Bean, and the Sinatratization of Mid-Postmodernity
by E.W. Wilder
The Great American Songbook was among Bean Newton's sometime obsessions/distractions/hated
arch-fiends. It, and an equal and occasionally opposite reaction to
the blues and early rock 'n' roll/rockabilly, left Newton in a bit of
a psychic buzz.
Probably written around the time of Frank Sinatra's death in 1998,
and towards the end of Newton's known life, the following two poems
were discovered on a discarded, mouse-nibbled, filthy, steno pad in
a Milwaukee diner that was shut down last year. They reflect the manner
in which Modernism was a fading part of American life as well as Newton's
own conflicted views.
Bo Diddly Sez “Cimbley”
- Accentuate the apposite
- Ameliorate the massage mo-chine
- Accelerate the bear-rometer
- Demonstrate igneous tenebrities
- Dig it! On the flo'! Gimme some mo'!
- Move to the grewve
- Doodle disconsolate on the massive overbeak
- Reconstitute badnissss
- Revalorize the tenth army in the valley of the disunderstood
- Ignoritize patience
- Virtualize chas-titty
- Orientalize your chilblains
- Domocratize your sock drawer!
- Interiorize your Sinatra
- Glorify your descriptive civilibilities
- Anodize your stylus
- Deny your anthropomorphizing of Chz-zits
- Pepper your private palaces of deep holio
- Sex your pistol
- Greeze your lightnin'
- Stamp your ticklebottom
Retro Phunk Punk, ca. Nostalgia '77 (In Memory
of . . .)
The way we remember is never the same from time
to time, bolts
flagging pink and red,
fungible blocks, the road
and accident among errant tracks.
was once, too, something we could believe in.
Tendencies Toward Solid Anarchism (In Banjo Breakdown)
Licking quick and peeling free,
shining like a lost dime,
rhyming, sometimes not
like a shot down the brow
of inconsistency, a ripplin' twitch
to believe in, to bubble over
boiler pot, shit
and giggle, slick as snot,
crumbling brick and firebomb,
cock sure and bleary
brain and jangling nerve.
A shoe I once threw out with just a little too much
Like you thought of in Medina,
and was that guilt or pleasure,
that wan, squelched smile?
Did Sinatra find anything amusing?
Was he joy-capable?
Is it possible in America to not also be Sinatra?