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Women of the Beat

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WOMEN

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WOMEN
The Writers,
Artists

of the

and Muses at the Heart of a Revolution

BRENDA KNIGHT

Foreword by ANNE
Afterword by

WALDMAN

ANN CHARTERS

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Suite All Rights Reserved. PS508. Women and literature United States. 2. Berkeley.Copyright foreword © 1996 by Brcnda Knight © 1996 by Anne Waldman afterword © 1996 Ann Charters No part of this 2550 Ninth book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without Street. 1. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Women of the Beat generation : the writers. p. American literature 20th century. 5. Beat generation Literary collections. 6. written permission. Brenda. 7. . 1958- — — — — — — — — I. 4. ISBN 1-57324-061-3 3. artists and muses at the heart of a revolution / edited by Brenda Knight. cm. Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo photos of Diane di Prima copyright James O. Women artists United States Biography. 4. Mitchell of ruth weiss copyright Scot Runyon courtesy of Janine Pommy Vega courtesy of Hettie Jones courtesy of Anne Waldman copyright C. 101. American literature Women authors. Women authors. foreword by Anne Waldman. and 2. Snyder of Mary Fabilli courtesy of Ann Charters courtesy of Carolyn Cassady © © © All acknowledgments of permission to reprint previously published material can this be found on pp 355- 358.R. 3. 5. CA 94710. 8. which constitute an extension of copyright page. Includes bibilographic references and index. afterword by Ann Charters. American 20th century Biography. Knight. 6. Conari Press books are distributed by Publishers Group West ISBN: 1-57324-061-3 Cover Design: Rex Ray Cover Background Photo: Rex Ray 12 3 |[T]H 9 1 . 9. except in the case of brief quotations in critical articles or reviews. contact: Conari Press. For information.W7W585 810.80928709045—dc20 1996 96-9237 Printed in the United States of America on recycled paper 10 987654321 .

.To Robert Kent Leffler who encouraged me to Leslie to pursue my vision Fish I and Rossman and Nancy who kept me going when I didn't think could.

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39 The Muses. 125 . 47 Joan VoUmer Adams Burroughs: Calypso Stranded. 60 Anne Murphy. 117 di Prima: Poet Priestess. 9 A Life at the End of the World. 50 Helen Hinkle. 87 Gabrielle "Memere" Kerouac. Sisters. Jane Bowles: 7 Helen Adam: Bardic Matriarch. Saints ix and Sibyls: Women and the Beat. 1 The Precursors.5 Contents Foreword by Anne Waldman. 123 Barbara Guest. 57 LuAnne Henderson. 25 Madeline Gleason: True Born Poet. 18 Use Klapper. 88 Eileen Kaufman: Keeper of the Flame. 64 Edie Parker Kerouac: Stella First Mate. 52 Carolyn Cassady: Karmic Grace. 103 The Writers. Mary Diane Fabilli: I 1 Farmer's Daughter. 78 Joan Haver ty Kerouac: Nobody's Wife. 29 Josephine Miles: Mentor to a Revolution. 76 Sampas. 49 Vickie Russell.

343 Acknowledgments. 244 Mary Norbert Brenda Frazer: Korte: Redwood Mama Alchemist. 279 Activist. 214 223 Pommy Vega: John. 269 Lenore Kandel: Word Anne Waldman: Fast Speaking Woman. 321 Joan Brown: Painter and Prodigy. 141 Joyce Johnson: Hettie Jones: Billie A True Good Heart. 335 Appendix: Lists of Collected Works. 257 Transformed Genius. 331 Ann Charters. 353 Permissions Acknowledgments. 327 Gui de Angulo. 355 Index.9 1 Elise Cowen: Beat Alice. 287 Jan Kerouac: The Next Generation. 309 Natalie Jackson. 167 Mother Jones. 186 Sister. 205 Joanna McClure: West Coast Janine Villager. Elsie ruth weiss: The Survivor. 225 Lyric Adventurer. 3 1 Jay DeFeo: The Rose. 241 Aya Tarlow. 359 . Joanne Kyger: Dharma Denise Levertov: Fortune's Favorite. 328 Worthy Beat Women: Recollection by Ted Afterword by Joans. 183 197 Holiday. 3 1 The Artists.

fighting against — in these pages —were — the constraints of cul- ture.Foreword by Anne Waldman a teenager Is exiles and aspiring writer in the 1960s I looked to creative female compeers. A brilliant. children and need to conform. and most norm. family. always deferring to to raise the dead! Sikelianos as the greater He was He was known who Never a mind owed his sexual exploits and rampant egoism! My mother had regretted she been raised by wid- invalid. World War classical She found herself a part of a revival lively bohemian circle and helped mount the Greek of plays in Delphi under the tutelage of her energetic mother-in-law Eva Palmer Sikelianos. rades and role models among both elders and Of course there were the earlier examples of Gertrude Stein and social pressures HD — brilliant writers who chose to cultures be from the of their own and were able intellectual to manage their creative lives abroad. Or Marianne Moore relationship —quirky with a disciplined mind whose most intense I was with her mother. feeling she had been distracted by marriage. ity education and often dwelling in the twilight of a "great" man's personal- or career. restless. Yet so many of the women knew like many of the women represented and conjured more troubled characters driven. Lives that exacted an emotional and psychological extent. Eva herself feminist and lesbian persuasion artist. but difficult. a passionate Christian Scientist had not the requisite strength to be a missionary in Africa. — — although part of the Nathalie Barney a god! circle of lived in her husband's shadow. Later toll. sensitive lot —not unlike my own at mother who had dropped out of Vassar College her freshman year. marrying age nineteen the son of cel- ebrated Greek poet Anghelos Sikelianos and living abroad a decade before II. my mother struggled with her And remained unfulfilled to a certain own lack of confidence as a writer and a a societal translator. Not exactly thwarted lives these definitively outside the womens' by any means. desperate. She was a fierce autodidact yet panicked on her deathbed she had not IX .

who had serious eating disorders. on the entire planet. Socio-politi- economic. mostly from the lower-middle and predominantly white. Afflictions seem greater culture. Some committed suicide. Has all that much really changed. one might be tempted to ask? She had suffered an intellectual. vital. or women who got sent away to mental hospitals or special schools because they'd taken a black lover. We benefited from the examples and assertive before us. This anthology — a collection of hagiographies and writers by and about an . applauded. environmental. Certainly the feminist movement is has advanced the "cause" of women. There were casualties among the men as well. however. many of us fell into the same retroBeing dominated by relationships with men letting our own talents lag. It is in certain interests. Who never felt they owned or could appreciate their own bodies. and on the other hand the advice to appease men didn't want you to be smarter than they were. available. as — result in I drug dependencies. albeit a problematic one. And the contemporary literary scene extremely strong and amount of brilliant. this greater liberty It writing An unprecedented by women is being now behooves us to look at the antecedents for of expression.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION scientist. And so on. who stole for their boyfriends. New following their lead alienation —which could friends. in my experience. but not. cal. to now on the whole keep women down and silenced. The subject is a convolutional one. I knew women in daily therapy because their fathers had abused them. knew women living secret or double lives because love and sexual desire for another woman was anathema. painful abortions. from family and remember my mother cautioning me not to be too "easy" with their egos! men on the one hand. I knew interesting creative women who became junkies for their boyfriends. who concealed their unwanted pregnancies raising money for abortions on their own or who put the child up for adoption. who slept around to be popular. who concealed their poetry and artistic aspirations. I Yes and no. trials of young women who had struggled to be creative and artistic and we were certainly aware of the exciting York City environs and yet and liberal heritage of our grade traps. imaginative and highly experimental recognized. Some ran away from home. karmic. studied or accomplished enough ("1 should have been a An anthropologist? Something!"). as legion. I grew up in Greenwich Village and class my closest friends were an "arty" bunch.

to the lives of these women. primarily. mutually informed circumstance on individuals existing in proximity ^yet is not necessarily intimates — to create a larger cultural context for action and art. shining. For what comes through lonely is the scaring often poignant hint or glimpse of an original — tangible intellectus it — — often a bright. This book is testament. I've always appreciated ethnologist Clifford Geertz's notion of "consociates. lest they be ignored or forgotten. Carolyn Cassady. There an extremely vibrant twinge to the occasions noted. And these very particular "voices" as were form in unison a stimulating and energetic forcefield of consciousness that manifested at a rich and difficult time in cultural history. former Catholic nun who became an environmental activist in the 1970s. recorded literature in these pages and refined into by a range of folk very I've much on their own to time cycles yet intersecting at crucial moments. Brenda Frazer. be the strongest literary genre by the there is always considered the memoir women of the so-called is Beat generation. The already known and acknowledged poets soar Helen Adam. It takes into consideration the influences of time. in parallel time. and how the various women —interwove and — —of both men and on the inter- —was going dovetailed with one other. spanning half a century. others. in a sense. For. There are lesser known illuminati. Kaufman. the a historical viability and narrative to this women were often present as the most observant and sober witnesses Eileen — see the selections by Joyce Johnson." a useful paradigm that touches connectedness of shared and experienced realities. place. a necessary reckoning. Josephine Miles. Mary Fabilli. But here we may be privy to what —what lives "other" on at the same time. eager mind. suffered. Disturbing glimpses of Joan Vollmer Adams — — Burroughs. Denise Lever tov. in fact. Janine Pommy Vega to name a few. Joanne Kyger among others. elegant language inhabits a shaky yet sharp sensibility: XI . such as the poet Mary Norbert Korte. Diane di Prima. Real surprises in the work by Elise Cowen. have gotten most of the credit movers and shakers of the "Beat" else movement. tragic misfit with her "diffident sulky air. Hettie Jones. But the quintessential "rasa" or taste often captured by the diaristic accounts which substantially strengthen and give collection. as the The men." A quirky. although also memorable poetry by major poets included of that historical period here. Interesting that it comes at the millennium as if there is.Foreword: Anne Waldman astonishing array of women — is a kind of resurrection. literary yes.

five death "Madeline died of despair. see this book as opening the field of an extraordinary unsung legacy. Anne Waldman The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied July 1996 Poetics XII . the suffering. sick — dies alone in a nursing life in a home. feminist literary critics. as well. years. compendium of lore. other poets and writers to take heed of this rich serious creative endeavor. I and broken at the end of her hospital run by am struck by the remark of Mary Greer. reigning time for cultural historians. The portraits that crystallize are quite haunting. dignity of these I lives. nuns in Spain. difficulty. Jane Bowles. literary history. Madeline Gleason's lover and companion of twenty. Helen Adam brilliant Scots balladeer who could chant in the voice of an Amsterdam prostitute: — A spangled garter A candle flame my only clothing in my hand also alone. end for her identity and what she considered her giant of the Beat literary It is rightful legacy as the daughter of Jack Kerouac. critical theorists. Cowen jumped out a window to her death in 1962 at the age of twenty-nine. what all who said on Gleason's poets die of" True now as well for writer Jan fighting until the Kerouac. dead this past month of kidney failure movement. and and And to acknowledge.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Emily white witch of Amherst The sly white witch of Amherst Killed her teachers with her love I'd rather mine entomb my mind Or Elise best that soft grey dove.

with rare exception. who in the 1960s. would question every assumption that limited and begin the long. "the The women of the Beat Generation. this book was born with a desire to share the of brilliance and beauty of these women. The Bruce had a choke hold on consciousness. and soon in bookstores covered a motherlode of writing before had never seen and curriculums wealth — Beat women! And fifties thus. they stayed under- ground. When. escaped the eye of the camera. . term dis- ended. writing." — This book came about after a ^Joyce Johnson modern poetry class I took from if ever it the venerable Michael I Krasny. an informed and inspiring teacher to that class every there was one. when a young woman's home was no women's lives longer an issue. the industrial age in at its most in- sidiously rote and conformist. call us transitional —a bridge to the right to leave next generation. the energy I and raw passion. and continue to be some of its most prolific writers. even after all these years. lively. The Beats were the only game only revolution going on at the time. saw how. I hungered for more Beat writing. They were instrumental in the tion. as journalist Cook says. looked forward Wednesday night because I was so When we came to the Beat writsadly. lively sometimes meant heated. literary legacy of the Beat Genera- however. never-to-be-completed work of transform- ing relationships with men. the Beats." town or.Sisters. ing could set off sparks and had such power to move people. Saints and Sibyls Women and the Beat Brenda Knight "If you want to understand Beat women.

and jazz musicians in Chicago. and consisted of many people. a game with no rules. For those many cases. who typed Kaddish Memoirs of Allen Ginsberg. and Buddhism. from pre-Beat lished. that radiated out from certain places in America. it was for erotica for a Beatnik in her —not her Cowen. prose. saying. literature. The women included Cassady and Jan Kerouac in this anthology run the gamut from the famous — to the as yet undiscovered —Mary —Carolyn their Fabilli and Helen Adam. writer article for the John Clellon Holmes. The Beats helped make literature a democracy. The art. I have of collected works of each also included a list woman in the appendix of this book. was own and prolific poet whose work has never been published until now.— WOMEN This book is Of the BEAT GENERATION who participated in a revolution that forever a collection of women changed the landscape of American poetry was buttoned up tight. considered by many to be the arche- woman. and poetry to. new work that has never before been pubreaders who want a fuller experience of these talented females. not the attention of the mass media. started her own press rather than wait for a publisher to come knocking. invoking Catholicism. Beat was first when Times Square hustler and writer Herbert Huncke picked up the phrase from carnies. and the literary world was never the same. "I guess you might say we're Beat Generation" when talking to his friend. they believed. Huncke used to explain his "exalted exhaustion" of a beyond a the edge. was passion and a love of the written word. respectively. . who used it to describe the "beaten" condition it of worn-out travelers for life whom home lived was the road. All you needed. Toward the end of his life. typal Beat of whom received Diane di Prima. primarily all New York City and San Francisco. Before the late forties and early fifties. the Prufrockian ennui and weltschmerz of Eliot gave way to Beat vision and word coined jazz. who in- cluded the quote in an New York Times Magazine. small-time crooks. Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg further refined the concept as "beatific" and containing a spiritual aspect. William Blake. a splash of cold water in the face of a complacent society. in selected represent the range and development of work. As the movement spread. Kerouac explained that he was really just a Catholic mystic all along. Elise right a strong finally did pursue her. Jack Kerouac took it one step further. When a major house poetry. Beat was a countercultural phenomenon.

made poetry. Postwar America was the most powerful nation in the world. where they caught the attention of millions who were similarly disenchanted with the American myth. Women of the Beat weren't afraid to They were compassionate. man or woman. marching to a different . In many ways. chorus of individuality and freedom. made mistakes.Sisters. at for living a life of creativ- of confining to the occasional this hour the symphony. in this The women way to anthology were talented rebels with enough courage and cre- ative spirit to turn their backs on "the good life" the fifties promised and forge their San Francisco and Greenwich Village. Puritan obsession with work and this perfection. careless. and the would choose richest. fifties in Women of the particular were supposed to conform like Jell-O to a mold. after years of struggling in obscurity. For the most part. the Beats helped the Silent Generation find a voice and paved the way for the explosion of the sixties. pride. highly irregular. charismatic. restless. made history. to live marginally. being Beat women was far more attractive than staying chained to a brand-new kitchen appliance. get dirty. women of the Beat were cut from the same cloth as the men: Helen fearless. too smart. angry. they dared to attempt to create Korte. these women made their own way. perseverance and timing conjoined to catapult the Beats into the public eye. Adam and Madeline Gleason. From Sister Mary Norbert who left the convent to be a Beat poet under the tutelage of Denise Levertov. Nothing could be more romantic than joining boredom. leaving behind and conformity. safety. Or so it seemed. the liberal arts educations these young women were given created ity instead a natural predilection for art it and poetry. not first everyone in America shared to very vocally swaggering posture. In a very real sense. As it turns out. to of their own. made love. lives Long before the second wave of femi- nism. in the seemingly idealized America of comfort and anyone. bustling with industry. There was only one option: to be a housewife and mother. The Beats were simply the and artistically decry American materialism and conformity. Toward the end of the decade. co-founders of the San Francisco Poetry Festival. to struggle and oppose. Saints and Sibyls To place their accomplishments in context. capital. high risk. fifties' it is important to understand why. They took chances. For the profiled here.

Immediately prior to the raw. Muses who birthed that it raw and new and spells. unvarnished confessional writing of the Beats was a different breed of poet. Joyce Johnson and parental expectations. William Carlos Williams and the Imagists were. taking them with her to ashrams. whose vision whom curing the disease of art kills. to easy. But though they were Hettie Jones' biracial marriage and children were a scandal even in wich Village. Poet Charles Olson went to Black Mountain after the eminently . and prose didn't spontaneously generate lay claim to it. Ezra Pound. and on the road VW van for a cross-country reading tour. was shocking to their wealthy. and lifestyles. the form. especially younger writers. The Black Mountain College in North Carolina was founded in the wake of this "liberated arts" movement by a group of brilliant individuals and boasted a worldclass faculty —Charles Olson. to bear go on the road was doubly shocking for condemnation was high. Others married Cowen fled woman. example. In —HD and Ezra Pound —changed and freed the course of poetry from strict formalism. they were very concerned with encouraging other poets. many literary precursors would not dare and The Beats themselves are quick to name their inspiration. their literary matched revolutionary. and often found themselves in trouble for unpopular politics. full of power changed the world. out of step. but in an utterly unortho- dox manner. Like the Beats to come. Joan VoUmer Adams' common-law marriage to William Burroughs. loosened the corsets. —although HD (Hilda Stein. Merce Cunningham. artist Robert Rauschenberg. albeit embraced by academia. Elise a poet. unrepentantly individual and beyond the ken of their peers. Artists for whose stories bind. to in a Timothy Leary's psychedelic com- munity in Millbrook. art. several names come up consistently: Doolittle).WOMEN Off the BEAT GENERATION a poetry so drummer. Beat poetry. a an artist. so to speak. but prophetic in the cryptic. Gertrude particular. William Carlos Williams. upper-class families. and musician John Cage. poetics. like the Beats. blunted free verse and experimentalism with style from haiku to rant. New York's Greenwork. and social respectable homes and for and raised families. the Imagist poets and Emily Dickinson. a liberated artist. Writers whose words weave blinds. causing irrevocable Their iconoclastic lifestyle rifts with her parents. Walt Whitman. Diane di Prima raised five children. Such nonconformity was not biracial children. To be unmarried.

is very different from that of the what they all have in common first is a reaction to tell and a rebellion against rigidity. raw. There. it must be immecameras and in the Beat is is an expulsion. Beat is underground. or the judgment of critics. and the cultural desert of the sixt)'-hour work week. Olson. where he encountered and encouraged such mavericks Helen Adam as and Madeline Gleason with whom he kick-started the poetry movement to known the San Francisco Renaissance. Meanwhile Greeley and the others went New York. sanitized. a favorite Beat gathering place. the New poetry scene erupted — as depicted here in the memoirs of Hettie Jones. to a certain degree. to grow? Each of these women offers her own answer to rents. and Robert Duncan took an antiacademic stance on poetry and belief that the energy the poet transfers to the writing is propounding the more im- portant than form. shockit be refined. Ironically. Sensationalism and mass success. —with constant readings. to offer in the way of courage and They were the creative The women of the Beat are the epitome of cool. the black-stockinged . providing one of the two poles Mounto tain diaspora upon the demise of Black Mountain College. but all agree that. To pretty up for the papers to snuff the very essence of Beat. performances. been ignored and marginalized. second-guessed. far Why is in a from dying down. the Beat credo has much identity of the individual. Call Me Ishmael. Beat can't diate. Although the writing and philosophy of these Beat progenitors Beats. a vomiting of vision. Greeley. they represent the little it precious of that which remains truly Beat. Jack Kerouac would be the to you that the mainstream and the media its were the death of the Beat Generation. time of skyrocketing mass layoffs. very which is Beat. because the women move- ment have. by nature. continues this question. unedited. showings. premeditated. salons. including a cadre that would soon be York art-and- known as the Beats. that the fascination with the Beats. Robert Duncan went as San Francisco. content.sisters. and Joyce Johnson plays. Robert literature. for the Black and happenings. often to be found at the Gedar Tavern. parties. pure. after the A few years antiacademy movement emerged. Diane di Prima. negates that ing. This stance attracted legions of young artists to the Black Mountain oeuvre. Saints and Sibyls successful publication of his Melville study.

women once are sisters. these in his life. and our culture and some of the best minds of the Beat Generation. Jack Kerouac." WOMEN hipsters. Of the BEAT GENERATION who helped change our their renegade artists. . is beside that of the men. "The truth of the matter fault. intellectual muses. and gypsy poets culture forever. To the Beat men. we blame them and an opportunity to literature. it's all our Women ofthe Beat Generation as finally understand these as women important figures in our our history. saints. who had many women is said. and work stands and sibyls. They were feminist before the word was coined. Read on. we don't understand our women.

THE PRECURSORS .

William S. in New York City. Burroughs. and Paul Bowles against the back wall. 8 . Pat. Reverse: Expat literati in Tangier: Jane Bowles.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Helen Adam and her sister.

a reincarnated bard to a By the age of twenty." The book was met with enthusiasm." — Although she ing poets is from San Francisco's Burning almost a generation older than most of the others in Women ofthe Beat Generation. the child "talked to her dolls in rhyme. weaving an uneasy spell. She was writing ballads soon she could. Folksingers. according the book's foreword. She stories would tell them of fairies and flowers all clothed in beautiful language and in faultless rhythm. Helen was born in Glasgow. up behind the listener. impressed by the power of her public readings. A talking woman man. and Helen was hailed as having "an extraordi- nary sense and handling of rhythm and rhyme" with a "perfect ear and a delicate . There she was hailed as a as prodigy for her as uncanny ability to read at the age of two. when. Hodder and Stoughton. Scotland. some it claimed. she mystified the younger poets by staying true to the ballad lorm. During the her performances in in a light San Francisco were great happenings during which she chanted her poetry Scottish brogue that crept poets. Helen had published three books of poetry with a major English press. was so magical could cause a mist to rise in the air. Her first book. who would all later known Godmother and matriarch of the San Francisco Renaissance.Helen Adam likes a silent Bardic Matriarch (1909-1992) "Be quiet. and artists were influenced by the haunting burr of her voice which. The Elfin Pedlar. was published when she was fourteen years old to and includes 120 ballads composed from the time she was two. but who knew her were struck by her unique vision of the world and fifties. Helen Adam be was an important influence on the up-and-comas the Beats. and many superstitious Scots considered her everything from witch's changeling.

but to study as Helen quickly formed with Robert a relationship of creative inspiration and mutual support Duncan and his lover. For Helen Adam. away from the and notoriety her prodigality created. often under the stage name Pixy Pool. arriv- ing in San Francisco in 1948. to copy. Kiltie." Kiltie was so named by Isabella "because when he walked.WOMEN imagination" and "a of the BEAT GENERATION "entirely free mind elect" its which was from self-consciousness or any thought of posing. she adopted the Celtic tradition of singing ballads. She was counted among the oldest of the San Francisco poets. Helen made her district. Isabella. his wee backside reminded one of a kilt rocking back and living as a to forth. Street. from the University of Edinburgh with a degree tion. Helen Adam became the pride of Scot- The Elfin Pedlar tvcn elicited a note of praise from the queen of Scotland herself in Helen spent most of her childhood Dundee and Edinburgh and graduated in English literature. musician. Helen set out to create a new life for herself. a novelist. Helen came to the United States. her sister. in addition to writing poetry she also Upon graduain began a singing career. Her lyric craft was celebrated both originality and tradition. San Francisco in the 1950s could not have license been a more perfect place to reinvent herself There poetic and the mastery of form were combined with a disregard for social expectations and a rebellion against the mundane." Like her friend and fellow poet Madeline Gleason. rising message runner in stock exchanges in the financial for before dawn head downtown San Francisco. touching the listener with an eerie and compelling word music. sometimes referred to as Helen's "familiar. Ultimately. ful The three of them lived in a pleasant apartment on 17th One might say there were four of them. honing her writing and singing skills into a unique form of chanted poetry that took the nature of a mystical incantation. In 1939. accompanied by her mother. and poet. Upon publication. Very deliberately. the artist Jess. but the mystery and knowledge she brought excited the wild young poet scholars of for its Renaissance with a special kind of mad spirit. Pat. performing both Scotland and London. She brought a completely new 10 . an example of purity Other poets used her work not so much in art. Kiltie for their household included a beauti- Siamese cat named was considered an equal member of the house- hold." land.

although she was dubious as to the her. for being a / had hell. such of mythological animals from Golden Gate Park. The Adam stated that it were and Robert was Helen's poetry read- of William Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Experience" at a ing that entirely shifted the direction of his sense of poetics. When I he complained about to critical attacks critics. trashy. She also preferring collages." She was fond of the very controversial poet Jack Spicer and was a participant in his Magic Workshop. a part. the beasts. depth of Spicer's under- standing of magic — a subject of great familiarity to in Helen wrote a play entitled Initiation to the Magic Workshop is which most of the his status as circle circle. with a complete dismay. plays the seer/witch live who is beckoning the viewer She read her manuscript for this while the silent film was projected onstage. Similarly. Daring to condescend to Duncan. She ness also collaborated on several experimental films including with William McNeill — Daydream ofDarkas statues a grand menagerie of dream images. alluring but deadly regular guests at the Jess/Duncan household. mythical terpart in the margins in worm queens.The Precursors: Helen Adam element to Duncan's poetry workshops with her modern medievahst possessed knights. Often. the II . "If I ever meet this character. 1963. Helen to follow. and the trade- mark "moon-maiden" head. sisters women. brainless rat. The debut performance was at the Peacock Gallery. November 22. and lovely. No one in the art-and- poetry scene of San Francisco at the time failed to see Helen Adam's judgment on the poets of the day. recitation tales of witches. made artworks. Helen's creativity couldn't be contained by her poetry. / can / spit complete My burning babe you must cook and Will it taste nicer than roasted Spicer?" Duncan is acknowledged as the true and rightful magician. Cutting edge for the stages fifties. on would do a tarot reading and threaten put curses on the spell saying of one. am going to put a on him to rot his bones. Spicer removed from magus demon from Then Robert and is then exorcised: "Before the eat. Helen was very protective of Robert. including Spicer himself. In it. a candlelit deer's head. Helen claimed his phy Atlantis as his poetry. they show women undergoing varying of metamorphosis accompanied by fragmentary poems. she the key inspiration for her play San Francisco's Burning. the cheap. or women were male coun- changing into insectlike creatures.

despite complaints it In 1957.WOMEN day John celed. Helen Adam's influence upon the Beat poets wasn't always immediate. 12 . Of course." Helen would say with a disif arming smile. "I just sort of get caught up in the ballad. a terrific force in the If you don't write for its own sake. Robert Duncan. welcoming them at readings and offering encouragement. Helen to and her never parted. the Wha weds wi' Queen o' the Castle o' Crow. leading sister. dark imagery and insistent Black banners beat in the onrushing dark Frae the tower o' Crow Castle there flies a red spark Rash is the man. you are not a writer. and James Broughton. Sadly. when the black banners blow. it when she read at the Naropa Institute in 1975. Madeline Gleason. Allen Ginsberg. I am delighted it likes my poetry. to hospitalization and a series of shock treatments. F. started her own magical poetry and performance troop called the Maidens that included Jess. several important events catapulted the Beats to fame. eventually moved New York City and lived in solitude together until their deaths." That poetry was indeed rhythms: hands of Adam is illustrated in the poem "The Queen O' Crow Castle" with its strange. In 1964. Helen Adam received national attention when Burning was staged off Broadway in with stress New York. EveTriem. of the BEAT GENERATION should have been can- Kennedy was Helen assassinated. at the That same year. To me poetry is a terrific force. a series of difficulties coincided this success. Writer Robin Blaser would sometimes attend as an honored guest elaborate dinner events with poetry and theater. Pat. "When an audience I write I am not thinking of an audience. Helen was fired from her filing job often years and suffered from and depression. aside from a mutual love of words and a ready stage. The Maidens were intrigued by these new liter- ary radicals. notably the publication of Jack Kerouac's On the Roa^ and the "Howl" obscenity trial. said who introduced Helen took many years for him to her play San Francisco's realize the impact of her poetry and her mesmerizing readings.

" a unique influence on poetry and the way was performed during that The is best description of Helen Adam came from a review of her work in a news- letter called The Galley Sail: "Miss Helen Adam's appreciative audience grows for she without a doubt no ordinary woman. dead gone. diabolic narrative.The Precursors: Helen Adam with a savage violence: five. According to Helen Adam scholar and biographer Kristin "Helen Adam figure was not an aside of the San Francisco Renaissance — she was a it and central who had time. Eight will be you. At times the lines pulse Ain." 13 . Who has a defense after all against witch- craft?" APARTMENT ON TWIN PEAKS I remember. four. Swaked doon. clap. when the moon shines clear How I'd whisper in my husband's ear Like a dentist saying "Open wider" "Don't you want to be a good provider?" "Don't you want to be the gracious host home of which you're proud When my girl friends come to call In a lovely to boast? We've got to have carpeting from wall to wall. vital style. bogle caught up banes brackled. is but she found in the ballad her natural element. six. dust and ashes. Kra. dead gone. bit. and the music of words in her unique Prevallet. From time blending to time. slap. clapper clawed. dunted. three. twa. images. craw. Helen tried her hand at fi-ee verse and more experimental forms. skulls crunched. seven. Craw! skirlin'. Most of her poetry satire.

WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION After the carpeting he fought and bled Trapped in the jaws as of the Davenport bed! He screamed he vanished up the vacuum spout. another gone man. Another gnawed ghost. Know am one more tourist trifle 14 . All day long their airy chiming Clavers across the sky." Amsterdam. I Alone window stand. A candle flame in my hand The people who pass that lighted window. Another mild husband in the garbage can Served up colder than his marriage vows On his bones let chihuahuas browse. at a that old city. MARGARETTA'S RIME In Amsterdam. hear the bells in the sky crying. I am young in the old city. Church tremble and cry. bells that old city. We chased his skull across the Twin Peaks stones. Looking I my up and down. A spangled garter my only clothing. My heart dead I in my breast. it In triple-sealed bags spat him out. is "Every being In blest. Maud's pet chihuahuas * * * ate the rest of his bones.

when my body is dust?' They replied "We will haste To your lady so chaste. Nights of fury and shame. am young in an old city Playing an older game I hear the bells in the sky crying To the dead heart in my breast." LAST WORDS OF HER LOVER The The The bald parrot said. "Better dead! Better dead!" bats nestled thick sheets of on the wall. my bed smothered Felt like lead. "Let us out! Let us out! my skin Time to die!" "Oh! where In the will you run beams of the sun." 15 . A glum thunder cloud sky. And seize her with skeleton lust. Snarling hones. all. Like a shroud.The Precursors: Helen Adam famous town. The gentle bells in the sky crying "Every being is blest. felt like lead. at the For sale in this Noon I til dusk window waiting. And dust smothered all. Flowed over the vanishing While the bones 'neath Raised a querulous din. like a shroud.

far colder than stone. forgive. But my heart sighed "Forgive her. Her beauty" "Every pang it sighed justified. "With a chill wooing more to her taste Than the fires of the flesh.WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION "Yes. Never waiting for "Yes" We will tumble your lady so chaste. said. opened my eyes to the light. But the bald parrot "Better dead! Better dead!" So I closed them on infinite night." "Her favor We'll win" Laughed the bones 'neath my skin. She who refused delights of my love. 16 . Let her try the embraces of bone. skeleron run To that arrogant is one Who The colder." a fate." Then shaken with flame As I I whispered her name. To look on her face was to live." "She deserves such Croaked the bones in their hate.

or dare not guess. to bless. forgotten. Queen of Cups Nothing Nothing This is to to do with calm striving against ones fate in love or hate. forgotten or dare not guess. A holy and Answering hidden secret powerful all Earth's prayers with one word "Yes!" 17 . Something dying I that lives only to bless! have forgotten. do with raging as the a secret evening sky first star Empty of clouds when Grains the trembles high.The Precursors: Helen Adam THE LAST SECRET Grains of Sand Sing What is the holy secret this planet hides race of That the man has forgotten. or the haunted Queen of Cups It stone. Grains of Sand Sing Something to to do with sunlight and do with silence loneliness. Something But do with sunlight and idleness. Or in some meadow at dusk exploring alone The House of the Broken Heart. or dare not guess? Queen of Cups Answers It is something to to do with silence and loneliness. Of Sand is What the holy secret this planet hides? it A child may find at last by the deep sea tides. has something to do with silence and idleness a little to More than do with loneliness. Something and idleness. to bless! A holy and hidden secret powerful We have all forgotten.

" Tennessee Williams wrote that she was "a charming so full of humor and affection and curious. Jane Bowles' writing you can recognize one sentence. . including the Beats. and human Born in New York City in 1917. is Her early work is filled with light. Morocco. touching little attacks of panic —which thought 18 . Both Hettie Jones and William Burroughs her unique voice and world view as an inspiration. is Her writing bright sharp and smart — close to the bone. her tilted nose just a trifle and mischief-shiny. she never atand an underground cite mass audience. yet with some substance cooler than blood girl. loneliness. read- ership. the eternal urchin." — Bowles is William Burroughs by no means a Beat she Jane the Lost Generation and the Silent Generation and was part of the social and writer. But was certainly a bridge between literary circle that included tracted a many of the Beats. but there Cataract. Jane represents the transitional years of the forties fifties. Jane Bowles remembered by all who knew her as a lively spirit with a gamine charm and quick wit. her peers. her black Beat expatriates she and her husband Paul hosted humor especially appealed to the in their home in Tangier. Her good friend Truman Capote describes "her dahlia-head of cropped curly hair. mad eyes . . and In terms of literature. I invading her veins. a steadily darkening tone in later works such as Camp She is at her best in describing the odd tensions between people. is frustrated relationships. A writer's writer. but appealed to critics. a modernist with roots firmly in the classic traditions of American literature.Jane Bowles A "I liked Life at The End of The World (1917-1973) the kind of writer you could recognize in in one sentence. comic sarcasm.

II. When The his success as a writer eclipsed Jane's. Ultimately.The Precursors: Jane Bowles were of theater but which soon found were quite genuine. When Jane and Paul met. "acute mixture of humor and pathos" which reflected "a unique sensibiUry that I found even more appeahng than Carson McCullers. Two It Serious Ladies. seemed to destroy something inside her. traveling. was published while she was in her twenties during World War was very well received by critics as a strikingly original work by an important new voice. Her first novel. . In The high point of the the Summer House was staged on Broadway with an original score ductions of many of Tennessee his wife's success Williams' plays. a Moroccan country gifts and grain-seller she in a crowded souk and ardently wooed with and money. beneath her red-and-white-striped Berber blanket. with a spare musical compared couple's creative partnership probably came when her play by Paul. as "the most important writer of prose fiction in modern American Jane was a gifted linguist and spoke several languages fluently. She pulled off what was surely a difficult feat in Tangier at that time affair when met she had an with Cherifa. it was said by some that Cherifa dabbled 19 . . WilUams found an . to be who also scored the original proHe was inspired to rake up writing both skilled when he saw and proved it and prolific. and had with Later several gold teeth. and he became the writer from artist to in the family while she experimented with life itself The transition muse tormented Jane art: for the rest of her life." He once let- lauded her ters. her. ease with which he wrote was a source of endless frustration for because she always worked very hard at her stories. Paul was style often a composer and protege of Aaron Copeland. Cherifa was unlike most Tanjawi maidens. talking (she was an incredibly gifted mimic and storyteller). to pianist Erik Satie. Without writing. which she would draw and she could do to show him what in witch- men it. letter writing. sported a downy mustache. as well as conducting a number of amorous girl liaisons with women." In her writ- at first bits I ing. the two seemed to exchange places. she wore jeans and golfing shoes. Writing became so agonizing that she once claimed to be dying of writer's block. Paul claimed that she was "crazy" and carried a switchblade. she turned other things into cooking.


WOMEN
craft. "I've

of the

BEAT GENERATION
am
terrified

never understood why," Jane confessed at one point, "but
[Cherifa's] orders."

I

of

going against

As

a couple, Jane

and Paul always seemed

to be

surrounded by writers and other
now-legend-

creative types.

They began

their life together, rather auspiciously, in the

ary Brooklyn Heights boarding house run by

George Davis. Fellow tenants included
Lee, Carson McCullers,

W. H. Auden, Benjamin

Britten,

Gypsy Rose

and Richard

and Ellen Wright. This glamour followed them everywhere; Paul was
of Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein, and Jane was dear friends with

a special favorite

Truman Capote

and Tennessee Williams.
Ultimately the Bowles settled in Tangier, and the Beats began to intersect their
lives.

William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg were drawn to the mysspirit

tery

and danger of the North African port and the
a place

of outlaw

literati

that Jane

and Paul created. Tangier was

where no

rules applied. In visiting Tangier, the

Beats were following in the footsteps of William Burroughs,

who had moved
a

there in

1954. Granted a special international status in 1912
protectorates governed by France

when Morocco was

divided into
for des-

and Spain, Tangier had long been

haven

peradoes and renegades of every description.
misfits

descend on the

city.

To

the

The postwar boom saw a new wave of expatriates who landed there in the late forties
like the

romantic adventurers and iconoclasts
tions of Western culture

Bowles bent on escaping the
bizarre

restric-

and consistently fascinated by the

its

International
avail-

Zone was an
able,
States,

exotic Utopia
artists, in
full

where homosexuality was acceptable, drugs readily
particular those fleeing the

and outlaw

McCarthy

terror in the

United

could give

expression to their ideas and explore forbidden impulses.

In a letter to his mother, describing the arrival of the Beats, Paul wrote:

"The

Beatniks have invaded Tangier at
jeans,

last.

Every day one sees more beards and filthy blue

and the

girls

look like escapees from lunatic asylums, with white lipstick and

black smeared around their eyes, and matted hair hanging around their shoulders."

Jane was both

titillated

and

terrified

by the Beats. Paul loves to
to get Jane

tell

the story of

when Allen Ginsberg
"This
is

called

one day and happened

on the phone.

Allen Ginsberg, the bop poet."
for

"The what?" asked Jane. This went on

some

time, but eventually Jane under-

20

The Precursors: Jane Bowles
stood and simply said, "I see."

"Do you
"Well,
if

believe in
I

God?" asked

Alien.
it

do I'm

certainly not discussing

on the telephone,"

sniffed Jane

and

hung came

up.
tell

Jane, in turn, loved to

about the day that Allen, Jack, and Peter Orlovsky

to visit Bill in Tangier. Jack
Bill,

went up

to the rooftop

of

Bill's

house, evidently

disgusted with

who

stayed in his

room

eating hashish with a

young Moroccan

boy. Bored, Allen
especially

and Peter yelled up

to Jack, imploring

him

amused by

Allen's plaintive cry

of "Jacky, please

come down. Jane was come down!" which reto

minded her of boys

in a schoolyard.

When William Burroughs moved to Tangier, he got to know Jane and Paul Bowles quite well. He saw something special about Jane and commented that she exuded a
radiant energy that touched everything around her: "She was very, very funny,

and

she had a sort of chic quality that everyone ing set of [followers] whose eyes

she has this very admircommented on would get all misty when they said, 'Oh, Janie!'"
.

.

.

Although he had hoped

to get to

know

Paul Bowles better during his stay,
like

it

was Jane

and her bittersweet

stories

he came to

enormously.

Bill
I

even got on with Jane's

menacing inamorata. "Cherifa," he remembered, "thought

was a holy man."
Paul's

Many people

mistakenly believe that they
Sky,

know all about Jane Bowles from
in

popular novel. The Sheltering

about a couple living

Tangier and traveling to-

gether through the desert. Although Kit and Port bear similarities to Jane and Paul,
the

book

is,

at its core, a

work of

fiction

and doesn't begin

to

tell

the true story of

Jane's frustration as a writer

and her

feelings

about being replaced, to a great extent,

by the

men

in Paul's

life.

As Jane got
exile in

farther

and

farther

away from her

origins, the years

of self-imposed

Tangier affected her strongly. In an autobiographical
in

essay, written in

1967

and published
years old
I

World Authors, Jane wrote:
it

"I started to 'write'

when
first

I

was
still

fifteen

always thought
I

the

most loathsome of all
I

activities,

and

do.

At

the

same time,

felt

even then that

had

to

do

it....

From
I

the

day,

Morocco
good

seemed more dreamlike than
that
I

real. I felt

cut off from what

knew. In the twenty years

have lived there

I

have written only two short

stories,

and nothing

else. It's

21

WOMEN
for Paul,

off

the

BEAT GENERATION

but not for me."
hfe,

Toward the end of her
"a Httle crazy,"

Jane became depressed and anxious and, in her words,

not unHke one of her characters in

Camp

Cataract.

She died alone

in a

hospital in Spain in 1972.
Interestingly, Jane has

gone on
of
her,

to

much more
is

acclaim since her death. There are

a half-dozen biographies

and her work

now
the

being reprinted, once again

receiving the highest praise.

John Ashbery,

critic for

New

York Times Book Review,

has hailed her as "one of the greatest writers of fiction in any language."

Although Paul has continued

to write,

he has produced no novels
I

after

Jane died.
.
. .

Years after her death, he told a visiting journalist: "I think
didn't
life."

lived vicariously
I

and

know

it.

When

I

had no one

to live

through or

for,

was disconnected from

The short story included here

is

one that Jane wrote shortly before her death.

"Emmy Moore's Journal" On certain days forget why I'm here. Today once again
I

I

wrote
I

my

husband

all

my

reasons for coming.

He

encouraged

me

to

come each time
on

that the worst danger for

me was a state of vagueness, so

He said I wrote telling him why had
was
in doubt.
I

come
letter

to the Hotel
I

Henry

— my eighth
I

letter

this subject

— but with each new
Let there be no
Paul Moore, to

strengthen

my
is

position.

am
is

reproducing the
I

letter here.

mistake.

My journal

intended for publication.
the letter to

want

to publish for glory, but also

in order to aid other
I

women. This

my husband,

whom

have been married sixteen years.

very serious lawyer.

He is of North Irish descent, and a Also a solitary and lover of the country. He knows all mushrooms,
(I

am

childless.)

bushes and

trees,

and he

is

interested in geology.

But these

interests

do not exclude
for

me.

He
I

is

sympathetic towards me, and kindly.
I

He

wants very

much

me

to be

happy, and worries because

He knows everything about me, including how much deplore being the feminine kind of woman that I am. In fact, I am unusually feminine for an American of Anglo stock. (Born in Boston.) I am almost a "Turkish"
not.

am

22

The Precursors: Jane Bowles
Not
though
have ruddy Scotch
I

type.

physically, at least not entirely, because

fat

1

cheeks and

my

eyes are
I

round and not slanted or almond-shaped. But sometimes
to theirs (the

feel certain that

exude an atmosphere very similar
I

Turkish women's

)

and then

I

despise myself.

find the

women

in

my country so
I

extraordinarily

manly
desert

and independent, capable of leading regiments, or offending
islands if necessary. (These are

for themselves

on

poor examples, but

am
I

getting

my point across.)
like to
I

For

me

it is

an experience simply

to

have come here alone to the Hotel Henry and to eat
If possible before
I

my dinner and lunch by myself
more independent, and
had better say immediately that
ably busy combating the very
ling in

die,

should

become a

little
I

a little less
I

Turkish than

I

am
in

now. Before

go any further,

mean no

offense to Turkish

women. They
I

are prob-

same Turkish quality
is

themselves that

am

control-

me.

I

understand, too (though this

irrelevant), that

are beautiful,

and

I

think that they have discarded their

many Turkish women veils. Any other American

woman would

be sure of this. She would
I

had been discarded, whereas

am afraid

know one way or the other whether the veils to come out with a definite statement. I have
veils,

a feeling that they really have got rid

of their

but
it

I

won't swear to

it.

Also, if they

have done

so,
is

I

have no idea
letter to

when

they did.

Was

many

years ago or recently?
is

Here
Turkish

my

Paul Moore,

my

husband, in which there

more about
I

women.

Since
as

I

am

writing this journal with a view to publication,
I

do not

want

to

ramble on

though

had

all

the space in the world.

No

publisher will
It

attempt printing an enormous journal written by an
too

unknown woman.

would be

much of a financial risk. Even I, with my ignorance of all business, know this much. But they may print a small one.

matters pertaining to

My
Bonnet

letter (written yesterday, the

morrow of my drunken evening

in the Blue

Room when

I

accosted the society salesman):

Dearest Paul:
I

cannot simply

live

out

my experiment

here at the Hotel

Henry

without trying to
here,

justify or at least explain in letters

my

reasons for being
1

and with

fair regularity.

needed to

clarify

need lo justify

my my actions.

You encouraged me to write whenever felt I thoughts. But you did tell me that must not feel the
I

However,

I

do

feel

the need to justify

my

23


WOMEN
actions,
Off

the

BEAT GENERATION
metamorphosis has
well
I

and
I

I

am

certain that until the prayed-for
just this need.

occurred

shall

go on feeling
at this

Oh, how

know

that

you

would interrupt me
So
I

point and warn

me

against expecting too

much.

shall say in lieu
I

of metamorphosis, the prayed-for improvement. But
myself every day. Perhaps you
will get a letter

until then

must

justify

every day.

On

some days

the need to write lodges itself in

my

throat like a

cry that must be uttered.

As
that
I

for the Turkish problem,

I

am coming
I

to

it.

You must understand
of the

am

an admirer of Western

civilization; that

is,

women who

are

members of this group. I feel myself that fall short of being a member, that by some curious accident I was not born in Turkey but should have
been. Because of

my

usual imprecision

I

cannot even

tell

how many
I

countries belong to what
is

we
I

call

Western Civilization, but
isn't it?
I

believe

Turkey

the place where East meets West,
there,

can just about imagine the
I

women
I

from what

have heard about the country and the pictures
real

have seen of it. As for being troubled or obsessed by

Oriental

women,

am not. (I refer to the Chinese, Japanese, Hindus, and so on.) Naturally I am less concerned with the Far Eastern women because there is no danger of my being like them. ( The Turkish women are just near enough.) The
Far Eastern ones are so very far away, at the opposite end of the earth, that

they could easily be just as independent and masculine as the
the Western world.

women

of

The ones

living in-between the
I

two masculine

areas

would be
still,

soft

and feminine. Naturally
be true. Whatever they

don't believe this for a minute, but

the real Orientals are so far away and such a mystery to
as well
are,
it

me

that

it

might

couldn't affect me.

They look

too different from the

way

I

look.

Whereas Turkish women

don't. (Their

figures are exactly like mine, alas!)

Now
with

I

shall

come

to the point.

the above discourse a kind of joke.

know full well that you will consider Or if you don't, you will be irritated
I

me

for

For surely

making statements of such a sweeping and inaccurate nature. you will consider the picture of the world that 1 present as
1

inaccurate.

myself know that

this
is

concept of the
It

women

(all

three sets

Western, Middle and Eastern)

a puerile one.

could even be called
I

downright
a
little

idiotic.

Yet

I

assure

you

that

I

see things this way, if

relax

even

and look through

my own

tycs into

what

is

really inside

my head.

24

The Precursors: Jane Bowles
(Though because of my
you such
admit
to a frank picture

talent for

mimicry

I

am
I

able to simulate looking
to.)

through the eyes of an educated person when
of myself,
I

wish

Since

I

am

giving

may
in
it

as well

go the whole hog and
is

you

that

my secret

picture of the world

grossly inaccurate.

I

have completely forgotten to include
(France,
Italy,

any of the Latin countries.
between

Spain.) For instance,

I

have jumped from the Anglo world
in at
all.
I

to the semi-Oriental as if there

were not countries

know
fit
is

that these exist.

(I

have even lived in two of them.) But they do not

into
less

my scheme.

I

just don't think

about the Latins very much, and

this

understandable than

my

not thinking about the Chinese or Javanese

women. You can see why without my having to explain it to you. I do know that the French women are more interested in sports than they used to be, and for all I know they may be indistinguishable from
or Japanese

Anglo
But
in

women by
Or

now.

I

haven't been to France recently so

I

can't

be sure.

any case the

women
I

of those countries don't enter into

my picture
of the world's

of the world.

shall

say that the fact of having forgotten utterly to

consider them has not altered the

way

I

visualize the division

women? Incredible though it may seem to you, it hasn't altered anything. (My having forgotten all Latin countries. South America included.) want you to know the whole truth about me. But don't imagine that wouldn't
I I

be capable of concealing
wily and feminine that
I

my ignorance
could
I

from you

if

I

wanted

to.

I

am
I

so

live

by your side

for a lifetime

and deceive

you

afresh each day.

But

will

have no truck with feminine wiles.

know

how
sit

they can absorb the hours of the day.
their webs.
It is

Many women

are delighted to

around spinning

an absorbing occupation, and the

Use Klapper
met German Use Klapper n^e Hertzfeldt in the seaside town of Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, in 1936. He was traveling after college and thought the efficient, no-nonsense Use, with her dry humor and her monocle at the ready, to be a competent guide and interesting host. Bill left Dubrovnik to study medicine in Germany, but returned soon after when the winds of
WilliaiTi

Burroughs

first

Nazism began
States.

to

blow too strong. Use was

terrified

because her Yugoslavian visa was about to run out.

For the young Burroughs the choice was obvious:

wed Use and enable her
Bill

to escape to the
life.

United

Although

his parents objected strongly, they did marry, Bill essentially saving her

The two

did not see

much of one
dime."

another in the States, but
-

never regretted his
,

decision, saying, "She never
,,,-

asked

me

for a

-

25


WOMEN
women
feel

Of the

BEAT GENERATION
And so they are, but only for And a wily woman alone is a
I

they are getting somewhere.

as

long as the

man
tr)'

is

there to be deceived.

pitiful sight to
I

behold. Naturally.
to

shall

be honest with you so that

can

live

with you and yet

won't be

pitiful.

Even

if

tossing

my

feminine tricks out the

window means
fish
I

being

left

no better than an
more.

illiterate
I

backwoodsman, or the bottom
it

scraping along the ocean bed,
tired to write
justified
I

prefer to have
I

this way.

Now am

too

Though

I

don't feel that

have clarified enough or

enough.

shall write

you soon about the
it,

effect the

war has had upon me.
it

I

have spoken to you about
seriously.

but you have never seemed to take
I

very

Perhaps seeing in black and white what
will leave

feel will affect

your

opinion of me. Perhaps you

me.

I

accept the challenge.

My
It's

Hotel Henr)' experience includes hard to believe that
I

this risk.

I

got drunk two nights ago.

am

forty-seven,

isn't it?

My love, Emmy
Now
carbon),
I

that

I

have copied

this letter into

my

journal
a

(I

had forgotten

to

make

a

shall take

my

walk.

My

scheme included
I

few weeks of solitude

at the

Hotel Henry before attempting anything.
nal as

did not even intend to write in

my jour-

soon

as

I

started to, but simply to

sit

about collecting

my thoughts,

waiting for

the knots of habit to
I

undo

themselves. But after only a

week here
life,

—two
I

nights ago

felt

amazingly alone and disconnected from
first

my past

so

I

began

my journal.
I

My
here.

interesting contact

was the salesman

in the Blue

Bonnet Room.
ever

had

heard about this eccentric through

my

in-laws, the

Moores, before

came up
I

My husband's cousin

Laurence Moore told

me

about him when he heard

was

He said: "Take a walk through Grey and Bottle's Department Store, and you'll see a man with a lean red face and reddish hair selling materials by the bolt. That man has an income and is related to Hewitt Molain. He doesn't need to work. He was in my fraternity. Then he disappeared. The next I heard of him he was workcoming.
ing at Grey and Bottle's.
I

stopped by and said hello to him. For a nut he seemed

like

26

The cold air had changed her letter mood." she muttered to herself in alarm. so. "she read.The Precursors: Jane Bowles drink with him. "I have all. "1 have said nothing at clarified have not my reasons for being at the Hotel Henry. They were part of the she had just copied. I particularly a stranger. I it. I hope shall write some more tomorrow. stay at the Hotel ask it because deep in my heart I I do think a lengthy Henry is impressive. Some loose sheets of paper went skimShe shut ming off the top of the desk and the flattened themselves against the bookcase. She could not stand the overheated room raised the a second longer. and the cold wind blew in. but now must go am going to buy a supply of sleep.-* I Any sane person would be alarmed that should even ask such a question. window and they fell to the floor. 27 . With some difficulty she window. She looked down at the sheets "/ of paper. but now her heart was faint as she scanned I its scattered pages. cocoa. I said nothing. When likes I'm not drunk it I like to have a cup of cocoa before going to My husband too. this letter She closed her eyes and shook her head. think he's quite up to a very decent chap. I when actually I is still only my second week at it is the Hotel Henry. Perhaps simply I like to hear myself telling out. want everyone Is to think have been here a long time. She had been so happy copying into her journal. there anything impressive I lengthy stay at the Hotel Henry." I did not mention Laurence irritate Moore to the society salesman because to 1 thought it might this him. She stepped forward. but not sane of I me to expect anyone think so. have not justified myself" bottle of Automatically she looked around the room. floor beside A whiskey stood on the it one of the it legs of the bureau. I lied and pretended have been here for months. picked up by the neck and settled with into her favorite wicker chair. She picked them up: don t feel that I have clarified enough or justified enough. Surely about a not to impress them. Very easy to see that would. and even sane of else to me to think it impressive. You might even have a I general conversation.

and Robert Duncan in San Francisco. 28 .WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION James Broughton. Photo taken by Jess. Madeline Gleason.

Michael McClure. she found her way to poetry twenties. North Dakota. painter. When Allen Ginsberg. the of Contemporary Poetry readings first 1947 at the Labaudt Gallery. and other prime movers of the Beat Generation came to San Francisco with their wild new free verse. she initiated. she created a transition from a passionate poetry close to Yeats as a master to an exuberant individual creation swinging in an ambit that could include Mother Goose and. Born in Fargo. in 1903 as the only child of Irish Catholic parents. Gary Snyder. A in seminal historical force amongst the West Coast Festival literati. she came to San Francisco. as drought turned settling first in early. long before 'Pop Art. laying the foundation for the Beat poets to come.Madeline Bleason True Born Poet (1903-1979) because Madeline Gleason the "If I come into it personally. paying her way and comic traveling minstrel show. In her own works. In 1935. which brought the as a widespread recognition to Bay Area poets and established San Francisco major center of American poetry. where she founded the San Francisco Poetry Guild. fascinating audiences with her singular style.' the voices of popular America. 1975 Poet. Madeline Gleason was already there. and playwright Madeline Gleason played a vital role in revolution- izing modern poetry through the creation of the San Francisco poetry school of the late forties and early fifties. in a Arizona and then Oregon." — Robert Duncan. she as a singer Fargo. with Robert Duncan and James Broughton. it's in first phases of the San Francisco scene was one of the prime members for me. In the late left much of the Midwest into a dust bowl. 29 . and I do.

" circle. In April 1947. so tremendously favorable that another festival was planned for the It quickly became an institution. published in 1944. the sorrow in loving both in the like Emily San Francisco Chronicle. the breezy and the woeful." wrote James Broughton "With her own homely juxtaposes of the secular and free verse or the celestial. Poems. heavily woven with fairy tales. North Beach. children's rhymes. a common concern for spirituality. She was fascinated by the chock-a-block development of San Francisco and the brilliant tangles of neon. attracting East Coast poets. and he provided her with lifelong support and encouragement. These festivals were the precursors to the more popular readings of the 1950s to and 1960s. community of Her musicality and mysticism caused Robert poetry Duncan to claim that she "had a direct channel with God. Powerfully combining the is strict motion of lan- guage. hiitially a member of the Kenneth Rexroth Madeline focused on mythical themes that stood out in sharp contrast against the freely formed poetics of her contemporaries. The feedback was fall. she did provide one forums for the modern poetry reading. had a powerful effect on the emergthe time. Madeline shared soul mates. such festival in the Based upon the format of a music readings were performed by the original authors. music. presenting lively parables.WOMEN Madeline's ing writing first Of the BEAT GENERATION book. she organized the San Francisco Poetry United States. in turn. Immensely to talented. Her paintings are wildly colorful city scenes on back- grounds of pure black. writing. singing. including early Beats. she records the restless dismays of her heart. Noah. the first festival. "Her subject Dickinson's. despite warnings of Festival. Madeline could seemingly do anything she turned her hand — painting. and other media combined "bop" feeling. She. God and his creatures. powerfully haunting rhythms. and he wrote about her called Mrs. Her elegiac poetry was more closely aligned with poet Mary Fabilli's beat of music with the lucid husband. where she had her happiest 30 . from naysayers. He often said they were a play was for him a source of inspiration. when poetry. her poetry magical. than with the more modern poets that came later. and is. sometimes with the accompaniment of music." Although Madeline did not introduce of the failure first end stops. poet-priest William Everson. form a spontaneous With Robert Duncan.

and the others made the rounds.m. Madeline fondly remembered when the Beats came to town. brought life. In the late 1960s. and music into writing. toward the end of her life. As she moved away from the ill of poetry and art she so loved. never rests. powered by words goes slow. was her and financiers favorite subject for oil paintings. rising at 5 a. His shambling mental movements toward the moving machine attract it to idle at the threshold 31 . Neal Cassady. Allen Ginsberg. In her North Beach salons with artists she held daily teas that became de facto literary in and poets dropping and out. THE INTERIOR CASTLE That runs invisible engine fast. paying their respects to the older. Madeline moved from the North Beach scene lively center to a hilly outer district of San Francisco. what poets die of" Madeline and the other leaders of the San Francisco Renaissance were important precursors to the Beat poets. The is insecurity of the poet his security.The Precursors: Madeline Gleason moments. Madeline worked as a runner for the stock exchange messages and San Francisco's downtown. remarked all "Madeline died of despair. their work. haltingly. flat. they started an important shift in America's attitude about literature and the humanities. Her that lover and companion of twenty-five years. setting free the muse and opening up a world of possibilities. Jack Kerouac. They took poetry out of the classrooms and out into the streets. Mary Greer. established poets. she became very and depressed. to carry money. life's By making art and poetry the center of their lives. Like her peer Helen in Adam. They energy. collecting and dispersing as it the soul's furnishings.

WOMEN of his unknowing: the interior castle. The and interior castle where Theresa stayed all her spirit's lightnings played to rigorous to that accompaniment same place the poet comes. rattling together. he approaches the tree. There he summons forth that of which the fruit is tree pearls. their troops Both bring a and trains. Of the BEAT GENERATION He enters. and hums. company of voices and uncelestial. During their contention the poet makes of one wall a mirror of invention to see the child he is. large as apples. a place that by turns 32 . finds the great room bare. timing his wizardry under the pearl tree. Saint and Beelzebub contend for his allegiance. plucks a pearl. A good saint offers instruction for his guidance. and Beelzebub in the tutors language of seduction. celestial a crackling bonfire of words rising in incense of golden smoke.

the squirrel bound. climbs to the tree-top. a compass. at He does not see The violet bank Moving upon Without Face a sundown turn Into a rippling purple mound bed of fern. intolerable. and in a passion sings the room REBIRTH The valley and the rolling hill Become a landscape flat and stark As any desert and as still. dumb and he blind. rays. Lost in the darkness of his mind. In a fury he spins himself turning upon the spit of his own burning ablaze. while around him there. than rises from the dead. aboard the invisible engine powered by words. downward in the field lies. the poet kills himself.The Precursors: Madeline Gieason warm. He does not hear the meadowlark. a company of voices. pleasurable. The daisies pressed against his eyes. With the influence of Venus in his heart the influence of Saturn in his head. all there. is cold. 33 .

must meet. and return of hope. All extremes must meet. From continence and desire. The loss torment.WOMEN He Of the BEAT GENERATION does not hear the wind that bends the grass. 34 . Know joy. despair. fire And imagination take From the innocent and the lewd. was Adam made. The low bough towards him on But only his world that cracks and ends its As his soul breaks looking-glass. live thought how we between The divine and the commonplace. The living must descend And then ascend the slope. LYRICS To Tec I At Land's End the cold wind Blew against I my face. said: All extremes As some old poet has Out of a little earth And heaven.

him. pursued own Days he walked wandering In Muir Woods. a wreath With crowned him. And considered The small hills around Before this poet Whose laureateship Commanded nothing But boughs that dip. all forgot What he had learned of the world That was merd and rot. in spirit. 35 . And having attained self-peace. The poet left the lazar-house Of the And world. Was under the illusion That the world was in order And the wicked no longer in collusion.The Precursors: Madeline Gleason THE POET THE IN WOOD him Peace hidden from And his nation Like a star In occulation. Flourishing weeds. where his friends. delicate shoots. He picked the leaves of a laurel. Herbs. hedges and grass roots. And drew From peace to him ferns. ends. his Bankrupt were encamped.

And And the poet stood Alone.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Weighed down by wind. 36 . glass stirs When in his own The image of that one Who calls the soulglass hers. But turning Thought of that down-rolling rock And helpless Sisyphus. thus. live who In the lazar-house of pain. know not what they dread. stunned shaken in the wood. SOULGLASS Who loves. "And tell those friends About whom you forgot That only half the world Is merd and rot. A figure appeared and said: "Return to those Yet who fear. He turned to leave. yet is not dazed. laurel "Take off the and go home Save those again." The figure fled.

The Precursors: Madeline Gleason No solemn shadow-land the mirror frames. Storms began in the mind spread to the flesh hurricaning with wrath. I FORGOT YOUR NAME waited for you I to walk with me towards heaven. if Light dazzles there as The sun rose from that glass. carefree as children Is this Where Elated at their games. The trembling lovers look Above them and below. longer ago than being born. Three tones repeated themselves: NEAR FAR NEVER struck together they sounded an agony. 37 . While sparks apocryphal. A long way. Suddenly the mirror blazes With fire through which they pass. Set the glass aglow.

my joints stiffened. start on the morning of beginning. at wanted go once." circa 1954. my legs lamed. My hair grizzled. Which way to heaven? And where was love. "Carnival Painting. 38 .WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION I waited for you bore with I my to unblessing. by Madeline Gleason. NEAR FAR NEVER I forgot your name. but I had lost all sense of direction.

of humidity and biting cold exacerbated Josephine's and her body With no other choice. her father was again transferred. who married after a twenty- of their three children. and so you often get one fighting it. California. A few months to later. arthritis. this time to Detroit. an intern accidentally cut her leg while casting and did not dress the wound but instead covered it with a larger cast. is I don't believe in things being split in two. the family moved to Palm Springs. her grandfather. noticed that her hips were crooked. But I think a lot of vital action taken in rejection of things. When Josephine was nine months old. Josephine Miles inspired more than just her ranged from the board of directors at the National Endowment of the Arts to a struggling Beat poet searching for publication. Her impact upon the literary world was not bound by the walls of her classroom." — Josephine Miles on the birth of Beat The students.Josephine Miles Mentor to a Revolution (191 1-1985) "I don't like dualisms. Josephine. It great professor of English. Josephine's father's insurance firm promoted him. Josephine also later developed arlife. Frederick San Francisco. In June 1911. it Billing Miles. After corrective surgery. Dr. and they moved Dr. Her parents were childhood sweethearts year courtship. An infection ensued. The combination stiffened. 39 . thritis that racked her entire body for the remainder of her Soon after. but they are leading trends and then minor oppositions coming in which they themselves grow. where Josephine's that she health improved in the warmer climate. was born. the first in Chicago. mode fighting another and thriving just because it's These really aren't dualisms. Confident had completely recovered.

