Tag Archives: poetry

COOL PEOPLE -RAY MANZERAK

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COOL PEOPLE -RAY MANZERAK

 

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AN INTERVIEW WITH RAY MANZEREK

 

BEST ORGAN SOLO EVER 1970

 

Singer, Music Producer (1939–2013

Ray Manzarek Biography

Quick Facts
Name Ray Manzarek Occupation Singer, Music Producer Birth Date February 12, 1939 Death Date May 20, 2013 Education DePaul University, University of California, Los Angeles Place of Birth Chicago, Illinois Place of Death Rosenheim, Germany AKA Raymond Daniel Manczarek Ray Manczarek Raymond Manczarek Ray ManzarekFull Name Raymond Daniel Manczarek Jr.
Synopsis
Early Life
Success with the Doors
Life After the Doors
Death and Legacy
Cite This Page

Ray Manzarek was a co-founder of the Doors, a 1960s rock band. His keyboard skills helped turn Doors songs like “Light My Fire” into huge hits.

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“We knew what the people wanted: the same thing the Doors wanted. Freedom.”

—Ray Manzarek

Synopsis

Ray Manzarek was born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 12, 1939. After moving to California, Manzarek became a founding member of the Doors, the psychedelic rock band. The Doors split up soon after the death of lead singer Jim Morrison, but Manzarek continued to work as a successful musician, producer and writer. Manzarek died in Rosenheim, Germany, on May 20, 2013, at the age of 74.

Early Life

Ray Manzarek was born Raymond Daniel Manczarek Jr. on February 12, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois. He trained as a classical organist and pianist during his childhood. After studying economics at DePaul University, Manzarek moved to California, where he attended film school at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Success with the Doors

In 1965, Manzarek happened to run into fellow UCLA student Jim Morrison on a beach in Venice, California. After hearing some of Morrison’s poetic song lyrics, Manzarek suggested that they form a band. Lead singer Morrison and keyboardist Manzarek were soon joined by guitarist Robby Krieger and drummer John Densmore. Together, the four men made up the Doors. Each member brought something special to the band, with Manzarek offering his powerful keyboard skills and classical, blues and jazz influences.

The musical world of the 1960s was filled with bands who wanted to speak for the counterculture, but the Doors struck a chord. The Doors were signed to Elektra Records in 1966 and released their first album the following year. Playing a Vox Continental organ, Manzarek gave many Doors songs a unique sound, as demonstrated in their No. 1 hit “Light My Fire.” The band’s other hit songs included “Break on Through (To the Other Side),” “Riders on the Storm” and “Hello, I Love You.”

The Doors had recorded six successful albums before Morrison died in Paris, France, in 1971. After Morrison’s death, Manzarek took over as vocalist. The group put out two more albums, but, as Manzarek explained, “[It] wasn’t the Doors without Morrison.” The remaining members split up in 1973.

Life After the Doors

After the Doors broke up, Manzarek stayed in the music business. In addition to putting out solo albums, he formed the band Nite City. Manzarek also worked with composer Philip Glass on a rock adaptation of “Carmina Burana,” produced albums for the punk band X, and recorded with Weird Al Yankovic.

In 2002, Manzarek began touring with Doors guitarist Krieger, leading to a legal battle with Densmore about their rights to use the band’s name (the final name the two performed under was Manzarek-Krieger). However, the dispute with Densmore didn’t keep the three remaining Doors members from recording together later, as they worked on “Breakin’ a Sweat” with electronic musician Skrillex.

In addition to music, Manzarek penned an autobiography, Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors, in 1998. He also wrote two novels that were published in the 2000s.

Death and Legacy

On May 20, 2013, after fighting bile duct cancer for years, Manzarek died at the age of 74 in a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany.

Though his life was filled with a multitude of other accomplishments, Manzarek is best known as a member of one of the most successful bands the world has ever seen. The Doors have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, been immortalized in an Oliver Stone film and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Being a part of a success like the Doors is something few musicians get the chance to experience, and Manzarek was proud of that legacy.

Raymond Daniel Manczarek Jr.. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 01:33, Apr 12, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/ray-manzarek-21232373.

Harvard Style

Raymond Daniel Manczarek Jr.. [Internet]. 2014. The Biography.com website. Available from: http://www.biography.com/people/ray-manzarek-21232373 [Accessed 12 Apr 2014].

