BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE Magazine San Francisco : BOOKS 






The Linda TOCH Award Winning Short Fiction Story: KAZUO ALONE The Bureau Exclusive




The Healing Power of TREES

The House That TRANE Built





OSCAR HIJUELOS An Appreciation:  The Pulitzer  Prize Winning Cuban Author of  "Mambo Kings Sings Songs of  Love" has completed his last Conga Solo 





"It’s hard to think about, but by the time I die, if I make it another twenty years, wouldn’t it be wonderful to stand out here, hidden from view, in this big jungle of bushes and wildflowers?  That’s my idea of, a nice thing."

                                                                                              - Jim HARRISON 1986 

Jim Harrison is not dead. He is simply, hidden from view, in a big jungle of bushes and wildflowers, where he came from to begin with. The American Author, originally from Michigan, but eventually adopted, around the world, is not the type of guy who will die. He will not go softly into the night, nor will he squeak and moan under the wheels of a government tractor. Jim Harrison is currently soaring high above the river of life, that uncontrollable force of nature, that can sometimes be damned, but never controlled. 

Jim Harrison came from a family that adored and revered Literature: "My Family were obsessive readers…" The famous story goes, that, at a dinner table discussion, his family were talking about Norman Mailer's first success on the world stage and his book, entitled, " The Naked and The Dead, " young Jim responded to the conversation with the quick and curious question, "Does it have Illustrations ?" Laughter ensued and the beginning of his particularly curious, yet grounded, stoic, although humorous, celebratory whilst at the same time cautionary literary style is born.  He explains years later that, "So much of my material comes from generalized wandering around the U.S. Travel, and walking, I never get an idea standing still."  Jim Harrison was first published as a poet in national magazines such as NATION and POETRY and later by Denise Nembertoff at W.W. Norton in the 1960s Harrison wrote the now classic Book, "Legends of the FALL," in nine days, and later changed only a single word. When pondering that experience, decades later, he could not remember what Word had been changed. 

The author of thirty some books of Prose and Poetry, often written concurrently, had a deep understanding of the process of writing, of nature, of tribal law and of humanity at large, was truly the best teacher to writers, although, he found it impossible to do so officially.  Having once tried to teach at Stoneybrook, with the likes of fellow writers such as the great Philip Roth, Harrison did not have the temperament.  He ultimately did not believe in many of the College programs and famously railed against the, 'safety,' and 'comfort,' of the Universities.  

Harrison was a fan of Katherine Ann Porter early on and found great strides in short novels throughout his entire career. " I don't like needless expansiveness," he exclaimed. While the Publisher's often thought that if many of his novellas had been longer, he may have become a wealthier writer. Though Harrison preferred a dense, short form style, as opposed to the long-winded form, and felt that it gave his audience room to participate in the reading.  "I don't know where, 'The Voice,' ever comes from, Ya Know ? Every book is quite different, but maybe not stylistically," he pondered over a glass of red wine some years ago.  Harrison was revered in France, had nine best seller's there, and had grown up with good french literature: Flaubert, Baudelaire, Maupassant. Some had been passed down from his father's library, others having discovered early on in high school. When asked by fledgling writers what was the secret to good writing ? Jim often replied, "You have to give your entire life to it." After years of Book Touring, that often included 23 cities in 29 days with 30 interviews a week, he gave that part of the business up. Explaining, "I like what Miles Davis said: 'It's All In my MUSIC. What Do I have To Say About IT?'   

Jim Harrison enjoyed medium sized cities such as Seattle, which he likened to, "San Francisco back in Nineteen Sixty-Eight," he also admired Minneapolis and Chicago. Harrison thought that young men and women should see and live in the big cities like New York City and Los Angeles, early on in life, but that nature was where, 'ITS' at. He often quoted author's philosophy's first hand.  The French Poet,  Rene Char, speaking to the mysteries of writing with the Muse, "You have to be there, when the bread comes from the oven." Jim Harrison's influences are vast and varied, he preferred Faulkner over Hemingway, read French, Chinese, Zen and Native Literature, all the while, he wrote American stories that were translated into International languages of all sorts. He loved the works of his friends and fellow writers such as Ford and Matthiessen as much as he revered and honored Herman Melville and Walt Whitman. When it came to writers who happened to be women, Jim Harrison explains,  "I don’t think of women novelists, but writers. Who do I read when they have something coming out ?  Denise Levertov, Joan Didion, Joyce Carol Oates, Diane Wakoski, Renata Adler, Alison Lurie, Toni Morrison, Leslie Marmon Silko, Ellen Gilchrist, Anne Tyler, Adrienne Rich, Rebecca Newth, Rosellen Brown, Gretel Ehrlich, Annie Dillard, Susan Sontag. Those come immediately to mind. Also Margaret Atwood. " 

The beauty of Jim Harrison is that he is the tough guy who is not an asshole. He is the rugged individualist who has deep knowledge of the tribe. He is a man, with all his flaws and desires, yet openly honors and reveres women. He is a learned seeker of knowledge yet shuns formal education and its weaknesses. Jim Harrison is that great and original writer who reveres others who have walked the path. As he explains about Henry MILLER, " Miller was Very Valuable to Me… a Force in nature, Extremely Powerful."   Harrison goes onto explain that he and Miller subscribed to the patterns of napping and refreshing the muse several times a day, through sleep. Something they probably don't teach in College. 

Harrison's mother, many years later, while close to death, took him aside and, giving him a compliment, in the great Swedish style, that was her way, "You made quite a Living out of your Fibs…" Speaking to her son's career and notoriety as a Novelist and fiction writer. His grandfather had emigrated in the 1880s from Sweden, to become a cowboy and settled on farming. While many other writers would seek false knowledge from Native American ways, practices and adornments, Harrison did nothing of the sort. He understood early on that Experience and Voluntary Energy donated by The Author, were truly the only way to true experience, that can later be reflected upon, and offered to the reader. 

Harrison railed against false new age practices that appropriated exercises from native tribes and he understood clearly, that there was no such thing as a Native American belief system, there were Hundreds of Tribes, each with a name, each with a language, each with an originality. That is one of the reasons why the Lakota and other tribal members respect  Jim Harrison. He spoke directly to animals and nature, and in turn, animals and nature, spoke to him. "You have to EARN Knowledge from Nature and it's Ancient culture's," he explained, time and time again, "You can't get more out of nature, than you bring to it yourself." Jim Harrison's time in nature brought him closer to the fine arts, "The more time I spend in Nature, The More I like Mozart… Shakespeare… Stravinsky…"  How could a man so deeply ingrained in Native American ways, also love and be loved by European Culture ? Because, we as writers, bring who our ancestors are, without denial of our roots, and along the journey, we also learn about those who once walked, where we walk, and in doing so, we bridge the gap, between past and present, between truth and fiction, between poetry and politics. Jim Harrison did just that. He did it with humbleness, with style and with bravado. His work is bigger on the page, than it is in real life and so, he avoids the celebrity personality that sometimes dogs other writers of his stature, Charles Bukowski for instance.

In his admiration for writers who could speak about everything, all  at once, Jim Harrison admired Saul Bellow and went onto explain, "The most sophisticated people are the most primitive, they release their energy in such a way … like Picasso and Matisse, very basic people, with an enormously profound esthetic sense," he added, "I basically write for esthetic reasons."

aesthetic | esˈTHetik | (also esthetic )  adjective
concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty: the pictures give great aesthetic pleasure. • giving or designed to give pleasure through beauty; of pleasing appearance. noun [ in sing. ] • a set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist or artistic movement: the Cubist aesthetic. DERIVATIVES : aesthetically |-ik(ə)lē|adverb [ as submodifier ] : an aesthetically pleasing color combination/ ORIGIN late 18th cent. (in the sense ‘relating to perception by the senses’): from Greek aisthētikos, from aisthēta ‘perceptible things,’ from aisthesthai ‘perceive.’ The sense ‘concerned with beauty’ was coined in German in the mid 18th cent. and adopted into English in the early 19th cent., but its use was controversial until late in the century.

This is why, I Exclaim to you, on this day, that,  Jim Harrison is Not Dead,  he is quite simply, "… hidden from view, in a big jungle of bushes and wildflowers," where he came from to begin with. And,  I ask you, with the life you are now living, the way you are now thinking, the things you are now seeing, the way you are now walking, Are You Dead ? If so, Please purchase a Book by my Father in Literature and Life,  The Great, But Never Late: Mister Jim HARRISON.



Interview with Authors Road : 

Extended Jim Harrison Film project 1993 :

Conversations with Jim Harrison: 

Jim Harrison Reading Poetry on The LAKOTA:

French TV Interview 2011 with Jim Harrison:

BOOKS By Jim Harrison :

Joe FASSLER The By HEART Series at AT The ATLANTIC 2014 : 


Tom BISSELL at OUTSIDE Live Bravely 2011: 

Alexander ALTER at The Wall Street JOURNAL  2009: 

Jim HARRISON 1964 -2008 Bibliography from The NEBRASKA PRESS 2009: 

Jim HARRISON Interview With Alden MUDGE at BOOKPAGE 2002 : 

Jim Harrison's Top Ten For Readers: 
Courtesy of 

1. The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1872). Dostoevsky’s signature theme —the future of morality and the human soul in a Godless world —takes flight in this harrowing portrait of revolutionary terrorists who have surrendered their humanity to their ideals. The political satire throbs with urgency, but Dostoevsky raises this work to the level of art through rich characterizations of his combative principals: the well-meaning, ineffectual philosophical theorist Stepan Verkhovensky; his true-believing, monomaniacal son Peter; the conflicted, ” serf Shatov; and two vivid embodiments of good and evil —saintly Bishop Tikhon and urbane, satanic Nicolas Stavrogin.

2. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust (1913–27). It’s about time. No, really. This seven-volume, three-thousand-page work is only superficially a mordant critique of French (mostly high) society in the belle époque. Both as author and as “Marcel,” the first-person narrator whose childhood memories are evoked by a crumbling madeleine cookie, Proust asks some of the same questions Einstein did about our notions of time and memory. As we follow the affairs, the badinage, and the betrayals of dozens of characters over the years, time is the highway and memory the driver.

3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847). The author’s only novel, published a year before her death, centers on the doomed love between Heathcliff, a tormented orphan, and Catherine Earnshaw, his benefactor’s vain and willful daughter. Passion brings them together, but class differences, and the bitterness it inspires, keeps them apart and continues to take its toll on the next generation. Wuthering Heights tells you why they say that love hurts.

4. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851). This sweeping saga of obsession, vanity, and vengeance at sea can be read as a harrowing parable, a gripping adventure story, or a semiscientific chronicle of the whaling industry. No matter, the book rewards patient readers with some of fiction’s most memorable characters, from mad Captain Ahab to the titular white whale that crippled him, from the honorable pagan Queequeg to our insightful narrator/surrogate (“Call me”) Ishmael, to that hell-bent vessel itself, the Pequod.

5. Ulysses by James Joyce (1922). Filled with convoluted plotting, scrambled syntax, puns, neologisms, and arcane mythological allusions, Ulysses recounts the misadventures of schlubby Dublin advertising salesman Leopold Bloom on a single day, June 16, 1904. As Everyman Bloom and a host of other characters act out, on a banal and quotidian scale, the major episodes of Homer’s ­Odyssey —including encounters with modern-day sirens and a Cyclops —Joyce’s bawdy mock-epic suggests the improbability, perhaps even the pointlessness, of heroism in the modern age.

6. Independent People by Halldór Laxness (1934). The Icelandic Nobel laureate’s best novel is a chronicle of endurance and survival, whose stubborn protagonist Bjartür “of Summerhouses” is a sheepherder at odds with inclement weather, poverty, society in particular and authority in general, and his own estranged family. Laxness unflinchingly dramatizes Bjartür’s unloving, combative relationships with his step-daughter Asta and frail son Nonni (a possible authorial surrogate)—yet finds the perverse heroism in this bad shepherd’s compulsive pursuit of freedom (from even the Irish sorcerer who had cursed his land). This is an antihero for whom readers will find themselves cheering.

7. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (1936). Weaving mythic tales of biblical urgency with the experimental techniques of high modernism, Faulkner bridged the past and future. This is the story of Thomas Sutpen, a rough-hewn striver who came to Mississippi in 1833 with a gang of wild slaves from Haiti to build a dynasty. Almost in reach, his dream is undone by plagues of biblical (and Faulknerian) proportions: racism, incest, war, fratricide, pride, and jealousy. Through the use of multiple narrators, Faulkner turns this gripping Yoknapatawpha saga into a profound and dazzling meditation on truth, memory, history, and literature itself.

8. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (1967). Widely considered the most popular work in Spanish since Don Quixote, this novel —part fantasy, part social history of Colombia — sparked fiction’s “Latin boom” and the popularization of magic realism. Over a century that seems to move backward and forward simultaneously, the forgotten and offhandedly magical village of Macondo — home to a Faulknerian plethora of incest, floods, massacres, civil wars, dreamers, prudes, and prostitutes — loses its Edenic innocence as it is increasingly exposed to civilization.

9. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller (1934). Banned in America for twenty-seven years because it was considered obscene, this autobiographical novel describes the author’s hand-to-mouth existence in Paris during the early 1930s. A later inspiration to the Beat generation, Miller offers various philosophical interludes expressing his joy in life, hostility to social convention, and reverence for women and sex, which he describes with abandon.

10. The Stranger by Albert Camus (1942). The opening lines—“Mother died today. Or, maybe, yesterday. I can’t be sure”—epitomize Camus’s celebrated notions of “the absurd.” His narrator, Meursault, a wretched little Algerian clerk sentenced to death for the murder, feels nothing: no remorse, love, guilt, grief, or hope. But he’s not a sociopath; he’s just honest. An embodiment of existential philosophy, he believes in no higher power and accepts that we are born only to die. Our only choice is to act “as if” life has meaning and thereby gain some freedom.

