Soap Suds Cacophony

Bickford’s washing up storm
soap suds cacophony submarine night
hey, Huck, pitch in
Bird blew same in Harlem club
all over town the pearl diving jam
scrap pile plunge solos improvs
sudsy scalding water wet mess
best minds, best fingers, scrubbing away
from sink bottom look up
what dreary deed goes unpunished?
washing and a noshing in the Lion’s Den
simple labor, laborious task produce time to think, compose, write one’s mind
dishwashing monks watch loud kitchen drama unfold
produces stories told?
crash boom bang
watch out flying dishes avalanche
hey, you, !@#$%^&* dishwasher, whaddayadoin?
mutha’s got his head in the clouds
clouds of soapy steaming hot water
bright white purified heavy sparkling china plate

(Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, David Kammerer, and Charlie Parker all worked as dishwashers in New York City—Ginsberg at Bickford’s Cafeteria, Kerouac and Kammerer at the Columbia University pub the Lion’s Den, and Parker at a Harlem nightclub.)

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Author: GK Stritch

GK Stritch is a contributor to Beatdom and the author of CBGB Was My High School. The book is available at the St. Mark's Bookshop, New York City, and and

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1 Comment

  1. This is brilliant! It rings true to beatnik – as if it was written fifty years ago. More please!

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