Jim Morrison, the Beat Poet?, and a Revolving Door Upbringing

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The whole world would have looked like a Revolving Door to Jim Morrison after visiting just a dozen schools--but he had to move to nearly two dozen. In those cold war days, if you were an American kid, like Jim Morrison, you'd have had to become (or develop) a new person/person in every place you arrived at, i.e. if you didn't wish to be quashed by the authorities pigeonholing you.

Submitted: March 04, 2019

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Submitted: March 04, 2019

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Jim Morrison, the Beat Poet?, and a Revolving-Door Upbringing


by eslkevin

 

"The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first."

Jim Morrison

by Kevin Stoda

I am busy listening/watching the film, (London Wavelength) Three Hours For Magic: The Jim Morrison Special . Unlike a lot of documentaries about Jim Morrison and the rock group, The Doors, this one focuses and emphasizes Jim as a poet--even as it takes time to play lengthy sections of poetry and songs.

As I was watching just now, it was noted that often in-and-around LA people could have observed Jim Morrison wandering up and down streets all over town--not drunk but bearded and looking like Allen Ginsberg. "Allen Ginsberg was the poet laureate of the Beat Generation, his poems setting the wheels in motion for one of the most creative and influential literary movements in American history. He was a reserved, intelligent man who won the respect of his peers, his audience, and his critics alike." [1] Jim Morrison's great "howls" on stage hearkened back to one of Ginsberg's most famous works, Howl.

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked," who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war, who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,". who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a candle and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate c-word and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness," who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deusto recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head, the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death"Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!"and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America's naked mind"."[2]

Michael McClure, one of the famed beat poets, has said of Morrison, "When Jim and I were in London, in the late 1960s, working together on a screenplay from my novel The Adept, he showed me the manuscript of his first poems, The New Creatures. It is hard to believe that there was a better poet than Jim, at his age. The manuscript was perfectly edited by his wife, Pam. I urged Jim to publish it and when he demurred because of his concern that it would be read as rock-star poetry, I persuaded him to do a private publication, and helped him distribute it."[3]

In the streets of LA in those days, Jim would be talking to himself, sitting down and writing, in and out of cafes and perhaps a bar. Eventually, he would lay a 5 dollar bill and walk out of a liquor store.

click here

In other words, Jim Morrison wasn't drunk all of the time--otherwise, he would never have written and produced so much in such a short life. When it was time to go on tour, the beard would come off and you'd see the Rock Star Jim, who everyone in the band (including Jim himself) called "The Kid".

The band members of the Doors talk of the demons and multiple personalities of Jim--the rock star, the poet, etc. They claimed that drinking spirits was how Jim handled the demons from these different spirits.

In contrast to these spiritual and psychological views on the "Weird Scenes inside the Morrison Gold Mine", as a lifelong educator, I look at his poetry and upbringing to explain more of Morrison to modern youth.

You see, Jim Morrison was a military brat who went to more than 20 schools all over the USA before he even went off to first to a junior college in Florida and then to LA to become a movie producer--as had been one of his first dreams for himself .

Could you imagine what would have been your life like had you had to change schools 20 times in less than 12 years of your young life? Jim Morrison refers again and again to his fragile child and the images that haunted him. In Dawn's Highway, Morrison retold a story from one of his traveling adventures as a very small lad: The incident was a car accident he had witnessed with many dead bodies on the road.

"Indians scattered on dawn's highway bleeding
Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind."

The whole world would have looked like a Revolving Door to Jim Morrison after visiting just a dozen schools--but he had to move to nearly two dozen. In those cold war days, if you were an American kid, like Jim Morrison, you'd have had to become (or develop) a new person/person in every place you arrived at, i.e. if you didn't wish to be quashed by the authorities pigeonholing you as a confused kid --or as a this-or-that--someone who had trouble succeeding at any long term projects.

To many you or Jim would become seen as a strange stranger--a flighty figure of sorts--always changing and trying to get along with or rebel against whichever new school culture he had landed in. This was all part of the American-made Jim Morrison of America's post-war militarism run-amok in the 1950s and 1960s, where moving families two or more times a year was done in the name of fighting the communism and providing safety for the masses.

In there Noone Gets Out of Here Alive: The Jim Morrison Biography, J.D. Hopkins and D. Sugarman write:

"Most groups, when you take their picture in a studio," says Brodsky, "kid each other, make jokes, try to break each other up. The Doors never did that. They were serious about what they were doing at all times. And Jim was the most serious of the four."

Gloria had taken only one roll of film. As soon as she saw the proof sheet, she sent it, and he Doors' first album, to a a friend at Vogue. Less than a week later Jim entered a Vogue studio and went directly to a hat rack hung with costumes from an earlier shooting. He began trying them on and leaping about.

"Ahhh," said the photographer, "I have a live one."

In short, we are to see Jim as a lively chameleon or lizard--as he is sometimes called or refereed to himself in his works.

It is only when he finally decided to leave America and moved to Paris to find himself that the Jim Morrison characters we had gotten to know passed away.

If you do not know much about the American rock star and poet Jim Morrison, look at the text of "American Prayer" (and other texts below)--then I suggest that you look up still other texts online. [4]

"An American Prayer / Hour For Magic / Freedom Exists / A Feast Of Friends"

by Jim Morrison

Do you know the warm progress
Under the stars?

Do you know we exist?

