1. Forty years ago today, a group of unknown poets based in San Francisco and Berkeley gathered for a poetry reading in a small art space called the Six Gallery. Nobody had heard of Allen Ginsberg or Gary Snyder before; after this seminal event (attended by only about 150 people) the whole world seemed to begin to listen to them. I’ve updated my Six Gallery page to include a description of the building where it took place, sent by Tony Willard. I also just finished typing in one of the poems Michael McClure
read that day, a poem I like a lot called Point Lobos: Animism.
3. Rob Hardin’s Paralyzed Paradise/Matterland
is a pretty fascinating literary experiment, and it’s hypertext to the max.
I’ve sometimes seen Rob Hardin hanging around with the Unbearables, a very original group of downtown
New York writers who’ve recently published an eponymous book I’m now reading. I think my favorite member of this pack is Ron Kolm, who writes complicated little urban dramas about hapless used-magazine vendors, cunnilingus fanatics and the like. A strange and compelling sense of karma hangs over these short
and funny tales.
I find much modern “neo-Beat” literature impenetrable; it’s too much of the same old Burroughs-inspired perverse obscurity, without clear message or plot or purpose. Too many of these writers seem happy to remain where Burroughs left them, and to aspire only to be as offensive, illogical and inaccessible as they
possibly can be. But in writers like Ron Kolm I see signs of a more human literature, a return to the territories Richard Brautigan, Gregory Corso, Ed Sanders and even Kerouac explored. Anyway, “The Unbearables” is definitely worth picking up if you see it, as well as other Unbearable-related (I think) zines and publications like “Sensitive Skin”, “Rant” and “Redtape”.