On Valencia Street
Praise for On Valencia Street:
"Now Tate Swindell, a poet in his own right and a master archeologist of lost and obscure Beat artifacts, has put together an amazing document, On Valencia Street — a full 20 years after Micheline’s death — previously unseen poetry, napkin artwork, and old flyers (most in color — very impressive in such an inexpensive volume!) — to allow us to really examine Micheline’s work, separate from all previous notions. (read more) " –Marc Olmsted, Sensitive Skin Magazine
"This collection is fascinating and unique. Those of us who knew Jack, get to see a broader view of his work. Perhaps a side we did not know. An affirmation of his devotion to being a poet of the streets. All at once he pisses me off, breaks my heart and brings me joy. " –Eric Mingus
"What a treat to see this most beautiful edition of Jack Micheline's work! Poet, painter, and storyteller, Micheline never fails to fascinate me. His sense of rhythm comes through in everything he does and his way of condensing his life into his work is singularly unique. When I finish a poem his words flicker across my mind like a warm fire on a cold dark night. This book treats the reader to a wonderful cornucopia that is Jack Micheline at his best." –Bill Morgan, author of The Typewriter Is Holy: The Complete Uncensored History of the Beat Generation
"On Valencia Street: Poems & Ephemera is a guided tour on pogo sticks of Jack Micheline’s zany, earnest mind. Editor Tate Swindell has done a terrific job of hauling Micheline back into daylight where he belongs." –Hilary Holladay, author of Herbert Huncke: The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation
"Jack Micheline, who died on public transportation twenty-one years ago at the age of 68, was called a street poet but was in truth something different from that: a dedicated, brilliant, Jewish-American contrarian who stood for nothing but his own heart’s truths. He said about his son, Vincent, “Who can tell him anything—he’s just like me.” “There is something deeper than the earth,” he wrote,
There is something deeper than the stone cities,
There is something deeper than our existence,
Deeper than all the robes of power.
He was speaking of the power of life itself. He posed, deliberately, as a crusty individual, and the pose masked the fact that he really was a crusty individual! And, no matter what he did, vivid. He could be impossible but he could also be loving, stunning, funny, a shape-shifter, an opener of the heavenly gate who looked (and sometimes acted) more like the janitor than like the angel he was.
Throughout this wonderful collection he is alive again, constantly justifying the act of being a poet. He was probably talking to his father but the words are for all of us:
Ben, if you want to live a poet’s life
don’t stay at home jerking off
just slip from your tyrannical
commie dad and go on your own" –Jack Foley