Discussion:
Kerouac: origins of joy in poetry
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Will Dockery
2007-07-14 10:02:39 UTC
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Q. Why do drunks <slap>
Usually write the best poetry?
Self-medicating depressives and manic-depressives.
The real question is why do depressives and manic-depressives write poetry.
Another reason I prefer the Beat poets over most others, their poetry,
whther particularly /upbeat/ or not never seems depressed, and isn't
depressing to read or listen to, ever.

I made the used bookstore rounds yesterday, and again found a couple of true
prizes, both costing pretty much nothing (I bought them both for a little
over 50 cents at Valley Rescue Mission Thrift Store... makes me think
someone with quite a nice collection of books has perhaps passed away, and a
clueless family member donated these masterpieces to the store, which runs
on donated items): Harlan Ellison's "Parners In Wonder" (a cool 1975 edition
with some funny hype on the back cover "The book you hold in your hands is
unlike any other ever written...") and Kerouac's "Good Blonde & Others",
which collects his stray magazine and newspaper pieces that were pretty
impossible to find before the collection, loaded with cool undepressed
observations on everything from baseball to movies and short stories, and
lots of thoughts on poetry. Here's a good one, from his introduction to Jack
Micheline's "Rivers Of Red Wine":

"...he has that swinging free style that I like, and his tongue gets stuck
in his mouth and instead of saying 'hill' where you expect it he says 'mill'
[...] I like the poetry of Jack Micheline. See? There's some poetry I don't
like, and that's the poetry that's premeditated and crafted and revised and
so what you read a lot of... you name it. I like the free ryhme, and these
sweet lines revive the poetry of open hope in America, by Micheline, tho
Whitman and Ginsberg know all that jive, and me too, and there are so many
other great poets swining nowasays (Burroughs, Corso, Steve Tropp I hear,
McClure, Duncan, Creely, Whalen, especially Whalen & Snyder, and Anton
Rosenberg, I don't know where to turn and I never pretended to be a critic
until now)... just read what you like anyway..." -Jack Kerouac 1958

"...poetry is NOT a science. The rhythm of how you decide to rush yr
statement determines the rhythm of the poem, whether it is a poem in
verse-seperated lines, or an endlless one-line poem..." -JK
--
"God's Toybox" by Dockery-Beck:
http://www.myspace.com/shadowvilleallstars

"Hasty Pudding" by Dockery-Conley:
http://www.myspace.com/willdockery
Will Dockery
2017-12-15 09:21:51 UTC
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I wrote that Howl "set the style" for beat writing for the masses...
1) The Town And The City by John (Jack) Kerouac
2) Go by John C Holmes
3) Junky by William Lee (Burroughs)
These had /slight/ elements of the beat style, but the publication of
Howl really set it.
I wouldn't call it proven, yet, but the testimony is adding up. Here's
<quote>
If the birth of the Beat generation could be traced back to one event,
it would probably be the first public reading of Allen Ginsberg's poem
``Howl'' 45 years ago this month at the now-defunct Six Gallery in San
Francisco. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, whose City Lights Books published
the poem in 1956, was in the audience that night and recalls the
reading as an electric event that galvanized the area's literary and
arts community.
``Nobody had ever heard anything like that before,'' said
Ferlinghetti, sipping a Bass Ale at Tosca Cafe in North Beach. ``When
you hear it for the first time, you say, `I never saw the world like
that before.' ''
``Howl,'' widely regarded as one of the great works of 20th century
American poetry, is a 3,600-word torrent of unusually vivid and
hellish imagery written in the long-line style of Walt Whitman's
``Leaves of Grass'' and echoing the rhythms of jazz. It has also
become one of the most popular poems in U.S. history, having sold
nearly a million copies in its City Lights edition -- very rare for a
book of poetry.[...]
When it comes to the Beat era, Ferlinghetti is among those who have
the last word. Of Ginsberg, he says: ``There wouldn't have been any
Beat generation recognized as such if it hadn't been for Allen. He
created it out of whole cloth, really. Without Allen, it would've been
separate great writers in the landscape, it wouldn't have been known
as the Beat generation.'' </q>
A `Howl' That Still Echoes
Paul Iorio, San Francisco Chronicle, October 28, 2000
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/10/28/DD27873.DTL
<quote>
Of Kerouac, [Ferlinghetti] says: ``Allen was always saying . . .
Kerouac was gay, but I thought that was really absurd. He was one of
the biggest woman chasers I ever met.'' </q>
Ten years later, do we have any clearer of a perspective?
Seems cloudier than ever, but 60 years of time and miles will do that sort
off thing.
Well, almost 150 years later, scholars are still debating whether Rimbaud
was gay, or if he was straight, and was just willing to be Paul Verlaine's
bitch in return for what he got for it (entry into the bourgeois lifestyle
and the literary community).

Those who take the latter view look at the internal evidence of Rimbaud's
poetry, like "Romance Novel", one of the best portraits of a straight horny
teenaged male that's ever been written:

http://gdancesbetty.blogspot.ca/2010/03/romance-novel-arthur-rimbaud.html

I suspect that was the case for Rimbaud, and though I haven't read much of
Kerouac beyond what you and others have linked here, I believe it's fully
possible it was the case for him as well.

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Well, time to discuss poets for the poetry, not National Enquirer scandal
sheet crapolla...

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