Dance Hall Racket

Troubled but inspirational comedian Lenny Bruce wrote this B-movie in 1953 and stars in it with his real-life wife Honey Harlow. The cast of this film warrant their own interesting bios here, but you can dig around for yourself. The movie is not a masterpiece, but it gives a taste of the seedy nightlife of post-war America.

Bomb

Bomb ~ by Gregory Corso, 1958

 

Budger of history       Break of time       You       Bomb

Toy of universe       Grandest of all snatch-ed sky       I cannot hate you

Do I hate the mischievous thunderbolt       the jawbone of an ass

The bumpy club of One million B.C.       the mace       the flail       the axe

Catapult Da Vinci      tomahawk Cochise       flintlock Kidd       dagger Rathbone

Ah and the sad desperate gun of Verlaine       Pushkin       Dillinger       Bogart

And hath not St. Michael a burning sword       St. George a lance       David a sling

Bomb       you are not as cruel as man makes you       and you’re erueller than cancer

All man hates you       they’d rather die by car crash       lightning       drowning

Falling off a roof       electric-chair       heart-attack       old age       old age       O Bomb

They’d rather    die   by  anything  but you       Death’s finger is free lance

Not up to man whether you boom or not       Death has long since distributed its

categorical blue       I sing thee bomb       Death’s extravagance       Death’s jubilee

Gem of death’s supremest blue       The flyer will crash       his death will differ

with the climber who’ll fall       To die by cobra is not to do by bad pork

Some die by swamp       some by sea       and some by the bushy-haired man in the night

O there are like Witches of Arc        Scare-y deaths like Boris Karloff

No-feeling deaths like birth-death     sadless deaths like old pain Bowery

Abandoned deaths       like Capital Punishment       stately deaths, like senators

And unthinkable deaths like Harp Marx       girls on Vogue covers       my own

I do not know just how horrible Bomb-death is       I can only imagine

Yet no other death I know has so laughable a preview       I scope

a city       New York City       streaming       stark-eyed       subway shelter

Scores and scores       A fumble of humanity       High heels bend

Hats whelming away       Youth forgetting their combs

Ladies and knowing what to do       with their shopping bags

Unperturbed gum machines       Yet dangerous 3rd rail

Ritz Brothers      from the Bronx      caught in the A train

The smiling Schenley poster will always smile

Impish Death       Satyr Bomb       Bombdeath

Turtles exploding over Istanbul

The jaguar’s flying font

soon to sink in arctic snow

Penguins plunged against the Sphinx

The top of the Empire State

arrowed in a broccoli field in Sicily

Eiffel shaped like a C in Magnolia Gardens

St. Sophia peeling over Sudan

O athletic Death       Sportive Bomb

The temples of ancient times

their grand ruin erased

Electrons       Protons       Neutrons

gathering Hesperean hair

walking the dolorous gulf of Already

joining marble helmsmen

entering the final ampitheater

with a hymnody feeling of all Troys

heralding cypressean torches

racing plumes and banners

and yet knowing Homer with a step of grace

Lo the visiting team of Present

the home team of Past

Lyre and tuba together joined

Hark the hotdog soda olive grape

gala galaxy robbed and uniformed

commissary      O the happy stands

Ethereal root and cheer and boo

The billioned all-time attendance

the Zeusian pandemonium

Hermes racing Owens

the Spitball of Buddha

Christ striking out

Luther stealing third

Planetarium Death       Hosannah Bomb

Gush the final rose       O Spring bomb…

Come with thy gown of dynamite green

unmenace Nature’s inviolate eye

Before you the wimpled Past

behind you the hallooing Future       O Bomb

Bound in the grassy clarion air

like the fox of the tally-ho

thy field the universe thy hedge the geo

Leap Bomb       bound Bomb       frolic zig and zag

The stairs a swarm of bees in thy binging bag

Stick angels on your jubilee feet

wheels of rainlight on your bunky seat

You are due and behold you are due

and the heavens are with you

hosannah incalescent glorious liaison

BOMB o havoc antiphony molten cleft BOOM

 

 

To be Cont’d…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Angel-headed Hipsters longing for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night…”~ Ginsberg *it’s the only way I can describe this feeling, when you feel it you know.

