I never wanted to be fake or plastic

I never wanted to be fake or plastic

It is 9:39 PM Sunday night presently and I am tired but it is really too early to go to bed. Carol left for work this evening around 7:45 PM. She got up at 6:30 PM this evening ate food and read newspapers then got ready for work.

I took Rudy for a walk around the block around 8:15 PM because he won't leave me alone till I take him for a walk. It only takes around 10 minutes for me to walk Rudy around our block.

This evening I have been trying to read "The Letters Of Allen Ginsberg" at our dining room table under a ceiling fan. We have the air condition unit on since it is around 88 degrees this evening.

I was trying to remember when I first read the writings of Kerouac and Ginsberg? I know I have read "On The Road" by Kerouac many times over the last 39 years (I became Aware of my own separate Self around 17 years old. I knew I had an ego separate from other egos when I was in the 11th grade. But when I was 17 years old all I wanted was sex, books and drugs. I was a slave to the flesh). The point is growing up on the San Francisco Bay Area one always heard the names of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. I was in the counter-culture and Ginsberg was a part of that subculture. In High School I read a lot but do not remember what I read clearly.

I was saved by God the summer of 1970 right out of High School. I was a Jesus Freak meaning all I basically read was the Bible. I do not remember reading anything except the Bible the first five years of my conversion. I am sure I read a ton of stuff since I went to college 1971 and 1972. I do remember reading some religious books during these years, but not Kerouac or Ginsberg.

I did not have money to buy many books till I married Carol. I really never had any money till I married Carol. I never really worked till I got that job at the egg pit that lasted 15 years. I had part-time jobs or jobs that lasted a couple of months, but never a real job. I never wanted to be anything but a soul winner. I never wanted to be a part of society. I just wanted to be me all the time. I wanted to be me without experiencing rejection.

I got into the Reformed Faith (historical Calvinism) around 1975 (?) by reading the writings of A. W. Pink and C. H. Spurgeon. Pink in his writings always quoted the 17th century English Puritans, men like Thomas Goodwin, Thomas Manton, and John Owen. Around this time I was on staff at the Richmond Rescue Mission located in the city of Richmond Calif. which is near the city of Berkeley Calif. which is in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Now I should add here that I did not stop taking drugs like LSD and weed till I got married. I always had a battle with drugs and sex till I left California and got married while a student at Reformed Bible College Grand Rapids Mich.

It was around 1976 (?) I picked up a copy of Ginsberg's poem "Howl" at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. It might have been later but my memory fails me right now. I remember carrying around me a copy of "Howl" and "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" by Friedrich Nietzsche. I started reading the 17th cent. English Puritans around this time. I would check their books out of seminary libraries like Golden Gate Seminary. Around this time Tykie and I joined the Orthodox Presbyterian Church located in Berkeley which had a large collection of Sovereign Grace Books which are reprints of classic 17th cent. English Puritan works. (I have over 1000 17th. cent. English Puritan reprints in my book collection as I write. I read the old writers for 28 years and still read them once in a blue mood. I got burnt out on Puritan theology about four years ago. Now I am Beat and just go by The Book.)

While in Bible College I got married and was busy reading for college. I mainly read Calvinistic literature at this time in my spiritual journey. I do not remember reading Kerouac or Ginsberg while in Bible College. I bought only Reformed literature like the "Works of Thomas Boston" or the "Works of Jonathan Edwards".

After college Carol and I moved to Jackson Mississippi with our two small boys Caleb Jon and Josiah so I could attend Reformed Theological Seminary. It was while a seminary student I started reading Kerouac and Ginsberg steadily. While I was in seminary I heard Ginsberg give a poetry reading at a local black college there in Jackson Miss.. I also got back into the Works of St. John of the Cross when we were in seminary. I also bought the writings of William Burroughs in seminary like "Naked Lunch" and "Junkie". I read biographies of Kerouac and Ginsberg while finishing my theological education.

After seminary Carol, the kids (now Caleb, Josiah, and Beth) and I moved to Houston Texas where I did my ministerial internship. It was while living in Houston that I started searching bookstores for the writings of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs. I also started collecting anything I could find on the Beat movement. It was while living in Houston I bought my Jack Kerouac Box Set. Since our Houston Texas days I have not stopped reading the Beats and collecting books by the Beats and on the Beat movement.

I am a student of modern literature. I like to write and the Beats wrote in a way I feel close to on a personal level. I have always wanted to speak from the heart. I never wanted to be fake or plastic. Maybe that is why I like the Beats?

Anyway I suppose I will close to wander my cell.

