Frank Skinner poetry podcast on Beats is now available on Planet Radio, home of Absolute Classic Rock, and many other musical genres, mostly split by decades. I usually listen to the rock show, but if there’s a song I don’t really want to listen to on there, there’s usually one on another of the channels (I have no association with them, and am not trying to influence you!). That may change in the future; I’m open to offers!!; but I have no masterplans for it now!!!
Frank Skinner, Beats and Me
Frank Skinner’s been into the Beats since the late 1960s, so he wasn’t influenced by me! Apart from his comedy, I just related to him before as a working-class football supporter and big drinker; who I remember saying put his comedy before friendships!
Like with most things now, I picked out things I related to, as well as hoping to discover new things. I pretty much knew the Beat history and names he covered, and similarly appreciate it and know its limitations. Here’s some of the notes I made during it; if you’d like more info let me know:
Starts with Sometime During Eternity – Laurence Ferlinghetti
Says it’s not a great poem, but he hadn’t known poetry could be like that.
Beats inspired by Jazz – bebop
Saw writing as a sacred thing
Doesn’t see Kerouac’s On The Road as a novel – more a long poem
Then reviews two poems by Gregory Corso – Bomb : shaped like a bomb, innovative at time; and Man About to Enter Sea: Sea is our home, man stands for mankind, swim is evolution. Then reality – only bathers on the summer shore, back to ordinary, fights the mundane, like musicians, don’t buy into the ordinary, allow yourself to see beyond that.
No fear of the blank page.
Then Allen Ginsberg: first thought, best thought – crumpled up the paper and trod it into the dirt more than anybody – Sunflower Sutra (1955) – before him and Kerouac were famous (Ginsberg’s Howl published in 56, Kerouac’s OTR in 57).
Thinks Kerouac novels not great on plot: why he’s more of a poet.
Kerouac and the greenYgrey trilogy
In that regard, the first of the greenYgrey trilogy (2008/09 – blogged on Blogpost) is most Beat-like, as it was written without much plot, just literary nonsense. That was like my demo, in the musical arc I worked the trilogy too.
Werewolf of Oz: Fantasy Travel by Google Maps (now available as an ebook for free on Smashwords) was written freely, but then I went back at the end and tied the plot together on a six-month unpaid career break.
I had the denouement of the trilogy in my head before writing Xaw Files: Beyond Humanity, so it was a matter of filling in the blanks really – and choosing an X-Files series and episodes structure for the chapters and sub-chapters made it easier; although the length of it, and trying to make each of the 202 ‘episodes’ worthwhile was still mentally exhausting. It’s available for free as an ebook on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.