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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Memoirs of a Hippie Girl in India: Ann BeCoy

Hi Ann & Henry,
I've been trying to read Ann's incredible book, but I'm finding I can't focus on reading it chronologically. I just keep jumping around, finding so many points in common, so many parallel experiences & observations, that reading it 'straight' has become a real challenge  :  ) 

Ann has done in her memoir what I was also attempting to do with my EEL PIE ISLAND DHARMA. In addition to telling our personal narratives, we are also presenting a bird's eye historical documentation of the 1960s, a seminal time in human evolution (I believe), a real renaissance period in human consciousness. And, WE WERE THERE and WE DO REMEMBER!  Amazing.

So many parallel experiences - I had a close friend who was a devotee of Maharaj Ji (the chubby boy guru). I was at the first Glastonbury Fayre when MJ made an appearance (I was too stoned on a heavy dose of acid to greet him).  Of course the always present communal sex 'n' drugs 'n rock 'n'roll in both books. The communes, the craziness, the ripoffs, the sweet souls (many now lost) & the hipsters who almost became saints.   

There is a real historical trilogy now of PurdyFesters' memoirs of the 1960s. Jim Christy's REAL GONE tells of his experiences from the early 60s on. I always think of Jim as the last living hipster, & his memoir details the war resister American experience & then the new Canadian expat one.

My EPID would follow next in this trilogy, documenting 1969 to 1972, from when I resisted the Vietnam War & went to the UK to live in the Eel Pie Island Commune, until my return to Canada in September 1972.

Ann's memoir neatly dovetails, with her adventures starting in the winter of 1972. Great  seques with the three memoirs. I've mentioned this to Terry Barker, who immediately suggested a joint reading in TO  :  )

I've been struggling with how to present a coherent review of Ann's book on my blog, but why bother attempting the impossible. Just holding the book starts giving me flashbacks, & my thoughts drift a little too far back to that mythical time to attempt anything remotely linear. 

peace, poetry power & 1960s good vibes!
Chris ... & Chase Wrffffffffffffffffffffff! 

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I've probably jumped around reading at least a third of the book by now, & so far I haven't noticed one typo. The entire book is incredibly well written and edited, and the many b&w pictures transport the reader back to those heady times in the early 1970s. A great book on so many levels: personal narrative, historical document & just a good old fashioned great read.

Memoirs of a Hippie Girl in India
250 pages
ISBN 978-0-9920383-0-4

BeCoy Publishing
153 Spadina Road
Toronto, Ontario
Canada   M5R 2T9
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On 2013-08-27, at 4:37 PM, Henry Martinuk wrote:

Hi, after a sit down ovation at this year's PurdyFest Another Dam Reading, Ann Bekooy has a new video for her song "Hippie Girl" under the nom de plume 'Ann BeCoy'. Ann will be reading from her new book 'Memoirs Of A Hippie Girl In India' around Toronto and the book will be available at head shops and other brick and mortar stores, possibly at the few surviving bookstores. The book will also be available through sweat shop Amazon online (sorry!).
best, Henry

please check out "Hippie Girl" on the youtubes:

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Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Memoirs of a Hippie Girl in India: Ann BeCoy":

ahhhh... the myths we've built re: the American War in Viet Nam....

we were bombing Han Noi in 1945 !
and "got serious under JFK about 'saving the world "
(we're still, in 2013 yet so-doing).

my best friend went over to VN in about 1961 or '62 as an "observer" ... about 50 guys who were set-up in a shack near the fighting
whenever they were fired upon, Sandy crawled under his U.S.-issued mattress to protect himself.....

he called his mother at home in the states and said "get me out of here !"

what she did was to request emergency leave for him saying that Sandy's father was dyeing of cancer and
they sent him back for a brief leave...

when Sandy got back in 1962 he disappeared into an hippie commune
and was never heard from again

here is a bit about VN 1961- on:

Posted by Anonymous to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 30 August 2013 07:25

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Papier Mache Milton Acorn - Mark Sampson

The Papier Mache Milton Acorn
By Mark Sampson

For J.J. Steinfeld


Still surly, sunken
even as a papier portrait
I mistook his likeness for a farmer
as I passed while biking with my mom
Squealed my brakes and yelled
“Holy shitballs – I think that’s meant
 to be Milton Acorn”
and made her double back
even though she,
Islander all her life,
had never heard of him.
Sure enough, there it sat
in a chair outside an art gallery,
scruffy, sculptured icon in checkered shirt,
like a scarecrow meant to frighten tourists.
He smoldered over tony Victoria Row,
all neat cobblestones and patio restaurants,
this potato city’s best attempt at chic,
disapproving, of course.
Disapproving of this Island’s course
I stared at that verisimilitude
of exhausted fury,
was bedazzled by the mysteries of mache
(all those unwholesome angles)
and doubted my eyes.
Doubted what I knew to be true.

