John Bennett | Ragged Lion | A Tribute To Jack Micheline | Hcolom Press

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST (a few words on how Ragged Lion came about) On February 27, 1998, Jack Micheline, America’s quintessential street poet, died on a BART train in the San Francisco Bay Area. I got the word from Al Masarik before the obits hit the papers. “Another one bites the dust,” said Al. The Beats and kindred spirits are dying off like flies—Kerouac, Cassady, Henry Miller, Bob Kaufman, William Wantling, George Montgomery, Bukowski, Burroughs, Jesse Bernstein, Ginsberg, Micheline and—on November 3, 1998, a little more than eight months after Micheline’s death — Ray Bremser. Continue reading

Zeitgeist Press

Zeitgeist Press started in 1986 to publish work from a group of poets generating tremendous heat at the Cafe Babar readings in San Francisco. It was originally a collective more than a traditionally structured press, which explains both the press strengths and weaknesses. All the way back to the late 1950s North Beach Coffee Gallery, there was a Thursday night open reading in San Francisco. This community spawned some incredible poets– Bob Kaufman, Richard Brautigan, Jack Micheline. Other top poets of the era passed through as well– Diane di Prima, Ginsberg first drafted Howl at a cubbyhole in North Beach, Jack Gilbert, Corso & Kerouac, Rexroth, Ferlinghetti, etc. The reading had died down, lost energy, by the mid-1980s when it moved to the Mission District in 1985. Bruce Isaacson and David Lerner, Julia Vinograd, Bana Witt, were the original partners in the 4 books that came out on Zeitgeist Press at the end of 1987. Lerner named the press and did publicity. Isaacson handled the business side, the mechanics, and acted as publisher. Both edited books by various authors, as did poets and others. Continue reading

S. A. Griffin

I remember sitting up half the night talking to S.A. Griffin in my book littered office about everything from poetry to crime to movies to getting drunk. I remember listening to S. A. read The Apes Of Wrath at the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe. I remember the crazy outlaw talk talk talk in John Macker’s converted roadhouse home out in Bernal and the walk out into the wilderness beyond his house where he had made a slab rock altar for Sam Peckinpah’s typewriter. I remember the hour long interview S. A. Griffin did with me on his blogtalk radio show. Mostly, what I remember about the times that S. A. I get together is the excitement of the conversation. Which is really more like plugging into a shared energy source. — Todd Moore Continue reading