“The Beats”:

“The legacy of the Beats still hung heavy over North Beach. Decades had passed, but their presence, in such a compact locale, had been so strong that it still hovered over the place. I saw Kerouac’s image on a wall in a café and read inscriptions detailing what poetry reading had happened here on what date. For this was the haunt of not only Kerouac but also Ginsburg, Cassady, Burroughs, Snyder, Ferlinghetti, and Corso. I found myself drifting unthinkingly into the City Lights Bookstore and becoming instantly aware of the history of the place, of its proprietor and his friends, of the fights and trials and controversies and the art that they had all made. Each spot had its history—the Vesuvio, the literary lodestone for the Beats, which seemed, with its art-covered walls and drinks named in honor of the dead scribes, still alive with their spirits and the Trieste, the first genuine Italian caffé in California, a popular gathering spot for abstract painters, free-verse poets, boundary-pushing comics, and jazz musicians. The first branch of what was to become the Bank of America and the church where Marilyn Monroe married Joe DiMaggio, the exotic danger of the Barbary Coast and the Yerba Buena, what was to become the great ville of San Francisco, with its paltry few hundred residents prior to the discovery of gold to the east—they were all still magically here. North Beach kindled the latent creative fires which I had attempted to put on hold. I had plunked myself down in the true center of a vortex of originality, which caught a piece of me and ineludibly sucked in the rest. Now I had time—time to perceive, distil, conceive, fulfill, explore, implore, and step ashore. Time to divagate, navigate, instigate, perorate. Time to drive and rive and jive and dive. To go deep and sleep and peep and weep and creep.”

Richard Maddox

Richard Dietrich Maddox's writing focuses on the search for permanent happiness, the goal of finding paradise on earth, the attainment of human Enlightenment. His work, though fiction, attempts to convey the profound spiritual Truth passed on to humanity by Enlightened Masters. Maddox approaches spiritual wisdom from a Western level of experience, presenting characters to whom readers can easily relate, offering situations in which readers might well have found themselves. His work offers, in a style which those living in the West will find understandable, the possibility of blissful existence.

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