I took another writer back there
to where the hideous thing sat, said
“Is that Acorn?”
Oh yes, he replied
as if it were the most obvious fact
He knew Milton, see
in the last five years of his life.
Knew him when he forsook the
booze for orange juice, a vitriolic,
diabetic Communist carpenter crank;
knew him when he would crash down
at your restaurant table,
slap the Formica top with a copy
of The Globe and Mail and scream
(inadvertently – perhaps – spitting all
over your lunch);
knew him when Islanders would
cross to the other side of the street
if they saw him coming;
knew him before they named a festival
in his honour,
before he was immortalized in papier mache.

Months later I learned that teenaged hoodlums
had made off with the sculpture.
Got all the way to Victoria Park
before abandoning it in boredom,
propping Milton gingerly against a tree.
There the authorities found him, unharmed
(too ugly to destroy?)
and returned him to the gallery.
I asked the other writer
if he thinks the thugs knew who they were stealing.
Of course not, he says, impoverished roll of his eyes.
Again, so obvious.
And I learn why I don’t live here anymore.

I learn the thing was sculpted by an ophthalmologist.


This poem originally appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of All Rights Reserved. Copyright belongs to the author.


Ed Baker has left a new comment on your post "The Papier Mache Milton Acorn - Mark Sampson":

all poets
dead or alive
have a red flannel shirt

hanging in their cedar-closet mind

Posted by Ed Baker to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 23 August 2013 09:44

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On 2013-08-22, at 10:30 AM, Conrad DiDiodato wrote:

Conrad DiDiodato has left a new comment on your post "The Papier Mache Milton Acorn - Mark Sampson":

A remarkable poem, Mark!

Great image of Milt Acorn as "scarecrow meant to frighten tourists".

Posted by Conrad DiDiodato to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 22 August 2013 07:30

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thanks, Conrad, for the nice comment on Mark's poem  :  )
Fresh back fro TO - only one beer under my expanding belt so far, & I've cleared off 50 emails! Had a nice visit - Chase too : )  I planted stuff in Sylvia's new front garden & painted her bathroom ceiling in her Victorian row house. We also made a day trip to Buckhorn, where we visited the Whetung Gallery on Curve Lake Ojibwa Territory & The Gallery on the Lake. Draught beer with dinner at the cafe by the Buckhorn locks. Also visited the McMichael Gallery for third time In recent years for the photo exhibit which pairs Ansell Adams & Canuck photog Buryanski (sp?). Lots of suShi, NorthViet. dinner, dog walks at Cherry Beach etc. But good to be home & back to matters poetic.
peace & poetry power!
Chris & Chase Wrfffffffffffffffffffff!

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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Montreal 'sibling' People's Poetry Festival (Katharine Beeman)

Hi Chris,

Here the fotos from the PF-CCLA Mini Festalito-Quebec - 14 participants, 5 languages - English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Pharsi. If you count the construction workers sonorously rivaling with us next door - 17 participants....I read them my following poem:

Montreal Summer Deconstructing Construction
    to the (de)construction crews of avenue de L’Esplanade et rue Hutchinson, 2013 (with apologies to all the left out after 5 do-it-yourselfers)


the pile driver drives you down
til your spine has no discs left


the circular saw slices heart and throat


the mallet socks it to ya
molars and bones shatter, fly about the room
til your very marrow shatters

From seven til three


into the dumpster it goes
a half-an-hour more

yaar, yaar, yaar, rumble, rumble, rumble
‘soir, ‘morrow, ciao


An azure hole in the universe swallows them all
through the transparent expanding dusk

Limp as drowned earwigs we lie plastered
in our nightly beds
to rise again


We do not long for summer’s end
Oh no, but its endless perfect continual eternity
when all rests forever built
still among flowers and leaves
soft air and breeze.

Katharine Beeman, 2013