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SAN FRANCISCO is truly one of the great cities in the world; it is stocked with diverse and interesting beings. The bay, the hills and its buildings combine magically with its fog.



There are 5 Essential Reads for those who want a serious taste of the Beat writers and their generation:1 On the Road, 2 Off the Road, 3 Howl 4 The First Third, and 5 One and Only with the bonus read being 6 Dharma Bums. Here I give a 1- 5 rating, with 5 being the best as well as Omar comments on each book. I should note that he and Sister Kristin did argue on many of the ratings. Our mother also insisted on telling you to be sure to read The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Ken Kesey as well.

On the Road, Jack Kerouac 5 Simply a must read for anyone who wants a window into post war America and to understand how the writers of the Beat Generation planted the seeds for what would grow into the 1960’s. This book is not only insightful, it is beautifully written. Ride along on Kerouac’s fictionalized real life adventures with his signature rolling descriptions.

Off the Road Carolyn Cassady: 4.5 The best insiders review of the beat Generation. Carolyn chronicles her relationship with husband Neal and the often third wheel of their life travels, Jack Kerouac. She also goes beyond Kerouac’s writings of the 1950’s describing how they morphed into the Acid-Trip of the 1960’s. Polished, and very well written, this book adds some needed sanity to all the wonderful but often crazy raw writing of Kerouac and his fellow beats.

Howl, Allen Ginsberg: 5, Important reading for its historic significance alone, I think you will also have fun with this meandering poem that challenged the obscenity laws and norms of the late nineteen fifties. At its first public reading in San Francisco I imagine Allen as a tree with his signature glasses, strung with the vines of his fellow beats singing out the words of Howl filled with little seeds birthed by the inspiration and camaraderie of this group of friends, landing on all these unsuspecting folks in attendance and then growing and spreading into everything that we now associate with the 1960’s – it feels like it all started that night.
The First Third, Neal Cassady: 4.5 Considering Neal’s personality of high energy and all of his drug use, this reads surprisingly calm and elegantly. I suspect wife Carolyn and editor Ferenghetti worked hard on polishing this wonderful exploration of the man who essentially raised himself. This book and Off the Road really add depth to the adventure of On the Road.

One and Only, Gerald Nicosia & Anne Marie Santos: 5 Like the principle subject of this book Lu Anne Henderson, this book is not only a easy, fun read, it gives a good perspective on the other Beats and their books.

Dharma Bums: 5 If you only have time for the best of Kerouac, read On the Road and then follow it with this book. Then read The First Third, Neal Cassady and Off the road, Carolyn Cassady. At some point in this journey you must of course read Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. With these five books you will have the essential history lesson of the time and the Beats influence on Literature. Want more Beats after these five, then read more reviews and jump in.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe, 5 The book which depicts the adoption and transformation of the Beat Generation lifestyle into what would be the launch of all of the cultural phenomena of the sixties.

Visions of Cody, Jack Kerouac: 3 Of all the books I read, I would suggest some self-editing to get the most out of this book. To paraphrase Allen Ginsberg, this book is a real insight to the mind of a marijuana laced mind or “teahead.” This would in itself explain the challenge of following the story being told – you could argue that the hyper text is actually more of a reflection of Kerouac’s use of his favorite upper drug, Benzedrine/amphetamines than of the influence of marijuana – or the combination of the two. I have specific recommendations on how to read this book. Begin with Section 2 and read until page 88, stopping at L’s Bar; resume page 181 following “machine resumes” until page 246 (end of Section 2). Restart at the bottom of page 295, Visions of Cody and read until page 300. Then read 331-332, pick it up again on 338-348, finishing with 396 – 398. Then make your way through Ginsberg’s remembrances and refer back to sections that interest you. Be sure to concentrate on pages 420 & 411, 425 – 430, which give a grand overview and insights into the Kerouac and the Beats historical significance. Treat the rest of the book like poetry – pick it up every once in a while and read a few pages – enjoy its chaotic energy. Section One, a difficult narrative to follow of Kerouac’s youth is filled with gems of descriptions of people he observes with his developing writer’s eye.

Subterraneons, Jack Kerouac: 3.5 This ramble of a writer’s experiment feels more like trying to read a very long poem. You have to just let go and know you are not going to keep up with Kerouac’s mind as he tells us this story in a way that feels like one long sentence. It is fun to feel pulled in and pushed out with the language and thoughts of those in San Francisco in the late 1950’s. That being said, I would have preferred that he took some deep breaths while writing so that we could just enjoy the compelling stories of the author and the characters. Especially Mardou – such a compelling character that I wish I had been given a clear and crisp narrative. That being said, the chaos of Kerouac’s tale gives us a taste of the ‘real’ chaos of his and her life at that time – In other words, his style helps you experience the reality instead of just being told it. I honored Mardou by giving one of my characters, Alene Fox, a piece from her real name of Alene Lee and Kerouac’s fictional name for her of Mardou Fox.

Visions of Gerard, Jack Kerouac: 3 In this early Kerouac you get tastes of the genius that will write On the Road - It is also a wonderful reminder that there are people like Gerard that we all need to seek out and enjoy during our limited time on this earth.

Big Sur, Jack Kerouac: 2 Kerouac's descent into alcoholism clearly shows here but still fun if you can handle weeding through his fog.

Desolation Angels, Jack Kerouac: 3.5 With an excellent edit (removing about 30% of the book) this book could have been a five. Lots of gems, you just have to weed through a lot of unnecessary blubber.
Dr. Sax, Jack Kerouac: 2.5 I enjoyed the first section (Book One). After all of the hyper cadence of most his novels, it was really nice to read some Kerouac words that are slowed down, at a pace of his hometown and childhood (life before drugs and Neal Cassady). That being said, the story eventually so bored me that I gave up and just kind of flipped through it. If you also get bored, flip to page 135 and read Dr. Sax’s story about Emilia St. Claire and the poetry shortly thereafter—I would call them highlights.