Have you forgotten the keys
To the kingdom

Have you been borne yet
& are you alive?

Let's reinvent the gods, all teh myths
Of the ages

Celebrate symbols from deep elder forests

(Have you forgotten the lessons
Of the ancient war)

We need great golden copulations

The fathers are cackling in trees
Of the forest

Our mother is dead in the sea

Do you know we are being led to
Slaughters by placid admirals

& that fat slow generals are getting
Obscene on young blood

Do you know we are ruled by T.V.

The moon is dry blood beast

Guerrilla bands are rolling numbers
In the next block of green vine

Amassing for warfare on innocent
Herdsman who are just dying

O great creator of being

Grant us one more hour to
Perform our art
& perfect our lives

The moths & atheists are doubly divine
& dying

We live, we die
& death not ends it

Journey we more into the
Nightmare
Cling to life
Our passion'd flower

Cling to Cunts & cocks
Of despair

We got our final vision
By clap

Columbus groin got
Filled w/ green death

(I touched her thigh
& death smiled)

We have assembled inside this ancient
& insane theatre

To propagate our lust for life
& flee the swarming wisdom
Of the streets

The barns are stormed

The windows kept

& only one of all the rest

To dance & save us

W/ the divine mockery
Of words

Music inflames temperament

(When the true King's murderers

Are allowed to roam free

A 1000 Magicians arise in the land)

Where are the feasts

We are promised

Where is the wine
The New Wine
(dying on the vine)
Resident mockery
Give us an hour for magic
We of the purple glove
We of the starling flight
& velvet hour
We of arabic pleasures's breed
We of sundome & the night

Give us a creed

To believe

A nightr of lust

Give us trust in

The Night

Give of color

Hundred hues

A rich mandala

For me & for you

& for your silky

Pillowed house

A head, wisdom

& a bed

Troubled decree

Resident mockery

Has claimed thee

We used to believe

In the good old days

We still receive

In little ways

The things of Kindness

& unsporting brow

Forget & allow

Did you know freedom exists
In school books

Did you know madmen are
Running our prisons

W/in a jail, w/in a gaol
W/in a white free protestant
Maelstrom

We're perched headlong
On the edge of boredom

We're reaching for death
On the end of a candle

We're trying for something
That's already found us

Wow, I'm sick of doubt
Live in the light of certain
South

Cruel bindings

The sevants have the power

Dog-men & their mean women
Pulling poor blankets over
Our sailors

I'm sick of dour faces
Starong at me from the T.V.

Tower, I want roses in
My garden bower; dig?

Royal babies, rubies
Must now replace aborted

Strangers in the mud

These mutants, blood-meal
For the plant that's plowed
They are waiting to take us into
The severed garden

Do you know how pale & wanton thrillful
Comes death on a stranger hour
Unannounced, unplanned for

Like a scaring over-friendly guest you've
Brought to bed

Death makes angels of us all
& gives us wings
Where we had shoulders
Smooth as raven's
Claws

No more money, no more fancy dress
This other kingdom seems by far the best
Until its other jaw reveals incest
& loose obedience to a vegetable law

I will not go
Prefer a feast of friends
To the Giant family

click here

NOTES

[1] Beat Bios: Allen Ginsberg, http://archives.waiting-forthe-sun.net/Pages/ArtisticInfluences/Beats/BeatBios/ginsberg_bio.html

[2] Ginsberg, Allen, HOWL, http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/179381 and read by Ginsberg here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVGoY9gom50

[3] The entire quote from Michael McClure reads: "When Jim and I were in London, in the late 1960s, working together on a screenplay from my novel The Adept, he showed me the manuscript of his first poems, The New Creatures. It is hard to believe that there was a better poet than Jim, at his age. The manuscript was perfectly edited by his wife, Pam. I urged Jim to publish it and when he demurred because of his concern that it would be read as rock-star poetry, I persuaded him to do a private publication, and helped him distribute it. Jim and I were close friends and we drank a lot. Often he visited San Francisco and stayed with my family and me, sometimes I stayed with Jim and Pam when I was in LA. Strange as it sounds, Jim had a fear of reading his poetry to an audience without a band backing him. We gave poetry readings together, hung out, drank, took drugs, and even performed with The Living Theater. When I wrote a hallucinatory comedy about our escapades, he flew up from LA to see the play. After their ovation, the actors came out and applauded us!"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anis-shivani/exclusive-beat-poet-mcclure_b_823425.html

[4] The Poetry Pages http://www.huddersfield1.co.uk/poetry/americanprayer.htm ,

Hello Poetry http://hellopoetry.com/james-douglas-jim-morrison/ ,

Poem to be Auctioned http://www.inquisitr.com/2165626/poem-to-be-auctioned-jim-morrison-handwritten-poem-last-words-up-for-bid/ ,

The Hidden Poems http://socialphy.com/jim-morrison-the-hidden-poems-complete/ ,

Jim Morrison Poems https://margitkeresztes.wordpress.com/jim-morrison-poems/ ,

The Doors Guide http://www.thedoorsguide.com/history/poetrysessions.html

Rare Poem Unearthed http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/exclusive-listen-rare-recording-of-jim-morrison-poem-unearthed-for-new-charity-album-20110216 ,

Jim Morrison Poetry Books http://www.thedoorsguide.com/history/poetrybooks.html



© Copyright 2020 Kevin Stoda. All rights reserved.

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