Imaginary Conversation with Jack Kerouac (Review Copy). Jack Micheline, Gerald Nicosia.
Imaginary Conversation with Jack Kerouac (Review Copy)
Imaginary Conversation with Jack Kerouac (Review Copy)
Imaginary Conversation with Jack Kerouac (Review Copy)

Imaginary Conversation with Jack Kerouac (Review Copy)

Oakland, CA: Zeitgeist Press, 1989. Advance Review Copy. Stapled Wrappers. "Robert Frost once said that the test of a poet is whether or not his poetry endures. Jack Micheline's work has already passed that test. Jack began writing his poems almost forty years ago, and even those early poems--often just simple street songs or chants--still strike one with the high power of honesty in a dishonest world. Over the years, Jack's work has gotten more subtle and sophisticated (however strange it may sound to apply to those words to a so-called street poet); he's read more, met more people, started to see a larger picture. / ... / But whether we talk of a long, complex poem like "Walking in Kerouac's Shadow"--where the artist's madness and frustrated desires become one with all of mankind's--or just one of his silly, happy ditties, this is all the work of a man who knows himself. It is work born of both painful and joyous knowledge. You have to admire the courage of a man who can write: 'I am fifty-two, live alone, considered some mad freak genius / In reality I am a fucked up poet / who will never come to terms with the world / No matter how beautiful the flowers grow / No matter how children smile / No matter how blue is the bluest sky. "As the above-quoted excerpt from the Introduction by Gerald Nicosia (& the poem "Walking in Kerouac's Shadow") suggest, this collection borders on the painfully honest. The many years Micheline spent "with the whores with lemon rinds in their bungs" seem to finally have collapsed like a pallet of bricks upon him. At points, the once-joyous Micheline seems a grizzled, weathered husk of his former self--but just when you think you can count him out, the irrepressible joy and wonder native to the Beat ethos emerges. The result reminds this author of the Ralph Waldo Emerson of "The Conduct of Life," a collection in which the chutzpah-clad, rousing ebullience of its author seems dimmed by a tumor of harsh realities. Yet, as is the case with Emerson's "The Conduct of Life," the Micheline of "Imaginary Conversations with Jack Kerouac" routinely emerges from its weathered world-weariness into symphonic movements of pure Beatitude. The result is a late assemblage from Micheline, the legendary literary outlaw, deserving of inclusion in any Beat or Beat-adjacent collection-&-library. [ISBN: 0-929730-07-0]. Chapbook in stapled wrappers; an Advance Review Copy, as indicated by the large "Review Copy" stamp (see photos) on title page and bottom left-hand corner of back cover. Chapbook in very fine condition, virtually as new, with only slightest shelf-wear to fine-edges & only slightest, speck-like evidence of rusting & bleeding to staples at interior & exterior. Very Fine. [Item #4917]

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