Beat Poetry: So much to choose from and so much fun! Take it in a little at a time or in a grand binge. Favorites: Michael McClure’s Dark Brown; any of Gary Synder’s nature poems; Jack Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues; Diane di Prima’s Dinners and Nightmares; Gregory Corso’s The Happy Birthday of Death; Philip Lamantia’s Touch of the marvelous; Philip Whalen’s Overtime – and of course Howl, Allen Ginsberg. I’m still picking up their poetry books and expect that I will for the rest of my life.

For Beat writer,
William Burroughs,
Check out Omar T reviews in New York City reading recommendations: New York City reading recommendations

Omar's favorite QUOTES FROM San Francisco Fiction novels (The Beat Writers and Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test):

On the Road – Jack Kerouac
On the Road, The original Scroll – Jack Kerouac
Scratching the Beat Surface – Michael McClure
Dark Brown – Michael McClure
Visions of Gerard – Jack Kerouac
Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac
Subterraneans – Jack Kerouac
Big Sur – Jack Kerouac
Dr Sax – Jack Kerouac
The First Third – Neal Cassidy
Visions of Cody – Jack Kerouac
Off the Road – Carolyn Cassidy
Desolation Angels – Jack Kerouac
Dr. Sax, Jack Kerouac
One and Only, Gerald Nicosia & Anne Marie Santos
Selected Poems, Michael McClure
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe
Cities of the Red Night, William Burroughs
Queer, William Burroughs
Junky, William Burroughs
SF Beat timeline, by year and context

page #
On the Road – Jack Kerouac

P4 we tiptoed around each other like heartbreaking new friends (neal & jack)
P5 Neal: “overexcited nut” In the West he’d spent a third of his time in the poolhall, a third in jail, and a third in the public library. They’d seen him rushing eagerly down the winter streets, bareheaded, carrying books to the poolhall, or climbing trees to get into the attics of buddies where he spent days reading or hiding from the law.
P5-6 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 like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everbody goes “Awww!”
P6 “they cemented their relationship to fiendish allday-allnight-talk proportions” gins and neal
P7 his “criminality” was not something that sulked and sneered; it was a wild yea-saying overburst of American joy; it was Western, the west wind, an ode from the Plains, something new, long prophesied, long a-coming (he only stole cars for joy rides). Neal
P78 and beautiful women standing in white doorways, waiting for their men; and Coit Tower, and the Embarcadero, and Market street, and the eleven teeming hills
P79 and California is white like washlines and emptyheaded—at least that’s what I thought them
P83 the whorey smell of a big city
P85 having found the closest and most delicious thing in life together, we fell asleep and slept till late afternoon
P90 We had long, serious talks and took baths and discussed things with the light on and then with the light out. Something was being proved, I was convincing her of something, which she accepted, and we concluded the pact in the dark, breathless, then pleased, like little lambs.
P94 It was always mañana, For the next week that was all I heard— mañana, a lovely word and one that probably means heaven.
P97 The cowboy music twanged in the roadhouse and carried across the fields, all sadness. It was all right with me. I kissed my baby and we put out the lights.
P98 The old man was yelling. But the sad, fat brown mother prevailed, as she always does among the great fellahin peoples of the world
P101 We turned at a dozen paces, for love is a dual, and looked at each other for the last time.
P102 And this was my Hollywood career—this was my last night in Hollywood, and I was spreading mustard on my lap in back of a parking-lot-john.
p107 seeing with my innocent road-eyes the absolute madness and fantastic hoorair of New York with its millions and millions hustling forever for a buck among themselves, the mad dream—grabbing, taking giving, sighing, dying, just so they could be buried in those awful cemetery cities beyond Long Island City. The high towers of the land—the other end of the land, the place where Paper America is born.
P111 “No, listen, I’ll tell you why.” And he told her why, and of course it made no sense.
P127 He lisped, he writhed, he flopped, he moaned, he howled, he fell back in despair.
P128 When he was gone Dean pointed to the empty piano seat. “God’s empty chair.” George Shearing, the great jazz pianist who had It It It
P138 He and I suddenly saw the whole country like an oyster for us to open; and the pearl was there, the pearl was there.
P156 What is the Mississippi River? –a washed clod in the rainy night, a soft plopping from drooping Missouri banks, a dissolving, a riding of the tide down the eternal waterbed, a contribution to brown foams, a voyaging past endless vales and trees and levees, down along, down along, by Memphis, Greenville, Eudora, Bicksburg, Natchez, Port Allen, and Port Orleans and Port of the Deltas, by Potash, Venice, and the Night’s Great Gulf, and out. Jack Kerouac “On the Road”
P157 There was a smell of oil and dead water in the air. This was a manuscript of the night we couldn’t read.
P169 It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond
P173-174 I smelled all the food of San Francisco… There were the places where they specialized in thick red roast beef au jus, or roast chicken basted in wine. There were places where hamburgs sizzled on grills and the coffee was only a nickel. And oh, the pan-fried chow mein flovored air that blew into my room from Chinatown, vying with the spaghetti sauces of North Beach, the soft-shell crab of Fisherman’s Wharf—nay, the ribs of Fillmore turning on spits! Throw in the Market Street chili beans, redhot, and French-fried potatoes of the Embarcadero wino night, and steamed clams from Sausalito across the bay, and that’s my ah-dream of San Francisco. Add fog, hunger-making raw fog, and the throb of neons in the soft night, the clack of high-heeled beauties, white doves in a Chinese grocery window…
P176 how are the boys in the front row making out with their girl-orooni
P186 I’ve just figured out she is thirty-one-and-a-quarter-per-cent English, twenty-seven-and-a-half-per-cent Irish, twenty-five-per-cent German, eight-and-three-quarters-per-cent Dutch, seven-and-a-half-per-cent Scotch, one-hundred-per-cent wonderful
P199 here we were dealing with the pit and prunejuice of poor beat life itself in the god-awful streets of man
P201 He’d go from “ta-tup-tader-rara… ta-tup-tader-rara, chorus.
P202 Hey now, babybaby, make a way, make a way, it’s Lampshade comin your way
210 Offer them what they secretly want and they of course immediately become panic-stricken.
211 He balled right across the deser in this manner, demonstrating various ways of how not to drive
212 we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
214 I hold things in my hand like pieces of crap and don’t know where to put it down
214 You don’t die enough to cry
233 Somewhere behind us or in front of us in the huge night his father lay drunk under a bush, and no doubt about it—spittle on his chin, water on his pants, molasses in his ears, scabs on his nose, maybe blood in his hair and the moon shining down on him.
234 The magnificent car made the wind roar; it made the plains unfold like a roll of paper
241 (jazz music/history) Man, there’s a cat who can really bend his girl!
251 What’s your road, man?—holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, guppy road, any road?
253 Ripples in the upside-down lake of the void, is what I should have said.
253 his compassion unnoticed like the compassion of saints.
280 The waves are Chinese, but the earth is an Indian thing. On the Road, The original Scroll – Jack Kerouac
156 I wished Neal and Allen were there—then I realized they’d be out of place and unhappy. They wer like the man with the dungeon stone and the gloom, rising from the underground, the sordid hipsters of America, a new beat generation that I was slowly joining.
232 It was 3 children of the earth trying to decide something in the night and having all the weight of past centuries ballooning in the dark before them.