10:27 p.m. - 2008-08-31
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    SUNN 0))) "00 Void"

Mad to Talk

Mad to Talk


Edited by Bill Morgan and David Stanford

500 pp. Viking. $35

“Tonight while walking on the waterfront in the angelic streets I suddenly wanted to tell you how wonderful I think you are,” Jack Kerouac began a typical letter to his friend Allen Ginsberg in 1950. “God’s angels are ravishing and fooling me. I saw a whore and an old man in a lunch cart, and God — their faces! I wondered what God was up to.” God’s purpose would remain opaque to Kerouac — try as he might to impart some glimpse of it in his work — and a dec­ade later he was pretty much a burnt-out case. Poring over his old correspondence with Ginsberg and others in 1961, he sadly wondered at “the enthusiasms of younger men.” “Someday ‘The Letters of Allen Ginsberg to Jack Kerouac’ will make America cry,” he wrote.

And well might we be moved to weep, for any number of reasons: for a time when “angelheaded hipsters” (as they delighted in mythologizing themselves) hit the road looking for kicks and Whitmanesque connection with those (generally male) who were likewise “mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved,” when mainstream society seemed so dull and doomed (by the Bomb, of course) that a wayward life was all the more fun for being heroic, too. Mostly we weep because we know it ends badly — for all of us, ­really, but especially poor Kerouac, who became famous and was blamed in part for the beatniks in Washington Square and the hippies to come. “We gotta get out of NY,” he wrote Ginsberg in 1959, having warned his friend the year before, “Beware of California.” Already the world — a world he helped create — was closing in on him from both sides.

But in the beginning Kerouac’s only claque consisted of his fellow hipsters — among them William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, Gregory Corso and especially Ginsberg, who offered himself as an adoring little brother. It becomes clear while reading “Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters” that, to a remarkable degree, each was dependent on the other for encouragement and advice, and it’s rather astonishing how well founded their mutual regard proved to be. Even before Ginsberg published his masterpiece, “Howl” (1956), Kerouac had predicted that someday his friend would be a “Jewish National Hero”: “Ginsberg will be the name, like Einstein in Science, that the Jews will bring up when they claim pride in Poetry.” And lo, it came to pass. Indeed, the only writer for whom Kerouac had greater expectations was himself, and Ginsberg would learn the hard way that it was best to concur in this. “It’s late for me to say it but I see how much better you are than I,” he wrote Kerouac in 1955, two and a half years after he’d rashly ventured to suggest that a draft of “On the Road”(which Kerouac had likened to “Ulysses”) was “crazy” but “salvageable.” He never made that mistake again. Kerouac blasted back: “Do you think I don’t realize how jealous you are and how you and ­Holmes and Solomon” — their mutual friends John Clellon Holmes and Carl Solomon — “all would give your right arm to be able to write like the writing in ‘On the Road.’ ” He added that he’d like to punch them all “in the kisser,” if not for “too many glasses to take off.”

Ginsberg was contrite, and rightly so, since nobody would benefit from Kerouac’s example more than he. “[It] isn’t writing at all — it’s typing,” Truman Capote remarked, apropos of Kerouac’s having composed “On the Road”via a 120-foot-long roll of tracing paper fed continuously through his typewriter. Inspired by the spontaneity of bebop, Kerouac called his method “blowing” or “sketching,” and was eager, as ever, to explain the matter to Ginsberg: “You just have to purify your mind and let it pour the words (which effortless angels of the vision fly when you stand in front of reality) . . . and slap it all down shameless, willy-nilly, rapidly until sometimes I got so inspired I lost consciousness I was writing.”

As one may surmise from Kerouac’s prose style (epistolary and otherwise), a steady ingestion of drugs was also crucial to the process — primarily Benzedrine to keep the flow going, and marijuana (or, this being the ’50s, “tea”) to keep the angels flying. Ginsberg hipped to that aspect of things, too, and in one letter he describes staring, stoned on peyote, at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, impressed by its ­“Golgotha-robot” visage. “This peyote vision was the original inspiration for Ginsberg’s poem ‘Howl,’ ” the editors, Bill Morgan and David Stanford, gloss in a footnote. “I realize how right you are,” Ginsberg enthused of his breakthrough work, “that was the first time I sat down to blow, it came out in your method, sounding like you, an imitation practically.” Nor did Kerouac’s contribution end there. Not only did he suggest the title (nixing the author’s lame “Strophes”) of what would become perhaps the most famous American poem of the latter 20th century, but he led the cheering when Ginsberg introduced “Howl” to the public with a frenzied reading at the Six Gallery in San Francisco on Oct. 7, 1955.

