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bob kaufman:real beat
Added by: Dr.Andrew Linder
Bob Kaufman is special.The medusa-headed jazz chick of his poem is that period, the "beat era", that gave rise to and destroyed Bob Kaufman, real beat. That's not an overstatement however much the man is kept out of the upper-class, slumming folk Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs who never did do real work worth speaking of for any length in their time. Not so Bob, Jewish-Creole communist labour organizer on merchant ships who was prevnted from shipping out during the Macarthy Era, and wound up in San Francisco where the mighty Beat Quality Lit Industry did him dirty too.
That is, I think, that medusa-headed jazz chick " soundseared into burnished velvet."
It was Bob Kauffman who invented the word beatnik, sound poetry and performance art. At least, the San Francisco columnist Herb Caen struck by a rendition of the word "sputnik" chanted into cars by Bob Kauffman wrote of " beatnik chanting sputnik", and so a generation was born. Forget all that you had heard of that famous San Francisco Gallery Six reading from which he was excluded. This got the thing started.
Bob Kaufman is a tragically neglected poet who sank into silence in his last years living in skid row hotels like Jack Micheline a fellow beat original. At the ned of his life Bob Kauffman turned up among the folk singers. Remember
"Okay Dokay Soda Cracker/ Does Your Mother Chew Tobacco" and "Green, Green Rocky Road Promenade in Green." Yup, Bob. Real Beat. Not like that phoney Kerouac boy.
Added by: Beat, tappin with his feet
i was surprised to see kaufmans name on the list of poets here, as he was truly an under-rated and foolishly neglected writer for some time....
....i just wanted to mention a man named Marty Matz, a surrealist poet in many ways, who was a friend of Kaufmans and had great words to speak of him and his work in the documentary about him, made by the Lower East Side Biography Project....
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