Archives For gk stritch

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 plans sprouted and touted
About kicking things up
While I in my cups
On sleepless nights
Rudely waken
To shaking rafters
On tired morning afters
Weakened and ashen
Flying open the shutters
Bad words in my mutters
Till one summer eve neon light bulb appears
If you can’t BEAT’em, join ‘em, my sodden young dears
Be there on ladies night or open mic
Sign the petition to reeve up the bikes
Next year when lease is expired and died
To quieter shores will I swim on the tide
Safe behind rich landscaped lawns
Leave downtown and its cool little town thorns
To hell raisin’ Hanks and wild young pranks
Call on Bruce, baby, for two river rent
Maybe, baby, mine is all spent

Red Banks

Train whistles blow past Edward Hopper red bank downtown
Early Sunday morning red brick buildings
Long sad golden windows whisper intrigues
Always watching me
The sun sets in the West on the brick and windowpanes
As I look down upon the Navesink
My heart sinks, sank, sunk
What am I doing here on these red banks?
What am I doing any place?
I woke up and didn’t know where I was
Fixx across from my window
I fix I fixed I have fixed i
Fix the Fixx, a wharf like bar
Noise from the street
Musicians roaming around with guitar cases
Fit fitness fit to the beat
Little blonde shore boys and girls and perfectly blonded mothers
Mysterious underground Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Mercedes by the dozen
Sal and the trucking company Newark
Big Paul Bunyan owns race horses on penthouse walls and stalls
The missing doctor next door
Absent neighbors
Morgan Stanleys
Smith Barneys
Merrill Lynchs
Three dollar croissants
A sparse boulangerie
Coin shop with glass eyes
Caesar and his shifty gold and weigh scales and police forms
Monmouth Boat Club and gorgeous sea breezes from the Navesink
Varnished wood
Boats . . . and memories of childhood on the banks of the Raritan
Home sweet home
Childhood on the banks of the Raritan
Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Frankie caught crabs on the Navesink
And Uncle Joe built wooden boats in the backyard
Long, long thoughts of childhood
The sea and beautiful town of my lost youth ii

i Burroughs, William S. The Burroughs File. (San Francisco: City Lights Publishers, 1984), p. 150.
ii Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. “My Lost Youth.”

Big Bill Bio

My brow furrows
As I check out big, big book on Burroughs
This bio is certainly thorough
Old wild American Bill Lee Burroughs

Miles and miles
Pages and pages
It will take ages and ages

Bill a mad gray hombre of interest
Put life to the testiest test
An individual
Who jumped through no hoops
But walked a strange path of his own

In an age of political tyranny
Enslavement to government
Regulations, restrictions, interference, taxes, and axes
Admiration for a man
Who sought personal freedom

The hour is late
The night is stark
Won’t be long
Before your freedom is farked

Pay back expensive student loans
(without jobs)
And note the tax on your lattes
Coffee Party members of the world
It’s time to brew

Big Brother and Big Sister
Are linkedin to you
And expect you to play as the team players do

Old Shoe

“ . . . my old cracked shoes weep . . . ” i

“ . . . turning an ankle is a Pavlovian fait accompli” ii

Desolation Peak
Minus perks
In the desert
of suburban house
Over fifty and it’s over
Disposable trash
Corporate ash
Old shoe
Friday at three
Sealed with a kiss
CEO unreined brat
Shallow cad
Foul-mouthed rat
A kiss and dismissal
Crass no class
An imp
An ape
Fat cat
Loud crude and dull
You killed the swan
Capricious caprice
Listing lee
Solo mio
False drunk miss
(role model for your girls)
Sweetness gone
“For men [and women] love the fall of the righteous” iii
Too old so go
The way we live now
Loyalty? (lol)
Taken a vow
Poetry and poverty
Words and dignity
Tomes of integrity
The right to choose
Not to color gray hair Never played your games
Never will

i Kerouac, Jack. Desolation Angels. (New York: Riverhead Books, 1995). p. 6.
ii Ibid., p. 84.
iii Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov. (New York: Vintage Classics, 1991). p. 312.

