Thursday, 2 May 2013

Michael McClure - Beat Poet

   Michael McClure 
 Michael McClure  is an American poet, playwright, songwriter, and novelist. A central figure in the Beat Movement and the San Francisco Renaissance, McClure has continued to reach new audiences through his poetry, plays, and performance. After moving from Kansas to San Francisco as a young man, he was one of the five poets who participated in the legendary 1955 Six Gallery reading   that featured the public debut of Allen Ginsberg’s landmark poem 'Howl'. McClure remains a key figure of the Beat Generation..   McClure’s first poetry reading was at the most famous – and influential – poetry reading of the 20th century: the Six Gallery reading in San Francisco during October 1955. He read “For The Death of 100 Whales” ... he is immortalized as Pat McLear in Jack Kerouac’s novel Big Sur,, .In this footage from a 1966 episode of Richard O. Moore’s television series U.S.A. Poetry, we first see Michael McClure playing a tambourine, then peering from behind a plant while he recites a poem inspired by a line of Ginsberg’s.Not many could stand next to Bob Dylan in 1965 and equal his cool but Harley riding, Hell’s Angels associating, long haired, unfeasibly handsome, poet and playwright Michael McClure could - and did - as illustrated in Larry Keenan’s photograph. And his rock ‘n’ roll credentials didn’t end there. In 1970 he wrote “Mercedes Benz” with Janis Joplin and Bob Neuwirth which Joplin recorded three days before she died. Michael continues to publish and perform..

( Michael McClure, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, 1965 )


Mexico Seen from the Moving Car 

THERE ARE HILLS LIKE SHARKFINS

                                  and clods of mud.
The mind drifts through
in the shape of a museum,
in the guise of a museum
dreaming dead friends:
Jim, Tom, Emmet, Bill.
—Like billboards their huge faces droop
and stretch on the walls,
on the walls of the cliffs out there,
where trees with white trunks
          makes plumes on rock ridges.

My mind is fingers holding a pen.


Trees with white trunks

             make plumes on rock ridges.
Rivers of sand are memories.
Memories make movies
             on the dust of the desert.
Hawks with pale bellies
             perch on the cactus,
their bodies are portholes
             to other dimensions.

This might go on forever.


I am a snake and a tiptoe feather

at opposite ends of the scales
as they balance themselves
against each other.
This might go on forever.


The last gathering of the Beats
Front Row: LaVigne, Murao, Fagin, Meyezove, Welch, Orlovsky, Homer.
Second Row: Meltzer, McClure, Ginsberg, Langton, Steve, Brautigan, Goodrow, Frost. Back Row: Levy, Ferlinghetti.

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 (Video of Michael McClure discussing his poetic process and experiences http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RHwKmQmfZ7Y#! )
Huge Dreams By Michael McClure




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