Saturday, November 15, 2014

Author Day on Beat Street: What were they Saying?

When I started working on The Beat on Ruby’s Street I wanted to begin each chapter with a quote from a Beat Generation poet or writer. I hoped the quotes would shed some light on the action in the chapter, but I mostly wanted to flavor Ruby’s story with the artistic voices she would have heard in Greenwich Village in 1958.

I ended up taking out the quotes, but now and again I take them out to remember what people were saying and writing. I wanted to share a few of my favorites today with you, to see if you have any favorites you’d like to share. Drop me a line if you do.

My (arbitrarily) collected quotes from/for the Beat Generation

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”

--Jack Kerouac, On the Road

“If I could just get out of the country.
Some place where one can eat the lotus in peace.”
--John Wieners, The Acts of Youth

“and so I walked silently
shrugging off hands in treacherous places”
--Joanne Kyger, The Maze

“the war is the war for the human imagination
and no one can fight it but you”
--Diane Di Prima, Rant

“Upon the shore I found a strange yet beautiful food
I asked the sea if I could eat it and the sea said that I could”
--Gregory Corso, Sea Chanty

“To see people aware & kind
at ease and contain’d of wonder
like the dreams of the blind”
--Gregory Corso, For Homer

“Where is she? That she moves without light.
Even in our halls.”
--Amiri Baraka, Crow Jane

There is another world above this one; or outside of this one;
the way to it is through the smoke of this one”
--Gary Snyder, Through the Smoke Hole

“I had no place to go
and I went there fast and slow.”
--Charles Bukowski, My Father

“I want no more than home.”
--Robert Creeley, Goodbye

“looking for a bus to ride us back home to Eternity
where the heart was left and farewell tears began.”
--Allen Ginsberg, In the Baggage Room at Greyhound

“Bombs in the middle
Of my emotions
My father’s sound
My mother’s sound,
Is love, Is life.”
--Bob Kaufman, O-Jazz-O

“These things we depend on, they disappear”
--Louise Gluck, The Night Migrations

Is this where, what, why
love, loving—all this time?”
--Elise Cowan, Did I Go Mad…

“What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls
and ate up their brains and imaginations?”

--Allen Ginsberg, Howl