page #
Scratching the Beat Surface – Michael McClure

P8 I am separate from gloom and beauty. I see all.
26 Heel. Nostril.
Light. Light! Light!’
This is the bird’s song
You may tell it
To your children.
The German language has two words, Geist for the soul of man and Odem for the spirit of beasts.
27 One cannot say that a virus is less special or less divine than a wolf or butterfly or rose blossom. One cannot say that a star or cluster of galaxies is more important—has more proportion—than a chipmunk or floorboard.

A white robe hangs on the wall
Like a soft ghost
44 The organism is a swirl of environment in what the Taoists call the Uncarved Block of time and space (a universe in which time and space are not separated into intersecting facets by measured incidents). Me note: a universe: infinity within infinity
51 My feet stood on all of the bodies that came before me.
54 Many poets in that period were creating, projecting, their own systems—their own momentary system of poetics. We were aware that a system should be momentary—that it was not immortal, not permanent. The system was a tool—like the electron microscope—that could lead to the insight and the discovery of new poetry. A systemless system is one that alters itself in the waves with a living anarchism
55 Almost any system, with intellective investment in it, is advantaged over no system. Another quality of systems is that they create bondage.
58 What doesn’t change is the will to change
74-75 On Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues
Good men
Who love
Have karmas
Of dove
Mclure: Kerouac was writing a big, serious poem, but it was not gloomy overall; it was not realistic; and it smiled at itself and laughed at the world outrageously. The poem is like ourselves at our unchained moments when we are able to move from our established self-investments and stride on new stepping-stones to a point of risk, growth, change, or maturity. Kerouac was writing a mystical (in its hope), anarchist, epic-length, and open-ended poem.
Kerouac On Dark Brown: when I believed the poem had ended I found, instead, that I had laid back the space, as if I were stepping into a cave behind a waterfall
79 Praised be the embrace of soft sleep --the valor of angels in valleys
80 The quivering meat of the elephants of kindness being torn apart by vultures
81 Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe…
his admonition not to lift was in fact an encouragement to lift the veil
86 Your hand, by your side, is never love
87 within that moves me that I never see
but hear and speak to?
88 Diogenes, the Groucho Marx of philosophy, said: I have seen Plato’s cup and his table but I have not see his cupness and his tableness.
89 Essential to McClure: “The mind is inseparable from the body”
92 complex systems are more stable through time than simpler systems
93 Everywhere in nature we can draw arbitrary surfaces and arbitrarily declare them boundaries separating two subsystems. More often than not it turns out that such boundaries are asymmetric; they separate two subsystems that, although arbitrarily limited, are different in their degrees of organization. There is some energy exchange between the two subsystems in the sense that the less-organized subsystem gives energy to the more-organized, and, in the process of exchange, some information in the less-organized is destroyed and some information is gained by the already more-organized.
95 Energy—or its use—does evolve
108 And in our male insistency on meaning we miss the truth.
115 WHEN A MAN DOES NOT ADMIT THAT HE IS AN ANIMAL, he is less than an animal. Not more but less.
117 CHILDHOOOD IS AN OVERWHELMING VISION IN REMEMBERING. CERTAINLY IT IS AN OVERWHELMING EXPERIENCE. The resembrance of the absurdities, pains, joys, INTENSITIES, preposterousnesses, agonies, sensualities, freedoms, cages, punishments, and rewards staggers the comprehension!
127 We are not more alive than an amoeba—we are more complex
129 To presume to “know” God’s shape, form, color, size, and temperament narrows perceptions.
160 The music of the body is as lovely as Mozart

page #
Dark Brown – Michael McClure

No ease to truth. I half admit it.
OH fake of vanity
the shapes are many
Oh sorrow that I live forever. Or joy that I die
I strike sick longing, forgiving you. Wanting forgiveness.
Sick lip-service to a small shrieking voice

page #
Visions of Gerard – Jack Kerouac

23 as soft a sin as kissing a lamb in the belly or an angel in her wing
49 Artist or no artist, I cant pass up a piece of fried chicken when I see it
63 Drunkards take their time
103 death is the only decent subject, since it marks the end of illusion and delusion
The whole world has no reality, it’s only imaginary