Jim HARRISON On Poetry and the Writing Of: 

Jim Harrison: "A poem’s rhythm shouldn’t read like the ticking of a box. But people thought Longfellow would be good for teaching children English, so people push that piece of shit on their kids even now. Good poetry’s appeal is more mysterious. I can remember whole lines of Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake, just because of the beauty of Joyce’s use of language. Roethke’s the same way. These lines stick with you for aesthetic reasons. It’s like you remember songs. You recreate their music in your mind. " 


In a life properly lived, you’re a river. You touch things lightly or deeply; you move along because life herself moves, and you can’t stop it; you can’t figure out a banal game plan applicable to all situations; you just have to go with the “beingness” of life, as Rilke would have it. In Sundog, Strang says a dam doesn’t stop a river, it just controls the flow. Technically speaking, you can’t stop one at all.

Jim HARRISON on So-Called Regional Writing: 

"What I hate about this notion of regionalism in literature is that there’s no such thing as regional literature. There might be literature with a pronounced regional flavor, but it’s either literature on aesthetic grounds or it’s not literature." 

Jim HARRISON on Meeting Jack NICHOLSON: 

"… I met Jack Nicholson on the set of McGuane’s movie, The Missouri Breaks. We got talking and he asked me if I had one of my novels with me, and I had one, I think it was Wolf. He read it and enjoyed it. He told me that if I ever got an idea for him, to call him up. Well, I never have any of those ideas. I wasn’t even sure what he meant. I think he said later that I was the only one he ever told that to who never called. A year afterwards, I was out in L.A. and he called up and asked me to go to a movie. It was really pleasant, and I was impressed with his interest in every art form. It was right after Cuckoo’s Nest and all these people tried to swarm all over him after the movie. Anyway, later he heard I was broke and he thought it was unseemly. So he rigged up a deal so that I could finish the book I had started, which was Legends of the Fall." 

Jim HARRISON on Writers that happen to be Women: 

"I don’t think of women novelists but writers. Who do I read when they have something coming out? Denise Levertov, Joan Didion, Joyce Carol Oates, Diane Wakoski, Renata Adler, Alison Lurie, Toni Morrison, Leslie Marmon Silko, Ellen Gilchrist, Anne Tyler, Adrienne Rich, Rebecca Newth, Rosellen Brown, Gretel Ehrlich, Annie Dillard, Susan Sontag. Those come immediately to mind. Also Margaret Atwood. "

Jim HARRISON on The INDIANS and South American Tribes: 

"They [ The Press] don’t even know that those countries down there think of themselves as separate entities. They keep referring to “Central America.” Well, try passing that off on the Panamanians, the Costa Ricans, the El Salvadorans. It’s amazing to me, for instance, how few people know anything about nineteenth-century American history. They don’t know what happened to the hundred civilizations represented by the American Indian. That’s shocking. I’m dealing with that in this book. To me, the Indians are our curse on the house of Atreus. They’re our doom. The way we killed them is also what’s killing us now. Greed. Greed. It’s totally an Old Testament notion but absolutely true. Greed is killing the soul-life of the nation. You can see it all around you. It’s destroying what’s left of our physical beauty, it’s polluting the country, it’s making us more Germanic and warlike and stupid. "

Jim HARRISON on Belonging :

"I feel as foreign as Geronimo at the New York World’s Fair at the turn of the century…The most solid effect of the deaths that I could touch upon was that I must answer to what I thought of as my calling since nothing else on earth had any solidity.”  



To remember you’re alive
visit the cemetery of your father
at noon after you’ve made love
and are still wrapped in a mammalian
odor that you are forced to cherish.

Under each stone is someone’s inevitable
surprise, the unexpected death
of their biology that struggled hard, as it must.
Now to home without looking back,
enough is enough.

En route buy the best wine
you can afford and a dozen stiff brooms.
Have a few swallows then throw the furniture
out the window and begin sweeping.
Sweep until the walls are
bare of paint and at your feet sweep
until the floor disappears. 

Finish the wine in this field of air, 
return to the cemetery
in evening and wind through the stones
a slow dance of your name visible only to birds.

Copper Canyon Press, 2011, 

Buy His Most recent Work at COPPER CANYON PRESS :

bureau of arts and culture magazine san francisco book section



By Joshua TRILIEGI  

Luis VALDEZ changed The Entire Literature Landscape with his Fierce Hit Play, "ZOOT SUIT". Here in Southern California, The Play is much more than words. It is a personal and positive Idea that gave many people the inspiration to do something with the things they saw, not only in their homes and neighborhoods , but to reclaim what was happening in the media, to own the stories that they were being told and to simply reclaim what was rightfully theirs to begin with: Their Own Family Stories. In This Interview Bureau Editor Joshua TRILIEGI and Luis VALDEZ discuss his career, his working process and the development of a powerful force that continues to inspire millions of Indigenous People around the World and teaches everybody else.Mr Valdez went on to create The Film "LA BAMBA", which told the very important story of Latin Musician & Songwriter, Ritchie Valens. Fueled by the proliferation of 1950's Retro Nostalgic Films such as American Graffiti and its follow up Happy Days, as well as The Musical Biographical genre's popularity of projects like The Buddy Holly Story, Elvis and the like: LA BAMBA was the perfect project that entirely launched the energy and force of ZOOT SUIT into the stratosphere of popular media and culture, finally a story that rightfully claimed, explained and honored The Latino Experience, or as Luis Valdez might put it, "The Chicano Experience" in popular music history. The film itself touches on the family paradigm in both mythical and real circumstances. A beautiful & entertaining film that holds up today just as it originally did upon its creation. In the same way that Zoot Suit gave us the career of Edward James Olmos, 'The Chicano Bogart', La Bamba gave us a multitude of talent in front of and behind the scenes: Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Los Lobos & Others. Since then, Mr Valdez has continued his influence as The Worlds Leading Latino and Chicano Playwright traveling everywhere, all the time, sharing his great wealth of knowledge and experience with a world thirsty for truth, experience & entertainment. We are proud to bring you Luis VALDEZ, unexpurgated, uninhibited and unbeaten.

Joshua TRILIEGI: First of all, It is a pleasure to share your experience with our readers. We attended the Los Angeles Anniversary screening of Zoot Suit and later bought and re read the play. There is so much in it: reality, folklore and a fierce power as well as a genuinely hip musical element, could you share with us how that piece originally formed in your mind and how you developed it into the groundbreaking Broadway play ? 

Luis VALDEZ: In the Fall of 1977, I was commissioned by Gordon Davidson, artistic director of the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in LA, to write a play based on an infamous chapter of Los Angeles history, specifically the Sleepy Lagoon Case of 1942 and the subsequent Zoot Suit Riots of 1943.    Although hardly forgotten in the Chicano barrios, the Pachuco Era had been buried in the dust bins of oblivion by Anglo officialdom which preferred not to commemorate painful past embarrassments.  An entire new generation born after World War II hardly knew anything about the pachucos, though inevitably, in the mid 60s, young Mexican Americans began to call themselves Chicanos, as the legacy of their zoot-suited barrio forbearers kicked in, inheriting their racial pride, urban slang and cultural defiance. 

The generational difference was that many of these Chicano(a)s were now speaking their patois in colleges or universities. But the painful sting of the Zoot Suit Riots and the Sleepy Lagoon Case still persisted in the barrios, like an old suppurating wound that was taking decades to heal.  My play thus inadvertently became a way to deal directly with the psychic damage inflicted on the East LA barrios by the Zoot Suit Riots by opening up the old racist wound and airing it in the public arena of the theater. The truth of this became evident when the play sold out at the Mark Taper even before it opened, and when the public followed the play to the Aquarius Theater  in Hollywood.  It ran there for eleven months, and in the end, more than 400,000 people came to see it.  Half of them were Chicanos, most of whom had never seen a play before. This then motivated the move to the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City in 1979, where Zoot Suit became the first Chicano play to make it to Broadway. 

 The roots of the play, however, lie far from the Great White Way. I was born in a farm labor camp in Delano, California in 1940.  In those days Delano was a hot spot in the San Joaquin Valley, and we had our own pachucos in the  “Chinatown” barrio on the westside.  One of them was my cousin Billy; another was his running partner C.C.. Billy spoke a fluid pachuco patois, so he taught me to call myself “Chicano” even thought I was only six. I learned a lot about the pachucos, including their slang and style of being, in this most intimate and familial way. Tragically, Billy died a violent death in Phoenix, eighteen knife wounds to the chest.  But his running partner C.C. survived, joined the Navy and came home one day to marry and settle down.  In 1965, when I told my mother in San Jose that I was returning to Delano to form a farm workers theater with the grape strikers, my Mom said: “Oh, you’re going to work with C.C.?”   “C.C.?” I said, “Is that vato still around?”  “Mijo,” my mother responded, “Don’t you know who C.C. is?  He’s Cesar Chavez.”

In 1970, El Teatro Campesino, the Farm Workers Theater born on the picket lines of the Great Delano Grape Strike, produced my first full length play since college. It was called “Bernabe,”  with a character called “La Luna” appearing in a bit part as a mythical Pachuco in a suit of lights. The character was so intriguing, I knew right away that he deserved a play of his own.  Seven years later, when Gordon Davidson asked me to write about the Sleepy Lagoon, I chose to make El Pachuco the mythical central figure, both as master of ceremonies and alter ego of Henry “Hank” Reyna, the protagonist and leader of the 38 Street Gang. Above all, El Pachuco became the guide, the storyteller, so that the history of the Sleepy Lagoon Case and the Zoot Suit Riots could be told through a Chicano POV. The rest, as the saying goes, is American theater history.

Joshua TRILIEGI: Something about your work is so very true, genuine and original, at the same time, you speak for a good many individuals in the community. Would you talk a bit about staying true to one's vision and at the same time tapping into a larger truth, for not only our own communities, but for the world. 

Luis VALDEZ: I wrote my first plays at San Jose State, graduating in ’64 with a BA in English with an emphasis in playwriting.  It was not the most practical choice for a son of migrant farm workers, much less a Chicano, but I was determined to follow my heart.  I had gotten hooked on theatre in the first grade in 1946, when I was cast in the Christmas school play.  I was to play a monkey wearing a mask my teacher made, turning my brown taco bag into paper maché.  I was exhilarated. Then the week of my great debut, my migrant family was evicted from the labor camp where we had overstayed our welcome.  I was never in the play.  A great hole of despair opened up in my chest.  It could have destroyed me.  But I learned early on that negatives can always be turned into positives. I took with me two things:  one, the secret of paper maché, which allowed to make my own masks and puppets; and two, a deep, residual anger for my family’s eviction from the labor camp. Twenty years later, I went to Cesar Chavez and pitched him my idea for a theater of, by and for farm workers. And so the hole in my chest became the hungry mouth of my creativity, into which I have been pouring plays, poems, essays, screenplays, books, etc. for almost 70 years. 

Joshua TRILIEGI: The Los Angeles and California scene has changed, grown and developed into a much stronger unification than ever before, [ Since the 1970's ] when ZOOT SUIT made it's initial impression. Your work is a big part of that growth.Tell us about your humble beginnings making plays and skits locally, before unveiling some of your opus masterworks. 

Luis VALDEZ: The challenge of creating theater with striking campesinos was a humbling experience. Cesar had warned me from the start: “There’s no money to do theatre in Delano,” he told me. “There’s no actors, no stage, no time even to rehearse. We’re on the picket line night day. Do you still want to take a crack at it?”  “Absolutely, Cesar!”  I responded. “What an opportunity!”  I was, of course, thinking about spirit of the movement he had started.  But he was absolutely right. By necessity, El Teatro Campesino was born on the picket line.  In time, we began to perform at the NFWA’S Friday night meetings. The National Farm Workers Association may have been rich in spirit but it was dead broke. After college, I had joined the San Francisco Mime Troupe for a year, performing in city parks, learning the improvisational techniques of Commedia dell Arte. This knowledge proved to be more useful in Delano than all the theater history I had learned at SJS. But my greatest revelation came from the campesinos themselves.  As actors and audience, they taught me to stay down to earth; to stay away from all the pretentious artsy crap and to get to the point with actos that were clear and hard hitting.  Above all, to stay positive and hopeful.  “Don’t talk about it, do it!” became an essential Teatro precept.  Later when we began to stage Actos about the Chicano Movement, the Vietnam War and racism in the schools, we found our audiences in LA, Chicano and New York no less responsive to our basic simplicity than the original grape strikers.  “Zoot Suit” came about a dozen years after the birth of El Teatro, but the roots of my musical play like those of the original pachucos reach deep into the barrio earth.

Joshua TRILIEGI: I attended the auditions for LA BAMBA at Los Angeles Theater Complex in the Nineteen - Eighties. The excitement around the project was, and still is, very much alive and entirely current. Tell us a bit about that experience. 

Luis VALDEZ: Before it was a film, LA BAMBA was originally going to be a stage musical by me and my brother Daniel.  It was actually conceived on the Opening Night of Zoot Suit in New York.  We were at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway, and as I made my final rounds before curtain time,  I dropped into my brother’s dressing room on the second floor. As the lead actor in the play with Edward James Olmos, Daniel was in high spirits.  We both were.  We had came a long way from Delano. Celebrating our success, we pledged that now that we had brought the 40s to Broadway, we should bring the 50s.  But how, with what?  At that exact moment, we heard mariachi music. Looking out the dressing room window, down toward Seventh Avenue, we spotted a gilded, fully suited band of mariachis playing up toward us.  We didn’t know it at that moment but the President of Mexico had sent mariachis to serenade us on opening night. Daniel and I recognized the tune immediately.  It was the answer to the question we had just posed to each other about our next musical. We simultaneously 
laughed and said the words to each other: LA BAMBA!

