A New Eclecticism
by E.W. Wilder
It was probably from the Fall of 1994 to the Summer of 1995 that Bean Newton entered a phase of poetic eclecticism; drawing upon everything from Pop-Culture to the Bible to ancient memories, Newton began exploring forms both short and long, lyric and narrative. There is some evidence that during this time Newton, writing and performing under the name Whip Shitback, was a regular of open mike readings in coffee houses and bookstores in and around the Kansas towns of Wichita, Manhattan, Lawrence, and in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Some in those areas that I have interviewed, including one who wishes to be known as "Agent B," have attested to the above; however, the fluid nature of such loose confederations of writers and artists makes certainty difficult. According to "Agent B": "Yeah, man, Whip Shitback used to come in this place and, like, jam, man. He wasn't like the other ones, though. Sort of a weirdo. Kept to himself. Not a student or anything."
We do have evidence of at least one of Newton's poems from this period, "Porch, Chair," appearing with the byline Whip Shitback in the renowned underground journal Tongue in early 1995. Unfortunately, I have been unable to positively link this specific poem to this specific period with any certainty due to Newton's consistent failure to date the works in his portfolio.
Below is a short series that I believe represent Newton's budding eclecticism during the period of '94-'95, beginning with the aforementioned "Porch, Chair."
18 Sides Monster Cream Wagon
Why I Like Recess