American writer William Burroughs, living at the Hotel Du Vieux Paris, Rue Git, 1970
in violet times
the vilest way that you know
utterly savage me
on me no mercy bestow
- Old Song, 1944— Violent Collaborations by Allen Ginsberg, from the collection, “Cosmopolitan Greetings Poems 1986-1992” (via iamapatientboy)
SAN FRANCISCO.What ever happened to the Beat Generation? The question wouldn’t mean much in Detroit or Salt Lake City, perhaps, but here it brings back a lot of memories. As recently as 1960, San Francisco was the capital of the Beat Generation, and the corner of Grant and Columbus in the section known as North Beach was the crossroads of the “beat” world.It was a good time to be in San Francisco. Anybody with half a talent could wander around North Beach and pass himself off as a “comer” in the new era. I know, because I was doing it, and so was a fellow we’ll have to call Willard, the hulking, bearded son of a New Jersey minister. It was a time for breaking loose from the old codes, for digging new sounds and new ideas, and for doing everything possible to unnerve the Establishment.Since then, things have died down. The “beatnik” is no longer a social lion in San Francisco, but a social leper; as a matter of fact, it looked for a while as if they had all left. But the city was recently startled by a “rent strike” in North Beach and as it turned out, lo and behold, the strikers were “beatniks.” The local papers, which once played Beat Generation stories as if the foundations of The System were crumbling before their very eyes, seized on the rent strike with strange affection — like a man encountering an old friend who owes him money, but whom he is glad to see anyway.