It took five years to bring the project to fruition.  The biggest problem turned out to be the lack of biographical material about Ritchie Valens, born Richard Valenzuela, in 1941 Los Angeles. There were a few articles in old magazines, but no published book or biography.  What’s worse, Daniel had no success at all in finding surviving members of Ritchie’s family. They were long gone from Pacoima in the San Fernando Valley, where they lived in the 50s, 60s and 70s, and in the early 80s, before the internet,  there was no social network to tap into. Without direct contact with the family, LA BAMBA was turning into a pipe dream. Somewhat dispirited, Daniel came back from Los Angeles to San Juan Bautista, home base of El Teatro Campesino, vowing nonetheless to keep on searching.  Then one night, as life’s ironies would have it, he finally met Ritchie’s older half brother, Bob Morales. He met him in San Juan Bautista  in Daisy’s Saloon! It turned out that Bob and most of Ritchie’s family now lived fifteen miles away in Watsonville, and he occasionally frequented Daisy’s with his biker friends. One thing quickly led to another. Bob took Daniel to meet Connie Valenzuela,Ritchie’s mom, then Daniel took me to meet the entire family.  Within days, we took the story to our old friend Taylor Hackford in Hollywood, who agreed to option Ritchie’s story as a biopic for the big screen with Columbia Pictures. I wrote the screenplay over the winter and once we got a green light, I directed the picture the following summer, with my brother as associate producer. In the end, our biopic ended up grossing more than 100 million world wide. Very few movies come into being quite so precipitously. But there were twists of fate. We had originally intended the part of Ritchie Valens as a vehicle for my bro, But by the time we got the green light, Daniel graciously conceded that at 37 he could no longer pass as 17. So for all of his efforts, he generously created an opportunity to make a star out of Lou Diamond Phillips.

Joshua TRILIEGI: A writers experience with his or her collaborators is rather important, in your case: Los Lobos, Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips to name a few. Will you talk about how much input you had at the time these projects were in development in choosing these fellow artists. 

Luis VALDEZ: During the casting of Zoot Suit at the Mark Taper Forum in ’78, our greatest dilemma turned out to be the part of El Pachuco.   I wrote the script with my brother Daniel in mind, though I saw him as both Henry Reyna and El Pachuco. The issue of nepotism aside, we had been collaborating within El Teatro Campesino for a dozen years before Zoot Suit came along.  So it was only natural for him to serve as my unique role model for the play. Unfortunately,unlike film, he could not play two roles onstage simultaneously.  So we set out on our quest to find one or the other. After an exhausting two weeks in LA, unable to find an alternate Henry or Pachuco among hundreds of actors, I took the weekend to be with my wife Lupe back in San Juan, where she was recuperating after giving birth to our third son Lakin on the very day I finished the script. Daniel continued with the auditions. A day or so later, he called me with subdued excitement: “Guess what?” he said, “I found El Pachuco!”

It turned out that after another disappointing day in LA, my bro met a a trim Chicano actor with a Bogart face strolling down the halls of the Mark Taper Annex across from the Music Center. Daniel asked him if he was there for the auditions. The Chicano Bogie responded: “What auditions?”  Apparently, he knew nothing about Zoot Suit, but he was willing to read for a part. So Daniel read him. I had given my brother the option to play either of the two leads, but once he saw and heard Edward James Olmos read, he knew he had found El Pachuco.  
A spirit of creative collaboration is always a necessity in the theater, but given my experience with El Teatro, “Zoot Suit” could not have come about any other way.  Eddie Olmos created El Pachuco, as surely as El Pachuco helped to create Edward James Olmos the movie star. The fierce intensity of his stage presence no doubt came from his very being, but Eddie had a “killer instinct” that captured the essence of the pachuco phenomenon in the 40s.  Oddly, in a similar way, Lou Diamond Phillips captured the killer instinct that made Ritchie Valens a rock star; though in Ritchie’s case, it was mixed with the residual innocence of a 17 year old. This innocence is the key to the enduring poignancy of  “Donna,” a classic teenage lament of long lost love if there ever was one. Finding this mix of guilelessness with ferocity was the challenge in casting the star of LA BAMBA.  We literally auditioned over 600 actors from Los Angeles to New York. Finally in Dallas, Texas, we found an actor who had been making Christian films.  He came in with a certain intensity to read for Bob, the role he obviously coveted.  But under all that bravado was an unmistakably poignant heart. So Lou Diamond Phillips became Ritchie Valens, and Ritchie became Lou, with all the innocent ferocity that made him reach for the stars.

None of this, of course, would have been possible without my musical collaborators. In the case of “Zoot Suit,” I owe a debt of gratitude to Lalo Guerrero, the Godfather and Gran Maestro de la Musica Chicana.  With his permission, I tapped directly into five of his classics from the 1940s to turn my play into a kick-ass form of cabaret theater, if not into a full fledged musical. Lalo’s music is unquestionably the Pachuco soul of “Zoot Suit.” Similarly, Ritchie’s music is the soul of LA BAMBA, but it could never have come back to life without Los Lobos. We were friends long before their first album, “Just Another Band from East LA”launched their remarkable career.  But working on the film’s sound track with Los Lobos, featuring the voice of David Hidalgo as Ritchie’s, was a collaborative joy.  LA BAMBA took them to the top of the charts for the first time, but they’ve been up there many times since then. So has the great Carlos Santana, another of my collaborators on the movie. It is his subtle, penetrating guitar solos that follow Ritchie’s emotional trajectory throughout the film. Let’s face it. Genius in the barrio is genius everywhere. ¡Ajua!

Joshua TRILIEGI: In the neighborhood that I grew up in, at that time, there were several different camps and schools of thought that became represented by imagery and eventually posters in the rooms of our friends: Farah Fawcett, Bruce Lee, Led Zeppelin, Gerry Lopez, David Partridge and of course the Incredible Image of Artist IGNACIO GOMEZ who designed the image for ZOOT SUIT. That particular Image always has and always will mean something very special to many of us. Talk with us about IMAGE and TEXT and that very important relationship between artist and writer. 

Luis VALDEZ: The first poster for ZOOT SUIT was created from a drawing by José Montoya, the late great Chicano poet, muralista, and maestro from the Sacramento barrios. With both paint and ink, José had been capturing the Pachuco Image for decades, in poems, lithographs and silk screen posters. In 1973, he and his homies at the R.C.A.F. (the Rebel Chicano Artists Front that playfully dubbed themselves the Royal Chicano Air Force ) even staged a piece at the Third Teatro Festival in San José called “Recuerdos del Palomar.”  Decked out as pachucos in zoot suits with their huisas in mini skirts, José and his cronies did not pretend to present a play as much as offer a form of performance art.  Characteristically, José’s pachuco images were always imbued with a tinge of self-deprecating humor; which was exactly the quality of the first ZOOT SUIT poster. This image represented the play in its first draft, a two week workshop production run as part of the “New Theatre For Now” series at the Taper in Spring ‘78.  

When I rewrote the play to open the main season that Fall, the Center Theatre Group hired Ignacio Gomez to create a new image more in concert with the growing impact of the production. More or less styled on Edward James Olmos’ interpretation of the role, El Pachuco now became a towering figure straddling City Hall. More in line with the mythical dimensions of the lead character in my play, the image was elegant, stark and grand.  Almost immediately, thanks to Nacho’s brilliant skill as an artist, El Pachuco became iconic. As seen in newspapers, magazines and on the sides of municipal buses, the image seemed to burrow its way into the public’s consciousness, especially in the Chicano community.  With all due respect and modesty, it remains a perfect example of how an artist and a playwright coming together can create a powerful symbol that speaks across multiple generations, perhaps even helping to heal some old psychic wounds in the City of the Angels.

Joshua TRILIEGI: The trajectory of a career has its own pulse and arc. You have continued to stay busy with collaborations of all sorts: El Teatro Campesino, San Diego Repertory Projects, PBS great Performances and so on. Tell us about the recent Ancient Goddess Project and the role that Kinan Valdez has taken on since 2006. 

Luis VALDEZ: El Teatro Campesino will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015. After a half century of uninterrupted artistic and cultural activism, we are proud to declare ourselves a multi-generational theater family.  We could not have survived any other way.  My beloved wife, Lupe Trujillo Valdez, joined El Teatro in 1968. As an activist at Fresno State University, she was the daughter of campesinos,  a supporter of the United Farm Workers, and the first college-educated Chicana to “run away with the circus.”  We were married in ’69, as much for love as for our shared political beliefs.  We have three sons – Anahuac (’71), Kinan (’73) and Lakin (’78) – all born into the Teatro family, all artists and activists in their own right, all devoted to the betterment of the world around them through social justice and the arts.  Other 40 year plus members and founders of the Teatro, such as my biological brother Daniel and spiritual brother Phil Esparza, have also raised their children and grandchildren within our family of families.

Cesar Chavez died in 1993, signaling the beginning of an organizational change in the Chicano Movement that El Teatro Campesino began to naturally undergo in the mid nineties. It was nothing more or less than the passing of leadership from one generation to the next. The older generation continued to serve on the Board of Directors, but the younger Generation took the reins of day to day operations.  In this regard, my son Anahuac was the first the serve as the new General Manager of the company.  In due time both Kinan and Lakin became associate artistic directors, until Kinan assumed full leadership as Producing Artistic Director in 2007.  During all this time, they continued to write, direct, produce and act in new plays of their own creation.  They staged Teatro classics such as “La Gran Carpa de los Rasquachis” and took full responsibility for the Christmas plays in Mission San Juan Bautista.  Working with other young artists in the company, they staged world theater classics like Alfred Jarry’s “Ubu Roi” and Bertolt Brecht’s “The Measures Taken.” Experimenting with musical forms, Kinan also wrote and directed a goddess play called “The Fascinatrix” and another quasi-satirical work called “I Love You, Sam Burguesa.”  Their objective was obviously to expand the range of El Teatro’s work, but with other works they consciously stuck to the political core. To wit, in 2010 Lakin wrote and directed a piece called “Victor in Shadow,” about the martyred Chilean folksinger Victor Jara. The three brothers then collaborated on three plays based on Mayan CreationMyths, including “Popul Vuh – Parts One and Two” written and directed by Kinan; and “Popul Vuh – Part Three, the Magic Twins” written and directed by Lakin. More recently, this summer in 2014, Kinan and Lakin collaborated with the La Jolla Playhouse/San Diego REP, playing the leads in “El Henry,” Herbert Siguenza’s raucous adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry IV part one.

Joshua TRILIEGI: You are considered The Godfather of Latin Theater Worldwide. Has there been pressure to create a certain type of work with that mantle attached ? And how do we as writers, as artists, as performers retain that same vitality and spontaneity in our work, after the fame and notoriety ?

Luis VALDEZ: In 2010, I was invited to Mexico City by the CNT ( Compania Nacional de Teatro) to translate and direct the world premiere of ZOOT SUIT in Spanish.  As far as I know, no other Chicano playwright/director had ever been offered such an honor, so I accepted with the humility of a long lost orphan given the chance to finally come home. Ironically, I was not born in Mexico. Neither were my Mom and Dad, who were born in Arizona early in the Twentieth century. The real immigrants in my family were my abuelos – my grandparents and great grandparents - who crossed the border from the northern state of Sonora before the Mexican Revolution over a century ago.  Why then did I feel like an orphan? Because all my life, despite myAmerican birth, I had been treated like a Mexican. Here then is another example of how negatives can always be turned into positives.  As an indio-looking, hyphenated Mexican American, I had no choice but to declare myself a Chicano; which if you see it my way is a Twenty-first century New American with a hemispheric identity. I did not buy into that fictitious line drawn in the desert called the border that separates rich from impoverished, white from brown, “America” from “Latin” America.  So despite all the fame and notoriety my career has brought me, I remain brown and indio-looking. I feel no more pressure to remain Latino than to be an Anglo.  I just am who I am, and that’s all there is to it. In the final analysis, assimilation is hardly a one way street. The world’s cultures have been assimilating each other for centuries. Sooner or later, most people in this hemisphere will realize that we are all New Americans.  Until then, I rely on the struggle for social justice to keep my work spontaneous and vital.

Joshua TRILIEGI: Your public appearances are totally off the cuff, unrehearsed and down right bold. I love that about you, there is no lie. Not unlike The Zoot Suiter finding his power once he actually takes off the suit and finds himself underneath the costume. To whom would you attribute that particular trait in your earliest influences ? 

Luis VALDEZ: My earliest influences no doubt came from my immediate family – my parent, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and their compadres. They were a vital, crusty, earthy lot. But as a kid I couldn’t help but notice right away that something was not right. Life was rigged somehow. Despite all our sweat and back breaking labor in the fields, we were always jodidos, poor as hell and out of gas, with nothing to do but move on to the next menial job. I hated stoop labor, not because it was unbearably hard but because it was humiliating. All the more because wages were dirt cheap. My folks kept their spirits up by developing a wicked sense of ironic humor, but I quickly realized that this was the only way they could tolerate the shit pies in the face that fate was giving them. Despite the constant looming despair, they kept me and my siblings in school, knowing it was our only way out. In due time I discovered that working with my hands did not prevent me from using my imagination. So even though I was picking cotton, potatoes, cherries, prunes and apricots as fast as I could, my mind was automatically running riot with ideas for bilingual stories, jokes and songs. With this kind of daily mental exercise, my school lessons became easy, a way to prove my worth to my teachers and myself in the face of discrimination. Like my uncles and cousins, I learned to defend myself with stinging ironic humor using the Pachuco slang of the barrio, but I also developed a proficiency in English.Mentally code-switching back and forth between Spanish and English, I eventually developed a spontaneous fluidity of expression that can only come from a well-exercised brain.   Like I say, any negative can always be turned into a positive. I won a scholarship to attend San Jose State College in 1958, as a Math and Physics major my first year.  By my second year, I knew what I really had to do.  I had to set my imagination free by releasing all those stories, jokes and songs still zinging in my head.  I had to admit to myself that I was an actor and a playwright, despite the fact that a career in the theater was totally impractical. So I switched majors to English, and never looked back.   I became what I always wanted to be – a Chicano playwright.

Joshua TRILIEGI: Thank You so much for taking the time to share your experience with our readers. How can the public support current and developing projects and productions by ETC ?

Luis VALDEZ: This summer El Teatro Campesino is producing my latest full-length play, VALLEY OF THE HEART, in our playhouse in San Juan Bautista.  It runs from August thru September, before moving on to other venues as part of our Fiftieth Anniversary celebration. If you come on Labor Day weekend, you can see both VALLEY in our theater and POPUL VUH outdoors in the park. If you can’t make it to San Juan, you can help us by donating online through our website at  But please support any of the Latino theater productions in your area. We fervently continue to believe that “Theater is the Creator of Community, and Community is the Creator of Theater.” For as our ancient Mayan ancestors believed:  CREER ES CREAR. ¡Si Se Puede!