After six baskets and no other lessons. she required a tutor. body so badly that she underwent nearly of casts and drastic The fierce winters finally forced her father to take a demotion and move or to Los Angeles. to concentrate on classic humanities. and her Ph. The boys must go She intended school. was home-schooled by her but was still Once she gained some mobility. three years later. which led appointment an English professor at U. They were excited about the 40 . The next year. Despite the damp and foggy climate of the Bay Area. The first teacher from the Los Angeles school system brought pine needles and raffia to make pine not allowed to attend the local grammar school. six years moved back to Chicago But the bitter cold bent her operations. Unable to that year. in 1928. She received the Shelley Memorial Award for Poetry. Josephine enrolled in the Univer- of California at Los Angeles to pursue an undergraduate degree. Josephine longed for real learning and spent countless hours reading in bed. students at Berkeley were exposed to a genre of poetry not taught in the classroom.D.WOMEN the Miles family Off the BEAT GENERATION just after her sixth birthday. her passion while in high She changed her mind. Berkeley in 1940. Josephine's first year in Los Angeles was spent in traction. During mother. a bachelor's degree in English literature in 1932 and moved north at for graduate studies. however. 'You must go somewhere to college where you get away from home and get some new experience. she could not attend school. the University of California Berkeley provided the perfect environment for her literary pursuits. Other tutors came and went. She entered I school with few career plans. she was named an American to her Association of University as Women Research Fellow.C. she was moved to a wheelchair Once Josephine moved past elementary skills. Josephine had enough and the teacher never returned. With the arrival of the Beats just across the bay in San Francisco. she sit lie down. allowed to attend sity classes. "All remember is my dad would say. It would not be until high school that she would be But eventually.'" and somebody can help you besides your mother. needle baskets. especially when learning to write. to Stanford. She graduated with after a class taught by a remarkably boring professor. Josephine soon found herself at the heart of the changing literary scene.

The Precursors: Josephine Miles changing face of poetry. eventually to new style and and develop their own voices. she met a visiting poet and scholar from ard Eberhardt. Josephine. it to Berkeley to talk to Mark Schoer and me about whether he should be a graduate student at Berkeley He had poems and and this big folder. Madeline Gleason." She never allied herself closely with any one school of poetry. is history. Poet Mary Fabilli remembers of those "When you went down the hall of Wheeler at six o'clock at 41 . I think I don't write as many clear endings." she once remarked. She took her job books of literary as an educator very seriously and published many articles and criticism. which included Lamantia. and Robert Duncan. mean. She often worked late with her students. At a poetry reading at a friend's home. think I've been influal- enced. "I've never been accepted as a soul- mate by any of these groups. This was a time when Allen was working some business firm this pin-striped suit and had a pin-striped suit. Rich- He expressed an interest in the poetry scene in writers. wow! really full He was rather unprepossessing looking. if New York." article for He was new so impressed that he wrote an New York Times. to lay you know. She mentored Robin Blaser who went on to form the Spicer Circle with Kenneth Rexroth. Josephine even welcomed Allen Ginsberg's berg arrival to the Bay Area: "Allen Ginsfor came to town. but rather lowed herself to be touched by each one's style. "I Josephine. years. was intrigued by encouraged her students Jack Spicer. "Howl. The changing form of poetry beckoned of the scene around her. praising the style —and the rest. And was quite a nice experience. Berkeley. asking Josephine she knew of any new the She mentioned Allen Ginsberg and gave Eberhardt her copy of his most recent work. bringing mimeographed copies of street poetry to their professors. Writing about the influence think my poetry has gotten looser and freer in I form than it was. she noted. Some teachers scoffed at its lack of structure. turning instead to the metered this sounds of Yeats and Blake. So. however. he would I read these tell him whether he I should do graduate work. as they say. and your eyes on something •of energy was a real pleasure. He came said. The two Philip became part of the San Francisco Renaissance." Josephine remained at the center of the Beat literary arena as mentor.

Josephine might be expected to be a women's liberation proponent. she became Univer- of California at Berkeley's first female professor of English.WOMEN night.C. working with students was like her poetry. The program was more than an appeasement. With the help of two other professors. "I simply liked working with men. structured much but loose enough to include all trains of thought. and eight years accepted a National Arts live in Endowment Senior Fellowship. During the sixties and seventies. of another strong-minded individualist — Pauline Kael —who became Pauline later became a first-rate movie reviewer. turning her reviews into literature. Idea beled and Experiment. communist by the alumni and discontinued after twelve issues. she found more camaraderie among her male contemporaries than with women. as there were for sixty male faculty memin and only three women. however. leaving her no choice but to associate primarily with men. In general. but she participated in mediation between the faculty women's association and the male and was instrumental per year until little in implementing a program designed to appoint one in the English woman bers some balance was achieved department. She had difficulty dealing with their rather radical meth- ods. she also started a quarterly of faculty it essays. she balked. parity wouldn't be achieved She compiled and edited American Poetry in many years. She continued to write and 12. where she found the women aloof. in 1965. Street 1965 and Berkeley Poems 1969. As the first female professor ever tenured at U. all of the BEAT GENERATION English department doors were open. to be sent to alumni. Josephine's studies often brought her to New York. with the exception a close friend. In was la- Josephine was awarded the Blumenthal Award for Poetry in 1958. The National later Foundation of Arts awarded her a Fellowship sity 1972. When approached by other women faculty members. Berkeley until her death on May 42 . Berkeley. 1985." she said. To Josephine's surprise." For Josephine. and at every desk you saw a professor leaning over a desk with a student's paper before him and the student listening and asking questions about the paper. her moderate politics clashed with those of her more hot-blooded colleagues.

How about a game of three-way parcheesi? 43 .The Precursors: Josephine Miles CURTAIN A Is picture window opening to the west curtained in the morning. TRAVELLERS The litde girl was travelling unattached. Business-man working on papers out of his From across the aisle another kept noticing What Her help she needed. Bathed a chandelier in reflection. And he kept leaning over across to assist her. her travel-case latched. from the outside a closed It's room. and suggested. West gray in shade. doll righted. Now I must ask you whether a Will gradually cast its leaf of sun tentative light within Or whether you Pull will proceed across the floor back the drapes and look into the day As if you would renew it? From the outside A scene of limidess shape. as they say. After a while the heavy-set man put away his papers. Gloom. a Closed into her window-seat by heavy briefcase. The sun collaborates. each corner Each morning As if the furnished action had no fear To act again. From the inside. coloring-book straightened out. Took out a small gameboard from his briefcase.

even look like a biochemist they me. my I rugged frame. his secretary answers.P. mothballs. What is its name? bet you'd like to know! BUREAU Skunks fight under the house and keep us Wakeful. Call the Past the meter box. sweetie. and a different busy. Call the S. they are down from the hills in the drought.C. Call commercial exterminators. doctor tells And my me that my big chest. tomato juice Leave them unmoved. discovered the cure for diabetes! And today You may well exclaim. Lots of colloquial remedies.A. Call the bureau of Health. Mr. will allow My living as high as To I'll sixteen thousand feet cultivate the herb. Simms. It grows high mountains of Mexico. You know what the cure In the is? An herb. Expanded from singing opera. call the P G E where they rest Animal all Shelter. Of the chief health officer of the county. Would you Despite like to hear some good news? tell I'm a biochemist you know. 44 . reply number to call Next month or next year when they're not so Asking around.WOMEN AT THE COUNTER Give Of the BEAT GENERATION me a half sack of buttered popcorn. getting the number finally With a sigh.

45 . Simms will is speak to you? interested in skunks? animal health officer of the county is His chief interest wolves. Simms is think Mr.The Precursors: Josephine Miles What makes you What makes you As Mr. think Simms Mr.

.

THE MUSES .

WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs in New York City. Reverse: Cowboy Neal at the wheel. with Ann Murphy. I960. 48 .

Joan Vollmer grew up in Loudonville." June 8. "Dream Record. Joan was not an or writer.. and Bill —sharpened new Widely con- sidered one of the most perceptive people in the group. Her apartment in New York was a nucleus that attracted many of formation of the Beat. mind and indepen- dent nature helped bulldoze the Beats toward a Joan paid dearly for her of forties' refusal to live within the boundaries of the social mores in a horrible accident at the and fifties' America. Jack. however. —Allen Ginsberg. . her strong sensibility. literature.. and Herbert Huncke. main Beat writers — Allen. Jack and Edie Kerouac. arms on her knees. Her father. author William Burroughs. those the characters who in played a vital role in the who gathered Brilliant there included Bill Burroughs. New York. indeed the that stoked the Beat engine were started with Joan as pafires tron and muse.. that Joan hastened the new consciousness that the Beats espoused in her short time artist with them. There is no denying. 49 a suburb of Albany. ultimately dying hand of her common-law husband.Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs Calypso Stranded (1924-1951) I went back to Mexico City and saw Joan Burroughs leaning forward in a garden chair. I95S Vollmer Adams Burroughs was seminal in the creation of the Beat revoluJoan tion. and well versed the philosophy and Joan was the whetstone against which their intellect. but Bill and o'hers credit her with being a powerful inspiration for their work.

Joan read con- A stantly handsome woman who constantly questioned and enjoyed discussing for a wide range of topics. Joan and Edie's apartment became a haven for a bunch of Columbia students who were disillusioned with all the starched-collar conservatism of the forties. Vickie kept herself in to the Benzedrine by working to get as a high-class call girl. a kindred spirit. Allen praised him for his gentle nature. She was gifted and gorgeous. Her appetite student Paul love. Allen Ginsberg said she was "as attractive as any woman know. She fought with her mother constantly and chafed at the constraints of the household. looking for the Tennessee. the status quo. she changed her name from Priscilla Arminger to escape her wealthy suburban origins. and she married law after arriving in Adams soon New York. but wished for of self that money could not buy." while Jack his Kerouac admired her ingenuity took their Jack was in Benzedrine extraction. she eagerly departed the ritzy world of her family for New York City and Barnard College. Vickie's boyfriend. Little who nursed her back to health when her addictions a full foot shorter than Vickie and doted on her. for whom he wrote "Howl.WOMEN David Vollmer. Joan spent her evenings prowling bars like the West End. Allen kept a portrait of Vickie on mantel painted by Little Jack Melody. She introduced the denizens of Joan's salon proper way pure Benzedrine from I over-the-counter inhalers. made Institution. he Little Jack. Together. a strong and magnetic presence. Allen. toll." Vickie Russell dropped out of sight after the early New York Beat scene. a six-foot-tall redhead who fascinated men both and gay. during one of her rambles at West End Bar and the two soon moved into an apartment This was the first in 421 West 1 18th a series of apartments that would provide an open forum attitudes. managed best of everything. usually while in the bathtub. and Vickie once wrecked a stolen car. his living as a safe robber. who had forsaken a football scholarship at Columbia to Vickie Russell Vickie Russell was a frequent guest at Joan's apartment salon. met Paul had been drafted and was stationed in Late one night. Of Sicilian American descent. The daughter of straight a Philadelphia magistrate. As soon as she could. Edie's boyfriend. usually appearing with her good friend Herbert Huncke. for the exchange of new ideas and with Joan at the center. company of strangers. Jack Kerouac. 50 . Edie Parker. resurfacing only in the memoirs of her friend Herbert Huncke. resulting in Allen's visit to Columbia Psychiatric where he met Carl Solomon. After books was rivaled only by her appetite for men. more an act of defiance than of her marriage. Joan a sense of the BEAT GENERATION to provide his family a large plant and worked hard with the grew up in an economically privileged world. Joan at the Street.

dealers. The atmosphere both intellectual and chaotic — a nonstop salon with both discourse and dalliance. quoted Shakespeare in a nasal voice. and drug tableau. although intellect predominantly homosexual. a graduate student from v/as Denver. Columbia student Lucien Carr began coming around with Young.The Muses: Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs when he was not shipping out with the merchant a sixteen-year-old Columbia student named John pursue his writing. and enjoyed skewering Bill people with his dry wit. They legal New Waverly. a Burroughs adding-machine fortune. outrageous proclamations. William Burroughs had graduated in 1936. lived there marines. Louis named William Burroughs. Bill bought a farm moved problems that had been plaguing — the plan was to make lots of money growing marijuana. Texas. With a $200 monthly stipend from his parents. drug use. the two were never parted again. Bill after. Bill brought with him a collection of husders. Eventually. Lucien decided that Allen's mind was ripe for an awakening and brought him downtown one day heir to the to meet a friend from St. including their old New 51 . Bill started enjoyed coming up to Joan's place and. Allen from Harvard University was bowled over by the enigmatic man who dressed in a suit. and Bill started his longtime addiction to heroin. Bill and others were arrested for help. One of Joan's lovers. Kingsland. also moved into the apartment. Mostly though. the his girlfriend. speed-addled and in need of arranged Joan's release from the hospital and they conceived a child soon in a Although never married to ceremony. exploring the seedy Times Square area for kicks. Celine He also brought over a Columbia hallmate named Allen Ginsberg. Bill moved in and the two began their curious marriage of minds. he was intrigued by her quicksilver and love of stirring people up. as did Hal Chase. for at the open exchange of ideas time he was grappling with his sexual identity. they entertained guests. to escape the them back in New York. Joan was and vaguely sinister attracted to Bill for his brilliant mind. Allen found at Joan's place reassuring. petty criminals. Joan and the uptown and downtown coalesced into an even stranger were introduced to and Jack Benzedrine by a neighborhood prostitute named Vickie Russell. and Joan ended up in Bellevue. air. The Bill.

Joan could no longer get Benzedrine and made do with cheap at a party. Helen made her way back to Joan's and Wil- liam Burroughs' home in Algiers. Al and Helen Hinkle. dollars farther than if it two hundred had in the States. Joan had plenty of Benzedrine to fuel her attempts to rake the lizards out of the trees in her new front yard. who came do drugs. Joan Helen Hinkle Helen Hinkle. 'iT.S. went on the road with Neal Cassady and her new husband Al as their honeymoon trip.WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION to "sharecrop. friends said. ^Joan seemed to transcend the normal to her telepathically." York Bear crony Herbert Huncke. but once again a drug bust prompted another move.tTi n^iajci-. and play with Joan and Bill had a special psychic connection which. but "had started wanting to stay at motels at night and stopping for food and such nonsensical things as that. Christmas 1949." according to LuAnne Henderson led to Cassady. lizard-infested slightly car. enjoyed Mexico because the boys and the heroin were cheap and plentiful. On September 1951. 52 . Joan and vigilant sheriff. — had the uncanny sit ability to receive images that Bill sent They would across the room from each other for hours. were caught in flagrante delicto by a notoriously with drunk driving and public indecency. New Orleans was fine for a while. to friends that her days Bill were numbered. guns. wife of Al Hinkle. Rather state. Louisiana. where Helen awaited her husband's return on the loop back across the country. This time they moved to Mexico City to ensure that there Bill would be no more reckoning with U. who charged Bill than deal with more potential problems in the Lone Star they moved to New Orleans. went considerably authorities. playtalent. tequila instead. Her visit with the gun-crazed. She looked terrible and hinted 6. This conflict of traveling styles Al's Neal and Al letting Helen out in Arizona. Joan and Bill were it Everyone had been drink- ing gin for hours when announced that was time for the William Tell act. ing this psychic game and startling visitors Bill with their amazing associative Later that year. With railroad pass. Burroughs family was only less surreal more comfortable and in than the unheated Helen Hinkle remained close friends with Carolyn Cassady until Helen's death 1995. Also the fedemles were always willing to overlook a problem there were some money in it for them.

But he would forever be haunted by Joan's also said that there it is He maintained years as later that it was an accident. gigantic. She took ment at. I think there were bedrooms and was right a gigantic actually three bathroom with a tub in it. but has case. a crack shot. I He was in one now teaches history. I think. She living room for herself. took stantly. in which he had his books and desk and a bed for himself and the whole works. saying that she couldn't stand the six feet aim from about away. from Guilty of Everything by Herbert Huncke Bill decided to taking a move up into Joan's apartment not far from Columbia. much trouble with the help of a good lawyer and spent only thirteen days in ghost. a very reasonable amount of money. where he was course. Allen Ginsberg's opus in 1957. The a remembrance ofJoan Burroughs from his autobiography. There was some other young 53 . was able to keep himself out of too jail. It when that area 1 1 was beginning this apart- in back of Barnard there on 5th. She died in- not yet thirty years old. think. When her prize she met Burroughs she immediately was attracted to him. Bill face. It was an old just fash- ioned apartment that had been built about 1915. It was really a beautiful room. I think it was something 75 dollars a kept the kitchen and the dining room and the month for this gigantic place. Now. no such thing Joan's death an accident. by like today's standards practically nothing. "Howl" was written after a dream of Joan Herbert Huncke spent a following is lot of time with Joan and Bill during their life together. Bill.The Muses: Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs put a water glass on her head and turned her sight of blood. to be developed. to Burroughs was not the only Beat be inspired by Joan. and the three bedrooms she rented out to students from the university. that Then just a little bit beyond that was the bathroom and beyond of the History classes and was Hal Chase's room. Joan had rented a large rambling apartment. In either he has always maintained that was which has motivated him to write ever since. and she saved for room a him.

and wore silky clinging clothes and small bandannas tied close to her head. I don't know what you'd call them. They could carry on these extremely witty conversations. not really a close Joan particularly fascinated me. In her reserve. occasionally a girl. face. turned-up nose. They were very witty with a terrific bite. When she walked her calves wiggled. That relieved a great deal of the personal I problem that had at that time but that was the Chicago period. slowly. in her achievement of a personal style. I didn't if I know whether I was purely homosexual. I I had never met was attracted I a girl quite like Joan. After that. almost vitriolic with their sarcasm. or bi- sexual. she reminded Edie of Garbo. and it used to make me feel sort of humiliated because I obviously did not know what they were talking about. a chick. walked. and one that I had sex with. Edie reflected. was primarily about homosexual I at that time. she spoke. The clique consisted of Joan. Then there were several Oscar Wilde types. They were people that I didn't care much for. who had a place of his own but spent a great deal of time there. I'd ball say for a long time. Bill. soft brown hair with short bangs. fellow that was just sort of in and out. I didn't I know could have sex with a woman for a long time.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION member of the clique. Jack Kerouac. with a heart-shaped apart. was going through many changes I my homosexuality. was about 16 or 17 before actually had sex with and with then that was very quick and over with and done. Joan's beauty was more than She was soft sum of its parts. They were certainly effete. myself. From Literary Outlaw by Ted Morgan Joan was five foot six. and I felt embarrassed. dressed. As a young I had met a several girls that I to. light brown She had a lovely complexion and a nice with legs a little on the heavy the side. a small." was Joan's advice in the kitchen on 1 18th Joan did everything slowly. Allen. partly because I was intimidated by them. eyes that were set wide and shoulder-length figure. Well. teenager. and feminine. "You should always cook eggs Street. I couldn't always understand them. In fact. so I could have sex with women. In fact. if I use the word correctly. and read 54 . and later.

and Freudianism is not. Ever)'^thing in the damn place was hot. Inevitably jail. The the transition her life Edie in 1945 shows was undergoing afier Bill's arrest for forging prescrip- tions. as if savoring every zine Edie thought Joan was the most intelligent girl she had ever met. An)'ways clear in a couple I took me a week to convince those stupid doctors that wasn't completely mad. always questioning what anyone including her teachers at Barnard. with bubbleit bath up to her chin. Cassady. After a while we began taking in desperate characters had a mad year although now perhaps I've as boarders so before long I was running quite a pad. I'd due to that and the ever present back rent we got tossed out got been taking so I much was benzedrine that in the I way off the beam. according to Carolyn to Texas. reading Proust. and their subsequent move "I've really point cars for come to a resting Huncke stayed around and made some money making parked the luggage. If you wanted to talk to her had to be in the bathroom. Is one more serviceable than the other? Why does always have to be either/or?" Joan's idea of a sip good time was to go to Child's at 1 10th Street and Broadway and kiimmel and have deep conversations about Plato and Kant while listening to music. every newspaper and maga- slowly. people kept going to until finally. She had an said. was the first such documented case. as were of course a couple of cars out front. She read everything. there are echoes of Burroughs' thinking: "Maybe Marxism is dynamic and optiit mistic. with the result that just before finally I landed all Bellevue psycho ward of days but it Whitey's trial. independent mind. In one of her marginal notes in her copy of Marx's Capital and Other Writings. Joan's hospitalization for amphetamine psychosis which. Following are two another to letters written by Joan Burroughs —one to Edie Parker Kerouac letterfrom Joan to and Allen Ginsberg dated two years before her death. because just 55 . Everything was timed nicely though. classical Or she would spend the entire morning in the bathtub.The Muses: Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs moment.

W. for three weeks. ways. I'm sure you know what I mean. when you asked Bill in a letter once to refer to I me to Blake's sick rose. Yours. but when I saw you at Atlantic Beach had some hope for you." Mexico City. New Waverly. lately whose worm I'd been sharing for months. fulfilled. but I haven't yet. Bill Although we're not married got a divorce. And how invisible worm. had feared one time I that you'd never see the light. 1949 to hear Dear Allen. S. and don't I it is good luck your in many let it get away altogether. had more hopes and it they have been amply When I refer to as top-blowing.. Reich and faith made Wonder how poor Herbert managed. Make it to Mrs. yet. I was not much surprised of your hospitalization. However. as I've been claiming for three years (today being that at my third anniversary is from Bellevue) I'd anyone who doesn't blow his top once no damn good. Texas. Burroughs.. Either you know now what just a I know (and don't ask me just what that in is) or else I'm mistaken about you and off the beam somewhere — which case you're a is dime-a-dozen neurotic and I'm nuts. shant attempt to describe I my suffering it.WOMEN before I Of the BEAT GENERATION got out at last Bill got back in town. but with thyroid tablets. No percentage in talking about visions or super-reality or any such lay-terms. Joan 56 .

. Allen with his upheld index finger. where she was exposed early to the world of ideas. pivotal figure in the turbulent world of the Beats. Bill Bill. "standing by her man. While Neal.Carolyn Cassady Karmic Grace (1923"Dear Carolyn. to see not bound by the constraints of mere mortals. painter. lifestyle a man who with his cross-country road adventures. Carolyn Cassady remains She spent fourteen years exemplified the Beat on and off with the legendary Neal Cassady. voracious appetites and energy. and. and muse. with a wealth of experiences to draw from. Ken Kesey. and me with our wine.. contemporary Dionysus. later. and you with your pizza pies. a breadwinner. was over. Neal with his oolong. Carolyn Cassady was the bedrock at the core of the great Beat trio of Jack Kerouac. provided Jack Kerouac.. she knew them there was something very special about Jack. it would seem that she was the closest to the fifties' fit ideal of a devoted wife and mother.. An intensely creative own right. as and Neal and chose Carolyn Cassady recognize it. Allen. and wine. and as a penchant for drugs. Tennessee. Allen Ginsberg." Jack mother. ) Wouldn't it be wonderful for Neal. Carolyn provided Neal with the steady presence he needed when the party. Allen. . Both of her parents were educators and they 57 raised her in an . Hife.. Indeed. inevitably." But Carolyn doesn't person in her into any such convenient mold. me and you to be all together talking at night.. is a great believer in the power of fate and she had the faith to Carolyn Robinson grew up in Nashville. On the surface. and Neal Cassady. writer. Allen Ginsberg. You are a golden angel and * I'll always love you as I have & will.

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frenetic energy. her. at the time one of the most elite women's schools in the United States. or such thoughtfulness and diligence in being agreeable." They began dating. I accepted everything he told me as the truth. 59 ." she decided. this time. She was awarded a scholarship to Bennington College. ceramics. and amazing ability to absorb everything happening around it on everything from cars to Rimbaud. physical attraction being a felt dominant A good sign. 1946 (photo courtesy of Carolyn Cassady). "Physically I the cogs mesh in the wheel of fate. In her junior and senior years she ran the theater design department. and many others. while manag- ing to hide his trysts from Carolyn. his legs furiously pumping a mile a minute and his mouth blowing a verbal Dizzy Gillespie. She also studied sculpture. painting. and drawing. however. observing everything and everybody on every looking at her "with those talking eyes. continued sleeping with LuAnne." Neal's infidelities were less an indictment of his love for Carolyn relation- than a manifestation of his own insecurities. as well as dance with Martha Graham and psychology with Erich Fromm. her sense of which was enhanced by the fact that he was the first man she had fallen in love with "without romance or factor. architecture. Neal maintained "his open and innocent facade. In Carolyn's eyes. where her American blonde good looks Cassady.The Muses: Carolyn Cassady atmosphere that nurtured her curiosity and intellectual creativity." at the Although Neal was married time to sixteen-year-old LuAnne Henderson. She became convinced that her ship with Neal was a matter of predestination. In 1947. including the roguish Neal Neal was a human dynamo. because the teachers she studied with were fired without replacement." she later wrote. and she was so taken with him At that she bought the first of the many cons he would lay on never before experienced such solicitude. Neal. attracted many suitors. "I'd he convinced Carolyn that an annulment was imminent. Carolyn was immediately drawn him and verbally weave into a seemingly endless riff in to his pierc- ing eyes. "He appeared caught up side. where she trained in Stanislavsky's method acting and received a bachelor's degree in drama. she moved master's degree in theater to Colorado to pursue a all- and fine arts at the University of Denver." Facing page: portrait of Carolyn Cassady.

WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION Neal told Carolyn about his great writer friends from New York and Allen Ginsberg — whom he had met while on an extended honeymoon with intimating that he too was a part of this writing brotherthat Allen —Jack Kerouac for a LuAnne while. LuAnne was character of the her. Allen as such. she was an equal participant. Inevitably. LuAnne. to suspect that and Carolyn respected their friendship affair. things between Neal and Carolyn were still fresh and excit- and Neal seemed was quite to be old friends. loving both Beats until the day Neal dumped nowhere any time to the LuAnne Henderson in her and Jack at the corner of O'Farrell in and Grant San Francisco with no money and "Neal will leave to go. "hockacross" America. She ing just thrilled to every minute of the precarious journey all now immortalized by Kerouac. and Carolyn thought LuAnne Henderson LuAnne Henderson. they raced at top speed on a spree of grifting: begging." was the sixteen-year-old bride of Neal Cassady LuAnne's pretty blonde curls marry. They decided to York City in a stolen car with a few clothes. and stealing gas and food. hood and informing her was coming to Denver that June to stay When ing. Jack Kerouac came through town on his way to San Francisco. She had no reason full Neal and Allen were also having an his job. a volume of Shakespeare. "That's the girl I'm going to snowstorm shortly before Christmas. Neal had seen in a Walgreen's drugstore A month later. as adventurous as Neal. once described by Jack Kerouac as a "nymph with waist-length dirty blond hair. Allen arrived. before everything was just a matter came crashing down. it's you in the cold in his interest. the way LuAnne wasn't along for the however." whom he ultimately left for Carolyn." LuAnne remarked bemused Jack Kerouac. 60 . he did — in a terrible honeymoon on the road and set out for New and announced. Neal's plate between Carolyn. Allen. ride. and it but that did of time not stop him from proposing to Carolyn. the is girl in On the Road based on With Neal at the wheel of the stolen Hudson. borrowing. and Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. in New York City.

Cathy was born in August 1948. moved to San Francisco. harvest his crop of red-dirt marijuana. and Carolyn could only hope that he would eventually join her in California. Fool's and Neal and Carolyn were married on April Day. to Hollywood to pursue a career as a costume designer.A. San Francisco on 1947. October. a friend of Allen's. begging her forgiveness. 1948.. Carolyn to her. San Franasco. She burst into his room to find Neal. a loving husband. Shortly after Christmas. Neal attempted a lame explana- tion as Carolyn bolted in horror for Los Angeles.The Muses: Carolyn Cassady he was both handsome and poHte. and life in the Cassady household began a prolonged cycle of ups and downs. The morning she was to leave for the West Coast. There were plenty of good times when Neal was an excellent provider. but Neal had more immediate Allen Ginsberg was in love with He told her that him and that he owed Allen some time. and their romance began anew. Carolyn was in ecstatic and forgave him. to Meanwhile. Neal arrived October 4. and LuAnne na- ked in bed together. There was no reasoning with Neal. Carolyn became pregnant. 61 . Carolyn had finished school and decided move plans. 1947. and Carolyn and Neal in love. She hoped that Neal would follow her and they would eventually be married. Neal finally chiseled an annulment out of LuAnne. While waiting for a costume design position she had been promised to open up in L. and asking for another chance. There Neal wrote apologizing for his mistakes. The two men were planning a trip to Texas to help Bill Burroughs. and one night he a told Carolyn that that was too bad Neal had seen her This foreshadowed romance would later develop between Jack and Carolyn. Jack had girlfriends a habit it oFfaUing in love with his friend's first. Allen. Carolyn decided to^pay Neal a surprise visit.

Carolyn was numb at this point that she agreed to start divorce proceedings. and in early 1952 came to San Francisco. He would manager for a doctor for take off. Neal had started working as a brakeman for the raihoad. inevitably blowing the savings on a new car. for the Carolyn was pregnant in second rime. leaving Carolyn to fend for herself and Cathy. Neal was ruled by his compulsions. Much of the original Neal wrote to Jack was Ferlinghetti's lost. making good to save money." 62 . While he cruised around the country. Neal didn't take Allen Ginsberg's and Jack's enthusiasm for his writing too seriously. or some half-baked scheme. catapulted as the inspiration for the bold new prose style that. unpunctuated. though.WOMEN a of the BEAT GENERATION doting father. saying. the divorce was granted by an outraged judge and. a new girl.000-word. although final. that didn't it would take it a year to be stop Neal from talking Diana into believing that later that already was. and they were able some with the hopes of eventually buying a ranch. Jack always credited Neal's "Joan Anderson Cherry Mary" a 13. Jami. in 1950. letter that him to literary stardom. his two wives for a few months. Diana called to let Carolyn know so that she pregnant by Neal and that he wanted a divorce. where he took up residence in the attic of the Cassady home at 29 Russell Street. moving back son in with Carolyn and the By September 1951. Although she swore again and again not to take him back. leaving her job and family in California. handwritten piece ultimately. Neal married Diana Hansen on July 10. but a portion was published in The First Third by Lawrence City Lights publishing house after Neal's death. Ultimately. Carolyn held down a job as an office whom she also did medical illustrations and took care of her daughter. John Allen: Neal had named his after his two best friends. "All the crazy folderol you two boys make over my big letter just thrills the gurgles out of me. but we still know I'm just a whiff and a dream. and Neal helped him get a job with the railroad. but Neal had once again taken off and New York with a model named was also Diana Hansen. That June. Jack Kerouac himself had been through two marriages by this point. finally day to return to his railroad He bounced between girls. Carolyn gave birth to their third child. She gave birth to another daughter. in the process of finishing On the Road. with Neal nowhere to be found. He was letter. she could resist for only so long before Neal wore her down with was living his puckish charm.

psychic The couple became interested in the work of Edgar Cayce. even encouraged Jack and Carolyn to get together.The Muses: Carolyn Cassady Jack was always shy around Carolyn. tension and Jack. the San Jose Light Carolyn Cassady's portrait of Ellen Feldheym won "Best in Show" All California in 1968. The family moved to San Jose and then to Los Gatos. and he roared up there only when the urge became too strong. and the interlude ended with Carolyn choosing to stay with Neal. this In 1958. Carolyn continued to sup- port the family by working as a costume and artist for makeup Santa Clara Universit)'. perhaps feeling some guilt over his past transgressions. Carolyn had endured Neal's philandering for so long that she decided to do exhilarating for her as The next few months were she now had the attentions of it. Carolyn was as supportive as she could be. 63 . bur there was an attraction below the surface of their friendship. Neal. Being removed from San Francisco seemed to calm Neal down. Carolyn was ready to escape abroad. other times he refused to see her. but he con- vinced her to stay because he could not be released without a home to go to. two men who were dear arose between Neal to her. but Neal was unpredictable. and they spent time analyzing each other's thoughts and actions in light of Cayce's teachings. a who preached a positive message of acceptance and reincarnation. Soon. They became convinced that they to had spent many lifetimes together with much "karma work out. however. Neal was arrested for selling marijuana to undercover agents and spent two years in prison." Carolyn resumed her portrait painting time which she continues to and drawing around this day. Sometimes he was contrite and asked for forgiveness.

The bridge between Neal and me had fallen. Neal jumped the gap between the Beats and the hippies when he his began hanging out with Ken Kesey and group of psychedelic rangers. Was this "loving indifference"? I During the sixties. 64 . it isn't knows within himself when he is doing something right anyone else's business." liked to refer to him as "muscles. my recognition of his many unusual Why. and had a Of the BEAT GENERATION Stages. did all. Cassady had taken ing it that fled to flipping a four-pound sledgehammer and catch- while trying to get his ideas across to those to get rid a who would room. for my living. This exercise allowed me to love and in Neal more. and metaphysics. come home from time reflected later: to time. I was ashamed how comvirtues. all of bad vibrations in the Ann wanted women. She to herself and had hard time sharing him with other meat. work on the first "loving" part of the formula and I reviewed Neal's good qualities instead of concentrating on those disliked. Ann Murphy had at as good La handle on Neal's hurricane-force personality as any of them. She spent time with him during the Merry Pranksters hoo-ha Ken Kesey 's casa in Honda. I wondered. listen. but in quite a different way. I feel it my duty to keep him informed of his vices? After everyone really or wrong. It was an isolated and lonely peace at first. the reason. knew only greater pain would I — come from hanging on to a lost cause. the Merry ^ Ann Murphy Neal's steady girlfriend for the last years of his a life. group called the Wagon After prison. and looked at him now from the opposite bank. Neal continued to alternate between finally home and the road.WOMEN Opera Company. exchange for these tiny triumphs I traded in I hold. my original dream the dream I'd fought so long to believed. Carolyn to come to terms with the relationship and although she would allow Neal her. Ann was also part of the Prankster contingent to Mexico after the staged Kesey suicide to avoid arrest. only dropping the hammer Neal Neal Cassady and Ann Murphy. California. and I also knew better than to forfeit the peace of mind I'd attained. she was free from the power he had held over She As my attitude I and responses slowly changed from possessiveness tried to to detachment. a gulf between us. Thinking back on our pletely I'd buried months together.

It's and the 29 Russell Street in San the road together. Now seemed the time to solidify the with the grandparents.The Muses: Carolyn Cassady He even piloted the day-glo bus. fack. She lives. but she did consult on casting and script for the movie version of Heart Beat in which she was played by Sissy Spacek and Neal was played by Nick Nolte. by her credo. within the group. the only time Carolyn. She is now working with a Hollywood production of "The Joan Anderson Letter" and a Francis Ford Coppola production of On the Since 1984. Neal. "Furthur. roller-coaster ride provides insight into what was like to be a part of a of a marriage to a man immortalized in books. Neal. home and travels to California often to see her children and grandchildren. He had rail- party in the freezing cold and was found dead of hypothermia beside the road tracks the next morning." This excerpt from Carolyn Cassady s children leaving the house at Off the Road finds Carolyn. In the light of the past months of comparative compatibility and was now built serenity with Neal. Neal's left a life on the road caught up to him in a small town Mexico in 1968. and he started doing massive doses of speed and LSD to bolster his superman image Pranksters." that they bombed around the country in. "You only have what you give away. life after Neal consisted of raising their children and continuing to paint. For Carolyn. Offthe Road. He was well known to these people as Dean Moriarity from On the Road. as An excerpt from Offthe Road v^zs published Heart Beat v/hhouz Carolyn's consent. Francisco in 1952. because of rest. and I let my thoughts return to plans for a family life based on the conventional patterns that had tie formed my own. Kesey and the Pranksters nicknamed his incredible constitution him Speed in Limit. Carolyn has made London her Road and continues to paint portraits and write. and fack were on Jack's sights turned more and more longingly to the peace and simplicity of Mexico. we 65 . I felt our married life on a firmer foundation. So. as always. and his ability to go days on end without However. interest in had never seen our children but had shown a consistent who them. poems. It work as well as write and She is the author of an excellent it memoir about her time with Neal. and movies.

sessions in I taking only his sea bag. all We could survive Neal took a month We'd take with us to a of the baby food and most of our own. trip There was now no doubt that the pleasure. thought it appropriate for me to accompany him on five years one "road" — after all had had no vacation of any kind for or more. and we all bravely minimized the impending separation by making happy plans for reuniting in Mexico in the nebulous future. 66 . The were lined with our bags and boxes of food.WOMEN decided to go to Tennessee and well. Neal also thought this a chance to look up his father. We'd to start Mexican border south of Tucson. share the driving drive Jack as far as Nogales across the his way. There was a surprising amount of room. railroad. not merely a off from the plunged into plans. Neal. giving Neai a chance to see the farm also I as always ready to travel at least at any excuse. Neal took the girls into the front seat. jack Kerouac and Jami Cassady on Russell Street in San Francisco. It was accepted by share a all three of us that we would home someyear. We took out the back seat of the "woody" and back. and as we got underway he Carolyn and Cathy Cassady. He and had no opportunity for a private talk before we left. Of the BEAT GENERATION visit them. him on Everything worked out beautifully. Jack took a nostalgic farewell of his attic nook. which I covered the floor with a cot mattress. where for at least a part of each Before pulling away from Russell Street. and keep the motels minimum. I was an absolute if necessity. putting John's small crib mattress across the I I I left enough room for the it i jP two girls to stretch out between sides and the front seat. leaving the bulk of his posit.

in spite sudden of three adults and three children. overt We could make The later. in fact seemed add to especially at when to they passed a place remembered from a previous trip and would begin once tell me the stories attached to it. this and two of We visited arrival this fj. During the Neal became so emotionally involved that Jack and that it had to laugh and remind him repeatedly was only a play. "I didn't know you knew anything about astronomy. realizing that time was growing short.The Muses: Carolyn Cassady about every passing scene. and they were I all most cordial. and all of us were wistful. slept. didn't as though the to family presence was it. four hours ten- sion was nearly unbearable by the time it we reached Santa Barbara but was a romantic agony willingly suffered. facing The space was somewhat cramped two adults.om house to house. had listened to the It men. latter We listened to radio dramas. in tune with the knowl- edge it was our night together. so communication had electric to consist only of longing looks and the occasional touch of knees. We no lapsed into a silent reverie. First Nighter and I Whistler. stars all we peered into the vast pan- orama of glittering detailed discourse around us and Neal astounded both Jack and me with a on the constellations all and stars. While the children desert. He probably was putting us on. but my objections silenced. thinking what sound it a different "road" this was from the others they'd shared. made me nervous. enhanced I their excitement with a constant patter had crawled into the back with John and for sat crosswise. move toward each other without feeling sorry for Neal. "Wherever did you learn that?" we asked in unison. and the half-sisters second in Los Angeles where Neal was able to locate two older brothers. but this suited our melancholy mood. seemed the only one conand at cerned about breach of manners. but his absorption Later. we three adults sat in front and drove all night across the The The sky was deep and last clear. dampening their pleasure in the least. relaxed on the floor next to Jack to watch television — the first I'd For all of the next day's drive I I urged Jack to to smile as I sit in front with Neal while the girls and I played games in back. Jack and each other. We spent the first night with Neal's younger sister and her husband. when there was only music for background." 67 . length I held ever my peace and seen.

was no warmer inside the one big bare room that smelled of it A brown varnished bar lined one wall. 68 . "I tell know everything about ever)'thing —how many times have to you?" The stars dissolved into the pearl gray dawn.. Jack made a few stabs at cheery conversation. Lysol. and wanted the separation over. and he stroked my I hair with his hand behind my head. and we got out. fence. It man. "Sure. Later Jack wrote: .WOMEN With do 1 Of the BEAT GENERATION a sigh Neai repHed. The parting was near. After the melancholy of the morning. and in front of scattered. but he said in the end was that in a few months maybe we'd all be living there together. so we said corny goodbyes and ran back figure to the car. and that gave concentrate all my attention on my own little family. and with it came a chill. . Now I could We had learned our limitations. As if by accident.. A few yards inside the gates was "Aw. it was the best we could do by way of farewell. I let my head drop to touch Jack's shoulder. you could have come through with the fifty car that morning . alongside a wire fence. the outskirts of the town. I to the adventures behind. come on. ." Neal condescended. but morning it good idea and helped calm me. and now our mood. a white-walled cafe last with chipping and Jack said. I Neal was eager to get going. and we of Nogales. . Beer before breakfast a few metal tables this and was chairs were a was new to me. Neal drove didn't see to the Mexican border and parked the car dirt. and we grew silent. but trash. hopping from Mexico ahead fell silent. but sensing only unrest if on Neal's part. Can't you have one beer with me?" He stood forlornly beside the car with his sea bag over his shoulder. turning to wave until we'd lost sight of the sagging by the border . any guards or customs. us a new freedom. we set out on the rest of the journey confident our former problems were the errors of youth. miles around or anything at no charge (and bought and seen idea a fiesta in the afternoon in the gay little city You have no what it is ten feet beyond that wire fence. only weeds and Everything was gray and dreary: the weather. could have driven stuff) . paint. he too wondered Neal's mood was all less one of regret for Jack's departure than for not being in Jack's shoes.

Neal drove under the barrier as was descending traffic. pigs. much to my surprise. taught him to churn butter and we toured the and ghost-filled mansions of the Old South as well Neal was once again wasn't between us. power of my indignation on the Neal wisely slid down in his seat between us. full switched from scolding Neal to defending him.The Muses: Carolyn Cassady We were together enjoying a shared experience. taken aback by look and rode off my outburst. I began yelling I at Neal. He drove carefully and slowly —almost too slowly all thought. I I didn't want to miss a minute of it. and throughout our little girls stay remained remarkably cattle. me —you understand. as but we took walks and played historic battlefields in the creek. Neal was times. and they'd freeze in instant suspicion. and in>my terror inflicted the officer. hunh. and I couldn't get I him on a horse. Whatever was. at which point a police rode up beside us and began doing likewise. There was only one near-catastrophe on the way near to Nashville: at a it drawbridge to stop the New I Orleans. but he had some notion about a "cruising speed" to preserve the it car. serene and agreeable. I explained to him how I'd had to learn the techniques and attitudes of the Southern whites. shows there's "Ha. He'd be naturally friendly and respectful to farmhand. A cowboy he wasn't. casting a hapless." the grandparents The two weeks with ners went smoothly. nearly died of fright to see the concrete highway rise up directly in front of the radiator. crops He listened with enthusiasm to my father's stories of the and animals. see there? honey? Forgive It some advantage in having a shrewish wife. at all I could wish. The only was problem I had with him it his failure to get the appropriate slant (for a white) on how to treat black people. soon shot Neal a sympathetic My stability returned with the relief that we'd not received a ticket. my ideal companion. henpecked look at the officer who. local folkways. and lambs and the sight of tobacco growing. or drugstore curb server. coal man. although 69 . also impressing my parents with his affection for and pa- tience with the children. rather my former Nashville haunts. as pleased as the with the horses. officer Somewhat hysterically. it dispelled my initial anxiety that we'd be bickering over the country about his driving. Neal exhibited his good man- and thoughtfulness.

Whether it was being reminded of his childhood miseries by seeing Jim again. folks my confidence find out? I in him shaken. and was glad of it. "It's to reason with white Southerners — it isn't a matter of reason or intelhgence. but before we reached Denver. It of our relationship again. In Kansas City we found Neal's brother Jim. and I thought I had learned By the time we got to have to to Denver I was attempting as to collect the shattered pieces to. or a reaction against his recent submission to conventional behavior. or simply his psy- chological imbalance. took me a long time to comprehend. went well. caught Neal smoking mari- panicked. I emotional and ingrained.— WOMEN I'd Of the BEAT GENERATION no use trying It's all hated it and it had been a major cause of my leaving the South. escaping I'll never know. been going so well for so long. he was happy to see 70 . With some reluctance. it knew I had all make the effort though at the last meant so much to Neal. but I see Neal's father. so we went movie and slept as long as we could before continuing across the endless plains. I agreed to take the children to see the children. but trying not to show it. We had a friendly visit for an hour or two. too. more sadly now because everything had that lesson. letting them hang out window to wave really at their grandfather. but that My is parents and have close friends who It are wonderful one subject we simply have I to avoid. people otherwise. Neal reverted to I from us twice for many hours without explanation. I Then one afternoon juana in our bedroom. not through change. and Neal behaved pill though he wished was a bitter acknowledge that our differences had evidently been overcome only real through circumstances. I shortly before our departure. his old self. How could he risk any possibility that my would remained nervous and on edge until we were for his safely away. while I went in alone. Neal decided the minute to stay in the car with the children. and to couldn't imagine what we would have to talk about. I It was just as well. As it happened. responded with the same old righteous martyrdom. but as long as kept mentioning his son." But Neal couldn't. Not that in a I didn't want to meet him or have him he was living in a hotel neighborhood that made I me uncomfortable. the poor dear didn't know who I was. against whom Neal bore no grudge childhood atrocities. but Jim had no to a drive-in room for us to spend the night.

. We promised each other we'd give analysis another. while Jack was sending him the Jack says your for mad says at him or a are tired of him. it is kind of lostness. even? What's going on around there anyway? Back in harness.. money and stealing groceries Anxieties. dim hope recycled once more. apparently writing "Jeepers. women went in and out of his room.. just seen the I didn't really I'd know how for us to raise children in a city to wide open spaces it been accustomed all if —and although to a —Neal had a city boy It himself. to send back the twenty-three opening pages. He you busy and obsessed with "complete all-the-way- down-the-line materialistic etc. Afterwards Neal went up to see him on his filial own. Neal. where letter Jack?" The other letter said he'd just received a 'monu- mental from Jack in Mexico' and that we were rest. Neal's affection to was appeased. but when we reached home we agreed to keep tryin^to find new angles. more plans make.. more attentive try. gave us something else to look forward to." We were both considerably depressed by the setbacks. In those days I didn't understand 71 ... and when a clear conscience his father died a few years later he was able to return Denver with to arrange the burial. father and I was glad to be able to reassure was being very well looked I after. While I was there." etc. Two letters awaited us. We traveled the rest of the it way home Denver someday and review — "when properly as fast as we could. plus one addressed to Jack — the first word we'd had from unaware of our Allen for three months. We also reached out for the hope that possibly a change of scene would help. are you in Frisco. resolving to return to the children would be older and would appreciate it too. he concurred might be better we moved to more as rural area. Also said he was happy there.. Neal that his clucking and fussing over Neal. In the letter he'd written first. he's is that true?. Neal became depressed again. he said he'd found a missing chapter of trip..The Muses: Carolyn Cassady me... a wonderful floozy of a Sr. while stayed with the children. and we settled into our own bed again. I'm afraid in him in Mexico. smoking with Mexicans mudhuts. On The Road \^\\\ch^ he was forwarding is to Jack.

Would it be possible to have my epistles (like St. 72 . Much Didn't expect to be so well received either. Yours. waiting for a Word. Cassady: How Too is you. own children.C. Yipe! Consider my letters henceforth too.. plan no imminent invasion of Frisco but would like to someday and hope I be welcome to you and likes we can be to me.. Would be interested know your process of changes of love and thought.. mention it does sound sort of inevitable that you might have had some yr. breaking the ice of need for change and excitement. my letter and sealed our friendship." He also replied thanks for your letter...... with other peoples' female notions. Rome temporarily. interior of last years except by conjecture. He wrote Allen a nice note. Never got the idea from W. Church? and Paul) read in state at dinner table in front of the children of the Constantinople here needs me so can't get to letter." Much to my delight and surprise Allen wrote a letter to me. but now that you that dispenses that cloud. Fields that you had anything to do with it. after all . Don't realize too much of yr. Understood your Allen Thanks. feel about him. still it. Take care of the children means Jack I and Neal will too) as everybody will ultimately be saved. Hope not. Jack you but is afraid You always seem all right of you. he not so dumb. Thank you for child name. (you know?) I wonder how you friends. Allen The Stranger I answered him I cordially. may come out there yet..WOMEN his of the BEAT GENERATION judging others by my own standards. as I see things now I I think maybe you been (that through the mill bad. five years: Dear Mrs. So Was Jack's tip too. saying "You're the same great wonderful guy and I'm more of a bum than ever. and he wrote Neal "Maybe to a change of scene would be good. including you. always been sorry bitter to forgive? contributed to the privation. Or write in attic and make love to wife and me. hand in naming addressed to you.." and ending with "Why don't you come out here? Nice place if one likes Be brakie and make lots of money. Shy.

I at the offer to share my thoughts by pouring them out to him and requesting ther gratified tionships: comments and advice only position with Neal and Jack. Madwoman. Jack ran into a blank wall which everyone understands and respects in Neal. b) Jack c) still loves Neal none the less than ever. I'll send on an antholI of statements apropos it is. how much they knew each other and years how often they lived through the is and crises. Jack full of Carolyn's praises same and nominates her to replace Joan Burroughs as Ideal Mother Image. The fact is that Jack is very inhibited. made him lonely and rejected and like a little brother whose questions the older brother wouldn't answer. too. also. but they Blakean portrait of Allen Ginsberg by Carolyn Cassady.C. Jack also says Carolyn beats Ellie [a girl in New York] for mind. Jack thinks Neal is indifferent to him. It upset and dispirited Jack. Jack loves Neal platonically (which as the analysts say) think is a but maybe about sex I'm 'projecting' and Neal loves Jack. though obviously not as with the same this is intensit)' and power he loves Neal. realizes however has only in a special way. I What /think about pity. their history together. The last word means a special honorary type post hip intellectual. however. Fields. a thoughtful He furrela- me by setting down and thorough analysis of all our Jack's attitude: a) as og)' I haven't got all his letters here. and all acceptable and obvious considering parties involved. including Jack feel and Neal. sex doesn't define the whole thing. d) Jack loves Carolyn also. Its main root is ignoramus. as he how good Neal been to him and that Neal really loves him. 73 . e) Jack said nothing about sleeping with you in his letters. his relations with Neal when assemble them. from the mythology of W. However. chick and ignu.The Muses: Carolyn Cassady jumped his Immediately.

Allen. Neal. Shall for a total we not then keep as in mind it to try to arrange last?. I grand reunion somewhere for long as can am definitely interested in going to ... . bed with everybody and making love P. include his preoccupation and blankness (preoccupation with R.S.. of us when become properly Mexico may be a good idea for solidified what we must make plans . . under our various pressures. I believe. and thought showed great gentility in the writing I and the proposal which accept with rocky belly for I sometime in the future. . What . h) Perhaps Neal wants to feel like a crestfallen cuckold because he wants to be beat on the breast by Carolyn Cassady. etc. He would and all claim right to treat Neal as a human 1 being hit him on the breast with balloons.WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION I couldn't communicate guess. no remorse. will transmit messages immediately. What further sweetness is and juiciness issues therefrom will no one knows. to do with world feels is next problem. just Jack probably . perhaps yet to be made. tho .R. which have always had ring of innocency and childlike completeall ness and have been else he knows which I is more (about himself) than anybody I knows anyway. confessions of great merit and value. write me a letter about sex. However. when the it practical time comes. . . all to do is all meet somewhere where it is practically possible to live. Neals last confession is r--. believe Neal. that be fate. compassion for Neal. however nobody seems to take seriously the confession he has made already and continues to do so. representing truth to him. there no forcing anything. Had money I would fly out immediately for weekends by plane. I well imagine is him in that position.. g) I did not think (even dream) from Neal's note I he is bitter..) as final household moneying. a portrait ^^"^"Tmiiirfv^^ with balloons. Neal has already even him. A. was surprised it to get his invitation to visit. the sage. ujl his salvation already assured. . 74 . unnecessary guilt (He does not know?) He is already on top of the world. he would love in to live altogether with everybody Mexico.

The Muses: Carolyn Cassady about sex always managed to Allen's artirude raise my if Puritan hackles. 75 . but if it wasn't possible. pressures could be siphoned off in small doses in a variety of ways. and felt accepted. in the Summer of I9SS. Carolyn and Neal Cassady with son. thinking that lived together. Deep in my heart 1 still yearned for a the monogamous arrangement with Neal. perhaps arrangement held possibilities hitherto unknown in conventional patterns. It certainly pricked I my romantic bubbles. My it ability to analyze ended there. and I suspect he knew it. but in other respects his thoughts we all were reassuring. John Allen.

is unpossessable. most likely That Jack. She became an expert 76 . Life there was full of fancy people and elegant parties. and she was a dark-haired beauty with an adventurous enthusiasm that charmed those around her to her. In 1941. and experi- At first. was interested in leaving her wide variety of new ideas. but was an intense period of growth for all of the people involved and set the stage for all that would follow. along with Joan Burroughs." — Joyce Johnson notes. people. Edie was creative vortex that very center of the intellectual and in- produced the new consciousness of the Beats. Edie's got her resourceful spirit. she would young gentleman to marry. But she to school and spent most at sneak- of her time investigating the neighborhood hangouts. working as a longshoreman while girl and as a cigarette on Forty-second Street. despite her dreams of marriage and 'Oh. Jack's at had her own adventures. You can weave such an he'll exciting ambiance around a man hardly know he's being held by it. Edie Parker grew up in the wealthy suburb of Grosse Pointe. Edie had very different sheltered existence behind in favor of a ences. we'll have our Bohemian period and then we'll settle down and he'll write his books and we'll love each other forever. Indeed.' She's even sea. though. (1923-1992) "And this is something Edie l<nows. her parents sent find a suitable Columbia University with the expectation that she ideas.Edie Parker First Kerouac —an Mate unarticulated sadness. Edie was it volved with the group for a relatively short time. Edie Parker Kerouac was no at the fifties' ^Joyce Johnson As housewife. she attended evening classes while living in an apartment near the preferred night life campus with her grandparents. Michigan.

and he and Lucien closed the bar at around 77 . Lucien was not interested Dave. he told Jack to keep an eye on Edie. Dave had been obsessed with the sharp-featured Lucien since Lucien a boy. however. he stormed away in shock and anger. This apartment-cum-salon provided the it freedom that they both had been seeking. Louis that included Lucien Carr and Burroughs. She was introduced to Jack by her boyfriend at the time. Jack did more than involved in a love affair. and they were soon When Jack was sent to sea as well. Lucien seemed to enjoy the whole drama of the situation. Edie discovered that she was pregnant. Dave was Bill part of a group of friends from St. and Jack did not hide for too long. Jack moved in with Edie. she had no idea whether the father was Jack or Henry. but did nothing to discourage his attentions. and Lucien Carr. It was just about this time that Edie met Joan VoUmer Adams. his attraction to other Nobody stayed mad and these intragroup dalliances only strengthfree ened the bonds between them The and easy attitude that they were all playing with came to a disastrous climax with the death of Dave Kammerer. When Henry returned to New York. Things got progressively worse. replace Jack girls. most lasting attachment to anybody from this period was to Jack Kerouac. Burroughs were regular visitors. he proposed to Edie and she promptly told him about Jack and the baby. nonmonogamous relationship. and the to disengage. Dave dropped by. shipped out. however. was in and had been following him around ever since. Lucien went out drinking with Allen and Jack at the West End. Henry was an old friend of Jack's and they were both merchant seamen. When Henry that. all. and Bill wasn't long before Allen Ginsberg. and the two of them began a mercurial. 1944. Edie would quickly whenever he shipped out. group It tried unsuccessfully to get Dave was the evening of August 13. at Jack's Catholic guilt got the best of him. and they moved into an apartment together on 1 18th Street. Jack returned soon after and was met at the West End Bar by Henry and Edie. Edie resolved to inform the two friends about the situation. In fact. When Jack was apprised of the facts. Henry Cru. Although she decided not to have the child.The Muses: Edie Parker Kerouac du ing our of her grandparents' apartment to rendezvous with her boyfriend Edie's jour. and he appeared her door later that night and told her that they should live together.

Edie tried her best to make Jack feel at home in this suburban world. down with Falstaff beer and Colt 45 malt liquor. though they were separated at the time. his alcohol intake was interfering with in a stupor. he finally had of. Stella was his wife during the most of his when he claimed that being famous was preventing every aspect of his life. But married life lot when compared to prison life. Upon his death. Stella and he would wander the streets of Lowell. after the honeymoon. French Canadian. the older difficult part sister life. The marriage was short-lived. while he was unwilling to commit something so final. off the BEAT GENERATION to Riverside The two then went a play for Lucien. but he went out to the bars anyway. Her father got Jack a job in a factory. money enough to support his mother and buy her the them lived. Edie had been interested in marrying Jack. and Jack consented to marry Edie if she would bail him out. Lucien weighted down the body and into the Hudson River.WOMEN four that morning. Nor could they appreciate his attempts to become a writer. By this time. Lucien surrendered to the police two days as material witnesses in the case. Jack and Edie went to Grosse Pointe. house she'd always dreamed where all three of But their domestic bliss was curtailed when his mother had a stroke. They were married at City Hall on August 22. with a detective standing in as best man and Celine Young as the maid of honor. Stella claimed rights to Jack's estate. 78 . Michigan. and he came up with a solution with Edie was looking a whole to his problems: Edie. Jack and were picked up While parents reached into their deep pockets to bail jail. who gave him some money and advised him went to see Jack to obtain counsel and plead self-defense. 1944. Stella was essentially a caretaker for the two Kerouacs. From that point on. Lucien then and Edie. Alex. The three of them discussed various plans while Edie knife made breakfast. Catholic background. Edie's parents were wealthy Protestants who had no understanding of Jack's working-class. Massachusetts. Bill's and Dave's Bill glasses. Jack's father decided to let Jack rot in A few days behind to bars were enough for Jack. Jack and Lucien disposed of the later. He left Grosse Stella In Sampas Sampas. rolled it him. Park where Dave finally pushed too hard. Jack Kerouac married Stella of his best friend from child- hood. downing a of Johnny Walker Red a day and washing that his success after With On the Road. but Jack better worked only long enough to pay back Edie's father for the bail money. a literary legacy that is being contested by Jan Kerouac's estate. November 1966. him out. He went to see Burroughs. his being able to write. tried to stop his nightly fifth ramblings by hiding his shoes. he killing made who stabbed him with his Boy Scout knife.

the When New York Times' rave review of On the Road appeared. they were young and marriage overwhelmed them. Jack received bags of fan mail. unable to understand affair why the world wasn't eager to hear about her great love funeral in with Jack Kerouac. Ed White. and Neal was attracted to Virginia. There was no malice drop into Grosse Pointe later. They stayed with me and my girlfriend Virginia Tyson at her Pointe. The reunion between Jack and Edie was Edie was back in Grosse Pointe and applied for an annulment within very brief. 1947. letter thirteen years after their divorce. a year. who was staying in Dearborn that summer. Edie ran toward the casket screaming. and Burroughs took the remaining room. in the breakup. Jack loved the grand piano in Virginia's sunken living room. Years Jack wrote to her to complain about his fame and yearn for simpler times. following their first road trip. The Tysons were out of town. Allen had also moved into the apartment. Edie married a disappointed total of four times before her death in 1992. Soon after this attempt at reconciliation." Edie's subsequent marriage to a midwestern small businessman couldn't match the excitement of life with the hero of the Beat Generation. But the reunion was not meant to be. visiting Nova Scotia. "I'm the wife of Jack the only wife of Jack Kerouac!" Kerouac — What follows It is an account by Edie of one of those times when Jack and Neal dropped by. and Jack would continue to write to her or to see her when he was on the road with Neal Cassady. had received a letter from 79 . She was bitterly when her writing remained unpublished. comes from You'll be Okay.The Muses: Edie Parker Kerouac Pointe after just a few weeks to ship out to sea from a In New York port. was Detroit's Number One radio announcer. Edie's unpublished autobiography. Jack and Neal came to visit me in September. December. Jack and Edie reconciled 1 in New York and moved back in with Joan in an apartment on Bill 15th Street. At Jack's October 1969. Virginia's father parents' home in Grosse Ty Tyson. famous for his Detroit Tigers baseball broadcasts and popular interview shows. including a a from Edie asking to reconcile and go on "world tour.

like the Mexican roads I and the boys needed Of course I would put them up. at the whoo-whee! We stopped ger ale so Rustic Cabin Saloon for drinks. We were just caught us pretty in the "excitement" of our lives." Our parents left Jack's much alone. Jack and conventionally "split had not up " in our own minds anyway. Virginia decided to have the parry catered. brother Bill at home. We stuck their canvas luggage in the trunk and off we went. I could see he was happy travelling. My mother was pleased was back in Crosse Pointe. enjoying the freedom of finally having become "adults. of what we were doing from day to day. The wind was in our sails. Virginia drank V. and Jack and I holding hands tightly in the backseat. our living together. it visit! The two lane roads were quite a rest. coming from Chicago in the middle of the day. and getting married. that I as they had during the war. or Virginia would all have dined on cookies for the next two months (the house was stocked with father's advertising her products including beer). Jack's Ed White had come I from Marin City. up in a manner of thinking. and this and early '50s. Her his Virginia planned a big party with the Tigers because the house was hers.O. where he had stayed with Henry Cru.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Jack telling him to advise me of his pending today. "Co" John Clellon Holmes' book was blaring. Thank God for her charges. The top was down on the big white Lincoln convertible. and we had a tough time rounding up between Funny thing about Crosse Pointers: the people have ev- erything except cash! Jack got up and went to the men's room then came back grin- 80 . New York for good. primitive then. the radio and we were all talking at the same time. was us. Neal in the drivers seat with his blond. Jack and Neal arrived by Creyhound. and ginIt we it all did. shipping out. thirty five cents per drink. so we went shopping and spent everything on booze and big roasts. but was could not do at my house due to my mother. This time. and thought that Jack was out of our She could not have been further was one of the times in the late from the '40s truth. and says. he had own crazy group of friends. We met whenever we could. we never really did. as We loved each other. California. out of lives. but he was no problem. letter to Jack and Neal were coming from Denver.

WWJ. and came up with a rumpled "ten spot. Neal wanted a beer. which she and later split. Some garlic great smells were drifting through the house. Suddenly the piano came alive. Jackson. They were "jail great and lived in the house. And and I also wore one as a hostess — for that memorable event. in their big front yard. tradition of "silver and candle light sit-down dinners. for station noon. Neal was in the room with the double bed." served at in the dining custom at my room by Maggie. Jack never answered. was playing baseball Jack and Neal joined right in with the gang. around educated" Neal. the real reason Jack wanted to stay here.— The Muses: Edie Parker Kerouac ning. Hams. in with food When they wanted to stay at the Saverine. he beamed at all the loud jazz music. turkeys. Ty Tyson had five a live broadcast. a friend of Billy's. which was through the kitchen and outside. All the Detroit sports political "big shots" . Pete Sinatra. Neal pitching. We got to Virginia's about four. tanned their welfare help.M. Maggie and her daughter were downstairs in the kitchen. Neal didn't 1 know Jack as well as did. loved Frank He played six of Frank's songs for two bits and we had sit through Billy all of them. cookies. "Where did you get that gold?" he asked. and Jack in the twin-bedded master bed- room. Jack catching. "Man of the Street." Neal was shocked." where he talked to people at "and pronto!" in front of the Michigan Central Railroad Station every day days a week. The cupboards were full of Altes Wheaties. potato salad. and Jack was playing and outs" of the house. Ty his pallbearers always wore a black French "tam. even wore them. Ouelette. instead of the Saverine Hotel with the Detroit Tigers." which was placed on his casket at the Verheyden Funeral Home when he died. and Chuckles. Virginia and unpacked their luggage for her maid Maggie to do the laundry. The grand piano was downstairs. and meat sauce for spaghetti! The Tysons had a 7:00 I'. He eventually became president of the station. the "French Canuck" owner. Virginia I got them and lodging I for a very low price. He ordered another round. As I showed him the "ins young. preparing dinner. I was concerned about beer. The house had four bedrooms with four huge bathrooms. Bob came over and helped Virginia and I with the luggage. Jack was expecting this as we had the same mother's house. He to gave Neal a quarter for the "great" juke box.