Diane di Prima was found by accident both artistically and literally when I started mooning over Jack:  image002

Ginsberg grew on  me due to the sheer epic, humorous, and heartening quality of Howl.  But back to the beginning, to Jack:

It wasn’t his rugged good looks that only drew me in, it was the vibe he had that I also felt when I walked down the alleyways of North Beach, passing the Italian cafes and old men smoking outside, burlesque houses, with their live bands and comedians, the sex shows, the drag queens on their way to Finocchio’sFinocchiosad_1944_tatteredandlost601d4bdde98addf58cfb06b210f0df0dheading up to the higher, more tiny side of Grant St. and  dipping into what was left of the Beat generation tucked in a corner of 1980’s San Francisco. They were older, but they still painted, wrote, sat in Trieste and the Savoy, talking politics and all things literary, moth-eaten 60’s and 70’s who smelled of linseed oil and brandy if they were lucky, sat with us tiny children, all of 15, 16, 17 years old, playing pool all day and night for the price of a coffee. They wanted to know what we thought about, what we were reading, what did we want to know about their past, they would smoke joints on the top of the hill and tell us. I felt this same vibe when I looked at Jack, when I first read his books, skimming them all here and there in the stacks of City Lights. He was these people but when they were young and hot. I had yet to embrace or really know the tragedies that lay beneath the surface, I wanted to know them all and accepted him and all of them no matter how rough the ride was getting. I went through and read each book finally, deciding that Good Blonde and others was a favorite due to the picture-perfect moment he painted for me of his night in the New York cafeteria and the freedom he felt jumping into the convertible with the blonde.

Moving on to Burroughs, how did these two even connect, Jack and Bill,  (I would find out that significance later) after reading the homoerotic opium dreamscape that was Burroughs…

Naked_Lunch_Burroughs_Feature_original882090865-Burroughs_William_Tell_newspaper_2

The dark horses, deep in drug addled, hustler mode, the tails that Allen Ginsberg rode in on with his young, wide-open mind…

allen-ginsberg.joan-vollmer-burroughs

Joan Vollmer & Herbert Huncke, NYC 1940’s,

 

Huncke growing Marijuana on Burroughs’ farm in Texas, 1947

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Would beat life ever have been tangy, as acrid, as lengthy of a sillage without him, he turned them on and kept the crazy train moving….could “Howl” ever have been written without Huncke?

Neal Cassady, the sun that they all revolved around for some time……..the most compelling, rugged, harlot of a muse. Hard sweating crushes write the best words…

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Poems of Corso, religiously loving his bittersweet poem about hair and the loss of it…in the bigger and sadder collection about death.

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I needed more and wanted to see pictures, pouring over any archival stories loving the vivid life of them all, squatting in Paris and using the phone book for toilet paper, drinking wine and fucking around, they were so punk, more punk than the kids in my high school, more interesting than the punks in the bands, they were deep, their words rang like fine instruments, paintings, sculptures and sex.

This was me, I was a traveler, a gypsy, sometimes intentionally , sometimes not, sometimes verging on criminality, but always a good person, an artist living eventually in the East Village, I never knew if I followed them or if I just was akin to their instincts, it felt right and they were always there to comfort me, to tell a story that made my madness make sense, and kept me focused on my passions: art, dance, literature, film, travel, altered states and spiritual hunger.

Bob Kaufman: Bob_Kaufman

 

Diane came later, when had to know even more and read a long biography of Jack. Their bungled rendezvous felt so visceral and honest. She was always trying to make her voice known to me, and when I started to read only her, it was a voice that was shaped by her experience of looking at these men from a certain viewpoint, yes she had an interlude with Jack, wine-drunk, late night things happened, but most of the women in their world were set apart, only to resurface when needed, the mothers of their children, the other woman, the convenient crash pad. Diane was a wanderer who mingled less attached and yet with a force of a modern dancer who also used her words as an instrument.  I could also count on that and my body which I threw into space daily, all attempts at fine-tuned machinery while maintaining our kingdom on the fringes of society. Diane got that. She was angular, she was what I felt, and not what I was being conditioned to think I should be.

diprima_jones_cedar

I admired and envied her, not really her talent, though she is a fine voice but that she lived in a world for most of her life, not half, like me, where you had to make the effort on paper with pens and typing with a ribbon, sending letter after letter tinged with oils and coffee and tears, to get to the person that would bring it a new life or answer your questions. She had to be out and walking, feeling the forces around her, this slipped from my existence more and more when the digital age came, but strangely it did not hinder her coming to me. Diane was nearby. I kept touching paper, kept using pens, and she arrived, openly welcomed I suddenly was, why I don’t know, but I felt excitement and realized that despite her stories, her work, she was unknown, her true feelings, what she does with her self. I needed to know more, I would try my best.

**** to be continued