Archives For madame rachou

Exiled on Beat Street

In 1957 Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky were in the midst of the obscenity trials in the US surrounding the publication of Ginsberg’s poem Howl. After being shunned by the clean-cut conservative American public, (who despised homosexuality and Ginsberg’s outspoken nature in the radicalised work) the pair went left to seek refuge in more liberal and artistic France. Eventually the couple sought exile with fellow Beat poet Gregory Corso in their very own sanctuary of creativity which happened to be a no-name, beaten-up hotel at 9 Rue Gît-Le-Coeur in the Latin quarter of Paris. The cheap and tacky hotel was later to be christened the Beat hotel by Corso. Continue Reading…

I Want to Be Blue Haired Madame G. K. Rachou

When I get old
I want to be
Blue haired Madame G. K. Rachou
La Patronne de la Bohème Latin Quarter
With curtains of lace
And a charming French face
Singing like Mimì
There lies the heart
On rue Git-le-Coeur
And thus the start
With red roses from poets
And champagne with Lee
Cut ups and tea and Old Gold
And sun and shine from the last White Imperial Russian
And chocolates from everyone
Raspberry jam on the Left Bank at 9
Paintings of water lilies
Life will be merry and gay
In Paris fog and gray
But even so
Life will never be boring or dull
As in leafy plum suburbs
Down the road from bard physician of Rutherford
And me in the house
Like Emily Dickinson mouse
Shouting liberté, égalité, fraternité
To no one
Miles, Barry. The Beat Hotel. (New York: Grove/Atlantic, 2000).