Visit El TEATRO Campesino Current Projects at:


Moes Books
Telegraph Ave
2476 Telegraph Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone number (510) 849-2087

Pegasus Books Downtown
Downtown Berkeley
2349 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone number (510) 649-1320

Eastwind Books of Berkeley
Downtown Berkeley
2066 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone number (510) 548-2350

Books Inc
Gourmet Ghetto, North Berkeley
1491 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94709
Phone number (510) 525-7777

Mrs Dalloway’s Bookstore

2904 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
Phone 510.704.8222

We Thank: Da Capo Press, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Pace/MacGill Gallery, National Gallery of Art, Georgia O'Keefe Museum of Art, Fine Arts Center Colorado Springs, Duke University, Andy Warhol Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Crystal Bridges, United Artists, Spot Photo Works, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Art Huston Texas, Gallerie Urbane, Mary Boone Gallery, Pace Gallery, Asian Art Museum, Magnum Photo, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Fahey/Klein, Tobey C. Moss, Sandra Gehring, George Billis, Martin - Gropius - Bau Berlin, San Jose Museum of Art, First Run Features, Downtown Records, Koplin Del Rio, Robert Berman, Indie Printing, American Film Institute, SFMOMA, Palm Beverly Hills, KM Fine Arts, LA Art Show, Photo LA, Jewish Contemporary Museum, Cultural Affairs, Yale Collection of Rare Books & Manuscript and Richard Levy.

Contributing PhotographersNorman Seef, Herb Ritts, Jack English, Alex Harris, Gered Mankowitz, Bohnchang Koo, Natsumi Hayashi, Raymond Depardon, T. Enami, Dennis Stock, Dina Litovsky, Guillermo Cervera, Moises Saman, Cathleen Naundorf, Terry Richardson, Phil Stern, Dennis Morris, Henry Diltz, Steve Schapiro, Yousuf Karsh, Ellen Von Unwerth, William Claxton,  Robin Holland, Andrew Moore,  James Gabbard, Mary Ellen Mark, John Robert Rowlands, Brian Duffy, Robert Frank, Jon Lewis, Sven Hans, David Levinthal,  Joshua White, Brian Forrest, Lorna Stovall,  Elliott Erwitt,  Rene Burri,  Susan Wright,  David Leventhal, Peter Van Agtmael & The Bureau Editor Joshua Triliegi.    

Contributing Guest ArtistsIrby Pace, Jon Swihart, F. Scott Hess, Ho Ryon Lee, Andy Moses, Kahn & Selesnick, Jules Engel,  Patrick Lee, David Palumbo, Tom Gregg, Tony Fitzpatrick, Gary Lang, Fabrizio Casetta, DJ Hall, David FeBland, Eric Zener, Seeroon Yeretzian, Dawn Jackson, Charles Dickson, Ernesto DeLaLoza, Diana Wong, Gustavo Godoy, John Weston,  Kris Kuksi,  Bomonster,  Hiroshi Ariyama,  Linda Stark,  Kota Ezawa,  Russell  Nachman,  Katsushika  Hokusai and  Xuan Chen Contributing WritersRobin Holland,  Jamar Mar(s) Tucker,  Linda Toch,  Maria (Mom) Triliegi 


San Francisco Public Library is thrilled to announce that the 11th Annual One City One Book selection is David Talbot’s Season of the Witch, an extraordinary telling of the colorful and often dark history of San Francisco from 1967 to 1982. Library bookshelves will be stocked with fresh copies of Season of the Witch in September – or, read over the summer and be ready for all the fun events happening this fall! Citywide programming will take place throughout September and October.

From the early days of the Summer of Love in the Haight, through years of murder and mayhem, the city evolved.  Through extensive research and personal interviews, Talbot captures a 15-year history never before told in this level of detail.  The stories lend themselves to opportunities to revisit this history through exhibits, music, politics and more. About the Author: David Talbot is an author, journalist, media entrepreneur and now book publisher. He is the founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon, and has been hailed as a "pioneer of web publishing" by The New York Times. 

In addition to the national bestseller, Season of the Witch, he is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years and Devil Dog: The Amazing True Story of the Man Who Saved America, an illustrated "pulp history" aimed at younger readers. His book, The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government, will be published by HarperCollins in October. Talbot was a senior editor at Mother Jones magazine, and has written for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time, the Guardian and other publications.

image: Guest Artist Irby Pace                                                                                 Courtesy of Gallerie Urbane


David Browne has written a grand opus of a book on, of all things, the greatest rock & roll accident that has ever occurred: The Grateful Dead. No other band in Rock & Roll history can be compared to 'The Dead,' as they have been commonly known by fans and professionals alike. From the early days in Palo Alto California to the later days across the entire world, Mr. Browne has fashioned an exhaustively researched book into an easily readable tome of sorts. The writer for Rolling Stone magazine has taken an original and interesting approach and given us a portrait of the band through a very straight forward concept that fits well with his style, his experience and his day job, writing about music in digestible amounts. Mr. Browne breaks down the careers and characters that make up the Dead, from start to finish, by simply creating complete and utter portraits of various days in the life of The Grateful Dead. Days in which Mr Browne felt that a significant window into the soul of the band could be glimpsed. It is a smart concept considering that Mr. Browne was not an insider. He did not tour with the band, so he was well aware that this book would not compare, nor did he wish to compete with the previous books which have preceded this fine piece of history. Through his research methods, which seem to be exemplary, without all the show off style that can sometimes leave a bitter taste in the reader, and his experience at Rolling Stone magazine, Browne takes us into the forming of the band, their many transformations and delivers portraits of each member with the greatest care and delicacy available. Its a complex story, told with an exacting style. 

By the fifth page of The Prologue, the reader is hooked. I personally cannot think of a more easy reading style, chocked with so many actual facts, insights and observations in a very long, long time. Sometimes his acuity is just as strange and off the cuff as the formulas and elements that make up The Grateful Dead's original and one of a kind style of music. For instance, Jerry Garcia's early concerns and fears regarding the Cuban missile crisis in America is a real eye opener, which on first impression seems slightly heavy handed, but upon consideration of Garcia's age and experience, entirely fitting. Browne interviewed surviving members, had access to The Grateful Dead Archive in Santa Cruz as well as a multitude of interviews directly from his office job at Rolling Stone magazine. But he didn't stop there, apparently there has been more literature in connection with the Grateful Dead than one would ever imagine. From sources as diverse as Tom Wolf'e, Electric Kool - Aid Acid Test, written in 1968 to the source that broke Watergate, The Washington Post. Everyone has seemingly spent some time ruminating on the indescribable elements that make up the iconic sound that originated such classic pillars of Rock & Roll History like, Truckin', Casey Jones & Uncle John's Band. Mr. Browne has received attention previously for writing about, brace yourself: The 'Importance' of John Tesch. Lets not hold that against him, maybe, like The Grateful Dead, he was intoxicated or simply mixing and matching inspiration and improvisation. Either way, this author has delved deep down into the facts, the myths and the fiction surrounding Garcia and his band of bad boy compadre's and has surfaced with a nice read that newcomers as well as hardcore fans will surely dig. Mr. Brown has also written about: Sonic Youth, Jeff Buckley and James Taylor. As a writer who occasionally hitchhiked to and from preschool in Northern California, with my mom, and on more than one occasion received rides home from members of The Dead: I wholeheartedly approve of this book. Now available on Da Capo Press. Worth every dollar spent on the 482 pages it offers readers.


Literature has a Power and a Scope All It's Own. We originally founded the publication and the magazine to become part of the great history of writers, editors and publishers of the world. Interviews with writers Luis VALDEZ of ZooT Suit and La Bamba Fame and The Great Fiction Writer T. C. BOYLE have been instrumental in grounding that original goal. The BUREAU of Arts and Culture Literary Site gathered readers quickly through Google Member Readers and followers/subscribers. We wrote about writers as diverse as Rod Serling, Paddy Chayefsky, Ernest Lehman and offered resources for Writers, Publishers and Booksellers around The World from London to Paris and beyond. Our Coverage of The Los Angeles Book Fair brought us in touch with Art Book makers and small press publishers around the world. We interviewed authors and artist from Germany, Portland, The U.K., and plenty of East Coast booksellers. Now we also create the BUREAU Literary Edition which is e-mailed directly to 100s of Bookstores in the USA and abroad. Contact us with your next Literary Event or Book Reading or have your Publisher or PR firm Request The Bureau Interview.

A Short Story by Linda Toch / Little Tokyo Story Contest Winner 2015

Kazuo embraced Mondays like no other and that was because of its silence. Mondays were sweet, a sweep of semi-peace in the streets of Los Angeles. The typical street-crawlers were in school and the typical tourists at their nine to five jobs, and so Kazuo chose Monday to roam, map, conquer his neighborhoods unperturbed. Mondays were a convenience only when eighty five of your years had passed and your company along with it. It was nice timing for those who desired solace. The old man had fit this criteria to a tee. People talked about him, of course; no one who walks alone can keep his name out of others’ mouths. They say he had a wife once. They say his marriage was a spectacle, a whirr of harmonies—he, a striking man, she, an incandescent beauty—he, solemn-faced, she, the embodiment of joy. She was his joy. Small talk still lingers about their wedding to date, a legend left for the gossip mill to disperse. 100 brown doves. That was how many they released that day. 

Rumor had it, the birds swirled around the couple, drawing a ribbon with their synchronized bodies before soaring up and beyond sight. They called this God’s miracle, God’s blessing on a beautiful union. A year later, when the wife’s cheeks ran out of ruby colors to make room for pallor, they called it God’s apology instead. His solemn face turned sorrow. He hadn’t remarried since. Years past and people trickled in and out of his life, and Kazuo never put forth the efforts to make them stay. He, ever the true Buddhist, held no attachments. Religion had nothing to do with this, of course; he simply couldn’t be bothered with anyone else to begin with. Yet in spite of this, there was something that drew him back to Little Tokyo time after time. Kazuo knew his streets well, but he was mindless when he walked. He lived in his head, in a world far detached from realities, from earth—perhaps that was the sole reason why he enjoyed his solo strolls. When he returned, unaware of the lefts and rights he chose, he found himself wound up on First or Alameda. Always. He’d spot the museum’s large puzzle cube, listen to the paper lanterns crinkle above his head, feel the gust of wind as children breezed by him with an excitement so distantly familiar to him… it was the way wide streets became smaller and then wider again, and the way the tiny shops were cramped so closely. He’d be a dead man before he admitted it, but Little Tokyo had wormed its way into his heart. 

The streets were by no means empty on Mondays, but Kazuo didn’t need to bump and squirm his way through crowds among crowds. It was mostly college students flocking to the modernized corners, anyway. The sushi joints. Yogurtland. Anything with bright letters and an appearance that promised a good time. Kazuo rested in a quieter area, a little sector of a street filled with mom and pop shops. He sat in front of a bakery store of the Japanese Village Plaza, listening to a performer improvise a song for a family next to him. The singer’s voice, mellow and pleasant, was a charmer. It was as if people paid for the happy ambience his keyboard brought instead of the performance itself. The tip jar was filled to the brim. High school ditchers passed by him, the corners of their mouth dribbled with ice cream. The infectious bliss that came from the musician seemed to make them younger and younger. Such a gift, to be able to have your keyboard turn the elderly to adults, the adults to teens, the teens to children…and the teens laughed joyously, ecstatically, their heads thrown back the way a seven year old’s would. 

Kazuo’s heart stung a little. He remembered how it was, to be young and enamored. No one else existed but the person by your side; nothing else was tangible except the hands brushing against your own. “And you, sir!” the performer called, suddenly, index finger pointed straight at Kazuo. “What is your name?” “Ah, I…no, I didn’t tip you,” Kazuo responded sheepishly, waving his hands to the artist. “No money.” Smiling, his inquirer replied, “I’m here to talk, not much else. How are you?” His words reverberated from the microphone and bounced around in Kazuo’s ears. I’m here to talk…when was the last conversation Kazuo had? It was with his insurers, wasn’t it? Or his doctor? The nurses? “I…I’m fine, thank you.” It felt like all of Little Tokyo stared at him, their eyes digging into his skin. Even the pigeons that scattered among the Plaza seemed to look into the old man. Seemed to look into how he sat, crookedly. How his back hunched and his teeth yellowed even more in bare sunlight. How his forehead wrinkled and sagged his face downward into a perpetual frown. He finally felt like his age in his skin, and he’d never been more aware of eighty five years than that day. “Ah, before I launch into a song, do you want me to dedicate it to someone?” the performer continued. Again with the questions. “A loved one, maybe?” he pressed. Kazuo merely shook his head. “No, no one. There’s no one.” “You were in love, weren’t you? I can tell by the way you look down.” The performer pressed a few keys, his fingers cascading over them with a feathery lightness. The sounds floated melodiously into the air, drawing in more and more of a crowd.

Kazuo shuffled his feet in embarrassment. “Let me ask an easier question, then. How did you meet?” The grin the musician gave coaxed an answer out of the reluctant Kazuo. He stuttered, yelling it half-heartedly, just loud enough for the other man to hear. “We met by the Aoyama tree!” Too loud, Kazuo thought, cringing. I was too loud. Too much noise… The performer’s eyes glinted, and his smile widened. He continued pressing down more keys, more and more, a stream of gorgeous sounds making way to Kazuo’s ears. But he sang nothing into the microphone. Kazuo was startled by the silence, but sat still to enjoy the music regardless. A minute had passed before the man proceeded with more questions. “The Aoyama tree…what a beautiful place to meet a beautiful woman, no?” Kazuo nodded. “It was,” he agreed softly. “It was.” His mind drifted back to a time when his heart was filled with inexplicable emotions, a mesh of pain and thrill, hope and fervor and ultimately: heat. There was the sting of leaving his family behind. He could not touch his mother’s face anymore, or help his father walk in old age. But on another hand, he had made his way into LA. The city of the greats. The giants. The powerful, the dreamers. The city to get lost in, to get found, to be anonymous, to make a name—LA. It was an achievement all on its own, making it there. And then there was her. He remembered meeting her perfectly: the clumsiness that ensued, the awkward exchange of greetings that followed. He stumbled, and she tripped, and he fell, and she toppled over. And he said hello. And she gifted him a smile. “I’ve seen you a couple times, sir,” the performer continued. “You come here often. I want to give thanks for showing love to our little world.” 

