Dramatis personae featuring minor characters


I WISH THAT I KNEW WHAT I KNOW NOW, WHEN I WAS YOUNGER: Mark Weiss, channeling Ginsburg Howl, at Lytton Plaza Palo Alto, 2011, photo by Tommy Jordan aka Tah

This started out as a private correspondence about sundry arts topics but I thought I’d reduce it to alphabetical list, short i.d., and a link, for general use:

Alden Van Buskirk, minor Dartmouth Beat Poet (d. 1961);

Aleta Hayes, teacher, singer, dancer, actress, director, Stanford University;

Allen Ginsberg, wrote and performed and recorded “Howl”, 1957 and various; Columbia;

Andrew Hoyem, founder, small, influential, beautiful press or presses, Arion and Auerhahn, San Francisco, 1961 to current; published LAMI by Alden Van Buskirk in 1961 or 1962;

Beth Custer, musician and composer in San Francisco; performed as “Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads ‘Howl’, Palo Alto and San Francisco; hub of thousands of moments and motions; I’ve probably collaborated with Beth in about 10 ways, but nothing that is piece de resistance, just yet.

Carey Perloff, former director, writer and artistic director for American Conservatory of Theatre ACT of San Francisco; commissioned music by Bonfire Madigan, Kitka and Tracy Chapman;

Elise Cowen, Beat poet died in 1962, from New York, Columbia/Barnard?

Jack Hirschman, poet and translater, San Francisco, formerly of Brooklyn Hanover New Hampshire and Los Angeles; taught or knew Alden Van Buskirk at Dartmouth, 1961;

Joyce Johnson, Barnard/Columbia student and teacher, writer, poet; a Beat;

Kay Kostopolous, Stanford professor of drama; singer, actress; pka Kay Kosty, Black Olive; check: Kostopoulos: a rose by any other name!! Kay and I have an unfinished “collaboration” regarding Stella Brooks, who was not really a Beat but spanned Tennesse Williams, Woody Guthrie and Marlon Brando.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, publisher of City Lights, poet, painter, San Francisco. Beat;

Mark Weiss, concert promoter and artist manager dba Earthwise Productions of Palo Alto, trying in specialize in songwriters creating first-time through-composed song-cycles with blocking and narrative, especially as Broadway-scale or PAC works; Dartmouth; (see two photos, above and below, both of Mark reading “howl”)

Matt Gonzalez, artist and arts macher, who dabbled in politics; Columbia and Stanford; writes; he’s way better of a writer than I is.

Nancy Peters, San Francisco Beat, scholar and writer, at City Lights, she is the co-owner;

(Paula Kirkeby), founder Smith-Andersen Gallery; knew Bruce Connor; Palo Alto; It’s a pretty esoteric and in this case solipsistic take on the Beats that Paula appears here; she was good friends and partner-in-near-crime with Bruce Conner, who sometimes is mentioned in same breath as Beats; she was close to Bruce Beasley, the sculptor who early in his creative life helped build dragsters — I want to someday ask him about “Beatnik Bandit” — see, self-reflexive and obscure. Beasley benched Kirkeby in Santa Clara. But I would not be who I am today without having met Paula.

Peter Kushner, Dartmouth classmate of Alden Van Buskirk; father of Rachel Kushner; San Francisco — Sunset District; He’s a scientist so could not be a Beat. Beat-ish.

Pinky (Kushner nee) — from Cuba before St. Louis; met Alden Van Buskirk in grad school; married his friend Peter Kushner; mother of novelist Rachel Kushner; has red hair; Ok, thinking further about this: the Peter and Pinky (and Rachel) in my mind, and in this blog, are like cross-sections of very complex organisms as in I have no idea who they are; I admire them. If you read this, you’ll see Pinky is pretty amazing but probably not a Beat, other than she knew Alden, who ex post facto and post-mordem is sort of a Beat.  Mrs. Kushner is like that Aztlan word for force of nature.

Rachel Kushner – novelist, b. circa 1970; not actually in this story except as ghost or muse or due to the influence of her titles: Mars Room, Flamethrowers, Codex from Cuba; ok, I admit I own all three of those books but have not read them yet. Rachel was speaking at Green Apple a few months ago, and Terry and I were in the City, but we opted for Dumpling Time rather than the reading — that’s how shallow we are. But typing the words “Rachel Kushner” into my blog makes me think I am getting better as a writer.

Stacey Lewis, portrait of Matt Gonzalez and Ralph Nader, City Lights, 2016:

Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 9.59.32 PM

Matt, Ralph

Terry Acebo Davis — artist, arts commissioner from Palo Alto by way of Oakland and Fremont; married to Mark Weiss; San Jose State, MFA. More to come. I bought Terry for Chanukah a red leather beret, which makes her look sort of French and maybe Beat-ish. She is currently reading about five women artists from the Ninth Street show, 1957.



and1: this is from the Chron’s 50th anniversary of the Beats, by David Wiegand, Jane Ganahl and all:

ANDREI CODRESCU, poet: Once this woman I met – we started talking about poetry – but she said she was really interested in sleeping with a woman. So we looked around the store and found a likely candidate leafing thru Wittgenstein’s “Notebooks,” or something, and I said, “How about her?” and she said, “She’s great.” So I asked her, “Would you like to sleep with a woman?” and she said, “Yes, I’ve always wanted to.” So we all went up to the Dante Hotel and got a room for $5 there, but then I left them. About a week later, we met at Vesuvio’s and they thanked me – they were living together! All of this took place in the bookstore.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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