page #
Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac

30 I distrust any kind of Buddhism or any kinda philosophy or social system that puts down sex
Bodhisattva (Princess) I feel like I’m the mother of all things and I have to take care of my little children
33 amusing himself in the void
39 the Japhies of the world go prowling in the wilderness to hear the voice crying in the wilderness, to find the ecstasy of the stars, to find the dark mysterious secret of the origin of faceless wonderless crapulous civilization.
61-62 The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify ( by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.
67 the first sip is joy the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy. Oriental passion for tea
70 Nirmanakaya Sambhogakaya Dharmakaya Maitreya Skyamuni The silence was an intense roar
71 laughter is solemn “Rocks are space,” I thought, “and space is illusion.”
73 if you don’t know how to handle a chopstick and stick it in that family pot with the best of ‘em you’ll starve
75 He was always giving things, always practicing what the Buddhists call the Paramita of Dana, the perfection of charity.
76 Smith you don’t realize it’s a privilege to practice giving presents to others.
77 The crack of the dying logs was like Japhy making little comments on my happiness all he needs is his rucksack with those little plastic bags of dried food and a good pair of shoes and off he goes ans enjoys the privileges of a millionaire my ribs were up against a damper damp than the damp of a cold bed.
83-84 When you get to the top of a mountain, keep climbing. Whipped cream on top of ice cream 85 suddenly everything was just like jazz: it happened in one insane second or so
91 Here there was the smell of sun-heated wood, sunny dust resting in the moonlight, lake mud, flowers, straw, all those good things of the earth.
97 Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming
135 because if the world was real, it would be immortal you pay through the nose for shortlived shows…
146 The warm wind made the pines talk deep one night
147 obtaining nirvana is like locating silence
149 I had pitied the dog and forgiven men
203 It will all come out in the wash
204 I want my Dharma Bums to have springtime in their hearts when the blooms are girling and the birds are dropping little fresh turds surprising cats who wanted to eat them a moment ago.
238 But let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.

page #
Subterraneans – Jack Kerouac
6 she was interested in thin ascetic strange intellectuals of San Francisco and Berkeley and not in big paranoiac bums of ships and railroads and novels and all that hatefulness
21 we begin our romance on the deeper level of love and histories of respect and shame 7
3 but angels know all and record it in books

page #
Big Sur – Jack Kerouac

5 I realize, gone the way of the last three years of drunken hopelessness which is a physical and spiritual and metaphysical hopelessness you can’t learn in school no matter how many books on existentialism or pessimism you read, or how many jugs of vision-producing Ayahuasca you drink, or Mescaline take, or Peyote goop up with—That feeling when you wake up with the delirium tremens with the fear of eerie death dripping from your ears like those special heavy cobwebs spiders weave in the hot countries, the feeling of being a bentback mudman monster groaning underground in hot steaming mud pulling a long hot burden nowhere, the feeling of standing ankledeep in hot boiled pork blood, ugh, of being up to your waist in a giant pan of greasy brown dishwater not a trace of suds left in it
9 It’s been there a million years and it doesn’t want me clashing darkness with it
31 Ten delicate olives slowly chewed at midnight is something no one’s ever done in luxurious restaurants
32 There is a spider in the outhouse minding his own business
97 (because in one sense the drinker learns wisdom, in the words of Goethe or Blake or whichever it was, “The Pathway to wisdom lies through excess”)—But in this condition you can only say “Wisdom is just another way to make people sick”
120 the history of everything we’ve seen together and separately has become a library in itself
130 I’ve noticed it before in San Francisco a kind of ephemeral hysteria that hides in the air over the rooftops among certain circles there leading always to suicide and maim
155 I realize I’m just a silly stranger goofing with other strangers for no reason far away from anything that ever mattered to me whatever that was
In fact we’re all strangers with strange eyes sitting in a midnight livingroom for nothing

page #
Visions of Cody – Jack Kerouac

13For Friday night to drinking weekenders is like Monday morning for ambitious clerks
33 Everything belongs to me because I am poor
43 and have to batter my head against the general emptiness when I want to explain something to somebody
50 all the loneliness, remorse and chagrin in the world piled on their heads like indignities from heaven
135 demureness is a kindliness cast as a cloak over anger, or, ah, it is a shielding, or a shell for the inward frustration
JACK. (holding Cody by the shoulders) Easy man, snap out of it. (slaps him sharply in the face) There, is that better?
334 High, I’m telling you, high. What’s the law against being high?
What’s the use of not being high? You gonna be low?
343 I’m an expert on bellies you know (Ginsburg)
351 the jazz was yelling “Blowblow-blow!
351 We’ll all know when he hits it—there it is! he’s got it!—hear?—see everybody rock? It’s the big moment of rapport all around that’s making him rock; that’s jazz; dig him, dig her, dig this place, dig these cats, this is all that’s left
352 listen to me, now I’m ganna lay down on you the truth—but listen to him, listen to him. It, remember? It! It! He’s got it, see? That’s what it—means, or I mean to explain, earlier, see and all that and everything. Yes!
Adam and Eve, Eden’s in Abyssinia, all realize they’ve got , they’re in time and alive together and everything’s alright, don’t worry about nothing, I love you, whooee—
358 The IT (is right there, to give it to you, it lurks in the frizzly dust of ceilings as well as in that rose-perfected air of Cody’s)
390 How can the tragic children tell what it is their fathers killed, enjoyed and what joyed in and killed them
412-13 Once you fall in love five times & tell the story 5 times over it loses magic—unless as older person you fall in love again—ten you sadly tell the story again, bemused.
If you have to go through a thought again and again pretty soon it becomes an abstraction of the thought
420 I felt more like he was a ghost I’d come to see
422 that was all 1952, “Speak now or ever hold your peace”
424 the hugeness of the world became a joke in my mind
430 Last pages—how tender—“Adios King!” a farewell to innocence, a tearful renunciation of Victory & accomplishment

Ken Kesey “If people could just understand it is possible to be different without being a threat”
Joan Rawshanks = Joan Crawford