Kazuo remembered the shops, the nooks and crannies found in them, and the entanglement of histories and modern culture. The celebrations, the festivals. The morning prayers. Kazuo remembered all of it. And he remembered her traversing by his side the entire time, exploring the ‘little world’ that only seemed to get bigger the more they stayed in it. And he remembered the happiness. Where was the crying child in Little Tokyo? The frowning human? They didn’t seem to exist. The streets were flooded with happiness, a happiness like no other. And it was still flooded today. But the idea of joy was so faint in his heart, as time wrung out the euphoria in all his memories, that Kazuo only now began to feel again. There was bitterness locked inside of him, a bitterness that never left him since her passing. And so he exhaled this bitterness with the timing of the music. In and out. Just like the morning meditations she used to accompany him to, around the temple near their precious love-tree. He breathed in the piano notes and breathed out the heaviness in his heart. “The Aoyama tree,” the performer started, “is a sign of resilience. It’s a sign of forever. Of going on. It’s an old, old survivor in the city…much like you, I’d imagine.” Again, the performer smiled. “And much like your love. The tree is entwined with your past, my friend, and that’s a beautiful honor.” Kazuo lifted himself up slowly and walked toward the performer. His hands shook. He leaned forward and put a five dollar bill in the tip jar. It was all the money he had. “Thank you. Thank you. I feel light again,” Kazuo whispered. The performer shoved the microphone out of the way, and whispered back, “Your joy is long overdue…you needed to visit your roots again. Back to where it all started. No thanks are needed for that, my friend.” But with a twinkle in his eye, he added, “I thought you had no money, Kazuo.” It was Kazuo’s turn to smile. He made his way to Aoyama Tree, this time, his mind clear of directions. Somehow, his feet remembered the paths he had taken with her decades ago. Back to the tree’s roots, back to his roots, back to the roots of his first and only love. He felt his heart pump vigorously to keep up with his pace. A part of him wanted to touch the bark. Stroke it. Carve initials into it. He wanted to interact. To feel. But he stayed behind, admiring the piece of art nature invested into this land. 

What made Little Tokyo magical was the people around it, he realized. The children, the teens, the adults, the families, the couples. The performer. Her. And him. He was a part of it, the city, the culture. He always was. It was six o’clock by the time Kazuo finished. His legs tired of the walk, he walked in a daze, a wonderment of the new Little Tokyo he was seeing. With every street was a new memory he uncovered once more. There was no more pain heaving down in his chest. He walked a little straighter, stood a little taller. He would visit the tree next Monday, he decided. And the week after that, and the week after that. And forevermore. He would visit the tree for as long as the tree stood there, and as long as he stood alive. There was no more remorse in his reminiscence. Just joy. Kazuo grinned as he thought of the performer. He relived the entire ordeal in his head as he made his way back home. And then it struck him—how did the performer know of his name in the first place? How did the performer know anything at all? And, most importantly, did any of that matter? His spirit felt rejuvenated, youthful. Twenty years old at best. And that was the greatest gift anyone had ever bestowed on him since her smile. For that alone, Kazuo didn’t need the answers to his questions. The sunset settled down and the darkness cloaked the colorful skies with black. He stepped into his house, exhausted by this Monday’s elongated walk. The loneliness always kept on his shoulders had all dissipated by then. Certainly he lived by himself, but that didn’t mean he was alone, no. Not any longer. And before he could lock the door shut, Kazuo could swear he heard the faint coo of a dove outside… a sound that made his eyes dampen. He pressed his palms against his cheeks, surprised. The tears were his own. The emotions were his own. Where was the crying child in Little Tokyo, anyway? Where could you find the frowning adult? He sunk into the comforts of his home and drifted into sleep, his ears filled with the sounds of music and doves. The man was at peace at last.

Linda Toch is a writer and a 2015 Winner of the Los Angeles CA USA Little Tokyo Story Contest. 

The BAY AREA : BOOKS  Section


What is Art ? What is a Classic ? What is Literature ? When is something all of the above ? Why is Rock & Roll Music so damn powerful to us ? It could be that great music tells a narrative just as convincingly as a short story, poem or novel. Sometimes it can even tell that story better. Case in point, Mick Jagger & Keith Richards Classic 1968 song entitled, "Sympathy for the Devil." Today, we look at the song,  asking the question:  Can  Music  Be  Literature ?  And If so, Why ?

The title of the song is, "Sympathy for The Devil." It sounds like a Novel from World War One by Somerset Maugham or a historical piece explaining the rise of fascism in Europe during the 1930s or even a poem by T. S. Elliot. The narrator of the story is a Faustian Mephisto or as he is known in Christo-Judeo belief: The Devil. Our story opens, following a fabulous drum solo, with a grand and eloquent self-introduction, "Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste."  He continues, "I've been around for a long, long year, stole many a man's soul to waste," explaining further, "I was around when Jesus Christ had his moment of doubt and pain." It is a devastating first meeting. The very prince of darkness himself is addressing the reader or in this case the listener. Lets put this into context. In 1968, the year this song was released, the world was in turmoil: Political Assassinations, Vietnam, Uprisings in France, Czechoslovakia, The Anti War Movement in America and a rising youth culture had recognized that evil could be anywhere and clearly, these were definitely historical times. 

"Jagger and Richards tapped into the moment with a  
    diabolical diatribe that does not turn away from the 
       clear and present evils, but instead, reminds the listener 
         that it was here before, it is here now, it will be here after."  

Jagger and Richards tapped into the moment with a diabolical diatribe that does not turn away from the clear and present evils, but instead, reminds the listener that it was here before, it is here now, it will be here after. The story continues with a historical look backward, "Stuck around St. Petersburg when I saw it was a time for a change," referring to the Russian Revolution, "I killed the Czar and his ministers, Anastasia screamed in vain." The narration swiftly moves through time to World War II, "I rode a tank, held a general's rank, when the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank." Then after a chorus or two, entirely demolishes a hundred years of monarchy with the single line, "I watched with glee, while your kings and queens, fought for ten decades, for the gods they made." And then it peaks with the most devastating idea of the entire work, "I shouted out, "Who killed the Kennedy's ?"  When after all, it was you and me." A shattering description that accuses the listener of committing murder: Astonishing. The devise of having a narrator speaking directly to his or her audience goes back as far as The Greek Tragedies and Shakespeare.

The same literary device was used a few years earlier in John Burgess', "A Clockwork Orange" which was later turned into the classic piece of cinema by director Stanley Kubrik. But here, Jagger and Richards put us face to face with the devil himself, presenting him as a man of power, a man of manners, a man of the world and simply a man who is very proud of his many accomplishments, however destructive they may be. The song lyrics take a slightly poetic turn, even in their maniacal aspects with the following phrase,"Just as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints. As heads is tails, just call me Lucifer, 'cause I'm in need of some restraint." Then after several chorus' including the echoing line, "Please to meet you, hope you guessed my name," a foreboding warning statement is pressed onto the listener with the final phrase, "So if you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and some taste. Use all your well-learned politics or I'll lay your soul to waste." The listener is literally warned to not only respect the narrator, but to have some sympathy. Demanding respect for the dark side of our very nature. The song is a time capsule , a declaration of madness and a warning of future conflicts. It is a fine example of the use of language in creating effective storytelling. It's also simply a great song. But is it Literature with a capital "L" ?  If so why ? 

 "The song is a time capsule , a declaration of
         madness and a warning of future conflicts. It is 
               a  fine example of the use of language in creating 
                  effective  storytelling. It's also simply : a great song."

 For one, it speaks to more than one generation, the story has lasted, at least so far, as an important tragedy of not only it's time, but the song is still currently played on radios stations around the world. In other words, the book is still in print. The play is still on broadway. The public is still interested.  Two, the song literally helped to define the actual times with which it was written: The 1960s. It is one of the actual anthems of the period. It may be the most important of the brave literary works to be a part of The Rock & Roll song book ever. Three, it actually speaks to a larger historical context with it's many references to world events and it's ongoing and foreboding demands of a future disaster. The song and narrator lives on in it's very description of itself. Why does this make it Literature ? Well, it doesn't. What does make it Literature ? In my estimation, it is the employment of ideas, the minimum use of narrative, the poetic turns of lyricism, the audacious accusations of the storyteller and the ability to open the imagination to world events that existed prior to the songs invention. Good literature, good fiction, good poetry, good writing, do this for the reader. Good literature will utilize history, experience, tragedy. Good literature will challenge power, normalcy, self-righteousness. Good literature will demand, entertain and sometimes even accuse the reader of the very experiences that mankind has allowed to happen. The Holocaust, Slavery, Genocide, War, Murder and Acts of Cruelty: Who would think to offer these subjects in a Song ? Sympathy For The Devil is very heavy material. Jagger and Richards use their platform to discuss important issues of modernity and history in a way that indeed transports, elevates and activates the same devices used by great writers around the world and that is why this song is ultimately a great piece of fine Literature.

JACK KEROUAC & The Waiting Game  


In The Spring of 1951, Jack Kerouac began the final scroll version of On The Road with the now famous opener, "I first met Neal not long after my father died …"  It would be another six years before the public would even read that line & while waiting for his big break, he almost went insane. When it finally did happen in 1957, the book transformed writing style forever and for twelve years straight : Jack never stopped. Jack's frustrations started early on and strained many of his relationships with his life long pals and gals. On many occasions, the angst was actually justified. Kerouac knew he had pierced the veil with the new style used in On The Road. He saw it happening all around him, the Arts in America were changing and a whole new WAY of seeing and expressing was happening everywhere. Marlon Brando was screaming from the stages of New York City and Jackson Pollock was on the cover of LIFE. But it would still be too early for the likes of the public to catch up with trailblazers that included both mid - century and mid - decade breakthroughs such as James Dean, Elvis Presley and Jack Kerouac, who would all have major public notoriety by the mid to late 1950s. James Dean with three films back to back: Rebel Without a Cause, East of Eden and Giant. Elvis Presley with a groundbreaking performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, that did indeed eventually lead to an entire sexual revolution. And of course, Mr. Jack Kerouac with the eventual publishing of On The Road and a lifelong respect and notoriety to originality and love of life.

The writer describes in a letter, dated Oct 8, 1952, scribed to his life long friend, contemporary and sometimes foe, Allen Ginsberg, " This is to notify you and the rest of the whole lot what I think of you. Can you tell me even for an instance … with all this talk about pocket book styles and the new trend in writing about drugs and sex, why my On The Road written in 1951 wasn't ever published ?" He goes on to describe his basic frustrations at more inferior books that were published and admonishes many of his friends and associates for being jealous: Which was most likely true. In fact, even Ginsberg himself was learning from the new Kerouac style. On the one hand, Ginsberg had helped to liberate Kerouac's formalities with his free form poetry. Later Kerouac was also informed by the letters of his inspiration for On The Road : Neal Cassady. On the other hand, each were dearly close to Neal and an unofficial contest began between the two writers. It was not only about who could lay down the best descriptions and who could out do the other in words,  Ginsberg stepped up the competition with physical acts that Kerouac could never compete with, nor did he care to. But when Jack sat down to write the scrolled version of On The Road in the Spring of 1951, all the lessons were over and he became the leader of the so called Beat Writers and Movement. Kerouac had yet to be crowned publicly, but everyone in his circle knew he had ascended gracefully. Versions of the novel were being read all over the publishing world, it became a sensation and a point of derogatory conversation among the academics. One such comment, by a writer nobody even remembers anymore was, "That's not writing, that's typing."  Kerouac had outdone them all and none could admit it. He was & still is the king of the beat writers. If he were alive today, he might simply ask, had you read his work ?  What did you think ?  Kerouac believed that Writing was Everything .Not long after scribing one of his darkest letters to Allen Ginsberg, Kerouac visited William Burroughs at his Rooftop Studio in Mexico City. Burroughs was going through a particularly rough patch himself. The thing to remember and indeed to learn from the Letters of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs, all of which are now available to the public, is that life as an artist is messy, troublesome, challenged. We often like to picture our celebrities, our icons, our hero's in some state of forever coolness. Well, the fact of the matter is that everybody has the ups & the downs. Life On The Road had its excitement, its entertainment and it's education, but there was always the other side of that coin. The letters provide a very real glimpse into the challenging aspects, the in-fighting, the quarell's and the very difficulty of actually writing, living, publishing and retaining and or losing friends in the battle.  In a letter dated Jan 10 1953, Kerouac writes to Neal Cassady and his wife Caroline from William Burrough's flat. "Bill just finally left Mexico, last night, how sad. They were asking for more bond money…  I feel like … I will never see him again … And I'm completely alone on the roof. Now or never with a great new novel long anticipated from me in N.Y.  -  day  &  night lonesome toil. "              

In another letter, written the same week, addressed to John Clellon Holmes, author of the first novel to be published by the beat writers entitled, "GO",  Jack describes further Burrough's dilemma. " Burroughs is gone at last - 3 years in Mexico - lost everything, his wife, his children, his patrimony - I saw him pack in his moldy room … Sad moldy leather cases … medicines, drugs - the last of Joan's spices … all  lost, dust, & thin tragic Bill hurries off into the night solitaire - Ah Soul - throwing in his bag, at last, picture of Lucien [ Carr ]  & Allen [ Ginsberg ] - Smiled, & left. " Burroughs who had shot his wife, in a game of 'William Tell ' had been dealing with legal issues and a court case that went sour when his own lawyer actually shot someone and had to flee the scene. All of this is represented best in David Cronenberg's film entitled, "Naked Lunch." Possibly the best film to capture the nightmarish qualities that dogged William Burroughs and his life. By this time, Kerouac had already patched up friendship with Ginsberg after the recent afore mentioned letter and was now moving ahead with another project. He sometimes worked on several works at any one time. In the same letter to Neal Cassady, Jack mentions a piece he wrote over a 5 day period, in french, that describes a fictional meeting in 1935 between him, Neal and Burroughs in Chinatown: "… And some sexy blondes in a bedroom with a French Canadian rake and an old Model T. You'll read it in print someday and laugh. It's the solution to the "On The Road" plots, all of 'em and I will hand it in soon as I finish the translating and typing."  This story written in French over a 5 day period in January of 1953 is most likely the work that is currently in the news. Apparently a canadian publishing house has bought the rights to publish, so the world will finally get a chance to posthumously read yet another 'new' work by Mr. Jack Kerouac. Jack Kerouac did make several breakthroughs prior to publishing On The Road , and then he knew it was just a matter of time. Finally the cultural malaise that had clogged mainstream America with conservative values of the early Fifties were dissipating. By 1956, in a letter to his agent, Sterling Lord, dated Sept. 17, 1956,  Jack describes being photographed by a high profile magazine with Poets Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg. " The other night Mademoiselle magazine took our pictures … for a spread … title : Flaming Cool Youth of San Francisco Poetry. Life magazine also wants to take my picture in a few weeks at Corso's reading … Two of my pieces are to be published in Black Mountain Review … I think I'll finally make some money for you finally, so that makes me feel better, all the time and faith you put into me. As the years go by I realize how nice you've been Sterling, and I welcome it with a feeling of warmth, coming as it does from the 'brrr'  world of New York Publishing."  