We went in for dinner and the phone started ringing. They were with Jack and Neal taking turns on the drums. There was an upright piano also which they it took turns playing. ping-pong table. either to play the radio or our own records on the Victrola. Jack and I were anxious to be together again fire. into the living room. and we started passing the dishes for our feast. Then we all went to bed. and Jack finally I came to bed when it was He crawled my twin bed. and went to bed. with Jack to We got out by the up and went and I on the floor. so he clean white shirts. Neal wanted to know whose was! He was always making corny remarks. I'd We drank and danced until very late in the night. stretched know who was coming to the party we had planned for the next day. He came back downstairs wearing one of Billy's Neal. a finished basement with a bar serv- ing Altes tap beer. three-piece band. This was birthday Jack's favorite dessert. for Neal never would have done anything to discredit Jack. was so excited about Jack's return that the guests arrived. and Sander's vanilla ice cream. it and he was pleased. where in the sink. I Billy. We held the party in the Tyson's rathskeller. rinsing them and setting them Then Virginia served coffee. 82 . When was well on my way. woke up once light. Jack silver to worry about! As seven went upstairs to take his customary shower and shave. we brought our plates after dinner. I started drink- much. Jack. never know. He wanted behind closed doors. But still had it about midnight. The ing too next day flew. after a long day. the same kind of wonderful party and Neal. apple pie. I was wonderful. too soon. where great. Jack and Neal said to leave it to them. Virginia took it off the ate in hook. Jack scowled at went to wash up and comb his hair. however. and Neal went out for fresh bread I and to the Saverine to see about a band. to hear the party into going. and I fell back to sleep. had been alone. She need not If Neal have worried. heard the musicians laughing and leaving in a cab. We had a large assortment of food on a covered I'll Jack and Neal had found a black. she would have had more than o'clock approached. Virginia was nervous so she kept the silver locked away in drawers. We said we didn't know what to do about the music. Maggie and her daughter the kitchen. no tie.WOMEN came to rhc of the BEAT GENERATION we gave for Jack house for Ty's wake.

no one claimed them.. I up with her boyfriend I as she had to go to work. grabbed them. and felt down to enjoy I my still thoughts of Jack's in love with Jack. it was more than the cost of the entire parry. ing about the four bathrooms. then or The plumbers arrived in two trucks.M. She was hoping someone would help 83 . looking like everything just as before except for the there. I started the fire up. pay. should have had a hangover but kept pretty good. This took at least the front yard and several of us stood around the hole. 1 went to give to the it bathroom. a nurse. too. They had so much coffee. ing bodies! I I my coffee I into the living room. the hole was big enough for a casket! on and pulled the shorts! pipes Then one of the plumbers jumped in with his hip boots apart. so made some took coffee. flushed the thought. so I and it started to gurgle! I was too sleepy I any started cleaning up. I was never happier I to be with him. The plumbers mended the lawn. wanting to know whose shorts they were. my pajamas. they reminded their paraphernalia. new "bump" bill for in someone was buried When Virginia got the the damages. h took day to me of doctors.m. In the meantime. a pair of men's rinsed The plumber. all woke Jack up at 7:00 A. It looked like they were digging a grave. was which my adrenalin flowing. They were continuously consultsome kind in the pipes. the guests were still some of I partying. sat which was with sleepvisit. picking up glasses as worked my way I downstairs. repairs. woke up and went Virginia and told her about the plumbing situation. place was if The Tyson's wonderful old school clock in the kitchen said 6:00 a. got One of the guests. I The half picked up. they were white with big red polka We became hysterical with laughter. she put right me in charge back to sleep. grass. with you-know-what. The plumbers dug up watching. There was a blockage of and they decided they would have to dig up the lawn outside. particularly Neal. Fortunately. an hour. He reported that the toilets were stopped up! So phoned the plumber for emergency ever. and boy! was she furious. wondered filled they got that free. Dean. I wondered who he'd slept with. suspect to partake of the party! all They were a half a over the house with electric snakes and discover the problem.The Muses: Edie Parker Kerouac 1 got up before the rest of the crowd and put on toilet. them with dirty water and put them on display on the dots! We were spellbound. Out floated.

Clot's mother. will. Clot's mother there. Their bars fully stocked. So they enjoyed the rest of their stay with the Tigers with fun players Roy Cullenbine. drinking and driving at the age of society. city government. pool legal tables. lot two hold-up came in (the bar cashed checks. in our homes and other still away The speakeasy atmosphere of the twenties and early thirties hung around such places. and Motor Products followed. and told her to "the hell I open the it." far which were places. The whole of Detroit was by then in depression. husband Kelly lived in also lived there. but were arrested. the service. to Jackson Prison. and unions. as and no one enforced the laws Grosse Pointe Emma. and Dick Wakefield. Jack and Neal letter. to Neal. with beer on tap. Her mother Marie and her poor relation. Emma was were always to Clot was John Wayne's tall double.WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION Well. their business south taxes. moving and out of the country." register. At Emma's house there was always plenty and the basement bar had a walk-in refrigerator. It was across from Motor Products. Jack and Neal later visited my friend Lee Donnelly's future DeMueleemeister's bar on the east side of Detroit. Lee lived on Mount Vernon large Street in Grosse Pointe. his father. hospitality. and could not cope with the growing crime. Uncle Tyne maintained a large bathtub in the backyard. in We were all else. a hint of illegality and gangsters. in a lost Jack told me the shorts belonged have any at the Saverine. which 84 . then and I loved to play them. stuck big guns in Emma's neck. bar. moved to the Saverine. the party went on for another three days. eat. did a number of Belgian immigrants. He had recognized them like but never let on. till was something Clot had his bar on the same avenue up the late 1970s " and Emma worked with him to "artists " "get the kid ahead in the bar business. and later. Emma snapped back. Jefferson Clot's uncle Tyne. so was known have a of money). and her Aunt Jean. you'll have to shoot me to get These boys were astonished! They ran out of the turned out to be a future Detroit Tigers player. with 14. rifle range games and "one arm bandits. then everything ran out: beer. one of discovered whom sent He was when they him But Clot said he wouldn't endanger his family and closed east side the bar. a as Emma's home on beyond Grosse Pointe. Barney husband Clotaire Markowsky. food. Clot had married Lee while in One to late night. They really didn't money anyway. patience.

Tyne as catcher. this hattans made with this brandy. oriental rugs. Emma's huge mansion was covered with ankle-deep the most expensive There was a glass. as the focal point of the living room. is and a few others started playing baseball. Neal as pitcher. He kept an ready for the frying pan. and me on long. where the double Tiffany glass doors were always locked. first! It was hilarious. changing Lake from Crosse Pointe. Lake St. Then Clot." and the game did not last Then Tyne beautiful said. huge American on the wall over the couch. silk upholstery. and all it you could do was peek into this exquisite gallery. Jack and Neal visited this house one afternoon. 85 . looking out on this. Clair. he had fresh trout for every lunch. assortment offish in it. Neal. St. Clot on second base. Lee on third. Boy! it when Lee and I discovered Manwas delicious." and we on Emma's wonderful porch. "Let's eat. with Belgian masterpiece paintings on the flag wall. Never being allowed in made even more then extraordinary. this time with Jack as right fielder. Jack. and we started to have Courvoisier brandy. and porcelains. Jack wrote about but his editor Malcolm Cowley cut out most of Clair to Lake Michigan. clear across the state his Detroit visits. Tyne. none of us "feeling ate any pain. They were drinking beer.The Muses: Edie Parker Kerouac was conrinually running over with water supplied by an ugly black hose.

WOMEN

of the

BEAT GENERATION

Joan Haverty Kerouac

86

Joan Haverty Kerouac
Nobody's Wife
(1931-1990)

"She really knows
this.

how
in

to write from instinct

& innocence. Few women can do
I

Joan Kerouac... a new writer on this old horizon.
tweeds, yass... Mierschom
>

see

me &

her cutting

around the world
in

[sic]

pipes with

youknowwhat

them, he he."

Jack Kerouac

Virginia Haverty grew up with her younger Joan neering single mother in the thirties and forties in Albany County,

brother and her somewhat domi-

New

York.

Notorious for constantly challenging her teachers and
in asking difficult questions

elders,

Joan was persistent

and never

satisfied

with rote answers.

Visiting an artists colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts, at the age of nineteen,

Joan

fell

in

with

Bill

Cannastra, a troubled, sexually adventurous
Bill to

New York

attorney

vacationing as a scallop-boat fisherman. She followed
the

Manhattan

at the

end of

summer of

1949, and there she hung on to a precarious but happy existence,

reveling in her seamstress job,

window-peeping

at

night with

Bill

on the

streets

of

New

York, and deferring her mother's frequent requests that she return home.

Bill

tried to engineer a

romantic meeting between Joan and another friend. Jack Kerouac,
Bill

but before

it

could be arranged.

suffered a grisly
car.

and

senseless death while trying

to climb out the

window of a moving subway
finally did

Joan and Jack

meet
lost

in a providential accident, related tenderly at the

end of 0«
from the
night.

the Road,

when Jack,

and looking

for a part)', called

up

to Joan's

window

street.

Jack was instantly enchanted with Joan, and he proposed to her that

They were married two weeks later, and Jack began his teletype-roll manuscript of On the Roadm their newlywed home in Bill Burroughs' old loft. Jack encouraged

87

WOMEN

of the

BEAT GENERATION
Dharma Bums how
naturally "Beat"

Joan to write and noted in the introduction to
her writing was.
Fearless in

marrying

this near-stranger,

Joan also accepted the

final

rupture of the

marriage eight months

later,

resolutely rejecting Jack's

demands

that she abort their

unplanned

child.

Forced to choose between Jack and the baby, Joan embraced her

own

future without hesitation, and the marriage dissolved in mutual bitterness in the

spring of 1952. Daughter Jan Kerouac

would not meet her

father until she

was

ten.

During the

fifties,

Joan moved

restlessly

around the country, married again, and
tirelessly

gave birth to twins. Although she wrote constantly and

throughout her
private, a

life,

Joan destroyed most of

it,

for she

viewed writing

as

something

way

she

worked things out
the
Is

for herself

Only once did she

write for publication

—an

article in

tell-all style for

Confidential mz^zzine in 1961:

"My Ex-Husband, Jack
article's lurid

Kerouac,

an Ingrate." Jack had demonstrated the aptness of the

headline with

his court battles to avoid
his

paying child support and his public claims that Jan was not
after

daughter (claims he withdrew

he

finally

met

her).

Joan made homes in San Francisco, Oregon, and Washington.

A fourth child was
style,

born

in

1965. Her children affectionately

recall

her idiosyncratic gardening

her

Gabrieile
with her husband, Leo.
ful

"Memere" Kerouac
who moved
to the

Gabrielle Kerouac, Jack's mother, was a French Canadian immigrant

United States

A devout Catholic with a strong personality,
in his
life.

Gabrielle had a particularly forceall

hold on Jack and purposely discouraged his relationships with others so as to have him
to the

to herself

According

women

Jack never truly freed himself from his mother's powerful hold, and

when he was not on the road he could usually be found with Memere. Her attachment to Jack is evident in this excerpt from a letter she wrote
Edie Parker and

to

him

after

he married

moved
still

to

Grosse Pointe:
left

Honey, I'm

not able to realize that you have

me

for good.

I

keep searching the

waving

you come walking and that I know you don't to me. I dare say I miss you a lot so belong to me anymore but that's life and sooner or later I'll get used to the idea. I hope you will be very happy. Honey, and that nothing will ever stop you from being a great
Boulevard looking out the window for hours thinking
I'll

see

now and more

now

'Man.'

With

the help of your

new Mother and

a

good Wife you should become

a great

'writer.'

Gabrielle got her wish

—and

lived long

enough

after

Jack died to see him become an American icon.

88

The Muses: Joan Haverty Kerouac
habit of dismantling walls wherever they lived,

and her

inability to feel physical pain.
real-

Throughout her
izing
it

life,

Joan rejected anesthetics and often injured herself without

until

blood appeared.
eighties, several factors

At the beginning of the
the idea of writing her

combined

to bring

Joan around

to

own memoirs

for publication.
life

Her daughter Jan Kerouac had
first

had notable success writing about her own

in her

novel.

Baby

Driver.

A lover

from the pre-Jack Manhattan days reappeared
unexpectedly, died of a heart attack.

in Joan's life

and then, suddenly and

And

the

first

biographies of Jack seemed to her to

be hero-worshipping and inaccurate. Finally, in 1982, Joan was diagnosed with breast
cancer and given only a few months to
live.

In characteristically stubborn style, Joan disdained the doctors' projections, writ-

ing in her

own

medical history:

"I feel that

I

have a long time

if

I

can

just avoid

infection." In fact, Joan

hung on

for eight years, during

which she produced thoulife,

sands of relentlessly written manuscript pages about her
personalities of the

her views, and the real
titled

famous

literary figures she

had known. She

her manuscript

Nobody's Wife and focused most closely on the whirlwind events of the two years that

passed between her introduction to

Bill

Cannastra and the angry breakup with Jack

Kerouac.

Joan worked over these sections
her cherished

in revision after revision.

She died

in

1990 with

work incomplete. Jan found
walls.
It

the beginning under Joan's bed; other pieces

were found hidden in
the

took

six years for

her children and friends to complete

work of organizing To
date, sections

these manuscript fragments into the powerfully personal

and

radical retelling

of literary history that Joan envisioned.

oi Nobody's Wife have been seen only by
first

a

few biographers and

scholars.

This anthology contains the

published excerpt.

What follows

are two pieces from Nobody's Wife: the introduction by Jan Kerouac
is

and

chapter 12. Chapter 12

the story

ofJoan's first meeting with Jack's mother,

Gabrielle,

and the

rest

of the Kerouac family.

89

WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION
Introduction
by Jan Kerouac

During the
the garden,
I

last

ten years of my mother's
to write this book.
her, her
sit

life,

her constant preoccupation, aside from

was

remember watching

bony frame
at
sit

in her favorite antique turquoise
It

sweatshirt, shuffling over to

down

her typewriter.

was an ancient machine,

covered with tobacco dust. She would

down

every evening, or whenever she got a

chance, and between intermittent gulps of coffee, and drags on her hand-rolled Bugler-tobacco cigarettes, she

would tap away with one
in

finger

on each hand.

She started writing the book
cancer.

1980, just after she was diagnosed with breast
live.

The

doctors told her she had a year or so to

But she was determined to

hang on,

to prove

them wrong,

to last until she could get the
illness,

book on

paper.

She went
still

through periods of remission and
writing.

had

a

double mastectomy, and

kept

She could get going

really fast

with only her two index fingers, because she was
I

telling her stories, the stories

of her young adulthood. Oft:en

was there with her

in

her

little

wooden house

in

Eugene, Oregon, listening to the squealing brakes from the

hump yard
be

nearby. There was a family of possums living under the house,

and
I

they'd

bumping around.
talk,

My mother would come into
talk

the living room, where

was, and

we'd talk and
confidant.
I

and then we'd

some more. She was

my

greatest friend

and

watched
right.

my mother,
if

over and over again, trying to get the
perfectionist. In fact,
I

first

sentence of the

book

She was such a

don't think she

would have ever
sentence over

finished this

book

she had lived, because she used to write the
satisfied

first

and over again, and she was never

with

it.

It's

fortunate that she did spend

some time writing
brother David and

all

the other sentences.

She died in 1990.
I

When
I

it

came time

to clean out the

worn

little

house,

my

flipped a coin to see
lost the toss

who would do

the fridge and

who would

clean underneath the bed.

and had

to face that

mountain of paper under

the bed.

I

was sneezing and coughing because there was so

much

tobacco dust in

90

The Muses: Joan Haverty Kerouac
among

the papers.

We knew

the

book

wasn't finished, so

I

just

put

all

the crumbling

paper-clipped pieces into a box, and David put the box into his
there for three years.

attic,

and

it

stayed

Then

a very special fellow

came along

to

put

all

those pages in order
pieces

— David's

brother-in-law,

John Bowers. John read through the
its

became very excited about
permission to organize
it

potential,
it

and asked David
it

my mother had written, and my sisters and me for
for publication.

and weave

together and edit
I

up working on
had
to

it

for

almost two years, and

think

he's

done an

He ended exceptional job. He
I

put everything together

like a puzzle, all the

fragments of chapters.

know my

mother's voice so well, and^I
intact

know John

has

done

a fabulous job, keeping that voice

on every
it

page.

Reading

reminds

me

of listening to her
read
this.
I

telling

me

stories.

She was a great
I

stor)teller, as you'll see

when you

knew

that

any time of day or night,
that night in 1950,

could go up to her and say

"Mommy? What happened on
down

when
she

Jack yelled to you from the street and you threw

the key to your loft?"

And

would
story.
I

clear her throat, take a gulp of coffee,
really miss that.
I

and launch into the whole fascinating

In fact, one thing

realized a

few years ago

is

that the stories
I

of

my

childhood

perished along with

my mother. No
the knowledge

one
all

else

knew me when
memories of me
It's

was a baby

just her.

So with her died
didn't write
all

all

and

the

as a baby.

I'm sorry she
to

those years as part of her book.

a hard thing for to ask

an adult child

come
dress

to terms with

that never again will

you be able

someone what

color

you were wearing

in Central Park that

day in 1953, or whether you had tanI

trums, or whether you got along well with other children.

have to be content

with just remembering what
ries.

I

remember, and

I

miss being able to listen to

now her memo-

As

my mother worked on

this

book, she had various
briefly got

titles in

mind.

One of them
lover.
first

was Smart Alecky Basketweaver. In 1979, she

back together with her
first

Herb Lashinsky,

whom

she hadn't seen in 29 years.

The

time she

met

my

father Jack, she'd been with

Herb

in her loft, as you'll read here.

Sometime

in those

intervening years. Herb sent her a card with an ugly cartoon picture of an Indian

WOMEN

of the

BEAT GENERATION
can't stand

weaving a basket, and the caption said "One thing
basketweaver."

I

is

a smart-alecky

That was how Herb
anything. She was a

felt

about

her, that she

was

a primitive

and

didn't really

know

woman,
still

she was uneducated. Yet she had ideas, these incongruIt

ous abstract scientific ideas.
credentials but

infuriated Herb,

who was

a scientist, that she

had no

would

attack these weighty topics in genetics, philosophy, any-

thing that attracted her attention.

My

mother had high hopes

that she

and Herb would

finally get together after

that reunion meeting, but within just a few
right after that, she received the

months. Herb died unexpectedly. Then,
started writing

blow of her cancer diagnosis. She
to be

then,

and

at first the as she

whole book was supposed

about her relationship with

Herb, but

went on, she came
Bill

to realize that the stories she really

wanted

to

tell

were about Jack Kerouac and
Herb, and sometimes

Cannastra and Neal Cassady, too.
too,

Bill

and Jack

reminded her of her mother. Anybody

who

scoffed at her or told her she couldn't
that

do something the way she wanted,
fiercely

re-

minded her of her mother. Maybe
personality that

was the key to her very

independent

made

her do so
life

many

rebellious things in her

life.

My mother spent
do anything she

most of the days of her
set

trying to prove to people that she could

her

mind

to.
I

One day

was

sitting in the front yard in

Eugene, watching her pace back and

forth along the street, carrying a shovel.

A guy from down the block came walking by,
are
"

and he looked

at her,

and he

said

"What

you doing?"
there,

And she said, He
looked
at

"I'm planting tomatoes.

She started shoveling, right then and

in the front driveway.

her like she was crazy and said, "You can't plant tomatoes in the

driveway!"

She stared right back

at

him and answered

defiantly,
you'll
pile

"Oh, no?

You'll see. Just
all

watch me. I'm going to plant tomatoes here, and
In fact, he did

be envying them

summer."

envy them. She added a whole

of compost to the driveway and
she tended those plants.
it.

planted the tomatoes in that, and throughout the

summer

They were succulent and

delicious,

and she made sure the neighbor knew

92

She doesn't know we're coming but I told her I'd bring you to meet her soon.The Muses: Joan Haverty Kerouac And now." She looked away from her program me and indicate the chair next to hers with a nod of her head." didn't extend my hand. she can see that her biggest tell finally finished." he said." He opened the apartment door without knocking chair. the room darkened by drawn ing it shades. "See? Here it is. second floor. She must have done by since she was watching television at the this is same time. asking. "The apartment's on the today." she said." in a row of duplexes on a "Is quiet. After the brilliant sunlight. true. orderly street." Chapter 12 The house was frozen lawn "Sure. she can say to the world. I "I'm glad to meet you. and she knows that turned out really And finally. See? as She likes you already!" He reassured himself more than me. "Remember? The girl briefly to smile at sit told you about?" "Yes. your mom expecting us?" He held the front door for here. and I didn't know how she could darn in that light." Jack explained. enveloped us. and we found his mother sitting in an overstuffed darning socks in front of the I TV set. speaking though his 93 . 1 told you I'd do it. Jack cut across the and I followed him. She would have had to put down her darning to shake it. "You kling. "You I here. "It's short for Gabrielle. and at it last that dream has come well. I she is. project is as she looks down from wherever it." Jack took my coat and sat down. Joan. feel." "Jack! "It'll You should have all called her to ask if today was all right. She's glad for know. had difficulty adjust- my eyes." be right. I "Ma. Kerouac. The 'beeg bloo tyti Jack had described were spar- "That's what all her friends call her. She struggled for ten years to her story. "Up me and the warm smell of Sunday cooking leading me up the stairs. Mrs." He propelled me toward her chair. call me Gabe.

A variety of small were covered daily. and I saw that the furniture had been arranged for TV with faded wine-colored upholstery. oak roll-top but his swivel chair could easily be moved back tables in line with the others to a comfortable viewing position." Gabe ordered him. "Tell her she's here." he told me proudly." I smiled back. apprehensively? bought her that TV set. spotlessly clean. imagined they had Jack's been transported from Quebec to Lowell and desk was beside the set." me he said." "Ti-Nin!" he exclaimed. "Go now. I The chairs we sat in. found it oppressively crowded and close. "I beaming hopefully. and as soon as he was out of the room she whispered to secretively. Ma. large pieces almost directly in front of the matching sofa. smiling she insisted. Sews. I hoped we hadn't chosen the wrong time for a visit. Or." Jack stood by her chair overseeing our meeting. but then he turned to her me the same way. dim room. "He's a good boy." "That's "You go get Ti-Nin. remem- He laughed and translated. to the My eyes were becoming accustomed viewing. oh. yes!" "Good! You stay for dinner. 94 .WOMEN mother weren't Off the BEAT GENERATION and spoke about you know?" I present. but then I remembered had accused me of exaggerating the importance of space. She answered him with a barrage of French only slightly resembling any bered from high school. is. "She's a seamstress. as with doilies. placing the date of their manufacture in the twenties or before. makes dresses. photos and souvenirs which Gabe must have dusted for everything gleamed. This was the room Jack had described I homey and Bill cozy. "With money from my book. finally to New York. "What's she doing her?" Aside to sister. perhaps." made me was family business." me. knick-knacks. answered by Jack's that this "aah. were Horsehairs protruded here and there. knowingly." "She says she knows what a seamstress "You like cheeken?" she asked me. "Oh. looking from one of us to the other. my feel Another stream of French from Gabe. not knowing what remark was expected.

She was thin but her hip structure promised the eventual pear shape of her mother's figure... into thS kitchen to put dinner I on the table and she called to went alone." The Muses: Joan Haverty Kerouac looking younger than her thirty Jack returned with a pretty brown-haired years. "Your mom works?" I had thought he supported her. it Caroline removed a yellow oilcloth table cover. He introduced her as I extricated myself from the deep comfort of "My sister." on Sundays so I'll have something to eat while she's at We spoke in English while Gabe and Caroline continued to converse in French. little "Yeah. "You know Geensbairg?" she asked me. "This is Joan." I to be your sister-in-law. "When. Escap- ing wafts of oilcloth odor floated in the steamy room. Gabe had "So much!" I remarked a lot to Jack." "Jack. less shared values and shared experiences.. vegetables. girl. for unexpected guest made no difference in the portions served prepared a prodigious amount." Gabe had gone Caroline to help her. in too. the chair. She was putting my nephew down for his nap. Dinner was chicken-in-the-pot with and it was superbly flavored. They had a bond and a humor born of kinship. of this close. seemed reserved and constrained by comparison." broke in. Now Gabe replaced it with a white plastic cloth embossed to look helped set the table in the midst of the joshing and jostling and the good-natured insults. not wishing to be left The television continued to blare without an audience. She's a leather skiver at a shoe factory. 95 . at this table. though no loving. She's going "Oh really? How nice!" she exclaimed. She uses a leather tool that scrapes the and thins the edges so they can be rolled and stitched. almost accusingly. "Never mind!" he cut me off "You'll see. I me of upstate farm like lace. and Jack followed. reminding kitchens. loving family. My own An family. shook out and folded it. to see if I could do something. the men- tion of Allen's name did not escape Gabe's notice. "I never said. Caroline. "She always cooks work.." Our conversation turned to other subjects and though we spoke softly." Then to Caroline he said. all in a language I couldn't understand. Next week we'll get the license.

" I Of the BEAT GENERATION admitted. "What's a foreigner?" "Don't. "You'll just get her started. cried venomously. 96 . she spat out. Gabe clucked her disapproval. so I asked her." Jack shook his head and warned me.WOMEN "Yes." Caroline said. but Gabe overruled both "Put poison een ze water! Een ze reservoir zay put." I told her." remember I the depression very well.A." he Gabe nodded her head "Does your family and Caroline availed herself of the oppor- tunity to change the subject." She gave up and turned the tell job over to Jack. Poison!" "Who?" I asked. in satisfaction "Or Canada. "Communist Jew!" "Now. stared out the window annoyance and Caroline gazed Gabe attempted "Anybody zat to explain.." I said. doan have. "In a small we're from Forest Hills. "Communists! Foreigners!" she I wondered what Gabe's definition of that might be. "You know what zay do!" Gabe continued. was born in the Jamaica Hospital." was very young when we We moved to California during the depression. please! Not now!" Caroline tried to stop her. originally. I "How old are you now?" When was twenty. of them. you her!" "Anybody whose grandparents tantly. You must feel right at home. But as a "They live upstate.. Joan?" town near Albany." "Oh! That's "I just a stone's here." he imparted reluc- "0« Canada!" she prompted. "Jackie." "She's already started. so I don't "I remember anything about answered that Forest Hills. Ma. weren't born in the U. matter of fact. obliged." Jack began... live in I New York. "I want in to know what she thinks. "No Ma.S.Eef ze grandparents. throw from left." at the ceil- While Jack ing..

"Joan says she can't Caroline sat down." was my old turn to change the direction of the conversation. getting up." She got up to clear the table while Gabe warm apple pie and coffee." she converting my name to the French." Jack told his mother as she and said to me." better "Much safe!" I you have husband. "There are better jobs here. "This delicious!" knew make she'd say that!" Jack laughed. been looking for a roommate. Ees no aloud. Jeanne. a We came up by train last night and Little Paul hardly slept. Ma." Jack said. no make deeference. it well. "Too young "Oh. "I show you. "Thees one." "I make Gabe a good pie crust. "I tell you. two girl. lowed her to the to that long nap?" Jack asked." Gabe opened the cupboard over the said. You see. "Ma makes . "She won't be alone much longer." Caroline said. "Ees no very hard." Jack fol- bedroom and Gabe and to I did the dishes. "Jackie bee good husband. She rolled her eyes as she was interrupted by a call from her son. "Why you come "I've New York?" Gabe I asked me." "But you should her cherry pie. "I'd love to "I be able to make a pie like this. Joan. . Ma." she said." told her." the best." evaded. and no chase ze Some day he make good money. is "How your is little boy." Gabe.The Muses: Joan Haverty Kerouac "Too young!" she objected. "It's all It to be live away from ze mother!" "lots of girls alone nowadays. He love ze cheeldren girls." right." Caroline sighed. apple. I is for Jackie." "And you "In He'll live in South Carolina?" North Carolina. busied myself looking in a cupboard for the glasses. One girl. "He's named after his father. taste He like eet best. not willing to say it but ready to agree with her. Caroline?" "Little Paul two. sink. "I guess was just wishful thinking. He's a good boy and 97 . served us have good long nap." she said. "What happened "Oh.

be easier for him when he it goes to school. "And we'll take his ball. Nin? Can we do that?" "If you don't keep him out too long." Jack said." He came "This is out carrying his nephew on his shoulders. came into the kitchen with a sunny-faced little boy in tow. ducking under the doorway. "Mere he cried happily and ran to She dried her hands and gathered to him up English in her arms." Gabe put him down. "Okay. Jack! Jack come and stay with us." Caroline cautioned. Ti-Paul. and once outside. "We want him to learn first.WOMEN you're a Of the BEAT GENERATION daughter." Jack said to me. Gabe. Ma. after all I'd heard about her rejection of Jack's friends.'" We made a our way downstairs slowly. "Ma wants me to get married anyway. kissing his will round little cheek and speaking him in French. Jack ducking where necessary. "Let's take Little Paul out to the park. "Don't you dare go She'll off and get married believe Ma alone again. Can you say Aunt Joan?" "Antome. her." "Dress him warm. His blond hair down "Give over his brow and his blue eyes were the duplicate of his grandmother's." Jack said." He went with and leave is Caroline to help dress Little Paul." Paul obliged. in a He had told me how difficult had been to have to learn to read and write language he could barely understand. don't worry about now to survive that kind of strain." good girl. "He calls me 'Untadat. our marriage too shaky right it!" "Aw. Paul cried "Horsie! Horsie!" Jack complied by breaking into a trot and giving convincing whinny. I like to have I you my "Thank you. He turned to his sister. and me. "Hey! That's pretty good." Jack advised her. If he's active he won't be cold. 98 ." Jack agreed. see the "It will saying something to the effect that she never thought she'd day when a grandchild of hers would not speak French." Jack fell didn't take this compliment lightly. He would know. "French only confuse him. Joan. "He's not used to the cold." she answered. hall closet I As I got my coat from the heard her say to him. M^mere kiss! " a kiss." replied.

factory. " Jack said. I guess. Jack gave a jump to make him laugh. as he trotted into the park and deposited the little boy on a huge air. with a few scattered Poles and French. If you hadn't examined the world for yourself." he chuckled. I bet!" "No. don't know. it The sun was it." "But who does she work with? Not Jews. "A Jew owns the already had. "Don't pay any attention to my mom when she gets going like she did about the Jews. "Yeah? Maybe. She's been working for years.The Muses: Joan Haverty Kerouac "Hey." "I think you should bring more people home. and Spanish. nah. the one who's being short-changed. you little bugger!" He put up his hands for Paul to a walk. Always is has been. bright and the rock was ball till warm in spite of the chilly it sat on and watched them play with the Jack threw across the field and asked Paul to get "He's the one who needs the activity. ignorant way. You would you'd have nothing to counteract her prejudice with. They're 'foreigners. "Not me. I flat rock. "Anyway. if "And they probably share her view of the world. She's Give her a chance to see what the world is like outside the shoe factory. That only adds to the prejudice she The women she works with are mostly Italian. You don't know with." Jack concluded.' her. She doesn't even like half the people she works And in Lowell them. and take her to town with you once in a while. as if she's been sheltered or isolated." you hadn't gotten out of Lowell and gone to school. And just about all Catholic." too. Irish." she's very among Greeks and she didn't like good and sweet in her own way." said. She's just very narrow-minded on this score. She's hopeless. to use as and slowed down "Listen." he said to me. "Hasn't her exposure to the world been pretty limited?" It isn't "Well. But innocent. my hair." not her I fault. Best thing "It's not to I let her get started. In her own we lived little "Horsie! Horsie!" Paul was impatient with our talk. I'm glad you don't hold her narrow-mindedness against her." 99 ." "Nah. sitting down beside me. don't pull reins.

for not proving lifted him onto my lap and hugged him. "Thank you Jack said. and ran back to place in my lap. "Too much to say. straight and sober." Paul looked at Jack and laughed." myself Don't to you?" "Well. "Paul get ball. ball into the "There's no nicer sound than the sound of kids yelling and playing in the yard.WOMEN But Paul. will you please get the ball it and bring it to me?" He jumped Little Paul. "And of our life together. me wrong. "Why do you "But "If you don't talk to him that way?" it I asked. And I was that's a kid you remember "No. and I exhibiting none of the like irritability false confidence found annoying." my grown Little children tell me Paul was pulling at Jack to get in the evening him to come and nephew. So her attempts to teach ball absently. "You're teaching him baby talk. The boy had no fear of 100 . was seeing the Jack liked best today. Ti-Paul. seeing us the rock Of the BEAT GENERATION ball sitting idly. maybe. abandoned the and ran back to climb up onto and join us. Old Man Martin in my book. Look. play. but not too much to understand. Give to Jack. "Where ball?" Jack asked him. throwing the "I want to have eight kids air. because of the lan- guage difference." he said. like a schoolboy. When I was little my mom spoke even less English than she does the now." Jack objected. "Thank you." his he finished. What do you want to do?" little "Run!" Paul shouted and took off across the park." I He stood up and bounced I looking at me shyly. ran I to get the ball. me were pretty simple." down. showing no and trace of the gloom he often conveyed." want him to wait for school to learn English. Gotta keep simple. and then he gave his attention to "Okay. And when I'm old I'll put my feet up on the oven door of the wood stove and listen to about the world as they see it. I how do you like that!" "Where'd you learn so much about kids?" smiled. why should he have to wait know how sentences are constructed?" "But that's too much to expect of a little kid. I listening to adults fools of themselves talking but maybe down don't remember anything like that." he's a baby. you'll read stories to our grandchildren. "Paul." I put my arm till then to around Little Paul. "I spent half my childhood make baby-sitting.

and Jack followed close be- hind. children now. was being wooed because our meeting coincided with Bill. Jack's appeal lay more in what he was not than in what he was.The Muses: Joan Haverty Kerouac falling. no trembling. before they were born. not intellectually curious concerning me. and tite. there would only be subsequent attempts. He bounced along unsteadily but weightlessly. allowing Paul to stay just out of reach. It was acceptable helped that I could cook and that I was no 101 . listening to Handel's Messiah. Nor would we know hand in the Fifth commitment of standing hand sigh. it. knew it make any need appe- attempt to duplicate If an attempt like that succeeded. Not my idea. I because because before his death. would result in pain. paring down the dream to a realizable. and to his mother. But at the same time I suspected that was a victim of subliminal advertising. If it failed. had expected our relationship to be propitious. subjectivity. but the largest idea. not sexually aggressive. itself a jaded a I blasphemy of the memory was a candidate for a hermitage. Between us there was not even love or magic. Paul laughed happily as to almost tag he ran and screamed excitedly when Jack reached out him. Finally Jack caught him up and swung him around. That magic was memory. and he was neither critical nor demanding except domestic matters. except for my determination to have children. Jack's decision to marry. I Avenue Presbyterian Church. Was it so simple? Just to put away doubts and take the necessary practical steps to make the farm house and the children a reality? Was that all there was to it? Maybe I was beginning to abandon a vision. and I anticipated her birth as the manifes- tation of an idea. I knew my first. not to achieve goals or in regard to I He was anxious for me improve myself. manageable size. be who had spoken me in a dream. and I I some blank unfulfilled space within heard myself thinking that's what 1 want. especially the daughter to who would all life. a physical attraction we might have mistaken for We would never share the miracle of the solemn a sunrise while singing silent in hymns of praise. pretending he was having difficulty keeping up. the idea that predated For me. no throat I none of the catching better than to had felt with Herb. There in the was no weakness in the knees. the boy reached The laughter of the man and me from across the park and made an imprint upon me.

Of the BEAT GENERATION was convenient that we shared a dream complicated.WOMEN threat to him. it of children. a means to an end. workable solution to number of problems. was the of many 102 . His reasons may have been more all I all I may have been deeper. but this wanted My view of the situation was that we could On this bright It each other. for a would not upstage him. and his feelings to see. least it seemed suddenly evils. And was saw. be. a November day.

and we were happy to have influenced their loving — the wife of San Francisco poet Eileen Kaufman Bob Kaufman. Jack Kerouac. Bob was so gregarious that he had friends everywhere. Eileen was an up-and-coming journalist." When Allen Ginsberg. recalls. and an anarchist. Eileen married him in 1958. Gregory Corso. always knew I'd be drinking champagne that night. and personal archivist. Eileen. all We wer^ like an extended family from coast to coast and isles thru Europe and certain grapevine It and countries throughout the world. mother. and Gary all Snyder eventually departed San Francisco." she accompany Bob and Jack Kerouac a bottle to those infamous Blabbermouth Nights in North Beach. There was of champagne for the winner — I the best poet to stand up and improvise —and since either Bob or Jack always won. heading to the top of her profession when she dropped everything to fully embrace the Beat philosophy. Eileen Kaufman passionately As ing. Bob Kaufman remained. took on the role of lover. wife. poetics. muse. extended when the hippie movement came We were precursors of that feeling." community." Bob Kaufman was a shamanic figure. Bob.Eileen Keeper Kaufman of the Flame (1922- ) "I knew all the Beat writers and artists. becoming the guiding light of the North Beach Beat scene. and 103 . "In those early days. and lifestyle — a decision that changed and still informs her writ- Revered in Europe a street bard. In the spring of 1959. a position she maintains to this day. Philip Whalen. "I'd as the "black Rimbaud. was a joyful time of communication with kindred souls that only was in.

California.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Eileen and Bob Kaufman in Fairfax. 104 . Spring 1974.

she once again left the country with her son. Her on the rockand Mu- and-roll revolution appeared in the Los Angeles Oracle. Bob had little to do with it. on and off. "Abomunist Manifesto" in 1959. Tamalpais in Marin County. covering the Jazz Festivals. however. In 1963. Eileen flew to Paris. Parker. transcribing his oral * poems form. the Doors. City Lights first pub- Bob in a broadside. Billboard miigazine. Eileen started writing for the Los Angeles Free Press. Bob emerged from his prolonged silence. which lasted a year but lished had a tremendous impact on the poetry community. With this the election of Richard Nixon. for In 1985. And Eileen was right by his side." Eileen with their four-year-old son. Bob remained in San Francisco. sic World Countdown. By the time ten years. where she prepared Solitudes for publication. where she stayed for four years before returning to San Fran1973. Jimi Hendrix. Upon her return. time for Europe. In New Directions published in a his book The Ancient Rain. his courtship anew. the rest of Bob's work that Library of the Letters section of Eileen transcribed in the Mugar Museum and 105 . Monterey Pop and and was instrumental in drawing attention articles to Janis Joplin. in cisco. for Mexico. in the wake of the Kennedy assassination.The Muses: Eileen Kaufman Allen founded Beatitude. and as a copywriter. she moved back to San Francisco. he took a vow of silence that lasted which time he was sometimes left referred to as "the silent guardian of the center. and the Grateful Dead. They remained together. lantly A true street poet. and in 1965 New Direc- tions published his first collection of poems. Bob was the Diogenes who vigi- moved through the North Beach corridor seeking fakes to expose and spouting into written poetry. during his first book appeared. Eileen left with Parker for Los Angeles. a magazine devoted to unpublished poets. and 1976 he and Eileen reunited ceremony on Mt. the Kaufmans separated again. Ultimately. where she worked for a time In 1980. Solitudes Crowded With Loneliness. But more than his writing. it was the force of Bob's presence that had such an impact on the San Francisco poetry scene. where she presented up to 1980 to the Bibliotec Archives at the is Bob Kaufman's body of work Sorbonne. and Bob began the next five years.

Eyes more articulately silent Than Medusa's thousand tongues. happy in balls Wrapped swinging Her music Jazz. and an excerpt from unpublished autobiography entitled into the Who Wouldn't Walk with Tigers? It pro- vides an intimate window San Francisco Beat scene. 106 . WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Boston University. In 1987. Soundseared into burnished Silent hips deceiving fools. For Eileen By Bob Kaufman Eileen Kaufman in at the first Human Be-In. is now called Bob Kaufman Street. . Eileen's " a poem that Bob wrote for Eileen. In January 1986." traveling the world for Bob Kaufman celebrations. "the keeper of the flame. A bridge of eyes. reading both his work and her own." and a small street in San Francisco. . Of cool Jazz consenting smiles Reveal her presence singing remembrance. Bob Kaufman died of emphysema. Rivulets of trickling ecstasy From the alabaster pools of Jazz Where music cools hot souls. JAZZ CHICK Music from her breast vibrating velvet. Mayor Dianne Feinstein proclaimed "Bob Kaufman Day. 1967. Eileen remains. San Francisco. Included here are "Jazz Chick. in her words. Harwood Alley..

A wine colored beret was cocked poetry. there really would be something happening. . but a few nights trip. This time. "Hipsters. and he was spouting to cool it. own poetry. It all I couldn't I seemed to me like a scene from one of my favorite operas that had sung the year before.. knock your lobes. . some nondescript pants and striped t-shirt. their artist friends. leave with him. think I began to play Mimi subconsciously — in the hope that this dynamic recuper- Rudolfo would notice me. he began to shout some of his ing to this poet. it and admirers. Rudolfo from "La Boheme" must have appeared the black goatee. believe this. A policeman came in and told Bob He stopped —only me until the cop Then once more. Flipsters. Rudolfo and geous I pay the outra- bill. . still my first I head spinning peyote in the instead of going off to Sacramento to write copy — remained pad which my friend 107 with the MGA and I maintained . at a precarious angle on a mop of black curly hair. Allen Ginsberg. And Bob hold court at a large round table like a day FrancoisVillon. gesticulating as a European does. but when Jack Kerouac." He was quoting one of his idols. leaving her wealthy escort to Mimi. he jumped up on the nearest table in the Bagel Shop. he began.. "That one there I — in the red beret I — that's Bob Kaufman. Everyone was laughing. saw a small. generally leaving the bill for the enthralled seemed very much that scene from Boheme wherein Musetta joins Marcello. even down to And watching Bob hold court down in the Tea Room at the huge table filled with artist friends tourist ." brown man/boy . left. The third week in May. everyone within hearing seemed to We all wandered over across the street to what was then proceeded to Miss Smith's latter Tea Room. ating from No luck that evening. to me. He whispered in sandals . looked over.. lithe wearing a red corduroy jacket. listen- When he left the Bagel Shop. Lord Buckley. later.. Bob Kaufman and Neal Cassady came back. Next. and finger-poppin' daddies. Flashing black eyes dancing as he spoke. Mark seemed unduly excited.The Muses: Eileen Kaufman from Who Wouldn't Walk with Tigers? Mark Green had been cluing me that there was really nothing going on in North Beach at the moment. like this bard .

chanced to throw it. somebody. Awareness drifted . One in back room used. o.WOMEN for off the BEAT GENERATION during the week. I need a cuppa coffee . 108 ..k?" Suddenly to explore for was looking into the deepest brown eyes I had ever seen his — a well I was many years. "Let me in. I was so completely overwhelmed by surroundings .. After ten minutes of Bob's pleading.. a painter. "For Gods I sake.and I monolog. a tiny living room. . Time to by in the all Man . young poet that I lost all sense of time. Mark was visibly annoyed. I "Just a minute. Living was. I went to the window. my old lady. — — a store a small kitchen... where It Cid now sprawls on the anywhere you I triangle. is all." got up. and the bedroom which Joe Lucky Skippy. . a bathroom. Money was not important . literature.. paid for three cups of coffee for there. sat it Bob sat on a stool near the door. . and on. All the time we were tions he was charming everyone within earshot with his poetry. . We sublet it to Joe Overstreet. teaching. I I padded over and opened the door. she I threw me need a cuppa' coffee. huh? don't even have a dime. For out. I was such a tiny place that was near the door. hall There were four rooms with a long connecting them. painting. . . and on." t-shirt. his quotaages. "Hey. Bob was rapping on every subject known show expounding on history. If you ever heard you could never mistake it for another. a fact that I was fast coming .. you know?" it. Joe Overstreet came in and said. weekends. of great poetry of the this and his extraordinary insights. High on Life. Bob was believe . curious to see the small brown bard again. get Bob Kaufman a cup of coffee so we can all get some sleep... I for me that I kept the apartment and used old lady. crossing Broadway over to the original old Hot El Dog on Columbus. asked him in. . politics. man. . giving us a Hot Dog Palace. . forgot my to everything banal. Bob while drank hot chocolate.. Bob never stopped out. while I on my poncho over black leotards and We Palace walked down Kearny. it was on this night that Bob Kaufman's still him was asleep beside Mark Green when I heard the voice I recognized from the Bagel Shop.can you give slipped me a cup. . . That voice was hoarse and low.

. and Mark went to the kitchen to look talk to each other all for We just couldn't enough.. Strange forest songs. skin sounds Crashing through — no longer strange. "An African Dream. led By a scarlet god. low voice. I was neither hot nor cold. Caressed by ebony maidens 109 . cracking the night. truly confused that such a thing could be. I Mark for the key to his apartment on Telegraph didn't want to disturb Joe further. in pits Sunk of light. it explodes Silvery thunder. Bob kept up food and tea. Hummed Drumming. Incestuous yellow flowers tearing Magic from the earth. It might have been the Steppes of Central I Asia. on waves of color. We three walked to Mark's pad below Coit Tower. memory worlds fires Deep in star-fed beds of time. I got to the flat. He kept repeating after every heavy subject tliat his him out .The Muses: Eileen Kaufman lady had thrown music. could only hear that hoarse. fright." In black core of Night. Drummed back through time. asked When we Hill. Bursting copper screens. a ship Lifted —momentar)' diamond of night. Bob had seen a poem of mine which Mark had pinned on the Bagel Shop wall. We finally left the stand. We walked in the damp San Francisco fog up the Kearny Steps. without my knowledge. Seducing my soul to Faint outline.. Then Bob quoted one of his poems to me. a running conversation. . It might have been Hawaii. Moon-dipped rituals. rolling back my brain. back through mind. There were so many things we had to find out about each other at once.

fight the dream. because too was fully conscious." said Bob. Purple garments. and he caught me in his arms. . my woman. wasn't hypnotism. serious eyes. swayed fell a little then. left: We considered his feelings. broke my balance. I to each other immediately. to I was too My Rudolfo and the changes I I wandered back my flat hand in hand. But the dynamic glance and depth of the poet's eyes was This that is I much to bear for seven hours. We had to get through with a poet. a I genuine poet with that calling. believe just gazed at him with newly opened now wide in disbelief He whispered. He reminded me schlock artists of Coleridge. Green screams enfold was overwhelmed. was a little scared and kind of high from our meeting and subsequent conversation. I "You are eyes. This I man was time real. "You don't His arm was around me now I . at and together I —we laughwell." I my shoulders. hill. . running down the hand hand. We sat down on a mattress in the back talked softly. . Here was a favorite. was standing next to him. 110 . but you'll see. you know. my I real poet. of tigers. sunless places Where memories Burned in eyes are sealed. my child- hood Bob was not one of those who write just to be doing something. to the Hot Dog Palace. in love had been entranced in —from the moment Bob began to (I . Joe slept on — unaware of room and was experiencing.WOMEN With of the BEAT GENERATION daylight eyes. It thrilled every I looked into his dark. I He was laughing me. and was laughing because. knew had suddenly fallen talk. night. ing onto the bare mattress. I Suddenly wise. can't really say that I Mark at his pad mad about Bob Kaufman). Noses that twitch. I how long we talked. Singing young girl songs Of an ancient love In dark.

and consequently me closer. to He took hold of my long. That was my second psy- chedelic trip in two weeks in It is North Beach. my his hair fall into his face. lovers before in there can be no question.. You have been immediately. there is music then — music Bob Without the and 1 slightest formal introduction on my part to Eastern eroticism.. first time. I began to think. I My pulse was dancing a wild Gypsy rhythm. because Bob wore only trousers.. as if we had found an answer to undress the other. "You see? You are my woman. without a word we broke and sandals. no so hesitation. as he held me throughout the entire tidal wave. no games.. and each began a It was simple task for me. became Tantric lovers spontaneously that morning. How did I Like sunsets and dawns and balmy midnights and ocean voyages. you are attuned to each other Why else is there love at first sight? Hollywood is oft:en chided for its use of music coming out of nowhere from the spheres. He said it again. seemed a long time until was in his arms and stroking that sensual body." For the vortex . It happened me just that way. that I loose hair with one hand and pulled me down him. When I caught my breath. feel? and he pulled my hair a little harder. true that your soul leaves your to body during a very passionate love embrace. in a big love scene. —with the body of Michelangelo's David me —and yes. I certainly wanted him — for as long as he would have When you find your soul mate. . apart .. This man wanted me. many other lives.. You I have absolutely no choice in the matter.— The Muses: up Eileen Kaufman letting Suddenly. How can you ponder what is happening it in a at the eye of the hurricane . in a whirlpool? You can only swing with and III .. oh yes. shivered.. Then he kissed me. I noticed that he was lying beside me drenched and spent. I sat straight and leaned over Bob. And I suspect that Bob experienced a bit of magic too. there. looked at him and smiled. Except for holding hands or casually putting arm about my shoul- was the first actual physical contact with him. Believe me. and for a time. felt alive! We searched each other's mouths Then. der. . It t-shirt I I was eager to feel his strong brown body.

" Bob I "Then you'll be my old lady. to had all kinds of dope available to him . I when he . . . really have to be alone all day to think out. Walking street. got up to opened said. drank a few and laughed He told everyone. Maybe contact high — maybe more. and I wasn't going to be late for this important decision. and he has never been known turn I down any of it! dressed slowly. I danced the of the day through in a hazy kind of mist. just all too overwhelming for me.. heard him " .WOMEN hope that off the BEAT GENERATION going under? you don't go under permanently. "Meet Eileen. I ran down Green I Street. "But hold me now. front door. We can to sleep. "See you around 6 tonight on Grant. my eyes and said sleepily . . Bye. I'm your woman. You have no "Tell put my fingers over his mouth lightly. But now I I down into Bob's smiling eyes. He brightened and seemed into his arms. turned the corner at Grant. Bob Kaufman. it you then. And beers he He came bounding across the hugged me tightly in answer. my hair overtime. . my old lady. taking a I little more care with the black eyeliner." Bob's smile faded." Bob had kissed me lightly on rest I the mouth and vanished. a lot. too excited to eat anything.. I to understand. Go away I please and leave me for a few hours . He was gone as suddenly as he wasn't high arrived. as he has a way of doing when I asking a silent question. talk later. I said it as well as could. ok? really have to think about everything that's happened last night and this morning. street. said.. I He turned on but I his side. We Bob read a few victory poems there." 1 added. threw on my poncho and ran out the We didn't have a clock in the pad. down past the Bagel Shop." 112 . I on peyote any longer. dress. just " nodded. . brushing . started to the Bagel Shop. till maybe 6 tonight. Was leaned on one elbow and looked "It's I Up to this point I hadn't even cared. since he was high on Bob Kaufman.. "You're right. folded me back and went may have slept. saw Bob on the opposite side of the He stared at me intently and I clenched his teeth. . .


The Muses:
That very
stayed in

Eileen

Kaufman
And
that taste has since

night,

I

got

my

first taste

of Ufe with a poet.
lesser

my

mouth.

I

could never love a

man

than an

artist.

Bob began
several

to hold court in the Coffee Gallery

about 7:30 in the evenings, and for

hours while the locals and the tourists brought him beer, wine, champagne

anything, he, in turn, would speak spontaneously on any subject, quote great poetry

by Lorca, T.
I

S. Eliot, ee

cummings, or himself

I

would

just sit adoringly at his side.

wish

I

had been able
it is

to tape every conversation, every fragment, because each

time Bob speaks

a
. .

gem
.

in a

crown of oratory. His wit
. . .

.

.

.

Cities should be built
at

on
his

one

side

of the Street

His one-liners

Laughter sounds orange

Night

.

.

.

and

prophecies

all

are astounding. Bob's entire
flowers.

monologue

is

like a

long vine of poetry

which continually erupts into

In the late '50s the Coffee Gallery was arranged differently. After the manage-

ment took over from Miss Smith,
block on Grant.

the Gallery

became the "other" place

in the

1300

There was no partition

for the

entertainment section, and jazz was played throughfell by.
it

out the place any time the musicians
style in

Spontaneity was the key word in our

life

North Beach. This

is

what made

"the scene," for

one never knew
jazz, or

in

advance

just
play.

who might show
The
tourists

to read a

poem, dance, play some
buy
of

put on a complete

were delighted

to

a pitcher

beer, bottle

of champagne, or
table.

anything

we wanted
most

just to

be a part of the Life emanating from our

The

Life

was, for the

part.

Bob, and his hilarious monologues, sparkling wit and funky
didn't

comments. Even the "Mr Jones" who

know what was happening
his

in the late '50s
it,

knew
if he

that something groovy

was going on, and he would buy

way

into

by God,

couldn't get in any other way! That's where

we accumulated our camp

followers,

hangers-on and groupies.

Some

nights

Bob would

really get

it

on. In the early evening he

would be writing
I

on note paper, napkins,

finally toilet paper, just to get his

speeding thoughts down.

began to keep these valuable fragments for him so that he could finish the poems

when he

got home.

In the early morning,

Bob would wander out and

take one of his

dawn-morning

113

WOMEN
walks

Of the

BEAT GENERATION
Sometimes

— harking back

to walks with his great-grandmother.
I

I

would go

with him. Other days

would

sleep in.

Bob and

I

would begin our Grant Avenue

odyssey around three or four each afternoon.

And

whatever happened would happen.

We would

run down the

hill,

laughing, and brighten the lives of the tourists, adding

to the disorder

ton Square.
recite a

We proceeded to urge on any musical activity in Washing(New Yorkers, please note: We have our own in North Beach.) Bob might
of the day.
or write a

poem

new one

in the Bagel

Shop... or we might drink wine or
spent a lot of time on the rooftops

smoke

grass at someone's subterranean pad.

We

smoking hash.

When I met Bob Kaufman,
I

King of North Beach,
girl

my values changed overnight.
to get
it

had been a greedy, mercenary career
But the very night
read "African
I

whose only object was
had met
be:

while you

can.

met Bob,
to

I

could see these values totally changing.
I

When

Bob

Dream"
at

me,

I

knew

a genius.

And
poetry.

so

I

knew
he

once what

my life would
I

Tempestuous, Adventurous, Pas-

sionate, but always

new experiences.
life

reached out for
It

Bob Kaufman,
as

the

man and his
it.

And
I

made my
and
after

a shambles.

was not

though

I

didn't ask for

I

knew

at a glance

one night that
in ashes,

this

man

could create

my life or destroy
life
. .

it.

The
was

life

had known was
I

and

like the

Phoenix,

my new
.

had begun.

It

to be everything
I

had seen

in the flash

of an African Dream

and more. Sud-

denly wise,

did not fight the Dream.

I

14

THE WRITERS

WOMEN

off

the BEAT

GENERATION

Poet Mary

Fabilli

at

home.

Reverse:

Portrait of a Beatnik, Diane di Prima, circa

1957.

116

.

Mary
And
I

Fabilli
)

Farmer's Daughter
(1914do wonder what he
going to say
is

about the long

lost poets in
.
.

San Francisco
—Mary
Fabilli,

July

1989

Mary

Fabilli

is

a quiet voice

amid the howls,

raps,

and

roars

of the Beat Genera-

tion.

She wrote poetry but never read publicly during the heyday of the Beats,
as

although the purity of her work inspired such well-known poets

Robert

Duncan, who was

a great supporter.

The daughter of an immigrant
stinct, for

kalian farmer,

her education did

little

to inspire her.

Mary Fabilli found poetry by inWhen Mary was young, she tried to
at

imitate her older sister Josephine's writing
teen, she

by copying her poems. Then,

age

six-

purchased Palgraves' The Golden Treasury and from studying the poems, she
to write poetry.

learned
like

how

Her

favorites, she recalls,

included "Emily Dickinson.

I

English lyric poets, as well. Shelley, Keats, Byron."

Mary was born on February

16, 1914, in the small
Italy, a

company town of Gardiner,
town
in the

New
east

Mexico. Her parents came from Pacentro,
of Rome, to work in Rockefeller's

small
coal

mountains

New

Mexican

mines and coke ovens.

Eventually, the family

moved

to

Colorado and then

to Pennsylvania,

where she began

grammar

school.
in elementar)-^ school, her father
visit.

While Mary was
turn to Pacentro for a

decided the family should
to stay.

re-

Once back

in his

homeland, her father wanted

Her

mother, however, reasoned that the education system in such a small Italian village

117

WOMEN

off

the

BEAT GENERATION

could not compare to the public school system in America. Although Mary's father

knew he would miss

his

homeland, they returned

to the

United

States.

The visit

to Italy rekindled

more than

a love for his country.

He decided

to return

to his job as a farmer

and purchased

a twelve-acre

farm ten miles outside of Delano,
sisters

California. Transplanted once again,
rolled in yet another

Mary and

her three

and one brother en-

new

school.

After high school, she took a job at the Tulare
save

County

Free Library in Visalia to
to

money

for college.

When

her younger

sister, Lillian,

went

U.C. Berkeley and

got a room-and-board job,
enrolled at Berkeley.

Mary

followed with her

last

month's pay of $62 and also

Mary's

first

job in the San Francisco Bay Area was with the National Youth Ad-

ministration, a government-funded project founded by President Roosevelt. She also

took

art classes at the University

of California. Living

in Berkeley led to

many

friend-

ships, including
ally

one with
also

a a

young young

painter, Virginia Admiral,

with

whom

she eventuto the

roomed. She

met

poet, Robert

Duncan, who introduced her

San Francisco Renaissance and Beat scenes.
Because of the Depression,

Mary was

forced to drop out of college for a while.

She got a job working on

a

WPA Art Project in Oakland for a year and a half until she
finally

had enough money

to

go back to school. She
in art

graduated from U.C. Berkeley in

1941 with a bachelor's degree
course, taught

and

a

minor

in English.

She took only one poetry

by Beat mentor Dr. Josephine Miles, who was very encouraging. "She

was very

nice,"

remembers Mary,

"a

good

teacher.

She had

to be carried into

and out

of class, she was so crippled by that time."

in

Then World War II broke out. For two and a half years, Mary worked swing shift Richmond at the Kaiser shipyards as a steel checker. She explains her job as pattern
as if for a dress.

making,

Her job

consisted of locating parts

on

the ships such as peaks

and double bottoms

for heister drivers
It

and

riggers.

She would indicate where they
in the bitter cold, directing

were stored in the shipyards.

was hard work, standing

machinery, trying to keep the piles of steel separated.
After the war ended,

Mary

visited Virginia

Admiral

in

New

York for a while.

When she returned to the Bay Area, she taught seventh-grade art at the Bentley School

118

The Writers: Mary

Fabilli

in Berkeley

and

to adults at the

YWCA in Oakland. Then she began working at the
list.

East Bay Labor Journal, compiling their mailing

Mary's next job became a lasting career. After passing an exam, she was offered a
job at the Oakland

Museum on

14th Street by Lake Merritt. She worked as a teacher

and

lecturer, teaching art to children

and adults

in the

summer. During the school

year, she

gave lectures on Colonial history in the eastern United States as well as

California history. She even demonstrated
ket.

how

to

weave on

a

loom and load

a

mus-

When

the

new museum

operted, she was transferred there to

work

as associate

curator in the history department, specializing in California's Mexican and Spanish periods and twentieth-century labor and politics, where she remained until retire-

ment

in

1977. Although

it

enabled her to unite her interest in both art and

literature,
I

her work never affected her love of poetry. "Poetry was always important to me.
poetry, but
I

love

had

to

make

a living."

She never measured success by the number of
correct," she claims.

publications she had.

"My

poetry

isn't politically

Even

so,

she published relatively frequently. Her largest work was her 1981 anIt

thology entitled Poems: 1976—1981.

included short, blank verse

as well as

her

more
for

developed, Aurora Bligh storytelling poems. She also published a
Oyez, founded by Robert and Dorothea Hawley, which included
Into Danger, Aurora Bligh,
etry in

number of works
Go Now,

Lightfooted

and The Animal Kingdom. Besides self-publishing her poas the collection

mimeographed pamphlets, such

of poems entitled The Old
literary

Ones, her strongly descriptive
Epitaph.

poems were published

in

Duncan's

magazine.

Her
riage to

closest association

with the San Francisco Beat scene came during her marlocal Beat poet.

William Everson, a

William encouraged Mary to write, and

her linoleum-block art accompanied two of his poems, "Triptych for the Living" and

"Heavenly City, Earthly City."

A

devout Catholic, Mary gave Everson

a

copy of St.

Augustine's Confessions, and he became so enthralled with the
that he converted to Catholicism,

Roman Catholic Church
and joined the Do-

had

their marriage annulled,

minican

Friars as Brother

Antoninus.

After retiring from the

He left the Order in 1969 and died in 1984. library museum in 1977, Mary devoted herself more fully

119

"but is characterized by a strong the Roman Catholic Church. literary magazines such Poetry continues to be her form of choice." much more in common Included in the following selection of Mary's work is "Letter to Robert." tie to Her work claims. William Everson. She continues to publish her work as Talisman. Many of the religious aspects are subtle but always present. At one set it point in her early writing career.WOMEN to art off the BEAT GENERATION in retrospectives featured in and writing. " her tribute to Robert Duncan. she began a novel. Her poetry evokes a dark intimacy that Duncan called an "ecstatic pessimism. LETTER TO ROBERT We who we are devour our unclean dead are now arisen stairs walking in the corridors under the vaulted risen from our shady pockets the sun has never these our vested interests our noble heirs sensing the fragile bone in derision we have warned them exploring with our fingers who who will will atone for our deception? consume will the listen and you marrow breaking through with hear them the liars the deceivers as a stone running furtively to be alone in the shady corners trailing their unclean fingers they flutter up the left their stairs We who devour our dead we have the twilight have prison forgotten the twilight swaying about their beds the fiery pebbles the livid eyes on the stairs but they have resumed our wisdom liars all & believers they boneless bodies dead 120 ." she you will always find my love for with that of her Mary Fabilli's work has close friend Robert Duncan than her husband. but after three chapters she aside and never picked is it up again." Interestingly. "You may have to search. God in my work. Her latest prose poem has been published in Sierra Journal '96 and entitled "A Letter to Aurora Bligh.

much rain! we asked "Can't you sing any other songs?" "I can sing of the snow. and falling fast in while the angels sing in a strange land. ADVENT Rain yesterday and today. Indian said." falling Snow deep on Christmas Zion. it is not). "Don't ask there's too me to sing anymore. . . . The Hopi "I will be lonely tomorrow . trees in the forests of Arizona. peace and companionship the child that sing songs of after is born to us in all him the mesas two thousand years. rain and music." — — Fabllll The Writers: Mary they have heard us groan in the corridors they have barred the doors with threads we who are dead have devoured us &c have gathered to watch these children playing games with our stones with the pohshed bones of the dead (This is what I think of the international situation — very lucid. DECEMBER EVENING Fog tonight and and rain a vinyl Christmas tree 121 .