page #
Off the Road – Carolyn Cassidyc

32 There in our bed, sleeping nude, were LuAnne, Neal and Allen
44 An accident of gender was all that put me where Allen wanted to be.
Dear Jack:
Alright now listen you, let’s get serious. You going to write another book, huh? I’m trying to write one, right? You love me, don’t you? I love you, don’t I? If we’re so all-fired good, then think of the funny times historians of future will have in digging up period in last half of 51 when K lived with C, much like Gauguin and Van Gogh, or Neitche (sic) and Wagner
166 He and Neal favored Spengler’s word ‘fallaheen’ to describe the culture, but since to them the term meant a people who weren’t going anywhere but had it sounded to me like the impossible dream for these two men who loved dashing about looking for ‘kicks.’
167 I felt like the sun of their solar system, all revolved around me. Besides, I was now a real contributor for once; my house work and childcare had a purpose that was needed and appreciated. I was functioning as a female and my men were supportive.
168 On occasion, Jack and I would make love in his attic if the children were asleep. He’d produce a poor-boy of wine and play host. I think of him now whenever I smell unfinished wood, and remember how the sun sometimes lay across us like a blanket; or how, huddled under covers, we’d listen to the soft patter of the rain close above our heads. (She knew both the empowerment of being the center of two energetic, creative men as well as the pain of their easy abandonment of her and just about anything else)
169 I wondered if it was because he tended to appreciate his women more when the relationship was threatened, or whether a rival made him feel less trapped.
Young people now seemed more intense, clutching, and I couldn’t help feeling they took themselves too seriously. I wondered if the increasing use of drugs could account for this, but whatever the cause, ‘good, clean fun’ appeared to be a thing of the past.
170 I decided the tea was not responsible for any exceptional cleverness, only for making them think they were being clever.
216 it seemed we’d passed some sort of milestone in growing up, the kind that demands a sacrifice.
232 self-condemnation was a primary sin, not a virture
233 you don’t have to pay for a mistake in kind if you can learn better otherwise—that’s grace.
268 He said people love to the very best of their ability at any given time, and that is all you can expect. Love can’t be demanded. Dante said love’s like a mirror—the more given out, the more is reflected back, and thus it expands.
Cayce says if you wanna be loved, be lovely.
364 After all, everyone really knows within himself when he is doing something right or wrong; it isn’t anyone else’s business. 396 When you’re young you work because you think you need the money: when you’re old you already know you don’t need anything but death, so why work? 408 It’s a terrible thing to hear from the lips of human beings that a fellow sufferer has finally died

page #
Desolation Angels, Jack Kerouac

39 Every night I still ask the Lord, “Why?” and havent heard a decent answer yet
49 I really am a “madman bum and angel”
60 THE MOON—she come peekin over the hill like she was sneakin into the world
62 His big mouth chew-chews in the night, I can hear it across the mountain in the starlight
66 I called Han Shan in the fog—there was no answer
78 “I dont know, I dont care, and it doesnt matter” will be the final human prayer—
80 While meditating
I am Buddha--
Who else?
Of ordinary people,
Ex-tra-ordinary people,
I’m glad there is you
“In this world, of overrated pleasures and underrated treasures,” hum
“I’m glad there is You.”
100 “I’ll just pass through everything, like that which passes through everything—“
126 Everything’ll be all right, desolation is desolation everywhere and desolation is all we got and desolation aint bad—
129 Dog is God spelled backwards
130 San Francisco always is, it always gives you the courage of your convictions
139 Alternately bang bang the jazz crashes in to my consciousness and I forget everything and just close my eyes and listen to the ideas
151 who must be Buddhists, that is, understand that the Way is not a Way
152 they even have readers who see auras over people’s heads perfectly
157 Buddhism is getting to know as many people as you can
194 “But you cant be bored, if you get bored we all get bored, if we all get bored and tired we all give it up, then the world falls down and dies!”
195 Just as you say, Jack, it takes a long tail to make a kite reach the infinite
196 see about a lost manuscript
201 littlegirl logic, just keep repeating the kind amenities and your graciousness will not fall down Ginsburg is “The Profit of the Eyes”
202 The sage who provokes laughter is more valuable than a well
203 and here he is standing up taking off his pants at the lace tablecloth big serious eyes like Lenin
204 We all go to Heaven leaning on the arm of someone we helped
204-205 see scan provocative, fun dialogue – Neal & Ginsburg
206 Philip Lamantia
211 The dialogue of such parties is always one vast hubbub that rises to the ceiling and seems to clash and thunder there, the effect when you close your eyes and listen, is “Bwash bwash crash” as everybody is trying to emphasize their conversation at the risk of interruption or drown-out, finally it gets louder, the drinks keep coming, the hors d’oeuvres are destroyed and the punch is laked in by hungry talking tongues, finally it degenerates into a shoutfest and always the host begins to worry about the neighbors and his last hour is spent in politely closing up the party
212 I wanna instruct my bhikkhus to avoid the authorities
225 Ginsberg: “I smell the lonesome bittersweet”
226 read what the tortured and the hungry say about the tortured and the hungry
It is a tortured and a hungry world
240 –And all our fears were in vain, a dream, just like the Lord said—and that’s the way we’ll die—
248 It’s only in Mexico, in the sweetness and innocence, birth and death seem at all worthwhile…
250 the dope fiend and the artist have lots in common
257 Ginsberg: was continually surrounded by friends and sometimes dozens of acquaintances who would come to his door in beards rapping softly in the night
260 every time we got together the conversation became a poem swinging back and forth (Corso & Kerouac)
266 After all, the only reason for life or a story is “What Happened Next?
290 I can beat you up with my mystic strength
296 IT’S LIKE A BIG SURREALISTIC DRAWING BY PICASSO with this and that reaching for this and that—even Picasso doesn’t want to be too accurate. It’s the Garden of Eden and anything goes. I cant think of anything more beautiful in my life (& aesthetic) than to hold a naked girl in my arms.
323 (like Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, Dizzy comes on in waves of thought, not in phases) Let Irwin (Allen Ginsberg) or Dizzy get warmed up and the walls fall down, at least the walls of your ear-porch
331 And all of a sudden they go into a big Yiddishe controversy about shit shot (in New York)
336 It scares a seaman to hear the Kitchen scream in fear
340 On the headland around Tangiers Bay was a beacon turning in the blue dusk like St. Mary assuring me port is made and all’s all safe.
343 Dozens of weird expatriates, coughing and lost on the cobbles of Moghreb—some of them sitting at the outdoor café tables with the glum look of foreigners reading zigzag newspapers over unwanted Vermouth. Ex-smugglers with skipper hats straggling by. No joyful Moroccan tambourine anywhere. Dust in the street. The same old fish heads everywhere.
388 about LA
390 Life is like the reflection of the moon on the water, which one is the true moon?
396 When you’re young you work because you think you need the money:
when you’re old you already know you don’t neet anything but death, so why work?
407 according to the laws of tit-for-tat what do I deserve myself?
408 It’s a terrible thing to hear from the lips of human beings that a fellow sufferer has finally died

page #
Dr. Sax, Jack Kerouac

5 Memory and dream are intermixed in this mad universe
34 my old, old friend … my ghost, personal angel, private shadow, secret lover
44 in the dark it yawned a black dangerhole
77 the goddam winter’s got his big ass farting from the North before the ladies of the summer pick their parasols and leave it’s a dirty snaky deal with a fancy name—called L-I-F-E

page #
One and Only, Gerald Nicosia & Anne Marie Santos:

33 I had never known any women like Lu Anne, who could talk so easily about sex and yet also make it seem so natural and healthy, nothing to be ashamed of or to make a big deal about at all.
37 Something about her expression reminded me of a purring cat—the visual equivalent of a cat’s purr.
39 And Carolyn, not to put too fine a point on it, belonged for better or worse to the square world that Jack and Neal were always trying to run away from.
39 And she sees them with an objective accuracy that is uncanny, but also with a compassion and nonjudgmental attitude that is worthy of a bodhisattva—which, forgive my presumption, I would make the claim that she was.
43 Lu Anne had that rare ability to see people in their totality—their pluses and their minuses, their ups and downs, their ins and out—and to see each one as a whole person.
43 It was the pursuit of that flame that set her life on its amazing course. In her ability to see, and cherish, the inspirational power in men like Kerouac and Cassady, she herself became an inspirational force, and left her own lasting impression on some of the finest writers of her time.
44 In Kristin’s words, “Jack and Neal needed that estrogen.” Kristen had gotten it—or it, as Neal might have said
46 “The only trouble with her,” Neal said, “is she’s too much like me.”
61 they were for the most part a troubled bunch of young people—some of them actual outcasts from society and their disapproving families, and some of them just feeling outcast in a world that now worshipped power in the form of atom bombs and commercial success in the form of look-alike tract houses and gray flannel suits.
61 After the war and America’s so-called victory, which had come at the price of millions of deaths, Kerouac and his friends were all the more convinced that society’s values were bankrupt, and that some kind of new personal code had to be forged.
109 But women have a strange way of talking about things like that. On the one hand, when they’re being reflective, they’ll usually lie their heads off that they never went to bed with a single male except their spouse, or whoever their partner happened to be. On the other hand , someone like Jack, who suddenly became famous, suddenly had fifteen thousand mistresses!
131 Neal never had any fear of anything like that. He’d go into the darkest alley with the roughest-looking characters. But nothing bad ever happened to him.
155 The strange thing about the two of them, when they were with each other, it seemed like they were totally unaware of the other one’s real feelings. (NEAL & Jack) Everything that Neal was, Jack would want---had wanted—would like to be. And everything that Jack was, Neal would have given his right arm to be, or to have.

page #
Selected Poems, Michael McClure:

Vii I continue to see the poem as an extension of myself, as a gesture, and as an organism seeking like.
1 How beautiful things are in a beautiful room
At night
Without proportion
1 Things are without proportion
And I must sleep
2 It is these small things—and the secret behind them
That fill the heart.
won’t free us. Free us. Love.
25 Yes, all things flow! And in our male insistency on meaning we miss the truth
wish to be
gentle, sweet, and lovable,
and that would be true, but it
all that matters

page #
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe:

8 I saw the same stuff when I got back as when I left. It was just bigger, that was all
I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph
9 “No offense,” says Kesey, “but New York is about two years behind.”
Fabled North Beach, the old fatherland bohemia of the West Coast
10 it was not just North Beach that was dying. The whole old-style hip life—jazz, coffee houses, civil rights, invite a spade for dinner, Vietnam—it was all suddenly dying
11 the “heads” beatniks of the sixties thing was the major abstract word in Haight-Ashbury. It could mean anything, isms, lifestyles, habits, leanings, causes, sexual organs; thing and freak; freak referred to styles and obsessions, as in “Stewart Brand is an Indian freak” or “the zodiac—that’s her freak,” “be in” happening
15 Cassady never stops talking. But that is a bad way to put it. Cassady is a monologuist, only he doesn’t seem to care whether anyone is listening or not. “you understand—“
30 They’re beginning to open the doors in their minds—“ But once you’ve been through that door, you can’t just keep going through it over and over again Somebody has to be the pioneer and leave the marks for others to follow
44 We’re shut off from our own world. And thes drugs seem to be the key to open these locked doors.
Aldous Huxley: In ordinary perception, the senses send an overwhelming flood of information to the brain, which the brain then filters down to a trickle it can manage for the purpose of survival in a highly competitive world. Man has become so rational, so utilitarian, that the trickle becomes most pale and thin. It is efficient, for mere survival, but it screens out the most wondrous part of man’s potential experience without his even knowing it.
52 “out front” was a termeverybody was using—out-front people who cared deeply for one another, and shared…in incredible ways
53 the world is sheerly divided into those who have had the experience (LSD)and those who have not
63 Kenneth Babbs – he introduced the idea of the pranks, great public pu-ons
71 Bus crew
72 The bus trip was already becoming an allegory of life
102 Kerouac was the old star. Kesey was the wild new comet from the West heading Christ knew where
187 Sometimes we don’t even realize what we really care about, because we get so distracted by the symbols
188 Don’t explain it. Do it!
215 once you find out about Cosmo, you know he’s running the show…
217 First they pointed the whle bus a dull red color, the color of dried blood
218-19 Ginsberg sang mantras all night and jingled bells and finger cymbals – Cassady seemed to be moving in time to the sewing machine on a long seam.
222 Oakland Peace March “You know you’re not gonna stop this war with this rally, by marching… That’s what they do… They hold rallies and they march… They’ve been having wars for ten thousand years and you’re not gonna stop it this way… The thousand years, and this is the game they play to do it… holding rallies and having marches… and that’s the same game you’re playing… their game… he then pulled out a harmonica and plays home on the range
224 that’s the cry of this rally!... Me! Me! Me! Me!... And that’s why wars get fought… ego… because enough people wat to scream Pay attention to Me… Yep, you’re playing their game…
It’s the only thing the martial spirit can’t stand—a put-on, a prank, a shuck, a goose in the anus.
Picture the greatest anti-war rally in the history of America ending in a Day-Glo brawl to the tune of Home, home on the range…
241 The strobe has certain magical properties in the world of the acid heads
To people standing under the mighty strobe everything seemed to fragment. A man in slices
245 The Dead could get just as stoned as anyone else
264 That’s something people need. People at all times need outlaws
284 it seem like the dread LSD had caught on like an infection among the youth, which, in fact, it had. Very few realized that it had all emanated from one electric source: Kesey and the Merry Pranksters.
299 Even while he was reeking with paranoia, he seemed to have total confidence.
301 like the true Acid Central of Mexico, Ajijic, on Lake Chapala
354 the Avalon ballroom Van Ness and Sutter
the Fillmore – Fillmore and Geary
The Russian Embassy – name for HaightAsh communal living house
359 Owsley – known as White Rabbit – then later Bear – pez LSD candy holders
Trans-Love Airways – Love-ins
361 Leary has said, a home should be a place of purity that the Gautama Buddha himself could walk into from 485 BC and feel at home
367 I intend to stay in this country as a fugitive, and as salt in J.
Edgar Hoover’s wounds…