A year earlier Kerouac had stayed in the Berkeley Cottage of Allen Ginsberg after hitchhiking from Santa Barbara to San Francisco, living on California red wine and commiserating with the poets who would eventually open the floodgates at the now famous, SIX Gallery Poetry Readings in the Bay Area. The poets included : Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, Gary Snyder, Philip Lamentia & Kenneth Rexroth. Jack would have varying degrees of friendship with this group of poets and plenty of personal opinions and misunderstandings as well. His friendship with both Lawrence Ferlnghetti and Gary Snyder would lead to the writing of The Dharma Bums and Big Sur. The latter also the subject of a recent film of the same name produced by Bureau of Arts and Culture friend and associate, Mr. Orion Williams. In a letter written to Philip Whalen dated Nov 22, 1955 Kerouac describes his stay in Berkeley, " Dear Phil, Thank You for the needed hospitality - Now I know that the hidden reason for my coming to California again when I really didn't want to, was to meet you & Gary - The two best men I ever met - I'll drop you a card from where I'll be next week - Yours forever in the Dharma, Jack" Kerouac writes to Gary Snyder in a letter dated Jan 15 1956, thanking him for suggesting to apply as a look out in The Washington State Cascade Mountains. "Just finished [writing] a long novel … Visions of Gerard, my best. most serious, sad & true book yet … If I should ever make big money with my books, count on seeing me in Japan for sure… Me, my letters are like this, long and confused, because that's my mind, long and confused, I'm writing a dozen things and  typing all the time and all fucked up & enthusiastic and shooting baskets in the yard and running in the woods with kids & dogs and so this letter has distraught look."

A year away from publishing On The Road and at an all time low, Kerouac writes to Malcolm Cowley in May of 1956, " I'm in a real straits now, my jeans are all torn, I'm living in a shack with a woodstove, rent free, have no money whatever,  don't care (much), and am waiting day after day for word from you concerning … On The Road …  it breaks my heart to be neglected so." But within weeks Kerouac headed up to Washington State and renewed his work & attitude. Although, the relationship between Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac was a contentious one, it was also a very true friendship. In the spring of 1957, Allen loaned Jack enough money to travel abroad to visit Bill Burroughs in Tangier. Burroughs had recently taken the cure in England and was bent on gathering his various writings and creating a novel with the help of his friends. Kerouac writes to Edie Parker on Jan 28, 1957 from New York, just before the trip abroad, describing Burroughs, "He is a great gentlemen and as you may know has become a great writer, in fact all the big wigs are afraid of him (W.H. Auden. etc…)  Allen never loses track of me even when I try to hide. He does me many favors publicizing my name. Well, we're old friends anyway. But I can't keep up with the hectic fame life he wants and so, I won't stay with them long in Tangier."  While in Tangiers Kerouac received edited versions of recent works and was aghast at the hack job. Rather than have his work butchered by the publishers, Kerouac holds firm to his belief in his work and writes to Sterling Lord on March 4, 1957, " I'd rather die than betray my faith in my work which is inseparable from my life, without this faith any kind of money is mockery…" Still in Tangier with Burroughs, he follows this up on March 25 1957 with another letter to Mr. Lord, " I feel like I definitely did the right thing… that it will definitely bear fruit in the end. Hemingway went through the same trouble in early 1920s and had he succumbed to the ideas of the editors, there would have been no 'Hemingway Style' at all and nothing great about The  Lost  Generation. Ditto Faulkner in 30s."  Meanwhile, Jack made a living typing up Burroughs' manuscripts in trade for meals and took long hikes around Tangiers, absorbing the culture & the scenery. 

Two things happened in early April of 1957 that changed the face of literature.The first was notification from Kerouac's agent that On The Road had been sold & the second was that Allen Ginsberg's epic poem entitled, "Howl," had been banned and deemed unfit for children to read. Finally, exactly what the two authors had been working on all their lives, for Jack, it was acceptance, for Allen, it was a defiant chance to challenge the establishment. Both had succeeded in their goals.To this day, both works are taught, studied and read just about everywhere with fine film adaptions of each. In a letter to his agent, dated April 3, 1957, Kerouac describes his appreciation and plans for the future. " It's wonderful, Sterling, the way you have been making things hum. I am going to take advantage of this apparently prosperous year and come right home and set up my abode proper. I have an idea for a wonderful follow up for On The Road … Meanwhile I have been digging Morocco… last night Ramadan, the annual Mohammedan fast, started here, with a blast of cannon shot in the bay and then, like smoke over rooftops at 2AM came the lonely sweet flutes … the saddest sound in the world." Within a month Kerouac had returned to America, had gathered all his belongings and moved to Berkeley California. Within a week, Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights Books was arrested for selling HOWL. One of the most celebrated court cases in history followed. Is it Art or Is it Obscene ? Eventually Allen Ginsberg triumphed and it became a victory for intellectuals, artists & writers who push the envelope. Jack Keruoac had finally gone public. Neal Cassady, Jacks inspiration for the novel, On The Road, had become a character in another man's work of art. He had been a drifter for years, a wayward and wandering soul. Neal would go on to be an influential part of the American subculture with writers such as Ken Kesey, who penned, "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest'.  One of the few novels that Jack Kerouac, not only appreciated, but deservedly so, wrote an introductory blurb. Neal himself would be dogged by bad luck from the law, eventually doing time in prison for an entrapment drug deal with a substance that is now used by doctors throughout the world: marijuana. Neal Cassday's letters of this period are available in the book untitled, "Grace Beats Karma: Letters from Prison.' Even to this day, he is the target of lesser than human beings, who have no idea what living is even about. In the final lines of the newly published Original Scroll version of On The Road, Jack Kerouac writes, "I know by now the evening - star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks in the west and folds the last and final shore in, and nobody,  just nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Neal Cassady, I even think of the Old Neal Cassady the father we never found, I think of Neal Cassady, I think of Neal Cassady. " The End

JACK KEROUAC : The Novels + Other Selected Works

The Town and the City 1950
On the Road 1957
The Subterraneans 1958
The Dharma Bums 1958
Dr. Sax 1959
Maggie Cassidy 1959
Mexico City Blues: 242 Choruses 1959
Book of Dreams 1960
Tristessa 1960
Visions of Cody 1960
The Scripture of the Golden Eternity 1960
Lonesome Traveler 1960
Pull My Daisy 1961
Big Sur 1962
Visions of Gerard 1963
Desolation Angels 1965
Satori in Paris 1966
Vanity of Duluoz 1968
Pic 1971
Scattered Poems 1971
Old Angel Midnight 1973
Trip Trap: Haiku on the Road (with Albert Saijo & Lew Welch) 1973 
Heaven and Other Poems 1977
San Francisco Blues 1991
Pomes All Sizes 1992
Good Blonde and Others 1993
Book of Blues 1995
Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters, Vol. 1, 1940-1956  1996
Some of the Dharma 1997
Atop an Underwood: Early Stories and Other Writings 1999
Kerouac: Selected Letters: Volume 2: 1957-1969   2000
Orpheus Emerged 2000 
Book of Dreams 2001
Book of Haikus 2003
On the Road: The Original Scroll 2008
And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks 2010
Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters  2011
The Sea Is My Brother 2012
The Haunted Life 2014
O Rich and Unbelievable Life : Uncollected Prose 2016

By  Joshua  A.  TRILIEGI   for  BUREAU of Arts and Culture  / LITERARY Edition SPRING 2015

Arthur Miller is turning 100 years of age this year and as it turns out: his works are more important than ever. Miller went toe to toe with mainstream ideology, with the dilemma's of war, with group thinking and paranoia, with religion, with celebrity machinery and even with the government of the United States of America during one of the worst chapters in our history: The McCarthy years. For those of you too young to remember or too old to want to remember. Senator Joe McCarthy led a witch hunt that was focused on left leaning individuals of all sorts, but specifically, those in the field of entertainment. Directors, writers, actors and producers were demanded to testify against their friends and associates publicly, privately, overtly or with discretion. Arthur Miller did no such thing, he refused to name names. He was found in contempt of court and later exonerated of all charges. Miller is a soul searching playwright who introduces ideas in the great American sagas such as, "Death of a Salesman," "All My Sons," "The Crucible," and spreads them out like a deck of cards for all to see and eventually to play with. Theater, unlike film, has a forever and ongoing growing relationship with interpretation, with the populist, with the times and with the future. Millers plays are produced all over the world, "Death of a Japanese Salesman," was extremely popular overseas. The Arthur Miller literary works are and have been interpreted and produced in dozens of languages and remain extremely relevant. Ever since the attacks of 9/11, here in America, a very similar situation surfaced, creatively and culturally speaking, we have not quite recovered. The freedom to speak out against abuses of power, against political policy or those in power is almost entirely absent. 

Major news organizations have fallen to the wayside, when it comes to investigative journalism and most others march in step with the current politically correct aspects of today's society. Entertainers are afraid to speak out for fear of losing a role or a job or alienating either their audience or the advertisers. Miller's plays delve into these subject matters deeply, dramatically and with a great deal of consequence to relationships. "Salesman," deals with family deceit, the changing of American values and memory. "All my Sons," is a scorching and scathing look at the war machine, that has direct ties to rather recent political family histories here in America. "The Crucible," is a direct metaphor for the McCarthy era as well as an intensively researched project that brings to life the disturbing, but entirely factual witch hunts that happened in America and abroad : 100s of women were murdered for hysteria and paranoia. Millers plays are not overtly political, they are much more about relationship, family and community at every level. Ultimately, they are about mankind. The popularity of his catalogue has only grown through the years and deservedly so. On a personal level, Mr Miller's life had some extreme ups and downs and through it all he remained calm, elusive, focused and intelligent. Miller has always been very forthright about his works, his views and his ideas of life. To my mind, he is a true patriot, unafraid to ask the difficult questions that arise when involved in an experiment as beautiful as America. He served as the president of the PEN Organization in the mid 1960s. Miller also has the special quality that says to anyone at anytime: "Fuck You," as you can see he expresses in the image related to this article during a press conference.  In the back pages of this edition you will find an extensive list with links to over fifty up and coming Miller plays around the world. And so, today we salute the man, the mind, the icon, the artist, the writer and the great and beautiful defiance of this Original American of Letters: Mr. Arthur Miller.  