By then Kerouac had discovered Buddhism, and this is where things begin to get thick for the reader of these letters. Two stoned white guys writing almost exclusively about dhyana and the like — and I can think of no better way to describe the long middle section of this book — are generally interesting only to each other. “Neal begins there is no beginning and end to the world, the karmic ­etheric akasha essence substance vibrating continuously in all the billion universes and our atman-entities rushing around” is a typical passage, the like of which made me wish I had a butler standing behind me exploding paper bags every time I nodded. Given that Kerouac was beginning to drink too much on top of everything else (“because of silly elation, wine and benny, I cannot sit down and practice true dhy­ana”), there is even more of the blowhard grandiosity, too, with Ginsberg supplying the usual indiscriminate applause, in the absence of which we might have been spared “The Dharma Bums” (1958).

Ginsberg, always the more worldly of the two, got a kick out of fame. “What inevitable mad dream of life we’ve turned up,” he wrote Kerouac (once Viking had finally published “On the Road” in 1957), wisely advising his friend, “SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!!!!” Kerouac took this to heart, more or less: he made drunken jazz records with Steve Allen and Norman Granz, and waxed indignant when Sloan Wilson sold his novel “A Summer Place” to the movies for big bucks, whereas Kerouac was getting jerked around by Marlon Brando (who “doesn’t answer letter from greatest writer in America,” he railed, “and he’s only a piddling king’s clown of the stage”). In the end, of course, money was slight consolation for a shy, paranoid man who could scarcely leave his house anymore without being accosted by the beatniks he deplored, and never mind riding rails and hitchhiking and “balling the jack” from one coast to another in Neal Cassady’s 1949 Hudson. What he himself had named the Beat Generation was, he sensed, drifting away from “Buddha kindness” toward rabble-­rousing of the leftist “blood in the street” sort. “I DON’T WANT NOTHIN TO DO WITH POLITICS,” he roared at Ginsberg, whose own Communist sympathies (earning him the moniker “Carlo Marx” in “On the Road”) were more suspect than ever. “You and I and Burroughs and Gregory . . . believe in God and TELL THEM THAT, YELL IT!”

So it went in those sad final years. The last exchange of letters in the present volume is from 1963; five years later Kerouac would appear on “Firing Line,” William F. Buckley Jr.’s television program, bloated and drunk, knocking hippies and explaining the war in Asia as a Vietnamese “plot to get Jeeps into their country.” One year later, at the age of 47, he was dead of cirrhosis. Ginsberg, meanwhile, became a beloved and quite benign public figure, paying tribute to his friend’s memory by helping to found the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colo. A place for those who “burn, burn, burn” with literary vocation just might have pleased Kerouac, whose favorite review of “On the Road” concluded with the words “O I wish I was young again.” That, more than anything, may have been what it was all about.

Blake Bailey is writing a book about Charles Jackson, author of the novel “The Lost Weekend.”
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updated Jack Kerouac collection

lonesome traveler[ edit | delete ]
March 9, 2007 | At: 8:27 PM | Permalink
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[ my mood: exhausted ]
Angelheaded Hipster [01 Mar 2006|04:45pm]


Kerouac collection
King of the Beats[ edit | delete ]
posted 10/29/04 (edited Friday, Oct 29, 2004 07:14)

an old diary entry Friday May 18, 2001 titled Jack Kerouac

Yesterday I was down in the basement library study messing with my Beat Collection-I put in two piles the books with Kerouac in the title or books written by Kerouac here is the list (I love lists)---
"Mexico City Blues [242 Choruses]" by Jack Kerouac
"Lonesome Traveler" A Novel by Jack Kerouac
"Atop an Underwood: Early Stories and Other Writings" by Jack Kerouac
'Jack Kerouac King of the Beats" a biography by Barry Miles
"Good Blonde & Others (the uncollected writings)" by Jack Kerouac
"Kerouac" a biography by Ann Charters
"Desolation Angels" a novel by Jack Kerouac
"Jack Kerouac" a biography by Tom Clark
"Kerouac And The Beats-A Primary Sourcebook" Edited by Arthur and Kit Knight
"Kerouac's Crooked Road: The Development of a fiction" by Tim Hunt foreword by Ann Charters
"Desolation Angel: Jack Kerouac, The Beat Generation And America" a biography by Dennis McNally
"Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac" by Gerald Nicosia
"Jack's Book: An Oral Biography of Jack Kerouac" by Barry Gifford and Lawrence Lee
"The Town And The City" a novel by Jack Kerouac
"On The Road" a novel by Jack Kerouac
"Visions of Cody" a novel by Jack Kerouac
"The Dharma Bums" a novel by Jack Kerouac
"The Spontaneous Poetics of Jack Kerouac: A Study Of The Fiction" by Regina Weinreich
"Jack Kerouac Angelheaded Hipster" by Steve Turner
"Subterranean Kerouac: The Hidden Life of Jack Kerouac" by Ellis Amburn
"Jack Kerouac Selected Letters 1940-1956" Edited by Ann Charters
"Jack Kerouac Selected Letters 1957-1969" Edited by Ann Charters
"Some of the Dharma" by Jack Kerouac

I also have the box set containing all of Kerouac's recordings "The Jack Kerouac Collection"-also Graham Parker reading selections from "Visions of Cody" [Penguin Audiobooks]-and Allen Ginsberg reading Kerouac's "Mexico City Blues".

