Sunday, September 30, 2012

See On the Road in the U.S. this week!

If you're lucky enough to live nearby or can get to California on October 4, you can see On the Road at the Mill Valley Film Festival on October 4. Get details here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Firsthand memory of hanging with Jack Kerouac

Click here for John Hazlehurst's memory of hanging with Jack Kerouac (and Gregory Corso) in 1958 at Wesleyan University.
We ate, we talked, and we left. Corso kissed me on the lips. Kerouac looked at me foggily and said, "Someday you'll understand everything." I never saw them again.
I love it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Photographs of literature's favorite food scenes: Kerouac included

Click here for an NPR article by Laura Krantz about photographer Dina Fried recreating favorite food scenes from iconic literary meals.

First in the NPR set of photographs? Jack Kerouac's apple pie and ice cream: ". . . it was getting better as I got deeper into Iowa, the pie bigger, the ice cream richer."


10 places to avoid while traveling

As a public service to readers of The Daily Beat, I present the following list of places to avoid while traveling:

1. Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA
2. Mission District, San Francisco, CA
3. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
4. Wicker Park, Chicago, IL
5. Pearl District, Portland, OR
6. H Street Corridor, Washington, D.C.
7. East Austin, Austin, TX
8. Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA
9. The Uptown, Oakland, CA
10. Warehouse District, New Orleans, LA

Why? Because they just made a list created by Forbes and of the top 10 hipster neighborhoods in the U.S.

So, unless you want to be surrounded by pretentious wanna-be's who think it's beat to wear black turtlenecks and berets and beat on bongo drums and who haven't read On The Road but carry it around with them and couldn't name another Kerouac novel if their life depended on it, stay clear of this list. As HuffPo's lead-in said, "So if you're looking to find a hipster home or alternately to avoid the hip hoopla, here are the top ten places where these organic-coffee-brewed-one-cup-at-a-time types reside."

When you think you're cool, you're not. End of analysis . . . .

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dimetapp dreams: Bottomless from bottom of the mind

Today in history, something happened. I don't know what it was, but I'm pretty confident in its existence, if only because I have a vague memory of being alive one year ago today and, having been alive damn near 57 years, I don't remember a day when something didn't happen. And just as I type this the television says, "Anything can happen." Synchronicity abounds if you pay attention. The entire impetus for this post was thinking about how bereft of anything to post I've been of late, and then remembering Jack Kerouac's advice, "Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind." So I'm writing from the bottom of the mind, so to speak; that is, I get what Jack was talking about, I'm writing from a primitive part of my brain without a plan. Spontaneous prose, if you will. Well, not that spontaneous. Some upper mind is sneaking in here against my will.

As long as I'm rooting around, what else is down here? I see Mike's basement and holding hands with Mary for the first time, and a yellow Subaru not white like Crystal's last two or my 1979 taken away from me by that drunken asshole whose name I swore never to forget and now seem to have done so (but it will come to me in the middle of some other thought at some point and maybe even before I'm done with this pointless exercise in which case I'll share it with you - liable be damned). Eureka - Nick Judson would be the name, and I can only hope that karma caught up with him because the law sure didn't (rich daddy). But that was 1982 or so and what else is rumbling around down here is regret. Regret over dogs I kept tied up outside, banished out of "convenience." Regrets over roads not taken. Regrets over opportunities passed up, bottles not tipped up, tits not bottled up, trips not titted up, stinking steamy piles of dogshit winter snowyard Kelsey Street blues over tobogganing downhill with Alf the feral cat along for the ride. Shari never knew about that but then what did she care anyway except to be the object of adoration, cats being irrelevant to such exercises in futility. But that 1979 Ford pickup was certainly a piece of shit and I never even fucked in it, not that vehicles were a favorite spot but it was sure big enough, and beat enough (Larry sold me that piece of shit and then of course took my money working on it to keep it floundering along), but who on earth built that monstrosity of a wooden stakebed I'll never know and don't care. Sneezes scare the cat and the only question left is how many angels can dance on the end of my worldstick. If you know the answer, please RSVP as soon as possible to Are you feeling me? Write a letter to your future self and see how far that takes you on the path to Nirvana.

My IQ just went down 10 points from writing this and if yours suffered similarly, I apologize. I apologize. I apologize. They always take off my favorite TV shows, but they never apologize for it. The rank and file bastards, filly flank steak horsemeat spaghetti sauce-stirring shitstorms. Hit me with your best shot and don't forget to swallow after all it's only a few days a year when sleeveless diamonds haunt the everafter carrying watermelons and dying in front of mothers and sons on bridges (shameless Kerouac reference) inside my already full fullness and outside the houses made of ticky tacky. Okay. Dreamboat. Whatcha doin' when you ain't reading my poetry for unintentional meanings? Don't worry - I know what I'm doing, famous last words: From that distance they couldn't hit the . . . . Drop dead, Fred, or centralize thyself accordingly so you don't have to decide between a shiny knight and a white rabbit. Bottomless bottom feeding mind - stick that in your hat and light up - there's no reason to write another word except the next word might be the one that saves you. Sorry I'm overdressed. I thought it was a formal occasion. Maybe next time you can loan me a T-shirt instead of this soul-killing tie spouting heresy (Jerry, I apologize, go back to playing your banjo if you can) - a lot can happen in three minutes, history can be changed, lives can be spiked full of Irish whiskey and deerslayers can run amok in the black thickets around Thornecastle clear till March we have to wait for the third installment - they'll probably never apologize for what they are about to do - it's inevitable, you know, because I like it too much. That's the rule, if there is one, and that's the one to socialize with when you need to be alone, or vant to be . . . it's only magic, after all. In the grand swoop of history there's never been a more vapid excuse of a man nor beast neither. Amen and redundant so be its be upon you for selling out to the nearest bidder, you clydesdale-stomping everhard billy club. Leave me along alone along before I go Three Stooges on your stimulus check.

