Beat Poets

ALMOST EIGHTEEN WITH HENDRIX & MANTRAS FROM THE BEAT POETS

(A Lengthy Memoir for Family and Interested Friends)

*Scroll down for YouTube Video

Well-meaning promises girlfriends make

When almost eighteen

Trip to Greenwich Village

Four dollars a night room

Oozing weed, house on fire

Herbs inspire

We vowed

To stay together

When meeting guys

If one doesn’t like hers

Move on to the next

Together…

 

Seemed like thousands of hippies

In search of the music

(and weed)

(and sex)

Took over the streets of

MacDougal and Bleecker

Almost eighteen

Lovely lasses, although

I wouldn’t realize that until

Reaching old age

Two guys hitting on us

Not sure if we used that expression

Back then

I liked mine, she didn’t, moved on

Another two guys

Same thing

 

 

She liked the third pair

But I didn’t

Sorry, says she, I want him

Hated his friend

I just wasn’t existential enough

To like someone who bluntly said,

“I want to f*ck you”

Come on man, I think

Lie a little

Reach into your bag of romantic words

Say you can really love me, or something

Because the truth is

I’m a virgin at almost eighteen

 

 

We’re now at the Café Wha

Begging her, saying, “You promised”

“Oh please,” says she, “I think he’s the one.

Go find another, the place is crawling with guys”

Walking around alone

Meeting interesting possibilities

Watching a band set up

Black man with electric guitar

Electric guitar?

Isn’t this a folk music club?

What?

Or should I say

Wha?

 

He twangs

We roll our eyes

Continue talking

Noise level bursting

My not-known-at-the-time

Autistic brain

But suddenly

The guitar

The voice

OMG, I mean, Groovy

Fog of silence muffles the audience

Only the voice

Only the guitar

“What’s his name?” I whisper

To the enthralled guy next to me

“Hendrix, the sign outside said,

Jimi Hendrix”

Heaven must have sent you from above

Jimi Hendrix…

 

So then the set is over

And I just want to be alone

With my thoughts

And the electric sound

That I swore I’d never listen to

Again

I leave the Café Wha

Never understanding left from right

Find myself on the edge of

The Bowery

An Edward Hopper Nighthawkish

Coffee shop

Not hip like a coffee house

Counter the only place to

Drink stale, black coffee

Wow, I think

Looking around

Everyone is male

Everyone is beaten down

Hazed in alcoholic poverty

Can’t even claim to hear

The Beatles singing

“All the lonely people”

Because they’re still singing

“Yeah, yeah, yeah songs”

That’s how long ago it was

 

 

Eyes drawn to the window

Neon-lit sign

Backwards, blinking

Holy sh*t! my mind exclaims

Bickford’s!

I’m sinking all night

In submarine light

At Bickford’s

Paraphrase of Ginsberg’s Howl

Is it my karma to relive

All the sad songs and poetry

Of the universe…?

 

 

Outside again, lost in the dark

But manage to find

Fourteenth Street & Seventh Avenue

Roaches on the walls

Lonely weed smoke in the halls

Shove my stuff into a duffle

Leave a note for the friend

Manage to find the subway

After a conversation with, I’m sure,

A serial killer who wants to take me home

Three in the morning

Subway roaring

Greyhound Terminal

(didn’t Ginsberg write a poem about that too?)

Two hours later

A new dawn in Philly

Just another day in the life of

A lonely teenager…

 

(for a continuation, see my poem Screw You Universe written previously)  https://poeturja.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/screw-you-universe-another-memoir-apology/

 

 

YouTube video (this song not recorded until 2 years after the action of the poem but I like the Hendrix-Dylan mix)  https://youtu.be/TLV4_xaYynY

 

© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)

IMAGE: Café Wha 1966 NY Daily News

 

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACK KEROUAC

“The world you see is just a movie in your mind.

Rocks dont see it.

Bless and sit down.

Forgive and forget.

Practice kindness all day to everybody

and you will realize you’re already

in heaven now.

That’s the story.

That’s the message.

Nobody understands it,

nobody listens, they’re

all running around like chickens with heads cut off

I will try to teach it but it will

be in vain, s’why I’ll

end up in a shack

praying and being

cool and singing

by my woodstove

making pancakes.”

 

 

BURROUGHS & THE ART OF CUTUP WRITING

 

So, been unable to write a poem

For three days

Managed a Haiku

About the desertion of my Muse

If I put my mind to it

Could come up with a Cinquain

Then I came across this video by

William S. Burroughs, Beat poet

One of my heroes in the 60’s

(How odd, I talk about the 60’s

And now I’m in my 60’s

Time confuses me…)

Anyway, loved the line in

Allen Ginsberg’s “America”

Where he says:

“Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister”

Used to mumble that line in my OCD way

Wondering why he wouldn’t come back

Why it was sinister

So where was I?

Oh, yeah, Burroughs

And the art of cut-up writing

Based on Dadaist art:

Cut up words from a newspaper

Place in bag

Gently mix

Pull out words

Copy them in that order

New Poem!

Or do what Burroughs did:

Use your own poetry to cut up and recompose

Well, who actually buys a newspaper anymore?

Had to print out something but

Hadn’t replaced my cartridge in a long time

So did that

But then I needed scissors to cut out the words

I buy scissors at the dollar store

And they really aren’t made for carefully cutting

Out precious words (from my poems)

Or agenda-based words (from online newspapers)

But I did it, raggedy edges and all

Didn’t like the look of it

So went to my favorite random number generator

Copied a series of numbers

Matched them alphabetically

Here’s what I got,

Here’s the first line of my new poem:

A negative doctor negated Jane’s hemorrhage

(I hate double negatives

Always screwed up my IQ tests)

Well, maybe that would have worked as a poem

Back in the Beat days, or even the Hippie ones

Maybe it would still work for a young poet

But me? I think I’ll accept the message

That my Muse returned, temporarily

And is taunting me

Burroughs may be in Tangiers

But I’m in Dadaist hell

And it’s sinister…

http://www.openculture.com/2011/08/william_s_burroughs_on_the_art_of_cutup_writing.html

(C) 2014 ViataMaja, Laminas

JACK KEROUAC QUOTE

“The world you see is just a movie in your mind.

Rocks dont see it.

Bless and sit down.

Forgive and forget.

Practice kindness all day to everybody

and you will realize you’re already

in heaven now.

That’s the story.

That’s the message.

Nobody understands it,

nobody listens, they’re

all running around like chickens with heads cut off

I will try to teach it but it will

be in vain, s’why I’ll

end up in a shack

praying and being

cool and singing

by my woodstove

making pancakes.”

Jack Kerouac, author of On The Road

Letter to Edie Kerouac Parker, 1957

(Brain Pickings Weekly)