Howls of 9/11 Attacks

Howls of 9/11 attacks
Moloch skyscrapers stood looming monstrously large
Crowning the shining Battery of Manhattan
Two planes crashed south and north towers
500 mph
Screeched morning sirens through city streets
Ignited jet fuel fireball syringe
Apocalyptic overdose
Raging inferno, heat intense heat 2500 degrees Fahrenheit
Four winged horsemen
Terror, waken nightmare, hellish hallucinations
Heavy black mushroom squibs
Giant ash avalanche
Cascaded down Wall Street
Rained near Whitman’s Bridge
Wailed back to Hoboken and Weehawken
Wailed over the Hudson to New Jersey
Wailed in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island
Jumped off screaming rooftops in bright clear sun
Anguished, hysterical
Cried seraphim and cherubim
Firefighting angels
Twin towers collapsed by suicide river
Broken bodies
Left broken hearts
Shattered dreams
Released broken spirits
Mountains of idiot destruction
Melted steel and rubble
Cemeteries covered in Dostoevsky dust
Burned alive
Crematorium smells
Workers fell, jumped, leaped
We the people wept
Bended knees in cathedrals
Twisted metal beams
Exploded yellow red glare
Planes burst in blue air, over and over and over on television screens throughout the world
And in minds
Sage poet, to whom weeping came easily, you died in time
We felt your salty tears
And lost fragile flower power

Episode One

In this first episode of the Beatdom Podcast, your host, David S. Wills, talks with Charles Cannon about his Burroughs 100 event, discusses the questions of “What is Beat?” listens to poetry by Beatdom contributor, GK Stritch, and speaks with Michael Hendrick, author of the forthcoming novels Egypt Cemetery and Whiskers in the Wind.

As this is our first ever foray into the world of podcasting, please forgive our lack of technical expertise. The sound quality will improve in future and we are exploring various hosting options. However, we do appreciate constructive criticism, so please feel free to leave your thoughts below or via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter.

The player below should be working, but if not, you can catch us on iTunes at: Don’t forget to subscribe in order to catch all future episodes.

Beets and Beats and Bebop

beets2“I make a crazy Chinese sweet and sour sauce on the hot stove, compounded of turnip greens, sauerkraut, honey, molasses, red wine vinegar, pickled beet juice, sauce concentrate (very dark and bitter)…” Desolation Angels


Big fan of beets
Beets roasted in oven
Beet tops cooked like spinach
Both tossed with extra virgin olive oil and the sea is my brother salt
Painted a painting of beets with beet cooking liquid
And colored a pair of plain white canvas sneakers with beet juice and red marker scribbles
Wore those shoes to Woodstock midnight ramble and local cried out, “ORIGINAL!”
Big reader of Beats
Sometimes sit down and eat beets and read Beats and listen to bebop
And feel beatifically happy with great crimson red beet vitamin splash
And colorful pomegranate poetry in ruby motion
And great happy soaring tinkling jazz
(Thanks, Jackie Kulch, for photo.)

Poetry of Roller Coaster in Ocean

roller coaster
Hurricane throws roller coaster in ocean
Breakers crash
Turbulent foam
Roller coaster stands in cold mid-Atlantic
Ultimate seaside water ride
Water slide
High tide, low tide
Twisted metal
Open sky
Roller coaster big twisted spider lace monster
Ocean is bigger
On deck of big, big ship
Octopus black ink night
High, high up
Winds scowled and howled
The ship was big, so big
But salt ocean, bigger
The sea is my brother
Big brother, so big, powerful, unknown, deep brother
Biggest brother, Bing Crosby
Roller coaster ride, cowboy, go, go, gone coaster
(Jack Kerouac visited Edie Parker’s grandmother’s house in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and Allen Ginsberg played on Belmar, New Jersey, beaches as a boy. )

(photo: Seaside Heights, NJ. Thanks, Drew Flatley.)

A Bun for La Ipleg

Jill got happy two nightsA Pun for Al Gelpi
at a raspberry bush
And thought, “Paul, you
of the shining Cape, sea, sea,
See if the bake shop opens at three.”
“The shop is open,”
quoth Paul a-twitter and tweet.
“Then let us go get a bun or treat.”
Jill wanted not any old sweet, sweet, sweet,
But a hot flaky boulangerie fruit croissant,
Found only in a jardin in sparkling Wellfleet.
That night the bush blossomed and bloomed,
soar spirit of whitest dove
sipping, dipping, slipping
from pure soul glass
What means this paragraph?
Young lad, young lass?
All things, darling boy and girl
must someday pass, pass, pass
into eternal vastest vast.
(In appreciation of “A Pun for Al Gelpi” by Jack Kerouac)

Do you burrow like William Seward Burroughs?

Groundhog, do you burrow like William Seward Burroughs?

In a windowless bunker at 222 Bowery? (back in the bad old days on Bowery)
Chipmunk, do you burrow like William S. Burroughs?birdland Boro Cooling and Heating, LLC,
you provide comfort to the houses of suburbia
and the great obese marshmallow pillows.
Chirp, Bird, and blow like Birdland,
Or birdbrain.
Squirrels, do you support unemployed poets?
Do you squat at the ghats like the Bard from Paterson?
Great Falls of the Passaaaaic,
Doest thou contain the eternal tears of the souls of old silk city?
Bard, did you have the last interesting life on Earth?
Before home improvements became the great American obsession?