Venus and Eros conspired but Pallas Athena complained.. Then.WOMEN at the neighbor's Of the BEAT GENERATION window.. Jove in his wisdom from a mass of components a manufactured monkeywrench. The past was notoriously wrecked and no longer noteworthy. 122 . The Argentine weaves through a voluble civilized tango my rooms python non-venomous. frankly forgotten. THE ROLLICKING ROSES The rollicking roses of the past were of a compulsive nature inscribed in her memory in isometric perfection .. Fog and music rain and swish of tires a floundering airplane and then reverberating thunder (this afternoon a troubled cat stretched cautious legs across the winter grass).

.C. before the Beats became known. After nearly two years of studying physics at Swarthmore College. working in bookstores so she could read as In the early much as possible. "grew nuances of relationship most delicate in their shading. Very political and a diehard freethinker. her thirst for discourse and the desire to connect with other strong minds 123 ." she wrote in Memoirs ofa Beatnik. Diane was close Domenico Mallozi. Elizabeth's. he counted prominent anar- Carlo Tresca as a close friend. Diane di Prima Raised chist in Brooklyn. she entered seven. During this same led period. I think these are two of the most human functions" — to her maternal grandfather. think the poet the person to begin the shaping and visioning of the new forms and the new consciousness when no one else has begun to sense essential it. di fifties." Her various "pads" were centers of lively discussion and activity. D. Diane began writing poetry at the age of thirteen. she started what was to be a very influential relationship with Ezra Pound. They corresponded and Diane went atric hospital in to visit Pound at St. and spent time with him there. often all day and into the night. "Out of this fact." In 1953. At Hunter High School in Manhattan and since then has There she written constantly." pursued her writing and her passion for knowledge full-time.Diane di Prima ) Poet Priestess (1934- "I think the poet is the last person I who is still is speaking the truth when first no one else dares to. a psychi- Washington. she moved to the Lower East Side — well before the arrival of any "scene. filled with friends who often slept together. Diane Prima became friends with the "new bohemians.

I on in schools. 124 . In an interview Anne Waldman in the 1980s. you need the techniques of the craft these are not passed and there's nowhere. think maybe I was one of the first women to break through that having deep conversations with Charles Olson and Frank O'Hara. California. and Allen Ginsberg. however great your visioning and your inspiration. to learn Diane went out of her way with from writers she respected. to get them because to person. really. she reflected: Don't forget.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Diane di Prima and Michael McClure at the 1978 Tribal Stomp in Berkeley. Lawrence Ferlinghetti. They are passed on person in and back then the male naturally passed them on to the male. her to a literary correspondence with several other poets —including Kenneth Patchen.

Three years Press. and two and very unsexy others as being "warm and friendly — like being in a bathtub with four other people. including "Tuerler Losses. she describes a Memoirs of a Beat orgy involving Ginsberg. but Guests subsequent novel Seeking Air. year. The Waring/di Prima creative partnership also involved Diane's stage the Living Theatre. That same later later. Barbara Guest stated that she believes "women poets to be writing the finest poetry today. Barbara Guest In the 1950s. Diane's first daughter. she met the teacher and choreographer James Waring and began a serious study of Zen and meditative composition that paved the way for her lifelong practice of Buddhism. Kerouac. an experimental collage. Both Hettie Jones and Diane di Prima were impressed by the newcomer. She also helped her friends Hcttie and LeRoi Jones publish the literary journal Yugen." In 1953." risks 125 . herself. In a 1988 interview. was published by Corinth for artists Diane modeled and worked at various jobs. book of prose. Herself Defined: The Poet H. Here they published the work of many Beat writers. In 1957. Barbara Guest was a frequent contributor to Yugen and The Floating Bear. and Her World v/zs. a critical sucattention. and Gregory Corso New York." a twenry-two-page epic about the loss of two wrisrvvatches. This Kind ofBird Flies Backward. "I drag my coattails in Akamatova and Mandclstam. Jeanne. HD (Hilda Doolittle). management of the Monday night series for Diane finally met Alle^ Ginsberg and in his companions Jack Kerouac. nearly escaped daunted. is Peter Orlovsky. whose poems were strikingly original with a clarity and intelligence well matched to the brand-new Beats." She was also fascinated by the Imagists and spent five years writing the biography of the original Imagist poet. In it. Dinners and Nightmares. Uncess. The Floating Bear. followed a few months by the publication of her her first book. in her written-for-hire erotic autobiography. both those who became legendary and those who have slipped into obscurity." The Writers: Diane di Prima An equally important spiritual aspect of Diane's life also started in these years and continued well past her "beatness. Barbara continued to take with language and break new ground. Barbara names as her said in an interview. LeRoi and Diane had a daughter together and founded a mimeographed subscription newsletter. Greatly influenced by both the writers and the abstract expressionist painters who were coming greatest inspiration French poet Anne Marie Albiach and the dust of the Russian poets to the fore at that time. This meeting of mind and body most famously depicted Beatnik. first was born.D.

LeRoi defended them before grand jury on the precedent set by the cases of Ulysses and Lady to be the all Chatterly's Lover. Diane was very involved along with Fred Herko. storefronts. she distributed food and staged During this time. all when more time to studying felt and practicing zen." This stance would come in handy when the New York Poets Theatre was brought Meanwhile. The state last half of the sixties saw Diane very at much on the move — living at an up- New York ashram. she traveled to the West Coast to meet the San Francisco Bay Area avant garde — Robert Duncan. After the years of perfecting her craft. producing four seasons of one-act plays by poets. Kirby Doyle. and James Waring. Clive Matson. Michael McClure. reading poetry She finally settled in dance halls. Herbert Huncke. with fine-art sets by artists from both coasts. At the same time. her Revolutionary Letters was published widely in 1969. founded the New York Poets Theatre. and America leges. which published the poetic works of Audre Lorde. two years because of Diane's up on charges of obscenity for showing Jean Genet's film Chant d'Amour. She embarked on her long poem "Loba. Lenore Kandel. San Francisco. Alan Marlowe.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION in other creative pursuits and. however. LeRoi Jones. John Herbert MacDowell. across at in a Volkswagen bus. LeRoi resigned as co-editor marriage to 7\Jan Marlowe. a Helen Adam. Diane finally she was ready to teach. Emmet Grogan. press. Along with other members such free as Peter Coyote. With Alan. bars. col- and galleries. of The Floating Bear. David Henderson. the now-infamous political troupe." gave classes for the NEA's poetry-in-the-schools program (teach- 126 . In 1968. Wallace Berman. and many others. In 1961. and the case was thrown out. staying Timothy on an Leary's experimental. traveling epic 20. Diane founded Poets Press. and Jay DeFeo. and political events.000-mile journey. psychedelic com- munity at Millbrook. Diane joined the Diggers. This was not end of legal hassles. and Diane learned to "look for trouble from directions. through the underground She divorced Alan Marlowe shift The dawn of the she began to devote seventies saw Diane from activist to contemplative. LeRoi Jones and she were arrested by the FBI in late 1961 for the so-called ob- scenity of the ninth issue of The Floating Bear. kids in tow. Diane and her partners fought and eventually after the first issue won a long civil rights suit.

visualization. Diane married Grant Fisher. and prisons). Duncan McNaughton. and Louis traditions in poetry for seven years. Patler. she met her life partner. with arts. Michael McClure and Wavy Gravy at the Tribal Stomp 1978. Greek Theatre. healing. Lenore Kandel. and the Later she taught at the Masters Program in Poetics she helped found in 1980 at the New College of California in San Francisco with Robert Duncan. California. At the same time. In 1972. In 1977. she also managed to raise three daughters and two sons. which she taught through her San Francisco Institute of 127 . David Meltzer. as well as offering writing.The Writers: Diane di Prima Diane di Prima at microphone with (from L to R) Allen Ginsberg. reservations. There she taught occult and Hermetic di Prima's expertise also includes healing Diane work and magical practice. ing at reform schools. after her divorce two years from Fisher. whom she shares an affinity in spirituality. fellow Buddhist Sheppard Powell. and dream workshops in San Francisco. Berkeley.

the work stems from hangs from the heaven you create every man / every it woman carries a firmament inside & the stars in are not the stars in the sky w/out imagination there w/out imagination there w/out imagination there is is no memory no sensation is no will. di Prima has taken her place alongside the brilliance. it is a whole. before a single line w/out a cosmology all eyes there is no part of yourself you can separate out is saying. this this is memory. men as the epitome of Beat Whatfolbws are poeyns from various stages in Diane di Prima's career and an excerptfrom Memoirs of a Beatnik: RANT You cannot write a cosmogony laid out. including over thirty books and body of work spans fifty years. "Loba. In 1983. Diane Magical and Healing Arts. I this is sensation is the work care about. it it always was whole you do not "make" there is so nothing to integrate. you are a presence you are an appendage of the work. this how I make it is a living whole. becoming Diane di Prima's student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION twenty years of practicing zen. desire 128 ." More than any other woman of the Beat. thousands of poems in addition to her epic. after over a embraced Tibetan Buddhism.

other wars are subsumed in the ultimate famine is the starvation of the imagination it is death to be sure. it is thus that you history is the dream of what can r be. is the ground of imagination fearlessness discourse is video tape of a movie of a shadow play but the puppets are in yr hand your counters in a multidimensional chess which is divination & strategy the war that matters all is the war against the imagination it. it is the relation between things in a continuum of imagination what you find out for yourself is what you select out of an infinite sea of possibility no one can inhabit yr world yet it is not lonely. but the undead seek to inhabit someone else's world the syllogism "it all the ultimate claustrophobia the ultimate claustrophobia is is adds up" nothing adds up &C nothing stands anything else in for THE ONLY WAR THAT MATTERS IS THE WAR AGAINST THE IMAGINATION 129 .The Writers: Diane weapon di Prima history is a living in yr hand & you have imagined "find out for yourself" it.

right now. of yr body. of yr a man's life is loves A woman's life Digit / an allegory There is no way out of the is spiritual battle the war the war against the imagination you can't sign up as a conscientious objector the war of the worlds hangs here. in the balance it is a war for this world. to keep it a vale of soul-making the taste in all our mouths death is the taste of our power and it is bitter as 130 . baker.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION IS THE WAR AGAINST THE IMAGINATION THE ONLY WAR THAT MATTERS IS THE WAR AGAINST THE IMAGINATION THE ONLY WAR THAT MATTERS ALL OTHER WARS ARE SUBSUMED IN There There There is is is IT no way out of the spiritual battle no way you can avoid taking no way you can not have sides a poetics no matter what you you do or not it do: plumber. teacher in the consciousness of making making yr world you have like a suit a poetics: you step into the world of readymade clothes or you etch in light your firmament the shape of the spills into the shape of your room poem.

They came like the & went.The Writers: Diane bring yr self home to the guy at the gate the war the di Prima yrself. hotel guests at the music. light. Great Gatsby. men it is die everyday for the lack of vast & elegant means "light it is intellectus it is of the mind" not discourse not even language the inner sun the polls the fire is constellated around the sun is central FOR PIGPEN Velvet at the edge of the tongue. light. Aurora borealis over some cemetery. edge of the brain. practical it. at the velvet. Sound was Like tracing ancient letters w/yr toe on the floor of the ballroom. it was At the edge of history. it is precise fierce. enter the garden is w/ the flaming sword for the it yrself is war human imagination and no one can fight but you/ & no one can fight it is it for you The it is imagination not only is not only holy. A bark. 131 . A howl. And wondered Sound was jagged sweeps of discordant Light.

they filled have no pupils. round. False dawn. they are light (fire). or grey their light less defined. straying godmen of the wings. MY LOVER'S EYES ARE NOTHING LIKE THE SUN for Sheppard These eyes w/a blue are amber. Time was this Hght &C sound it. And too much wind. All futures. We come Make circles. Blank as a clock.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION At the edge of history & there was no time shouts. spilled out of Flickered & fell under blue windows. These sea-green eyes spin dreams on the 132 . galaxy. metallic Those are still. eyes were green sea green. Spill velvet damage on the edge of history. They are the eyes of gods the eyes of insects. trace circles of breath.

heart But the number imprinted on Is my heart Say is this: the pulse of pain a cycle of five. really. are not yrs It is as if the dead saw thru our eyes. others for a moment borrowed these windows. And you all. gazing. have not said The mighty wind 33 . air. Not blue. We keep still. the other with We it "charge" the leap / into non-betrayal. the naked gaze of power. a wind w/ out sound we live in. Where are we. have seen often enough. is But the curtain drawn over our daily gaze drawn I aside. climbing the sides of buildings to peer in like spiderman.The Writers: Diane They di Prima palpable or mine. It is as if these windows filled for a minute w/a different light. not amber. really. at windows not our own THE DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURES There are knowable numbers too reveals the six in its As when the primrose a darker business. it Who are you.

like young rams. like a god who yearns to be himself & frighten no one. NO PROBLEM PARTY POEM first glass broken on patio no problem forgotten sour cream for vegetables no problem Lewis MacAdam's tough lower jaw no problem cops arriving to watch bellydancer no problem plastic bags of melted ice no problem wine on antique tablecloth no problem scratchy stereo neighbor's no problem dog no problem interviewer from Berkeley Barb no problem absence of more beer no problem too little dope no problem leering Naropans no problem cigarette butts on the altars no problem Marilyn vomiting in planter box no problem Phoebe renouncing love no problem Lewis renouncing Phoebe no problem hungry ghosts no problem 134 .WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION blows from the 8 to the 7 thru the Tower called God's house What signature shapes the vector of the breath flowing outward? There is a smoke that arises from the heart a pillar of cloud of the Will & we move toward the Good like the stars.

The Writers: Diane absence of children no problem heat no problem di Prima dark no problem arnica scattered in nylon rug no problem ashes in bowl of bleached bone lost Satie tape & juniper berries no problem no problem loss of temper no problem arrogance no problem boxes of empt}' beer cans & wine bottles no problem thousands of styrofoam cups no problem Gregory Corso no problem Allen Ginsberg no problem Diane di Prima no problem veins Anne Waldman's no problem Dick Gallup's birthday no problem Joanne Kyger's peyote & rum no problem wine no problem coca-cola no problem getting it on in the wet grass no problem running out of toilet paper no problem decimation of pennyroyal no problem destruction of hair clasp no problem paranoia no problem claustrophobia no problem growing up on Brooklyn growing up growing up in Tibet in streets no problem no problem Chicano Texas no problem bellydancing certainly no problem figuring it all out no problem giving giving it all it all up no problem away no problem in sight devouring everything no problem 135 .

WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION what what else in Allen's refrigerator? else in Anne's cupboard? that what do you know haven't told you me yet? no problem. NO PROBLEM. no problem almost no problem easy to stay awake easy to go to sleep easy to sing the blues easy to chant sutras what's all the fuss about? it decomposes we pack it in we swallow it with water. no problem. make a quick getaway. no problem. running ragged among these driving children to forgotten movies? In yr service broom & pen. —no problem boxes — no problem lock it in the trunk. The monstrous feasts we serve the others on the outer porch (within the house there is only rice & salt) And we wear I exhaustion like a painted robe &C my sisters wresting the goods from the niggardly dying fathers healing each other w/water & bitter herbs 136 . THE LOBA ADDRESSES THE GODDESS / OR THE POET AS PRIESTESS ADDRESSES THE LOBA-GODDESS Is it not in yr service that I wear myself out hills. staying another day no problem getting out of town telling the truth.

and 1989 (inset) 137 . has burned off in watches of the night. we catch at you lean mournful triumphant shaggy as grass / ragged our skins ache of emergence dark o' the moon Diane di Prima in 1979. O Nut. but It also no superfluous beauty.The Writers: Diane di Prima that when we stand naked in the circle of lamps (beside the small water. O mantle of stars. in the inner grove) we show no blemish.

and and the 38 . the musiout. and from New Jersey on the make. no curfews were in effect. and the small. there were. The apartment had been lost for non-pay- ment of rent while I was away. and 1 wandered over to Rene's and fell spent the next few days casing the scene. the summer months. tropical. a citizen's right to access to the By two o'clock in the morning Washington little girls Square was usually clear of its usual crowd: folksingers. joined the kids at the fountain. Downtown Village over the the streets were filled with youngsters ington Square. and yet was the same. or calling to each other from the win- dows. exactly the same —crowded you saw together and seen in the dark. an occasional horn. and O'Reilley had moved to a my "stuff" —mostly books named West Tenth Street I apartment where a little street-hustler-ballet-dancer Rene Strauss lived. their skirts held high. when a Park Department man with broom would come by and wake me. The city. At that time no laws had been passed limiting public parks. was like arriving at a foreign port. greeting Finally the friends and acquaintances. young men barefoot and naked had no luggage and and the young women. simply. radios blaring. who had made their way to the their drumming blocks from Washthe fountain. He swept my bed and went away again. faggots.— WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION from Memoirs of a Beatnik: Chapter 10 Summer You never do get to go hack to anything.. guitars. chanting and clapping. but at it really takes a long time to learn it that. and rather than hassle took to sleeping in the park. dark a universe men stalked I softly. crowd thinned. stomping and dancing together in the heavy night. hearing the news. It left was my world it of home-fries and roadwork that had only an hour and a half earlier. I I had no pad. really cians I all went home. You could hear and when you stepped into the crowd around to the waist. no pads to be had. children playing talking together women on the sidewalks or away from stoops. The night was pregnant with lust and violence. and I would stretch out on the steps by the fountain and a big I sleep peacefully until just after dawn. When I stepped off the bus 40th Street and Eighth Avenue.. steaming and resounded with music: in the dark.. The city I was crowded. harmonicas.

At ten I would get up. and order a I'd breakfast. Something about the intimacy of our shared space and the code of coolness in effect at that time would have made it unseemly for us to say to each other than the filling know each other by name. as moods and and aura went. and to my breakfast. or even some sausages or bacon. would take out I'd a ticket's worth. I'd my way to the bathroom which was hidden away downstairs. lives each other's turf and head with rattling chatter and conversation. and. but we never spoke. who shared these quarters. till ten or so. pens. It would have been intrusion. where would wash my face and feet and hands.The Writers: Diane di Prima half-dozen other people. Then. and read for an hour or so till I was thoroughly awake. would grope Great pleasure coffee close my way to sit up the stairs my hair and tie it up. stuffing the dirt)' ones into a paper bag carried in the attache case for that purpose. drinking good. when people started to There was a regular crew of about eight of us night. and along a corridor of the Count ofMonte Crista to a I cramped room. though occasionally splurge and treat myself to eggs and English muffins. would linger as long as I could. strong and reading while your friends come stray and out and the morning draws 1 to a and you write words in a notebook. and the inevi- table unfolding of our emotional would have destroyed the space as that the indif- ference of the city gave each and every one her most precious gift. While the order was making. stretch. amble to Rienzi's. damp staircase with tiny. which opened at eleven. feeling vaguely it is in an unhurried. four to six of the got to know each other pretty well. or have anything more to minimum morning greeting. and change clothes. and a change of underwear. a toothbrush. I notebooks. would exchange dazed greetings and go back to sleep arrive. eight being there far as on any given habits and we all who slept there. oozing walls. 139 . stuffing served as my accoutrements it into the attache case that my portable home and contained a raincoat. Waverly Place. in and. carrying now attache and laundry package. down straight out a rank. fortunately vaguely cleaned. usually some kind of sweet and find espresso coffee. Would then pull a brush through human. brush I my teeth. uncrowded shop. look all around me. all complete strangers. I would pick up and set off for the Chinese laundry on kept all my clothes I there on separate tickets: one pair of slacks and one case shirt on each ticket.

. a real Swan. 140 . which varied got a card at the New York my reading considerably." and a persistent kindly determination to discover of them were within walking distance the studio where I of Washington Square. which had and occasionally I would work two jobs in one day and take Rene or O'Reilley out to dinner. in Moses Soyer's studio. . to work for some of the older who were one or two generations older than the ab- stract expressionists. stopping along the way Chinese laundry. and that market was dead simpler and pleasanter. though painters The man to porn tycoon named Nelson "work. had been busted. and. and to would walk up to was expected. and almost one could believe oneself in that haunting and haunted world of nineteeth-century Paris. who was leaving for San Francisco. attached themselves to this routine: a job I met Victor Romero. had no other needs." I moment. rich. thought myself quite After a while a certain number of luxuries a shower. but had found it on the scene — painters still much less lucrative. haunting sense that the world had changed since their "day. I drop off the bag with a my yesterday's clothes at the would perch on high stool. friendly folk were given to painting what in who had come of age during the depression and the thirties had been known as "Social Realism" what the change consisted. They were gentle. and used models. Most of I people with a sad. or recline on a couch. . and he gave I me a key to his place. leaving finally to go to my afternoon's for the whom Duncan Sinclair had been selling his pictures. The money I I got for two hours buy me dinner and next morning's as I breakfast and to take another outfit out of the laundry. would catch the bold and flashy faces from La Boheme out of the corner of one's modeling was enough to eyes. — WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION usually a couple of hours. and Public Library. while his wife rattled in and out chattering and Moses told me the gossip about his other models: who was going to have a baby. a young photographer with and an apartment.

sively. just at the right moments. I knew them. they were given electric rebel. She is alive in the pages Johnson s Minor Characters and Beat Generation memories of many of the survivors of the whom she marked forever with her generous friendship. she was extremely bright and read extenEliot. though dead more than a quarter century. the works of Ezra Pound andT. they wanted the perfect daughter to complete the ensemble. with whom Elise lived for a time. they were there. knew them. especially ites. says. In the '50s you were male you could be a but if you were female your families had you locked up." was born to a wealthy family on Long Island who were given to high-strung histrionics interspersed with brittle attempts at normalcy. "I still think about her every day. some- day someone will write about them. July 1994 Cowen. 'Why are there so few women on this panel? Why are there so few women in this whole week's program? Why were there so few women among the Beat writers?' and [Gregory] Corso.'" — Elise from Stephen Scobie's account of the Naropa Institute tribute to Ginsberg. shock.S. suddenly "[A] utterly serious. Although Elise didn't make good grades. She favored the 141 .Elise Cowen Beat Alice (1933-1962) woman from the audience asks. their families put if them in institutions. There were cases. She was the smartest person Elise I knew. were particular favor- and she could quote them at will. and Elise became the focus of their rages. Her parents had achieved neighborhood and the the American Dream with the perfect house in the perfect perfect job. More than anything. Janine Pommy Vega. leans forward I and says: 'There were women. is in many ways more of Joyce tangible than many of the other Beat in the women. Poetry.

Elise was in Bellevue Hospital during one of her episodes of depression. at one point. but didn't flourish in the ways they had hoped. Elise was admitted to Bellevue and released a few days later into her parents' care. disappearing from view. Elise never made On February 1. she met Joyce Johnson and Leo Skir. and got involved with her philosophy professor. she jumped out of the instantly. (Joyce Johnson mentions alike how they even looked moved on. she ran fired from her away to San Francisco. a while. rest Their intention was to take her to Miami. Elise recognized a twin soul. She died locked The police noted that the window still — Elise had jumped through a closed window. drinking red wine. when his friend Allen Ginsberg arrived on the scene. a When Allen became lovers with Peter Orlovsky. Elise was during that time.WOMEN darker poetry most of kept on display. Allen went to a psychiatric in the stolen car ward instead of jail after the infamous wreck with Herbert Huncke. She took a job as a typist and had a dismal career. He also had of friends traipsing and out of his messy apartment while Elise cleaned up and baby-sat for his two-year-old son. The was changed: thinner and quieter. After being job. Instead. Vickie Russell. 1962. and recuperation. but when Allen never quite able to Allen and Elise both met Carl Solomon (for whom which Allen would eventually write "Howl") in separate stays at mental hospitals. window of her parents' living room was in Washington Heights. all. typing at night. and writing poetry in secret. and Little Jack Melody. Elise doted on Alex. None of her poetry was published in her lifetime. she Elise that returned to New York a year later seemed even more haunted than before. Elise took woman lover named Sheila and. the two couples even shared an apart- ment. Ironically. for the trip. Alex proved the portal to Elise's future. Elise took as a sign that they should be together. among other Beat players. of the BEAT GENERATION suggesting a shadow side to the good-friend persona she She attended Barnard in accordance with her family's plans. Alex Greer. After her graduation from Barnard. but eighty-three poems have 142 . who lots led an exciting in life and had a child but no apparent wife. Elise became depressed more often and was never completely free of the shadows.) They dated for let go.

Leo. Someone "Hello. "Yes. Then the conversation ended. Elise might never have found much happiness or life. some of Elise's poems literary Review and several small book. Over the years. The story. has sent to Evergreen zines. seventh "Is "she jumped out the window. "said Sheila. Leo provided maga- For this Elise's never-before- published poems from the box in his basement. / was working in the Welfare office. she dead? " I said. called me to the phone." said Sheila. to mean " that she's not going Florida?" "No. "I said "What Sheila*?" "Have you heard about "You Elise?" she said. I can't remember who. she had a rare gift for friendship. her remaining poems and journals were destroyed by her family after her death. success in her short But judging by Leo's memoir. a still-loyal friend. said. From her pareyits' apartment. Leo?" the voice on the telephone is it. There was more talk. "She was killed instantly.The Writers: Elise Cowen in rested in a box in her friend Leo Skir's basement Minneapolis. I hung up and tried to go back to work 'Pseudonym 143 . Elise Cowen: A Brief Memoir of the Fifties Allen Ginsberg by Leo Skir and Elise Cowen.

of which I don*t have a copy. I received it and Irving 's the saiue day. if it's alright. Allen was in Bombay. Hope you are well.^U^tl ^s'"&/%s'^&V':}' UV. with Irving.Therj not much about Elise in it but there are some rei edies for nightmares. you sound chei your letter did find me both hi^ppy & in good Yiei Peter says Hello. I don't think I could write well intentionally for an occasion.^^ Dear Leo: V 1 Thanks for your letter.PY&'i. & rereau yours.^Kone of the dream trj. How are Elise's parents? They g. except by accideni such as letter. as this.-J%> ^^ . getting a reply about a week later: He wrote: ^: . no matter hoT strange the occasion. & you want to make book.WOMEN Elise Of the BEAT GENERATION was dead. nox even deatri's — lllll. If you are in touch have been 1t^7ith them give them my respect c « best vdshes.at systems is real. & think. 1 wrote him that night.d knows what. I just ansv/ered Irving. Sc was a little emptied for a few days to hear about Elise.-TL\e*i?« H4 . use the lett( I wrote Irving. I everybody is not scared or plunged further into pa 12^1 ul dreams ^ by Sl^ise's ^in-^s.^^' >.

I looked out the window at the workers. no. "Not I yet. Then she was there. a diffident sulky introduced myself. "I don't want "Is there a place for you in America?" I said." she said. I was seventeen and a Columbia Freshman." she "Is there said. in upstate It was Thanksgiving and already very cold New York. Almost everyone but fertilizer me was out picking corn or throwing I on the earth.The Writers: Elise Cowen I had met her in 1949 at Hechalutz Hatzair's Zionist training farm in Poughkeepsie. ducing Henry IV: Part I was had only one " good line." she said. She pushed her finger nervously against the bridge of the glasses. Elise. didn't see her again until my Senior year at colPeto. was eating a piece of bread spread with colorless margarine. the sallow air. had hung in America out of fear and asthma. "No. complexion. They were not bound. some other country you are planning to go tor She smiled. the smile half-dissolv- ing behind the thick lenses of her glasses. was a member of the Players and we were proI. black I bound with a rubber band. to go to Israel. embarrassed. Looking like so lusterless hair many of our Jewish girls. in the cold downstairs was asthmatic that day. Being seventeen was usually pretty old in our Youth I Movement whose 1 members behind I went to Israel not to college. I lege. "Why asked. was Movement leader. "No. There was a girl who assisted in the dressing Allen Ginsberg and Elise Cowen. The cold was seeping in through the windows. She was not a not?" I Movement member. wheezing room at the farmhouse. 145 . didn't see her again at I any Movement meetings or when I I came back to the city.

but a girl was there." I I said. Elise. Apparently wasn't much of They and a relationship." she said. a Zionist. smoked a lot. She was very or if I nice. I One I day. very shy. and they would go out to eat. said. He was not at home.) Later that evening visited my friend Pittsburgh John. 10 inch shellac 78's. It was Elise. "There are no friends. Pittsburgh John and Elise and I had many pleasant evenings talk together. was no longer Elise. She didn't seem called to her. shellacs. Pittsburgh John got A's and B pluses. She was carrying the Woodie Guthrie record albums. They would talk about what they dreamt and what they said to their analyst and what the analyst said to them. "I have no friends.WOMEN room. When I was with Pittsburgh John he would about his relationship with it and Elise would talk about her relationship with Pittsburgh John. me. They didn't drink We I all went to movies a lot classes very little. to see saw Elise wandering through the street. She told of the BEAT GENERATION me she knew someone who knew me. to her little furnished room from Pittsburgh John's. She had brought over her Woodie Guthrie records. was a neurotic Columbia So was Pittsburgh John. " I said." she remember her. Pall Mall. soft-spoken. would be going. John was in deep analysis. "Who?" "I don't I said. 78 She had brought them from her across the street parents' home in Washington Heights. a rich gentile son of a Pittsburgh manufacturer. student. Then much. "EHse Cowen. So was Being neurotic together. "She's a friend of a friend of yours." (A quote from Aristotle. Elise got C's and D's and F's and WD (withdrawn) and NC (no credit). toward evening. visit for She told me Pittsburgh John had asked her to take the records and not 46 . I She didn't ask I me why I wasn't in Israel. Her room had no phonograph but Pittsburgh John's did.

The Writers: Ellse Cowen would be in the city. "I bought it once when I was almost broke. commit suicide the night before. Elise was broken. "I think that's the only moral friends. It all having breakdowns. The Oxford Anthology of Greek "I stole it from the library." She talked about her John." she broke I said." looked at We Poetry. was very "Let's get to sleep. " I said. so can't talk to him. It was a small furnished room on private house. She had trench mouth. The Poems ofDylan Thomas. His girlfriend from Pittsburgh She wouldn't understand. There were scratches on her She had turned on the gas ring for a while. "Please stay with I me tonight." she said. get- She washed out her underwear and gargled with an oxy- genating rinse. "The janitor hasn't given I me I clean sheets for two weeks." way to get books. They were wrists. I OK." the top story of a went with her to her room. She covered the window with ting into litde-girl pajamas. I The Pisan Cantos of Pound." she said. how she wasn't really rela- heartbroken since tionship. one of those rooms that in "better days" had been the maid's. the next few weeks. "I haven't paid the rent. wasn't a full adult love-relationship but only a dependency She talked on and on." she said. "I don't want to be alone." she said. "Whenever I'm almost buy an expensive book. "Am "It's I boring you?" she asked. She was part of a circle had thought she knew only Sheila and Pittsburgh of poets and psychology students around Columbia." said. her books. a blanket (she had no shades) and undressed. She had tried to also late. sat around and talked. 147 . "I stole that. She talked it to me about their relationship.

night she her. in love with a poet. said.M. She turned out the took the blankets off the window and came to bed. She had returned in the original. "If things get too bad you can stay with I me. was having a nervous breakdown. Before the term's end had had my me a nervous breakdown and my analyst. a I Horneyian on Park Avenue. Where was he now? He was "I'll told her about Clay's defection." bhit. in. had given a second Senior year.WOMEN "I'll off the BEAT GENERATION sleep in the chair. 148 . The I next day she got a statement from her analyst that she had to leave Barnard for a while and went back to her parents' home in Washington Heights.m. note to Columbia telling them Senior year had begun I'd split needed By the time a my second with my friend Clay and was onto second nervous breakdown. to 10 A. didn't see her again that I term or that summer. came over to her. He had thought her very deep." her room." at she said." she said. be getting a room around Columbia. It can only remember one night was a furnished room in the private apartment of a Russian woman. Slept with Now she was I would think she was deep. frying eggs. She had worn a red dress the met him. She wanted to read Rimbaud was She had met. Come on light.) I looked up. She was reading Freud (the red-covered Perma-Book edition of the Introductory Lectures) and drinking black coffee. The room next to Elise was occupied by a Czech actress called Vera Fusek. 1 "You can have the bed. There was only one person in the Lion's Den tables. fried This while working in the juice-pouring and in egg counter of the Lion's Den John Jay basement I at Columbia. was Elise. in California with his friend Peter. to school. slept with. had been afraid he speechless. (I One morning It I worked from 8 a. reading Shakespeare. She was studying French.

The Writers: Elise Cowen That evening "I I was terribly depressed over Clay. Elise a leather jacket. fly). I Chaim Gross. We all managed somehow. while on up and my way to the psychiatrist. room Elise made me wear a babushka. We weren't the t)'pe to attend graduation ceremonies and shake hands and pick up diplomas. We went got out of Columbia. 149 . I. I had been wearing blue jeans. night I went tall A His James Dean looking boy was Peter. It was rolled in my mailbox at the student dorm. wasn't a Catholic I would have committed The Before I next morning left the we woke up late and the Russian landlady was already up." 1 said. "What's stopping you?" said "If I Elise. suicide long ago. I had the top floor of the It house of the sculptor Street. But we got through. put on her blue jeans (rivets on her left. Sheila was reading Candide in the Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovjky. Elise bare-chested name was was iron- ing clothes. It I was dated October 15th. We began trying to make homes for ourselves. think I'm going to commit suicide. and moccasins. her leather jacket. One there." said Vera. She was reading Rimbaud. didn't make me boo hoo or ha ha. I can remember finding mine one afternoon. Or we dropped out and to another school. was on West 105th was moving downtown from Colum- Elise had an apartment with to visit them. Sheila. bia. and combat boots. else feel thought that no one It graduated October 15th. We nodded at the landlady as we a little conscious of my morning beard. Then we were out and drifting in the world.

but are you homosexual?" "I don't know yet." he said. with a Spanish whore." left. Her father was in the hospital "I lost all respect for her.WOMEN bedroom. hope you don't mind my asking. 150 . "But makes me a little nervous to sleep with strangers. new job." said." "1 said. For a while he and Peter stayed with Sheila and Elise. a movie theater on 42nd Street to see Vitelloni. "After you." lot He looked me. They cost only 14 cents each." said Sheila. I hope I haven't offended you. She fed me chicken cacciatore. Allen was famous. She had no job. "I was the I time met went to Columbia. She bought chickens used in the cancer experi- ments at the Payne Whitney Clinic. Vitelloni saw the I Rome. "Howl" had come out. I didn't visit Sheila and Elise's apartment for a long time Elise. after that but I would call. "What city that?" asked Laf. and Elise split up right after Allen left: for Europe. I "I'm complimented. "Columbia ruined a I of people. of his "I first "Excuse me." I said. In the movie theater was on. "I'm in the middle of my analysis." he said to me. I went out with them It all one night. for a She was looking dying. "New Sheila I York." I said." he said confidently. New York was closing in on him. "But I have to get up early to go to work." have to go now. went over to stay with Sheila. Peter was telling us Of the BEAT GENERATION sexual experience. first We I were going to Allen." said Peter. sometimes to once to Allen who had moved in with them." at told him. speaking sometimes to Sheila. is I was seated beside city wasn't Peter's brother. He was getting ready to go to Europe. "Would you like to sleep I with me?" he it "Of course. Lafcadio.

Peter is wonderful. literally She had been kicked out of her job ABC. "It's true. Get your out of here. worth ten of him." she said." In the said. had moved to the lower East Side. Sheila's father had died. I "Everything she read. "Everything was Allen. one of the entrances to the Park. "OK." "I 1 said. On Friday when she was paid there was a note saying she was suspended. "But your father "1 still don't just died. in touch with tral her." said Sheila. Sheila I got dressed. You stink.' That I . There had been no other notice. I typing up scripts in a special projection machine for ABC. so "OK. She was there and on time. "When "How?" Allen I came in she changed completely. did." said Sheila. But they shouldn't dismiss me with a note. have a job. It morning the telephone woke and was Sheila's stepmother." she told me. We made a date to The meet one evening Mariner's Gate is on Cen- Park West in the Eighties." she said. They should come ass me personally and say 'Miss Cowen. "I get the picture. "I was a bad worker. Her bus came. One of the at few times she was on time. at the had somehow gotten Mariner's Gate. she in a Elise and her cat. I came in late and often drunk and made many to mistakes. so clean." "Don't you like him?" said. kicked out. I We went said. said. Let's get to sleep. changed." she said. "Are you going home?" "I'm going to look for a job. said. Elise had been hanging out tough lesbian bar. "Let's sleep." I said." The Writers: "Why?" Elise Cowen I said." us. downstairs. is "He's a slob." am so I happy that she's gone!" said Sheila. She suspected the cat of She had an all-night job insanity. "Peter considerate.

Place. said. I was in training." she said. The rooming house there. I There was was living a real beat scene out on the West Coast. a job as Social Investigator for the Welfare Department. will you leave?' Until then he had always said he had even spoken to me in a human way. They grabbed me by the arms and began to pull me away. A few minutes later the police came. "They let me go. think have a right to that. When got to the police station I called my father. "I'm going to go Wednesday. said she might be in a bar called The Place. He got someone in charge. When they got me in the door one of the policemen hit me in the stomach. They didn't even give me a chance to walk normally. I He 'I said. lonely for her. She with a drunk Irish artist in a I cheap rooming house.'" I "Did they lock you up?" "No." me from the hospital. got letters from Elise. 'If your mother it ever hears of this will kill her. 'Miss Cowen." she said." she said." "What "I are you going to do now?" to was planning on going a date to San Francisco. while the others held me. called her.' I in touch with my uncle. or He went away. They both came down." she said. Lomax. qualified for a psychiatric abortion the doctors were away on Christmas By the time 152 . My father said to me. Everyone stared at me. By Tuesday she had left for California. sat at the came back Monday and came over. I was fired without explana- tion or discussion. One night." lunch Tuesday afternoon at We made near I meet for the Italian restaurant my Welfare Training Station had gotten on Avenue B and East 3rd Street. or called I me Elise I would have said. Elise. " Of the BEAT GENERATION "What did you do? "I I asked. Early in January she wrote write you from the hospital." WOMEN would have taken. want to speak to Mr. But she didn't show up. typing machine. If left. I called The She was "I'm pregnant. Finally the boss He I looked very frightened. "Can you afford an abortion?" "I'll "They're easier to get out here. No charges pressed. all By the time she had vacation.

telegraphed the money from Cambridge. didn't push her to go back to work and Elise felt was more than a little inhibited about going back. no Negro but a Jewish Peter I graduated from Barnard. getting his Master's." I said. was back from Europe." thought." she I "Can you send me the money by telegraph?" "Sure. all day and being so grumpy and saying "and and at and like" all the girl time and using Negro slang when she was. calling from San Francisco. after New Years (she had looked out the window. had different ideas about what life should be. stand her idleness. I was working in Welfare. sleeping like. "I want back. I sent her a copy of Stendhal's De I'amour (in I French) to read in the hospital. to support "The Welfare Department wants me my mother. Meanwhile time 1 passed. after all. We talked about Welfare. had made up with Clay when Columbia ended. The whole beat thing seemed sad to me. I didn't mind being poor. seen large for a simple to the auto tops) the fetus had grown too D&cC She had to have a hysterotomy. It was very sad. I was still living Chaim Gross's house. it put curry and onions into some chopped meat and served over rice. I One weekend It packed to go visit him. was Elise. getting a little extra in the money. He had been in Navy. said. But all I couldn't like. so three months passed. Mass. now he was out. She she guilty about not getting a job and made me feel guilty about making her feel guilty." said Peter. We We I didn't get along. "I hope she can get hold of a dictionary.The Writers: Ellse Cowen their skis strapped they returned. "Isn't it more important Shrine?" that I save money to go to Japan to worship the Buddha at the Nara 153 . live When she came back to New York City she came to in with me. As I was about to leave the phone rang. fried He came for dinner one evening with Lafcadio. up Harvard.

" I said. doorbell rang and there she was. Joyce said she the thing with Keith was real. You can "No. I She came by that evening. Leo in Mexico. talked to her." she "I'm not staying. for Welfare. I wrote a book. that her love for/with Allen was a dream. Sheila had left for France after her father died. She was going to California with Keith Gibbs. crowd. She gave me a Marianne Moore record she had stolen from the public We kissed." she said. She had a small income. said." She went down the I stairs. She would be by to pick up her belongings and return my hula hoop." 154 . go to Joyce's." she said. One day the to "Don't worry. helped her bring her down. She was working for I Berlitz and the FLN. "They might send you those Germans. libraries. One "I'll evening I told Elise that Clay would be coming in from Cambridge for the next weekend. Then Elise was back." I said. I went to Mexico on vacation. 1 just wanted to wash up before going my parents' house. holding a bag. In Paris she had met an Algerian." I "Don't get caught stealing from foreign to the foreign legion with all said." She packed and She called the next Tuesday. Keith was waiting downstairs. "Three's a left. There were letters from Elise. made circles with my hula hoop. stay. I was still working saved money. just like the movies. heard the car go. things library.WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION "That's a difficult question. letters also from Sheila. "I don't know. felt I phoned Joyce.

155 . 1 sections of Leo in Mexico. left behind downstairs. a basic black. With Peter. in Chassidism. out the last time. the New Jersey girl moved in with Elise. still there to be with." said. Sheila said there tion. The three of us had a parry togerher. From then until the time she died. She was no longer able to do She wouldn't/couldn't keep a job. She wouldn't had gone too far take the peyote. For her house- warming she served peyote buttons and Cosanyl. the last of my childhood: cherry-maple furniture. so was she. Peter loved a girl from New Jersey. things. took one peyote and was ate two. Allen had come in with Peter. When he was interested in Zen. a young paranoid from California.The Writers: come back from Elise Cowen read Sheila had France. bringing a salami. Could she stay to for a week? "What happened She had given it your apartment?" I said. She bought me a plate of spaghetti at Bruno's." she said. But I was hungry. so did she. this She was very She was wearing said Elise. Did he drink to Peru there mocha coffee? So drank When he went down was Peter. He got an apartment for Elise a floor gave her some of my furniture." Allen had back. Without She came to see me. She left. to be another pretty. I Elise helped us move. furniture my parents had given me. talked. "You're not supposed to be hungry after peyote. I "I'm hungry. New Jersey! New Jersey! can understand all human passions but how can one love someone from New Jersey! I Then Allen was going Elise. The man who had AWAY. Didn't feel anything. When Allen came back. up." she said. would have French Revolu- "Blood has to flow in the streets. When he became interested she. to leave again. pay rent. He was going to India. "What come country needs is a lot of good cheap heroin. Elise loved the New Jersey girl. her world was Allen. I into 170 East Second Street. He had moved above him. and I went out walking.

"Maybe when she gets home. I The day I got out I went to my post office box." I said. at the She had been staying I apartment of Irving Rosenthal but she wanted out. She came back the next day. "He says they're filthy." in the ladies' I said. very depressed. father looked through her writings while she was in the hospital." she said." her mother said. Cowen said. Did you notice any among her "None. She had gotten a post office box instead of a room. She didn't say where she was living." Mrs. "Can I visit her?" "She doesn't want any visitors now. lent her $50. change room in the subway.WOMEN electricity. She seems to have been mixed up with a lot of homosexuals. "I want you to be truthful with me. Chinese porcelain. "I don't "I'll think you should wear toreador pants for a job interview." called her parents' house." 156 . then become psy- chotic. She had gone in with hepatitis (serum). rich-girl. Sheila had gone was wait- ing for the Revolution in Sutton Place. was hospitalized. Address unknown. sharing an apartment with her Aunt. "I feel she's dead." I friends?" said." said Elise. She was wearing toreador pants. Elise was in Bellevue. Carpets. It off the BEAT GENERATION was too much. over-stuffed furniture. There was my last letter to Elise marked: "Moved. The next morning she packed her bigs to go look for a job. at Sheila's That night she stayed new apartment. "Leo. drugs?" Did Elise ever take "Not "Her to my knowledge." she said. A I few days later I got a post card from her.

"It's The Group laid in Barnard. Always fearful. She became paranoid. "Leo. are your machines?" I said. said." she joked. could hear all her thoughts and also that she could hear them. 157 . two men. said. you re paranoid. "The ones that tap your brain?" "They plant them outside the window. the City (New York City) had machines trained on her." she She had become complete phobic. She described the four people. neat. "that seems so far beyond me now. She looked away. She looked fine. looking for enemy planes. slices Cowen had prepared us a supper oi of tongue heated in the roto On the side. two hlise. She felt we had ever seen her." a "No. I think?" said. "I'm not. I glanced through it. boring. broiler. A lady always wears gloves in the street. she couldn't go out any longer without one of her parents. wore gloves. It doesn't make me feel anything. A child again. mean-souled people." to her When we came subway stop she got off "I'll call you. clean. There was a Kay in The Group. She was distracted. foolish." she said. home. I Sheila sat beside me in the subway." she said." she said. It's unreal. Her parents had had her of Bellevue to then signed her out against doctor's orders. bored. had been interned in Bellevue. "Where Mrs. But she was mad. finally fallen out the window. assigned to her. 1 New York Ciry to me in detail women. better than quite mad. She had a review of The Group in front of her. life noticed Sheila sighed in exasperation. Of course.The Writers: Ellse Cowen trans- Sheila ferred out and I went to see her at her parents' a private sanitarium. Paranoid. the workers. "What do you that she walked with Sheila along Overlook Terrace to the subway. and at home. Joyce's novel She had read Come and Join the Dance in which she is given the name of Kay. green peppers and tomatoes she had pickled herself I We left after supper.

regal. perfect word Oh I wish you body here or without bearded With poems 158 . the Royal typewriter SITTING Sitting with you in the kitchen Talking of anything Drinking I tea love you is "The" a beautiful. A I skin full of screams think "Bludgeon" "Roselle under the bludgeon" Red Queen of back-of-the office Who Then stares at space into me Roselle de Bono For Roselle? For me? A confusion of tears over Nutritious Roselle.. our worlds / was working hi the Welfare office. A SKIN. wondered why she would call.WOMEN 1 of the BEAT GENERATION now so far apart.. Someone called me to the phone.

wouldn't in relation but with a rose or rather skunk cabbage Just —Mere come room Your the I break through grey paper Frankenstein What word from the Funambule is Deberoux Babtiste I Desnuelu (who's he?) to choke you Duhamel and you 159 . Cowen TEACHER—YOUR BODY MY KABBALAH Teacher your body my Kabbalah . in funny couldn't. — Rahamim Tiferete —Compassion — Beauty cigars The aroma of Mr. . Rochesters among the flowers Bursting through I am trying to choke you Dehcate thought Posed Frankenstein of deHcate grace posed by my fear And you Graciously Take me by the throat The body hungers before the soul And after thrusts for its own memory Why not afraid I to hurt elig couldn't hurt me except arm in wit.— The Writers: Elise .

WOMEN De brouille Of the BEAT GENERATION Graciously Deberaux Decraux Barrault Take me by the throat Deberaux Dehcate French logic Black daisy chain of nuns Nous sommes Keith's tous assasins in the jumping old man waves methadrine morning dance of delicacy "I want you to pick I fall me up I when down" wouldn't and fell not even death I waited for stinking with the room like cat shit would take me Donald's first bed wherein this fantasy shame changing liim to you And you talking of plum blossom scrolls and green automobiles Shame making body thought a game Cat's cradle lattices & imaginary of knowledge & Bach & logic & game &C system Fearing making guilt making shame making fantasy elegance of covering splendour emptying memory of the event 160 .

. . EMILY . The Writers: Elise Cowen covering splendour with mere elegance covering sneer between the angels Wouldn't couldn't Fear of the killer dwarf with the bag of tricks & the colonels picture To do my killing for me God is hidden And not for picture postcards. Or WHO WILL Who will I SLAP . slap my backside When am again born Who will In death close my eyes when They see 16 . .. Emily white witch of Amherst The shy white witch of Amherst Killed her teachers I'll With her love rather mine entomb my mind best that soft grey dove.

WOMEN DEATH Wait I . that Literal is. . babushka And your single simple answer to every meaning what she said incorruptible institution Listen to "There's a passage through the white cabbages" High and laughing through 3 hours Faithful paranoid It's all One to you isn't it Real. raincoat. Of the BEAT GENERATION Death I'm coming for me be station know you'll at the subway loaded with galoshes. umbrella.. enough To find a snoozing place till among thick visions she'll stumble over you Or wait till rot down with the majesty orange she stuck on her finger worn green hideabed I brood on Never hearing clearly enough to remember Real as the Or openarmed at the passage end 162 .

. That's not 1 or only what things I mean —among other am not permitted to tick tock feel that much 163 . The Writers: The homeless Elise Cowen Who Hghts in her/from her/is (Her moving human perfection) Waits for no one Not even you DID I GO MAD go . Did I mad in my mother's womb Waiting to get out As I gidget along the edges of the perfect point of the hollow munched Waiting tooth of a second To death The floor never picks itself up and walks away On my brain are welts the from moving that never moves On my brain there are welts stillness from the endless I don't want "See "See to intone how how she suffers" she suffers" (The sting of eyes reminds) really..

the flash at the of cosmic striptease? I wants a little something for itself unique. —but there's something it . WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION But that the truth (Even were Is I I guess of it) to KNOW this. why time? in love. what. is EVERYONE'S is And what not a rag flapping sometimes on the window across the shaft in the wall Just more waiting. 164 . a single word treasure act perfection If only to give away to Only Love? Is this "He his scatters street. to be continued) THE LADY The Lady is a humble thing Made of death and water The fashion is to dress it plain And use the mind for border . . loving — all this (No. with bells on." blood on the where.. . only the FACT end of WAITING. . is it And that Truth.

— The Writers: Ellse Cowen ever wrote: This is believed to be the last poem that Elise Cowen No love No compassion No intelligence No beauty No humility Twenty-seven years is enough sorry — — of meanness— I'm Daddy— What happened? Allen — I'm — Holy Rose Youth Betty— Such womanly bravery Keith—Thank you Joyce— So Howard— Baby windows and Shalom Leo — Open happen Carol — Mother too late years sorry Peter girl beautiful take care the Let it Let me out — Please let now me in please 165 .

A .

Upper West Side parents . Hay I960. Joyce. We see how the members of the Beat Gento thrive Ginsberg and LeRoi Jones. writing not only about herself but about two other close friends: the doomed Elise women Cowen and in their early twenties who became her the stalwart Hettie Jones.But she was writing I —a novel. © 1996 by Fred W. as the youth of postwar America chafed against the constraints of a buttoned- up. True Good Heart (1935) bookish. In her 1983 memoir. McDarrah 167 . already under contract —and that was her good fortune. thought. Joyce was Jack Kerouac's crucial years that lover during 1957 and 1958. such as Allen as Beatniks. she recreates her time in the Beat inner circle during that period. Johnson gives an eyewitness account of Kerouac's catastrophic encounter with fame when Roa^i On the became a cause celebre in 1957 and inspired many young people around the world to identify themselves eration. conservative society. Elise Cowen and most of their in contemporaries were Facing page: photo Joyce Johnson (Glassman) at the Staempfli Gallery New York City. the closely watched only child of . showing us what it was like to be a young woman coming of age on the tumultuous and transitional fifties. .Joyce Johnson A "Joyce was a city tious girl. managed unable to survive the seismic is first while others like Kerouac and Cowen were shift in sensibility. as As we were new. the two brought the Beat Generation into public awareness." — first Hettie Jones Joyce Johnson's ironically titled Minor Characters was the book to focus specifically upon Beat women. which received a National Book Critics Circle award. freer versions of ourselves? There have always been women like us. . We was most important to common assumptions about our uncommon we were men? As if We lived outside. us: if if. But Minor Characters and foremost Joyce's own story. more ambishared what lives.

WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION as possible expected to marry a wage-earning male as soon family. including who had rejected three manuscripts of Jack On the Road (Kerouac's staunch advocate Allen Ginsberg had once made a memorable Joyce found her Elise trip to the agency to retrieve Jack's work). Johnson grew up on West 1 I6th street on Manhattan just around the corner from the apartment salon of William and Joan Vollmer Adams Burroughs where Ginsberg and Kerouac were frequent her parents. One of her employers. Strangely enough. The Glassmans. who had begun fell a relationship before Ginsberg in love with Peter Orlovsky. against their attempts to control her life hook up with trips to At the age of thirteen Joyce began started rebelling and making illicit Washingyear at ton Square. family. hardworking Jewish couple. turned out to be the agent Kerouac's. moved there from Queens when she their was eight years old. with her when she left home following her non-graduation. Daniel and Rosalind Glassman had visitors during the late forties. and she abandoned music. Joyce was with him the day he went from 5. In January. Ginsberg arranged a blind date for Joyce with Jack Kerouac. of the Beat scene through her Barnard classmate with Allen Ginsberg on 1952. Kerouac darkly handsome with striking blue eyes and a rugged. Overwhelmed by a love affair with an instructor during her last Barnard College. two years way to the heart Cowen.A. 1957. the two were a study in contrasts: Joyce wistful. all As photos of the period delicate features attest. their precocious only child. Parental pressure to in and settle down to raise a testifies conform to this ideal was high as Hettie Jones also How I Became Hettie Jones. the novel he had typed on a long scroll of drawing paper during two feverish weeks in 1949. wild writer to Beat icon. a quiet. they certainly did not expect her to drinking. Phyllis Jackson. and her potential and coma hard- poser of musical comedies. first In 1955 at the age of twenty. in the Village. unknown On September 1957. refusing There was a rift to be the surrogate for her mother's frustrated ambitions. received an over- 168 . vagabond writer like Jack Kerouac. On the Road. she began her novel Come and Join the Dance^ and supported herself by working for literary agents. she fell short of getting her B. and demure blond air. placed as a librettist hopes on Joyce.. the 21 -year-old Johnson and the 34-year- old road-weary Kerouac met at a Howard Johnson's freshness.

there founded Kerouac: is the Jack Kerouac Society for Disembodied Poetics. Kerouac had become famous overnight.. holding the shirt. un- from It his crippling emotional dependence upon his mother. articles. me you're very nice. Memere. be. but for Kerouac it proved disastrous. of eye shadow and my coat and take the subway down and begin walking westward.. of the Beat Generation. passing under the bridge between the two buildings of Wanamaker's to Astor Place Department Store and the eye of the giant illuminated bitter clock. by a French-Canadian surrealist poet. a him. Would you Street? I'll like to come down I to Howard Johnson's on Eighth I'll be sitting at the counter... The prescient critic Gilbert publication as "a historic occasion . A journal published annually celebrates It's the Beats and the "Unspeakable Visions of the Individual. love affair with Kerouac in Minor Characters is to that somehow Joyce will be able to save Jack from crushing. have black hair and I'm standing in be wearing a red and black checked kitchen.— The Writers: Joyce Johnson whelmingly laudatory review Millstein. January night with ice all over the pavements. "Sure. the testament. There is Jack's Book." It's I a Saturday night shortly after I say. It's a dark. in Boulder. cited its in the New York Times. put on a lot New Year's. Jack. called lived as a child). It was not meant to for either was not an easy time of them. chapters in books. so you have to be 169 . Joyce writes: As of 1982. pamphlets. and from alcohol. graduate student somewhere put together a rather life. To read about Joyce's two-year hope against hope wanted notoriety. as well as proliferating theses." in the hagiography to making. in 1976. as well as Desolation Angel: Jack Kerouac. now delivered into the Void. cross-town. the Beat Generation and America zndjack A Biography and — the one I like best Kerouac: A Chicken Essay. would be amazed to know there's even a literary fan magazine devoted entirely Moody Street Irregulars (after the street in Lowell where he For a back issue. where Kerouac was living never stopped ringing." After that the phone in Johnson's apartment. randomly chosen chronology of Jack Kerouac's '"Hello. Allen tells In a column labeled 1957. Colorado. I'm Jack." Elise's phone Allen has just handed me. there's a cryptic entry: Meets Joyce Classman.

"Just coffee. pay you back.) all. I so far I've had to put most of the occurrences in The windows of Howard Johnson's see in. It makes me feel very compe- tent and womanly." never bought a I've man dinner before. I'm not sure at A very young woman in a red coat. keep stealing looks at him because is. He can't pay He has no money. none That morning he'd handed his last ten dollars to a on a grocery store and received change angrily. "A Jewess. "Frankfurters. so what can tell asks after Allen. "Jack?" it I say. empty stool next to his. at all. As for what he saw me that night. book. There's an feel a little scared as I I walk up to him. He's the only person in Howard I Johnson's in color. You're not at it to say a man it is beautiful. elegant middleclass sad 170 . that's all right. but then we don't know each other. amazingly And the skin of his face is so brown. but I'm flying along. have money. He looks up and stares at me hard with blue eyes. on them. obvious and uncool. Jack looks glum." He's awfully quiet. and baked beans with Heinz ketchup he's beautiful. putting until I'm laughing too at the absurdity then mugs of this blind date Allen has ar- ranged. When cashier the coffee arrives. always pay people you know. a black- haired man counter in a flannel lumberjack shirt slightly the worse for wear. "An interesting young person. We both lack conversation. to eat?" I'll "Yeah. it's an adventure opposed to a misadvenrisky ture — under which category my life. He has frankfurters.WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION as careful. Lafcadio. are running with steam so you is. a whole succession of old-time ridiculous movie-comedian faces flashes before me up. that kind of thing. (The notion of Allen Ginsberg arranging blind dates will crack people up years later when in they ask me how on earth I met Kerouac. I'd like to his we say? He him I've read for it. "Look. can't push open the heavy at the glass door." he says. blue. he says I say. round-faced and blonde. sit down on and he asks me whether I want anything. He's waiting for a check from a publisher. if that wouldn't sound gauche. but he He catches me and on one goofy face after another. I home fries." he wrote in Desolation Angeb. and there sure enough. I for five. supposed grins. Do you want me I to buy you something back.

try — anything. I wish was there now." I say in Desolation A?igels. deciding fast. I And know how said it. with the dirty shades over the windows and the winos lounging on the steps. I "If you wish. Was Johnny there? Johnny the bartender would remember him from the days he was a football hero at sophomore year and stayed in his and never went back to football again Columbia. as if had no wishes of my own in keeping with my current philosophy of nothing-to-lose. As if it was of no great moment. I see the blue. At thirty-four. Some warning that?" "I I to me in all this. and Shakespeare — thus losing his scholarship at always had affection for the neighborhood. we went down into the subway. Why not let Allen rescue him? He can't go back to the two Virginias. we're looking for different things." you out and make you feel sad for him at the same time. believe in the curative powers of love as the English believe in tea or Catholics believe in the Miracle of Lourdes. among other things. the energy that had moved him to so many different places gone. We stood up and put on our coats. but he's Columbia but he broke his leg in his room reading Celine. "And where do you live?" Jack asks. to tells me he's spent sixty-three days on a mountaintop without He made pea soup and wrote in his journal and sang Sinatra songs keep himself company." Where am 1 in those funny categories? As our paths converge on Howard Johnson's. He's suddenly waited too long... "Why I don't you let me stay at your place?" he says.The Writers: Joyce Johnson and looking all for something —she looked Polish as hell. 17 . On the RoadWiW never be published. But I'm sure any mountaintop would be preferable to where he's staying the Marlton Hotel on Eighth Street. He likes it that it's up near He could somehow cancel — Columbia and the bartender the still West End Bar where he used to hang out. "You really liked being alone like ask. Jack's worn down. bruised eye of Kerouac and construe his melancholy as the look of a man needing I love because I'm. I should've stayed up there. twenty- one years old. too. The check for The Subterraneans will never arrive. He anyone.

an ad for an airhne with a brand-new slogan: FLY "That's a NOW. Jack was the only person I'd brought home so far who saw the beauty of this animal. I wasn't just a secretary. and finally told was writing one. The windows looked out on where a large tree of heaven battened on bedsprings and broken small in that apartment. said I He regretted all the rewriting he'd done on The Town and the City. weak- jointed kind found in the lobbies of antediluvian apartment buildings. always best. but maybe I could be a great writer anyway. never change anything. trying to window open with paw. feeling guilty for all that I'd rewritten. which was why he always got nowhere with publishers. A small room refrigerator and a two-burner stove stood behind a rank back yard bottles. no matter what. I The apartment floor lived in at the time was dark and cavernous. He asked me if rewrote a lot. above All through this literary conversation. always felt very One night outside the house a huge grey tomcat with a chewed ear had rubbed against the impression I my legs. title. I'd hauled him inside under days on the windowsill his was rescuing him. furnished rooms Two — the furnishings being the uselessly massive. but you had to wash your dishes in the bathsink. and said he figured I had all the wrong models. and he made a face. he leaned down. our eyeballs loomed up on each other funny game where I knew you weren't supposed to blink. or he lurked in the closet vengefully spraying shoes. No one could make him do that again.a WOMEN And there of the BEAT GENERATION was on the IRT. Hanging on to the strap. PAY LATER. Just before we got off. on a signboard I'd never seen before that night. whom I'd 172 . on the first of a brownstone halfway down the block from the Yorkshire Hotel. and said you should never favorite writer was. not even a word. but he spent pry the his longing for the street. I a screen in one corner of the living room. He said call Pay Me the Penny After would be a better "You should I your novel that. He was going to look at my work and show me that what you wrote first was revise.. — That was the start o^ Meets Joyce Classman. Our foreheads scraped. loved I said okay." I said." He asked me who my Henry James. Jack stood swaying me on the subway. Jack I good title for a novel. but I still Henry James.

"Well. interrupted here and there by it little sketches. The Writers: Joyce Johnson unimaginatively after a cat named Smoke. we were — "buddies. blondes. . you'll see that for yourself" When we got in the door. . He pulled me against him and kissed me before even turned on the light. in that case I'll just dye my morning Jack left to get his stufFout of the Marlton. He wrote in every morning. Crazy I was. to like to rename things. He in Lowell. he said. it Very quickly didn't seem strange somehow as it like very old friends him with me. That was all he owned. he didn't ask to see my manuscript. gleaming and vigorous and ruddy with a white towel around his neck. He returned with a sleeping bag and a knapsack in which there were jeans and a few old shirts like the one he was already wearing and some notebooks he'd bought In the in Mexico City.. Not even a typewriter said. He said I was even quieter than he was. and he'd put his arm around me. and he acted surprised. . and undid the my coat is." and put both his The I trouble Jack said with his my back under my sweater. On me the walk from the since I subway become which no one had called was little. attractive in these There was something heartbreakingly to which Jack had reduced his needs." hair" — remember laughing and saying. long and narrow with shiny black covers and thin. He reminded me of a sailor not that I knew any sailors something too about the way he looked coming — — out of the shower. he had no idea quiet buttons of " girls liked kissing so much. I I kissed him back. One notebook was few essentials just for dreams. leaning on me pla)'fully and letting his hand angle down over my breast — that was how men walked with their women in Mexico. . I sometimes really wished was dark — like this Virginia felt 173 . he once had He seemed Joycey. I'd said he was going to call itTi Gris."have squeezing me Jack to said. like voice against my ear. affectionately. wondering all the same if it was true. on which Jack's slanted penciled printing sped across page after page. "I don't hands up . making me feel both proud and a I little disappointed. he bluish paper never seen such foreign- looking notebooks. "Someday when you go there. I'd — he'd been borrowing other people's typewriters.