One of the best things to come out on the life of Kerouac is the "A Jack Kerouac ROMnibus The ultimate multimedia exploration of the Beat Generation [Penguin Electronic]-then there is two CD's I have "Kerouac kicks joy darkness" and "Jack Kerouac reads ON THE ROAD"-there is more coming out by Kerouac-Penguin plans to publish Kerouac's notebooks and a new biography based on the notebooks.

I always found Kerouac an interesting-a tragic figure-well I will close to put away the books-no one is home but me-the house is quiet-the morning goes by-so much on my mind!

TODAY is October 29, 2004
I should add to the above list these books---
"Windblown World: The Journals Of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954" Edited with an Introduction by Douglas Brinkely
"Offbeat Celebrating with Kerouac" by David Amram
"Book Of Dreams" (unedited edition published by City Lights Books) by Jack Kerouac

TODAY is March 1, 2006
I should add to the above list these books---
"Empty Phantoms: Interviews And Encounters With Jack Kerouac" Edited by Paul Maher Jr.
"Conversations with Jack Kerouac" Edited by Kevin J. Hayes
"Departed Angels: Jack Kerouac The Lost Paintings" text by Ed Adler
"Maggie Cassidy" a novel by Jack Kerouac
"Book Of Haikus" by Jack Kerouac Edited And With An Introduction by Regina Weinreich
March 9, 2007
"The Dharma Bums" by Jack Kerouac [Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition] introduction by Ann Douglas

music: Prolapse "Ghosts of Dead Aeroplanes"

It is TODAY December 23, 2007

Yesterday I picked up a new book on Jack Kerouac titled "Beatific Soul: Jack Kerouac on the Road" by Isaac Gewirtz. I could not locate my most recent list of my Jack Kerouac book collection. I do not SEE above these books on my Kerouac List---

"Kerouac, The Word And The Way: Prose Artist As Spiritual Quester" by Ben Giamo

"Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of On the Road (They're Not What You Think)" by John Leland

"On the Road" a novel by Jack Kerouac [50th Anniversary Edition]

"Action Writing: Jack Kerouac's Wild Form" by Michael Hrebeniak

"On The Road: The Original Scroll" by Jack Kerouac

"The Subterraneans and Pic" by Jack Kerouac [with a new Introduction by Ann Douglas]

TODAY is August 31, 2008

"On The Road: The Original Scroll" by Jack Kerouac (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) paperback
"Big Sur" a novel by Jack Kerouac

Today is December 10, 2009
"The Awakener: A Memoir of Kerouac and the Fifties" by Helen Weaver
"Visions of Cody" Jack Kerouac (Penguin Book edition-paperback)
"And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks" A Novel by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs
"Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha" by Jack Kerouac
"The Book Of Sketches" by Jack Kerouac
"Book Of Blues" by Jack Kerouac
"The Subterraneans" by Jack Kerouac (Grove Press Edition-paperback)

music: Sun Kil Moon "April"

The Beats: A Graphic History

"In "The Beats: A Graphic History", those who were mad to live have come back to life through artwork as vibrant as the Beat movement itself. Told by the comic legend Harvey Pekar, his frequent artistic collaborator Ed Piskor, and a range of artists and writers, including the feminist comic creator Trina Robbins and the Mad magazine artist Peter Kuper, The Beats takes us on a wild tour of a generation that, in the face of mainstream American conformity and conservatism, became known for its determined uprootedness, aggressive addictions, and startling creativity and experimentation.

What began among a small circle of friends in New York and San Francisco during the late 1940s and early 1950s laid the groundwork for a literary explosion, and this striking anthology captures the storied era in all its incarnations—from the Benzedrine-fueled antics of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs to the painting sessions of Jay DeFeo’s disheveled studio, from the jazz hipsters to the beatnik chicks, from Chicago’s College of Complexes to San Francisco’s famed City Lights bookstore. Snapshots of lesser-known poets and writers sit alongside frank and compelling looks at the Beats’ most recognizable faces. What emerges is a brilliant collage of—and tribute to—a generation, in a form and style that is as original as its subject."

The Beats