Joseph Bottone

                                                                                                            the Oriental Bluestreak, an anthology, a gas station, a New Jerusalem

Oriental bluestreak

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In the Beginning Joseph Bottone


The Oriental Blue Streak, an anthology, a gas station, a New Jerusalem

There was a time, poetry like the Beautiful Youth of my age, moved in and out of my life much as everything else I took for granted. My earliest memories of nursery rhymes, besides Brahms' lullaby, given to me by my mother, logged in my brain and had a great influence on my love for poetry it was the sixties, awash with revolution. Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" was the catalyst for my exodus and joyful liberation from a crushing traditional family. And then the lower East Side, Manhattan happened for me. St. Mark's Church poetry readings, where "World" poetry anthology was produced in which I published my first poem.

I met Robert Creeley, who later became a mentor to me in Placitas New Mexico. Diane De Prima, Ginsberg and Gregory Corso, The Fugs and the MC 5's where kicking out the Jams.

The Vietnam conflict, Martin Luther King, and Social Awakening were tearing down the status quo.

It was during this time I hitched a ride to California and stopped in Bernalillo, New Mexico where I read in the Placitas Village newspaper "The Sign Post" of a new community forming, gathered around Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes, alternative communal housing. I decided to spend a few days….

During this time I met Larry Goodell and asked him: "are there any poets living around here?" He looked puzzled, kinda smiled, and we soon became close friends. He, the poet of nuclear passion, as Creeley would say, and outrageous brilliant performance artist, he took me in, and we read our poems to large audiences, hungry to hear the good news. It was during this time of our relationship that he suggested we create a poetry magazine of New Mexican poets and named it "ORIENTAL BLUE STREAK" after the gas station I worked at part time and where this photo was taken.

Placitas then, was a stopping place, a Mecca of many sorts of seekers and pilgrims, artists, famous and notorious, wild people of a New Jerusalem, came and went, all gathered at the Thunderbird Bar where we danced, talked, shared ideas and dreams. The dear faces in the photo (Larry Goodell, Kell Robertson, Gene Frumkin, Bill Pearlman and others with myself standing at the pump) were some of the poets presented in the "Oriental Blue Streak Anthology", now a classic.

An adventure in a dream we so dearly loved. 

—Joseph Bottone, 2011