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…
Jack Micheline at the Jack Kerouac Conference in Boulder, Colorado, 1980’s | Photo by Mark Christal
CENSORSHIP IN AMERICA
Not One Writer Raises His Voice Against It
When I began to write in the early fifties my work was full of anger and raw energy. I roamed America like a mad dog, going from cause to cause and group to group never finding the answer outside of myself my very being. I ended up: in a twelve dollar fifty cent cold-water flat on Cornelia St. in the village. Only after I probed honestly inward did I start tapping in on the clarity of my voice and vision.
By some lucky accident my first book of poems was published “River of Red Wine” with an introduction by Jack Kerouac. I was launched on a Rocket ship called hope into a literary jungle loaded with shit, far worse than the garment center where I pushed a hand truck years before, nonetheless I began to discover myself the process of being my own man had begun. It was a time when Henry Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Bill Burroughs were influencing young writers. A time of great energy in New York and San Francisco. Out of the Slime pits of America new voices were emerging in all the arts.
Poetry, Painting, Jazz, Dance, Theatre, Many books will be published about that period. Hundreds of new voices were to be discovered, A time of revolt and breaking down of old values. McCarthy was gone and John Kennedy was making his rise to the Presidency of the United States. A time of hope, almost every night there was a poetry reading in the eastside or Village. Books previously banned were sold in drug stores. A market place was being built for contemporary arts. The mass media absorbed the rebellion into the system, like a hungry octopus. America didn’t get any better it got worse.
The business of America was business and would remain that way. Man would remain in the soup forever, “The best minds of our generation were still being destroyed by madness.” The hope of the fifties became the nightmare of the Seventies, The Beats were transformed into the punks of the Eighties, Henry Miller fought his lone courageous battle and won, and Kerouac’s dream, The Great American dream, bloated with beer and bitterness and tragedy, dying in front of a T.V. Set, the way of true genius. Kline’s great heart wasn’t enough, going out before his time. Nothing changed or will ever change.
The Literary revolution was a put up job. A Middle-class revolution, a paper tiger, a media hype at best.. Mankind shoveled and controlled like a yo-yo. The masses well dressed and ignorant forever. A Promise, a dream blown up in smoke and gone to the winds of time. That man should believe in brotherhood and love, Whorehouses and park benches became the refuge of saints. The dollar bill emerged as king-rat. Nothing emerged from the mass protest but the enrichment of those controlling it. We who believed were passed over like a bad penny, an incurable disease, but I lived the dream and survived, desiring to become the most dangerous man in America, because I took the lonely solo path of a tortured saint. A martyr using my mind and body to experiment on life — to find a new way. The way of Self Liberation..
Everyday thousands of young people get murdered and no one says a word. Murdered by mind control. If I liberate myself I liberate mankind, I seek Brotherhood, love, kindness and worship the light and the sun. Now is the time for the emergence of new voices. The poor white voices not heard from, hidden in the dark corners of America. The voices crushed on the skid rows, and beaten on the bottom of cities. Those drunk on dreamers wine, singing in the bars and reading in the coffee houses, walking in the streets and highways of America out of their minds. Beaten up in drunk tanks and sent to mad houses and thrown into the dung heaps of time. Singing on the lone prairie with dogs and children. Climbing the lone mountain talking to God. We who love life must affirm life.
It is not too late the way to Brotherhood and Sisterhood together and self liberation. This is a book about a way to be one-self with God and truth. To love to be true to oneself. To gain self knowledge. To be one with the world. One World. A lone attempt to be one with God and self, the search for love and brotherhood. A book I lived and believe in. The Unbelievable Belief. Read these poems and songs outloud. On skid row. Read it in the flop houses, and drunk tanks and mad houses. Read it in the prisons of time. Read it in the lockups and small town jails. Read them on the prairie. Read it on the buses, in cars on highways. Read it in the churches and schools. Read it to your parents, to the judges and politicians. Read it alone laughing and looking at the sky. Read it till you’re blue in the face. Find out who you are. Fight Back!!
Jack Micheline January 15, 1985 Denver, Colorado