20+ book gifts for cool kids – and adults, too!

Got a kid on your holiday shopping list? Want to introduce them to the Beats, modern design, the '60s, jazz, folk, or rock & roll? Learn about your favorite musicians & places? Or, just give 'em something fun? Check these way cool tomes for tots (and grown-ups, too).Most of these are picture books; a few are available for Kindle, too.Click on any title to learn more … [Read more...]

Wordsworth and the Beats: The Longevity of Influence

Although William Wordsworth once stated that he was “not a critic” and, in fact, “set little value upon the art” (Leitch 556), in his “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” he nevertheless proposed and discussed several controversial ideas that would become key components to his literary philosophy, securing the “Preface” as a significant and influential addition to the cannon of … [Read more...]

Two poems by Nick D’Annunzio Jones

Good Morning, GodAt breakfast, I launch a small pink quasar into a black hole. Minutes later, receptors blocked, serotonin-flooded, my cosmos collapses; heaven-humming, orbiting hypomania, bang – a star is born!I also hear a comet talking: Side-effects include universal love, space dreams, moonwalking; if the urge to produce a paean about astro-pharmacology … [Read more...]

At the Carnival of Drunken Poets

I ran into Kerouac at the carnival where those just dead meet those about to be reborn. He and I have wandered through the zodiac again and again, like prodigal suns. Both of us enter this carnival under the 13th sign, which is the sign of Drunkenness, in the house of Lilith, with Coyote rising, the Moon single and pregnant again. When the carnival master sees us, … [Read more...]

Paul Maher Jr. considers Kerouac’s Haunted Life

The Haunted Life and Other Writings / Da Capo Press / March 11, 2014 / 208 pp.Seventy years ago, in May 1944, Jack Kerouac toiled over a novella-length work set in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was written at the prompting of his two newest friends, the mischievous nihilist Lucien Carr and the budding poet, Allen Ginsberg. He titled it The Haunted Life and it was never … [Read more...]

Kerouac Before the Jazz: a review of “The Haunted Life”

There are some great lost manuscripts in American literature and some are truly lost. Ernest Hemingway famously lost the only draft of the first short stories he ever wrote on a French train. Most writers have "lost" manuscripts, conspicuously placed in quotes because those stories for whatever reason the writer has are socked away until after their deaths (interestingly, … [Read more...]

Sleeping by Big Sur

I slept with a copy of Big Sur by my pillow a read of a man charting alcoholic declineI have drunk too much to remember my face I have drunk too much to remember the facts I have drunk too much and forgotten the race here-there-get up-go-get-it-donebut woke beside the book feeling good and like doing nothing at all all day until night fell again … [Read more...]

Movie Review – Kill Your Darlings

Long before Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs would be celebrated as the poetical and political figureheads of a 'beat generation,' there was a murder.In the new film, Kill Your Darlings, the crime scene sets itself at Columbia University, 1944, when a young Allen Ginsberg (Radcliffe) is introduced to the anarchic, pornographic mind of fellow student, … [Read more...]

Jack Kerouac Eats an Eggroll

JACK KEROUAC EATS AN EGGROLL San Francisco, March, 1952Hey hunger, typewriter scroll of walled up mysteries. Here’s to you, binge three weeks’ wide, dragon hitched to your sleeve. The love letter in a menu’s calligraphy. Hey stained teacup. Waitress’s face a crazed plate. Blame nicotine, benzedrine, beg a dime (hey buddy). Doodle on a napkin. Pray to the wharf gods of … [Read more...]