Some Kind of Dharma: Photographs

Some Kind of Dharma 1 (detail) - Steve Paul

“to just start at the beginning and let the truth seep out”Grant Street, San Francisco, 2009You can quite intentionally make a Beat pilgrimage in San Francisco, soaking in the aura, the coffee, the Bohemian spirit in North Beach nooks, bars and alleys. I did not do that. I chanced upon this sidewalk marker on Grant Street, Chinatown’s main drag, and it held me for a … [Read more...]

Poems by Sarah Stockton

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/karmadude/8302907982/ Liji Jinaraj

North BeachYou are so lonely you chat up the dodgy guy parking cars at the Italian restaurant, the place you could never afford, not even a plate of lusted-after spaghetti but you are so hungry for conversation the garlic scented smile he tosses in the air becomes a white tablecloth of love. Even though you’ve never clearly seen his face in the diesel-scented … [Read more...]

6 poems by Bradford Middleton

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bradfordcoy/2955452287/ brad.coy cc by

BORED AND ALONEThis life of mine has become trapped In the lacklustre slow lane of a side road Labelled no turning back from here With no sign of hope or salvation out On the horizon of life that has now Simply been reduced to getting through The shift at work and having enough To cover the rent at the start of every monthSince my queen left me I’ve been bored … [Read more...]

Michael McClure’s GHOST TANTRAS published by City Lights in new edition

Ghost Tantras by Michael McClure

Originally self-published in 1964 and long out of print, Ghost Tantras is one of McClure's signature works, a book mostly written in "beast language." A mix of lyrical, guttural and laryngeal sound, lion roars, and a touch of detonated dada, this is one of his best-known but least available books, a deep well from which decades of poetry have drawn.McClure's inspiration has … [Read more...]

Review – The Beats: A Very Short Introduction by David Sterritt

The Beats: A Short Introduction by David Sterritt

The Beats: A Very Short Introduction by David Sterritt / Oxford University Press / 978-0-19-979677-9 / 126 pagesDavid Sterritt's work might be familiar to Beat or film aficionados through his previous books, which include Mad to be Saved: The Beats, the '50s, and Film, and Screening the Beats: Media Culture and the Beat Sensibility among others.In The Beats: A Very … [Read more...]

I Am San Francisco

Planet San Francisco / photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eyeonthesky/257477210/">supernova3688 / CC BY

  I have witnessed the waterfront decay the ships disappear the piers given over to tourists and sunbathing sea lionsGone the Haight Theater in the old Haight Ashbury where as a kid I paid a dime to see two movies a serial and a newsreelGone the old Embassy Theater on Market Street where they spun the Wheel of Fortune playing Ten-O-Win with a busty … [Read more...]

Charged Vision: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg

Jack Kerouac by Allen Ginsberg

The photographs of Allen Ginsberg recently were on display at the Jewish Contemporary Museum in San Francisco. Walking through the museum is like going on a jaunt through Beat History. A spritely Jack Kerouac followed by the drunk. A youthful William Burroughs, and the junky with withered skin. Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, Robert La Vigne, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and of course, … [Read more...]

6 Poems by A.D. Winans

Empty Mirror Arts Magazine

POEM FOR RUTH WEISSshe grooves with time day time, night time be bop jazz time dances with timeless time all rhythm no rhyme birds in flight flap their wings copulate with the wind a magician's illusion where time and words move from celibate to wild orgy feed off the flesh of the other pause in roller coaster freeze stop motion she sings her song another day … [Read more...]

Neal & Carolyn Cassady’s house at 29 Russell St., San Francisco

29 Russell St., 1999, by Joshua Medsker

It’s been about ten years now since I saw Beat legends Neal and Carolyn Cassady’s house. It was such a thrill for me; I can remember it perfectly. My old friends Kirstin and Colin, from Alaska had just moved down to San Francisco the year before in 1998, and had told me about it. “Yeah,” Kirstin told me, “it’s just up the street from our apartment.” Jack Kerouac lived with them … [Read more...]

David Gitin: 5 From San Francisco in the Sixties

San Francisco

Outstretched Armspumice the bone smooth berry juice illusion of blood to cover lossbelly of the moon we penetrate what Venusdo we carve?herbs and drugs do not restoreterritories of resurrectionEarth poised in soma television chronicles missile finger fascinationsea-scorpions and horseshoe crabs will survive usTo Pharoah cork chips … [Read more...]

A. D. Winans Looks Back at the Beat Generation

City Lights Bookstore window

Generally speaking, counter-culture describes the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group or subculture in conflict with those of the cultural mainstream of the day, a visible phenomenon that reaches critical mass and persists for some time.The Beat Generation was composed of a group of American poets and writers who first congregated in New York and later joined … [Read more...]

Remembering Poet Kirby Doyle

doylecollectedpb

Kirby Doyle & the Snows of Yesteryear by Michael McClure       In 1958 Kirby Doyle's menage on Sacramento Street, in a basement apartment of the no-man's land between the wealthy on the Hill and the Black Fillmore District, had a Francois Villonesque air. Kirby lived there with gloriously beautiful, blond DiDi. Their space had the air … [Read more...]