“Raymond Daniel Manczarek Jr..” 2014. The Biography.com website. Apr 12 2014 http://www.biography.com/people/ray-manzarek-21232373.
images (157)RAY MANZERAK
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Ray Manzarek
By Levi Asher on Monday, May 20, 2013 08:33 pm

Audio Literature, Beat Generation, Music, Poetry Readings, Postmodernism, Summer Of Love, Tributes
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I saw Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist for the Doors who died today, at a poetry show with Michael McClure at the Bottom Line nightclub in New York City a few years ago. I was awestruck by both legends on that stage: McClure for being a Beat Generation poet and Ray Manzarek for being the most exciting keyboard player in the history of rock, the architect of the “Light My Fire” sound, a key literary/avant-garde scenester of the hippie and post-hippie era, and the enabler of Jim Morrison.

I wasn’t actually blown away by the Bottom Line poetry show, maybe because I like Michael McClure and Ray Manzarek too much individually for the tastes to go together. But, looking for a YouTube video with which to pay tribute to great Brother Ray today, I skipped the obvious Doors selections and settled instead on a McClure/Manzarek performance uploaded in 2008. Manzarek plucks shimmering riffs from “Riders on the Storm” while McClure says stuff like this:

i am my abstract alchemist of flesh made real

The luminescent celestial canvas of “Riders” is a good example of Ray Manzarek at his best. It’s good to see in this late-career video that maturity did not dim Manzarek’s spiritual major key brightness, nor slow his tempo. He died of cancer at the age of 74. As McClure says: O Muse!

CROSSING BOARDER FESTIVAL HOLLAND -POEM ANA CHRISTY

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Crossing Border Festival- Holland

we travelled the high-speed train through Belgium to Holland red-tiled roofs. streets narrow and people riding old black bicycles co-op gardens and small garden-shed houses fields of soft poppies moving in dismal rain white patched cows lolling in jungle green grass crossing tracks in train yards with red trains

in the carriage/2 Belgium men with strange effeminate sandals whisper in a world I don not understand they are wearing matching t-shirts and seem to have a message

that week in holland/sunny afternoon making love on make-shift bed – the children outside making happy. noise

buildings of the hippie complex on Albert Schweitzer boulevard in childlike colored panels of turquoise and green all looked the same

down two flights of stairs in the ghandi room/Merle our companion practicing his new poem our performances critical-posters all over town/in. store windows announcing our readings and blowing around wet streets emphasized the importance of it all

I pick lavender with you along garden paths/walk along the canals of Amsterdam drink espresso in your coffee houses mingle with the best of your poets and musicians in backstage dressing rooms on folding/drinking wine and smoking legal pot

Holland you have bought me here in the rain travel-tired and cold with wet luggage/a fist of unfamiliar guilder in the palm of my hand/ wanting my poems about America to shake you up just a little bit. Ana Christy.

From “REAL JUNKIES DON’T EAT PIE”

“EVERYTHING TO EXCESS, NOTHING FOR SUCCESS” POEM BY ANA CHRISTY (HOBO HIPPIE!)

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I  used to work under
the guise

of cocaine vodka and speed

the words came out like

a spicket spilling words

Into notebooks filled

With rant and sticky

shot glasses residue

like crop circles

They came and went

But were always there

In some nook or corner

easy to reach at a moments

Notice

and i miss those great days

that were part of my world

With you my mentor sitting

Across the old  kitchen table

Butts accumulating in

The old blue ashtray

Your rugged face in

Haze of smoke

“everything to excess.

Nothing for success”

-you laughed when i

Repeated our funny mantra

it suited me then just fine

Life was intense like a

Double edged sword

when the words come to me

now they come more naturally

especially when i smoke weed

or drink some sort of libation

once when younger I

used to write with no sort of

enhancement just Dylan, incense
And a pot of tea
and that was good too-
sorta

when inspiration comes now

it’s like an avalanche tumbling

toward me-if i am not ready

i can get lost in it forever

those are the good days and

there are many of them and

the best days are when my words

are published and i feel real

good

an another successful

poem or a page for my

latest book

i am happy no matter

which way they come

then there are the bad days

That came after my overdose

and coma

My damaged brain spit out amnesia-tic

shit

Have to decipher the good from

The bad the spelling the grammar

The stumbling bumbling mishmash

Clutching my head in desperation

“You can do it” he said “just carry

On as if it never happened

you have it, you just have to find it”

and I would cry for my loss of

Words

wanting to stamp my feet and shake

My head till the letters and words

Came out on the right order.

goodness can come from chaos

sometimes i write words

and discard them

I  write

better under the influence

than without

as long as i have a connection

I’ll be just fine.