ARTHUR MILLER Theater Productions During The Year 2015


  • All My Sons Dec. by Wanderlust Theatre Co. at Cité des Arts, 109 Vine Street, Lafayette, LA. Call (337) 291-1122 or check the website.
  • The Crucible 13 October – 8 November 2015 by Theatre Calgary, 220 - 9th Ave. S.E., Calgary, AB, Vancouver, Canada. Call 403-294-7440 or check the website.
  • The Crucible 16-18 Oct. by Creative Arts Theater, 15615 8th St Victorville, CA. Call 760-963-3236 or check the website.
  • Broken Glass 6-31 Oct. 2015 by Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport, CT. Directed by Mark Lamos. Call (203) 227-4177 or check the website.
  • A Memory of Two Mondays Sept/Oct. by Defibrillator Theatre, London, UK. Directed by Robert Hastie. Plans are to stage the play in a warehouse setting. Check the website for updates.
  • The Crucible 18 Sept.-4 Oct. by Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St, Pecatonica, IL. Call (815) 239-1210 or check the website.
  • Broken Glass 5-27 Sept. by New Repertory Theatre, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown (Boston), MA. Directed by Jim Petosa, with Jeremiah Kissel. Call 617-923-8487 or check the website.
  • The Price in Aug. by TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington, Chicago, IL. Directed by Louis Contey, with Mike Nussbaum. Call 773 281 8463 or check the website.
  • Death of a Salesman 9-26 July by Ironweed Productions, Santa Fe, NM. Call 505.927.5406 or check the website
  • Death of a Salesman July by Chats Productions, at the Jetty Memorial Theatre, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia. Directed by Rex Madigan. E-mail for info, or check the website.
  • The Hook 5 June-25 July by Royal and Derngate theater in Northampton in 5-27 June, followed by a run at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool in 1-25 July. Directed by James Dacre.The play is adapted by Ron Hutchinson from Miller's screenplay. Check their websites for more details: Northampton and Liverpool.
  • Death of a Salesman 29 May-14 June by Barn Theater, on Plano Street at Olive Avenue, Porterville, CA. Call (559) 310-7046 or check thewebsite.
  • The Crucible 22-30 May by Acting Unlimited at Theatre 810, 810 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA. Call (337) 484-0172 or check their Facebook website.
  • The Price 13 May-21 June by Olney Theatre Center, at the lab space, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road, Olney, MD. Directed by Michael Bloom. Call 301-924-3400 or check the website. There will be a pre-show discussion at 5pm on May 16.
  • A View from the Bridge 8-17 May by at Cité des Arts, 109 Vine Street, Lafayette, LA. Call (337) 291-1122 or check the website.
  • Death of a Salesman 1-16 May by Dreamwell Theatre Company, 10 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City, IA in two locations. 1-2 May at First Street Community Center, Mt. Vernon and 8-16 May at Iowa Children’s Museum, Coralridge Mall. Directed by David Pierce. Call 319-423-9820, or check the website.
  • The Crucible 29 April-3 May at Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, University Of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd. Milwaukee, WI. (414) 229-4308 the website.
  • The Crucible 11 April-24 May by Guthrie Theater, Wurtele Thrust Stage, 818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN. Directed by Joe Dowling. Call 612.377.2224, or check the website for more information.
  • Death of a Salesman 1 May-7 June by Loft Ensemble, 929 East Second Street, #105, Los Angeles, CA. Call 213.680.0392 or check thewebsite.
  • All My Sons 17 April-10 May by WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison, Texas. Directed by David Denson with Terry Martin, Diana Sheehan, Christopher Cassarino, and Tabitha Ray. Call 972.450.6230, or check the website.
  • Death of a Salesman 10-18 April by Neuse Little Theatre, 104 South Front Street, Smithfield, NC. Directed by:  Randy Jordan. Call (919) 934-1873 or check the website.
  • The Crucible 10-19 April by Merced Playhouse, 452 W. Main Street, Merced, CA. Call 209 725 8587 or check the website.
  • Death of a Salesman 16-26 April by Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids, 2727 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids, MI. Call 616-234-3595, or check thewebsite.
  • Death of a Salesman 28 March- 2 May by The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Directed by Gregory Doran with Antony Sher, Harriet Walter, and Alex Hassell. Call 0844 800 1110 or check the website.
  • All My Sons (in Cantonese, translation by Dominic Cheung) 27-29 March, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and produced by the Hong Kong Federation of Drama Societies at the Auditorium, Ko Shan Theatre New Wing, Ko Shan Road, Hung Hum, Hong Kong. Directed by Luther Fung, with Chung King-fai, Patra Au, Guthrie Yip, Lai Yuk-ching, Johnson Yu, Mary Lee, Barry Chan, Ruby Chu, Andy Tang and Ngai Chi-hang. Call 2111 5999 or visit
  • All My Sons 27 March-19April 19 by Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave., at University of Houston, Houston, TX. Directed by Theresa Rebeck. Call 713.220.5700 or check the website.
  • The Archbishop’s Ceiling24 March–19 April by Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, in their Black Box theater,  6901 Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada, Colorado.  Directed by Brett Aune, with Michael Morgan, William Hahn, Rodney Lizcano, and Heather Lacy. Set design by Brian Mallgrave. Call 720-898-7200 or check the website
  • Death of a Salesman 12-28 March by Nashville Repertory Theatre at at Andrew Johnson Theater at Tennessee Performing Arts Center, 505 Deaderick St., Nashville, TN. Directed by René D. Copeland, with Chip Arnold, Rona Carter, Eric Pasto-Crosby and, Matt Garner. Set design by Gary Hoff. Call 615 782-6560 or check the website.
  • Death of a Salesman 13-22 March at San Joaquin Delta College, Alred H. Muller Studio Theatre, 5151 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA. Directed by Harvey Jordan, who also plays Willy, alongside Jane Dominik as Linda. Call (209) 954-5110 or check the website.
  • Death of a Salesman 13-28 March by Dover Little Theatre, 69 Elliott Street, Dover, NJ. Directed by Claire Bochenek, with Bob Scarpone, Kate Daly, Michael Reddin, and Michael Jay. Call 973-328-9202 or check the website.
  • All My Sons 13-28 March by New Century Players, 11022 SE 37th, Milwaukie, OR. Directed by Colin Murray. Call (503) 367-2620 or check the website.
  • Death of a Salesman Spring (Dates TBA) by Dreamwell Theatre Company, 10 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City, IA. Call 319-423-9820, or check thewebsite.
  • Playing For Time 12 March-4 April by The Crucible Theatre, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, UK. Directed by Richard Beecham, with Kate Adams, Pascale Burgess, Imogen Daines, Christopher Staines, Amanda Hadingue, Melanie Heslop, Kate Lynn-Evans, Danny Scheinmann, and Siân Phillips. To mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the centenary of the playwright’s birth. Call 0114 249 6000 or check the website.
  • All My Sons 6-29 March by Cherry Creek Theatre, at the Shaver-Ramsey Carpet Gallery, 2414 East Third Avenue, Denver, CO. Call (303) 800-6578 or check the website.
  • All My Sons 6-22 March by Germantown Community Theater, 3037 S Forest Hill-Irene Rd, Germantown, TN. Directed by John Maness. Call (901) 754-2680 or check the website.
  • All My Sons 6-22 March Curtain Call Inc., 1349 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT. Directed by John Atkin with Joseph Caputo, Greg Chrzczon, Robert Rosado, Alexandria Clapp, John Ponzini, Karen Pope, Katie Bookser, Robie Livingstone, James Avery and Christopher Beaurline. . Call (203) 461-6358 ext. 13. or check the website.

T. C. BOYLE: A Piece of FICTION 
by BUREAU Editor  Joshua  TRILIEGI  for  BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE Magazine / Reprinted from Archive

There are fewer more solitary career paths than that of the painter, the musical composer or the fictional writer. Seldom do we see a collaborative experience in these particular practices and even rarer, a career of such bold variation and experimentation. The journey is singular, the pitfalls are many, the rewards are difficult to list or fathom and suddenly decades pass and the world suddenly knows your work, discusses your choices, often misunderstands your creativity or the entire goal of such a career path and yet, you go on, steadily, marching toward the next project, with bravado, with discipline and with a steadfast curiosity for what will happen on the next page, canvas or sonata. In the case of T. C. Boyle, the rewards have been numerous, a professor emeritus position at The University of Southern California, film adaptions, awards that include the Pen/Faulkner & Henry David Thoreau and an international readership that have included invitational festivals such as, One City One Book wherein an entire city such as Vienna is publicly given 100,000 copies of, in this case, his novel, The Tortilla Curtain, distributed freely citywide. T. C. Boyle's work is broadly fearless in its choices of subject matter, though, at the same time, it is racked with details of the psychological variety that take us directly into the experience of his characters. His stream of consciousness includes the type of minutiae that assumes for the reader and emulates in direct communication a mind at work attempting to deal with those very bold choices he has conjured for our entertainment. T. C. Boyle is of the school of artists that understand clearly that ART is entertainment and if indeed we are entertained, scared, troubled, thrilled, embarrassed, shamed, turned on, turned off, nervous, and some where in all of that — educated, by what we read, see, hear: than it is good art and it will last forever, or at least, a very long time. 

Because Mr. Boyle was once a musician, there is a rock and roll aspect to his show, one can easily picture him getting out of the shower singing the lyrics to a Rolling Stones song and making it his own with, " I know, its only Fiction Writing, but I like IT… " There is something very pugnacious about the man that immediately strikes me as likable. He has, what I call, the big fuck you, built into much of his work and definitely in his readings and performances which he professes to enjoy entirely and I believe him. Thats another thing I enjoy about T. C. Boyle, he knows his job is to write, present, tour and then repeat entirely. I must confess, he has written countless novels that I have yet to read and I indeed look forward to doing so, as I suggest for my readers to do the same. Discovering a novelist is a once in a lifetime experience, reading that writer is an ongoing engagement of a very special variety. Once a reader has gone on a journey and enjoyed it, there is always a chance that there will be a new book or an earlier work to read. Mr. Boyle has a method and practice that goes like this, write a novel, promote it, write short stories, promote them, teach, get an award, make a speech, drive home, read the paper, write a novel, promote it: repeat. One can imagine that there is some sex and food and booze and reflection as well. He is unabashedly honest about the process of writing and his philosophy is entirely in tune with ours at the magazine, which is to lift the veil of creativity. He is a teacher and yet professes that, "No one can teach you how to be an artist."  When it comes to rules, he throws them out, "There are no rules, whatsoever. Any textbook, you throw it right out. The way you learn how to do it is reading stories and finding a mentor." T. C. Boyle's own influences include Vonnegut, Cheever, Flannery O’Connor, F. Scott Fitzgerald and especially John Updike. He is currently on tour with is 25th book: The Harder They Come.                        

©Joshua Triliegi     BUREAU OF ARTS AND CULTURE MAGAZINE    illustration

Joshua TRILIEGI:  You have written fictional novels with a wide variety of characters and scenarios. Tell us about your own personal process of research and developement. 

T.C. BOYLE: Some novels (and stories) are pure inventions, while others rely on factual/historical material. With regard to The Women, for instance, I read a number of Frank Lloyd Wright bios and visited many of the houses he designed (I’m visiting one of them right now, since I live in it), as well as his own house at Talisien. Then I jammed up a story. At the other end of the spectrum is a book like 2000’s A Friend of the Earth, about global warming and its consequences, which just flew on its own.  A more recent example would be the story, “The Relive Box,” which appeared in The New Yorker earlier this year.  It’s a lovely, lively fantasy about gaming, which just came to me while I was tinkering with my many mechanical and electronic inventions in my basement lab.

Joshua TRILIEGI: You rely on music while writing, describe your music collection and any other anecdotes that relate to this relationship.

T.C. BOYLE: My love is rock and roll, but I can’t listen to it while composing (though I’m listening now to a mix created by my new best friend, Party Shuffle).  Classical and jazz are what ballast me while writing—and that extends to opera, as long as it’s not in English. 

Joshua TRILIEGI: " The Tortilla Curtain " was chosen as part of Vienna, Austria's 'One City One Novel' Literature project, wherein a 100,000 copies are freely distributed throughout the city for all to read. Tell us about this experience and your travel schedule in general. 

T.C. BOYLE: Best part of it?  Going into a bar or cafe and seeing a pile of free copies sitting on the counter and surreptitiously watching people come by and take one, then think better of it and take several.  This is Part III of the Writer’s Dream. 

Joshua TRILIEGI:  Besides creating interesting stories, a writer in todays world must understand and adhere to the basic rythms of the career, write the work, read the work, sell the work, repeat process. Share with our readers how this will work for you an visa versa, say over several years. 

T.C. BOYLE: I would have had six books in the last six years, but we decided to hold back The Harder They Come till March of 2015 to give everybody a break. I seem to write in a rhythm: longer historical novel, shorter contemporary novel, book of stories.  Bing, bing and bang.  That’s just the way it is.  Last year was T.C. Boyle Stories II.  Right now I’m 45 pp. into the next novel, The Terranauts, and have not yet seen the place where the book is set.  I’ll make a trip there shortly.  In fact, as soon as I say goodbye to you, I will be booking airfare.

                                             ©TRILIEGI /  BUREAU OF ARTS AND CULTURE MAGAZINE BOOKS

Joshua TRILIEGI: You published "Budding Prospects" way back in 1984, these days it could be read as a sort of manual for how to grow medical marijuana and avoid the basic pitfalls along the way. Does it ever surprise you when a work like this or more future leaning works like "Farenheit 451" or Orwells "1984" speak to a certain time and a place.

T.C. BOYLE: I suppose it’s the job of a novelist to be something of a seer.  By the way, The Harder They Come returns to the scene of the crime with regard to Budding Prospects.  The latter was set in Willits, CA, and the former has a number of scenes set there, as well as a sly reference to the lineage of one of the earlier novel’s characters.  THTC examines American anti-authoritarianism and gun violence.  It’s just burning hot.

Joshua TRILIEGI: You  have not watched TV since the early seventies. Do you watch films?

T.C. BOYLE: I love movies and watch a whole lot of them, not only current but classic.  And TV has changed radically, given the freedom cable allows filmmakers.  I have avoided the usual network lineup, as my tolerance for idiocy is very, very low.

Joshua TRILIEGI: Because the world is full of so many different types of people, each with a different way of speaking, each living by their own rules, each with a different code of ethics, being a fictional writer with any sense of truth in the work means being brutally honest and allowing each character to speak its mind without filtering what is politically, socially or morally acceptable. Describe or discuss how that fact has ever caused the public, reviewers or detractors to criticize you as a writer, as opposed to the character in the book.

T.C. BOYLE: I try to avoid reviews, except for the good ones.  And yes, many shallow types (I won’t name them here) seem to confuse my public persona with the personae of my books.  I will dance on their graves, then let the hyenas loose. 

Joshua TRILIEGI: You have taught at USC for decades and still go it alone in many ways, avoiding panel discussions, retaining your singular voice.

T.C. BOYLE: Aw, shucks, I’m only doing what comes natural.  That is, because I am a semi-sane egomaniac control freak despiser of authority, I work alone.  And I don’t really give a shit (or even half a shit) about what anybody might think about that. 

Joshua TRILIEGI: Share with us a list of writers both new and old whom have influenced, entertained and educated you.

T.C. BOYLE: Since I’ve got to get to work, let me name just a few: Dana Spiotta’s Stone Arabia, Denis Johnson’s Fiskadoro, Kent Haruf’s Plainsong, Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach.   If people want a fuller picture, go to the video interview I did with Tom Lutz at the L.A. Times Book Fair back in April of this year.  T.C. Boyle LARB interview ought to bring it up for you.  Till then, adios, amigos.