. like he'd Lowell (a — not in small refinement learned from Bickford's Cafeteria). so beautiful —one of I his mysterious fellaheen women. things like that. whom he taught me to find on the dial. in store. making him the "What are you doing there. to 174 . named Esmeralda who lived Mexico City and whom he'd loved tragically for a long time and written and an entire novel about in one of his notebooks..— WOMEN jealous of for in Of the BEAT GENERATION Or the girl making him so wild. I'm lying with my head on them so his chest. fully clothed. Lester Young.. In my memories of Jack in the good times we had pulsing against together. and Stan Getz. In the the cure for the cough he brought with he'll him from Mexico morning do headstands with his feet against the wall. is and down on the floor in his sleeping bag alone. I'd listen in amazement to his stories of Berkeley parties where ever}'one in was naked and men and called women engaged some exotic Japanese practice yabyum (but Jack. which Jack had never thought of as anything that might enhance eggs. bringing you the sounds of Charlie Parker. His smooth hard powerful arms are around me and I'm burying laugh. was everydayness. which I learned to I'd cook just the way he buy I'd slab bacon the skinny kind in — sunny-side up black grocery always had packages — and add canned applesauce in the iron frying pan. But he'd slept with her only once. primeval and of the 1 earth. voice is a subterranean himself to rasp —you can hear it in his gravel smoked down by innumerable weird cigarettes. closes the door. drift together as Billie But then Jack leaves me. and who. Joycey?" And there's always music on radio. bacon and eggs morning or the middle of the liked in the night. lost She was a whore and saint. He pulls the window all the way up. calling her Tristessa. This City. according to Jack." In the darkness of the room we Holiday bewails lost love. had sat apart brooding over his bottle of port. was inprimeval and in the distinctly of the city. something he didn't tell me). Symphony Sid. "And now the great after a few words about that fan-tastic Mo-gen David wine — Lady Day. He lies goes into a small back bedroom where I never sleep because there's no radiator there. He took extraordinary pleasure As a lover he wasn't fierce but oddly brotherly and somewhat reticent. his heart my ear.. who always comes on at the stroke of midnight. Miles Davis. my face into them because I like much.

that was the strange Everything seemed so odd. I? I don't mind an)ahing he part. He tells me a frightening thing about himself He's at known for eight years that a blood clot could finish him off any minute. How can you Little bear living. I don't mind about I the sleeping bag. the grave. and seeped under the could edges of the closed door. so charmed. and hanging out at the Five 75 . birth. I an immense campground where. lying wrapped feel in my own warmth absolute proof of my existence. some angels have womanwings. do didn't really mind. I should forswear and chew em all that wake up glad to find myself saved in the lumpy roll flesh with the juicy hole I'd sit through eternities of horror in gray rooms illuminated by a gray sun. Working publishing secretary by day. and finally forgive. this bleak passage later written in Desolation Angels. writing her it first novel at night (a Random House editor had bought after reading only 50 pages). Jack me. women who one fleshpot hate me. could imagine myself on a place without walls. knowing death could be so close? I by little I'm letting go of what learned on the abortionist's table in the white upstairs room in Canarsie. of it. tells I'm good for him. hate Jack's woman-hatred. At night rush into the little when the cold air came with a room where Jack was I sleeping. so transformed. in blankets. I awful metaphysical linking of it. understand. mothers rut. I wonder. it's all in heaven now — — bless their all their bleating-hearts it's all — Some in the lambs are female.1 The Writers: Joyce Johnson reverse the flow of blood in his body. hate mourn as a it. sex. does. end and forgive me for my sardony — excuse me for my (Hor hor hor) Not this for Joyce Glassman to read. insanit)' I'm a regular fool in pale houses enslaved to lust for they lay their bartering flesh all all over the divans. with cops and alimoners at the door and the jail beyond? It's a bleeding comedy The Great Wise Stages of Harempathetic understanding elude me when it comes to harems — — out and go wilderness mountains — For it's hit the clean rail — — scarem.

at She is now on the a faculty of the graduate writing program Columbia University and working on new novel. to a young abstract first who was killed in a motorcycle accident a week before their Johnson went on become a respected writer and editor in the New York pubis lishing world. for Periodically the in young revive the Beat Generation. Come and Join after she the Dance was published when Johnson was twenty-six. and Frank O'Hara. In a Gap ad for khakis. four years and Kerouac parted company. anniversary. expressionist painter. Part of the original shot had been cropped away. at the heart of the Beat Generation.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION as Spot and the Cedar Tavern with "regulars" such Willem DeKooning. arms folded. 176 . opportu- nity to live. as Kerouac fondly dubbed became a full-fledged artist and bohemian herself She would never turn back. with a look on her It face that suggests waiting. She became mar- ried to another painter briefly and raised a son as a single mother. dressed in black of course. Soon afterwards she married James Johnson. with five books to her credit and numerous articles. 1993 was the year of a Beat revival downtown Manhattan where a wave of cafe poetry readings made the cover o^ New York magazine. strange to be alive and to be a legend's ghost. Joycey. These excerpts from specific Minor Characters show that Johnson has the rare ability to recreate a time and place and make it immediate. Franz Kline her. about that was strange know everything woman who wasn't there. In it. Through her words we all get an a moment. I came upon Jack Kerouac posed on a warm September night outside a bar on MacDougal Street called the Kettle of Fish. to you would have found an anonymous young woman. well out of the foreground.

so hungry were we savored. be rebels by ourselves. for Those of us who flew out the door had no usable models what we were doing. found a warning to take to heart in the corrosive passivity of her relationships with men. violently. embrace life and of reality. art women. As — decorative young women had their place as muses and appreciators. male counterparts. we might have identified with Rhys's lack of confidence in her writing. dangerously adrift in the Parisian Bohemia of the 1920s. She connections and wealth. privileged. For roulette. adventure — these were not for young women. we did not count on loneliness. to Though no warning would have stopped all us. We did not expect to fell in love with men who were rebels. But we knew we had done something brave. Sex was for men. with little left over for shoes or the electric We knew noth- ing about the novelist Jean Rhys. Once we had found our much blind faith to challenge the old male/female rules. but not too much. it was as dangerous as Russian for an unwanted pregnancy was life-threatening in more ways than one. got a little taste she worked for of the world that way. Experience. They too came from nice families. seemed discouragingly born into literature. an earlier runaway from respectability. We were the ones who had dared to leave home. that she wrote about presupposed that the occupant had a small Our college educations enabled us to type our to eat way to fifty dollars a week — barely enough and pay the rent on a tiny apartment in Greenwich Vilbill. and their parents could never understand why the daughters they had raised so carefully suddenly chose precarious if A girl was expected to stay under her parents' roof until she married. Even hardship was something to be we ing they would all We fell very quickly. even a year or so as a secretary. We knew a little about Virginia Woolf.The Writers: Joyce Johnson young women In the late 1950s. but did not find her relevant. lage or North Beach. We did not want to career be our mothers or our spinster schoolteachers or the hard-boiled taught us women depicted on screen. Naturally. Everyone knew they would involve exposure to sex. —not very many at first —once again left home rather lives. "room of one's own" family income. we had too 177 . And no one had how to be women artists The or writers. believtake us along on their journeys and adventures. We were very young and we were in over our heads. practically historic.

about to pass Cooper Union. and a destiny of endless chop suey a beat-up copy of The Idiot She didn't own much. A very small person in an old tweed coat left over from college days. which Elise did in my own adaptation of beat style: got on the Greyhound Bus. and several knitted scarves. she's handing 178 . the black leather roads her. where I'll run into a young she's woman someday think of as my oldest friend. I'm walking east in a winter twilight some twenty I'll five years ago. Her friends celebrate her departure with beer and a fist fight. Having sabotaged a few of the clocks in the city she left me the rest.— WOMEN [Upon All I Of the BEAT GENERATION the death ofElise Cowen] I could do was write a poem. When the electrical doors closed air and the took conditioning began. Her parents in their impenetrable living room have drawn the blinds. For an hour already been standing out there. braced against the freezing wind that blows through the empty spaces around Astor Place.

Her husband stood up with one of the poets. Cessa?" and say. "And where I woman Hettie. telling herself it isn't good enough ("Some of it was good enough." admit years later). Two months his stuff is ago I'd seen and heard her husband the poet. but the protective passion in her eyes was for him. The up young black man. and she's a woman in love. but has never it at a reading of her own — makes no mention of it.— The Writers: Joyce Johnson out mimeographed leaflets — or trying to —about some poetry reading taking one with a it I place that night that everyone's too cold to be interested in. So that was knew her from. smelling the contents of the small glass-stoppered jars. "That's Kerouac." he'd said proudly. with a few deliberately hip touches. "Take One!" (I There's such laughing desperation in her voice that I have to stop until think I recognize end up staying there and helping her snow starts falling on —which is too much. particular For him she would stand on innumerable freezing street corners. this He came up over here is and introduced himself as LeRoi Jones. a tiny place that had opened basement of a flophouse. Blind intuition guided me that night as I went through Cess' (Lucien Carr's wife) little spice shelves. She writes poetry herself. "Why not?" 179 . short and page nervously. sprinkling a of this and a reckless amount of that on She'd laugh my sliced apples. the to us afterward graceful with a neat professorial beard. So we walk as a to the B&H deli and thaw our fingers out against thick brown mugs of coffee the snowstorm thuds against window and Second Avenue's sparse neon turns to water color. Extracting numbed hand while clutching the her anyway) and us rest with the other. 1 "Oh come to the reading!" she urges is when I reluctantly say really should go home. glanced from his poem was academic." people whispered. Despite the complications of race. Every head had turned as we walked poet. "How about cloves. Even fit their smallness somehow made them together. we agree. a in. privately I wonder if really so great. they'd seemed more coupled than most people. she holds out to me. She'd smiled at us. she'll in fact fiercely. He'd been reading in a new Bleecker Street coffee shop Jack in the took me to one night. even for poetry.

be 180 . I know we should just stay up here and get married and I never go back. which. too. To lot to Jack.WOMEN I Off the BEAT GENERATION beautiful. Because of her. the shadows gathered in the corners. jack-o'-lanterns hanging on dried scarlet-berried bushes. like the trees saw on the highway. I've never tasted pie as good as the one I made that night. There was an early-morning walk with Jack on the Sunday of that weekend. She was a tall. looking down. second only to to Memere." Feeling the saddest happiness. put my head on Jack's chest. "Well. Cessa was a goddess of domesticity. allows for no nuances whatsoever. "Lucien called Joyce 'Ecstasy and her affair with Jack would endure for an erratic year and a half. We lay down on together. Lucien had the most of any of Jack's friends — a life that resembled that of ordinary people it and was almost the real thing. as it happened. it I he said into the silence. a mistiness around us like a web. despite the edge to that you always felt. Under pines we discovered We came out finally into a meadow where the sun had already warmed the grass. I suddenly realized. quite I young I after all. was also. can do this now. After a long time moss like a constellation of tiny milky-green stars. that smelled as if we were inside a mushroom. and his heart beat into my ear like a slow clock. which was also. which somehow made when her the more She'd already bathed her little boys and put them in pajamas and made stuffing for roast chicken and picked squash from her garden. and. ecstatic. Pie' which only made ever)Thing that much more In one biography it was later said. Wet September woods stalks. although was older than if I had ever been. thought. was slightly worn around the eyes." which aside from obliterating the historic actual pie. "Ecstasy pie!" Jack shouted. woman. as were floating above Jack and me. He and Lucien squeezed great swirling drifts of it over everybody's portion. life" Now that life I'd launched myself into what to once childishly considered "real I ordinary was coming seem exotic. Even she was furious with Lucien. said that was what I knew. her long deliall cate face lovely. my twenty-second birthday. He put down his fork and ran out to the kitchen for the Reddi-Whip I'd forgotten. it But my I next thought had to do with being twenty-two. capable liked her enormously. you settled life knew she was crazy about him. It meant I'd a me have her acceptance.

It's all right. We went back to the city that afternoon.The Writers: Joyce Johnson here with him like this. on a day when they'd achieved of ripeness. could only be a precise state Since the measurements of its ingredients were unrecorded. I have all the time in the world. ecstasy pie turned out to be unduplicatable — or made with apples from Lucien's orchard. 181 . and Jack's fame.

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seems as if Hetties sensibility was fully developed at a very young age and she knew she would have to leave to become herself Hettie fifties' Cohen made a choice to leave behind comfortable Long Island and the in Virreal- ideal of a cookie-cutter marriage when she went to a women's college ginia to study drama. Miichcll 183 . almost like a still from movie. It was also at this moment that some understanding of how different she was from her It parents came to her.Nettie Jones ) Mother Jones (1934"The Idea . of course. How f Be- came Hettie Jones. Hettie graduated with honors and.." — Hettie Jones Jane Bowles. and was no turning back. a young white Jewish air. with the Hettie Jones in her Greenwich Village Kitchen during the production of Facing page: phoio hgen. if there any common of Hettie Jones. crystallizes in one frame It is the essence of who Hettie was and would become. startled she that — practical idealism. is to change first of our own volition and according to our own inner promptings before they impose completely arbitrary changes on us. in the epigraph to How I Became Hettie Jones describes a singularly compelling that. discovered jazz. is lying on her back at the in the grass. Hettie goes on to describe how was when her parents came upon her unexpectedly there in the grass and. a childhood memory of girl summer camp.. Long Island. In 1955. There is a creative energy inside Hettie that is beautifully captured idealistic it is and held and for a moment in is this childhood scene. that sense of almost being from the wrong family. never guessed she was weaving clouds. Hettie. 6 James O. moment a in her memoir. from looking up clouds with her hands in the trying to weave the clouds. thread in the life It is at once both and practical. ized there There she explored the creative arts.

a she moved to Greenwich Village and worked part-time Hettie was working there jazz magazine. both coasts. many liaisons. The Record Changer. A crowd of thirty. He noticed. out-of-the-way place. at New York City. The didn't I'd know him. thirty. Soon they were living together. thus inspired. and passion — and he wanted the meaning CLEAR. The forties. where he'd been a football star. and I certainly table admired to his work. to 402 West Twentieth Street. pressed I for definitions of Beat. Hettie writes: One windy late fall Friday just after we moved to Chelsea. 184 . slicked down and lumberjacked up. Jack's had so him from two working-class Lowell. when LeRoi Jones (later to rename himself Amiri Baraka). I evening (on the West Coast he'd worked this decided I liked I good-looking. and he was marvelous: relaxed. needs a big enough place to party. Falling in love with him was only a matter of time. just off Ninth Avenue. at Jazz ON THE ROAD. drunk. so after the reading we just brought the audience home. and we had nothing but party space to offer. At the humor end we all stomped and whistled and clapped and cheered. friendly man whom everyone loved and admired. numbered only about all Unexpectedly. so when the reading began sat alone at a up front pay attention. and a child he wouldn't acknowledge. Mexico. Columbia marriages. and surrounded. a young black poet bristling with intelligence and intensity. In the year attention hadn't helped. the Seven Arts Coffee Gallery. The audience. life Roi and far led I went past out to hear Jack Kerouac read his poetry. When that lost fiinding. since University. Jack was sober. he'd been celebritized. a once elegant six-room parlor facing the weatherbeaten brick of the Episcopal Seminary. an engineer scrubbed clean for the as a trainman). and after our one brief meeting on the Wagon only caught glimpses of him haggard. endlessly criticized.WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION help of her parents. mostly friends. He kept catching full my eye of and reading to me. reading was at a newly opened. moved to an apartment in Her first job was at a small film library. Massachusetts. joined the staff as shipping manager. a second-floor storefront on Ninth Avenue in the the transient neighborhood near the bus terminal. the Merchant Marine. confident. Our new house was a straight mile downtown.

one each us there with an iron grip What attractive. To now had noticed the burgeoning attached? I whom was this pregnant woman lit saw him whisper the question to please to Allen. who looked as if he couldn't place me. as if in a scrimmage to Roi.— The Writers: Hettie Jones In the arrival melee of coats and drinks and glasses and ash trays. a sweetness similar to Roi's that fifty. Frank O'Hara. who pointed to Roi. and the first issues published. LeRoi began reading continued to work at Partisan Review by day. as if he'd read to me as rest an interested stranger. found all Word got out and soon the party grew to and night Jack kept running to me with different people: "I didn't remember who she said!" was. 185 . visionary Jack. Allen Ginsberg. a magazine featuring the writers of this in their work of poets and layout. his poetry at these events and. Then dragging bewildered Roi by the hand he gleaming little grin. "but she was listening so hard at the reading. like Jazz Both Hettie and LeRoi went to poetry readings at cafes and bohemian bars on the Wagon. Yugen was an immediate with the bohemian literati. all and then. where they met many poets including Gregory Corso. new literary scene. from type to hit was put together Morton Street kitchen. his face in the The connection seemed strangest. and William Burroughs. pleasure to meet this funny. Jack enormously — The music was on and a few people were already dancing. who was at the other end of the two adjoining front rooms. I caught some puzzled glances from Jack. Suddenly he ducked and wove his way through them fast. she was really listening to me —she UNDERSTOOD what I Hettie and LeRoi worked together at The Record Changer until the left fall of 1957. the writings of Philip Whalen. in who appeared I to have such sympathy him. with amazing in strength. a magazine she discovered in college. he picked us both up once arm like two embarrassed and wouldn't let go! children — and held — 235 pounds of us. and only of me. the duo founded Yugen. Diane and Frank O'Hara. Denise Levertov." he kept saying. while Hettie di Prima. — maneuvered back to me and grabbed at me too. Hettie the magazine and began working at Partisan Review. The entire magazine. along with LeRoi's poetry.

Jack Billie Holiday was gifted with deep lyrical voice that inspired an entire genera- Kerouac once called her "the a life Heroine of the Hip Generation. entered a rehabilitation clinic but ultimately died in 1959 living. and she its and the hands-on act of creat- worked hard to make it happen. from complications resulting from her hard Her death marked the loss of one of the few female voices to capture the emotional torrent of the times. She also performed solo at the Apollo Theater. Her popularity spread to black and white audiences alike. pasting.WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION new ideas Hettie handled production for Yugen. the over. spiration. Hettie bore the brunt of much bigotry and got the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of her affected her deeply husband and daughters. aligning. as diverse as Count Basie. In 1932. consequently. and stereotypes. Dizzy Gillespie. Kellie and Lisa. and Teddy time. she moved to Harlem and began singing at her first professional job. and writers such as Hettie Jones. she had turned to the streets in order to survive the brutal inner city of Baltimore. ing were of importance to her. Her soulful sound played a vital role in the jazz influence of the Beat and other poetry. She traveled with a dance band for two years before she found her niche back in Harlem. and Frank O'Hara all acknowledge her in- 186 . Billie Holiday a Born Eleanora Pagan. Amiri Baraka. her ambition and jail She was arrested on drug charges throughout her career and the inability to shake her heroin addiction Billie all by the police. By the age of twelve. the heart of the way it feels. and retyping finally taught me —what comes By from reading things over and matter. This then and now. though not publishing her own work. New York was still a difficult climate for a biracial family — a place of cold rude remarks." When Hettie discovered she was pregnant. His highly political play Dutchman was quite a sucnot being with a and he was criticized for woman own color. taking apart and putting together. his grew apart from cess. tion. and on television. Hettie and Roi divorced in the spring of 1968. Lester Young. in the early sixties stares. they had two daughters. Slowly. "All my late-night cutting. crossing all boundaries through the appeal of her emotion-filled voice. LeRoi became closely involved Black Power movement and. knew she wanted to write and that editing was helping her hone her craft. At the end of a sour marriage. she and LeRoi decided to marry. his white wife. She performed with musicians lifestyle collided. Jack Kerouac. Despite the Beatnik scene. 1961. Onstage. harassment Wilson. and her contributed to the downfall of Lady Day. and became a recurring in the theme in her writing. Hettie was developing her formidable editing skills and." Her emotional connection with her songs came from of struggle and pain punctuated by prejudice and heroin abuse. she was a soulful blues singer with a sweeping vocal range.

In 1968. its received acclaim upon publication in 1990. Her memoir.The Writers: Hettie Jones Though Hettie thrived on her as well as circumstances weren't the a easiest. She — like her sisters — is now a 187 . I The middle daughter and burst out laughing. tried to redefine the way a woman might use it. runs Beat. when the middle daughter and I step up to her counter. right?" says the woman who owns "sisters. and jazz scenes of the fifties and sixties. and provides a rare glimpse into the downtown New York Hettie Jones writing. she proved to be a gifted writer: "Without a him in the house. Hettie Jones' poetry and prose deals with issues she cares about and those she experienced firsthand. More Out Than In. Hunter College. as well as critical many short stories. and range of Hettie Jones' writing is evidenced here in a previously unpublished short story and several poems. At the same time she says to the grocery woman gives a little squeeze my hand is and makes a gesture just short of a wink to show us she's well aware that this a mother-daughter duo. art. New York's Lower East Side and. Right? "Sisters. She reader a very popular and lecturer and has taught writing at New York University. Parsons School of Design. and the University of Wyoming." she writes. she helped run a community-based project for disadvantaged chil- dren and helped design a Head Start program for greater New and I York." the grocery. she published a volume of writing by women prisoners. there was more space/time for her. The beauty. Weaving hope out of compassion and understanding. When Hettie broke her silence and began getting published. in addition to her own writing workshops for the homeless and at the New York State Correcstill lives on tional Facility for recently Women. How I Became Hettie Jones. power. including the well-received The Trees Stand Shining 2ind Big Star Fallin Mama: Five Women in Black Music. own with her two daughters and made hving for them through teaching her writing and editing. and is works on the committee of PEN's Prison Writing Committee. Sisters. right. She has written several children's books of note.

air. back these in bed." said the nurse of the snapping I eyes. to." said. differently skinned? room later I had asked on my daughter's behalf for pain medicine. then. Both of us have survived the that the others hadn't? What. thumbing the painkiller button. muse about two women. than the splashing water. I'm too young. "Loud" Later. I A few moments are. they probably thought we were dykes. a black of the BEAT GENERATION we have encountered two different woman. minor we have progressed major surgery. women who could not see our relationship. loving someone? Soon. propped just up and frowning dismissively. "Sorry. "Not yet. mean to the bone — has the middle daughter out of bed and in the bathroom with the water running 1 full force.WOMEN grown woman. "but you know how mothers "You're her mother? Courtesy falling like rain. Flowers on the bed table. "How did you guess?" the middle daughter asks the grocery woman. "Because you look exactly alike!" she shouts this gaily. who is laughing with us. offer instead to whisper in her ear. I middle daughter.. the way I used "What etc. on and on about how I but we know what says the she's covering. asked again. But who had she seen before? Who was that woman hung over the bedrail. are mothers for?" I joke to the nurse. heart balloons in the the middle daughter. In the past week. says. who overreacts with even more noise couldn't possibly be. had the grocery woman seen peared to augment our resemblance What has ap- — pain? And does this shared And who else sees it? In the recovery pain create the same face. "Oh." 188 . another nurse — a young one. My daughter and 1 have been together to week for another rite of passage: from knife.

story. because She says. goes. Suddenly. she had good eyes. "Somebody couldn't take and popped her. we have to keep thinking. as mask of controlled amusement. She says. The two of us sit side by side in the small city There's always something at the airport.The Writers: Hettie Jones At her house. in the Or I I perhaps not. For what hard reasons? daughter What's to be addressed? sister. I'm thinking in Spanish. excited group. a still rude to laugh I at people in airports. up. right? — is black. it my ear the middle daughter whispers. the middle daughter. perhaps new acquaintances. in the beautiful spread of her Hfe. Gently. think about black and white women in competition. that us in the much is is clear. "There you go. with a young white woman seeing him off They're not lovers. The plane to delayed. you'll have pay to park another hour. mi hija." I laugh out loud." She's old enough to dismiss me. This time it's a young black man. he spreads a protective hand on the back of the woman he's with. missing her two top front teeth. They sit four facing narrow lobby. Ma. it's "Ma." And o^ she airport. gallant bumrush. still I dawdle. What will happen if we don't? If my middle and I am white. laughing. Perhaps. and when 1 look his face laughing. between us intrudes a noisy. He's now standing. to work again. kiss her goodbye twice. the one who the middle daughter. led by a sexy overcontrolling mother Into in a black catsuit. He almost catches his smile is he passes me. know my daughter doesn't miss this. m'ija. — my We to lean against each other and talk. and I —have nothing do but scope each other. The middle daughter jumps on 2 this. smiles. catch the eye of the young black man." she says. she. 189 . and we — he. I tell her I'm going to write this That I'll begin with the grocery woman. On the way out. such a pretty way to say it. "Three minutes more.

And he doesn't charge me for another hour. a jacket left behind on a chair. 190 . his pillow under another one's head. at a million know mother loves him. wish were of him. I manned by whose sweet smile his recalls to I me I the middle daughter's high school boyfriend. gets lost my gratitude I I fumble a dime. They hang beams. "at least you know where " it's at. off the splintering On the uneven floor in layers. Which. the his asleep on own the tender lover. curious youth. suppose. shoes later buried with the dead. although according to the clock in In my car I am nearly y?yf minutes late leaving. "Well. and that includes alone or with others. is both the problem and the start of any solution. the rushed or lingering presence of time. we a all lie down hologram of lovers. in symphony or cacophony. which on the seat. bossy fuck — all these clothed and naked visions are sharing particular angles of light." he says with a pleasant laugh. the constant drift of old perfume. the Now one pillow. man in his socks.— WOMEN The parking looking lot gate is Of the BEAT GENERATION a boy. WELCOME TO OUR CROWD I've slept in every room except the kitchen.

who could refuse him. fall into all our arms. the perfectly interlaced fingers the pressures Love never flung himself my shoulder. I knuckled under. no I've regrets but always wondered 191 . We breathe and don't breathe. he. and he laughed when he came on like gangbusters. live again gone soon SONNET Love never held like those my hand summertime couples palm to palm. pass in the hall. ah.The Writers: Hettie Jones They needed a button. The jacket is minus Torn sheets. the windows unwashed. heels. or measured my convivial waist around Love was a grandmaster though.

along the in a Saw Mill high wind. with clouds big and drifting like above the road animals 192 . half blue and there were white clouds blowing in from the west which would have been enough for one used to pleasure in small doses But then later.WOMEN WORDS are keys Of the BEAT GENERATION or stanchions or stones give I you my word You pocket it and keep the change Here is a word on the tip of my tongue: love I hold it close though it dreams of leaving TEDDY BEARS ON THE HIGHWAY Saturday the stuffed bears were up again over the Major Deegan along the bridge rail dancing in plastic under a sky half misty. at sunset driving north.

or absorb her losses because (sir I am is so full of pleasure I what I yr pleasure) am here that full could hardly take the sun in my eyes on my way so I sit and wonder why 193 .The Writers: Hettie Jones proud of their pink underbellies. in a I moment of intense light saw an Edward Hopper house. at once so exquisitely I light and dark that cried. all the way up Route 22 those uncontrollable tears "as though the body were crying" and so young here's the women dilemma itself the solution: I have always been at the same time to tears woman enough to and man enough to drive be moved my car in any direction RABBITS RABBITS you this RABBITS* morning 2/1/80 When I I leave go to the clinic with a volume of poems in my pocket I But find I can't suffer the pain of another woman's love.

194 .WOMEN the of the BEAT GENERATION woman beside me has a face full of wrinkles above her pregnant belly and as if that is the same story my book of poems while around us the white nurses flit in Chinese and Spanish to the and English dyke doctor for *To ensure good luck any coming month. I960. Hettie Jones and Joyce Johnson (Classman) at the Artists' Club. March 10. say these words immediately upon awakening on the first day.

To market. a^ V® Be like it ever so no <V home. Home hunter in. grown. Home "*^ is the sailor. Keep the home cows come home. New York: HOME: Heart. Home plate. >5'' The Safe home from the Welcome home. Home Home game. For Home. This little piggie folks. \V c^ ^^ home. Down home. Don't leave home home. 195 . A '^q^ man's fires home is _^ castle. Ate us out of house and home. Bring home the bacon. >" • Till the o. Home of home. fly Ladybug. Home T^- is where the Home Home sweet to where you hang your home. * Lassie Come <i^ hearth and without it. ^ Make yourself Come Home To. Homebound. home. Home Home team. Homestead. Charity Chickens come begins at heart hat. "a collaborative project on homelessness at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. Home brew. All the way home. humble. Homegirl. Home stretch. home is home. 9^: bu rnmg. Home place Harvest the brave.o'^^BeSoNiceTo''^ write Something about. to buy a fat pig/ home stayed again. home. as Strikes Deep. home 1^^ roost. Home run. Home home." The Writers: Hettie Jones From "Your House Is Mine. Homeground. Homefront. Home free. Homeboy. to market. home again. to the "The Truth away home. at is. Home at last." Ladybug. hills home from Base. the sea. "You'd his . jiggity-jig. there's ^ 'K to port.

WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION Joanne Kyger with Buddha in Japan. 196 .

at "He was sophisticated.West House. Joanne moved into the East. but was also able to my pieces.. among Gary Snyder.We met the Dalai Lama King of Sikkim. Five days later. 1960-1964 — ^Joanne Kyger. worldly to to Dinosaur. In 1957. she obscenity trial at Santa Barbara. Joanne pursued her interests in to moved north others. She became immediately immersed bloom- ing poetry community. don't have to. they were married again in a Zen ceremony at Daitoku-ji. tracer of bones. who going to marry an American college like The red 27 and lounged on a velvet couch a gawky adolescent in robes. she left for Japan and joined Gary Snyder. San Francisco. Meen.. a communal sitting and began come from Japan to teach at the Soto Zen Church. and he says me? Why never meditate. like 'From Dinah Shore about Mr. she wrote the school newspaper's feature page with the help of poet Leland Hickman.. living project. In 1960." At the University of California poetry and philosophy. And then Allen Ginsberg says to I him how many hours do you mediI tate a day.' me. the one Dal is ) last is week right after he had been talking with the girl. California. Joanne Kyger published her first poem in the literary and news Naples Elementary School in Long Beach." Japan and India Journals. meeting. She closed it her eyes and told to the teacher. California.. a large and with Zen master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. They were married at the American Consulate in Kobe three days after her arrival. 197 . where the "Howl" in the city's was in full swing..Joanne Kyger Dharma Sister (1934". In high school in Santa Barbara. in the Atmagazine of laugh lost the age of five. who wrote it down. recently who had beautiful complex of temples in Kyoto.

at Daitoku-ji and practicing Zen Buddhism of which she has chronicled with Ruth Fuller Sasaki. She wrote live in him. "If you and Joanne want to marr)' little any time. first gave readings." I I bought it a wool dress with scooped neckline. In 1965. was published. fine. studying flower arranging. let is Press. just north of the 198 . at the though a weird work like is handling a porcupine traveling speed of light. I did indeed. There are certain fixed the Institute expects its social customs that a members to respect. where she started writing prodigiously. "Risking one. which happened a few days arrived. made with Gar)'. She is not 'disciplined' but a radically original combination of symbolist and come- dienne. who was Gary's sponsor in Japan and ran the First it Zen to Institute in Kyoto. clear that I could not come and house "live" We would have at to marry. was published in Tapestry and the Web. the experience m Japan and India Journals: 1960-1964. Ruth Fuller Sasaki. But living together in the little house before marriage won't do. "Do you like this Boy Scout poetry?" Spicer challenged me. writing poetry. and then your in the mountains. very much. The two returned to San Francisco and. and participated in the Berkeley Poetry Conference. To help make ends meet. so could wear after I a lot. basic black. Places to 1970 by Black Sparrow folly. and and sojourned for a time in in 1966 she traveled to Europe with Jack Boyce was a time of New York. Handling her us propose that Joanne Kyger a genius. which hired him part-time. "It 1968. Her second book. The Go. In 1964. Alicia Ostriker is wrote in the Parti- san Review. starting with the wedding. in 1958 in visiting the United back from his first trip to Japan.WOMEN I of the BEAT GENERATION North Beach when he was I had met Gary Snyder States. Joanne lived in Kyoto for four years." Gary and Joanne divorced. in city. she also taught conversational English and obtained English-speaking parts in low-budget Japanese films. she returned to San Francisco. was a part of a group of young writers clustered around the poets Robert Duncan and Jack Spicer. Gary came to our Sunday poetry group and read from Myths and Texts sitting cross-legged on a table with Jack Spicer sitting cross-legged under the table. together purchased land in Bolinas. her book of poems.

1 was struck with the simplicity of zazen. street lights. The combination of these characteristics and her Buddhist beliefs meet form precise imagery and powerful ideas. 199 . For a literature in celebration of the open a transcendental grace mind and the open road. the Zen of the established tradi- was not an accessible practice its for me. he joined her and they have shared in Bolinas. household ever She now sits at the Ocean Wind Zendo Joanne Kyger has published many books of poetry. of. she was at the Naropa Institute in Boulder. a When since. I returned. Canada. that allowed one's mind freedom within the form. Buddhism was embraced a major influence on Beat writers. with Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman. Robert Duncan called us the 'Bolinas Seven years later. head of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.The Writers: Joanne Kyger no plumbing. dirt roads. Recent collections of her work include Going On: Selected Poems voice that is 1958-1980 and Just Space: Poems 1979-1989. Anne and Allen founded the Jack Kerouac School of DisPoetics. poems are often snapshots In a immediate and accessible. her of the realities of daily to life. Based on the same principles as the legendary Black Mountain College. It was while teaching at in 1978 that she met Donald Guravich. and an inventive country living. a philosophy and teaching that they in rejection of fifties' materialism. Here Joanne met Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and and the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa. of a sensibility for which wisdom the greatest beauty. she returned to Bolinas. unquestioned. a writer artist from New Brunswick. The "Square Zen" Alan Watts spoke tion. embodied which continues to this day as the forum for counterculture hu- manities where Buddhism meets Naropa Beat. nothing But I nothing to gain. Sitting at Suzuki's with the sangha San Francisco Zen Center when to prove. was also grateful for the established traditional rules of the zendo. interesting hour away over the coast range bucolics. Joanne Kyger's poetry is exemplary of Buddhist consciousness is in Beat writing.'" for shopping. Colorado. But the sheer caprice of "Beat Zen" with "digging of the universe" seemed out of hand too. Buddhism offered and deeper con- sciousness for Kerouac's spiritually weary "seeking" generation.

three times pieces.WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION Breakfast. He's was me. it After split into a million She worried about the small supply of dope in the other room. some of the dope. assured me orange juice. playing. 200 . Lewis and Tom. He like it. Both of them. I Just the way I flang the cawfee cup to de floor. into their I'm here. fine. were busy collaborating. toast & coffee. as an ache over increased herself It was a fact about what she thought a moment it I before. which love. Now thru the mirror one can she see pine branches nodding nodding in the blue California sun. was the doesn't wonder why he exchange some of the Give Tom mescaline for dope. minds. The record The wind howling going by The electric heater her side. I wouldn't go there. ain't I.

the give electricity me clothes.The Writers: Joanne Kyger he makes love he talks to her about afterwards when some ago years he worked for the welfare department in New York City She a starts up hue and cry oh the money. some love 201 . some some jewels some food.

what I wanted in the to say was broad sweeping form of being there I am walking up the path hair I come home and wash my I am bereft I dissolve quickly I am everybody My vision is a large golden room Where your ancestors dwell And you give your heart to them And having given your heart to them You're there to move out from that source. God's mountain. 202 . Sun Street.

I am veering closely back and forth the slim holder of the lotus Oh! Half moon behind Oh! she's a poet. on de foot afternoon. there is power within Mostly us. 203 .The Writers I want a smaller thing in mind Like a good dinner I'm tired of these big things happening They happen to me all the time It is true. get your it is own rise 'thing' going. Joanne Kyger Who was that woman? Oh come over and visit. Oh it's gone. all passed. gone. Maya. facing each day's and set. But I am so improperly trained. Maya. gone.

field Stepping out a tractor door land in a great and run up and down the rows. Art. took it all walk to Lake Michigan with Philip to see built up form of a great amusement I center. quote unquote. Lost in a its I intricacies go to work. Last night I visited my old The I childhood town of Lake Greeley's a Bkiff. how do your hands I get rough. Illinois.WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION It's a great day. beating blood. and aimless unhappy adolescent Lacking any commitment to the actual living life ground. There. I donning my on the way. before get caught. it. before I get caught. becomes pointless in its urge for culture. and run back into the amusement waitress uniform to be sure center. Oh I Ladies of the Middle West. not exactly enough. the best teacher is alive. the best teacher lives inside you. breathing air. 204 . bedroom. simpleness I've said in all it's — the best teacher lives outside. Back to the dark lives. and Philip Whalen were in the there. leave What I is this self think I will loose if what know.

and clarity of intellect must • be kept in balance with one another. critically acclaimed and highly awarded poets in the English language. for the time in Poetry Quarterly. "In no time at Kenneth Rexroth "Herbert all Read.Denise Levertov Fortune's Favorite (1923) • Remember Mallarme's words are made with words. — Denise Levertov on the craft of poetry the age of twelve. and incidentally myself." was published recalled. they must work conjunction. Denise Levertov sent several of her poems to T. the great poet wrote back two pages of "excellent advice" and encouragement to continue writing based great promise. on what he deemed to be h was an auspicious start. Tambi Mutti. Charles Wrey about her. The fresh word is not necessarily the odd word. Neither the passive nor the active in must dominate." that "Poems are not made with ideas. reverence for mystery. Far Atfrom sent her first thinking her cheeky. S. Eliot. at age seventeen.' could be compared to the poems of Rilke some of the more melancholy songs of Brahms. all. Her in English except earliest poetry had about it a wistful Schwarmerei unlike anything It perhaps Matthew Arnold's 'Dover or Beach." From such success beginnings. The and praise she received by such icons as Eliot and Rexroth as an adolescent 205 . they • Beware of consciously searching for the original. The young poet wrote with an even greater fervor and poems to other noted writers and. as in a marriage. Gardiner. Strength of feeling. nothing is more likely to lead to the banal. were in ex- cited correspondence She was the baby of the new Romanticism. Denise Levertov has gone on to become one of the most beloved.

WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Denise Levertov at a poetry reading in 1959. 206 .

Her lack of formalism was an asset from the begin- ning. and began writing poems almost as soon as she knew how to read. Untethered by convention. and literary self-consciousness. 1923. The of Double Image was received by some life. Born October 24. Denise spent three years in London rehaafter her shift at war veterans during World War IL She wrote every night and published her first the hospital book of poetry. Denise married American writer to the Goodman. theme was the loss no surprise considering she wrote were permanently maimed. England. and the young couple moved United States. and English third language fore —was — a Russian Jewish immigrant a priest. Hebrew. many of whom Jean Gould in What 777^" Double Image proved though. . as overly sentimental. as a child. decided to become a poet at the age of five. her writing changed and began the shift toward a dis- muscular elegance. particularly Tennyson. father. Privately educated (the only formal education she received was in her earliest influences were within the confines of the suburban London parfa- sonage in which she was surrounded by the thousands of secondhand books her ther collected. and many different languages was an ideal beginning for a poet. Spurning academia bilitating to train as a nurse. after its in 1946." Two Mitchell years after the debut of her first book. Russian. Levertov's in writing home immersed tradition. Here and Now. With the change of location and stark. moving to England to become who converted to Christianity beThough home-schooled. 207 . a Her his highly productive writer in German. notes Modem American Women Poets. her mother. lifestyle. also her teacher. was that "the young poet possessed a . playing her new. often buying entire lots just to obtain a certain obscure volume. an Anglican ballet). The Double Image. long days of nursing patients.The Writers: Denise Levertov seemed to point to a destiny Denise recognized in Essex. Denise was exposed to the masterworks of the nineteenth century. more American voice. Compared by one biographer to upbringing in a nurturing the childhood of poet Robert Browning. She published a second book of poetry. strong social consciousness and to . Denise Levertov was the daughter of priest. the young writer thrived. showed indications of the militant pacifist she was become. often read aloud to her from the canon of beloved British poets.

Denise was excited by courageous new approach and embraced what she saw as a "projectivist poetry" wherein the writer projects herself via the poem strict through a verse free. albeit short-lived liberal and Robert Creeley. difficult to categorize in its themes. Their place has been taken by a kind of animal grace of the word. the year that Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" set the world on fire. published by Cid Corman. It is the intense of an domestic love — the wedding of form and content. and In 1957. declaring." Indeed. "What more do you want of poetry? You much more. arranged honor of her visit." Rexroth was and felt struck by the new sinew in her poetry her to be emerging as a force to be can't ask for reckoned with. Her with this group of writers also led to her becoming one of the stable of authors published by Directions in New New York. beauty and power. changed by the arrival As the shape of American poetry was being Denise Levertov on the force: the forever of literary landscape." Her next book. a poetry reading in He hoped to usher Denise into the San Francisco scene with an talent. she herself believes a "'school' any group of poets who talk and write is each other. her British origins nearly forgotten by the reading public. who founded arts 1933 the revolutionary school in North Carolina whose impact upon art and literature was monumental.WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION noted of her work. Levertov's former style was now further stripped this to a core of spare. opportunity to meet the local poets and showcase her The event was nothing 208 . Though letters to she is considered by many to be a is member of the Black Mountain school of poets. so trio was she being influenced by a different Black Mountain poets. Denises development and poetry widely divergent styles. yet not raw. Charles Olson. Denise Robert Levertov felt compelled to check out the bohemian poets of the "left coast. a pulse aliveness like the footfalls alert of a cat or the wingbeats of a gull. With Eyes at the Back of Our Heads. This in included Robert Duncan. fifties. the bastion of the San Francisco Renaissance. stands alone and influences. In the tain Robert Creeley began to publish Denises work in the Black Mounaffiliation Review and in Origin. natural flow of words instead of a formalist standard form of and meter. established Levertov as a great American poet. "the Schwiirmerei Kenneth Rexroth. her mentor at the time. and lassitude are gone." Duncan.

forever gaining the respect and standing with the Beats and besting Jack Spicer on war his own ground. young nun. culminating back from a place in insults to the female body. h know the smell of faggot vomit will never understand why men don't like women Won't see why those never to be forgotten thighs of Helen (say) will move us into screams of laughter. in Vietnam with like-minded While teaching of California. for whom she felt 209 . fully taking on male condescension and the "hypocrite women who whorishly accept any lesser position from men": And if at Mill Valley perched in the tree the sweet rain drifting through Western air a white sweating bull of a poet told us our cunts are ugly —why didn't we admit we have thought so too? (And what shame: they are not for the eye!) No. Jack Spicer chose this moment to read his infamous "Admonitions" and test the mettle of this potential interloper with some insidiously misogynist dog- gerel. she took part in several antiwar protests in Berkeley. including a special kinship. in jail. setting off a poetic debate that turned the Beat and Renaissance communities reads. in part: on their ear for a time. Spicer's poem moves into a more vicious was attack on women. Sister Mary Norbert Korte. they are dark and wrinkled and hairy cover of the moon She made quite a splash that day. once landing her poets She also supplied staunch support for students and young a who opposed the Vietnam War.The Writers: Denise Levertov short of a disaster. In the sixties. Denise's rebuttal to strike of female power. People who don't At this point. Denise's social consciousness drove her to Artists Protest against the at the University found the Writers and writers.

Denise has remained vocal in her protests against nuclear reflects these arms and the United States' role in El Salvador. who knows . a wanderer seamed and brown an old winedrinking woman. S. Benjamin Spock. codefendant in the draft resistance trial In addition to being a prolific poet. and Candles in Babylon. Denise resulted in a and Mitchell divorced after a quarter century of marriage. Her memories of London durcritics at would allow for no compromise of her ideals just to keep a few Her husband. This more confessional style of poetry: A kind of sober euphoria makes in her future as her believe an old woman. the old roads. She has fulfilled the promise that T. had a flourishing career Beloved by her students for her sensitivity and sense of how best to help his or her poetic voice. shrink." she showed as a child writing to Eliot did not abandon her The confidence ing the war bay. himself. she takes her role as teacher very seri- a budding writer tune She is ously. saying that poetry cannot be and poetry fade. demanding a separation in her work. and laughs to herself. supported her choice to go to Hanoi during the war. has taught at a number of institutions. in her and Kenneth Rexroth saw and has become one of the greatest poets alive 210 . including and Tufts University. Eugene Drew University. in great demand and Vassar. grass-grown. as well as a volume of her translations of Guillevic's poetry. Yet. . wilt. UC California. CCNY. Mitchell Goodman. "divided from the rest of life necessary to IT. She refused. he was. shared many of her antiwar sympathies and of Dr. when her poetry and politics became suddenly unpopular. Time Eliot has served Denise Levertov well.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION To this day. Stanford. In 1972. most nota- bly in 77?^ Sorrow Dance. Denise Levertov has as a teacher. the very people who formerly praised her now life vilified her political poetry. Her poetry concerns. Both when they are divorced. Levertov has also translated dozens of poems from other languages and has published articles in many literary journals. To Stay Alive.

from stiff chairs behind the window show. are part of many poetry curricula in America. earliest to American writ- THE GYPSY'S WINDOW It seems a stage backed by imaginations of velvet. unopened yellow and pink paper roses. cotton. a luxury of open red paper roses Watching the trucks go by. and her advice to writers illuminates the creative process as hard work. satin.— — — The Writers: Denise Levertov Her poems today. 211 . urging writers in the "focusing of attention upon what is given. and not in the 'struggle for expression. The following poems span her career from her ings to more-recent work. an old bandanna'd brutal dignified woman. a young beautiful woman her mouth a huge contemptuous rose The courage of natural rhetoric tosses to dusty Hudson St. a chance poetry gives passion to the roses.'" Although enormously gifted. the rosaries and centered a narrownecked dark vase. Denise Levertov reminds us that the muse cannot be made appear on demand. loops and stripes A lovely unconcern scattered the trivial plates. the chance of poetry.

WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION in a blue the roses in the gypsy's window vase. our own histories. whether the east wind brought them or the jabbing of memories and perceptions. unwilling. and see the snowflakes and melt. grip its turn face to us. illusory. ANOTHER JOURNEY From a world composed. glitter there. dream drenched with our intemperate. we need a harsh design of magic lights at night over drab streets. lives. look real. the north. Not a brutal history. to make substance of it. tears salting our mouths. to which we wake. but who knows. as unreal as real roses. back to nowhere. closed to us. We a cold primrose sting need of east wind. open. sweating it. 212 .

a music. that held us loosely.The Writers: Denise Levertov THE DEAD Earnestly into their at the I I looked faces abandoned moment of death and their slack jaws while bandaged and and plugged straightened waxy unresistant limbs the orifices with cotton but like everyone else I learned each time nothing new. 213 . however a had stopped. and in its left heavy thick silence place. only that as it were. however harsh.

214 . And And rattlesnakes. She was born to a family of ranchers Hoffman Kinnison who owned an eighty-acre spread called the U Circle.Joanna McClure West Coast (1930"Through all Villager ) those years from the mid-1950s to the publication of her in first book. loving eye of a naturalist combined with I a poet's soul that shaped her life to come: come from dusty desert mountains Where people only killed other people. and manzanita struggling to survive the harshness of the lonely mesa. Joanna developed the quick. hardy scrub oak. or drunkenness. and these beginnings inform her poetry with a sensitivity to nature absent from much of the Beat writing. or pain. [Joanna] McClure wrote quietly. The sparse beauty of this desert ranch touched the young Joanna deeply and filled — — Henry Almyr Kinnison and Ramona Jane her early memories with the sounds of unforgiving winds and the sight of fierce cacti. There is probably no more honest. or personal portrait of a period than is made through her poetry — for she is a very sensuous and sensual as well as musical poet. or a state of joy. and deer to eat valued their horses and families. poet Joanna McClure nee Kinnison was Mountain Ridge near raised in the desert in the foothills of the Cataline the small town of Oracle. Wolf Eyes. Arizona. and often in the middle of the night in ecstasy. unheralded. intense. bad people. canyon cottonwoods. 1974." — who Michael McClure Unlike so many other Beat writers have an urban background.

The Writers: Joanna McClure .

married a chemist. Jess Collins. was 1954. He moved into her flat all and gether they explored the revolution in art and poetry that was taking place around them. first was enchanted skirts I be living by myself for time. Bookstore got here I was fascinated. Even from the bookstore. there's sunshine. Of the BEAT GENERATION Joanna returned to the United States to attend the University of Arizona. to He had exciting ideas. After met Michael. moved and passed on rented for $45 a month. to then Allen it was hard to get apartments there. the son of a local judge. was very exciting and interesting. expatriate Robert Joanna's relationship with Black lover. two-room apartment me. Albert majoring in hterature and history. Duncan and his was enormously upon her poetic sensibility. so did her relationship with Michael. Joanna. whose visual sense had been sharpened by the desert landscape she grew up lar was deeply influenced by the art she was seeing. life is me by in Pacific Heights. I He brought me life Bartok. Joanna blossomed creto- —and in. Michael McClure had arrived in Tucson to study at the University of Arizona and went on to become one of Hall. and Pound. to My landlady tried to talk me went over North Beach for the first time and thought. this is and rope-soled shoes. amazing. It Suddenly atively at the heart of the Beat scene in North Beach. but a friend his small McCabe. Yeats.WOMEN Later. She mentions in particu- Jay DeFeo's "existential expressionist" paintings show at the North Beach hangout a of choice — the Place — along with Richard Diebenkorn's Mountain influential art and memorable Place exhibit of Robert La Vigne's paintings hung beside Allen Ginsberg's poems. Michael was ately startlingly different. I've got to move to North Beach. but I I was married to someone It When When and the that marriage collapsed. He was a look at another universe. I came I San Francisco. thought. I wore Guatemalan into dressing well. At the two 216 . she when Joanna met someone who excited her with his brilliance and curiosity. James Stephens. The marriage was brief and not quite over the key figures in Beat poetry. After graduation. to my else. and I children's voices. and I was immedi- drawn him. people out playing their radios and washing their passing cars. I was working to at Paul Elder's living in Pacific Heights.

and the couple anarchist began a press in their basement Ark II/Moby I. Jane. was carving out himself as a poet with a strong and singular poet and Beat mentor. days after the historic reading of "Howl" where Ginsberg changed the face of poetry forever. Allen stopped by Joanna and Michael's place with as his friend who impressed Joanna "handsome and nervous. Joanna gave birth to a daughter. The Bermans propounded a quasi-mystical philosophy as Beat credo. of life as which the younger generation eagerly adopted At the same time. was also available and she eagerly read volume after volume of both classics and obscura. Robert poetry. historical reading. Robert's vast personal library to her. Rexroth helped Allen Ginsberg unleash his "Howl" upon the world. A similar household-salon Joanna frequented was that of Wally and Shirley Jay Herman." Michael spent blossoming of the Beat a great deal of time with Kenneth Rexroth and the younger writers. whom Michael met at a party for W. Joanna's husband. which resulted in her receiving a finer graduate education than most. and Philip Whalen. Michael. Gary Snyder. a unique role for new voice and as a protege of the great On October 7. Michael McClure.— The Writers: Joanna McClure choked with and Joanna spent hours discuss- men's art-filled ing art. Soon the after the post-"Howr' poetic awakening. when he introduced the young at the Six Gallery in New York poet to the eager crowd lion. Two Jack Kerouac. loose by the readings by Allen Ginsberg. philosophy. flat. engaged in literary discussions that would prove seminal to the full sensibility. The publication of "Howl "resulted a police raid infamous obscenity ban and of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights bookstore in North Beach. Kenneth Rexroth. circle Joanna and Michael's of friends expanded to include Miriam and Kenneth Patchen and Allen Ginsberg. artist DeFeo art. William San Francisco. Yet another literary Carlos Williams wrote a preface for the City Lights pocket edition of in the book's the poem. burgeoning Beats including the she so admired. 1955. and all imaginable arcana. Spain. H. filling their apartment with the possessions of Robert Duncan and who had relocated to Mallorca. Auden. heavily Joanna attended the raw energy let pregnant and very excited by this new. cisco. bric-a-brac. a revival of the forties' 217 . Joanna and Michael moved out of now tourist-ridden North Beach to the Western Addition district of San FranJess. where she met other young. Philip Lamantia.

its Joanna was struck by the stunning landscape with rugged cliffs and endless ocean beaches and found her naturalist urges stirred to poetry. who provided impromptu and poetry salons and often baby-sat Jane. with the encouragement of her husband and Robert Duncan. traveling down the where they met the Henry Miller and Robinson Jeffers. though she kept much of hers private. for a favorite stop for Beats and other San Francisco anarchists. Gradually. And I am glad and would wear them through a Iflhadto. Their huge Fillmore flat was. and painters." the first poem she shared with others. also started exploring other parts literary legends storytelling The McClures coast to Big Sur. who both welcomed young couple and their friends to their idyllic hideaways. I can't fight Or bombs Like a dam bursting. Joanna wrote "Dear lover. Later episodes traveling down the California coast were forever immortalized by their friend Jack Kerouac in his book Big Sur. Joanna wrote prolifically thereafter. Joanna recalls when Neal Cassady stopped by to try to also fondly sell a brand-new Nash two hundred bucks. she began to publish her poems.WOMEN rew'iev/ Of the BEAT GENERATION fact. She remembers Philip Lamantia and Philip Whalen. In 1958. in small commune. a Ark. 218 . poets. books with her quiedy powerful She and Jack Kerouac preferred the same kind of artist's notebook for their writing. of California. and she was one of the few of their contemporaries who produced as much writing as Kerouac did. I have no heart for wars that destroy. filling dozens of noteverse. ex- cerpted here: I have only lately learned to wear pointed shoes with delicate straps And realize the value of a pearl choker with High delicate necklines & short black gloves war Topped by wild cropped blonde hair.

where they quickly fell in with the New York Beats. the feeling of place. they remain linked by poetry. Joanna read A.The Writers: Joanna McClure McClures moved In 1959. due partially to lack of finances but Neil's mostly to the difficulty of raising Jane in New York City. when I met the group of co-op teachers under in early child- Frances Miller. Currently. Diane di Prima. Her poetic voice has grown through the years. along with some of her newest poetry. 1 I experienced the same earlier at the first feeling of being home. in San Francisco on a hill above the Haight. This began a study of education and developmental psychology that led her to a career in early childhood development and parent education. I was reading Erickson and Bettelheim as well. excerpt from WOLF EYES A woman was Destroyed by Wolf love I give thanks For my narrow escape. Summerhill. Joanna McClures book Wolf Eyes is a spiritual autobiography. 219 .S. and artists of the East Coast scene. she publishes her poems in limited-edition chapbooks. including LeRoi and Hettie Jones. as I had poetry reading 1 went to. Selections from it are in- cluded here. Though she and now divorced. and as well as other literati New York School poet Frank O'Hara. her desert naturalist eye sharper. the group have continued to work with hood development and parent education Joanna Michael are still lives for seventeen years. the briefly to New York. Upon their return to the West Coast.

bills. only For the clarity of A cold eye. thrills. After Leaning Too Out! far JUNE 18. skills metacognition memory & metamorphosis cocoon me out right now! 220 . skills. Wait upon it for it The edge Gives. wait upon anger Now gone.WOMEN HARD EDGE The crow I of the BEAT GENERATION watches. thrills Skills.bills Thrills. 1984 Bills.

as NIGHT Wandering from room Smiling. textures. 221 . touches Braid in with surprises Each new discovery Slow and quiet Possum's front as a feet. textures. to room 52? How can life be so full at SAPPHO The spirit matters Most of the words gone The simplicity And ardor Reach out and Catch a resonance That time and fragments Only enhance. buds Tastes.The Writers: Joanna McClure COLLAGE Quiet the tension Pauses of interwoven silence Smells.

— WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION PEARLS FOR KATHIE My pearls Sit in rhe cupboard sad And I feel Seeing the opalescent Colored contoured Nacreous gloss Reflecting your Cosmic eye Which suffers Sans hope While I sit Comforted by oak arms. 222 .

father with his deliveries. she met and in love Fernando. she particularly remembers occasionally helping her milkman travel. Janine grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Union City. Her first feel were spent happily. She sought out the Beats in her and now she of the Mother Goddess. "Dream Record. in search of shamanic teachings. her wanderlust took her to the Beat scene in Manhattan. Realizing that she would end up dead from drugs or to California. Janine then used travel to try to escape the pain of her loss and finally ended up back in New York." March Vega has always been a travels "in search seeker. which she has been creating and perform- ing steadily for the past thirty years." — Janine Pommy teens Allen Ginsberg. Janine whitefaced blond in black jacket waving scarf. Elise peering over her eyeglasses. with a painter named When she was twenty years old. There she became lovers with Huncke and fell Peter Orlovsky and friends with Herbert Elise Cowen. attracted by the mobility that On the /Nonrepresented." Her poetry. early years New Jersey. fluttering a straw hat ambiguously —Peter above deck cupping names I hand to heart drifting in a Russian cap— 23. reflects the power that travel can have in one's search for self She also uses her work to reflect on the past and look toward the future. away with their skulls.Janine Pommy Vega (1942) Lyric Adventurer "At the dock. & Lafcadio with his half smile. a broken heart if she stayed there. These experiences gave Janine her of While in high school. sometimes setting out without for. She traveled and lived extensively in Europe with him until his sudden death of a heart attack at the age of thirty-three. she moved west 223 . 1961 and when I called their saw them. knowing exactly what I was searching but that it was something.

only that you are looking for something. I We on 32nd Street in Union to had been reading Jack Kerouac's intensity that On The Road. different from the other kids. in English and Spanish. Never in one place too long. Talking to Flies. was what she wanted to be. it who was risk. and had took dance classes together a sophisticated She was willing to take a City. a prose work on the Mother worship spots in Europe. A magazine 224 . Poems to active in the poetry scene in San Francisco when wander- overtook her again. Presently living in the Catskill to travel extensively. is has been translated into six languages. book of poetry. a collection of poetry. She looked like a showgirl. and her autobiography being published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights. Her most recent publications are Threading Maze.WOMEN Her became lust first Of the BEAT GENERATION Fernando. All the characters seemed move with an was missing in my life. you do not need to know what you are looking the stories. for. It is I we make to secure in everyday life has borne fruit again and again. she continues new of herself and her personal mythos. with and without music. exploring says: Mountains north of New York parts City. a readiness to receive that finds the answers. She wore eye makeup. and the choices it. in which she shares her initiation into Beat Several ofher poems round out the selection. and need urgently to find the urgency that does the work. and she until the seventies. memoir ofher time with the Beats. Seeds of Travel In high school. As she My desire to slip away from our identity pilgrimage. and Drunk on a Glacier. Janine has been performing her work. To go on a discovered. to enthusiastic audiences throughout North and South America and Europe. air. She collections of poetry the is the author of five major and five chapbooks. Barbara. I found a friend. was published in 1967. She has edited numerous anthologies. The following is an excerpt from Janine's life.

Elsie was a hermaphro- whom Huncke met when also he was sixteen. Gregory introduced us to Peter Orlovsky. Outside the bar on University Place. working at the as a shill for her popular act on the carnival midway. I told him I'd seen his name in a Time Magazine article. in the Kinsey Report skewed the mous sex survey's data. and Jack meaning Ginsberg. and Kerouac. she tried to keep Herbert out of trouble and wouldn't allow was the subject of his It is first which was so well received him he was spurred on first to continue writing. He was calling them by their first names. powdered and hairy made up with Veronica Lake-hennaed and muscular. where and an easy chair. but especially with Barbara. Elsie was a denizen of the road. — At the apartment he brought us on Second Street between B and C. From our table we watched it the bar through the cigarette haze: the drinkers were mostly men — big men. shaved." 225 . seemed me —with large hands jabbing the air as they shouted at each other and laughed. as well as the heroin she loved. jazzy fringe world where long before John Clellon Holmes quoted Jack Kerouac in the dite New York Times. self as Opposite us dark haired man. Elsie John real One of the carnies who introduced Herbert Huncke to the concept of Beat was carnival treak Elsie Beat was born John. would we get in? We tried to look as nonchalant as possible as we to cut through the crowd of people and sat in the back. Elsie was a very large person. a weary. to. He invited us to come with him to the Lower East Side and meet his friends. sat a We ordered beer. endless stories of the road. us. we were nervous. and talked with to like. Gregory and Barbara stayed in the kitchen talking.The Writers: Janine Pommy Vega about the Beats mentioned the Cedar Bar in article New York City. and Peter. her hair. of crumbs. Peter led the way into the to sit main room. a handlooked some man answered like the door. whom he seemed He began to speak about Alien. Elsie fascinated the young writer with her glittering eyes and short stor)'. Herbert procured marijuana for Elsie going rate of seven joints of "high quality" for feminine side was prettily while her masculine side was very a quarter. He one of the men in the photo accompanying the there was a double bed article I'd read. No doubt. Exhibiting to deal heroin. drug-hazed. at Herbert's urging. fa- rumored that Elsie's participation. Orlovsky. Elsie her maternal side. He introduced him- Gregory Corso. and invited me down. Barbara agreed to go with me and check it out. We were both sixteen. Elsie John knew firsthand about "exalted exhaustion. I was thrilled. drinking wine at a table full He had just eaten a meal of pasta and French bread.

He read me I poem he had written. as adults. called "First Poem. still sleeping. we were back. our virginity seemed to stand in the way. I was a nervous. Barbara and had discussed at length our desire to jump into and I experience it fully. and took BarI bara to a side room. I sat in the kitchen. Peter was wearing a gray and white bathrobe." and we life chatted a while. I began through the Sunday papers piled on a chair. and meet him and Gregory On Sunday morning. but had to go out and meet Allen. We made a date again. a He had straight brown hair and candid hazel eyes.WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION Janine Pommy Vega and Herbert Huncke having fun in New York City. Allen and guessed. It little was so quiet. I had no way of knowing feet what would happen. 226 . Peter were. He said he'd like to keep talking. That's what thought about as I watched Peter. Gregory answered the door. and closed the door. but leafing my hands and were cold. The room was warm. for Barbara and me to return on Sunday.