page #
Cities of the Red Night, William Burroughs

332 Better weapons lead to better and better weapons, until the earth is a grenade with a fuse burning.”

“we tiptoed around each other like heartbreaking new friends” (neal & jack) pg 4 “On the Road” Coming Soon from Author Deamer Dunn: Omar T in San Francisco, a contemporary story incorporating the history of the “Beats”

“If Anne, who still has first call on my heart (what’s left of it) – still wants me I’ll take her at least off your hands – if not, or if I don’t have to drive doug’s car back to Chicago for him, he may come with me to pick it up – I’ll take Sharon (if she’ll still have me) & go directly to LA for the winter. If neither girl is available, June (if she’ll still have me)& I will take off together & I will take off together & be very happy I’m sure! I mean it all! And otherwise in strict seniority order, I’ll take the Denver red-head & be very happy, I’m sure. Love Neal.” Final lines of The First Third – Neal Cassidy Coming Soon from Author Deamer Dunn: Omar T in San Francisco, a contemporary story incorporating the history of the “Beats”

of LuAnne: “And she sees them with an objective accuracy that is uncanny, but also with a compassion and nonjudgmental attitude that is worthy of a bodhisattva—which, forgive my presumption, I would make the claim that she was.” One and Only, Gerald Nicosia & Anne Marie Santos Coming Soon from Author Deamer Dunn: Omar T in San Francisco, a contemporary story incorporating the history of the “Beats” where we meet Sunny, a modern bodhisattva.

wish to be
gentle, sweet, and lovable,
and that would be true, but it
all that matters
Selected Poems, Michael McClure

While meditating
I am Buddha--
Who else?
Desolation Angels – Jack Kerouac
demureness is a kindliness cast as a cloak over anger, or, ah, it is a shielding, or a shell for the inward frustration

page #
Queer - William Bourroughs

3 A smell of spilt, overflowing toilets, and sour garbage hung in the place like a thick fog and drifted out into the street through narrow, inconvenient swinging doors.
110 There is in fact something obscene and sinister about photography, a desire to imprison, to incorporate, a sexual intensity of pursuit.
111 She had a shallow bird brain and perfect stateside English, like a recording. Stupid people can learn a language quick and easy because there is nothing going on in there to keep it out.
122 It wasn’t that people didn’t care what others thought; it simply would not occur to a Mexican to expect criticism from a stranger, nor to criticize the behavior of others.
Mexico was basically an Oriental culture that reflected two thousand years of disease and poverty and degradation and stupidity and slavery and brutality and psychic and physical terrorism.
As authority figures, Mexican cops ranked with streetcar conductors All officials were corruptible, income tax was very low, and medical treatment was extremely reasonable, because doctors advertised and cut their prices.
A pyramid of bribes reached from the cop on the beat up to the president. Mexico City was also the murder capital of the world, with the highest per capita homicide rate.
125 Just when you think the earth is exclusively populated by Shits, you meet a Johnson.
135 So the death of Joan brought me in contact with the invader, the Ugly Spirit, and maneuvered me into a lifelong struggle, in which I have had no choice except to write my way out.