Bottomless bottoms up. Check. Right, Robert? Right. Good night, Chet. Lassie was last seen heading over the hill with a hambone in her mouth and June's daughter prancing around the farm wondering why she never quite made it except in one little boy's imagination fueled by Dimetapp dreams in shabby hotel rooms kittycorner from the 5&10 in beautiful downtown wherever

god (God?) that felt good to get that off my ass and why wouldn't it - why shouldn't the jumpsuit fit like that and why should we care more about Graceland than Swaziland? Why, it's the danger of the single story writ large and sung heavy with 2 sharps (someone will know the key) but I'll stick to being bummed out by cloud formations I can't name and crosswords I can't finish and finishes I can't cross . . . . There's no real way to end this, is there? No real way to begin again either. It's all folderol (look that up - it's a word) gewgaw (sounds like what I called a screwdriver before I could pronounce the sounds), maybe that was prescient but momma's gone for good and there's no asking her what little Ricky meant by it all. Slow down and harden your heart or lose me forever you big dud. Goose me. I always thought she'd live to regret me but I never got the chance (or never took it). So sad. So boringly sad.

Back to the bottom we go. Inside moves, didn't see that comin', didn't know that father, didn't find that puzzle piece until way late in the game, did you? Wandering around, no, staggering around the front lawn tipsied up good by the host across the lake, name lost in history, lake deeper than a moonwalk, Murphy maybe (doesn't sound right) something about a funeral home (old Gazettes?), what's wrong with dad? You'll never forget that humanizing moment when god is brought low and sunbeams bounce off the treebark like vomit in hoodoo, Hodor Hodor Hodor! Olmstead Act wasn't called the Owlett Act (obviously) what's that line called north of Dixie and south of my darkness? All around the barn without a window, set fire to it but watch the sparks - windy day, misty day, name your kid well, dig your well deep, never let it sleep, never let it rest, only a wrench will get it done half an hour to go. Bless your gizzard you old crone - I remember what you did and so does Sally whose brother got lost in Worcester (Wooster) to the best of my knowledge.

But back to the rules. Here's a notion for your motion: Jim didn't have to chug a beer to watch baseball but it helped, and Lenny didn't have Boney for no reason, did he? Find that picture and all will be forgiven - man, that was a party and who knew you could drive a car and puke out the window at the same time? Quit asking questions unless you already know the answers, muppet man. That's about it for sense-time value coupons. See next week's paper for more. Until then, see you in your wildest dreams.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Maggie Cassidy by Jack Kerouac

I just finished reading (for the first time) Maggie Cassidy by Jack Kerouac. Considered one of the "Lowell novels"* because of its setting in Kerouac's Massachusetts hometown, and part of "The Duluoz Legend,"** Maggie Cassidy tells the story of the author's school days, focused around his on-again/off-again relationship with an Irish girl from the other side of the tracks. According to Dave Moore's Character Key to Kerouac's Duluoz Legend, here's a picture of the real-life Maggie, Mary Carney.

Typical of Kerouac, the prose is at times more something to experience than to comprehend, taking the reader on a wild ride (Jack's descriptive memories of Lowell are priceless) through adolescent angst over love, sex, sports, friendships, and figuring out one's passions as well as where to fit into the adult world to come. As Kerouac's biggest living fan, and someone enamored of Lowell, I admit bias when I say . . . I loved it.

I only wish my copy had the above cover . . . .

*Can you name all five?

**Kerouac's novels that comprise one vast book (like Proust) telling the story of his life.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Kristen Stewart digs new cut of On The Road

For what it's worth, Kristen Stewart says diehard Kerouac fans will appreciate the new cut of On The Road that is airing at the Toronto International Film Festival. She said it's "so true to the novel."

Click here for more.

Interesting article about On The Road in The Australian

Click here for an interesting article in The Australian about Jack Kerouac's On The Road making the big screen.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Conservative Kerouac

True fans understand the paradox that was Jack Kerouac. On the one hand, he defined the Beat Generation with all of its nonconformity; on the other, he espoused quite conservative views (especially later in life). Click here to read an article titled The Conservative Kerouac in The American Conservative.

To give credit where credit is due, I learned about this on the excellent Facebook Jack Kerouac group page, which you can join by clicking here.

Happy reading . . . .

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cannes version of On The Road edited for TIFF

For one person's view of the changes made to the Cannes version of On The Road for its showing at TIFF, click here. I may have some inside scoop on how these edits evolved - stay tuned . . . .

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, On The Road!

Jack Kerouac's seminal novel, On The Road, was published this date in 1957. That same day, the New York Times published a glowing review (click here), and notoriety quickly followed Ti Jean for the rest of his short life.

Click here for a link to a past Daily Beat post on the subject.

Happy Birthday, On The Road!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Extended clip of Kristen Stewart dancing in On The Road

Click here for another new teaser from On The Road, an extended clip of Kristen Stewart (Marylou) dancing with Garrett Hedlund (Neal Cassady).