Every move he made was He took his time. My main wasn't a feeling was fear. asked me to work for them. Huncke liked had the voice and captivating gestures of a natural story him immensely. 1 didn't know what else to say. He told me about having lived around Times Square in in the teller. Street. Peter We returned to the City as often as we could. Allen left shortly afterwards. then his insisted I own. As long as I was working my mother accepted. '50's. and washed his glasses in the sink. Barbara was seeing Gre- gory. his eyes were hazel." he said." me. Barbara and to I ignored the questions. During at the Seven Arts. and quiet. "Peter will be right out. Peter looked very I handsome with his hair disheveled. and went to fallen in love with. His face was very beautiful. There was word no blood. albeit reluctantly. and didn't know what to do. where we'd room with it a single bed. Then he put them on. live with Dave Simon. and started hanging out with people from the John Rapanick and Arnie Levin. Barbara quit. I When summer and had to go back to finish my last term in high school. Was going to hurt? Would there be blood? Maybe took it good idea. though not left for Second and Allen had I the west coast. circulated that we'd gone to New York City. and meeting his friends. to a little my hand. "I'm Allen Ginsberg. "Hi. got a waitress job on weekends in the Bizarre Coffee village. Back in high school. Barbara screamed from the side room." It looked like they just woken up. a goodlooking actor she had met that fall. my irregular schedule and lengthening absences. after all. me he was an old friend of William Burroughs. keep my eyes open. Shop. and looked "I'm Janine. ended. His hair was and almost black. I met Herbert Huncke. We started talking. He looked to be in his mid-forties. and tender. 227 . Arnie Levin told out of prison. wearing an olive green sweater. co-owners of the Seven Arts Coffee Gallery in Hell's Kitchen. and had just come Huncke was straight sitting along at a table. gentle. But Peter was sweet." I hoped had I looked cool. Peter took sat before.The Writers: Janine Pommy Vega A dark haired man came at out. He my He clothes off. and led me through the big room. I the 1940's and he had been one of the people interviewed Kinsey Sex Report.

then put leave before tree. a little Christmas but I tree. I got a job in an office near Bryant Park. Peter and Allen came me. Peter looked very handsome in the light from the In January.WOMEN One night at a coast. "Janine? I Did I. the party was loved her and my only bargaining chip. I my father very much. She was selfless in her love for me. Between I we to got the tree positioned between bricks. I've I That Christmas it it wanted at to surprise I Huncke with tree. and poets Bob Kaufman and mentor. as she was fond of reminding me. I asked if I could go back to Lower East Side with them. I was underage. he cocked his head to the and looked me. After the reading. 270 East Second street was home as well to Elise Cowen. My mother. "That was a long time ago. was named Valedictorian. with whom I'd been battling constantly over I'd received. but I had to be about bus my business. and Jack Micheline. reading. On side. still I then would and she would never again ask where was going. When I told him. moved one block down into a new apartment with Elise Cowen. wanted to visit Huncke. in the same building. She agreed to the deal. I mean did we Oh my dear. That night from New Jersey to the city. a strik- 228 . I would go to the party. but had no interest in returning to school. and stay until the last person I left. Huncke's." I'm so sorry. Peter asked at my name. wanted to throw a party to celebrate the honors I She was very proud. I Though I had done virtually no work in the last semester. me changed a lot." girl I'd was glad he hadn't identified with the nervous been in his kitchen. I bought the and some lights. I They had just returned from the realized Peter did not recognize felt I'd obviously changed a lot from the I naive girl he had the met the year before. up in the corner. who had become my friend He lived two floors above them. went down to Peter's and asked for help. made I a deal with her: leave myself. my freedom. and set up while he was out to stand work. and went straight to I took my suitcase onto the last lovers again. I graduated from high school. a close friend of Allen's. couldn't get us. Both I my English teachers counseled me to apply for college scholarships. I Off the BEAT GENERATION in. the train. Peter and I became From Huncke's. wanted Huncke came back. on the colored lights.

D. Stein. All that winter. Emily Dickinson. I began. Weiners. one night a week. William Blake. Albert Camus: anything anyone else was reading. Allen left South America. Charles Dickens. who had constructive comments. mostly I kept my work to myself Peter gave me Moby Dick to read. and I found myself spending more and more time 229 .H. and into the spring. Though most of her affairs were with women. and decided on the spot that I needed a passport. John Catullus. to visit the Public Library on 42nd Street. I read. After work. secretly she was with Allen. Lawrence. and read. 1981. I finished it in a weekend. I I would hang out or This was my education. and old friend of Allen's from in love college. the journeys of for Marco Polo. ingly intelligent poet and copy editor. Christopher Smart.The Writers: Janine Pommy Vega Janine Pommy Vega with Jack Micheline in San Francisco. Gertrude read. Sometimes I showed a poem to Elise. Arthur Koestler. was shy about showing anyone my writing. in the quiet of the long tables.

that how it was in the world of the poets? I thought I'd rather meet painters and musicians. left them together. or stay take that arrived from Allen. and the two of us would take all the works of I Herman Hesse and Dostoyevsky. and wasn't Peter. Wrapped up in Peter's robe. Laf was kind of a hermit: he seemed unable to work or deal with the world. 230 . He looked exactly like he had the first It met him. Some months en route to India. Lafcadio. their single bed and double bed. why When came I back from work. When which he per that I I home to Weehawken. Peter took a bath. I tried to imagine the jungle Allen seen. and go his home and read. and Mount Analogue by Rene Daumal. I Allen announced that he and Peter were leaving the country I had my passport but no money. which was Peter took care of him. with a huge duffel bag on to his shoulder. he described the smells coming up from the and the dreams he'd had of us making love above the city. In the ensuing weeks. which Peter cooked. One and put on the gray and white bathrobe he had night I'd been letting me wear. and had no friends of his own. began to walk the streets at night. care of Lafcadio. where alleys. Peter's letters came to me from the warm sun on the rooftops of Morocco. Peter helped me find a bigger apartment. she spoke to him in Polish. Hearing Orlovsky. was Allen. we juggled slept who slept with it whom. SomeI one knocked on the door. my mother looked askance at his beard. we would eat cheap dinners. somebody usually alone. But I was angry that they hadn't invited me to travel with them. I missed him. and went back my room at Elise's. but how to open up and intimacy in my life as a constant. She steered me to her bedroom and confided in a whis- might be hanging out with Bolsheviks. He would read me some of the letters to the movies. and the scary snakes he'd glowing in the dark. and imag- ine magical existences behind the lit-up windows. I would live with Huncke. He'd been my Is first real lover. With later.WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION with Peter and his younger brother. so where read I stayed at my job. I was learning with Peter not just how to make love. night. didn't understand. described in Colombia where he was taking brought Peter yage. where my family had moved.

In this full over morning buildings. To you: in-here in the early silence between us that folded deep into night is & the black well of Sources gone forth to meet in-there. and people are arrived. before time. at the foot of the me I here. & a we ARE bound below meet sound or gesture. the shades are lifting. singing tree A turned around sparrows in her hat/ a canopy of canaries Spring! & I not with you? paris. have risen early before the dawn — love and how long I have need of you all I feel. A fire is crackling. spasms of clarity / day throatwinded walking dances I am filled with unmotion. spring '65 [Here before the sunrise blue & & in this solitude] in this solitude is is Here before to you: this sunrise blue come home. silent forest. the shade of solitude Come empty loft upon my hand: of high windows IS. yet 231 .The Writers: Janlne Pommy Vega [Ah hand] certainty of love in the Ah certainty of love in the hand a bright new corner. The moon home. don't know where you are or what's happening. I love you. beneath distance.

M42 M42 M42 the 42nd interruption in Charles Messier's quest for comets the the is is 42nd 42nd suspect on the star list blotch and poseur not a shooting not a star What is it? M42 is in Orion's sword branch a scintillating the fish the mouth of the Great Nebula next spiral arm out from us in the swan galaxy the seamless coat of Christ a stellar The pulsating blue Trapezium in a cuna. love. 1/18/65 thing in the morning. she was shaking 232 . first and this just from me paris. a cradle giving birth to star after star after star From the Chinese enamel lamp a gorgeous goose flew off through a hole in the beaded curtain to the recesses of stellar space she was laughing to herself.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION surely the morning stars will shed their light in desolate places.

from wing to wing Her laughter flew uncontrolled from the throats of the ancient queens as they swigged another ale down broke another neckbone and threw it to the dogs She laughed in the midnight graveyards with adept yoginis. her flight of maybe twenty-five Ught years across. Look Fall at this! on your knees this! in the snow and weep in gratitude Lx)ok at 233 .The Writers: Janlne Pommy Vega described an arc with mirth. in secret who sang to each other surrounded by bones jutting through the earth and the grinning skulls they reeled in ecstasy O dazzling fecund nebula in her blue If you and white to robe! want be present in at creation see the Goddess Her radiant dress the Shakti the Shekkinah Get a telescope buy binoculars point it at the cloud in Orion's sword. galactic pulse of the universe.

of my I in the advent own year also in the tree clear away the entrance to the animal cave clean the entrance of raggedy wet leaves crystal snow clear the entrance for easy access and I ask myself. sleek skin.WOMEN The Of the BEAT GENERATION bird flying ofF into starry space at this! Look Willow. is what hole this? 234 . the old longing for wet seeds. November 11. and mine among them the birds congregated in the hemlocks are not just chattering but the first mighty chorus of return the body hums and trills with each wisp of cloud. FEBRUARY THAW The birds are coming back and with them. 1994. each feathered wing and starry catkin dropped on the snow. the moist earth reaching up with bare arms. New York.

to the light the for wind combs the hillside at rest dead branches. I am the surface and underground cave I am the thaw and the cold snap and the thaw again With their peeping and piping the tiniest birds have returned with their indomitable song. the tunnel to the psyche. drum. dead leaves scoot over the snow like frightened animals ice but the green shoot thrusting through the is strongest wind the snow the cold can slow her.The Writers: Janine Pommy Vega The the ear. these tears snow 235 . with their small happy voices. the but they cannot stop her From the dream church where and knew I I knelt could never be separate I from what in the love. bodies and winter returns implacable wind. put her down. the vagina? A sun harvest creaks and knocks on the wood above me.

WOMEN Off the BEAT GENERATION celebrate return not the mind or the will or the heart but something singing with the crowd in the hemlocks flowing with water under the ice in globules. like amoebas have it migrating over rocks to the pools below and no matter how long I left on the earth. I have loved February 5. A young janine Pommy Vega enjoying a smoke and a cup of coffee. here. 236 . Flanks ofMount Tremper. 1993. Willow. NY.

the Polish flag. and other breastplates and gee-gaws of domination since there ever was a war since there was the idea of conquering your neighbor Red and white the woman in her childbearing herself.The Writers: Janlne Pommy Vega THE DRUM SONG Red and white candy Exit sign: striped enter a hole in the wall to a hidden world of juju beads size and maps the and little of Atlantis boys stalking the deer of imagination Red and white Peruvian flag. the passionate male Orgasm and abstinence hosannas coming up from to the top of the the belly head red/white the blood in its and bone. the skeleton scarlet flag the two-step zigzag dance across the tightrope. the red and white 237 . soft haired years. the passionate female. taking to her the grandchildren who want her stories red and white. and then watching the fire.

suffering. and the is entire human species hurling itself headlong off the edge. no one is winning Great theaters of carnage bright science yoked to bleak military arsenals. I see a cannon roll out into the dust of a tiny war in a store in the patch of sun window on the Lower East Side Noise.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION agenda. like a ribbon across the sky. even the animals take part. February 1994. after this she * must be loosed a a little little while. GREETING THE YEAR 2000. wavering like a flock of geese. WITH RESPECT Glancing back at the millennium we are leaving. the dragon. She must be loosed while? How little a while? 238 . kids are killing kids people are torn between nationalism and compassion. blood. the old serpent. New York City. And he laid hold on and bound her for a thousand years and cast her into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over her that she should deceive the nations no more until the thousand years be finished.

leave a little wildness for the next inheritors. a naked energy climbs our spine and gazes from our eyes trees.The Writers: Janine Pommy Vega over the beasts in the air. the people were free to serve and adorn their temple. with great love 239 . I think of the lovely tossing her hair as she leaves the abyss the unbound fire in every atom to She steps out into a vacant lot in the Southeast Bronx. Balzac's angel. choose. Monte Alban was a sacred for a thousand years civilization fields city and of peace. with the rapt egocentric stance that nature free is the devil. don't blaze Don't cut the more trails across the mountains. the trees in the forest. the the water. we have been supremely to disrespect whomever we Lilith. In synchronicity with the earth they derived their names from what they did. and the icy fjords cracked and melted the bells rang wildly With great respect. Lording it field. with respect. Let us go out and greet the new century. said Seraphita. With plentiful of corn. where Ms somebody is to face down a handgun A serpent curls among the streets of the world.

for the air. Look at the serpent curhng through the green woods spirahng up the hills from the flat land. 2-4. 240 . Willow. 1994. unchained nature the water.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION she said. NY. *Revelations 20. the snake undulating up our spines and the dragon in the stars. January 1. and the energy crackled across the sky like hghtning. and the greet the new millennium with complicity in the earth.

for the United Though her immediate family survived. Amid political strife and religious genocide. in One was ten-year-old ruth to born who 1933 escaped with her parents first Vienna. where her parents worked American citizens with the Army of Occupation. some Jewish families managed to escape the horror in Berlin in 1928.. 1993 item the ian frsncisco Chronicle 1938. where she began her schooling and wrote her the last train poem at the age of five.ruth weiss The Survivor (1928"A fine funkiness: ) Beat Generation goddess ruth weiss (she launched the jazzwill poetry readings at The Cellar) and trumpeter Cowboy Noyd first have their reunion since what John Ross calls 'the in bad old days'. The family's first years in New York were far from a their comfortable life in Berlin. alienated from her 1 Eventually ruth's family settled in Chicago. placed her in a children's home to prevent her city streets alone. She then spent two years in Switzerland at the College of 241 .. struggling with new language and long hours with low from wandering the was so small that she passed visited wages. Even though ruth was eleven at the time." Herb Caen's column in — Austria. weiss. most of ruth's relatives perished in the Nazi concentration camps. February 15. and English. the maximum age for the housing Her parents on weekends. they fled to Holland to board ship States. ruth's parents. for eight. In 1946. During high school. she facility. of the Nazi regime. where she graduated eighth grade from a Catholic boarding school. she kept to herself and studied hard. ruth felt classmates. solid geometry. on allowed to cross the Austrian border. she and her family upper-middle-class Jewish neighboras hood to return to Germany. In 1939. graduating in the top class percent of her with high grades in every subject — including left their all A's in Latin.

hitchhiking and bicycling through the countryside." Through these knew from New Orleans. and. opened The Cellar in in 1956. where she gave her reading to jazz in 1949. a first moved into rooming house for artists on the Near North Side. which New York's Greenwich Village and the French 1010 Montgomery. Sheila. Sonny Nelson. style whose impact would reverberate through- During one of the this time. North Beach. This time. and she entered the all-night jazz world across town in the Fillmore at Bop City and Jackson's Nook. creating an innovative out the San Francisco art scene. ruth joined North Beach them onstage. and Wil Carlson. insisting they join him in a drive to Portrero Hill to see the sunrise. when she was living at the Wentley Hotel. ruth wrote poetry in the Black Cat. In 1959. ruth met many jazz musiin San Francisco and jammed in their sessions with her poetry. Haiku has long been Jack Kerouac would stop a favorite form of ruth's. she the Art Circle. she hitchhiked again. as she recalls. Shortly thereafter. learning French. a bar two blocks away. ruth published in the majority of the early issues oi Beatitude. After talking 242 all ." ruth wrote several short stories during this period and kept a journal. and sharing haiku. When three of musicians. ruth fondly recalls the wild ride down cians "that one lane two-way zig-zag a piano player she street. having completed her journal COMPASS. which includes an excerpt of her memorable meeting with two close San Francisco friends in Mexico City —poet and night in a photographer Anne McKeever and poet Philip Lamantia. In the early 1950s. Wally Berman also included her in the Mexican issue of Semina. a Beat art-and-poetry magazine. performing her poetry to jazz ac- companiment. Jack Minger. later Quarter in New Orleans. first magazines to give voice to the Beat Generation. and there have been many exhibits of her watercolor haiku. This was to be the only time she ever destroyed her writing. ruth returned to Chicago with her parents in 1948. Neal Cassady would show up. talking. this time from Chicago to San Francisco's moving into occupied by Allen Ginsberg and his friend. ruth returned from traveling the length of Mexico with her first hus- band. last girl- In 1952. "learning little else. I "You write better haiku than do. ruth began her led to Bohemian wandering. learning to drink.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Neuchatel. by." he'd say. which she later destroyed. After a night of writing.

243 .The Writers: ruth weiss ruth weiss reading at the Grant Street Fair.

Dialogue with Feathers was produced by the L. They continue astrological work for clients nationwide and Aya. They frequented the spirit neither coflFee houses and became part of the scene. College in 1967. still Wise Woman Lodge. astrologer/artist/ filmmaker William Royere. they formed the nucleus of a ride together. loving family. She then returned to L. California. She fell in love with the new Bohemian and wrote constantly about the romance of the senses. a seminal three-volume Ubraries worldwide. Mellow Yellow minstrel Donovan. year to get married. In 1969. she attended L. they large magical family of like-minded comrades. A Religion in Retreat. Royere. Zen Love Poems also came out. and from there on brought life. as ever. in small After high school. the music. A play The Edge. and Frankie Rios. and her play Honeylove was produced by East L.. she met her third husband. and gave readings with poets Cameron. During their intensely dramatic produced several experimental their movies with such playmates as Beatle Ringo Starr. and has just completed The Crone Poems. Vietnamese/American Buddhist community and that time she also appeared in a film took her vows as a layperson. As a child she studied piano and dancing and inherited her love of photography and writing from her father. a healing arts corporation and school were they taught astrology. poems and drawings. She also surfs the Net. the ongoing spiritual highs of that time. 1932 in Los Angeles. was produced in Open Theater in Berkeley in 1966 when she returned to San Francisco for another period. and extended families. At 23. George Herms. including Poems for Selected People and Marks ofAsha. she met her second husband Lee getting a divorce to marry him. She also began publishing Matrix: For She ofthe New Aeon. a continues writing. and waits for the next Assignment.A. 244 . poems were published. She grew up in Los Angeles surrounded by a large.A. She began writing at 13 and started compiling collections of observations. California to the son of Polish/ English/Jewish immigrants and the daughter of Romanian Jewish immigrants. ruth weiss. stays active in several other considering herself a Messenger-in-Waiting. They arrived unwittingly it just when the signs of the Beat movement were emerging it and a swept them away. and freedom of one had known before. Jr. Aya and Paul-O and tains at the their two cats live in a cabin mountheir west end of Sedona. During The Beats: An Existential Comedy by Philomene under an extinct volcano. to work published Romero all in a poetry class and created a scandal by They moved to a farmhouse in Riverside. collections of her soon began practicing Zen with the famous master Suzuki Roshi. City College. who was a pharmacist.A. tucked in the Long. Aya became active in the L. about the Buddhist persecution in Southeast Asia. and adopted his young son. In 1971 another play. For the next twenty years until his death. While there she was drawn to a Zen Buddhist Temple and In the early sixties.A.A. coordinates groups.WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION Aya Tar low Aya was born Idcll Rose Tarlow on August 14. Later she. The Foundation a friend also produced a benefit concert at the Shrine Audia torium in L. Feminist Theater.A. San Francisco. In the literary journal in university mid-1970s she and Royere co-founded Araya Foundation. but dropped out after the first She continued attending poetry and writing classes and slowly began to have magazines. after surviving a near-fatal miscarriage. surrounded by pine trees and lush national forest. and formed Jade Productions and produced later 90-minute Buddhist documentary.

" ruth's first Still. I written out of "my respect and admiration for these whom felt a kind of sisterhood. in separate directions artist Clyfford They met in 1953. 245 . marriage was to artist Mel Weitsman. lived together for a year. San Francisco.A. who studied with up for a while. Neither guides nor other tourists were there in the pre- dawn chill. GALLERY OF WOMEN. women with poem-portraits Aya (born Idell) Tarlow. and Anne McKeever. their lives moved and they parted ruth weiss performing in "Kubuki.S. Laura Ulewicz. but ruth. U. a That same year. The climb to the top all of the pyramid was the easy. split and then maras ried in 1957. I9S7." with Howard Hart (L) and Dion Vigne at Fugazi Hall.The Writers: ruth weiss they decided to climb the Pyramid of the Sun in the cafe. ruth published that included poets book. Mayan ruins outside Mexico City and catch the sunrise. paralyzed by a fear of heights. In 1963. had to be carried way down.

excited Italy. NO DANCING ALOUD. and accountant. ruth and Paul year later. Roy Isbell in 1966. The peaceful surroundings have been good for ruth. 246 . In the tended bar Wild Side West. was later murdered prison by guards. Sweden. Throughout the decades. and he and ruth went as his alternative service for an attendant in this time. museum cashier. and ruth kept on with poetry as the central focus of her Hfe. playing major roles in all of his films. after a moved to Inverness. to sculptor lasted less than a year. a classic North Beach watering two years During the Vietnam War. including Minnie's Can-Do Club. they moved further north to the small town of Albion in the coastal redwoods. Paul was Los Angeles while he worked the psychiatric a conscientious objector. and these In 1990. in 1967. fifty miles north life's of San Francisco. ruth. In 1981. Their collaboration received international attention when Arnold's film Messages Messages premiered the at the Cannes Film Festival in 1969. and THE 13TH worked at part-time WITCH. sitting for artists and students. During ruth expanded her artistry beyond the written form and worked with San Francisco artist and filmmaker Steven Arnold. and Japan. Mostly. ruth San Francisco. chorus gas station attendant (even though ruth doesn't know how worked at the to drive). Here. including FIGS. she early 1970s. and a poetry theater. in imprisoned on a drug charge. collected & Allthatjazz. Roy. In the early sixties. ruth girl. Intersection. Weitsman went on to become a Zen priest. the Bay Area "Poetry Slam" and released Poetry videocasette. at the Old Spaghetti Factory. a lesbian bar in San Francisco's Bernal Heights where she did friend. ruth later years have been some of her most productive.WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION friends. Sunday afternoon poetry readings with her long-time also ran various poetry series in Madeline Gleason. by new wave of films coming out of France. ward at Los Angeles Country General Hospital. to support her poetry career. she met her hole. ruth's second marriage. to partner — artist Paul Blake — at the Capri. volumes 1 and on audio and from her live performances. A flood threatened their lives and their work. Surprise Voyage. con- necting with many of the younger poets. she as a model. began a series of filmpoems and plays. jobs that included waitress. won 2. North Beach has always been "home turf" life for ruth. postal employee.

The San is Francisco Main Public Library held a three-month exhibition of ruth's and Paul's individual collaborations over the past twenty-five years. Since their heyday in the live in fifties. the 1961 film that ruth wrote. a prose-poem recalling her Nazi refugee ALWAYS THOUGHT YOU BLACK is the title story for a "synchronistic reminiscences" chronicling her relationship with of autobiographical life. To hear ruth is weiss read her poetry in a dimly lit coffeehouse in San Francisco's North Beach never die. and at the Venice Biennale Film Festival." Inchided here are pieces from past. series and recent work. Verbal mo- becoming harmonious with to jazz of rhythm is what her work essentializes. lAl . Others read or wnzefrom ruth weiss writes jazz in words. For anybody who missed out on the Beat scene the first time around. "No American poet has remained so faithful to jazz are scores to be in the construction of poetry as has ruth weiss. her work and work also in over fifty special collections at universities and libraries across the United States. I SINGLE OUT. by the Bancroft Li'biary at the University of California Berkeley's Film Archive. a rare and wonderful opportunity to experience one of the original Beat poets firsthand. And ruth continues to perform. In 1996. proving how She and her jazz become one of our finest living poets. black people in her MY NAME IS WOMAN comprises her prose-poem sketches of women friends. ruth is one of the few Beat poets to have continued reading poetry she has honed her craft to collaborators are at North Beach. senses. The ruth weiss is finally getting the attention she has Brink. to understand why our fascination with the Beat Generation will As poet Jack Hirschman with tion said. was screened at The Whitney Museum of American Art during Pacific their exhibit Beat Culture arid the New America. directed and narrated with jazz. 1950-1965. all Her poems sounded her riffy ellipses and open-formed phrasing swarming the a universe jazz. every this is The Gathering Caffe on Grant Avenue on the last Monday of month.The Writers: ruth weIss long deserved.

your voice. your toreador's baby where are they ALEX left his name ERNEST ALEXANDER & paintings in CHICAGO and SHEILA of the blues voice to A.WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION FOR BOBBY KAUFMAN crossed your bridge with your big word and your huge silence POST-CARD 1995 JOHN HOFFMAN died in MEXICO RON RICE died in MEXICO ANNE McKEEVER vanished in MEXICO ALEX wife & child died in MEXICO and what about SHEILA BOB KAUFMAN wanted to die in MEXICO and so did JACK KEROUAC and what about NEAL CASSADY SUTTER MARIN swam made all in PLAYA ANGEL a pact with the angels mad to be reborn i die every time i go to MEXICO and return reborn JOHN HOFFMAN your poetry lives with PHILIP LAMANTIA RON RICE your films are flower.thieves of the night ANNE McKEEVER your poems. once married GINSBOIG 248 .

The Writers: ruth weiss said she took a dope-rap for him died in a south-of-market hotel dreaming of MEXICO BOB KAUFMAN equal to anything especially in FRANCE and JACK KEROUAC is everywhere daughter JAN KEROUAC carries his face is and what he faced and what he didn't and what about NEAL CASSADY swinging his lantern own to the night-train SUTTER MARIN before the beat this night did it all to his beat in SAN FRANCISCO & after in a room of reflections like like like — reflex what put us here changes in changes in pace this night in a room of reflections the patterns of self on the wall at the shore of the sea sparks from the red tide a movement of self on the water fire-works the eye a reflection of stars what put us here 249 .

hungary was still out of nazi clutch & my grandmother hungarian. 250 .. elements. my grandmother hungarian was wanted by boarding house a nazi official. excerpts from SINGLE II — INCIDENT we had OUT October 1938 to flee vienna. we were austrian citizens my father. his mother's only son.— WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION the self of course the course is not always clear the water the sky is is not always clear not always clear it is still — a time for reflection FOR MADELINE GLEASON "do your poems haunt you?" oh Maddie is not the poem of our life a haunt drawing us? each time artist drawing us releasing &C A stronger drawn line drawing us the & quartered into seasons..

now one not a desperate 20 (mostly young men) the with hired guide across the flooded rhine. we couldn't either. what now? any moment the question the only answer! a young woman brushed by lose? a whisper the follow-me.— — — — ——— . show you your bed. slit of light we are i'll entered. shotssinging above our heads meant to hit us (the swiss sharpshooters) the warning realenough go back we can't take any more. the three of us penniless in the innsbruck trainstation- obvious unaryan. woman really slips in mud. 251 . rain dizzy alp trails we climbed another try to slide muddy back to the border village. what could we wet night narrow streets we a kept a block behind until she vanished into a doorway. you hungry? she said. the border had closed one night before our arrival. — The Writers: ruth weiss we left quickly in the night for the swiss border. .

eyes was sipping coffee. checking the street. night the Venetian blinds caught a once there was knock. was the young man who hadn't slept. hands put money &C tickets into ours. in the flat. us. there was time to december midnight 31st. kissed the woman. what now? then it we saw his face. the sun rayed through the blinds when a she called us for breakfast. the war we boarded a train for in Switzerland in we would have spent « an internment camp. left. in * the party was in full swing Chicago 1950 252 . hoUand. 1938 the last possible moment. the her man nodded. young man with unslept where are you headed? Vienna. she directed us to the station first at the station an official gleaming a huge swastika neared us. there had only been one bed our still in Vienna visa from new york awaited leave.— WOMEN all — —— Off the BEAT GENERATION light.

smooth. a she? she black but light? she tall? very. the circles stopped. yes Viennese. old faces new faces lifetalk deathtalk any are is is talk to keep the thread & nervous.— The Writers: ruth weiss had — i just come back from new Orleans & making circles. you here? he? she? is. talked that night! oh how we 253 . is who? accent. does she dance? yes he said & she comes from vienna. my feet stopped is it is is dangling. we were hanging over the back of an overstuffed couch four feet dangling over the heads who filled it. she he he is. you have an a young face coal old as coal. i'm an expert. besides I have a friend from vienna.

up stair after stair it's i'm sure it's her. circus.— WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION in her tiny attic-room that night. she made coffee. after a GI from detroit. scrambled eggs. i'm an acrobat the war & when I have to be. the war. no more but always the dance. he said. and now always the dance! IV - DANCE up for the gas naked lined chamber shame & blame & guiltless guilt take a shower wash clean the the lie sin hypnotic shuffle in SOAP & SILVER CLEAN LIKE RAIN he follows order he follows orders he wanted a joke SS commanding officer YOU THERE! the nameless numbered girl numb you're a dancer 254 . she.

pulls long & brown listens to my poem. don't think i'll make it to 30. my first someone blows i'm 22. WILLARD'S lover is lovely BILL. living literature. my first modeling nude. write. GWENDOLYN BROOKS comes to visit. words are wings. ERNEST ALEXANDER room. 255 . don't think. words are my friends. someone brushes * a :^ drum. sez now read to these folks. A fine tooth-comb. "i want corpse." to die young & have a beautiful black blue-bulb this. A STREET IN BRONZEVILLE. they gotta hear my first own home. * i'm reading to a jazz man. BILL in my class at suUivan high. BILL dies young. KNOCK ON ANY DOOR.The Writers: ruth weIss DANCE! and the word struck lightning and she danced as it struck CLEAN LIKE LIGHT and took the gun from and struck him down Hke thunder his dumb hand and thunder again from where the shocked guard stood she went down CLEAN LIKE LIGHT excerpts from oh there is I ALWAYS THOUGHT YOU BLACK WILLARD MOTLEY comes to visit. protect. a horn. poetry aloud. Hterature at the ART CIRCLE. my first turntable. in my me upstairs.

a jam for the no feet tapping. a red pair i shouts. in the in the tell mid-west winter of the USA. MY NAME ANNA MARIE from old. where sit by an ancient redwood tree. how did you ever get such an idea. the stories that me am i a momma sez this is not true. barefoot in winter. in i about surviving. the blood in gypsy- my toes tells me all the old stories. how did you ever get such an up lies idea.WOMEN i Of the BEAT GENERATION room of my own. gypsies steal & make about the future. but i my sandals better. am a gypsy. they store. try me. i my toes are cold i the way to to my fingertips. all it is winter. the ones that buy in a many many years later. fit. you can keep telling me the stories in a building where many people live i look at galoshes outside the doors. almost. my lids around my whole being. to keep the chainsaw from cutting it down. that you are a gypsy. to i walk slow through daybreak-blue. it's that only one. will find you shoes make you warm. IS WOMAN city. this cancer girl gotta have a room of her own. i am seven years my toes are cold. too cold to me the stories that keep me going in the sumtell mer. one black i pair after another they don't belong to me like keep on walking down the halls. and my toes tell me the story of the redwood. — — enter. * one by one the ones who must play the search for that note heartbeat. have a room of my own. no hands clapping. my sandals. and i am looking at my toes. and so i tell my toes. don't worry. i i shall always have a * that will. back fold north beach. 256 .

She was born into a long line of devout Catholic teachers and lawyers reigned over by her grandmother. now Sister Mary 257 ." The adult Mary is quick to add with a laugh. Mary Korte. Of these.Mary Norbert RedwDDd Mama (1934"A series of ) Kiirte Activist women poets emerged in San Francisco who identified with the established Beat Poets even as they challenged cluding] Joanne Kyger and them on . the career of Mary Norbert Kbrte most sharply defines the historic tension between the of service and the women in women of passion. she entered the at the age Rose Convent on Pine Street San Francisco of eighteen. dutifully. and solemnly promise. where her grandmother marched her up to the open casket. a Bavarian dowager who wore severe formal gowns her offspring. all at point in time. stiff made her take hold of his cold. ." her deeply religious family to join the convent right St. "And I have. "In front of God. to remain ever faithful to Grandfather's memory. their grounds [in- Mary Norbert Kbrte." — Mary Area Brother Antoninus (William Everson) Norbert Korte grew up along the eastern skyline of the San Francisco Bay in the Oakland-Berkeley hills. Here she exchanged the bustle of a busy family for the solitude of a strict order. at all times and enforced is strict propriety in One of Mary's earliest memories of her grandfather's funeral. in 1952. No man after has ever measured up. the more obscure All in Virgilian period of the language that followed the great this Golden Age of Latin. including Jesus. Mary was encouraged by in high school. cracking convention within the bastion of the religious order. The strongest woman poet to emerge the West She became a student of Lew Welch. She earned a master's degree in the specialized field of Silver Latin. hand.

Gary Snyder. but very warmly wel- comed. "Eddie Mae the Cook Dreamed in all Sister Mary what Ran Off with Allen Ginsburg." but remarks didn't seriousness." Sister Mary also began writing a new. a beautifully lyric Hawley published Mary's to the first book of poetry. was an ideal young bride of Christ. she watched on and in felt her "consciousness open.'s speech for the march on Wash" ington. She had met the two in the Haight in the headquarters of the Diggers. She remembers being the as rather only nun in attendance and was treated an exotic. and her previously chosen vocation Mary Norbert tried hard to make work. "The Diggers were a community of people group devoted Haight Ashbury modeled after the fourteenth-century English recalls to the simple life and helping the poor. Sister Mary's idea of good works was to sneak food out of the pantry to give to poet activists like at the Diane di Prima and Lenore Kandel. and Allen Ginsberg. Then two events took place that drew her attention outside the walls of the first it St. Jack Spicer. He who took one look her writing and offered to publish her in Oyez. She found her true calling —poetry— as she experienced an ecstasy in the auditorium she had never life experienced in any cathedral. 258 . however." Mary. To the abject horror of the sisters at St. Then she at- tended the Berkeley Poetry Conference 1965 and heard readings by Robert Creeley. volume entitled Hymn Gentle Sun. Robert Duncan. Later. freer kind of poetry that really excited her and was met with She also praise from her sisters at St. Charles Olson. "I got involved when I hustled food from the convent to feed starving poets. an immediate with him. Rose and her new bohemian buddies. Rose. The was Martin Luther King television Jr. "and that's exactly happen overnight. some of whom were Diggers. Rose convent. She recorded the impact on her and her religious community happened!" It in the lighthearted poem. made two important felt friendships at this time. David recognized that Mary a rare gift for poetry and urged her at to act on it. She affinity met the young Beat poet introduced her to Robert David Meltzer and had Hawley.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Norbert. Sister Mary Norbert Korte's life changed completely on that day. no doubt with the memory of her grandfather's Sister cold hand and her childhood promise in mind. among many other poets and writers who moved her enormously.

She remembers how call Denise Levertov would sometimes on a particularly riotous night to make to sure the also young ex-nun was safe. became it clear to Sister Mary Norbert that her divine inspiration might be more pagan than befitting a nun of the Catholic Church. the riots in Berkeley were ing to really heat up. the convent and the Church and became Mary to write She moved to Berkeley and began to explore thrilled at her life beyond the walls of her order. liberalism. offering to "help in any way I can. Mary remembers it as greatest one of the moments of her in the life.The Writers: Mary Norbert Korte By 1968. 259 . newfound freedom and do as she pleased. Denise touched Mary when she wrote Thomas Merton on Mary's plaining how much trouble was in for her activism. she rented an apartment one block away from what was to become People's Park. and the outside world. to stay. one that didn't share her interests in poetry. she decided left would be hypocritical Korte. as luck start- would have it. At the time Mary moved out of the convent. behalf. her activism who gave her great encouragement in both her writing and — Denise Levertov. ex- the ex-nun Merton wrote back immediately. Knowing it that the concerns of the Church She were no longer her primary values. and. She realized that she lived in an extremely conservative community. She greatly enjoyed being same Sister Mary Norbert Korte with a younger member of the congregation. she made another important friend. At her new job as a secretary in the psychology department at the University of California." Denise nominated Mary Korte for a National Fall Endowment award in the of 1972.

She valley moved to the property in a remote and has lived there ever since.WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION and used the $500 anthology as Senator Eugene McCarthy and William Saroyan." the most extreme protest a tree. their language. It's a lot of fun." She has had four after her classes. a classified ad seeking a caretaker for 972. for a small as termination. She truly enjoys "teaching kids about poetry them and She getting them to write. their traditions. Like the may come to that. their dance. At this school. and the shorter Oxford English Dictionary. learning carpentry in order to add crude one-room cabin. she sees the old-growth forests of Pacific Northwest and the Amazon rain forests as the "lungs of the planet" and has on this increasingly written and handed out dozens of poems important issue. although "it which takes the form of chaining oneself to she comments. landlords and has since added a library and an where the Virgin Mary and Frida Kahlo stand side-by-side. their religion. which is part of a recovery program began after the government policy of forced assimilation. and six- teen-year-old students publish their own books also derives great satisfaction from her job at the reservation school. and she found another environmentalism. said can students are learning their own languages for the first many of it which were on the verge of extinction." Mary Korte supports project herself through teaching writing in the Poetry in the Schools at the college and by teaching on the Native American reservation near her and sharing your process with fifteen- home. she has participated in every way short of "lock-down. to Jr. Throwing herself into the Save the Redwoods movement. The move calling: redwoods affected Mary Korte deeply. Except for a seven-year period in which she lived with a man —another poet—Mary to the has lived alone in the ever-changing woods she has come to love. buy some food. take away their names. "Sinead O'Connor best: If you want to really oppress a people." 260 . north of Mendocino. Notes Mary. "Those woods are allowing me to stay there. known 1934 in which. In 1 a winter coat. Native Americans gave up their tribal status and their languages. A few years after moving. she bought the property from the absentee altar." many other environmentalists. Native Ameritime in sixty years. Mary Korte answered some land to the in northern California. that in California in sum.

Throwing Firecrackers Out the craft Window While the Ex- Husband Drives eration." connect with the people you're writing The writings included here represent the range to and movement of Mary Korte's writing. where she received a standing ovation for the reading of her wondrous epic. Like other poets believes it is who developed their during the Beat Gen- Mary Korte very important to "be there and read to the audience. such as Gertrude Stein. or for events such ing of the open- Mendocino Book Festival. as the and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. to By. showing her development from nun-poet "redwood mama" activist. Gerard Manley Hopkins. She writes every day and publishes beautiful broadsides of her special-occasion poems on holidays. Earth Day.The Writers: Mary Norbert Korte Mary Korte writers reads a lot in the quiet of her beautiful woods. for. EDDIE MAE THE COOK DREAMED SISTER MARY RAN OFF WITH ALLEN GINSBURG The halls dark long hard have survived survival enough the '06 to Quake where was measured by the sound of Mother Superior's Rosary Beads she dreamed the cook dreamed the other nuns dreamed impossible dreams of silver visions pelagic noises in the groaning night Dreaming was all a mission she could not as a place to see renounce night freedoms looming ahead sweet dragon like its like a a cross with circling tail 261 . including certain whom she reads over and over.

dream dreamed by the cook Rose Convent after Mary Norbert Korte attended the Berkeley Poetry Conference.) excerpt from THROWING FIRECRACKERS OUT THE WINDOW WHILE THE EX-HUSBAND DRIVES BY It is 50 years figuring out how to the to make it down to make it up end of the road the ridges & out on the mountains along the Eel brought from her Grandmother Mother Mother Courage women Sister she went to school with lived with prayed with settled affairs all the great for around midnight cramped bidden tables 50 years brought to a time of sunset noises and the time of 2 women walking in autumn apples talking of how quiet how quiet it is in a Redwood Forest quiet is how sometimes held fast in frozen river rocks and reeds 262 .— WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION She ran away in everybody's dreams calling out like a booming flame lines running running into the of bards &c lions lovers & birds running with her arms out wide into the bright (A true story about Sister a flapping really dark at the St.

The Writers: Mary Norbert Korte the furtive burrowing of birds singing in a frail winter sun quiet singing quiet TURNING 40 you could in to the IN WiLLITS see the path the wild oats disturbed with her dying she slid relaxed sun her ears moving through the wind Mary Norbert Korte after leaving the order. 263 .

22 and she ran away to die you run away to the city to get a boat why did you leave the Midwest too many friends (he said) he came to California the hillside down and the man who has too many friends in California runs to sea or the city it's all mixed up dies and who who dies running down a long slope in of peach grass with the fledgling hawk wheeling and complaining with the wind twining wild oats around your still still ears.WOMEN (we thought) it Of the BEAT GENERATION was a long path she sUd some body hit her with a . This year will be the winter spring the fall summer of our discontent the having shown its colors poisoned overfed bloated with names: oriented strand board late serai stage hearrwood 5000 year old redwood rhizomes ground down to disposable diapers managed forest clear cut to infinity well infinity is her dig it New Year 1995 264 .

We left He the Order same time.The Writers: Mary Norbert Korte POET REMEMBERING BILL EYERSON. Merton. pencilled neatly in the top (left-hand) corner. indeed. too — the late '60s. My God! How he had such one he showed raging patience. he. wrote them. martyrdom.S. And they had reason: a Church structure that didn't understand. his poems were read: "A Frost Lay White on California" the poem born in the very St. in the The a last years of a Bill's life were. life one of the was a great bears of my should be trapped within a body cruelly assaulted by Parkinson's Disease blow was a to the heart. That man of such passionate intensity. blessing. TS. miles down the 265 . Albert's Chapel where his friends bade him Godspeed. "The Poet is Dead" for Robinson Jeffers. Albert's College. Eliot. To be buried with all the bowing mystery of a Dominican Funeral is to get a grand good-bye indeed. Bill and I same time — the early '50s. but was appalled by the cranky persons who entered the Dominican Order at the St. and Brother Antoninus — Bill Everson's Vespers and Mass took their place in a long tradition of those "Birthdays into Heaven" read about daily martyrology. to the at the Convent at Dominican College. — Hopkins. That was the me in Draft #68. C. to the Priory at I. a horribly repressed era that looked upon books with pleasure. That he slipped away in his sleep And over his body. They brought him back home to be buried among his Brothers. found his place at Kingfisher Flat. He shared this with my great heroes: the Catholic poets of the century Thompson. Frances Lewis — they brooded with a howlingly intense stamina and glorious image.

We talked about that the last time visited with him. Well done. THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS AN EX-CATHOLIC (The Spotted Owl Scapulars relics & Chain Saw Scapular for Erni the heart contain Pardini) worn next of Martyrs Martyrs are those who have lived and died with Heroic Virtue Heroic Virtue is a condition to which we are increasingly called by the abuse of Technology Technology must be put place only one life in its proper all form among only those others who share this Planet will survive if All This Planet recognize a Common Mission is The Common Mission Mutual Respect 266 . well done. Bill.WOMEN Coast from Of the BEAT GENERATION my bench of land on the Noyo. But we each Hved with the Redwoods and the salmon streams that somehow — I don't know — the Order had made I us ready to find. he did. O. About people flying in the Face of God. And he's resting there now. Well.

The Writers: Mary Norbert Korte THE ROOM WITHIN this room within my self wants light I a flowing-in with flowers that take of you shot prisms and candles pierced through walls built of my fear-kept hands that now you bear to earth rich and quick at thrusting aside the vines long my door grown hanging about my careful house wherefrom that reasoned place hieroglyphs of passion as we would sing the pattern dance dancing ritual through the when we would go moving purpose would take apart people do with this room stone by stone and to set ourselves outdoors mate with the sun 267 .

WOMEN Off the BEAT GENERATION Janine Pommy Vega and Brenda Frazer at Allen Ginsberg's farm in Cherry Valley. New York. 268 .

feel that and a feeling of not fitting in anywhere during her teen The finally intensity of her connection with a place Ray Bremser made her she had found where she could later.Brenda Frazer Transformed Genius (1939) *'The women but it I knew best were imports show I like me and they may have been free spirits didn't at first. Rachel. my generation wanted women to accept roles instead of create them. the trio skipped town and to Mexico. Brenda remembers struggling with disorientation years. fit in. had been born prematurely. Washington D. Ray was on a narcotics charge and was Meanwhile their daughter. Born July 23. first of many transforma- tions Brenda Frazer would undergo 269 . brunette Brenda Frazer loved Ray Bremser passionately." — Brenda Frazer The poet-author.C. Ray introduced the nineteen-year-old Sweetbriar College student to the world of marijuana.' Like my mother. Shortly after Rachel was released from the hospital. They married jailed just after her high-school graduation in 1959. 1939. Some friends used to pick women that had jobs and allowances and made their lives comfortable still with such 'Angels. and heroin. Diane di Prima was the only one making her like own statements up that knew. moved Changing her name to Bonnie Bremser was the in her lifetime. Her parmother. psychedelic in middle-class shy. sHm. which cast an uncom- ents. Six months paroled soon after. Brenda attended Princeton High School.. Others I Hettie Jones were of Ray's jail competent but family and husband oriented as was. A hipster mushrooms. especially her fortable sadness over the household. were unhappy in their marriage.

his adored him. emaciated physique. and she devised a method by which compost and manure were used to manufacture methane. Bonnie life escaped Mexico and Ray. Five years at the border. presented in lawyer truth. Brenda worked. ratio- His actions inspired me to quit school and give thought to the shameful corrupting influence of capitalism. leaving Rachel in In 1969. ticles moved to Michigan. where she writes now works as a consultant for a lot Department of Agriculture. her Beat life far 270 . I was nineteen." Ray Bremser's was hard in penal/political history me Life Mexico. Brenda the U. brunette beauty gave later. even his eccentricities. way to bleached hair and a drug-wracked. where she regained her health and vigor. and justified my existence by typing poems. Soon her robust. Eventually. She embraced the agricultural sciences. they relied prostitution upon various means of financial support. identified with Fidel Castro. life. nale. which the farm was powered. poet olive drab fatigue jacket seer. she chronicled her Mexico In in her autobiography. earning several master's degrees. His patriotism. it Bonnie met Allen Ginsberg and moved to farm in upstate New York. upon eighties. All through the seventies and upstate Brenda stayed in New York.S." recalls Brenda. She tried hard to it make a go of Allen's farm —and very nearly pulled off Her friend Janine Pommy Vega spent some time with her at the farm and rememand experimented dili- bers Brenda as an absolute genius. To support their daughter and their drug habit as well as feed themselves. studied. having behind.WOMEN "I Of the BEAT GENERATION when a red married Ray Bremser. "He I I wore an and hooded sweatshirt to the ceremony. She and publishes of technical left ar- under a different name and only occasionally writes poetry. from Bonnie's (pimped by Ray) to panhandling. his New York City. including one in biochemistry. gently. The Beat movement provided me with began to involve a husband and a also. Inspired and rejuvenated by rural she saw in a lifestyle in harmony with back to its the earth that was capable of revolution- izing the culture by getting it roots. moved me. Troia: Mexican Memoirs. continuing her agricultural education and commitment to envi- ronmentally conscious farming. transforming the place into a model farm far in advance of its time.

" The Writers: Brenda Frazer Brenda Frazer's writing tells the story I of a woman in transformed. go away and come back to dangers. nor. a loss like it The shock is too great to face and to diffuse between half- watch her pack." Soft Bii-dwing Hat (1943) A child of four with violent I. who was once again still is Writing was a therapy I could was exciting then and is to give myself that freedom. is her traveling hat. Alone to be a live-in evolved my personal story. My I mother is a bird flying away. its I make her stay. eaten up by unknown The pact of soul closeness broken. It was a rebellion against jail. The moments is tick away too I fast and I cannot of I control their passing. She notes: "I defined myself when sat down to write. A world I I took for granted ending. at the turning point of gender." The pain I carry dead upon my brow beautiful in the eyes of 271 . a forties hairdo the birdwing swoops curving it up over her right eye. their netting fibrous in a mass soft roll of rounded shape. must arrange my life somehow It my needs. either. wonder my father can understand and help me through our future alone together. When she puts her hat on. find my daughters gone from the nest. mother and only this But I One night together put that from my mind for she has told me she is going and emotion "It is not enough! only. I have more faith in my creativity in the middle. High "up on the top shelf. But she gently brushes her hair getting ready for the necessary hold the birdwing hat of dead dreams against "I my cheek and if I'll then put it back in tissued hatbox nest. It my husband. I have time to enjoy her presence. This painful pact of leaving between mother and me. I wish that I had rattail nets to catch and flight. afford. neither. She has rattail and I know how she fixes because love to watch. to must be more satisfy careful my feelings if from now on. closed eyes as I dims my sight. She brushes the hair up over her beautiful brow forming a over the rattail. death and I'm afraid. my most immediate auI thority figure. She uses cushions from the store. the closet in the furnished room." I'll wonder be a mother and have girls to lose. Creativity is example for me. There no mentor or male muse now. lost children.

that's the way you in really are. belonged to Ray since the day met him Washington. and OBOY. nor know her name since then. excerpt from Troia: Mexican Memoirs First off is 1 want to I tell a few really important things about me.. but is I believe in distortion — I believe that if you get to a place where something taking shape and want badly to comprehend is the thing that you have created. in looking back. bridge the gap. . as a rule. what's important not the technique or lack of but those few minutes when you overcome the frustration. A person sitting next to me complains it of the food and the proprietor calmly throws leaves he pays for it. occurs to me that everything will be OK. . and leaves a tip for which the propri- 272 . me: I where to explain have a dirty mind. supposedly for yourself (Since everything fill personal anyway). come in. want to. because their existence adds to the thought that everything going to be OK. When I have no money I am able to desire vividly the things that money can buy. then any old thing to the gap will do and that is is the point where you it. because there will always be someone to help me the things that want. I I walk down the street and feel the thigh within It my get warmed by I the sun. the point where you don't see yourself anymore but you I are there. TX at 1 haven't seen or heard of her. even looking at a With bill dime I walk into a restaurant and take I long time over a cup of coffee and am pleased to see people buying things that don't have the money to buy.. I know that continuity necessary. that the basis of my heart and all life before that can only be explained this way: that my knew that Ray this was on is his I way want to me. and do my best up to a point. I look at them and a am pleased at their availability. I if you will excuse my is banality. in the garbage and when the man though he is not asked to. and a green passing hands is especially beautiful to me. and hold some- thing incredibly beautiful to you. I like the people is who help me. My raincoat mind is on my needs.WOMEN Posrnote: Off the BEAT GENERATION for My daughter Rachel a year old. My heart has a mind of its own — and speaking of minds. Here is the way I really am: HAVE GOT PLENTY OF NOTHING. I Bremser (1960) was given up adoption in Fort Worth. money pleases me. My heart life. like to think of other people helping me.

maroon buses. something similar? And it all was so extremely personal. the itself is a reality 1 dream which grows upon I had not expected to encounter. — the afternoon sun wile away thus with my dirty [She and Ray head to Mexico] Once across.. where we were to find our refuge. to be able or at least not crying (and that was a feat to satisfy I didn't often succeed in). I etor thanks him. Transportes Del Norte.M. My nakedness is anticipated much more dream is in dreams than my eyes can I ever plan for it in covering. those things.The Writers: Brenda Frazer them both admirable. decide that will go without money more often to lilting enjoy this feeling: the anticipation of confidence. nothing to complain of in these first class accommodations. am pleased at my lack of clothing. I find Walking by a wholesale jewelry store am I called into a dream by the I fairy tale beauty of diamond bracelets. 2 A.. we were quickly tired of Matamoros and purchased tickets to Mexico City.. Each of left in us was just clinging as well as possible to what shreds of strength were the confidential self The bus really I Mexico City. trying to groove under the circumstances —and hills. I am constantly with the baby on my lap. the frustration of not being a very good mother — trying to groove. The ideal covering for my body sunI and in sunlight I will be admired (foremost by myself) mind. in spite of it have impressions of dark shrouded nights of passage through the of an oasis of light in a restaurant stop. afraid would not be able to keep Rachel healthy. hesitate to describe. I have not had to experience up to this point was a very lonely we were not ride to helping each other too much now. Ray —what was happening much chance really in his head. had I already exchanged one fear for another? Had the cold damp night of Matamoros put another chill into my heart? Was my fear at this I time all composed of not being and not able to handle external circumstances. broken hearted at every spell of crying. we had enough money to get safely to Mexico City from where we were somehow to get safely to Veracruz. full of this. this service of responsibility. the I moment I passes but leaves impression of a completed sensual experience. and the means to the is a whole other dimension light. with everyone sitting around the narrow lighted 273 . nothing think of the people could have buy its me more than that... that the failure of it and maybe the success thing. and moreover.

Encinal. it will flat machine showthe sky room with its economic splendor surveying the grow on. with fried beans and this was This meal in itself would come those eggs I to be one of the to great Mexican how many places have we had it I came remember with to great pleasure. lonely your reality here in in Matamoros. save the mesquite bushes. Leaving town on the bus. a vision of good first service. near the beer cans clatter in the dusty road afternoon no sunlight but the approaching lowering clouds of a thunderstorm spreading out over the sky into gray vastness of a depressing standstill underneath any tree. and nothing looks back. and disapproves. Teresa.WOMEN room Of the BEAT GENERATION fifty — with a sense of it being the only hghted room for first miles around — eating eggs Mexican style for the time. eggs. I can now was not language that caused the Somehow the fear was cumu- the desire growing as the inability increased. a house may take any shape or position within a block and weeds of menacing aspect care little for the store it on the corner so drawn into stature its cache of paper candies and orange soda signs has shrunk to the of a poverty-struck doll house — the incredible ironies of Mexico — the wild- flung filth of Matamoros. same streets spread mathematically correct city layout but sidewalks disappear and houses midst of a block shacked upwards from a bro- ken down fence entryway by eroded paths. it know how to ask for an egg in Spanish an though probably now the lostness of not being able to just the make myself understood. Pass Sta. a mangy dog chases a couple of not promising cows across a landscape you would not expect to carry even that vision of life. 274 Tres Palos. Look across to the Gulf. but then. where after- noon these bistek eaters and shoe-shine boys eye each other from outward into the rise in still across the unpaved streets. the streets which carry through the center of town growing impor- tance to the four central parallels which cut out the square of the plaza. trip — maroon bus broken-down — The bridge awaits us beside the low immigration building. Transportes Del Norte carries on. The sun . sixty people burning up the dust on the stretch of the roads which do shines indeed all lead to Mexico City —San Fernando. a cafe faces east on the land. fear. a sort Ray got his huevos rancheros and me eggs scrambled of prelude to our Mexican treats. at that time. mud hole crossroads fifty yards wide of rutting and industry —some International Harvester or reaping city. was fear and anxiety not even exaggerate see that lative. much Seen from the air. trip.

let's don't get personal about at this late hour —had we done so earlier. and we don't know yet that nothing waits but the full-of-love fashion bottom waiting to be scraped in our own whimsical and and quick leg —damn — got to get there the crying and wet diapers and laps full of Gerbers on the bus. to see the roads go. on the wheeling whispering pavement. let's passing through. at the we arrive in Mexico City and the bus leaves us off at ADO and not Transportes Del Norte bus terminal. get over. rushing downward. the driver mutters incoherent names over the sleeping passageway. when I am sure at least of one person as under- standing as of my own faults it and maybe as proud of our achievements. the bus careens as we shoot through Actopan. come driver another and final turning point at Pachuca. Ciudad Monte. the solid surety of modern in A road which grows out of weak secrecy into the plain to Abasolo where another almost not where all to be seen road. Guemez. passing the roads start to swing in the night the bus driver picks up on lack of sleep. look out and God drops from his hand the myriad flat and constellations I have never seen before. In all level. Santandar Jimeniz. We lights seen across a valley. seeking our get there. herald Indian feathers. not realizing I more than 3 hours of stars approach to Mexico City. but goes get us there —we want and quick. plumb to the horizon landed out beneath the giant horoscopic screen of Mexican heaven. Why do I I hold back and hide. goes nowhere. even in exile. of these places it we stop. Jacala. chicken salad cramps and not much to view — Padilla. We take our first curves into the —Tamazunchale. since then.. of Victoria. The announces the it is last lap and everyone stirs and gets excited at the news. tempestuous to natures would have wracked to the lowest hill what now begins seem almost a peaceful Arcadia we retire to. turn East in the night approaching Ixmiquilipan. answers hills. we do not know yet highway dotting that from here dots one of those "almost" roads perpendicular to the route of travelling civilization.. Oh yes. Two o'clock en la mafiana. Ciudad sandwiches and the unknown feeling of a waterfall. pencil marks on maps of future excitement. non-stop Valles. now.. slowly dying. but this first trip just get us there where we are going. In a swelter of homeless don't recognize there are appearing people whom we many who are waiting for the 275 .The Writers: Brenda Frazer change the baby's diaper and we have briefly as I a cup of coffee and head back to the bus.

no doubt working the next believes. ooyboy. is maybe even no peace is want to flake. bus you are game. in pieces. our records. this is we enter. as usual. finally man who taps I you on your waiting-for-hours shoulder. more food for the fiill on top of all the rest. to politely. the truth. strange this for us. We live in ramshackle houses where we can and love it for us. but that more roUercoaster P was not for at home. soul of food in We turn on. unmoving.K. lonely. and either end of it. am your child. somehow must pay four and even surprisingly we find out this rides is not just tourist graft and that the taxi in Mexico one of the cheapest ride. morning with the sun full I climb the overhanging life. baby a little jiggle for joy. In Hoboken we live in houses of the renovated artist type. window. even in a strange put it country. as all day. our soon-to-be compadres of doubtful reckonings on Mexico City taxi meters. ahh. and ready for the new day to dawn with everything O. asleep. We walked we have looking for a place to have coffee and get warm. in spite of but P knows and groovy poets who dig us. P give the comes is it. all Mexico.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION will eventually morning bus perhaps. if anywhere is with privacy like a king. Ray Charles. his blond stage-managing wife. alone. — modern apartment glad. remember in now five the opposite trip for me later when I flew from Mexico City to I Washington hours and was dizzy for days afterward. and maybe it better. alone of the meaning of death. do indeed at this point display our chevrons and for once they are appreciated. relief. the passenger When more is the meter registers two pesos. But there soul for our bodies. 1 buildings whafor? But I am tolerant for once. L. Mexico. We all Mexico were there at that first meeting. baby. unbelieving slowly. your sun crashes shame. I though we travel light the burdens of 300 miles in our heads. cheapest except for the thrills. this —and now make the trip in hills my head. in bed our cataclysmic arrival. I was cold. Taxi drivers. Change of the Century. We had met P in our 276 . but we were used to that. and though they look disreputable something be brought out of their packs to rons at that point I make them proud to — like us. shameless Mexico. and you have my child as the token. our chev- guess. no one otherwise could. caldo eaters of the night. a couple of hours of peace. an imposing building. Five flights up. P. on our way tired make the scene at P's and it couldn't be too soon for me. Like the to the I me in the head obliterating all bodily care. of Acapulco.

and nothing wrong with that I I guess. we have never had more than one or two disagreements with them. believe invited us to Mexico. which has been administered Melchior Ocampo in the morning light is not half so scary and ice we all retire to the nearby hip food stand and eat hamburgers and apple pie with is cream and coffee. no mistake. run for your what felt all along. N was there. who had matter. to his room will in the B Hotel and. the of the absconders. whereby we would have had double strength of truth on our all but what does that visions of trial and parole past. definitive. He took us reefer. Sweet maria juana — lotus blossom am entitled to call you now. jive N. and a frenzy to get straight then it was and quick.The Writers: Brenda Frazer marriage year. and therefore we love him. and that purely external. that first is P believe. to the illusion I of everything being beautiful. having just aired our souls on the Mojave Desert. although it always was ahead of me in that respect. when there I no hope. and do respect.four hours more while it is decided for me that I will travel to Veracruz by bus with N and the baby. being thoroughly member of the club. no remorse. 1 you in your own personal cause of I it all. Salvage what you can. in fact leaves He me I He decided to stay in Mexico City for twenty. poetry that cannot to hit still. A few things stay close to our hearts. as I say. yes. arriving in San Francisco on foot. say for instance once or twice not having the mini- mum of survival and therefore having to do without. in lieu of staying to testify at Ray's side. the closing. Ah bitter. 277 . Ray was perhaps responding behind. my did will never put you down. and only then. baby. have we not achieved our escape. length thick (this an arms amount costing than a dollar is likely to shack you up until you decide to buy again). a happy to have habit thing with no pain. It one of those great pot feasts that are always for all time remembered like some memorial along the road of our beautiful experiences. I God praise marijuana. no sickness in —although we for contact some people Mexico who were profound expostulants of LOCOS who had was more a way of bragging that the pot you buy less smoked too much. trial. the whole Mexico crew. have in the waste we not disembarked from prove this is it's it all and many mornings together is of a life will life. around the ears like a bad drug taking hold involuntarily. handing us one enormous fail proceeded to read stuff that knock you out.

did indeed entice his hand and the mistaken blue where it not to survive should have by any standards stayed away from. I could have — I could only do more than grab is at a passing branch over my head. Veracruz beyond is the sugar fields. the Paso Doble of passionate worth dissembles dance. some altar on this Easternmost coast. the woman on the corner shakes her wet clothes into a floating heap on some not all so precious patch of grass.by. all other meaning of life and we we all dance. knowing what to fall for the time forever. the resulting social shock. gelatinas yelled rises. Oh Cordoba. Veracruzano's Negroes. but dance 278 . the DA knows not what a cold in about to hit him. the screech- ing terror of speed of everything falling out from underneath you — the recurring dream of bridges falling and falling away from beneath your very feet into it is rushing water. it is unimportant. but last more than that.WOMEN was not about Of the BEAT GENERATION maidenly burdened. my seductive powers on N. the FBI thinks that yet we are maybe laid up with Hoboken. the sun Veracruz rises rises. through the streets. sul is The America Con- not informed. but the trouble with that everything up until now has taken place fast on the go. decide to try this episode. my lonely pleasure. abide the sacrifice. not I alone. Mexico. And we are already doing the dance. I set down in Veracruz. the baby on my I lap.baby responsibility at to accept with grace I my this particular time. — midway between holding I on the eight the night quickly sets in and jeans. we arrive in got in If me zipping up alone. this the dance of the sun have fallen into and knowing my own heart also at least dance. the morning of Mexico. hour bus guess. we arrive there escorted into taxi cab jive and Veracruz barely registers our arrival. the plaza dances. dancing dancing. — it I that Ray had already But go set his eye on something that didn't include be —my perceptions were not sharp) and I my survival reflexes were the baby working overtime. me and is the little me. the I streetcar certainly dances. Rachel. should have put my foot down instead of being shuffled be- cause see what since it did in rebellion (sure! almost sure! suspecting something really wrong Matamoros me —what could trip. the palms again. had known any restroom by my own mechanics damn N.

the novelist Aben Kandel.Lenore Kandel Word Alchemist (1932"I will ) always remember. City in Conquest. she moved to San Francisco and met Beat poet a co-op started Lew Welch at East- West House. Lenore Born in New York City in moved with her family that same year to got a movie deal for his Los Angeles. naked from the waist down and chewing on laneous mutts a hot dog (horrific to my macrobiotic mind). "everyreligions. age about two. father.being met at the airport by the most downtrodI den pickup truck had ever seen. Buddhist and started writ- By ing. driven by Lenore Kandel. as — mostly canine — shared the back of the truck with My infant refused to stop screaming. when her novel. the collection of poetry schools in the Bay Area pulled together by Robert Duncan in community after the fall of Black Mountain College in North 279 . Lenore Kandel's poetry attempts to bridge the chasm between and the sexual. fifteen years the film starred Jimmy Cagney." In 1959. she thing could get my hands on." we drove into town. — Bold the sacred a celebration Diane di Prima and beautiful. become a A minor classic. In 1960. by Gary Snyder and other Zen students. Miscelus. Re- plete withTantric symbolism. 1932. Lenore had decided to She spent the next I going to school and reading voraciously. between religion and the eroticism of the body. whilst a Digger in moppet. particularly about world began sitting zazen in New York and had three short collections of her poetry pub- lished. Lew Welch was on his efforts to create the scene in the early part of the San Francisco Renaissance. stood beside her the cab. the age of twelve. her works reflect her Buddhist influence as well as of the corporeal.

she met other women of the Beat such was with Diane "I Carolyn Cassady and Joanne Kyger. Lenore recalls how I she ended up in San Francisco. "I'd been meaning to come to San Francisco. Lawrence Ferlinghetti." During these forays. in Berkeley. knew the Beat was better friends with them. 1 met Lew and went to Big the people in that whole trip and when Jack came into town. reader. we as all Sur. the Diggers.WOMEN Carolina.West House and studied with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. 1978." lived at the East. they both joined the political group. October I. scene. Of the BEAT GENERATION Lew was intertwined in the mesh of the Beat and Black Mountain College poetry. and all decided to come here for a weekend and I stayed. but her closest friendship di Prima. California. 280 . They took my poetry seriously." An "omnivorous Lenore was very familiar with Jack Kerouac's work and Lenore Kandel at the Tribal Stomp. but refused to align with any one school of He was friends with Jack Kerouac. and fellow Buddhist scholar Gary Snyder. whom she men She met a lot when better.

