I go in and out of obsession with The Beats. One, I read “Kaddish” (AG) with Tom Sleigh, at Dartmouth, in the 1980s, but didn’t really feel it. Two, in San Francisco, in late 1980s, I lived across the street from where Ginsberg wrote “Howl” (400 Vallejo to 1001 Montgomery), and worked at Green Apple, and hung at Trieste; Three, years later, I read “Howl” to crowds several times, with rotating side person, as “Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads ‘Howl’; Four, I, with partner Matt Gonzalez, produced a 50 year tribute to “LAMI” by Dartmouth answer to the Beats, Alden Van Buskirk, who was a student or friend of Jack Hirschman, who was the star of our event (in December 2011 in SF); Five, I was seated once with Ferlinghetti at Just For Your, and asked him about Dartmouth — which was the seed of my Hirschman event; Six, I’ve been obsessed by James Franco, who has a Ginsberg tribute.
But recently I started to wonder what the Beats looked like from the perspective of half the planet who are female? The books list, as examples: Diane Di Prima, Joanne Kyger, sometimes Joyce Johnson and Elise Cowen; Certainly Nancy Peters of City Lights would have a view on this.
(My headline here is a reference to the line about Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire: she did everything he could do, yet backwards and in high heels.
andand: yesterday somebody to love: I’m writing this at Coupa, early on a Thursday, sans coffee so far, before rushing off to aforementioned coffee klatch at historic home (567 Hale) and I can barely hear McCartney “Yesterday” over the house muzakker, but it crosses in my mind’s ear with recent obsession with Queen, “Somebody to Love” and “Hamilton:What Comes Next>Dear Theodosia”…whatever. I’m here all week, try the lemon minicupcakes.
andandand: I have a copy of Waldman’s anthology of beats, from SF Public Library, North Beach, the one near SFAI 800 Chestnut, and I notice that stuffed into it is recent NYT Mag Amanda Petrusich “The Weight: Cat Power details the melancholy of letting go” — although I am San Francisco early-to-mid-1990s Bananfish scene with Bill smog Callahan and Cynthia Dall…god bless her soul.