HI I’M MIKE MCCLURE, YOU MIGHT REMEMBER ME FROM SUCH DDP HITS AS THIS ONE
Beat Poet Michael McClure has died at the utterly unBeat age of 87. Well, I say that, imagine how Lawrence Ferlinghetti feels. McClure was one of the five poets who gave readings at the 1955 Six Gallery Readings, the event best known for launching Ginsberg’s superb Howl upon the world. McClure did see the best minds of his generation destroyed, as the Reaper nabbed most of them to this point, his friends Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs all long into the netherworld.
“When Spirit has no edge its bounds escape the Human frame
Men swell to blindness
without pain and are stupefied. They become what they call Soul
and are terrified and search out
in the far flung space they occupy
Never have they left
but the old ideas are vacant”
is an example of his writing and looking at it in terms of the DDP, can’t say I disagree. I think.
He was arrested several times in the 1950s for obscene poetry readings, a charge which seems positively medieval today. I mean, I use five swear words to describe a new born puppy without thinking…
In later life he did spoken word and music events with Ray Manzarek from The Doors, wrote extended essays about the greatness of Bob Dylan (aha so now we know who to blame that Nobel Prize on), and had a long friendship with Rip Torn, another man he surprisingly outlived.
McClure was picked by two teams, including The Last Waltz and Joey’s counterculture theme team Peace Drugs and Death.
20 October 1932 – 4 May 2020