. her many of the other it work provoked calls controversy. Hells Angel William Fritsch. Lenore Kandel is a word alchemist. . yet she carried a distinctly female aura.. including religion. The Love Book." Although Lenore has been incapacitated since 1970 from with her then-husband. still a motorcycle accident reads voraciously on all and writes daily. but also intelligent. they gotta fluidity Kenneth Rexroth once praised the which he saw as delineating the and sharp paradoxes of the body and soul. 281 . writing provocative poems that in- tend to stir the heart as well as the mind. knows everything. As evidenced by the following selections true ofher beautiftd and controversial poetry. giving shape to the ineffable. well read. her most notorious collection of what she the holy erotica. a Zen student. was impressed by her intensity and in his intellect as well as her physical stature. "It's important to be a speaker of truth. the chapbook was deemed pornoit When challenged in court. San Francisco. both old and new." Beats. . is mean with taller big tall and big (but Mae West big).The Writers: Lenore Kandel was especially fond of Ow the Road.. sent shock waves throughout Bay Area when was published in in 1965. Disregarding convention. be true. especially if you put your words out there." striking austerity of her words." She was indeed and larger than Lew. It would be Big Sur that he would I immortalize Lenore as "a big Rumanian monster beauty of some kind purple eyes and very writes poetry. He too. After police raids on the Psychedelic Shop and City Lights bookstore graphic and obscene. Lenore defended as a "rwenty- three-year search for an appropriate belief that sexual acts way to worship" and an attempt to "express her between loving persons are religious acts. Her strong Buddhist influences mold emo- tions into stanzas. and she found him to be inspiring to her own work. tall. His poetic style piqued her interest. she delves into the essence of being. described in by Carolyn Cassady Off the Road as Like a "Fertility Goddess. she subjects.

WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION ENLIGHTENMENT POEM we have all been brothers. even now . . nor guilt we watched as stars we were as crystalline as snow and melted gently into newer forms spun round our heads learned betrayal we had not our selves were pearls irritants transmuted into luster carelessly and offered our pearls became more precious and our sexes mutability grew a shell. concepts. for new . hermaphroditic as oysters bestowing our pearls carelessly no one yet had invented ownership nor time the seasons pass. we invented alarm clocks loyalty . making a feint at communion infinite perceptions I remember all we have and been brothers carelessly offer SMALL PRAYER FOR FALLING ANGELS too many of my friends are junkies too many of my psychic kin tattoo invisible themselves revelations on little signing their manifestoes to etheric consciousness with 282 . static we devised different languages new words Fences still . .

their eyes burn with the pain of fire. in a voice of glaciers. their blood sings death to them. remember the giving of life death Kali-Ma. Kali-Mother too many of my it friends are running out of blood. their bones are growing light. singing own death chant in a voice of fire... is for enlightenment and not Kali-Ma. their veins are collapsing. that they relax their hands nor try to stop the flowing too movement of the now of my friends have fallen into the many they white heat of the only flame may fly higher. help them to fly Kali-Ma. help them that they see with clear sight Kali-Ma. takes them half an hour to get a hit its their blood whispers through their bodies.The Writers: Lenore Kandel hoofprint scars stretching from fingertip to fingertip a gory religiosity akin to Kali's sacred necklace of fifty human heads Kali-Ma.. as well as the giving of Kali-Ma. may there be no end to flight 283 . Kali-Ma. Kali-Mother. remind them of life that they be born once more that they slide bloody through the gates of yes.. remember the desire oblivion Kali-Ma. in a voice of sand that blows forever over emptiness Kali-Ma.

my palms. WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION GOD/LOVE POEM there are I no ways of love but/beautiful/ you / love all of them in I love you your cock a bird my hand stirs like in as my you fingers swell and grow hard fingers in my hand forcing my open you are beautiful with your rigid strength you you I are beautiful are a / hundred times beautiful stroke you with my loving hands pink-nailed long fingers I caress you I adore you finger-tips. your cock and throbs my hands it a revelation as Aphrodite knew there / I was a time can recall when gods were purer nights among the honeysuckle entire/ our juices sweeter than honey /we were the temple and the god I am naked I against you slowly and I put my mouth on you kiss have longing to you and my tongue makes worship on you you are beautiful your body moves to flesh to flesh me skin sliding over golden skin 284 . rises / .. in . my .

love touches love the temple and the god are one 285 ..The Writers: Lenore Kandel mine as to yours my mouth my tongue my belly and my legs against your sliding.. love our bodies move and join unbearably your face above is me the face of all the gods and beautiful demons your eyes... my hands mouth your sliding.

WOMEN Off the BEAT GENERATION Anne Waldman 286 .

" Her mother. had lived in Greece where she knew Isadora Duncan. is is her voice a trembling flame rising out of a strong body. powerful reader of her own work. As an adolescent roaming the Village's 287 . Both her parents which Anne was raised were profound influences a poet. formerly married the son of the Greek poet Anghelos Sikelianos she translated). A proUfic writer." — ^Allen Ginsberg in 1945. performing regularly until she was fourteen. was. Her father. and the bohemian/artistic setting in among other "exile" artists. literate. Anne's mother was playing the role Spirit of Heroin in an off-off-Broadway produc- tion of William Burroughs' Naked Lunch. she has interest in poetry. a soldier during the Second World War. Anne joined the Greenwich Village Children's Theatre. the heart of the New York alternative artistic scene. former to bohemian piano player and a frustrated novelist. her body ) Woman an instrument for vocalization. on her development as a woman and of the Close to the end of her life. Anne Waldman's youth was anything but conventional.Anne Waldman Fast Speaking (1945"Anne Waldman a poet orator. The family lived in Greenwich Village. (whom a "sensitive. Born influence on the poetry world has been is Anne Waldman a relative latecomer to the Beat scene. an editor of numerous magazines and anthologies over the years. and director of both the Seminal Poetry Project in New York and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics been instrumental in creating renewed at the Naropa Institute in Boulder. but her significant. in the fifties At age six. in Anne's own words. her texts the accurate energetic fine notations of words v^ith spoken music latent in mindful arrangement on the page.

"I certainly felt empowered by of consciousness that were taking place in the '60s others. At sixteen. a 288 . Black Mountain. which was developing along "expansive chant-like structures" influenced travels in by jazz. Brenda very involved with the so-called before his death. she Frazer. while working with the American Shakespeare cian David Festival. She became part of what she terms Beat. Philip and Robert Duncan. and Barbara Hernstein first was during period that she traveled abroad. —with Allen Ginsberg later. a romantic figure of her early imagination." unique creative generation. Michael McClure." and lineages "that ethnopoetics — combined to foster a generation that . to Greece and Egypt. Thus began a steady stream of friendships Whalen. (At age eighteen she had later met the Mongolian lama Geshe Wangyal and was to spend time in Nepal with Tibetan lama Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche." also as a result of the freedoms and explorations espoused by the Beats and As a student at Bennington College. the San Francisco Renaissance. Of the BEAT GENERATION who then seemed to epito- she recalls seeing Gregory Corso. It Hyman.) She identified strongly with "the expansive visionary thrust of Ginsberg as poet-ambassador" and started to see herself clearly defined as "key player/persona in a hybrid outrider tradition influenced by the so-called New York School. Anne's serious interest in Buddhism and subsequent Asia also established a solid link to her Beat elders. who was studying Buddhism and occult religions while writing poems and plays and raising her first child. Smith. Joanne Kyger. (she lived on his farm in Cherry Valley for a time in the seventies). In 1967.. would continue mag- many of the experiments and nificent epiphanies. met Gary Snyder and William Burroughs. mize the poet matidit. Waldman Stanley Edgar this came under the influence of Howard Nemerov. and a year later was introduced to Diane di Prima.WOMEN bohemian-charged streets. noting. a second generation Beyond her own early writing. she met composer and jazz musi- Amram. Lew Welch. She also was New "a York School of Poets and met Frank O'Hara in 1968." thinking of its forebears a continuation of those Anne credits shifts the "freedoms espoused by the Beat Movement" as important springthe early boards for the women's movement. Bernard Malamud..

The '50s were a conservative time was difficult for artistic 'bohemian' their women to live outside the norm." After attending the Berkeley Poetry Festival in 1965. subsequent books have incuded Makeup lovis on Empty Space. where she heard the works of Charles Olson. becoming and No its director in 1968. saw herself published in City Magazine. what became the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Ferlinghetti published Fast Speaking Buddhist-inspired Naropa Institute in Boulder. It is an added pressure for women because they are often not bias. In 1974. . where she produced work for poetry and plays for Riverside Radio. later. The World) and went to The Poetr)' Project at St. she returned to New York. Skin Meat Bones. There's a subtle psychological discrimination that goes on. Colorado. she was invited along with Allen Ginsberg to help found Poetics at the experimental. But male writers of this literary generation were not entirely blame. Ted Berrigan. I taken seriously and have to push against a certain over-achiever for this reason. Killer Cure.The Writers: Anne Waldman and traveling within vivid journey that "ignited a life-long fascination with studying other cultures. Anne. and others. it was the ignorance of a whole culture. think I became an [However. started to appear. Books I and her "all encompassing exploratory collage/argument with male energy.] I came later into the beat nexus (1970s) and did not experidid." On I being a woman writer she has this to say: pushed myself hard and fought was blatantly (at first) for having a life and career as a writer in a sacrifices. or were driven to suicide. field that dominated by men. Her own books soon Hassles. That same year Lawrence Woman. You make were/are not used to strong Relationships suffer because men women with purpose and discipline. and the ongoing epic II. Ed Dorn. co-founded v4«^f////z/r magazine (and. Many talented women to perished. a transvestite litera- 289 . . including Giant Night. Marks Church-in-the-Bowery. Often they were incarcerated by families. ence the same frustrations as some of the maverick women and it . who has consistently sought "a hermaphroditic literature. Baby Breakdown. Lenore Kandel.

travelled with them with equal billing as a poet. I97S. Anne Waldman teaching at the lack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute. and have never felt an ounce of condescension. support. hung out with them.WOMEN ture. 290 . " couragement. Of the BEAT GENERATION has always found en- and finally a poetics of transformation beyond gender. worked with them. and inspiration from her male mentors and contemporaries: I was treated extremely well by male literary "elders." 1 have studied and absorbed and benefited by the wisdom of their own writing and activity in 1 the world. This friendship and support has been a real blessing.

staccato impulses to the world woman stirring the soup The woman who makes circles I'm the pot with her arm stirring. singing this song about the Woman-Who-Does-Things many actions complete themselves & repeat 291 .The Writers: Anne Waldman excerpt from FAST SPEAKING I'm the WOMAN of woman never made a fool woman who hides her heart woman hidden in long sleeves sleeves of green & gold with the deer I'm the woman shelved one night while he beds I'm the down woman wandering the forest tilt moon full moon lights up a honey eye half moon he returns I'm the woman waiting The woman counting moments A moment never existed & he walks in I'm the woman who scribes this text long after the animals lie down stick Chopping wood Stoking the fire outside the retreat hut with my little A candle I I lit to light a teacher's face learn by books learn by singing chant of one hundred syllables messages to the world I I recite the write down my carries The wind them invisibly.

arrows to my heart Pierce me as I sleep I'm the I'm the night woman woman your lover I'm the terrible-night I travel to steal to steal your food. to take your words I'm the day I'm the I'm the woman doll woman dew woman Day woman mends Doll & organizes touch woman sits & stares Dew woman is moist to the I'm the Amogasiddhi I'm activity I I woman demon him walk away wait for Busy woman to light up the day! Don't touch me I'm hurrying hurrying 292 . woman-who-signifies Ught the sit fire I I hke a Buddha feed the animals outside the door I blow out the lamp woman travelling inside her head I'm the woman on the straw mat I bewitch the stars to my heart points of light.WOMEN she does this I'm the Of the BEAT GENERATION woman who does these things many I I actions carry words say them.

who took a sponge bath the water was cold another I'm I'm I woman soaped my back the woman slept upright in a cave the woman over the next peak on the Peak to Peak a hundred years learned to drive Highway 293 . 1978. hold back I'm the woman shouting "Hold" the street I'm running down now shout: "Hold.— The Writers: Anne Waldman of day he doesn't exist the next block a proletarian urge I fierce light mayhem on & old tones deep from his gut shut ears to hold back. hold" & old tones hold back ears sharp lobes hold tainted I'll strap pathos to this back that love comes loved ecto-morgue & ties on craving I & passion loved but face die! die! I'm the woman who A woman who turn it lost around woman in charge the woman who never succumbed woman off the couch woman up and about I'm the organizing woman I'm the I'll put this place under my spell I'm the woman who drives the woman who drove to Siliguri I'm the woman who walked to Nepal I took a train to rest my weary limbs I'm the one Anne Waldman at CBGB"s in New York City.

294 . took a plane to my nerves I rode a boat for expediency's sake I'm the chopping the wood woman woman with the axe I'm the trailblazer I I clear the woods take out my own mind TWO HEARTS after Sir Philip Sidney She's got It I my heart and we fell I've got hers was fair. in love hold hers precious and mine she would miss like this There never was anything Her heart in my brain for it keeps us one My heart She loves I I in her guides thoughts and feelings my heart once it was hers love hers because lived in it me once wounded then her. was misunderstanding her hurt did And For my heart hurt for her heart sit as from So I felt me on her still in me her hurt hurt.WOMEN all I Of the BEAT GENERATION my signals intact provided fresh fuel to the hikers Fed children from I I I rode the crest my milky breasts of my own wave books not calm thirsted for books. it Both of us hurt simultaneously and then we saw how We're stuck with each other's hearts now.

it. or a woman startled me by her look of indecision near the empty stadium 295 . free of constant irritation. many religious people. Frank?) To make the energies dance etc. Was that it? Ominous too days. over I cooler duller? grown want in to be free of poetry's ornaments. its duty. Hearing the sad horns fragile evocations of female stuff last The 3 were tones (the most resonant) like call warnings. haiku —muezzins at dawn The came is in the afternoon "Frank. Street shiny with hallucinatory light on sad dogs. My coat a cape of horrors I'd walk through town or impending earthquake.The Writers: Anne Waldman A PHONECALL FROM FRANK O'HARA "That I all these dyings may be life in death" was living in San Francisco in My heart was It Manhattan no reference point at night. that really you?" I'd awake chilled at dawn like in the wooden house on the stoop an old ship Stay bundled through the day sitting I to catch the sun lived near the park whose deep green life my shoulder made Was my spirit faltering. me what was grander reason for being? Do it. made no sense. why? (Why.

quoting a metaphysician know the secret. how to Gary Snyder and Anne Waldman at a poetry reading.WOMEN 1 Of the BEAT GENERATION walked back spooked by darkness called to say yet? my own Then Frank "What? Not done complaining Can't you smell the eucalyptus. 296 . have you never neared the Pacific? 'While frank and free /call for musick while your veins "Don't you swell'" he sang.

It doesn't want Do you want to be?" He was warning to his song "Of course I don't have to put up with as much as you do these days. my body. the architecture. it the talk. the with lovers. After all was in love with breath and I loved embracing those others. phone dialing hand now Manhattan 297 . I wondered or did I think it up in the in middle of this long day. "Always?" wanting "But to believe him "Yes." He sighed I'd & laughed He wasn't quite as remembered him Not less generous. don't is I you phenomena this? much more I important than always love that. but that does. You know." cried. ""But say more! it's How can to be you it! if sad & dead?" that's just If! It isn't. is was the life! And I dying such an insult. But 1 do miss the color. These ^^^rj.The Writers: Anne Waldman wake up and so see you don't see exist. but more abstract Did he even have a voice now.

she founded a poetics school on the spine tain continent with a close poet friend. a game skull Something about Everyone looks into & bones. to honor & measure her & work against She visits her father. to be read aloud.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION XYIII "I AM THE GUARD!" of the Rocky Mounthe Some years ago Kerouac. black white logo writ And gainst astro turf. is invited to participate in a reading honoring his work at the local "October in the railroad earth. years later university. & " She writes these words. yes. Are these not masters? Her presumption is boundless. then the players start ejaculating into the Just like the beer commercials. The school carries name ofJack They both agree that the angelic writer had realized the First Noble Truth of Suffering & composed his mind elegantly & spontaneously on the He also entered the American culture. thetically. The political climate depressing. his. which caress pitch she wants to set The challenge of the elder poet-men is their emotional her own higher than. air a bowl. a black one. a 298 . many She ofien heard his sounds in her head. She likes to travel back in time. whole lines even. "Stop the murder and the suicide! All's well! I am the Guard" —Jack Kerouac You are fun you are god you are "far-out-like-a-light" Raiders. shopping for just the right male dolls. not always sympa- tongue to the page. is who speaks darkly from the corner ofhis room. Could be London. life Her poem sees no end in sight ifshe continues theirs.

the fucking. May Tvastr fashion the forms. what it's 299 . One Christian doll. perhaps a Pope. eh? caught (he did) a cold from the sun upside-down language ulatbamsi Bre-hack! Brop? Of the cloud-mopped and turn this lady afternoon upside down dyuar aham. May Prajapati cause the seed to flow. May Dhatr place the seed within thee Let the marriage begin Let the fucking begin to people our numbers what it's about. prthivi tvam May Vishnu prepare the womb. Jambhala for wealth the razor in-cut of void meat Buddha Dear Jack Kerouac who'd rather die than be famous who ran away from college in 1941 into Memorial cello time & spilt his gut 50 pesos Aztec blues A vast I cavern. They will coexist on my little shelf And another comes in gold.The Writers: Anne Waldman white one too. The other one is one of the 3 kings from Orient R.

to a form. worry about fucking & we are dying in which is it. inside the form happy illusion's mind bog anyhoop but you can go (go now! go now! in spite ofyr blakity blakity brain) But keep me.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION about to become. of it. whatever-your-name-is-deiry a terrible form A "krodha-murti" Keep me for I I terrible curse the day wed I the poets for I have sinned have slept in the arms of another "husband" I have advocated revolution in the marketplace I have looked in the face of Fidel Castro ("only the laboring man adds anything to society") & wept but see how he his "grey beard is lost in & fuzzy thought" Fidel now 300 .

The Writers: Anne Waldman I am old (the father is speaking &: now now of Kerouac his indulgent-boy word run. Kant. fully clothed. ) she goes to pull the light in / have nothing to live for No direction No direction Came here to go to die I am waiting to die rd rather die than be famous it this I never thought I would live long Cry for the leaves to cover me come come over me has accomplished his children who Don't break your tenderness When Same the wind blows you feel it . to sometimes hard keep company with. Lenin to & the Communist Party meetings I went had no connection 301 to reality . lying on his bed of thorns.. my father Room shuttered. you feel it Ifelt once for the oppressed of the ivorld & studied Marx. for the country. . slowly. . Hegel.

come live with me Take it this love from your father comes through a wizened boy body I understand how beings in their time endure unbearable suffering why me an old man listen to 302 . me you too although you are super o logistic!woman Vishnu pervades you all through the night &c day comes & he What are the is still your maker & destroyer marks of existence where they Empty of themselves? Put away habit. Depression drives Ninety devils me down jokin' with me I'm not quite clinical But we are similar in our thinking &C he.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION You see how it changes? Creatures of light! That's h's what we are & leaves all happening in snow But I shudder what's been buried in the grave? Dust.

The Writers: Anne Waldman call it to action Where were you when the along with the 6. an obsolete man day Hundreds of trees falling every We throw away our last ancient forest for Happy Meal boxes. . last Ancient Forests were being destroyed. You could say we swim Lay it all live in a life vest mentality for life that. called 000 species which them home? Old-growth forest dies with me. . be bobby be buddy How optative? go Sutter's home (his gold) going my way a life fnarriage had a war was a in the war age or ache in breast life it woke me up a long time in a long time was always war dear Jack: not-of-war reflected in that mirror & when you returned 303 life was sweet .

captain Kerouac or husband needing him most by his words (forget the deeds here) Operation a Just Cause to weep is a cutting of deals 1. away Father. a cutting day of deals 304 . at war & how in marriage I call him. would proud to die proud to enter her womb with renewed optimism & thinking of all the ways to die to die at war to die fighting the way he looks at home.000 Panamanians dead is a cutter of deals billion & 72 property is damage a cutting of deals & 23 servicemen dead of the US of A a "federal posse" intervenes of a necessary day December 20. 1989.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION heart of breast swell up.

get it? O cutter of deals all money lauder drive the blame or drug traffic doubles & lights go out for Miami's bulletin in a cutting of deals narco kleptocracy a kind of joy cartel Medellin a risk kill you run to cut a deal what "we" we bounce back on you & kill what "we" we needed once & serve a darker purpose Plap play play plap plap plapity gap not to wax sentiment. carried goods crossed a border was fast crossed the harmless headline & criminality when "smoking gun" is your position & 305 headline for . of a mother implicated) It. a groove but pertains to any deal the speedboat was a vessel quick (the trip outta here way the sun goes down in idyllic valley) (he said in a a deal. episode TV movie about the vessel.The Writers: Anne Waldman read it.

as I crawl outta here eyes wake now and me with me big sentimentally hot heart setimentalitopality 306 . I I kept the notebook said poof bang boom / said shut a yap me mon what cooks mon and he was his sleepy dreamy you just gotta look at me slumps at table. men what ban what sex do you play arms sales back up to plead guilty & make the words sigh true political what care they back for then what bitch to plead immediate action toward Syntex toward Sabotage or reduction flight toward Capitol Cities front for just CIA bought by ABC I forget znoi\\ct petite histoire I love you for what hate crossing the country in it my way was fast.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION growing narco-biz a kind of showcase or stop joking with men I love you Jack I love you Neal you take on macho landscape with the freeingest sensibiHty.

but Hatch seems embodiment of evil. thankful for your love. I'm woefully depressed here these days. 307 .The Writers: Anne Waldman me see em all &: they are a big heart the poets in my book I church & later down on Market Street Dear A: saw all kinda colorful street people With Judiciary political millions of others I spent last weekend transfixed by the Senate Committee hearing. of middle-aged white not a question The hearing to me was men and listening of Thomas vs Hill. your Clocharde Celeste. forcefully that I can tell you support you love. Much much Daddy from this concentrated spark of raw energy what they call quantum chromodynamics predicts that a vast swarm offundamental "quark" particles called "gluons" will spontaneously spring into existence I. Can you believe that men like Orrin Hatch arc in power? There are others on the committee that make to be the me nauseous. but I instead a question of the sad state of our country. spoke to you Tijean in a dream: So I write about Heaven. in any decisions you may make. this panel It was hard to get to sleep after to watching for 9 or 10 hours their inanities.

^f \^' 1 y .

are similar to the narrative style that her father employed. Baby Driver and Trainsong." Canuck. "You're not a a Bretonne. He urged her to write and he told her about her royal ancestry. that she has an individual voice that lends itself easily There is no denying. phoio courtesy of Carolyn Cismdy. 309 . makes her writing sleek fast. upon many of the same subjects as her father: adventures the open road. only child of Jack Kerouac. however. "He was and very emotional. Phoio couricsy of Jjii Kerouac. In her teens. you're Two of her autobiographical novels. let's see if she's as good as he is. I because I wasn't trying to emulate his type of writing. but Jan Kerouac seems to be able to detach herself from her circumstances more than her father was able to and writes in a less confessional way. and the wild times that his effect from the combination of the two. alienation from the mainstream. was a writer with her to touch own strong voice. saying. before Jack Kerouac's death. Facing Page: The Kerouac Legacy: Jan and her father Jack insci (inset)." This detachment. "and everything he saw was directly related to his soul.." — Jan Kerouac Jan who seemed down result Kerouac.. People may read my stuff and think. This Is Jack Kerouac's daughter." said Jan. he and Jan spent time on the telephone. which is very different from Jack's. Jan herself said that her writ- ing was partially of her own design and partially an experiential search for her father. to a story. but to upon her seemed be palpable in the wanderlust lifestyle that she led.Jan Kerouac The Next Generation (1952-1996) "I know have my own style of writing. But it's not necessary to make a comparison like that. coupled with her great narrative ability. Jan saw her father only twice..

and juvie lot. stories about Jack. and once when she went to visit him when she was Jan moved with her mother to the Lower East Side of Manhattan and developed a rather accelerated lifestyle for a schoolgirl. Lower East Side tenements. Marriage in 1968 did little impede the momentum of the road. Jan and her It husband. hall. fell in love with the twenty-year-old beauty. a brilliant yet flawed man who of that fueled year. Jack moved met a into his vacant loft soon after and met Joan Haverty. She worked a variety of odd jobs to support herself and began to write accounts of her life. traveled and lived throughout the West and the Northwest. Puerto Rican playgrounds. the two finally tried their best to Joan threw Jack out when he suggested she terminate her pregnancy. 1952. drunken Cannastra was decapitated when he stuck head out of the window of a moving subway car. Because of this. by all accounts. while living in a death. she was in tion centers in her teens. Despite a remarkable resemblance between father and daughter. On his October 12. In the fall of 1950. Escaping New York in 1967. Jan and Joan moved a and thus being on the move became characteristic of Jan's life. Jan went to Mexico — the to first of many such trips abroad. Although he had just her. John. Joan was dating a friend of Jack's and Allen Ginsberg's Bill named Bill Cannastra. and the two were married this month Although the romance quickly drained from adapt to marriage-on-the-fly. Preferring the excitement of dropping acid rather than attending junior high school. California. was. a his self-destructive tendencies with heavy drinking. whirlwind courtship. Jan met her father only twice: once nine. at a blood test to deter- mine paternity when she was fifteen. Jan Kerouac's memories of childhood were of Joan.— WOMEN Off the BEAT GENERATION New York. Jack later. that Jan learned of her father's 310 . and the circum- Jan Kerouac was born to Joan Haverty in Albany. She began her and out of juvenile detenearlier own life on the road than her father she was only fifteen — and bounced around the states with a reckless abandon that Neal Cassady would have been hard pressed to keep pace with. Jack would publicly deny that the child was his. Janet Michelle Kerouac was born on February 16. was commune in Little River. stances leading up to her birth are relevant to her subsequent relationship with her father.

and the a life lived at full throttle. and divorce again. The Kerouac Collection. Work was — a baker. spending their days together at the racetrack. writing the liner notes for father's daughter. a groom. but Natalie escaped and fell six stories to her death. Once Neal was home and had f-illen asleep. Natalie was a sensitive girl who became easily agitated when Neal was not around. After living in half-sister in New York. critical acclaim. and visiting her It Turkey. with but then she did not make trips deviating so. and Maui. beautiful mother died of breast cancer in 1990. Maine. One day. A rescue was attempted. In it. when she suffered kidney failure and had to return to the States for dialysis. and many vocations. her first experiences with drugs and sex. Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Jack tried to soothe her wounded soul with Buddhist serenades and wine until Neal got home. Camden it to Casablanca. blowing much of Neal's settlement money from a railroad accident. Her momentum was interrupted. Natalie went up to the roof and tried to slash herself with glass from the skylight. published in left 1988. Jan experienced relationships. William in- Burroughs. and Gregory Corso. Neal became worried about Natalie when she to tried to slash her wrists and he asked Jack watch her while he was at work. Allen Ginsberg. remarriage. which has yet to be published. many cast After divorce. from spo- any direct route. A neighbor saw her and called the Kerouac police. 311 . Jan left her half-brother and half-sister in Eugene and moved to Puerto Rico with the intention of living on the beach and writing a third book — the wildly free- wheeling and loosely autobiographical Parrot Fever. however. In 1981. Peter Orlovsky.The Writers: Jan Kerouac many moves. a maid. Indeed her Joan's daughter. Trainsong. too. radic Life was not easy. Baby Driver v^zs published to Jan described the exploits of meetings with her father. was difficult for Jan when her indefatigable. a Grammy nominee. Life was teresting. picked up where Baby Driver off The on eighties were rich with memories of travels "from freight trains. Natalie Jackson Natalie was an engaging and resourceful redhead in whom Ncal Cassady hung out with in San Francisco 1955. in 1989 Jan returned to her mother's home in Oregon. It It was during this this period that she wrote Baby first Driver znd Trainsong. a fisherman. ters was also during time that she met the of charac- from her father's generation —Carolyn Cassady." freighters and through Bavaria to Berlin.

At to go forty. 4. She was inspired by a blood legacy. She New Mexico.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Jan died suddenly in Albuquerque. but to I had a couple of degrees in literature. I When met Jan I a few months — like most other men on the planet captivated by her stunning good looks and scintillating intelligence. and ately apparent —what was immedi- — she loved language. and thoughtful for a young woman of 26. Gerald Nicosia was Jan Kerouac's his uniquely close perspective best friend and advocate until her death. and language. Jan was hoping to keep her father's estate intact. I was only two years older than Jan. later. lems. something of beauty that would unlike the fragile earthly beauties of home and family that kept fading beyond her grasp. read a chapter from an "autoit biographical work" by her. I and Jan looked was me to tell her whether what she was writing was any good. was important to her to preserve as much of her life as possible in 312 . sensitive. ever I knew Jan Kerouac as a writer before I met her I as a person. Putting words together for her was making somelast. Jack Kerouac's third wife. No. Memory Babe. She was not writing because she was far famous man's daughter. which is currently controlled by the family of Stella Sampas. Tragically. humor- ous. Jan truly embodied the notion of taking oneself where one needed sometimes because that's —sometimes willfully. not see it sold off bit by bit. Lights Journal. thing permanent. life he offers on Jans and work. She seemed to have something interesting to say about almost everything. her death came too one with so much renewed vibrancy and commitment. in 1978. She was writing intensely than because she had already lived because it more broadly and most people. tentatively called Everthreads.four. Early on in my research for my biography of her father. after continuing health prob- had been fighting to gain control of her father's estate. where the road early for led. Jan's work vision basically untouchable. as far as I was able to help with a little grammatical editing. already bore the a mark of a unique and a unique voice. Here. but It was concerned. was published in the City Her writing was unbelievably was lively.

several years went by before saw Jan again. she stopped in San Francisco to see me. there was really O Jan Kerouac at twenty-six years old. sexy.The Writers: Jan Kerouac And for someone with almost no formal schooling. daring young woman whom taking off her clothes at parties was no big deal). going through men. and every sort of experience at a frighteningly fast pace. a title for love. she picked up new words. the more I came to realize that where everyone saw this fantastically gorgeous. car. She was making the most of celebrity. just back from Baja California. me about her next She was calling it Loverbs. to have lunch. In 1985. with an amazingly sure grasp. She was a living argument for the fact that language ability is indeed in the genes. I After the publication oi Baby Driver in 1981. and even the basics of several foreign languages. which meant I to convey that action was some- how her way of searching (for The more got to know Jan. McDairah 313 . drugs. 1996 bv Fred NX'. drink. traveling everywhere. show off the new paperback and to tell edition of Baby Driver with a picture of her leaning against a big novel. lecturing and reading her work. in fact.

That she never found life. The theme of the book was since she been and rebirth. both of them scarred by a missing father. to final — movement from joy and exuberance through pain. on Mother's Day. and nata it was that exquisite chord of sadness I — — like a sowill that touched me most when read the book. and understanding and redemption. rootless and petty crime. Eugene. on October 21. Parrot Fever. Oregon. and with good reason. it which would have completed the She was writing herself into of what meant to be the daughter of the Beat Generation's greatest icon. rejected that big. One has gone a into the depths of life. Joan. No other in its child of a Beat hero has attempted such an ambitious chronicle.— WOMEN inside Jan a lonely. Carolyn See in the Los Angeles Times picked out the tremendous sadness that underlay much of Jan's Beethoven it adventure writing. it is unclear how much of published with the other two novels a someday as part of the trilogy she intended loss. when she looks into the blue flame of the furnace grate and says "Daddy. Even incompletion. near the railroad tracks where her mother By and large. the book got better reviews than Baby Driver. the other has become wanderer and life a writer. When Jan died. 1990. a which came from the area of lived. in the third person. into drugs. Ideally at the it life. was perhaps the greatest tragedy of her title Loverbs was finally published as Trainsong. That book marks a great deal of growth in her as a writer. to obtain greater objectivity. and she had split two half sisters. stripping. something Jan knew in her soul there. besides his of the adversity her. Jan Kerouac's work nition is a literary milestone that will surely gain in recogfree and admiration as time passes and her accomplishment can stand that were." wondering how she can ever find her father again after so much lost time. was old enough to notice that "Daddy" wasn't end of her will be Because she was working on tape Parrot Fever was completed. My favorite passage in always be the scene at Allen Ginsberg's house in Boulder. and controversy name. true love Off the BEAT GENERATION little girl dying to be truly loved. sorrow. a famous father's only legacy to 314 . Somehow own loss she wanted to make sense of her schizo- phrenic by bringing both those characters together to at the death of their mother which was be the death of Jan's to have mother. she was struggling to trilogy finish her third novel.

high-ceilinged place. met John Heard. It is at once tragic and hilarious.A. trading childhood stories: hers about Texas. its downtown L. Finally. where ev- eryone again waited and waited-this time sitting their places next to the biggest cyclops. and energetic photographer was snapping rolls of photos of the some on a two of us sitting packing crate. depicting the triangle between Carolyn Cassady. phosed into stiff anachronistic manikins. who was having his face a expertly plastered at the same time was having my hair firmly yanked up into tortuous pompadour. who was cast as Carolyn Cassady. showing his him one of the few lower lip. and Jack Kerouac.The Writers: Jan Kerouac Here was is an excerpt from Jan Kerouac's Trainsong.A. telling the surreal story of the time she cast as an extra in the feature film Heartbeat. and Sissy Spacek. at tables. That was just play the beginning. CHAPTER 22 In September I was offered a job as an extra in Heartbeat. up for — metamorlip. who was Sunday School my father. Yards of thick black c}'clopsian equipment were dragged and wheeled into the cool. it. and mine about New York. The AcropoHs was just the place for a beat generation coffeehouse scene: a Greek restaurant in ties. Luckily I was still wearing my to own jeans. John drove me down Caf(f to the shoot on Fourth Street. Then the holy trinity took The rest of us were supposed to comprise the 315 . Neal Cassady. weirdos were pestering Sissy about her role as Carrie and asking her for autographs. trailer. knew about my I which was the way he stuck out Sissy easy for me because had inherited And and I struck up I a conver- sation. Meanwhile hoards of L.. We all had like children dressed I plenty of time to gab in the sun. Later. and when he squeezed I behind give me to get out. I had I a half-pint carton of milk in my lap. unchanged since the thir- bare green walls easily took on the ambience of San Francisco in 1956. One smog-laden morn. things I helped John practice his Jack father. outside. a movie about my father's menage a trois with the Cassadys. I In the wardrobe sat right I next to Nick Nolte. pulled the flimsy director's chair up closer to the dresser to spilled the him more room and milk on my lap. we were allowed to enter the Acropolis Cafe. in a husky drawl which found to be hypnotic.

woman brought me reeling back to reality. but gazing up at the lazily revolving black I fans in the pressed waffle tin ceiling — I forgot everything.WOMEN off the BEAT GENERATION background. table where two guys game of chess: to follow their then to look mildly bored and giggle occasionally in my slinky beige crepe dress with pearl embroidery heels. But in milk-stiff pants. essence of Neal Cassady popping through? Then he'd shout. extra. smoke it! I spotlights softened with spirals. in the middle of the afternoon — " The husky golden Texas twang the dubious reality. 316 . ready!" and the time machines would Either I roll. All knew was. though the Neptunian illusions of Tinseltown had wrapped my father in Technicolor celluloid and brought him back to me special delivery. O/?. read all about That afternoon wandered home up Hollywood Boulevard window. of a movie of the blond set. that's right.. straight into my arms. perhaps. two dimensional. in in the ashtray. and massive shoulder pads. and escaped from as a toy-store I also felt fulfilled in a funny way. produce We told to puff like mad on our Camel straights to kiss a red a thick. startled us all with a bout of spasmodic stamping and shuffling of and drumming on the table. three-tone high were all and heavily sprayed hairdo. feeling like some kind of a doll that had been starched and pressed flat. blotch of lipstick onto the ends Nick Nolte feet. Camels burning scarves. with spray-stiff hair. I'm just an extra. was slowly asphyxiating from the Camel smoke. and females were instructed to of their cigs. Extra. "Okay. I experienced a disturbing notion: could haired be my own is mother? And who is that dark- man over there pouting in baggy blue pants. smoke-filled atmosphere. surrounded by outdated housewives in curlers and some strangely contrived bubble of time I when I wasn't even born yet. talking about poetry to the blond this? California? My father? My absentee husband? Where York? What this? Who am I? couple? is Colorado? New " — I'm drunk. or toxic chemicals infiltrating in the makeup were my bloodstream. My job was to sit at a moves like a cat.. a curiously dynamic way of clearing his head — or. there I was. blurred anonymous were playing a figures.

Ashes to ashes. the house of cards. the condemned tenements of cards that all which you grew up. Like a knave caught with his pants down in a stable. preparing for a long journey. restaurant heists. while trudging past dried-up adobes. you can The smoke has cleared and there room now for other dreams. far within. of women's voices grates from the radio — A chorus kinds "Freeeeeeeee" — a like several different Outside later. A pane of glass between you and the world has been sprayed clean. men are finally clarified for you: little boys grown up. now is that the ash has blown away. 317 . boy buried of vinegar. is it So really any wonder that you choose the paths seldom taken? in It was all in the cards. But in your bed — at the moment. has fluttered dulum of a wrecking ball down to the ground. see. running the world is have indeed always done. far-off lands. . What is the meaning of this masculine vacuum? God conducting an experiment? Men are out there being adventurous.You thought . And now. glorious men. it would be bitter The cup at your teeth chatters in triumph. carrying a shotgun. burnt smell will a smell come to your nostrils. Innocents and psychos alike take on a new softness. filling the at sea. though you know it will soon collect another film of dustlets. it does. The watch the eyes. all the way from New York City and your childhood. as they which was no doubt created by some men burning no man Is Men are all about manly men. now clock. his own little only nutty after all. dusk to dusk. upset by the swinging penwhich may be only the brass counterweight of a grandfather and plaster now that all the bricks and lathe and cards have fallen and burned finally along with the trash and pretzels. these realms of intensely dangerous glamour. sinks down into straw.— The Writers: Jan Kerouac — CHAPTER 47 So now but its after all this. To stare unwaveringly into the eyes of the other. inaccessible even to most men.there's the rub. as a sort of exorcism to prove doesn't matter even though . stories you've heard: wondrous tales of storms smoky sixties scenes from Mitten's Playhouse in Harlem. The black man in a suit. And eyes the perennial "I love you" — so taboo that it we feel compelled to try it out anyway. trash or perhaps pretzels. the true flavor comes through. . glorified crime. These are the myths of your girlhood.

Lord. a feeling of fusion — twin fetuses in cellular bondage. watching blue smoke spiral up from the my feet as warm horseshoe of a meridian comes to life. so well known. Sweat. utterly calm. know what jes' trouble is till you fall on your back But what an' can't By 'n by Br'er Rabbit come an' help you outta dat hole. time passes by so can't you even see those seconds make their little streaks of reentry into your heart. tears reborn. Don't fondle the doctor. no more. Flesh oh so old. sheer animal power. On top of the world: in jan Kerouac Los Angeles. in this ancient a silver forever and blood tipping the fast. pass the Sometimes fast . live nowhere. of a giant golden carp. yet the mystery never ends. 1978.. I With a golden needle quivering in my left ankle and one in my right wrist. please.WOMEN Blue eyes looking at of the BEAT GENERATION green eyes beholding azure eyes staring into hazel eyes piercing gray eyes bathing emerald eyes streaming through sapphire eyes adoring onyx eyes. .. Lord. passes over. you don't get up... Br'er Terrapin has fallen on his back an' can't get up. The whole face begins to shimmer with life force. So shame on the shaman. And so time passes. Daddy don't live in dat New York City no more.. lie in the realm of water dragons. and something magic takes place. passes away and through and butter. if de doctor wear shorts. 318 ..Daddy don't don't . Lord. heat. an your hand touch his balls? Br'er Fox can't help but fondle de doctor den. scales I'm stuck a South Carolina tar-baby Chinese tapestry. passes by.

.

by Jay DeFeo. 1958-1966. Oil on canvas with wood. site of the "Howl" happening. Reverse: The Six Gallery. beads. circa 1957. pearls and mica.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION The Rose. 320 .

1962 DeFeo's paintings still shock and provoke audiences with a raw and retinaabstracts were massive searing passion. studying masterpieces in Florence and Paris and experimenting with her ing. By 1957. multimedia. to receive the Sigmund Martin chance to Heller Traveling Scholarship from U.. a mystery. sifted and poured and exploded through the artist's personality. her work caught the eye of Walter Hopps. At the same time. Then it is a joy to both. and then again. is artists like the painter ultimately. But it is sub- moment of communication: one human being to one human being." early on. Her multi-medium Jay —and mythic in more than proportion.." — ^John Fitzgerald Kennedy.. it is play. in the It is work. own paint- Upon her return to San Francisco. Her exposure soon moved her to the forefront of contemporary art in the Bay Area as the scene began to change dramatically from an emphasis on formalism to collage.Jay DeFeo The Rose (1929-1989) "The process of creation that unites America's many Jay DeFeo. Jay's personal life began to thrive as well. Her work was an attempt to create art that "would have a center. What is known is that it involves intellect and emotion and sheer physical power. Ber- She jumped at the utilize her scholarship to travel through Europe. Her became the first woman keley.C. Jay discovered her vocation ating from a San Jose High School and attending the University of California early artistic endeavors were so impressive that she Berkeley. the gallery. lime as well. graduat Born Joan DeFeo on March 31. she had been featured at the Ferus Gallery's introductory exliibition.1 929. owner of a small Bay Area and was included in his shows in 1955. She met another 321 ... and abstraction.

the artist. was a Korean War veteran who attended California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. He claims. monosizes." Her convention con- vinced Wally of her artistry. 16 vey Shown at the Museum of Modern Art." . it provided an opportunity to surexciting new artists. Neither of them realized the impact of such an exhibit. the I type of a breakthrough most of their contemporaries were dying for. Bruce Conner. They moved into a $65-per- month and turned art. however. Long nights of cheap red wine alike. Upon seeing the laundry piled inside. he was introduced. Wally was adept at playing the banjo. The whole show was kind of a coming out party. Paul. along with Jay. as well The apartment became a as the site of many parties. art. friendships that haven for other struggling and Beat poets. and they began exchanging son of a used-car dealer in Pasadena. that her refrigerator hamper for dirty clothes than for food storage. they didn't even attend the show. into an artist's dream: most of the space was occupied by their unfinished Fillmore Street was strous painting supplies. and spontaneous poetry provided an atmosphere conFriends such as Joan Brown. of the BEAT GENERATION artistic cri- Wally Hedrick. Jay recalled: "Wally and in such a show. and they were married shortly thereafter. to saxophonist Paul Beattie. Musically as well as artistically inclined. Their reputation soon spread to New York. Jay and Wally were the typical bohemian couple. according to Jay. they were regulars at the lavish San Francisco party scene. he said. Though poor. one day when Wally scavenged was more useful as a for food in her kitchen. the formed were just as disparate. to his flat who brought them apartment building in his building at 2322 Fillmore it Street. The relationship began. chromatic black paintings in various shapes and Sharing an obsession for paint- ing and nonconformity. . Wally. After joining the Studio 13 Jass Band. for their paintings. . more than just a home in the flat artists Between Jay's mon- and somber paintings and Wally's boisterous and mixed-media artwork.WOMEN young San Francisco tiques. utter disregard for "the scales fell from my eyes like St. An iconoclastic painter. from 1 957 to 1973 he challenged the Vietnam War through The Vietnam Series. didn't realize the prestige I of being included discovered later. For the next ten years. their friendship turned romantic. and in 1959 they were featured in one of the most important East and West Coast collaborative exhibits of modern Americans. and a cache of poets and painters. Michael ducive to art and poetry 322 .

The
McClure, Joanna McClure, Jack

Artists: Jay

DeFeo

Spicer,

and Ed Moses could often be found hanging
stories

out in the cluttered apartment, swapping
bottle.

and drinking wine

straight

from the

October

13, 1955,

marked the San Francisco melding of the avant garde
located at 3
1 1

art

and

Beat poetry scene.
in 1954.

The Six Gallery,

9 Fillmore

Street,

had begun modestly

The owners,

six local artists, catered primarily to

other small, locally

known

visual artists.

Through

the prodding of Wally Hedrick and poet Michael McClure, a
Jay's

reading was organized there for October 13.

paintings lined the walls as Allen

Ginsberg introduced the world to

his

newest poem, "Howl." Allen read while Neal
sat

Cassady listened in fascination and Jack Kerouac

on

the floor in front, exhorting
It

Allen with shouts of "Go" while rhythmically tapping his wine jug.
be,

was the place to

and the Six Gallery's reading of "Howl" made
it

literary history.

The gallery's notoriety

was short-lived, however;

closed thirty-six

months

after

its

grand opening.

Jay was on to other things. Along with fellow

artist

Bruce Conner, she and Wally
artists

Hedrick constituted the center of the hip and experimental San Francisco
the
fifties

of

and

sixties,

changing the meaning of funk

art

through their media

as well as

their intent.

As

art critic

Harold

Paris

noted, previously

"Funky art said

that

material was worthless, that only ideas

were important and that the value of
the art was in
its

making. The mean-

ing of the art was not in any
lated to the intrinsic

way

re-

worth of the

materials." In contrast, Jay

DeFeo and

her peers placed great value on the
materials they

worked with, whether

they be plaster, paint, or driftwood.

The

creative process alone did not

define their artistry. Art was a

com-

promise between material and mastery.
jay DeFeo and Lynn Brown abroad
in

Paris, Chartres Cathedral,

I9SI

323

WOMEN
Not confined
a series

Of the

BEAT GENERATION
experimented with other
art

solely to painting, Jay

forms and made

of huge plaster sculptures in her studio, "done with
plaster."

just a lot

of wood and

wrapping around with rags and slapping

The

pieces proved to be

immovable
onward.

and were not exhibited, but they did influence well-known sculptor Manuel Neri,

who made

plaster the

predominant medium of his sculptures from the
Jay's

fifties

Wallace Berman was intrigued by

photocollages, and Bruce

Conner

credits her

way of wrapping Christmas
ence on his

gifts

and hanging them from the

ceiling as a strong influfifties,

own

assemblages. Declared one well-respected art scholar of the

"She

just

had

a flow, a creative flow,

coming from her
had quite

that

was

fantastic to observe."
to

Jay DeFeo's personal idiosyncrasies were
old Christmas
trees.

artistic as well.

She refused

throw out

By the

midsixties, she

a collection

of bare trees in the

corner of the

room

in

which she painted. Even eating lunch was
of things;
it

theatrical.
It

She would
far the

prepare "a hundred

little bits

was
art

like a

Chinese lunch.
closely tied to

was by

most
her

arty."

She was passionate about her

and was

it,

even though

work has not been considered

autobiographical.

Despite her experimentation. Jay
painter

DeFeo

was, at heart, an abstract-expressionist

who tempered
to a

her spontaneous inspiration with fervent labor. She worked in

landscapes of color, often keying in

on

texture

and brush

strokes.

Her

fixation with

mandalas led

compulsion toward

cyclical annihilation

and reinvention. In her

work, landscapes of color and textures blend together to create masterpieces that combine obsession with structure and maverick accumulations of paint.

The

best

example

of this

is

perhaps her most famous work. The Rose.
as

The Rose began in 1959
at the time:

an obsession with radiation. She began two paintings
six

The Rose and The Jewel. After
it

months. The Jewel

v/zs set aside.
it

She

intended to finish
complete.

at a later date,

but

after a

few months decided

was indeed

The Rose became her

fixation.

Adding paints and embedding beads,

jewelry,

and

wire to The Rose was her daily

ritual.

Although both paintings were composed of

brush strokes radiating outward from the center of the canvas, the sheer mass of The
Rose was awesome. In 1965, seven years after
its

inception,
large

it
it

was eight inches thick
occupied an entire bay

and weighed 2,300 pounds. This masterpiece was so

324

The
window

Artists: Jay

DeFeo
move out of their
left

in her

flat.

When

she and Wally were forced to

Fillmore

home
Its

in

1967 due
its

to a hefty increase in rent, she

was

with no choice but to

concede to

completion.
theatrical.

removal was appropriately
it

A crane was required to lift
moving
truck.

it

out through

the

window

had occupied

for so

many

years. It

took a number of moving men,

dressed in white overalls, to direct the crane into the

Bruce Conner

recorded the removal of the canvas on

I6mm

black-and-white film.

He

later called

the film The White Rose, but had originally entitled \x.Jay DeFeo s Painting

Removed by

Angelic Hosts.

The Rose was moved

to the

Pasadena

Walter Hopps, the San Francisco gallery

Museum of Art, which was then run by owner who had given Jay her first show.
1995
it

When
Art,

the piece started to crumble,
it

it

was removed to the San Francisco College of
was displayed
at the

where

was put into storage
in

for twenty-five years. In

Whitney Museum

New York City.
commitment
to

After The Rose, Jay removed herself from the public eye. While other artists found

new breakthroughs
Ihe
Rose, she

in their art, she kept to herself After such a long
it

found

difficult to
life's

become

inspired again.

Not only had
split up.

she been

forcefully separated

from her

work, but she and Wally had

The

void

created by the absence of both her central artistic endeavor and her lover brought
a severe melancholia. Jay recovered

on

and began,

in 1980, to teach painting at Mills

College in Oakland, only to find that

when

her career began to flourish again, her

body began

to deteriorate.
it

Ironically,

would be

77?^ Rose that

would

kill her.

While creating the behemoth,
tip.

instead of dipping her brush into water, she used her tongue to moisten the brush

The white

paint she used had an extremely high lead content and she unwittingly
in

poisoned herself She developed cancer and died

1989.

Jay DeFeo's art has regained the public's attention in the years since her death.

She
Rose

is is

universally regarded as the primary visual artist of the Beat Generation,

and The

now on

the road, traveling from one

museum

to another across

America.

325

WOMEN

of the

BEAT GENERATION

Joan Brown with her

first

husband,

Bill

Brown, circa 1957.

326

Joan Brown
Painter and Prndigy
(1938-1990)
had the respect of

"I really felt

that

I

all

my male

friends

who were

artists.

It

wasn't an issue maybe because there wasn't any competition for wall space,

even any competition for jobs at the time... Joan Brown,

who was

actually

more mature than

I

—we kind of grew up together—
I

I

think Joan would an-

swer the question that same way

do." —Jay
DePeo. 1989

Artist Joan Brown
Roadznd
the

was nineteen

in

1957 when she moved
Bill.

to Jay DeFeo's flat at

2322 Fillmore with her husband
"Howl" obscenity

This was the banner Beat year of
recalls, "It

On

the

trial.

Joan

was a very charged period.

And

I

believe

most of us who were working
not just the
artist

at a

high peak in terms of energy and
felt this

feeling.

That
I

is,

but North Beach in general. You
if I'd

with the

poets, too.

wouldn't have been anywhere else

had

a million dollars

and was

offered to spend three years in Italy." Joan
ally

Brown went on

to

become an

internation-

acclaimed

artist,

recognized chiefly for her primary role in developing the school

known

as California Figurative art.

Her work continues
an

to

show

in

museums around

the world.

Joan Brown was widely regarded

as

artistic prodig)'.

A protege of Elmer Bischoff
artist to

and David Park, Joan had her

first

show

at

nineteen and was the youngest

be

included in the annual show of the Whitney

Museum

in

New York for the year

1960.

Joan worked in an expressionist

style

during the early phase of her career when she
for her strange

began to receive national recognition and acclaim
portraits

and compeUing

self

and found object compilations.
San Francisco "funk
art" scene

Joan's assemblage sculptures helped usher in the

327

WOMEN

Of the

BEAT GENERATION

co-created by Bruce Conner, Jay

DeFeo and Wally Hedrick. Hers were made of the
as stating that "eat, drink,

cheapest possible materials, sometimes from actual garbage, but always from nontraditional material. Joan
is

quoted

and be merry

for to-

morrow we

die"

is

the attitude and order of the day.

Both

Joan's

work and her second
after

husband Manuel

Neri's assemblages frequently disintegrated
as

soon

they were

made
to last

and were described

"ephemeral."
to "seize the

They both claimed

that they weren't
it

meant

and were an attempt
symbolically.
artists

moment" and
its

capture

organically, textually

and

Funk

art

was very Beat in

anti-material stance. Beat poets

and funk

supported and encouraged each other and a show was nearly always also an
ultimately, a party with red

impromptu reading and,

wine flowing

freely.

One

of the

creative collectives that evolved

from

this artistic hybridization

was the Rat Bastard

Protective Association, founded by Bruce Conner, an

homage

to the garbage collector

tendencies of the

new

"scavenger"

artists.

The RBP membership
to put the

required dues of a

mere $3.00
seal

a year

and requested members

RBP

initials

on the artworks

as

and

insignia.

Both Joan and Manuel Neri joined the group along with many

other

artists

and poets

— Jay DeFeo, Michael McClure, Wally Hedrick, Art Grant,
The Association openly hosted guests
like the

Alvin Light, Carlos Villa, and Dave Hazelwood.

from

all

walks and held meetings at out of the way places

Golden Gate

Bridge.

One of the more memorable evenings featured a poetic duel between Philip Lamantia
and
a

New York "wannaBeat"

poet from

New York.
Brown helped draw
the

Like her contemporary and housemate, Jay DeFeo, Joan

Gui de Angulo
Gui de Angulos photography caught the emotion and
painter, as a

fervor of the

fifties

and

sixties.

Originally a

photographer she remained true

to her artistic eye, using

exposure techniques and a trained

eye to transfer people to film.
gallery shows.

A

native of the San Francisco
their

She and three friends even opened

own

space, Freedman's Gallery,

Bay Area, she participated in many local where Jay DeFeo's
traveled to France

painting career was launched.

When

the gallery closed,

Gui

and

New

York, but

eventually returned to San Francisco, where she began photographing art exhibits for the famous

North

Beach bar-cum-gallery Vesuvio's.

Her work was widely known among
Peter Orlovsky,

the hipsters of San Francisco, such as Allen Ginsberg and

who

frequently stopped by her apartment to ask her to photograph them. She brought

together the art of

life

and the starkness of film

to create a portrait

uniquely

its

own. Two of her photos

are included here: portraits of Jay

DeFeo and ruth

weiss.

328

The

Artists: Joan

Brown

eye of the art world away from America's cultural epicenter,

New

York City. Joan's
a child to-

husband, sculptor Manuel Neri was an influence on her work. They had
gether during this time

when Joan came under

the public spotlight with features in

national magazines like Mademoiselle. Joan was under no small

amount of pressure

to

maintain the

from

momentum and type of work for which she was acclaimed, especially her dealer in New York. More experimentalist than expressionist, Joan surprised
when
she changed her style in 1964, and subsequently, wasn't shown in
until the mid-seventies.

the world

New York again
nia,

She continued

to

show

in her native Califor-

however, both as the subject of group- and

one-woman
to

exhibitions.

During
her work, so

this

post-Beat phase, Joan withdrew and began to change the themes of
so that a

much

new

style

seemed

emerge with every exhibition. Her

work became more

intensely personal with the Alcatraz

Swim

series, inspired

by the

swims across the San Francisco Bay Joan made and
household paints. Joan's
tive artist,

a new, brilliantly colored

and

cartoonlike group of self portraits on huge canvases with their trademark enamel
style
is

most often linked with her mentor and fellow Figurathematically, akin to Frida

David Park, and
where
is

is,

Kahlo

for her creepily sur-

real self portraits

common
life,

objects are recontextualized into the bizarre. Joan,
still

like

her photographs,

the serene,

center of the piece.

Towards the end of her

Joan wove Eg)'ptian and Hindu religious icons and

imagery into her work and devoted most of her energy into public sculpture. She had
a special fascination
aside. In

with obelisks, often found in Eg\'ptian tombs, and put painting
install

1990, Joan traveled to India, to the town of Proddaturn to

one of her

obelisks. There, tragedy struck
at the

when

the building collapsed, killing artist Joan

Brown

age of 52.

329

.

National magazines such as Holiday. and Life magazine.Worthy Beat Women RecDllection by Ted Joans "SO YOU WANT TO BE HIP. and even some of the ing a total nationally circulated Black magazines sensationalized the Beats generatdirection of liberation. and women (who wanted due to absorb what meant to be hippcr-than-thou) jazz. This was the beginning of my popular jazz poem to be read aloud "The Sermon. LITTLE GIRLS? AND YOU WANT TO LEARN TO SWING? AND YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO DIG AND TAKE IN EVERYTHING? YES. and still do. Greenwich Village was the Beat scene on the Eastern coast of America and thousands of women flocked to that neigh- borhood. IF DIG EVERYTHING AS POET ALLEN GINSBERG SAID? BE HIP YOU WANT TO NOW DIG MY SERMON!" titled. It was almost a religious quest to the music of the Beat Generation: I pro- pelled poetry from the page into the ears of the listeners. happy. active women. my first chapbook of poems by Shel I Derechin of Nuderection Press in the early would often read "The Sermon" three times a night on weekends in the many public coffee houses that featured Beat Generation poetry. that democracy can never be fully accomplished without the leadership of hip. I women of believed then. was first published in fifties." It It was written and it was targeted at the women ofAmerica. being an ex-trumpet player 331 . Time. new My aim was to find strength to change and transform America by getting the wise (hip) words of poetry to the worthy this potentially great country. the tourists. Reading in the crowded coffee houses those poetic to the wannabe it — Beats.

the Hippie scene was gone on into hysterical history. that poet all on the late Beat Scene of Greenwich Village (when one could find a liberating force for was Lenore Kandel. Beat Generation. flipniks. Bronx the Bagel Babies. and the ultimate. were not Kind of Bird Backwards. we were merely poets and bohemian friends.WOMEN was hip to this of the BEAT GENERATION Duke Ellington. I had known Diane di Prima from the before-Beat- generating days. It should be required reading throughout the world. If It Ain't Got That Swing !" It was my for "worthy women as one individual to another that caused our " closeness. women poets that did not participate in the Beat scene coffee shop read- but did read in the Living Theatre and the institutions in Green-which Village. who was most There were other ings." She was the first woman poet to use the marvelous word (when used in I original form) fuck naturally. A-Trainer (Black men that took lovable. have yet to meet Ms. creepnik. thus chose to return to is San Franciscos and Los Angeles. therefore not worth nibbling on. never visited the West Coast scene until decades when even Kaufman York sax City. was that presented her at the Gaslight Cafe I and actually helped place her on top of the piano. like me. These were their "thang" some of the poets who did poets that were on the later back in those good/old days of yore. Poets such as Denise Levertov. I also met many other Wet Coast of thousands in New Some of them had come to bite that attractive Apple (Lester Young. her book The Love Book feminists. tenorman named it) and for many of those West Coast poets. the hipstressnik. There one woman whose book of poems was is a great inspiration a copy!). If was not on the scene every night in those days I would not have been able to "discover" women it poets. jivey leaguer. Diane and lovers. Kandel to personally thank her for being a self-liberating 332 . I created giggly labels such as: Chicklets (younger than chicks) hipnicks. She. the A-Train from Harlem to Greenwich Village in search of White chicks). Too bad her book like Ginsberg's its was never celebrated "Howl. touristniks. Barbara Guest. wisely musically said: "It Don't own natural respect I Mean AThing. After all. is This personal Beat memory I of some of the best women Eastern coast of America. had unique fact. cast I met Bob and Eileen in New York. His High Holy Hipness. the Apple was too tuff or its they found their fruit bitter. used to hold court in Cafe Rienzi at 107 Street (I MacDougal This lived above Flies in 1952) and it when I her first book of poems was published.

Her autobiography How I Became Hettie Jones is a classic. but I had read one of her books and is await a collection of her poems to be published. 333 . She loved by me and perhaps all the "worthy" poets I who are hip to the dues that she has paid being the daughter of Kerouac. When knew I Bonnie Bremser. her father. Hettie Jones I have known for decades I consider an excellent writer. Jan Kerouac I first met a few years ago during I a conference in New York. dared to NOT be. she was not writing. or kept her literary output concealed in the shadow of poet Ray Bremser.Worthy Beat Women woman who Morocco. I met Jane Bowles while and I was dwelling in Tangier. but did know Jack. did not meet her mother.

.

Forty might have passed Gary on my bicycle taking the a long way to campus. or stood in a checkout line with a quart of milk and couple of bananas watching Allen prowl the late-night supermarket on University Avenue. a sagging armchair and a scuffed desk from a Good Will 335 . but by the time digs. a tall clump of rustling bamboo beside the shielding years ago its I front door. hot plate. Originally tial my cottage in. in the My tiny cottage was at 2803-'/2 Forest neighborhood bordered by I College Avenue and the Claremont Hotel. That's where bachelor's degree at Cal lived while I finished my first and taught English at San Lorenzo High School. my teaching job right after graduation. tiny and rickety chair. poorly insulated. a green hedge by the sidewalk pocket-handkerchief lawn from the view of the casual passerby. one of the wooden Avenue buildings scattered throughout the usually tucked away in the tree shaded backyard gardens behind larger houses. Two-thirds was my bedroom — a single bed. a three-speed record player perched thrift atop an orange crate. Unlike Allen Ginsberg's and Gary Snyder's cottages close keley urban development. both victims of Ber- mine is there still on its pleasant residential side street. I was ready to move had been converted into low-rent student and a One-third of the space contained a table. toilet shower and a small sink. small city. refrigerator. I lived in a cottage in Berkeley.by Ann Charters Berkeley Memories: During 1956-1958 ramshackle. by. it had been built as a gardener's shed alongside the substanit family residence which sheltered at 2803 Forest Avenue.

