Michael McClure – Lumper

Smoky is somewhat inspired by my late friend, Michael Harkins, a.k.a. Sparky. He was a good friend of Jim Morrison and Michael McClure. He acted as security at our wedding reception. He was trained as a PI by William Linhart who was Cayrl Chessman’s PI. Pynchon was interested in Charlie Manson who some say based his persona on Mel Lyman who married Jessie Benton the cousin of Garth Benton who married Christine Rosamond Benton.


How many of my readers thought I was a cheap rip-off of Pynchon looking to make a fast buck? Mary Ann gave me two of her ex-lover’s books to read; ‘Gravities Rainbow’ and ‘V’. One of them was signed and dedicated to my ex-wife, the artist. I forget which one. I told her I found very little, if no, connection to the Hippie Movement. I surmised I was his only connection.

“Life immitates art!”

John Presco

“Charles Manson lurks behind the pages of Inherent Vice, the latest novel from reclusive mad genius Thomas Pynchon. While the Manson murders don’t factor into the book’s plot, Manson’s name casts a shadow on the world of laid-back freaks habituated by sometime PI and longtime pothead Doc Sportello. Normal folks are always looking for an excuse to put the boot to anyone who doesn’t fit the profit margin, and the straights see Manson’s crazy, spacey cult lurking behind all those friendly stoners pitching true love. After a brief explosion of free expression and chemically enhanced enlightenment, the door is swinging closed on the ’60s, and manic Manson gives the cops all the reason they need to make sure it slams in somebody’s face.”






In 1936, French poet Antonin Artaud landed in the New World with the intention of experiencing the rituals of the Tarahumara and to try peyotl, a ritual narcotic that he called the “plant-beginning,” as he believed it to possess the alchemical virtue of transmuting reality and making the initiate fall into a state in which all was abandoned in favor of a new beginning. He was particularly interested in Amerindians for their ability to enter ritual trances, thus nourishing their close ties to nature and life.
It is often told that a couple of decades later, during a trip through the interminable and lonely roads of the Southern United States, the Morrison family was involved in a car accident that tragically affected a family of Indians. On the pavement lay a dying man, whose eyes met little Jim’s at the very instant of his extinction. Morrison was acquainted with the belief that the spirit of an Indian will forever stay with whoever sees them die, and he felt the presence of that man for the rest of his life. In Hidden Poems, Jim Morrison’s poetry collection, some verses express the determining influence of this event on his life:


Bird of prey,
Bird of prey flying high, flying high
Am I going to die
Bird of prey,
Bird of prey flying high, flying high
Take me on your flight
Indian’s scattered on dawn’s
Highway bleeding
Ghosts crowd the young child’s
fragile egg-shell mind
Underwaterfall, Underwaterfall


We will assume these two experiences to be Jim Morrison and Antonin Artaud’s initiatory turns into the realm of ritual; these would influence them deeply as creators seeking to restore art’s ancient esoteric and ceremonial quality –to enable the renewal of art’s ties to otherness.

In order to relate to Artaud and Morrison’s aesthetic visions, we must leave aside the idea of art as entertainment, cultured leisure-time investment, or untouchable object protected by a glass urn and illuminated by white neon in a Museum. Art will be the revolving door, the language that the soul requires to manifest itself; the means by which we could recover the sense of indissoluble unity between body and spirit, word and object, gesture and reality.

Rosamond Press

Michael McClure died last week. For three days I have been considering what I have to say about his Death Thing. Haven’t poets – said enough? McClure did the most important thing we can do – after being born. While in our mother’s wombs – we don’t have a clue what is about to happen! BANG!

“Hello world!”

Michael knew he was going to die. Did he wonder what other writers were going to write about him – now that the restraints are removed?

Yesterday I wrote a poem about Michael in the form of a question:

‘Did You Fuck Amber’.

Amber was my Lover. We lived together. I suspect one of her Johns paid her way to go to California College of Arts and Crafts that was founded on the ideas of my hero, William Morris. She was a high-class prostitute in San Francisco. She told me she saved…

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About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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