page #
Junky - William Bourroughs

Xv The answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months’ shooting twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don’t really know what junk sickness is until you have had several habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the withdrawal symptoms were mild. I think it no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several hundred injections to make an addict.
You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in any other direction. Junk wins by default.
You don’t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict.
Xvi Perhaps all pleasure is relief. I have learned the cellular stoicism that junk teaches the user.
I have learned the junk equation. Junk is not, like alcohol or weed, a means to increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life.
18 In 1937, weed was placed under the Harrison Narcotics Act. Narcotics authorities claim it is a habit-forming drug, that its use is injurious to mind and body, and that it causes the people who use it to commit crimes.
Weed if positively not habit-forming.
19 Weed psychosis corresponds more or less to delirium tremens and quickly disappears when the drug is withdrawn.
22 Seemingly, the body that has a quantity of junk in its cells will not absorb alcohol. The liquor stays in the stomach, slowly building up nausea, discomfort, and dizziness, and there is no kick. Using junk would be a sure cure for alcoholics. I also stopped bathing. When you use junk the feel of water on the skin is unpleasant for some reason, and junkies are reluctant to take a bath.
I have talked to many addicts and they all say they were surprised when they discovered they actually had the first habit. Many of them attributed their symptoms to some other cause.
The addict himself often feels that he is leading a normal life and that junk is incidental. He does not realize that he is just going through the motions in his non-junk activities.
30 The 103rd Street boys were all oldtimers—thin, sallow faces; bitter, twisted mouths, stiff-fingered, stylized gestures.
45 To score for a stool pigeon is definitely not ethical. Often a man goes on from scoring for pigeons to become a pigeon himself.
49 He looked at me with his pale blue eyes that seemed to have no depth at all. The looked articicial.
72 Quiet is something that does not often happen in a queer joint.
73 I never could mix vigilance and sex.
87 A junky runs of junk time. When his junk is cut off, the clock runs down and stops. All he can do is hang on and wait for non-junk time to start. A sick junkie has no escape from external time, no place to go. He can only wait.
94 The reason it is practically impossible to stop using and cure yourself is that the sickness lasts five to eight days. Twelve hours of it would be easy, twenty-four possible, but five to eight days is too long.
95 “there is the moral question. This man should have thought of all this before he started using narcotics.” “Yes, there is the moral question, but there is also a physical question. This man is sick.”
97 I felt a cold burn over the whole surface of my body as though the skin was one solid hive. It seemed like ants were crawling around under the skin.
Junk sickness is the reverse side of junk kick. The kick of junk is that you have to have it. Junkies run on junk time and junk metabolism. They are subject to junk climate. They are warmed and chilled by junk.
101 Everything looks different, sharper. Then you hit a sag. It is an effort to dress, get out of a chair, pick up a fork. You don’t want to do anything or go anywhere. You don’t even want junk. The junk craving is gone but there isn’t anything else. You have to sit this period out. Or work it out. Farm work is the best cure.
103 You know how it is when you start to come off the stuff. He indicated his genitals, pointing with all his fingers, then turning the hand palm up. A concrete gesture as though he had picked up what he wanted to talk about and was holding it in his palm to show you. You get a hard-on and shoot off right in your pants.
108 The food situation could only be tolerated by people who do not taste what they eat.
A lot of people made quick easy money during the War and for several years after. Any business was good, just as any stock is good on a rising market. People thought they were sharp operators, when actually they were just riding a lucky streak.
109 The Big Holders own all the Valley banks, and when the farmer goes broke the bank takes over.
111 As the geologist looking for oil is guided by certain outcroppings of rock, so certain signs indicate the near presence of junk. Junk is often found adjacent to ambiguous or transitional districts. A point where dubious business enterprise touches Skid Row.
112 If junk were gone from were gone from the earth, there might longer exists. If junk were gone from the earth, there might still be junkies standing around in junk neighborhoods feeling the lack, vague and persistent, a pale ghost of junk sickness.
113 Sodomy is as old as the human species.
114 In Mexico your wishes have a dream power. When you want to see someone, he turns up.
116 An addict may be ten years off the junk, but he can get a new habit in less then a week; whereas someone who has never been addicted would have to take two shots a day for two months to get any habit at all.
117 I think the use of junk causes permanent cellular alteration. Once a junky, always a junky. You can stop using junk, but you are never off after the first habit.
122 Junkies all wear hats, if they have hats. They all look alike, as if wearing a costume identical in some curious way that escapes exact tabulation. Junk has marked them all with its indelible brand.
123 A junky spends half his life waiting.
139 When you are on the junk, the pusher is like the loved one to the lover. You wait for his special step in the hall, his special knock, you scan the approaching faces on a city street. You can hallucinate every detail of his appearance as though he were standing there in the doorway, going into the old pusher joke: “Sorry to disappoint you, but I couldn’t score.”

*“A Deamer "Beat" Story”
On a recent trip to Tijuana Mexico I learned not to park on the transient/junkies side of town the hard way. A presumed “Junkie” broke one of my car windows and cleaned out just about everything they could. There wasn’t anything much left in the car, past travels had educated me on leaving anything that might entice a break-in. He/she or they, went through the various nicks and crannies, cleaned out anything of value and much with little to no value. Under the car seats I had about ten books. They pulled them all out and took three. One of the three, William Burroughs, “Junkie.”


Late 40's Early 50's Kerouac/Cassady/ road trips
1950 Kerouac/Burroughs, The Town and the City Published
1951 Kerouac On the Road completed
1952 Kerouac leaves Joan pregnant with Jan/moves in with Neal & Carolyn in San Francisco Kerouac & Cassady Tapes
1953 Kerouac affair with Subterraneans "Mardou" in New York 1954 Kerouac discovers Buddhism & Gary Synder
1955 San Francisco Six Gallery reading of Howl, Cassady girlfriend Natalie Jackson commits suicide
1957 Viking publishes On the Road, Howl shipped to City Lights from London - Ferlinghetti Arrested, Beat Generation launched, Kerouac writes Dharma Bums in Orlando FL & summers on Desolation Peak - Paul McCartney meets John Lennon
1958 Dharma Bums Published - Neal to Jail
1959 Kerouac writes Dr. Sax, Burroughs’ Naked Lunch Published
Burroughs, Ginsberg, Orlovsky, Corso in Paris at “Beat Hotel”
1960 June, Neal released from jail, movie The Subterraneans
Kerouac completes Mag Cassady, Mexico City Blues & Visions of Cody, he also wrote and narrated a beat movie titled Pull My Daisy (1959) directed by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie It starred poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, musician David Amram and painter Larry Rivers among others

1962 Neal meets Ken Kesey - Ringo Starr joins the Beatles
1963 Please Please Beatles Debut album - Kennedy assassinated, Cassady shares apartment with Allen Ginsberg & Charles Plymell, 1403 Gough St - Kerouac writes Visions of Gerard
1964 Kesey & Merry Pranksters with Cassady, drive to NYC, Kerouac finishes Desolation Angels,
1965 Beginning of the Acid Tests (Rolling Stones play San Jose)
civil rights and antiwar explosion/world wide protests
1966 Longshoreman's Trip Festival Stuart & Bill Graham,
US moves from advisor role to open combat in Vietnam, Acid Trips – Kesey, fugitive to Mexico - Timothy Leary established the League for Spiritual Discovery with LSD as its sacrament
1967 Jan 14 LSD banned in California, Users hold a “Be-in” Golden Gate Park, followed by The Summer of Love - Beatles Magical mystery tour
1968 Feb Neal Cassady dies in Mexico
1969 Kerouac dies Stomach Hemorrhage/non-functional liver




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