Just you are no longer there. Ana christy

WILLIAM BURROUGHS AND CUT-UPS

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WILLIAM BURROUGHS TALKS ABOUT CUT-UPS

William S. Burroughs and Cut-up

By Dan Century

Chain Border

William S. Burroughs Inspired by Pan’s review of WSB’s Interzone in the June issue, I decided to write a piece on the Cut-up technique of writing utilized and pioneered by Burroughs and his associate Brion Gysin.

For the uninitiated, the Cut-up technique was inspired by the collage technique used by artists and photographers. Often the greatest photographs and artwork happen by accident. An unexpected pedestrian walks into your shot, or an odd glob of paint scars your painting, and rather than tragedy you have something unexpected and spontaneous. Take this concept one step further and the artist can juxtapose various visual fragments with great and unexpected results. Gysin and Burroughs wanted to introduce the spontaneity and chance of the collage to the written word, and so they developed and utilized the Cut-up technique.

The technique is simple. Take any page of writing. Take a scissors and cut it into four parts; cut straight across, down the middle, on angles, whatever. Now reassemble the parts at random. You now have a different text. Meaning, time lines and narratives are changed. The result may be quite similar to the original or shockingly different. The more cuts you make and the more sources you use, the more fun you’ll have. The beauty of the Cut-up method is anyone can do it, and should do it; anyone can now be a great writer, if only by chance. Unfortunately this technique works better with paper than computer text, because you cannot easily (if at all) make vertical cuts on an electronic page. One method you could use would be to capture your screen as an image, and then use image editing software to cut it up, and OCR software to return it to text form.

Here’s some ideas for you:

Experiment #1:

a. Go to Police headquarters and grab up some scary pamphlets on drug abuse, deer ticks, cyber crime, domestic violence. Read them for kicks and then get some scissors and cut them into chunks.

b. Go to your poetry notebook, or that file where you keep the first chapters to the half dozen or so short stories you plan on finishing one day. Get a scissors. Cut them up. Or, photo-copy them, and cut up the copies.

c. Arrange the chunks at random, but not consciously at random. Many times in our conscious effort to be random or spontaneous, we achieve the opposite effect.

d. Now read the results. Prepare to laugh, or at the very least impress yourself.

Experiment #2:

a. Collect an assortment of text sources: your writing, your diary, a few web pages printed out at random, a newspaper, a famous book, some pamphlets from the rack in the lobby of the supermarket, anything!

b. Next time you have a campfire place them at the edge of the fire so they become partially consumed.

c. Sift through the ashes, find the remaining fragments, and you have your story. Granted, this technique is a little extreme and you may end up with nothing but ash, however, imagine the results otherwise.

Music was the final form of art to embrace the power of the collage. David Bowie, inspired by Burroughs and Gysin, used the Cut-up technique to form the lyrics to his songs. Later artists like Gary “Cars” Newman, Throbbing Gristle and even U2′s Bono confess to using the Cut-up technique. If it were not for Throbbing Gristle’s adaptation of Burroughs techniques and philosophies to music, there would be, without question, no Industrial genre today. Obviously sampling is being used to quite the same effect: creating something new from multiple sources. Sonic terrorists like Negativeland take snippets of found sound, TV broadcasts, and music of many genres and weave the pieces together to a wonderful, insightful and often hilarious effect.

Burroughs states correctly that all writing is in fact Cut-ups. As a writer, in particular a fiction writer, your inspirations come from many sources: a description of a woman’s face comes from the cashier at the post office, a character’s name taken from your friend’s cat, a line taken from an issue of Legends and a plot twist from Shakespeare. All your experiences, whether first hand or taken vicariously through a book or a friend’s story, add up to form the text of your next tale. If you want to read more about Cut-ups, William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin and Throbbing Gristle, pick up the book RE/Search #4/5.

William S. Burroughs and Cut-up

By Dan Century

Chain Border

William S. BurroughsInspired by Pan’s review of WSB’s Interzone in the June issue, I decided to write a piece on the Cut-up technique of writing utilized and pioneered by Burroughs and his associate Brion Gysin.

