Friday, October 30, 2015

Recent reviews of The Beat Handbook

Click here to read the most recent review of my book, The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions, on Amazon. If I do say so myself, it is a rather enigmatic little book. There's a little something for everyone because it's part-memoir, part-journal, part-advice, part-humor, part-philosophy, and all-Kerouac. And it's timeless since it's directly linked to Kerouac's eternal prose in On the Road and The Dharma Bums.

My beat friend, Kenneth Morris, had this to say about my book in a post on Facebook:
I just finished reading Rick Dale's beautiful utterance and call to action of Kerouac mind-set and zen sensibilities. It made me laugh and reflect on my own life and road I have naturally grooved into after absorbing the Kerouac canon. The road less traveled always had my name on it. And that has made all the difference. The Beat Handbook 100 Days of Kerouactions reaffirms the attitudes and ideology that made the Beats and Kerouac the important men of ideas that America (and the world) thirsted for, needed, and swallowed whole. Beautiful, absorbing, Top Ten whipsmart from my articulate, tender-hearted friend and fellow traveler. Highly recommended.
Think about it as a quirky Christmas gift for someone on your list this December. Amazon will gladly send you one in the mail -- all you have to do is click here and proceed. How can you go wrong?

#TBT (a day late) re: LiveJournal

I used to blog using LiveJournal. I journaled about pretty much anything on my mind, but there was some overlap with this blog as you can see by clicking here (an October 4, 2008 post).

Below are some other Kerouac-related links from my LJ days (a couple were simul-posted from this blog):

September 29, 2008

September 25, 2015

September 13, 2008

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Jack Kerouac: Safe in heaven dead and free of that slaving meat wheel

Regular readers of The Daily Beat know that today is the anniversary of Jack Kerouac's death in 1969. I was thinking about what to say about it that hasn't already been said, and I thought of writing an original poem for the occasion. For some reason, I settled on an American sentence a la Allen Ginsberg. Here it is:

Jack Kerouac's in the by-and-by glory land -- Lowell remembers.

RIP, Jack....

Monday, October 12, 2015

Readings at Jack Kerouac's grave, October 2015

The Daily Beat blogger himself
(c) Richard Marsh 2015

Below are links to the videos we took at Jack Kerouac's grave on October 9, 2015.

Rick Dale:

Crystal Bond:

Richard Marsh:

Rosie Milnes:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Salon's David Krajicek gets in a long line of detractors who just don't get Kerouac (and never will)

A recent (Sunday October 11, 2015) Salon piece (click here) doesn't cover any new territory in terms of Jack Kerouac criticism: he was misogynistic, blah blah blah, etc. However, its primary source -- a 1962 letter from Kerouac to fellow Beat luminary Lucien Carr -- is included as a link and is worth the price of scrolling through author David Krajicek's hack journalism. Or, don't bother with the Salon piece and just click here.

The letter is clever, funny, brilliant, creative, ribald, and edgy. It even references -- without naming her -- Natalie Jackson, Neal Cassady's girlfriend who fell (jumped) off a roof to her death in 1955 (Kerouac immortalized her as Rosie in The Dharma Bums and she appeared in other Kerouac works as well).

Kerouac knew full well that his written correspondence might well become public some day -- he kept it immaculately organized just in case -- so it's hard to defend this as private thoughts between friends. Instead, it's easier to see it as just another creative piece by this genius author, using the recent death of a major celebrity to spur a riff full of literary and other references it will take a month of Sundays to unravel.

Raging alcoholic or not, Kerouac often reflected the male attitudes of his time, but to screen his legacy through today's values is an exercise in retroactive stupidity. He wrote some of the most beautiful prose ever to see ink, and even this 1962 frolic, while perhaps misguided by today's cultural standards, stands as an illuminating part of the Kerouac oeuvre.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

"Report" from Lowell Celebrates Kerouac 2015

Lowell, the jewel of the Merrimack
made more perfect (if that's possible) by new old friends --
     Brian (whose passion knows no bounds) and Ken (who knew the secret word)
and by new new friends --
     Rosie (who traveled across the sea) and Phil and Marin and Jason and Don and Rachel
and by old old friends --
     Richard (my true friend who taught me NYC) and Michelle and Roxanne and Kurt
          (who gave me a stone from the Moody Street Bridge support trestle)
and by missing friends --
     Dave and John and Roger and Nancy and Jason
and by my beautiful soulmate traveling companion --
     Crystal (who tolerates my obsession)
and by a couple who came all the way from France
     whose names have escaped my memory
          like water rushing down the Pawtucket Canal
Pictures pictures pictures
     Of the usual suspects like David (the living legend) and Steve and George and Alan
          and unusual suspects like Mike and Dan and Chuck and Steve and Lesley
               (who laid down some too cool to describe -- Jack could do it -- bebop in uncharted territory)
     Of the grave, the sacred grave where people
          leave their heartfelt offerings to the madman bum and angel
               who brought us all together in the redslant autumn
     Of places where dingledodies shambled (the Sun's sign still lights up the Central Street sky)
We got there late and left early and still the vibe
     left me knowing I was home for October --
Windy acorn-dropping October in redbrick Lowell
     that gave us Kerouac the ghost-ridden wordslinger
     that inspired this departure from the traditional "report" on my visit
          (no chronology, no pictures but word-pictures)
     that left me chilled and thankful in my bony soul
What have I left out? Everything. And nothing.