I was impressed by the poetry and Michael McClure that evening. I found back of the silverware inherited the cottage from my closest she'd friend in Berkeley. Afterwards I went to the cottage to tell her about the extraordinary reading attended with Peter in a Berkeley theater. I felt gauche and unsophisticated. I recognized their artistic was too naive to understand why Peter and Allen would pose naked for Compared with Carolyn. or garlic." heard by Ginsberg. celery. and carrots hacked with a dull chopping knife with a broken blade drawer. but their friends in the was unnerved by the drunken wildness of audience and Robert LaVigne's drawings of Orlovsky making love I with Ginsberg which were pinned to the walls of the theater. my last semester at the co-op. intellectual. where first among a group of young poets the fully completed I I heard his friend Allen Ginsberg give the for Carl I'd public reading of "Howl Solomon. a San Francisco department was Carolyn who arranged my blind date with Peter Orlovsky in March. which faced a faded beige burlap curtain on shower rings hiding the metal pole where I hung my clothes. a private Carolyn. Philip Whalen. drinking coffee to keep of ravioli. On cold days during the Berkeley winters I ran the hot water in the shower until steam warmed up the bedroom. the art director It of the Emporium. she considered herself an and I remember that she was decidedly unimpressed by poets. Gary Snyder. car. all Altogether about as basic furniture much space as a San Francisco trolley it. explain everything to me. I my own at the invention. Then put on a couple of heavy sweaters and studied under the covers. and raised in I hoped she'd Born and San Francisco. an art student Hall. unpublished Berkeley 336 . I 1956. but the artist. my hands warm. She had been until she my roommate at Ritter which named co-op off Dwight Way. power.WOMEN shop. My favorite meal was a can or — if I could afford the raw ingredients — a pot of stuffed cabbage made after liver my mother's Polish American Jewish recipe. moved to the cottage found through a friend store. my enthusiasm for a bunch of scruffy. of the BEAT GENERATION An inadequate bookshelf hugged the wall above my bed. of her father's. except that with the crowded into there wasn't much I standing room for passengers. nutritious stew in tomato sauce with chunks of onions.

ex-servicemen like Lawrence Ferlinghetti brought an awareness of the French tradition of literature and philosophy back with them to provincial California. reminded me that her favorite poet in San Francisco was Weldon Kees. In her series of lovers Carolyn was not attracted to wild-haired "queers" or fasttalking married con men or street-wise junkies or intense students of Buddhism emuhandsome but a lating a Japanese lifestyle or self-absorbed alcoholics just in off the self-destructive. War II. slopes of Mount Tamalpais in Mill join where they invited me at to come home with Carolyn and Sunday afternoon them and their friends in what they little called their "te dansants. They modeled themselves on the Parisian aftermath of World tentialism. My Valley. but road.Afterword: Ann Charters She would have given me a cool. and invited boyfriend's apartment near to the jug me to walk along with her to her a new Dwight and Telegraph. leaned to tie the supple leather thongs down of her well-oiled handmade sandals. City Lights was the paperback 337 . On Columbus Avenue in North Beach. parry would continue until Carolyn took The fresh air me out of the house to get some top. many American had gotten a taste of European exis- Returning to San Francisco. on the winding dirt road leading to the mountain On other afternoons she introduced me to her favorite haunts GI's in San Francisco. She gave the Beat males wide berth. He kept volume of Dylan Thomas' poetry next ritual of California red wine beside his double bed and made a after out of reading aloud to her while they shared a cigarette making love. She might have been she had her own style. in the Beach coffee houses. disbelieving look out of her clear blue eyes before she tossed back the thin strands of her long straight blonde hair." martinis served in teacups with in the canapes four o'clock while a Dave Brubeck record played softly background. the North cafes where. Ferlinghetti and his business partner Peter Martin opened the Parisian paperback bookshop City Lights. similar to the small his years in Paris first bookshops Ferlinghetti had frequented during studying for his doctorate at the Sorbonne. friendship with Carolyn taught lived in a beautiful me there were Her parents new house on the many worlds within worlds. her favorite walk.

Six months later. vorite reading as generation. The word though she would have been automatically classed beatnik if Caen had glanced as the through the window of the Co-Existence Bagel Shop and not recognized her daughter of his friend over Perhaps it at the Emporium. I Since Carolyn loved art more than literature or music. letting Carolyn was quiet most of the time. where we sipped capuccino topped with listened to the of powdered cocoa and cinnamon and murmur of serious voices at the other tables discussing Being and Nothingness." as a who knew the score. and for books. anticipating our little white bowls of won ton soup. me fantasize that she played the role of Simone de Beauvoir in her unhappy love phy. but he inhabited a journalist's world. but I may never managed to achieve her cool. her real teacher. the columnist Herb Caen coined making quick the term "beatniks" for the people who hung out in North Beach coffee houses dis- cussing philosophy and poetry. have inherited her cottage. affairs with graduate students of philosoSartre. with a narrow corner up a rickety of wooden devoted to a generous sampHng of small press poetry broadsides and magazines. after my fa- was in a topic Carolyn found out she was pregnant and made the decision to join her of having her third with I latest boyfriend instead illegal abortion. a Each was her Jean Paul member of her own Meanwhile. judgements of people based on how they dressed or acted. or music at Cal. an honor scholarship student in the English Department. Carolyn was a young woman she would have used to describe herself was "hip. Stein's word) at but I remember two of were nearly always at even seated a formica table in a booth downstairs our favorite Chinese restaurant. literature. The 338 . I moved into what I thought of as "her" cottage piles of library books on the history of American drama. then called Negro theater. women "wandering" that the (the American writer Gertrude serious. of whom she was in awe. had very little money in favor of the when she took me to North Beach we skipped City Lights lots coffee houses. rather than the brilliant older men she struggled to please in her painting and art history courses. or our heady sense of privilege being such carefree in the City.WOMEN bookshop stairs Off the BEAT GENERATION flight in the United States. at was the North Beach atmosphere. in the Spring of 1958. A couple of years later.

Degree Columbia University. who were taught in my American Literature classes. an independent study project at Cal during my senior year for Professor Travis Bogard in the English Department. moved on Forest Avenue despite my parents' strong objections to my leaving falling in love the co-op and living alone. who had begun researching his biography of Eugene O'Neill. I would have earned what they called a "terminal Master's degree. Probably if I'd proposed a clearly focused project I I could have written a thesis at Berkeley or Columbia on the regionalist Sarah women writers admired like Emily Dickinson or the Orne Jewitt. it was excited by the opportunity of graduate New York City. even if meant leaving my friend Carolyn and her baby daughter. went on to study for my doctorate 1963 when Columbia gave at me an addi- tional fellowship. and my beloved Berkeley cottage. Kerouac. in 1957 the Russians' apparent advantage with their sputnik space capsule made the United States generous in I its support of graduate schools. My study in paper resulted in at my being awarded a I Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for an M. I wanted of the relationship of my country's literary history to its geography For my dissertation I concentrated on nineteenth century authors in the 339 . older into the cottage men who were Orlovsky's friends. If I'd used the Woodrow Wilson " Harvard. When he left my cottage to go back on the road. and Cassady. Living on the East Coast.A. since Harvard didn't allow women stu- dents into their doctoral English program at that time. first But 1 was the daughter of to explore the idea generation Americans. fall From right I all the universities in the country I chose to attend Columbia in the of 1958 because wanted to join Sam Charters in New it York City. This was adventure enough for me. sat my cramped desk in the cold spring in 1957 with an electric heater at my feet. He turned out to be the man —we married the next year —and in was certainly the right school. Fortunately for me. along with with Sam Charters. researchI who had ing his at graduated Cal and was hitchhiking from Berkeley to New Orleans first book on early jazz.Afterword: Ann Charters risks of her bohemian lifestyle were so apparent that I never considered hanging out I with Ginsberg. and wrote up my notes on blackface minstrels and the Uncle Tom shows.

Expressing themselves freely in their poetry and prose. In 1957. Ferlinghetti followed //ow^/ (number four in the series) with Marie Ponsot's True Minds. but women poets weren't included in the series again until number twenty-two in 1968. the earlier radical authors developed a tradition for writers in the 1950s like Helen women Miles. Women poets in the 1950s were expected to be polite. Melville and Hawthorne.D. In 1956. university. and Muriel Rukeyser. libraries. In the large classes lectured stacks I was too busy taking notes male literary to protest I when my all-male professors' Columbia library on a mostly pantheon.WOMEN Berkshircs. and Anais Nin. me there was a women's tradition of creating literature in The volumes included work by 1930s and 1940s unconventional American women poets like H. Labeled in the 1960s Lights Books published an "Underground" or alternative press. Tillie Olsen. not even City many women in their Pocket Poets series. Gwendolyn Brooks. When read Plath'sy4rw/ after completing my doctorate in 1965. whose poems were scattered among the cartoons in The as New Yorker. which Sam culled from the shelves of second-hand bookshops and public These anthologies taught the United States. these women were committed to literary experimentation and social change and represented a very different tradition from the few women authors on my academic reading lists. directly Adam and Jo both of whom to I'd heard about in Berkeley. a book he described approvingly as being "in extreme contrast to the 'bop apocalypse'" of Ginsberg's poem. like Pulitzer Prize-winning Phyllis McGinley. Along with others like Gertrude Stein.. the best sources In my independent reading outside the of informaLouis tion about poetry were the popular anthologies edited by Seldon Rodman and Untermeyer which had sold thousands of copies and gone into multiple editions. knew that in the could browse on my own. Pocket Poets number six was Here and Now by the Poems to talented young Denise Levertov. But the authors in the who spoke most my sensibilities I 1960s were Doris Lessing and Elizabeth Bishop. Janine Pommy Vega's Fernando. whose poI etry admired most I until encountered Sylvia Plath. Of the BEAT GENERATION me to include and my I thesis advisor Lewis Leary encouraged Catharine Maria Sedgwick and Edith Wharton along with Thoreau. this supremely 340 .

both of which brilliantly described women's In lives closer to I home. Kerouac's prose was so nostalgia. For my friend Carolyn. and Kaddish by Allen Ginsberg. she might have been one of the thology. Like Naomi years after gradu- Ginsberg and Sylvia Plath. ating from Cal. There flavor I found a de- scription of cottage in Berkeley after I which caught the bohemian left its of the place but I read a few years had dangers behind me.— Afterword: Ann Charters gifted. depressed by the direction her life A dozen in had taken an unhappy marriage. iconoclastic writer became a my favorite poet. women celebrated in this an- Survive! Survive! I wonder if the person currently renting my cottage at 2803-'/2 Forrest like Avenue is taking literature courses at the university using anthologies I Women of the Beat Generation. my friend committed suicide in Berkeley. books Dinners and Night- mares by Diane di Prima. pile I cherished her work along with I Lessing's in Golden Notebook and at the growing of small press Beat paperbacks like found Greenwich Village Eighth Street Bookshop. the experience wasn't a golden memory. Had she lived and managed to continue painting and writing. New York it City life also read Kerouac's 77?^ Dharma Bums. she was a casualty of her time. Though right now I imagine her in Heaven reading Simone Weil —probably Waitingfor God. For Carolyn's sake. 341 . since I seductive that tested my memories assumed the golden glow of his never them by living there again. hope so.

.

APPENDIX: List of Collected Works .

City Lights Books." and took the skin of arts. Sons. 1985. A magazine of the Ed Sand- puppet play] in Mademoiselle. to stare at Farrar. Stone Cold Gothic. 1984. "Heavy-bellied with hero.). 1924. ed. White Rabbit Press. 1983. 1979. Carolyn Cassady Heart Beat: Jay DeFeo One-Person Exhibitions 1954 The Place. no. drawings by Jess)." and "No love" in City Lights Journal. [a corpses" in Fuck You: ers (ed. Kulchur Foundation. "I Elise Cowen Gone Sailing. Quarreling Pair ber.4. Republished The Beats: Literary Bohemians in Posnvar America.. Number Three: Best ofthe Small Presses. by Hanging Loose Ballads. 1976. 1963." "The it.WOMEN Helen charms and Dreatns from Of the BEAT GENERATION berg. unspeakable visions of the individual. The Pushcart Prize. Aelph Press. The Beat Book. and Mademoiselle. January 1966. Hanging Loose Press. 1982. Gale. San Francisco's Burning. June Joan Brown Joan Brown had one-person exhibitions from 1957-1990 in galleries "Sloughing death will slap. 1980. Decem- February 1965. In the Summer House. Creative Arts Book My Years with Cassady. The Collected Works ofJane Bowles. Adam elfrri Morrow. Hodder Putnam's Road: Twenty berg. "Compassion 1965. 1990. Oannes Press.. 1966. The Elfin Pedlar and tales told by Pixie "Coming Down" vol. 2. Selected Poems Scene. Kulchur Foundation. P. 1924." "Who "Death I'm coming." "Under the dismal onion. 344 . all day" in Things. "I speaks a few words to her. walk weeping. bara Gittings. Hodder The Queen OCroiv Castle." and "If it . 1964. Interim Books. Fall first 1 Ron Schreiber and Emmett Jarrett. Years with Cassady. Coffee House Press. Co. Shadow ofthe Moon. 1964 (with drawings by Jess). is a Chinese greeting" in The Ladder. 7. CA CA. 1958 (with "As 1978-79 I edition. Ghosts and Grinning Shadows. Straus. as Off the and Gins- & Stoughton." all over each other in slat baskets." "Faithful paranoid" and "Real as the worn green" in El corno emplumado 17. and Ballads. Random House. Kerouac. 1929. San Francisco. & Stoughton. see It" in Dictionary of Literary Biography vol. 1977. and museums around the country." "Morning Blessing from Elohim. The Bells ofDis. "Someone I The Ladder. Toothpaste Press. Off the Road: and Gins- Dilexi Gallery. Beat Counting Out lV)yme. wanted a cunt of golden pleasure. Knopf. Press. 1974. Contributor to periodicak including unspeakable visions of the individual.. G. man 1985. 1972. Bar- Contributor to Harper's Bazaar. 1978. 1958 My Life with Jack andNeal. 9. Vogue. "A cockroach. Pushcart. Helikon Press. weren't for love I'd snooze 1954. 1966. Pleasures. San Francisco. no." Jane Bowles Two Serious ladies. published Black Spring Press. 1990. "Easy to love." eye opens by the sun's "I warmth Pbin Owen. Acadia Press. vol. no. 1943." "A Songs with Music. Pool. Kerouac. in in England the pedlar's pack. could kiss" in 1966. April 1965. 16. Turn Again to Me. and Moody Street Irregulars: A Jack Kerouac Newsletter. eds. \97 4." "Trust yourself —but not too far. 1964. Kerouac Connection.P.

1988. Houston. Walla Walla. 1961. 1969 Pasadena (traveled). Seven Love Poemsfrom the Middle Latin. Chico.. 1975 Isabelle Percy West Gallery. CA. Am Here Books. Poets' Vaudeville. Boise. CA. College of Arts Oakland. York. 1968. Paris Wengcr Crafts. The Fbating Bear [ne'w. University of Idaho Art Gallery. Berkeley. San Francisco Museum of Modern An. Aucrhahn Press. Aurora Bligh and Early Poems. Oycz. 1963. 1969.). Press. Novato. Floating Island. (ed.). ID. CA. Individual Bibliographies 1959 1 6 Americans. CA. WA Freddie Poems. Poets Press. 1991. 345 . Feed Folly Press. Laurence McGilvery. Eidolon Editions. San Francisco. 1971. Totem from Various Places (ed. Oycz. San Fran- CA. CA Museum. New The The New Handbook of Heaven. The Book of Hours. Fabilli 1960. CA. Fresno An The Mask tional. Poets 1967. and Krannert Art IL. Brownstone 1970. Los Angeles. Diane di Prima This Kind of Bird Flies Backward. 1972. CA. Various Fables G. Press. ofa Song: Selected Poenu.\enei] ID. Oakland. Poem. Seminary Poems. Pasadena.). Nonh Atlantic Books. 1 962. 1970 1974 Oakland Museum. Victoria. traveling to the Menil Collection. 1965. Hotel Albert. TX CA. Loba: pans 1-Vlll. Beach. San Francisco. and has been translated into at least thir- teen languages. Museum of Art. 1958. Eidolon Editions. 1968. LA and Odyssey. Los Angeles. Press. 1990 Jay DeFeo: Works on Paper. CA. Poets Press. Poets Press. Loba.. The Mysteries of Vision. CA. 1978. Loba. Selected Poems: State University. San Francisco. 1976. San Francisco Art Institute. San Francisco. Pasadena 1968 Rose. Wyoming Series. Un iversity Art Museum University of California at Berkeley. //d/K Love Press. Indian Valley College. and Olympia Press. 1971. The Loba As Eve. Gallery. CA. Jan Turner Gallery Los Angeles. 1 968. Poets Press. CA. Is the Path ofthe Star. 1956-1975. 967 The The Rose. The Phoenix Book Shop. San Francisco. Fresno. 1974. CA. 1966. War Poems (ed. CA. Pasadena. 1969. Boise Gallery of Art. Museum of An. Thinker Review Interna- 1993. Museum of Modern Art. 1979 1979 Faith City Lights Books. Eidolon Pieces Editions. Press. CA. Contributor to more than 300 literary and popular magazines Champaign. Gallery Paule Anglim. 1975. 1960 1 Fcrus Gallery. G\. Dinners and Nightmares.Y.. Laguna Beach Museum of Art. ID. Poets Press. San Fran- New Mexico Earthsong. 1990. Corinth Press. Laguna Museum. 1988. Janus Gallery. Gallery Paule Museum. 1988. Man Condemned to Death (trans. Anglim. P Putnam. Hary The Old Ones. CA. The cisco. Moscow. 1964. 1983 1984 1985 Gallery Paule Anglim. 1973. 1977. City Lights Books. CA. Memoirs ofa Beatnik Last Gasp Press. 1986 1988 Nave Museum. Eidolon Editions. cisco. N. part II. 1968. Memoirs ofa Beatnik. Hope. 1973. Rose. part I. Wingbow (revised). Oycz. and newspapers. 1980 Gallery Paule Anglim. 1966. Capra Press. 1978 University of California Art Kerhonkson Journal. and Charity in Hope (Ed Kienhoitz).). has appeared in at least seventy anthologies. Whitman Chico 1981 College Art Gallery. Revolutionary Letters. The Calculus of Variation.

In Search ofthe Castaways. Fund. Winter Poems. forever Young. Atheneum. 1 and Other Poems. Dial Books for Young Readers. 1976. Fish. of Viking. March/April 1937. 1962. Delacorte 1979. What Knew: The Truth and Lies ofthe Steinberg Putnam. Dutton. 1975. Articles have appeard in The Neiv Yorker. 1983. 990. To. Madeline Cleason Poems. April 1940. Experimental Reviews. Revised and updated. Artwork 5/w««. 1948. Spring 1938. Poets. 1985. 1977. Dragon's Teeth Press. Trees 1946. 1972. Her. Stand Shining. Centaur Concerto fiir Bell 1949. a division Occident. Off the BEAT GENERATION Jeyce Jolins«n Ray Boynton and The Mother Lode. Coyote Tales. How To Eat Your ABCs: A Book About Vitamins. Porpoise Book Shop. Now (ed. Hoyem "A Woman Remembers Her Past. 1982.). 1950. Bad Connections. Vi- Hear My Sister king Press. Madeline Gleason in Giants Play Well in the Drizzle. Putnam.. Press. Rinehart Anthologies I Big Star Fallin' Singing 1976. Spring 1980. Forever Free." Infinite Press. 1976. 1977. Shingles In the Night Cafe. Refreshes. Having Been Press. "The Big Here Comes Everybody. Winter/Spring. 1972. 1981. Pilgrimage. #3 September 1941. 1976. Press. Summer 1995." Noose Memorial Issue. Epitaph. You Light Up My Life. "The Pause That 84. & Winston." IKON. Four Winds Press (Scholastic). Pocket Books. Pocket Books. Simple Pleasures.Penguin USA. WOMEN The Animal Kingdom. Berkley Publishing. 1976-1981. 1944. 1975. Poetry of the North American In- The Dial Press. Minor Characters. 1974. 1971 Circle 10. 1978. "The Ironing Board" Poems (1944-1979). Five Women In Black Music. Selected Poems. Rinehart & Winston. 1944. Harp- Bazaar. Kulchur Press. 1946. and Telephone. Pocket Books. Macmillan. Vanity Fair. Promises in the Dark. Living With Wolves. Holt. Bantam Books. Number 1981 The Metaphysical Needle. Panjandrum Collected rial Number. /! Portfi)lio Mustang Country. 1966. New Directions 8. 1979. 1985. 1987. Poeti Itab-Americani. 1990. Grabhorn Press. 1983- 346 . Longhouse Winter. 1983. Harpers. Ihetns Come and Join the Dance (under name Joyce Classman). I Hate to Talk About Your Mother. #2 November 1940. Contemporary Against Women 1979. Mama. ers New York. <^/awi. 1989. 1979. Press. 1968. Infinity. (reissue 1993). The New York Times Magazine. Holt. and Mirabella Ritual. Periodicals Occident. Oyez. Houghton & Mifflin. 1975. Lisa Case. Number Press. in Prints. He<tie Jones Poems The Circle Circle 1 3X\A%. 1983. 1995. Talisman 13. 1976. February 1995. 1983. "). Memo- 1983. 1972.

2. P. the blue car" in Ladies Start Vour Engines." 1959. Against Apartheid Anthology. 1 98 1 Artists. Supplement. 1962." Frontiers. Alternative 1996. Grover Haynes (ed. Stolen Paper Editions. Bedford 1992. Dclacorte Press. some. Three (hardcover). Street Settlement. 1966. "Bernstein on Jazz" in Bernstein Remembered. a book and street project by Bullet Space Urban Artists Collaborative. "Home Free. 1984. Dutton. Simon &c Schuster. Penguin USA. More In by Hettie Jones." "Paleface.. "The Third Poem. Individual Bibliographies Missing Sweet Rose. How / Became Hettie Jones. 13. 1968." and others." "Welcome to Our Crowd. E. Also The Penguin Book of the Beats (UK). The Love Book. Lose Some. "Song It at Sixty" [bookmark]. Penny Press. also edited Facility. February 26-April 4. 1988. "Saturday the stuffed bears. Grove. Viking Penguin. 'The cret. no. Three Penny Press. Right?" in Time Capsule: A Concise Encyclopedia by Women A Story About Myself St. and Faber. 1 996. vol." "WmJan Kcrouac Baby Driver: Trainsong. 1993. Grove. Summer House SeMacmillan Publishing Com- 1996. January 1992. 1962. Press. 1990 Lenore Kandel An Exquisite Navel. 1967. Pacific Books. University of Wyoming. Three Passing Penny Press. Forthcoming: "Lunch Poem" and "One Hundred Love Poems in for Lisa" Hary Norbert Korte The Beginning is El Signo del Gorrion. Last Word Alchemy. many and popular magazines and Joan Havcrty Kerouac Nobody's Wife. Oyez. "Lost and/or Gained. 1993. in "Mother Moon" and "Sharing The Image" Than Out. 1 967." Artist Visual Arts Gallery. Hetties" in Giants Play Well in the Drizzle." IKON Art Spooky Tales From Gullah GuUah Island. 1967. Three Penny 1959. and Homeless Henry San Francisco Art Festival: A Poetry Folio. The Portable Beat Reader. Carroll Graf." "Racing with the Moon. 347 . unpublished autobiography. Fall 1993. Hills Correctional Anthologies Beards and Brown Bags. Dragon Seen Again." "My friend in love. June 1988. 1991. 1996. Owen Wister Revieiv. unpublished autobiography.). 1959. 1959. New Museum of Best Poems of 1961: Borestone Mountian Poetry Awards Contemporary Art. "Sisters. Women Studies." Secrets and Surprises. Hanging Loose. 1986. "This Time Was Different At the Airport. Winter 1993. Reissue August 1996. East Wind ers. "Enough of This" and "How She Recognized Her Fling Last When She Found It. literary Contributor to newspapers." "Lonie and Oscar. Your House Is Mine. Word Alchemy." "The woman in Hymn to the Gentle Sun. "Manhattan Special.1991. a memoir. Fabcr "From Four 1986." "Manhattan Special" in Henry Holt. Spring 1996. Collaborative. the Life. Press. pany. A Journal of You'll Edie Parker Kereuac Be Okay. Martin s. showing. Print- 1964. & A A Passing Dragon.

1969. and the Light Light People" in Past Future Loves by Dick Sutphen. Press. Floating Island Two Poems. A Brievary in Time ofWar. Joanne. A collection of Kyger's work New Poetry. illustrated by Arthur Numerous broadsides. Pocket Books. Husband Drives By. Contributor: The American Literary Anthology. Republished The World Anthology. Mexico Blonde. 1968. Alix. Out and Fall Back. 1988. 1970. Man-Women.). Smithereens Press. Rainy Day Women Press. Books. Nancy Davis. with Larry Fa^in. 1991. Anne Waldman 1969. Big Bridge Press. 1974. Big Sky Mind. Paris Review. 1973. Lives. Lines Bending 1978. Cranium Oyez. 1972. 1986. Places to Go. Press.). For Love ofRay. University of Cali- is San Diego. Oyez. Carole Tonkinson 1995. Oyez. 1969. 1966 through 1968. 1991. Cherry Valley Anthology. Hart (1967-1968). Carol Berg 1970. Laura Chester and Sharon Barba (eds. 1981. Just Space: Poems 1979-1990. Articles include those Press. Riverhead Books. Bobbs-Merrill. 1983. 1989. held at the Archive for fornia. Journal. 1981. The Midnight Bridge. 1996. Croton Press. (ed. Editions. Mexican Memoirs. on Monterey Pop Festivals Festival (1967) and Monterey Jazz Up My Coast (adapted from the stories of C. "Eileen. Angel Hair Books. including Coyotes Blue Beat. 1965. 1963. Shambhala. The Fool in April: A Poem.WOMEN Begitining of the BEAT GENERATION Mcrriam. 1963. Japan and India Journals 1960-1964. photographs by Columnist on music criticism for Los Angeles Free Press Gary Snyder and Allen Ginsberg. Tombouctou Books. with Michael Rothenberg. George Plimpton and Brenda Frazer Troia: as Peter Ardery (eds.: April 1992 and The Wonderful Focus of You. 348 . Institute of Further Studies. illustrated by Throwing Firecrackers out the Window While the Ex- Phenomenological. by Inez Storer). 1 966. Black Sparrow Press.). The Beat Book: Poems & Fiction Jrom the Beat Generation. chapter published Sparrow Press. Pat All This Every Lettre Day Big Sky. Also published in: Fuck You. Dutton. Joanne Kyser The Tapestry and the Web. London Magazine Anthologies: Rising Tides. Arif Press. Black Poems for Women.). Four Seasons Foundation. June 1992. de Paris. (ed. 1967. Trip in 1985]. Random House. Poetry. Eileen Kaufman (ed. Publisher. zard Review. Who Wouldn't Walk with Tigers? [first Desecheo Notebook. Anne Waldman (ed. 1971. 1971. and World. [weekly underground newspaper —"Sounds" column and other]. 1973. Going On: Selected Poeyns 1958-1980. Coyote Books. Arif Press. 2 vols. illustrated of Lines. Poltroon 1977. Rockey Ledge. 1978. Evergreen 1981. Turkey BuzIntrepid. Valley of the Sun 1977. The Dharma Committee. 1980. 1963. Beatitude International. Press.). 1973. Okamura. 1969. 1970. Contributor of poems to periodicals. 1975.). a Magazine of the Arts. Z Press. Mammab of Delight.

Poets Who Sleep. Bearthm Press. 22. Josephine Hiles Lines at Intersection. Light up the Cave. and "The Sorrow Dance" (1967) their entirety. 1967. Oblique Prayers [poetry with 14 translations from Jean Joubert].. CoffeeHouse Press. Los Angeles Oracle. Arif Press. Netv & Selected Essays. 1962. World Pacific Records (1966).: University of Illi- nois Press. 1993. Cherry Valley Editions. Macmillan. y(?ttm<j/o/<j//fr. Poems 1960-1967. Kinds ofAffection.r. the Hive. Equilibrium of the Present. New Directions. John Bryan's Poems on Several Occasions. 1948. Working Out Ideas: Predication and Other Uses ofLanguage. "The Jacobs Udder" (1961). Directions. 1946. University of 1974. Evening Train. City Lights Poet Pocket Series no. 1979. Civil Poems. New Directions. fornia Press. Cresset The Neiv British Poets. 1987. and "To Stay Alive" (1971) entirety. 1960. Nni> Year's Crossing. Indiana University Press. A Door in New Directions. University of Cali- rections. "Footprints" (1972). 1939. Press. 1984. University of California board. Breathing the Water. 1975. Star Treatise [broadside]. Lifi in the Torest. Eighteenth-Century. Candles in New Directions. 1964. 1 Janine 978. Milton. Hard Edge. [forthcoming] 1996. 1995. Press. Press. Sands of the Well. Poems to Fernando. Wordsivorth. University of Illinois Press. 1983. Cloud Marauder Poetry 1970. 1974. New and Selected. 1992. "Relearning the Alphabet" (1970). "OTaste Saving the Bay. Oyez 1968.). New Directions. New Directions. (ed. Local Measures. 1968. New 1960. Wesleyan University Press. 1982. 18. Cranium 1975. New Directions. 349 . Collected Earlier Poems 1940-1960. Renaissance. Joanna HcClure WolfEyes. Book Club of California. 1966. Individual Bibliographies Also wrote on musical events for World Countdown. and Modern Language Kenneth Rexroth New Di- in English Poetry: A Tabular View. no. Oyez Press. of Learning. and Bill- After This Sea. in their To All Appearances: Paems Illinois Press. New Directions. 1960. Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1930-1960. Press. Poems 1968-1972. 1976. 1957. and the 1974. 1975. Contributed anicles to many periodicals.. New Directions. 1989. Collected Poems. Urbana. revised and enlarged. University of California 1987. 1979. 1987. Indiana University Poetry Series. Telephone Books. 1 94 1 & Open City. Press. 1930-83. Coming to Terms: Poems. Berkeley Bay Area Writing Project. and Change: Donne. Fields Open Space. New Directions. Poems. 1978. 1975. Babylon. University of Minnesota 1964. in Style and Proportion: The Language of Ihose and Poetry Little. The Treeing of the Dust. Brown. University of California. Eras & Modes in English Poetry Press. and See" (1964). 1981. Hitchcock. 1947. 1983. New Directions. 1979. New Directions. American Poems.7. 111. 1 946. Tesserae. Press. 1967. Morning Passage. Rcynal New Directions. Pommy Vega Extended Love Poems. Denisc Levertov The Double Image.

1959. Adler 1959. 1960. Aspect. Poetry Project. Life Notes. 1970. Ellis Press. Seminars. No Hassles. Threading the Maze. Apex ofthe Earth's Way. 1988. Z Press. 1978. Talking To Flies. 1976. Andrew Scheiling. 1994. Adler Press. 1985. Helping the Dreamer: New and Selected Poems. Penguin Books. Corinth Books. Press. New York State Anthology. Poetry Since 1970. 1980. Press. Gallery ofWomen. Press. 1970. 1984. 1958. Kulcher Foundation. On Turtle's Back. St. White Pine 1984. Pokhara [broadside]. Songbird Editions. Peace and Pieces Foundation. lovis. 1979. Up Late: American Out of This World. Annals of The Jack Kerouac School ofDisembodies Shambhala. Giant Night. D'Aurora Press. Here at the Door. Sketches. Beatitude Anthology. Countries. Coffee House Press. Baby Breakdown. Hotel Room. Cloud Mountain Press. Fast Speaking Woman. Baby Poems. 1 ofthe Sun. Toothpaste Invention. 1983. 1969. Review. 1978. 1959. Disembodied Poetics: Annals ofthe Jack Kerouac School. 11. 1996. 1966-1991. 1980. Single Out. A Ten Year Retrospective. University of New Mexico Press. 1989. Coffee House Press. United Artists Books. 4 Walls 8 Windows. 1989. Adler Press. Anic 1986. 1973. A Sitting Frog. South Pacific. Bobby Merrill. Kulchur Foundation. 1960. 1991. 1 Anthologies The Aspect Anthology. Longhouse. White Pine Nice to See You: Homage to Ted Berrigan. Zone Press. work in 1994. ruth wciss Steps. 1977. and Other Poems. New America. 1993. The Bard Owl. H)'acinth Girls Editions. Arif Press. Kulchur Press. Island Mad River Press. Anne Waldman The World Anthology: Poems from The Project. from Naropa Institute: Poetics. 1981. Talking Poetics 13 Haiku. Bobby Merrill. Mark's Poetry Hudson River Anthology. University of New Mexico. Troubairitz. 1971.. Bobby Merrill. Drunk on a 1988. Coffee House Press. Fifth Planet Press. Tender Buttons. Sun the Blond Out. WOMEN Song for Cfsar [bTOids'ide]. 1975. Press. Shambhala. Tooth of Time Books. Traveling with the Spirit: progress. Desert Journal. 1975. 1959. Toothpaste Press. Coffee House Press. Of the BEAT GENERATION Sphinxeries. Light AJark's Poetry Project. A Woman's Journey. Anthologies: Beatitude #2-8. City Lights. Smithereens Press. First Longhouse. Letter from the Woods [broadside]. 1993. Makeup on Empty Space. Not a Male Pseudonym. 1971. 1978. Cabin. 1985. Glacier. 990. Press. Crown. 1984. Kill or Cure. Out of This World: An Anthology of the Project. Mark's Poetry Bobby Merrill. Four Travels. Another World: A Second Anthology of Works from the St Blue in Green. 350 . Skin Meat Bones. 1992. 1991. Sayonara. Good Gay Poets. The Romance Thing: Travel 1987. Vassar College. 1977. Naropa Institute. with Crown. St. 99 1 Blue Mosque. 1977. The Beat Book: Poems & Fiction from the Beat Generation. 1988. Bamberger Books.

The Various Incarnations of a Tibetan Seamstress. 1973. /l?f/r)' cf Allthatjazz. Is Women's Work. 1993. 1971. 1 Second Coming Anthology. Beatitude 33. Interview: Holocaust Oral History Project. & Pieces: An Anthology of Contemporary American 1973. 1976. Contemporary Fiction: Contemporary Today's Outstanding Writers. live perfor- mance with jazz trio. 1991. Poetry & Allthatjazz. 984. 19*1. audio & videocassette. Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series. 1986. I6mm. Procuress. 1971. This & #3. Poetry at the 33. color. 5 hours. audio cassette. 1977. 1993. 1994. 1962. 16mm. Beatitude 34. 1961. I6mm. 1971.. vol. Anthology: Women's Poetry Festival. Matrix «2. 1 . 1987. originally 16mm. Women Poets Anthology. Matrix Ml. 1996.Individual Bibliographies Outburst »2. 1967. 40 min. Messages Messages. Audio. vid- eocassette. 974. Luminous 1967. B&W. videocassette. B&W. vol. B&W. Video. and Film rAf fin'w/t. Panjandrum Poetry #2 185. Mark Peace in Time. 1995. 1996. Poetry. Gale Research. 2. 1 1 973. 1970. 1977. 351 . 35mm. Poetry at the 33. 1990. Poetry at the 33. 1996. 1978. Minnie's Can-Do-Club Memories ofFillmore St. Films by Steven Arnold with ruth weiss in Major Roles Liberation ofMannicjue Mechanique.. 1986. live performance with acoustic bass accompaniment. Beatitude 35. 1968. B&W.

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a living. Jay Kahn. from idea to book. I am grateful to these women of the Beat Generation for sharing their time. Diane di Prima. for turning thanks to editor par excellence. a writings with me: guiding light throughout. their lives. Laura Marceau for cheerful balance and enthusiasm. Lenore Kandel for her strength.C. Eileen Kaufman for her indomitable spirit. Joanna McClure understanding. whom I could always rely for her sharp intelligence. 353 . vision. Jennifer Ame Beanland for her singular aesthetic and tiful Brontsema for making a beauPutten for listening book. track. Chandrika Madhavan and Kevin Trotter helped immensely ogy with their endless trips to the rare archives of compiling the anthol- U. Janine Pommy Vega for her fascinating stories. owe many thanks to all my colleagues at Conari Press who helped every step of the way and listened to me talking about the Beat Generation nonstop for eight months! also I wish to thank Emily Miles for her unfailing support from the inception. Jan Kerouac for her generosity. Mary Jane an actual book instead of a six-hundred-page encyclopedia of Beat women. I will always be and support. skill Maya Van for his assiduous and uncompromising standards. keen sense of responmuch as I do for these special Beat and for caring as women. and their Anne Waldman. Berkeley's Bancroft Library and I their dedication to the selection of poetry and prose. upon sibility. who helped out again and again. Joanna Kyger for second chances. who set the standard. in especially Eiise Cowen. a fine researcher Andrea Dabbs.Acknowledgments The following people have been fil for their help grate essential to the creation of this book. ruth weiss for always being there. project whose enthusiasm and hard work helped take the a bright future in books. Brenda Frazer for her honesty. Will Glennon a very special this into good and excellent advice. Hettie Jones. who kept this book on You did Neal Cassady proud. You have Tosha Schore. Joyce Johnson for her for for illuminating memories. and Ryan. all Mary Norbert Korte really her willingness. and Carolyn Cassady for showing us what grace means. breathing encyclopedia of all things Beat.

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Reprinted by permission of William Morrow & Company. Used by permission of Penguin." "Teacher —Your Body My Kabbalah. Reprinted by permission of the author. by Cowen. 1988 by Diane di Prima." "Sitting.. copyright Inc. 1990 by Diane di Prima. Press." "Did I Go Mad. Reprinted by "For Pigpen" from Selected Poenis: 1956-1975. © 1990 by Diane di Prima.." "Who Will Slap. as Priestess Addresses the Loba-Goddess" from Loba: di Prima.." "A Skin.Bountiful thanks for permission to reprint the following: "Margarerta's Rime. Reprinted by permission of the author. Reprinted by permission of the author. Reprinted by permission of the family of Helen Adam.. VIII. Inc. "The Loba Addresses Parts 1 author. - the Goddess/Or the Poet Press. City Lights permission of the author. Re- from Off the Road hy Carolyn Cassady. Reprinted by permission of Coffee House Press and the family of Helen Adam." "Death." "The Elise Lady.. copyright © "The Doctrine of Signatures" from Pieces ofa Song City Lights Press. Copyright © 1969. Straus and Giroux. Copyright © 1985 by Helen Adam." Skir. Inc. © "Blessed Babe. Ltd. Lover's Eyes Cit)' Lights Press. © 1975 by Diane di "My Are Nothing Like The Sun" from Pieces of a Song... Copyright © 1 966 by Jane Bowles. "Emmy Moore's Journal" from My Sister's Hand in Mine: An Expanded Edition ofthe ofJane Bowles. a division of Penguin Books USA. copyright © 1975 di Prima. "No Problem by Diane Party Poem" from Selected Poems: 1956-1975. Copyright renewed printed by permission of Farrar. North Atlantic Books. and Black Spring Press. Six page text excerpt Collected Works © 1 994 by Paul Bowles. Copyright © 1984 by the Estate of Elise Cowen. copyright Prima." "Emily. "Rant" from Pieces of a Song.." and "The Last Secret" from The Bells of Dis by Helen Adam. London. copyright © 1990 by Diane di Prima. Reprinted by permission of Leo Excerpt from Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diane di Prima. Reprinted by permission of the author. North Atlantic Books." "Last Words Of Her Lover. Copyright 1990 by Carolyn Cassady. "The Queen O' Crows Castle" and "Apartment on Twin Peaks" by Helen Adam. Wingbow copyright © 1978 by Diane Reprinted by permission of the 355 ..

"Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits" and "Untitled (Saturday the stuffed bears). selection by Eileen Kaufman. Copyright ©1987. Copyright © 1983. Copyright Estate of © 1966 by Bob © 1990 by the Press." copyright © 1990 by Hettie Jones. Copyright © 1966. Excerpt from and Virago Press. "Words. cember Evening." copyright © 1966 by Mary Fabilli. Excerpt from How I Became Hettie Jones. Copyright © © 1969 by Brenda Frazer. "DeFabilli. London." copyright Jones. Reprinted by permission of the "Lyrics" by Madeline Gleason. Available Press. Excerpt from Troia: Mexi- can Memoirs by Brenda author. © © 1980 by © 1988 by Herbert Huncke. a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group. "God Love Poem" from © The Love Book by Lenore Kandel. Copyright © 1 996 by Brenda Frazer. Copyright right © 1972 by Madeline Gleason. "Sisters. Forgot Your Name" by Madeline Gleason. "Laughter Sounds Orange at Night" from the book The Beat Vision. 1967 by City Lights Publishing Company." and "Advent." copyright © 1968 by Mary Reprinted by permission of the author. Excerpt from Guilty of Everything hy Herbert Huncke. & Company and Eileen Kaufman. Copyright 1967 by Lenore Kandel. Reprinted by permission of the © 1985 by Mary Reprinted by permission of the author. © 1990 by Hettie Jones. "Soft Birdwing Hat" by Brenda Frazer. "Rebirth" and "The Poet in the Wood" by Madeline Gleason. Reprinted by permission of the author. used by permission of the publisher. © 1965 by Lenore Kandel. Copy- 1975 by Madeline Gleason." copyright © 1996 by copyright © Hettie Jones.WOMEN "Letter Of the BEAT GENERATION Fabilli. copyright to and "Welcome from Grove Our Crowd." copyright author. All reprinted by permission of the author. "Rollicking Roses. Reprinted by permission of Mary Greer. Copyright printed by permission of Arthur and Kit Knight. Used by permission of the author. Right?. Excerpt © 1981 by Hettie from Your House is Mine. Doubleday. "Enlightenment Poem" and "Small Prayer For Falling Angels" from Word Alchetny by Lenore Kandel. Reprinted by permission of Eileen Kaufmann and Coffee House 1 Chapter Marlovkfe 9. 1994 by Joyce Johnson. 356 . Copyright the author. Copyright Madeline Gleason. Inc. Copyright Kaufman. "The Interior Castle" by Madeline Gleason. Copyright © 1949 by Madeline Gleason." "Sonnet" 1995 by Hettie Jones. Reprinted by permission of "Jazz Chick" from GoUen Sardine and Cranial Guitar by Bob Kaufman.. Copyright 1944 by Madeline Gleason. Re- Minor Charactershy ]oycQ]o\\nson. To Robert. Frazer. edited by Arthur and Kit Knight. "Soulglass" by Madeline "I Gleason. Bob Kaufman.

Excerpt from "Dear Lover" by Joanna McClure." "Sappho" from Hard Edge." "Pearls For Kathie. in Inc. "Eddie Mae The Cook Dreamed Sister Mary Ran Off With Allen Ginsburg. Kbrte. "Breakfast" and "he makes love to her"and "what I wanted Copyright © 1978 by Joanne Kyger. All reprinted by permission of the author. Reprinted by permission of Arthur and Kit Knight. Copyright Reprinted by permission of Jan Kerouac and John Bowers. Reprinted by per- Henry Holt and Co.. Reprinted by permission of the author. Copyright mission of © 1988 by Ted Morgan. Copyright © 1993 by Mary Norbert Kbrte. Inc. Reprinted by permission of the author. Reprinted by lected Earlier Poems 1940-1960. Copyright © permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. Copyright © 1974 by Joanna McClure.. Copyright © 1996 by Mary Norbert Kbrte. "Curtain. Copyright © 1995 by Chapter 22 & Jan Kerouac. "Hard Edge. Copyright © 1987 by Joanna McClure. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and Co. Copyright © 1988 by Jan Kerouac." "Remembering Bill Everson Poet" and "Turning Forty In Willits" by Mary Norbert Kbrte." "Travellers. Jan Kerouac. © 1990 by Joan Haverty Kerouac." by Josephine Miles. 1984. Copyright © 1958 by Joanna McClure. 1957."" Collage." "I want a smaller thing in mind." "It's a great day. Reprinted by permission of the author." "At the Counter. golden room. "Jack & Neal Crosse Pointe" from You'll be Okay by Frankie Edith Kerouac Parker." and "Bureau. "Another Journey.." day in February" "When this step through the door.Permissions Acknowledgments 47 from Trainsong by Jan Kerouac. 1958 by Denise Levertov." "It true. Copyright ® 1987 by Frankie Edith Kerouac Parker. © 1991 by Excerpt from Literary Outlaw by Ted Morgan.. Reprinted by permission of the author. All reprinted by permission of the author. Copyright © 1975 by Joanne Kyger.." and "The Dead" by Denise Levertov. Introduction by Jan Kerouac to Nobody's Wifehyjozn Kerouac." "June 18." "No one was watching the to say" is tortillas. Reprinted by permission of the Estate of Josephine Miles. "Throwing Copyright Firecrackers OutThe Window While The Ex-Husband Drives By" by Mary Norbert Kbrte. Excerpt from Wolf Eyes. "New Year 1995" and "The Room Within" by Mary Norbert Copyright© 1995 by Mary Norbert Kbrte." and "O from All Every Day by Joanne Kyger. Chapter 12 from Nobody's U^z^by Joan Haverty Kerouac... 357 . Reprinted by permission of Jan Kerouac and John Bowers. from Col1946. and Gerald Nicosia." "Night." "The Gypsy's Window. "There's No Such Thing As An Ex-Catholic" by Mary Norbert Kbrte. and Laurence Pollinger Ltd. Copyright the Estate of Josephine Miles. fresh "My vision is a large I from Joanne by Joanne Kyger. © 1989 by Mary Norbert Kbrte. Executor for the Estate of Jan Kerouac.

Skir Cowen: A Brief Memoir of the Fifties" by Leo Skir. © 1971 ruth weiss and was the story "SINGLE OUT" was previously published in for SINGLE OUT. and 1996 by & the Estate Copyright Woman" from Fast Speaking Woman by Anne Waldman. "XVIII 'I AM THE GUARD!'" from "lovis" by Anne Waldman. 3300 Press © 1995 ruth weiss. "ANNA MARIE" from MY NAME IS WOMAN© 1994 ruth weiss. An is exhaustive effort has been made to clear all reprint permissions for this book." "February thaw. 1978. Copyright © 1985 by Anne Waldman. Excerpt from "Fast Speaking 1974. Copyright © 1996 by Janine Pommy Vega. if any required acknowledgments have been omitted. "Two © Anne Waldman. "Elise All reprinted by permission of the author." "Here before the sunrise blue" from City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology. D'Aurora Press © 1978 ruth "FOR BOBBY KAUFMAN" was previously published in Would You Wear My Eyes. excerpts from I ALWAYS THOUGHT YOU BLACK© 1996 ruth weiss." "Greeting the year 2000 with respect" by Pommy Vega."Seeds of travel. Copyright sion of the author © 1989 by Anne Waldman. the pubhsher will be pleased to rectify any omission in future printings. "POST-CARD 1995" was previously published in Poetry at the 33 Review. Copyright ® 1968 by Janine Pommy Vega. If notified. unintentional. Reprinted by permission of the author. Reprinted by permission of the author. Bob Kaufman Collective © 1989 ruth weiss. Hearts" from Helping the Dreamer by Anne Waldman." Janine "The drum song. Reprinted by permission of the author and Grove/ Atlantic Inc. This it process has been complicated. Reprinted by permission of the author. "Ah certainty of love in the hand. The following is printed by permission of the author: title Matrix #2 weiss. . "FOR MADELINE GLEASON" © 1980 ruth weiss. "A Phonecall from Frank O'Hara" from Invention by Anne Waldman." "M42. Copyright © 1992 by Anne Waldman. Reprinted by permis- and Coffee House Press. Copyright © 1970 by Leo of Elise Cowen.

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Brown. 5. 76. 185. 31. 51-54. 103.29. Brenda Bremser.WOMEN Of the BEAT GENERATION Blumenthal Award Bowers. 125 Benjamin. 91 for Poetry. Paul (Ti-Paul). Steven. Helen. 87. Bowles. 333 Bowles. See Burroughs. 340 xi. 12. 288 Black Mountain Review. 229 87. John. 2. 340 Cagney. 20 Amram. 77. Bonnie. 217 Buddhism. 227. 199. 41. Anne Marie. 2. 269-270. Herb. Bill. 61. 337 Burroughs. 244 Camus. 127. 287. 7. Black Sparrow Press. 288. James. xii. Robin. 288 Antoninus. 208 Cameron. Wil. 258. Ted. 4 Berman. Jane. 125 Albiach. Rachel. 18. 7. Paul. 77-78. 288. Robert. William Brooks. John. Ray. Blaser. 20. 179-180 52. 281. 126. Paul. 5<'<? xi. David. Paul. 98 247 179-180 Blake. Carr. Beattie. 12. 205 Bremser. Joan Vollmer Adams. 269-270. Joan. 89. 18-27. Cessa. 77-78. Bremser. 4. black 86 also Cannes Film Kaufman. 244. 216. 279. 8-17. 2. Lucien. 73. 241. 18. 198 Adams 50 1 Brahms. 326-329 Browning. xi. 246 Rimbaud. 18. Elizabeth. 279. 207 Auden. 4-5. 311.Jack. 30 Ark II/Mohy 2\7 Arnold. Virginia.. 128. 279 Black Mountain College. 105. 168. 1 Albert. Gwendolyn. 276. 289. 272. 20 Carlson. Cannastra. 7. 229 Cassady. 21. 183. 51. James. 315 360 . Shirley. Beatitude. 2. Carolyn. Truman. 217 Caen. William. See 1 Capote. 3. 338 Cage. Bob Festival. William. 55. 311 Berkeley Poetry Conference. 28. 41 280. 42 Adam. Blake. 184. Blake. 168 242 322 Burroughs. 20. 126. 48- Jones. Joan Vollmer. Wallace. 11. 19-22 Adams. Brother. 324 Berrigan. 272-278. H. 186. 97-100 56. 262 Berkeley Poetry Festival. See Everson. 198. 217. 333 Britten. 289 Berman. See Frazer. 340 Broughton. Amiri. 18 Akamatova. 92. 55. Admiral. 322. 278 Adams. 242 Carr. Joan Vollmer Boyce. W. 246 I. Baraka. 25. 57-75. 242. 310 Black Power movement. 79. LeRoi 56. Paul. 246. 289 Bishop. 199. 49. 125. 208.

155. 28. 53 Cherifa. 230 Benzedrine/speed. 279. 105. 85 Coyote. 244 Doolittle. 288 361 . 280. 65 heroin. 270. 224. Isadora. 279. 112. Cayce. 2. Malcolm. 208 Corso. 20 Davis. 84 Duncan. Miles. 61. 127. 320-325. 167. 117. 31. 52. 19 Corinth Press. Emily. Jami. 51. 10. 5. 103. Bruce. 322. 125. 29. 114. 126 125 Corman. 51 peyote. Joan. 21. 88. Duncan. 52. xi. 57. 230 Doyle. 5. cummings. Richard. Rene. 228. 65. 12. 50. 174 Cassady. xi. Elise. the. 120. 11. 225. Hal. See Jones.Jay. 1 1 Donnelly. 269 Cowley. 51. 216. Hettie. Aaron. Cid. Ed. Merce. 219. 279. 5. 66 Cassady. 63 Cedar Tavern. Robert. 223. 92. Hettie 4. 289 Dostoyevsky. e. Jay DeKooning. 113 118. 125. 19. 117. 178. 281. Kirby. Cohen. 269. 225. 62. 171. 26 258 marijuana/hashish. 315. 126. Henry. 277 Creeley. 123-140. 185. Cunningham. 107. 4 198. 62. 55. 216 Diggers. Cathy. 242. 115. Willem. e. 339 Diebenkorn. 176 Derechin. 30. 328 120. Ray. 59-75 79-85. 2. City Lights. 80 Cullenbine. Charles. 168. 287 5. 1 LSD. 208. 114. Jess. 126. 114. 61. 340 Collins. Gregory. Gui. Peter. 51. 208. 216. 66 Daumal. John Allen. 217. 12 Doors. 77. DeFeo. 328 29. Hilda. See Defeo. 230 Davis. 258. de Angulo. 323. Diane. 258. 277. Cowen. 269. Dorn. 141-165.Index Cassady. 257-267 229 176 DeFeo. 99. Catullus. Ann. 258. 105 Conner. 276 185. Roy. 311 xii. 57. 55. Charters. 335-341 Sam. Lee. George. 338. 75 Cassady. 246. 62. 339 Catholicism. 126. 328 Copeland. 77. Neal. She!. 338 Donovan. the. 323. 47. 149.. 229. 4. 107. 2. Charters. 316. 332. 84-85 2. 280 340 Co-Existence Bagel Shop. 225. Charles. 229 Chase. 30. 21 Dickinson. 339 341 Dickens. 311 drugs. 225. Robert. 310. 70. Edgar. 141. ix. 223. 186. 11. 331 di Prima. 217. 51-52. 119. 112. 310 . 155 Cru. 119. 4. 156. 78.

205 Henderson. 280. East. 323. 50. 321. 148. Hawley. Gerard Manley.2. 288. 1 1 William. 80. 55. 233. 59. 103. 126 Guest. 168. 65 HD.9 WOMEN Off the BEAT GENERATION Ginsberg. 57. Allen.257 Green. 2. 108 Greer. 207. 310. 60. 154. 126 Henderson. 242. 12. William. 208. John Clellon. 258 Hawley. 225. Richard. 230 127. Mary. Stan. 207 Grateful Dead. 105 Ellington. Jack. 244 Hesse. 2. Herko. 341 174. 144. Wally. 245 Frazer. 174 Ginsberg. 170. 29. 340 Festival Fields. 210 of Contemporary Poetry. 12. 20. Robert. John. 341 Gleason. 127 Brenda. 149155. LuAnne. 322. xii. 311. 229. 124.. 216. 62. Herms. 5^^' Doolittle. Floati?7g Bear. 41 Eliot. 52 Hinkle. the. 217. 227. Goodman. 205. Al. Gould. Barbara. 199 W C. 141. 125. 314. 289. 5. 126 Getz. 120. 332 Guillevic. 223. Jimi. Duke. Alex. 41. Mark. Howard. 54. 95. 281 Furthur. 258. 2. 3. Herman. 142. 142 Greer. 270. House. 268-278. 225 Hopkins. 167. 29 Guravich. 332 119. Sigmund. 339. Fred. 31. 30. 71-75. 107. 279 246 Eberhardt. 62. 261 Hopps. xi. Emmet. 107. Walter.West xii. 105 Genet. 328. Grogan. 53. 41. 126 49. 116-122 124. 311. Grant. 230. 217. 289. 125. Hirschman. Eugene. 186 Holmes. 73 126 Fisher. 185. 28-38. 337. 52. 61 Hendrix. 31 Mary. Madeline. Everson. Charles Wrey. 333 Freud. S. Hinkle. 60. 288. 62 Hart. 210 113. 199. xi. Hilda Heard. 151. Diana. Naomi. 210 Mitchell. 125. 287. 328 Gardiner. 197. 148 Fritsch. Jean. 72. David. Jean. Robert and Dorothea. Hansen. Fabilli. 336. Ferlinghetti. 224. 30. 325 362 . Lawrence. 77. George. 335. 52 171.T. 169. Helen. 315 Hedrick. Billie. 228. 61. 247 Holiday. 51. 323. Donald.

72.Index Huncke. 106. 95-98 Imagist poets. 103-114. 173. 176. 56. 89. 308-318. 180-181. 247. 246 85 Kerouac. Use. 179. 5^^ Johnson. Janis. 289. 223. 91. 281. 77-78 Kandel. 49. 331-332. xii. xi. 2. Lenore.219. 90-93. Gabriele "Memere. 77-85. Gyalwa. 1 3. Jewitt. Aben. King Jr. LeRoi. 6. 55. Caroline. Mary Norbert. John. Michael. xi. Hettie. Pauline. Joans. 168-175. 57. Herbert. 5. 87103. 225 John. 78. 18. 21. 42 Kyger. 333. 314 Kesey. 228 Karmapa. 269. 339 280. xii. 341 185. 125. 315. 89. Natalie. Kerouac. 141. 54. 279285. 199 Hyman. 246. 57. 5. Jones. Dave. 225. 199. 279 363 . Martin Luther. 81. Joan Haverty. 50. 176 Johnson. Ted. Joyce 229 xi. 102. 331-333 Elsie. 25 Kline. 64 182-195. 60-61. 310. 167. 209. 289 31. 53142. Bob. 257-267 Krasny. 127. 199. Kandel. 86-102. 49. 125. 157. 337 Kerouac. 113. Joplin. 2. 225. Arthur. 125 Kerouac. 311 jazz. 142. 2. 103-114. 107. Ken. 333 Jones. 311. 288 Kahlo. 228. 92. Franz. 260. 242. Korte. 168. 76- Roy. 54. Frida. 186. 194 xi. 93-102. 225. 258 Kingsland. 309. Kael. Jan. Eileen. 184179. 20. 4. 339 Jess. 71. James. Jack. 339. 4. 224. 154. 332 126. 227 Klapper.. Jess 184. 76. 63. 258. 332 Kaufman. 52. 166-181. 333 Kerouac. 50. 167. 126. See Collins. xi. 323. 227. 280. Joyce. 55. 242. 4. 176 Koestler. 226. Joanne. 196-204. Sarah Orne. 332 Kees. 5. 93. 169. 105. 288. 54. 179. 62- Jackson. Joycey. 12. Johnson." 88. 51 219 105 Kinsey Sex Report. 241. Edie Parker. 180 Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. 126. I Stanley Edgar. 288 Kaufman. 49. 167. Weldon. 65-68. Isbell. 50. 329 Kammerer. Kerouac. 125. 287.

1 Melody. Denise. 68. Lessing. Peter. 12 Malamud. Duncan. Ann. 20-21. William. Gabriel Garcia. Lafcadio. 310 Lamantia. 332. Thomas. Josephine. Joanna. 20 312-314 315-316 Nin. Arnie. Anais. 214-222. 4. 328 Lashinsky. 245. 19. Merry Pranksters. 18. 228. 289 O'Neill. The. 205-213. 336 Leary. Eugene. 71. 259. 127. 242.Tambi. 127. 105. Sonny. 126 Marquez. 66. 19. Audre. Philomene. 205 MacDowell. 56. Tillie. 340 105 340 xi. 84 Marlowe. Dean. Ed. 126 Moses. 65 Festival. 260 O'Hara. 12. 289 National Endowment award. LaVigne. Timothy. 126 New York School of Poets. 269-270. 288 Olsen. 337 Naropa Institute. 126. Levertov. 340 O'Connor. 261 Martin. 65. 126 185. David. Jack. 322. 288 Markowsky.3 1 WOMEN Off the BEAT GENERATION Mexico. Charles. 242 3. 126 Maidens. 118. 340 Nolte. 323. Carson. 126 McCarthy. Micheline. Eugene. 65. 242. Jack. 208. 52. 54 Moriarity. Little Jack. McGinley. 174. Philip. 223. 105. 242 Nemerov. 20. 64. 142 340 339 Meltzer. Alan. 217. 49. Monterey Pop and Jazz Morgan. 287. 185. 259 Orlovsky. 323 McClure. McKeever. 230 Tangier. Nicosia. 74. Phyllis. 1 1 Morocco. 328. 336 McCullers. 124. 47. 244 Lorca. 50. Manuel. 141. Robert. 127 McNeill. Clive. 230 364 . Bernard. Marx. 260 New New York Poets Theatre. John Herbert. 323 Murphy. 39-45. Doris. 245 McNaughton. Herb. Michael. 340 Levin. 288 Neri.216219. Frank. 91 Mexico 273 City. Nick. 242. 199. 273. 64 Merton. Anne. Ted. Sinead. 229 Miles. Howard. Minger. Barney. 219. 329 208 McClure. 227 Long. 328. 333 Lorde. 55 Matson. Gerald. 272-278. 29. 288. 288 Directions. 124. xi. 64 Mutti. 258 Olson. 258. 124. 259 Nelson. 176.

210 Starr. 40 Chogyam Trungpa. Robert. William. 168. Duncan. 315 Rios. 258. 55. 142. Spock. 1 142 Soyer. Maria. 50. 127 Prevallet. William. Anghelos. 340 Shakespeare. 3. 229 Smith. 1 San Francisco Poetry Festival.. Louis. Charlie. 147 Sasaki. 319. 140 Rauschenberg. 198 51. 328. 288 Pixy Pool. 142 Oyez. 288 Rinpoche. 146. 60 148. Solomon. Victor. Alicia. 10. Muriel. 41. Barbara Hernstein. 4. 312 329 174 San Francisco Institute of ing Art. 279. 140 Rose. 336. 142. Benjamin. 123. 125. Saroyan Jr. 30. 4 Read. Kristin. 208. 339 Ostriker. Moses. Mark. 29 San Francisco Renaissance. Dave. 223. Powell. 209. ix Simon. Peoples Park. 198. 244 Rukeyser. Vickie. 244. 288.Shunryu Suzuki. David. Park. 258 S Sampas. Stella. 288 Snyder. 217 Patler. 205. Pittsburgh John. 31. Patchen. Sartre. Christopher. 51. Lee. Ringo. 325 365 . 280. 197. Schoer. Jean Paul. 311. 228-230. 128. Gary. 335. 244 320. 11. Herbert. Ruth Fuller. 41. 205 258. 148. Sissy. Frankie. 217. 153. Shelley Memorial Proust. 338 198 Pound. 177 Riike. Romanticism. 205 198. 118. 205 Six Gallery. 41 13 Sedgwick. 60. Chatral Sangye Dorje. The. 328 Sinclair. Adam. 40 Sikelianos. 11. 30 5.Jack. 41 Spicer. 280 Royere. 124. 217. 340. 50. Catullus. 148 Rinpoche. Peter. Smart. 171 Award for Poetry. 155. 29. 281 Rhys. Spicer Circle. 244 Romero. 151. 103. Kenneth. 13. 336 Rimbaud. 78. 323 Romero. Sheppard. 210. 149- Roshi. 10. Ezra. 27 259 147 5<'f San Francisco Poetry Guild.Index Orlovsky. Sylvia. 244 199 Spacek. 115-227. Kenneth. 9. 21. Skir. Jean. 128 Magical and Heal- Parker. 260 Plath. Carl. 227 Rat Bastard Protective Association. 279. 65. 324. Helen 341 141. 143-158 Rexroth. 340 Russell. 208. 323 Leo. 197.

332 Yugen. 38 Suzuki. Dion. 229 weiss. 223—240. 18. 41 U Ulewicz. 245 Wakefield.WOMEN of the BEAT GENERATION Welch. 79 Strauss. 288 Stein. Ed. 280. 340 Venice Biennale Film Festival. ruth. 20. Gertrude. 4 Thomas. 261. Shunryu Roshi. 340 White. ix-xii. Simone. 199. 244. 209. William Carlos. 185. 245 19. 125 Watts. Tarlow. 288 Waring. 185 V Vega. 103. Janine Pommy. 338. ix. Celine. 4. 341 Weiners. 340 Still. 20 Triem. Geshe. 20 Williams. Eve. Whalen. 280 Whitey. Rene. Dylan. Tennessee. the. xi. John. Philip. Laura. Dick. 1 27 Weil. 245 1 Wharton. 270. 20 Yeats. Alan. 174.Anne. 241-256. Lester. 199 Wavy Gravy. Aya. 247 Vietnam War. 322 Vigne. 245 Young. 4 Williams. 55 Whitman. 245 366 . 337 Toklas. William Carlos. Mel. 79-85 Wright. 268. Richard and Ellen. Alice B. 328 Weitsman. Edith. 229. Walt. 124. 78 Young. 286-307 Wangyal. 279. 288. 336 Clyfford. James. 84 Waldman. 217. 51. Lew. 217 Williams.. 12 Tysons.

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