For the uninitiated, the Cut-up technique was inspired by the collage technique used by artists and photographers. Often the greatest photographs and artwork happen by accident. An unexpected pedestrian walks into your shot, or an odd glob of paint scars your painting, and rather than tragedy you have something unexpected and spontaneous. Take this concept one step further and the artist can juxtapose various visual fragments with great and unexpected results. Gysin and Burroughs wanted to introduce the spontaneity and chance of the collage to the written word, and so they developed and utilized the Cut-up technique.

The technique is simple. Take any page of writing. Take a scissors and cut it into four parts; cut straight across, down the middle, on angles, whatever. Now reassemble the parts at random. You now have a different text. Meaning, time lines and narratives are changed. The result may be quite similar to the original or shockingly different. The more cuts you make and the more sources you use, the more fun you’ll have. The beauty of the Cut-up method is anyone can do it, and should do it; anyone can now be a great writer, if only by chance. Unfortunately this technique works better with paper than computer text, because you cannot easily (if at all) make vertical cuts on an electronic page. One method you could use would be to capture your screen as an image, and then use image editing software to cut it up, and OCR software to return it to text form.

Here’s some ideas for you:

Experiment #1:

a. Go to Police headquarters and grab up some scary pamphlets on drug abuse, deer ticks, cyber crime, domestic violence. Read them for kicks and then get some scissors and cut them into chunks.

b. Go to your poetry notebook, or that file where you keep the first chapters to the half dozen or so short stories you plan on finishing one day. Get a scissors. Cut them up. Or, photo-copy them, and cut up the copies.

c. Arrange the chunks at random, but not consciously at random. Many times in our conscious effort to be random or spontaneous, we achieve the opposite effect.

d. Now read the results. Prepare to laugh, or at the very least impress yourself.

Experiment #2:

a. Collect an assortment of text sources: your writing, your diary, a few web pages printed out at random, a newspaper, a famous book, some pamphlets from the rack in the lobby of the supermarket, anything!

b. Next time you have a campfire place them at the edge of the fire so they become partially consumed.

c. Sift through the ashes, find the remaining fragments, and you have your story. Granted, this technique is a little extreme and you may end up with nothing but ash, however, imagine the results otherwise.

Music was the final form of art to embrace the power of the collage. David Bowie, inspired by Burroughs and Gysin, used the Cut-up technique to form the lyrics to his songs. Later artists like Gary “Cars” Newman, Throbbing Gristle and even U2′s Bono confess to using the Cut-up technique. If it were not for Throbbing Gristle’s adaptation of Burroughs techniques and philosophies to music, there would be, without question, no Industrial genre today. Obviously sampling is being used to quite the same effect: creating something new from multiple sources. Sonic terrorists like Negativeland take snippets of found sound, TV broadcasts, and music of many genres and weave the pieces together to a wonderful, insightful and often hilarious effect.

Burroughs states correctly that all writing is in fact Cut-ups. As a writer, in particular a fiction writer, your inspirations come from many sources: a description of a woman’s face comes from the cashier at the post office, a character’s name taken from your friend’s cat, a line taken from an issue of Legends and a plot twist from Shakespeare. All your experiences, whether first hand or taken vicariously through a book or a friend’s story, add up to form the text of your next tale. If you want to read more about Cut-ups, William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin and Throbbing Gristle, pick up the book RE/Search #4/5.
tp://youtu.be/Rc2yU7OUMcI

an interview with MIchael McClure

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  • Michael McClure Photo: Courtesy Of The Artist
    Michael McClure Photo: Courtesy Of The Artist
    Michael McClure

  • Ghost Tantras, by Michael McClure Photo: City Lights
    Ghost Tantras, by Michael McClure Photo: City Lights
    Ghost Tantras, by Michael McClure

Michael McClure,

81, might be the most photogenic of all the Beat Generation writers, and maybe the most beautiful of the young male poets who stormed North Beach when City Lights was a bookstore no bigger than the proverbial hole-in-the-wall. Moreover, more than any other Beat poet, he’s been wild about wild beasts, both real and imaginary, as in his illustrated book for children, “The Boobus and the Bunnyduck” and in “For the Death of 100 Whales,” a kind of funeral dirge that he read at the historic Six Gallery poetry jamboree in 1955 that launched the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance.

This month, City Lights is republishing his 1964 classic, “Ghost Tantras” (99 pages; $13.95), a collection of 99 poems in which he pushes language to the outer edge of human expression. Written in conversational English and in a guttural “beast language” that he created, “Ghost Tantras” begins rambunctiously and ends on a note of tranquillity. The new edition includes a spirited introduction by McClure in which he takes readers behind the scenes and describes the process of spontaneous creativity that gave birth to the poems. “I have no idea what I’m doing – just writing,” he explains.

