Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lying Low, Flying High

To be roused by a handful of beads

and on the carpets were strewn petals

ears filled with the fiddler and the bongo

touches, blue songs arrested from the night

at the marrakesh of a friend's apartment

gold spangles and red pills and pillows

all this evanescent scene foretold by Roz

from her beatnik couch, hand on her clavicle

a relic, this memory, an ancient find, so very old

clacking of beads, night resting upon itself.



  1. wonderful - the marrakesh of a friend's apartment

  2. Yes ... wonderful!!! Vivid, colorful ~ alive!

  3. You really can write, Trulyfool.

  4. Wonderful peek into your flower child memories.

  5. Masterful recall, and engaging response
    to the colorful prompt by Tess.
    You catapult us back to the late
    50's, the coffee houses, the berets,
    the poetic beat of the Beats, while
    Kerouac was prince, and Ginsberg
    was howling, and Burroughs was
    buggering, when our individual freedoms
    were gathering themselves to meet
    the challenge of Viet Nam and the 60's.

  6. Conjures up the mind, now doesn't it? The closest I ever got to the beatnik couch was actually in the very early 70's. ( A bit late, I know) But we had wine and cheese parties 'round the tiny kidney pool at this tiny apartment complex. There was lots of laughing, music, and talk of how fabulous Costa Rica was. It was still a "majikal" time.

    Now we're all gone. Somewhere. The apartment complex is a ramshackled dump, the neighborhood a ghetto, and the kidney pool has been filled in with dirt.

    The sweltering Houston summer heat remains. And the few memories I can pull out of the humidity and smog.


  7. Isabel,

    My ear was 'hearing' A Night In Tunisia -- so, my geography was off by a few miles. You know how the desert is at night!


  8. Helen,

    'This' scene keeps re-forming itself for me over long periods of time. Obviously, something made a 'dent'. This is one version.



  9. Berowne,

    That's a compliment coming from you, prof!


  10. Tess,

    Literally a child at the point of 'Roz'. Before the days of 'flower child', though some of these images share the spillover.

    Deep memories.


  11. Glenn,

    Yes, beatniks. I was surprised reading Kerouac that much of his experience came post-war, not contemporaneously starting when America first learned of 'beatniks' in the pop culture of those late 50s.

    Even the Brando Wild One 'version' of the disenchanted young man looks more like outlawry than the wild anti-conformist goofiness of those you named -- city people in NYC and Frisco, not motorcyclists terrorizing rural towns.

    Later 'connections' made using Bob Dylan as a 'transitional figure' rather than as an 'echo' don't hold for me, either. Dylan marked that 60s rebellion which had the B. Boom numbers behind it.

    The Beats were solitary. Ecstatic or blue, but essentially, utterly, out of the mainstream, not forging a new one.

    I do love the memory of it. Places -- dusty small street cul-de-sacs in Berkeley -- still savor of it.


  12. Sherry,

    This does have a sense of 'memoir' -- glad you liked it!


  13. Rick,

    The earliest 'memory' I have was as a kid in a movie house with my parents watching Sinatra in Man With The Golden Arm. I didn't 'get' addiction.

    Later, this whole B. Boom group o' mine followed the Pied Piper.

    Somehow, drugs never lured me. Sinatra's arm? I did, for a while in the mid-60s idolize Kerouac books and 'saw' myself and some friends as marked for that adventure.

    Didn't happen. Long hair, yes. But disciplined student. You mention the run-down apartment in Houston. I think of places in Southern (and Northern) California that match the image.

    'Roz' was of the 50s, multiple marriages, and well into middle age when she discussed Burroughs, Kerouac, Norman Mailer with my tolerant parents and around my very young, curious ears.


  14. New to your site. Lovely. You surprise with detail rather than merely affirming what we already knew...even when relating a memory. Yes, you've an admirable engine for poetry.

  15. Goat,

    Thank you so much! Gandered at yours as well -- fine photographs and interesting combination of interests. Will go back.