Reading Howl for the first time…

Howl 1

It was a Tuesday (13.6.17) evening and my 22nd print edition (1969) of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl and other poems” had arrived via Priority Mail. I had been meaning to own this for a while.

I opened the book at random, enter Howl. I Youtubed Allen and searched for his reading of this poem on my phone. I hit play and sat on my bed reading his words and hearing his words. Beat Consciousness streamed through my being…

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness,
starving hysterical naked…

 

Source

 

…Who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to 

Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,
a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the
stoops off fire escapes off windowsills of Empire State out
of the moon,
yacketayakking screaming…

#GinsbergGlasses

Ali-G SQ13.5.17_SQ_3

 

 

 

 

 

…Who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to
Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver &
brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find
out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each
other’s salvation and light and breasts, until the soul
illuminated its hair for a second…
I’m with you in Rockland
where you laugh at this invisible humor
I’m with you in Rockland
where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter
I’m with you in Rockland

It was lengthy punch lines, knocking me out. I continued listening as he read Footnote to Howl.

Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucinations holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the abyss!
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity!
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!

 

It was almost 30 minutes of voyeuristic poetry, vulgarity, profanity and some moments had me wincing at the blasphemous lines: “The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and [insert hidden body parts].” It’s controversial but it drastically shifted the art form of poetry forever.

In his dedication Ginsberg states his and his friends books were published in Heaven. This irks me severely because he’s practically summoning Moloch in his poem…

I like The Beat Beneration because they were pure poetry and they had that enviable university-to-death friendship that I never got to have. I arrived at University and I don’t think anybody knew Burroughs/Kerouac/Ginsberg.  It seems romantic looking back and very literary though I’m sure if I was alive when they were I’d have ran off after the poetry reading as they drank their way into despair and havoc… It’s always hard to champion these Bohemians because they’re so flawed and there’s always a dark side to artists either they are drunkards/insert addiction of choice, had horrific upbringings/lives due to others cruelty or are just plain rotten because we are all sinners. But it’s the art, talent and image I’m shining a light to… Not them as individuals.

A New Style for 2017

v8pe7-pukyy-tim-gouw

So last night I just randomly decided to change the entire design and style of my lifestyle blog CatherineVaughansWorld.com.

This choice has been determined by my recent foraying back into the blogs I enjoyed back in the day. On my gap Year in 2009 and in my first year of University I was dipping into to blogs by Leo Babauta, Tim Ferriss and Cal Newport. I became frustrated as well as deeply affected by the horrid things that had been going on in my life since my teens and needed a new outlook on life, a vision of how life could be. I was insatiably materialistic with a huge propensity to excess (in attitude and habit) in those days and knew it was not the way to be. The bloggers and writers mentioned above are somewhat collectively LifeHackers, a term fellow British readers may not be too familiar with as life-hacking techniques are not particularly present in our culture. It’s a very American concept and one that I didn’t realize I had been doing since my teen years before I discovered these online writers.

I felt the need for transformation on my blogs. Things had been brewing for a while. I had successfully updated, revitalized and changed the entire layout of my arts blog NouveauBohemian.com and now it was time for my namesake Lifestyle blog to get the same treatment.

This former website design and aesthetic is simply too much. Too colourful, too bold. It’s crowded and distracted. It’s time for change. Time for simplicity. Time to pare things down to the bare essentials.

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It reflects the old me that had to be bold and striking but now I’m fed up of that approach and crave simplicity and spareness, even boringness.

ba5fjjcv-re-gaelle-marcel

I want to go back to the roots of my reading and writing style. Previously I thought my obsession with efficiency and discipline would reduce my artsy credibility so to speak, but then I realized that firstly those qualities shape me and enable me to find pieces of success in the arts field and secondly fellow admirers of productivity tips are actually quite Bohemian. The likes of Ferriss, Babauta and Newport are often contrarian in their views. They’re non-conformist types. If anything efficiency and productivity are non-conformist traits because there’s so little presence of it in daily conventional life despite it being necessary for a functional life.

I was watching an interview with ZenHabits.net blogger Leo and FourHourWorkWeek.com blogger Tim and realizing these guys are the Zen Bohemians that Laren Stover writes about in her book The Bohemian Manifesto.

Something else I’ve also had to accept in life is that these kinds of people are basically the top in their field and that such discussions in the video just do not happen in real life, sadly. It’s not a typical topic of discussion at all… Though it seems quite natural to me….

I no longer have to choose either side as both sides of myself the artistic, romantic and sensitive dreamer can work in unison with my detail-orientated, productivity-seeking and perfectionist tendencies.

I’m glad I’m embracing this side of myself again and also discussing such writers because they’ve been so influential on my life and are cumulatively a supreme bank of knowledge. I hope maybe some readers of this blog will check out these incredible writers mentioned on this post:

Tim Ferriss
His books, USA Link: http://amzn.to/2ikY071
UK Link: http://amzn.to/2hkiSvm
Blog:
FourHourWorkWeek.com

Cal Newport
His books, USA Link: http://amzn.to/2i0nLGT
UK Link: http://amzn.to/2il9RC1
Blog:
CalNewport.com/blog

Leo Babauta
His books, USA Link: http://amzn.to/2hQGTZE
UK Link: http://amzn.to/2hgA4QI
Blogs:
ZenHabits.net
Mnmlist.com/archive/


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