Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's a family affair...

From time to time on this blog I’ve offered up a glimpse at some of the blossoms that can be found on my family tree.

Today I take a fond look back at an uncle of mine who was a “beatnik poet” back in the 1950’s. His real name was Willard, but he always insisted on being called “Turk”. My siblings and I just referred to him as “Uncle Ashy”, because he was constantly chain smoking contraband Canadian cigarettes.

Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg called him "Captain Oregano" because of the really crappy marijuana he was always trying to sell them. In an interview many years later, Ginsberg would say of my uncle: “Turk who?”

To give you just an idea of my uncle's work here are just a few titles from his “oeuvre”…

Atomic Bongos

Straight Out of Squaresville

You Couldn’t Dig Me with A Shovel, Daddy-O

Black Beret Blues

Love Poems, For Like…Real Gone Chicks

Thumb and Thumber: A Hipster’s Guide to Hitchhiking

The Smoldering Goatee

Unfortunately, uncle Ashy never got around to actually writing those books…or any others for that matter. His entire literary output consists of this single poem...

Coffeehouse Lament

The sax is blowin’ hot
Cups and saucers rattle around
Like old arthritic bones
Clickity Clack…Clickity Clack!

Even “Mary Jane” is making the scene
When in busts the fuzz to douse her fiery kiss
Like an ice water enema
Splish, Splash…Splish, Splash!

Well, the fifties gave way to the sixties and my uncle tried to keep pace with the changing times. Sadly, before he cold find his place in this new counter culture, he was killed in a tie-dying accident in Jerry Garcia’s basement.

Uncle Ashy was of course, cremated. It just seemed so fitting that his earthly remains should be transformed into the very substance we most associated him with…it’s like, almost poetic, daddy-o.

Listed on


Allen said...

Funny, funny stuff!

The Drive-by Blogger said...

Glad you liked it Allen and thanks for visiting.

Diesel said...

Not enough poems use the phrase "Clickity Clack…Clickity Clack." Let's see T.S. Eliot pull that off.

Dan said...

I heard that your uncle actually did write those books ... but he kept running out of Canadian cigarettes and, well, he had to use something.

The Drive-by Blogger said...

Diesel- "Let's see T.S. Eliot pull that off."

Or even Missy Elliott for that matter.

Dan- Well, given uncle Ashy's digestive troubles, they could have met with a worse fate.

neva said...

i'm hep to his vibe, daddy-o. or TDB-o. or, whoever you are behind that cool purple avatar.

ah, my funny funny funny Valentine. sorry i missed this when you first posted it! xox

The Drive-by Blogger said...

No problem Neva, I knew you were the kind of way out chick that could dig this heavy vibe.