Electric Review

Culture & Criticism Since 2003

Postcards From the Underground


Larry Keenan is renowned for his work in recording the chief participants in the Beat Generation movement of the 1950s/1960s – and rightly so. This slim volume produced by City Lights Publishers offers the reader a taste of Keenan’s astounding work in post-card-sized bites: Especially riveting are the shots of Bob Dylan, Michael McClure and Allen Ginsberg taken in the alley behind City Lights Bookstore in 1965, before Dylan’s San Francisco show with Robbie Robertson and The Hawks. Also of note is the shot of Neal Cassady in front of the mirror shaving, and the wonderful photo of the late Allen Ginsberg sharing a private moment with Dennis Hopper. Keenan’s work, always pristine and often over-looked, provides a personal glimpse into the magical cool and troubled heart of the 1960s.

All Photos © Larry Keenan. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Reproduction expressly prohibited without written permission from Larry Keenan.

On Larry Keenan’s Photographs

And every kiss
Thirsty flow
Of echoes
Last gathering
Of poets
At the grave
Of the end
And prayer
The talk
Of old bones
In rock beds
The fair blue
Moonlit altars
Of the earth
(Every kiss)
Enhances a photograph
Every photograph
(a story)
Made of ‘edges’
Edges of breath
Soft talking
‘Zen Walk’
Of time
Through the
Half-carved trees
Went on
A walk
With you
Last night
In my dreams
Picked flowers
And ripe blossoms
In old coffee cans
Of the
Window sill
I said
My prayers
At the door
Upon these tired
Velvet roads
Of your soul-

by John Aiello


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This entry was posted on September 1, 2003 by in 2003, Poetry, Rat On Art & Photography, September 2003 and tagged , , .
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