All in all, there’s no other book of poetry like “Ghost Tantras” in the annals of Beat literature. Fifty years after he self-published his experiments with language, the world of publishing has finally caught up with the book and the author, now in the midst of a revival as a spirited performer of the spoken word.

With bass player Rob Wasserman and drummer Jay Lane, McClure plays to audiences on college campuses and at venues such as the Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley. Janis Joplin, with whom he co-wrote the hit song “Mercedes Benz,” would not be surprised by the youthful energy that he still exudes as though just arrived fresh from Kansas, an American Shelley ready to shift the shape of reality itself.

When he showed up in San Francisco in 1954, McClure enrolled at San Francisco State and took literature classes. Then he met the bad boys who were remaking American literature: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Ever since the Six Gallery reading, he’s fused the spoken word to live music. In the 1960s, he caroused with Bob Dylan. Years later, McClure and keyboardist Ray Manzarek of the Doors took their rock-Beat act around the country and recorded several CDs.

During a morning conversation in the Oakland hills, where he lives with his wife of 27 years, the sculptor Amy Evans-McClure, he talked about his love for the verses of Percy Bysshe Shelley and recited lines from some of his most beloved poets – William Blake, John Keats, Walt Whitman – and his contemporary, Diane di Prima.

Q: Why is City Lights republishing the book after all these years?

A: Of all my works, it’s the one I most wanted to be republished. It draws together everything in my own personal experience from that time in the early 1960s. It also opened doors to the possibilities that followed: my novel; the years as a resident playwright at the Magic Theatre; the work with musicians such as Ray Manzarek of the Doors, who died in May; and all the way to the present day, performing at the Sweetwater with Rob Wasserman and Jay Lane.

Q: You read from “Ghost Tantras” to animals at the San Francisco Zoo.

A: Bruce Conner and I went there to record roosters. We ran into the lion keeper, who was also a poet, and he invited us to see the lions. I read and they roared. We roared together. You can Google it. I also read Chaucer to kangaroos that waved their heads back and forth and to seals that were barking.

Q: I’ve been staring at the cover of the new edition that shows a very wild-looking caveman. What’s the story?

A: That’s me with a lot of makeup on my face – and a lot of hair – that the artist Robert Lavigne applied.

Q: In the best-known photo of you, you’re elbow to elbow with Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan.

A: Allen, Bob and I hung out together in San Francisco, went to parties and shared ideas. One day, Dylan said, “Let’s take a picture of the three of us.” Larry Kennan shot us behind City Lights; it’s Jack Kerouac Alley now. Lawrence Ferlinghetti has done a great job renaming so many of the alleys. He has also done more than anyone else around to create the audience that we have for poetry. His “Coney Island of the Mind” has sold more copies than any other book of contemporary poetry except Pablo Neruda, plus he’s published nearly everybody at City Lights.

Q: With the exception of Ferlinghetti and Gary Snyder, you may be the last major poet standing from that generation of poets who first published in the 1950s.

A: Don’t forget Diane di Prima, who’s still alive and still in San Francisco. She might be the greatest living American poet. I like everything Diane has written.

Q: On the back cover of the new edition, there’s a quote from the actor and director Dennis Hopper – “Without McClure’s roar there would have been no Sixties.” What does that mean to you?

A: That’s praise from a real genius as an actor, director and photographer. We hit it off from the start; we were very close for years; like me, Dennis was from Kansas.

Q: Have you ever thought who you’d be now if you hadn’t left Kansas?

A: That thought has never entered my mind. Everyone I knew wanted to get out of Kansas; most of the people in my circle left. I have hardly ever gone back.

Q: The poems in “Ghost Tantras” seem to me to be love poems.

A: Love is humanity’s greatest invention.

Q: In the new introduction to the book, you write about your “shyness.” Hard to believe.

A: I thought I was the shyest person around until Allen Ginsberg brought Jack Kerouac to my house in San Francisco. Jack had a deep-down shyness – way more than me. I overcame my own shyness when I read at the Six Gallery in 1955 with Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and Philip Lamantia – when we all put our toes to the line in the sand. That was a pivotal moment in a life punctuated by pivotal moments.

Q: You’ve always emphasized the political nature of the Beats, especially in your book “Scratching the Beat Surface,” one of the best books about you and your fellow poets.

