Electric Review

Culture & Criticism From the Far Distant Realms

Postcards From the Underground

Postcards From the UndergroundPOSTCARDS FROM THE UNDERGROUND: PORTRAITS OF THE BEAT ERA. Larry Keenan. City Lights Books. 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.

Order this book from amazon.com.

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

– John Aiello

Please also see Beat News for a gallery of Keenan’s Beat & counter-culture photographs, and Empty Mirror Books.
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This entry was posted on September 1, 2003 by in 2003, Rat On Art & Photography, September 2003 and tagged , , .
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