away completely, but of course dark-haired people are so mysterious.” Remark made by Lucien Carr to Jack Kerouac in Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters The black shirt with the white polka dots triggered the message that Bob Dylan was well dressed. It was subtle, but it was there in the cut of a tailored jacket, the angle of a hat, and the shape of his shades. This is a quick, informal, and...

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William S. Burroughs on Dreaming
Feb22

William S. Burroughs on Dreaming

In the seventies and eighties, William S. Burroughs began to tour America doing public readings. These were, to him, performances. He spent a long time preparing for them, and talked at length on subjects close to his heart. He also read from his books, and answered questions from enthusiastic fans. Some of his performances were recorded by the good people at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and this one was put on YouTube:...

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Down by Law
Feb22

Down by Law

“It’s a sad and beautiful world.”             Down by Law a 1986 black-and-white indie comedy starts with gorgeous shots of real life, low-lying New Orleans and two beat characters: Zack the DJ (Tom Waits) and Jack the pimp (John Laurie). They’re battered by women troubles and more troubles and that leads both to Orleans Parish Prison, where they contentiously share a cell—two framed, innocent men. Roberto (Roberto Benigni), an...

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American Zen
Feb21

American Zen

Zen Buddhism is nearly impossible to write about. The use of words and logic to explain Zen are in opposition to its nature, one free of such restrictions. The question then arises: how can we know the principles of Zen if we can’t directly talk about them? The solution is that we study the principals of Zen, which are contrivances, to forget them in order to move closer to Zen. The point of such a contradictory exercise is to provide...

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New Beatdom Store
Feb19

New Beatdom Store

In order for Beatdom Books to move forward and deliver to its customers the best products in the most convenient manner, we have done our best to provide a quality online presence. Sadly, without much in the way of income, we have been unable to keep our www.books.beatdom.com site as relevant and up-to-date as it should be, and so it has fallen into disrepair. However, this past week has seen a huge overhaul, with not only the removal...

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The First Fifty Years of City Lights
Feb17

The First Fifty Years of City Lights

One of the many rewarding aspects of editing Beatdom is that of reading a fine new piece of writing or viewing a great new art submission. Sometimes readers send works which are not intended for publication but are wondrous and shared simply for the joy of creation and pride in one’s own fine efforts (a vanishing thrill in an increasingly capitalistic society). The current buzz around Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-founder of the...

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Buffalo 66: Valentine’s Day Flick Pick
Feb14

Buffalo 66: Valentine’s Day Flick Pick

Sweets for the sweet: Vincent Gallo is Buffalo 66’s director, star, writer, and composer, but Layla (Christina Ricci) is the cream in the puff, the cherry on the sundae, and the jelly in the donut. She’s a lush movie delight, so innocent and sweet. What’s a nice girl like her doing with a loser like Billy Brown (Vincent Gallo)? He treats her like an idiot, but she’s no dumb bunny, and smarter than he is—she can drive a shifter car....

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Somebody Blew Up America: A Conversation with Amiri Baraka
Feb12

Somebody Blew Up America: A Conversation with Amiri Baraka

This interview originally appeared in Beatdom #12 – the CRIME issue. You can purchase it on Amazon and Kindle.   Amiri Baraka is Beat. He walked away from the scene in Greenwich Village, where he edited literary journals Yugen, Kulchur, and The Floating Bear from 1958-65. Working with Hettie Cohen, Michael John Fles, and Diane Di Prima, respectively, the journals brought new works by new names. Featured writers included...

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