A: We were definitely not uprooted from politics. We were environmentalists, though there were times when we talked about the environment and audiences booed us.

Q: Why did you write the poems? Do you remember?

A: I wanted to change the shape of the known universe.

Q: Do you remember the city when you arrived on Dec. 31, 1954, and ate with chopsticks for the first time in Chinatown?

A: I remember shacks and goats on Twin Peaks. I remember falling in love with the wildflowers, the beauty of the ocean and Mount Tam, and I remember growing to hate all the wars. Roads were narrower then, traffic was lighter; the natural world seemed so close. Then houses crawled up all the hills, and there were more and more people, more cars, more everything. I belong to a generation that wasn’t trained by the computer. I read a lot of books. I still do.

Jonah Raskin is the author of “American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.” E-mail: books@sfchronicle.com

FREIGHT TRAINS AND BOXCARS- POETRY BY ANA CHRISTY, FROM REAL JUNKIES DON’T EAT PIE

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FREIGHT TRAINS AND BOXCARS

I see the railroad run high

Above the course of the

Winding road

This is the remote landscape

Of the rockies

The wind of the Colorado at

The bottom of deep ravines

I think of days of hobos on

The pacific railroad

Pete Seeger doing a harmonica

Train whistle and

Blind sonny

Woodie Guthrie

Spirit voices of the boxcars

Car wheels clicking over

Sleepers

The bass strings thumping

Out a rattling caboose

Freedom whistles and hillbilly

Yodels

Singing songs of unfelt land

Small nourishing villages

Blues blowers in straw hats

Boogie woogie of jagged rock

Riding the ‘rods under carloads

Of steel

Hobos on the Wabash cannonball

The mingle of oil and mountain

Flower

Engine steam and morning fog

Driving rain on creosote ties

Tank spouts rattling

Gamblers. settlers  miners

Soldiers and ordinary folk

Boarding trains in small town

Stations

Sheep dogs on cars ready

To scare off straying cows

Steam locomotives screeching

Along blinding curves in

Oregon

along sawmills and

Great warehouses

The green of timber touching

The sky

Running over deep chasms

And bridges

The song of the hammering

Driving wheels

Heavy jawed breakmen in

Oil cloth pants

Smoking a pipe with hand on

The throttle

Construction camps and shanty

Towns

Side door pullman and smokers

Crowded with passengers

Singing songs

Telling tall stories

“Train butchers” peddling

Orange-aide

I think of Jesse James

With a colt 45 standing

On a depot platform having

Robbed a train car on a

Missouri platform about to

Get his getaway to Kansas city

Transient trackmen riding

Boxcar Pullman going to lumber

Camps in Washington doing

Roadwork in raw untamed

Territory

Scoffing down black cawfee

And rye bread dipped in

Sowbelly grease at mess tables

In roadside tents

Pacific slim  Syracuse shine

And slim jim from vinegar hill

I think of negro work songs

And the voice of Irish immigrants

As they told their tales

A land of being discovered and

Miles of track and the rhythm of

The engine

“Standing on a platform making

A cheap cigar waiting for an old

Freight train that carries an empty car.”

                                             ana christy from “real junkies don’t eat pie”

                                   

 

THE POETRY OF WILLIAM BURROUGHS

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The Poetry of William S. Burroughs

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An Ongoing Attempt to Collect the Poetry of William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs is generally considered a novelist. To make the case that he was also a poet is neither revisionist nor perverse but absurd. After all, Burroughs paid about as much obeisance to genre or medium as he did to the law. His work consistently ignored the traditional boundaries between forms of creative production — to the point where, if you were really to collect Burroughs’ “poetry,” you would be hard-pressed to explain why you might leave out Naked Lunch. It may well be the most “poetic” text he ever wrote.

And what of the cut-up? Is it poetry, prose, or something else altogether? Oliver Harris has broached the question in his essay “‘Burroughs Is a Poet Too, Really’: The Poetics of Minutes to Go.” Harris writes that, in Minutes to Go, poetry “is not understood in terms of words on the page but as the ‘place’ reached by a particular use of chance operations on pre-existing words.” It is a method “to be grasped by doing,” not a “content to be understood by interpretation.” This insightful analysis could serve as an introduction to this somewhat quixotic attempt to collect the poetry of William Burroughs, and Oliver Harris has very graciously allowed RealityStudio to republish it.

Poems by William S. Burroughs

Published by RealityStudio on 4 August 2010.