The Beat Goes On

My interview with musician/composer David Amram has been selected as one of the 18 pieces in this new book from Literary Kicks.  Read all about it at Amazon.com:

Literary Kicks, a website born in 1994, was there to witness it all, standing at the crossroads of emerging Internet culture and Beat inspiration.

Here’s the tale of Levi Asher’s audition for Francis Ford Coppola’s movie version of ‘On The Road’, and John Perry Barlow’s touching explanation of how Neal Cassady inspired the Grateful Dead song “Cassidy” . . . W. S. Merwin and Allen Ginsberg get into a heated argument over forced nakedness as Buddhist prayer, Patricia Elliot describes William S. Burroughs’s funeral in Kansas, and Michael McClure describes, on the fiftieth anniversary of the legendary Six Gallery poetry reading, what it all meant . . . 

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“Out There” by Mikael Covey

Author Mikael Covey of LitUp Magazine recently told me, “Out There is a book I wrote many years ago. Maybe fifteen years ago, or so. Has some general similarites to Kerouac’s On the Road, but in the post-Vietnam ’70’s era – the hippie movement, drugs, rock n roll. Lots a fun and good times, in a sad, reflective sorta way. Like it says in the book, ‘never enough’, y’know?”

Here are some excerpts from a chapter of Mikael Covey’s Out There:

Where I was and where we’re all from, now so sullenly removed, I watched it go by like a fat sacred cow swishing tail at everything, sauntering slowly across the dark dusty road in the middle of young night in the middle of summer into a black long row of endless impenetrable fields gone forever, vanished from headlights into memory gone given up lost. But it was wild, sort of. At times, some of the times in between all the slow and dull reality. The feeling of it, the mood of the night people and all that what was going on when you do it or live it like life, like nothing special and never enough. But the freedom, the freedom of being young unbounded and it was all was so easy and peaceful amid all the hurry and stress and bother of whatever older meaningless people were doing in their older meaningless world.

                              ***                              ***                              ***                                               Outside it’s so damn cold out in the mix of winter spring with the winds of spring blowing across the remaining snow and dark black sky. And inside so steamy hot like the young girls themselves with bare skin all icy cold and distant on the parts you can see. Yeah right. But anyway we always had to go have a few cold beers during halftime and it got so that sometimes we didn’t make it back for the second half and sometimes not past the first quarter.

                              ***                              ***                              ***                                                  That was us then and we’re going to California where it was golden in those days like sunshine and ice cold beer after a lot of both, or maybe not, just an idea in somebody’s head like mine. And I never really had any beliefs except daydreams of sunny beaches and cool palm trees and warm friendly girls half-naked in the blue water and the warm sand without pretense or befuddlement, just easy and peaceful and there.

                              ***                             ***                              ***                                                     Of course we got no money, or hardly any, since none of us work and that’s another thing. We all truly dread the idea of working at a goddamned job. And if it’s gotta be some kind of no choice inevitable chained to the factory type thing then at least we can do it someplace cool, like the great golden dream of California.

Read the entire Chapter