Flower, Fist, and Bestial Wail, Hearse Press, 1959.
Longshot Poems for Broke Players, 7 Poets Press, 1961.
Run with the Hunted, Midwest Poetry Chapbooks, 1962.
Poems and Drawings, EPOS, 1962.
It Catches My Heart in Its Hands: New and Selected Poems, 1955-1963, Loujon Press , 1963.
Grip the Walls, Wormwood Review Press, 1964.
Cold Dogs in the Courtyard, Literary Times, 1965.
Crucifix in a Deathhand: New Poems, 1963-1965, Loujon Press 1965.
The Genius of the Crowd, 7 Flowers Press, 1966.
True Story, Black Sparrow Press  1966.
On Going out to Get the Mail, Black Sparrow Press  1966.
To Kiss the Worms Goodnight, Black Sparrow Press  1966.
The Girls, Black Sparrow Press 1966.
The Flower Lover, Black Sparrow Press  1966.
Night's Work, Wormwood Review Press, 1966.
2 by Bukowski, Black Sparrow Press  1967.
The Curtains Are Waving, Black Sparrow Press 1967.
At Terror Street and Agony Way, Black Sparrow Press  1968.
Poems Written before Jumping out of an 8-Story Window, Litmus 1968.
If We Take... , Black Sparrow Press  1969.
The Days Run away like Wild Horses over the Hills, Black Sparrow Press  1969, reprinted, 1993.
Another Academy, Black Sparrow Press  1970.
Fire Station, Capricorn Press  1970.
Mockingbird, Wish Me Luck, Black Sparrow Press  1972.
Me and Your Sometimes Love Poems, Kisskill Press  1972.
While the Music Played, Black Sparrow Press  1973.
Love Poems to Marina, Black Sparrow Press  1973.
Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems, 1955-1973, Black Sparrow Press  1974.
Chilled Green, Alternative Press, 1975.
Africa, Paris, Greece, Black Sparrow Press  1975.
Weather Report, Pomegranate Press, 1975.
Winter, No Mountain, 1975.
Tough Company, bound with The Last Poem by Diane Wakoski, Black Sparrow Press  1975.
Scarlet, Black Sparrow Press  1976.
Maybe Tomorrow, Black Sparrow Press  1977.
Love Is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977, Black Sparrow Press  1977.
Legs, Hips, and Behind, Wormwood Review Press, 1979.
Play the Piano Drunk like a Percussion Instrument until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit,  1979.
A Love Poem, Black Sparrow Press  1979.
Dangling in the Tournefortia, Black Sparrow Press 1981; republished, Ecco Press  2002.
The Last Generation, Black Sparrow Press 1982.
Sparks, Black Sparrow Press  1983.
War All the Time: Poems 1981-1984, Black Sparrow Press  1984.
The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems, 1946-1966, Black Sparrow Press  1988.
Beauti-ful and Other Long Poems, Wormwood Books and Magazines, 1988.
People Poems: 1982-1991, Wormwood Books and Magazines, 1991.
The Last Night of the Earth Poems, Black Sparrow Press 1992.
(With Kenneth Price), Heat Wave, Black Sparrow Graphic Arts 1995.
Bone Palace Ballet: New Poems, Black Sparrow Press  1997.
The Captain Is out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken over the Ship, Black Sparrow Press   1998.
What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk through the Fire, Black Sparrow Press  1999.
Open All Night: New Poems, Black Sparrow Press  2000.

Pink Chamber, Sicily  © Andrew Moore, Courtesy of the Artist + Yancey Richardson Gallery


An Appreciation:  The Pulitzer  Prize Winning Cuban Author of  "Mambo Kings Sings Songs of  Love" has completed his last Conga Solo 
by Joshua Triliegi  April 2014 Edition of Bureau of Arts and Culture Magazine

The day that I first came across a copy of Oscar Hijuelos' s Novel "Mambo Kings Sing Song's of Love" was the day I had decided that I wanted to become a novelist. I had published poems, written songs, created short stories and had a screenplay considered as a finalist at the Sundance Writers workshop.  I had never written a novel, but upon reading Mambo Kings, there was a passion, an honesty, a very real & raw intensity that described a world, an experience, a view into a private and personal history that, to me, is absolutely perfect. It was as if his story about latin jazz musicians from Cuba, spoke directly to me. It said, this is a world of men and women, music and silence, love and hate, loss and gain, pain and pleasure,  rejection and acceptance,  power and peasants,  talent and ownership, life and death. I changed the direction of my entire life because of Oscar Hijuelos. While working comfortably as an artist, furniture designer, interior designer and sometime art department assistant for film, I left it all behind and moved to Milwaukee Wisconsin to research my own novel based on real life events in my own family heritage.    I had been conducting interviews with family members for over a decade, but until I had found Mambo Kings,   I had no idea ' how ' to go about compiling, expressing and telling the stories I was being told.  Mr Hijuelos' broad, colorful, expansive and passionate storytelling style became a road map for me. I must have read and re read his novel several times a year for several years. Whenever, I got stuck, lost inspiration or needed that extra boost, it always pushed me ahead.  

Pink Chamber, Sicily  © Andrew Moore, Courtesy of the Artist + Yancey Richardson Gallery

In Nineteen Ninety-Nine, while living in and researching the history of Milwaukee and the Italian immigrant experience, Mr Hijuelos was being interviewed on national public radio. I called into the show and we spoke about his book and how it had inspired me. I was elated to speak publicly to one of my mentors. The show moderator asked me what it was that I liked about Mr Hijuelos' work and I tried my best to describe it.  Mr Hijuelos,  upon hearing that I too had a new story in development, wanted to know what it was that made my own story so special and we talked at length about our families.  It was a pinnacle moment for me and I recorded it for future posterity.  Now,  sadly,  we have lost Oscar Hijuelos to the other world.   The world where people go when they leave this one. In the Mambo Kings novel, the loss and death of a brother stings the life of another, leaving a giant absence, where there once was partnership, friendship, collaboration, union. For an entire page and a half, Oscar describes a drum solo that precedes the death of his character's heart beat ending. It is a fabulous description of a crucial moment in a man's life that is indulgent, detailed, imaginative & glorious. Mr Hijuelos's prose style is so in tune with his culture, that of the immigrant experience: the food, the music, the fashion, the passion, the way of talking, walking, thinking. His sentences are way beyond what writing school teachers would describe as ' run - ons '. Hijuelos breaks all the rules and it works. Like a drum solo that goes on and on and on, he had a way of keeping us on the dance floor late into the night. I often stayed up late into the early hours reading the Mambo Kings. I am still working on my novel about the early italian immigrants of the mid west and am still in debt to Mr Hijuelos. He would have been the perfect author to provide a proverbial book cover commentary. Am I sad that he is gone from this world ? No. Why not ? Well, when a man reaches his goals, when he stretches beyond his wildest imagination and achieves a certain level of professionalism, we can only know that through that expression, that work, that craft, that art, that all is well, in this world and the next. 

Detroit Series   © Andrew Moore, Courtesy of the Artist + Yancey Richardson Gallery

Mr, Hijuelos went on to write about other situations, but for me, and for many, his masterpiece, with which he received a Pulitzer prize in the early Nineteen Eighties, was absolute. It describes the life of Cubans, the life of musicians, the inner lives of men, passion and growing old in such a way that it is a living document of a time and a place. That is what a writer needs to do: tell it to us in a way that we can see, hear, feel, taste, smell, touch. Take us there, bring us back, help us understand where you are and get us to join you there. Mr Hijuelos' The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love is indeed a classic novel that achieve's all of this and more. His style is detailed, abundant and even indulgent, as if he is sitting at the table and can't help but heap upon his plate more of the great cuban food and rum, or play the album one more time or tell the story of a long lost love just one more time. It is a painful story of leaving those you love behind you, to, ' Make it ' in America. The price we pay for love, success, expression. An aching world of yearning for possibilities in the big city and finding that the politics of success are just as important as the talent it takes to get you there. There is a major motion picture that hints at the characters & may help to familiarize the situations, but it should lead you directly to the prose.I recently interviewed Miles Perlich, a radio host aficionado of latin jazz & couldn't help but mention Oscar Hijuelos and Mambo Kings during the interview, as it is a great reference to the period, the art, the world of latin jazz.

   © Andrew Moore, Courtesy of the Artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery ANTON'S BOOKS  

If you have not read Mambo Kings, put it on your list. Mr Hijuelos's use or employment of the asterisk is used so often and so indulgently, that it probably surprised publishers and readers. Not unlike the way that Cubans, in a heated conversation, will often digress into an explanation of a term, an idea or a phrase. The asterisk does just that, with a side story peppered here and there throughout.  I found the device to be clever, funny and spot-on regarding the immigrant experience, where, just about every cultural detail needs a bit of explaining to whoever is listening. I have learned directly from my contemporary mentors in literature: Raymond Carver for honesty, Richard Russo for overall structure,  Joyce Carol Oates for descriptive detail,  Jack Kerouac for spiritual inspiration,  George Sand for a sort of defiance,  Hunter S. Thompson for insanity, Sherman Alexie for heritage, William Kennedy for cultural truth, Charles Bukowski for simplicity, Alice Walker for patient plotting, but no one artist has taught me more about passion on the page, than Mr. Hijuelos & Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love. As a writer, as a reader, I can honestly say that I love the afore mentioned writers. There is a long list of performers, writers, directors, artists, architects, photographers and philosophers that I could compose, but these are the writers that come to mind. While recently creating a new novel, by simply writing a chapter a day for three weeks straight and publishing each chapter, each day, these were the writers that came to mind. The project is entitled, " They Call it The City of Angels ". I owe a simple thank you to them all. As for my longterm project, inspired by Mr Hijuelos, that is an altogether different type of work and there will be a thank you within the pages of its publication. Until then, Gracias* Oscar  Hijuelos.  

* Gracias means Thank You in Spanish a Derivation of Gracious / gracious |ˈgrāSHəs| adjective 1. courteous, kind, and    pleasant: 2. showing divine grace: 3. a polite epithet used of royalty or their acts: the accession of Her gracious Majesty.




Review By Joshua A. TRILIEGI  / BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE Magazine

Most music fans know who John Coltrane is and what he did for jazz music, for saxophone players and new music spirituality . What you may not be aware of is that John Coltrane & his version of ' My Favorite Things ' in Nineteen-Sixty-Five helped to create an entire label that went onto reinvent and support a bevy of new jazz artists . The impulse label, which was originally fueled by funds from ABC & hits by Ray Charles, such as, One Mint Julep, went on to become a leading label with an original look, style and feel. Album covers that opened up & told a story with extended liner notes, helping to create a dialogue and intellectual take on a lot of great new music that helped to fuel new jazz movements.

The story of Impulse records is an interesting one. Ashley Kahn' s research, phrasing style and flashback, flash forward writing, suits the subject well. Plenty of photographs, samples of albums and an incredibly thorough discography with just about every album, release date & important phase the label went through. Mr. Kahn has written extensively on Jazz with his books on Miles Davis as well as Coltrane' s infamous Love Supreme.  Sonny Rollins, Chico Hamilton, Yusuf Lateef, Elvin Jones, Tom Scott, Charlie Mingus, Coleman Hawkins and Pharoah Sanders are just a few of the artists that followed Coltrane on Impulse and also honored him with nods to his influence, musically, technically and sometimes simply naming their songs after some type of Coltrane influence. Kahn is like a cool daddy professor who simply loves the music, the vibe, the history of jazz so much, that the reader, his students, soon find themselves steeped in fun facts that make up what we call jazz. From the inception of tunes, recording, players, dates and places, all bases are covered in this comprehensive jazz companion . From the time John Coltrane came to the label and into his leaving the planet. The story reveals itself as important and informative . Alice Coltrane picks up the mantle and carries it into the present time. 

As the book reveals in Chapter six, "Died" is not in Alice Coltrane' s vocabulary. You got that right. John Coltrane left. But with Impulse, his legacy, his fans, his family & books such as this one, as well as Kahn' s other works, the Coltrane legend is indeed alive and well. Highly suggested for those who wish to learn more about this great contributor to jazz music and the vocabulary of great American Arts. With titles such as A Love Supreme, Ascension, Om and Cosmic Music, Coltrane completely transformed jazz into a totally spiritual idea. From 1962, until his untimely passing , Coltrane recorded albums and songs that have yet to be resolved, understood or entirely digested by any particular critic, audience or movement. He was exorcising his demons, inviting in his angels and taking what we considered as a pastime into a full on religious experience. The jazz solo is never the same after John Coltrane, neither are we. This is a good companion to that legacy. And to a very important Jazz Music Label.  

JACK   KEROUAC                                                                                                                 ©ARTIST  : LAUTIR 

The Essential Readers List

When the legend looms larger than the artistic expression, be it, Art, Music, Dance, or in this case Literature, Houston, we have a problem, as the saying goes. With Jack Kerouac, and say, Shakespeare this is one of the obstacles. Kerouac was a very real person. Just a guy, a very regular dude, who loved sports, reading the newspapers, cats, girls, America and having some fun. As many people know, he also loved Jazz, Cars, Artists & historical facts. His opus is, "On The Road."  But there is so much more in the canon. For beginners, it is always safe to start at the beginning with, "The Town and The City."   There are also great everyday musings in The Selected Letters Volume One and Two. These are actually my favorites because the books document the highs and lows, the everyday hustle and bustle, the championships and the defeats, the fights among outsiders and his brawls and fallouts with many of his pals such as Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, Carl Soloman, Malcolm Cowley, John Clellon Holmes, Phillip Whalen, Peter Orlovsky and of course his extremely important relationship with Neil Cassady and Cassidy's extended families. Edited by Ann Charters on Penguin Books. Also by Ann Charters is The Portable Beat Reader on Penguin & The Portable Jack Kerouac. Both are fine reading and good gifts for someone curious about beats. We were so impressed with these letters, obsessed really, that it led to creating two entire feature films with thirty different directors each interpreting their own take on the Letters of interesting individuals. LETTERS of The Underground Volume One in 2002 and Volume Two in 2007. Both projects were in connection with a non profit film festival's experimental director's program. Letters are such an intimate and wonderful lost art. Many people have no idea how important the letter is and has been for writers. John Steinbeck wrote a daily letter to his Agent and or Publisher as a warmer - upper, describing the chapters he was working on for East of Eden. When he felt that the oven of creativity was preheated, he tossed in a clean sheet of paper and began the arduous work of creating the work of that day. The letter is often the work out, stretching session prior to the run. In the case of Jack Kerouac, it is also a chance to realize how messy & challenging life as an artist can be. Many of his letters to Sterling Lord, his agent, are very helpful for those intending to learn about how things were, back in the day. We also suggest, Good Blonde & Others on Grey Fox press. Its got some very basic, everyday musings that will surprise even the more conservative readers. Lots of nuggets on writers, essays to news - papers, observations, essays on writing, on sports, on the Beats & On The Road. It is edited by Donald Allen with an Introduction by Robert Creeley. Also out more recently is the Original Scroll of Kerouac's pinnacle, On The Road on Viking Press . We picked up a copy recently & plan diving into it soon. It is an unedited first draft of the opus work. The jacket sleeve tells us that it is ' rougher, wilder & more sexually explicit. It looks to be a very interesting Season. 


When I tell people that I am half Irish, it's a bit of a wise tale, a touch of the blarney, a tad stretching of the facts. With a name like Joshua Triliegi, you figure, Jewish - Italian and you are correct. Though, I was raised by an Irishman from the time I was 6 months old, so nobody's ever gonna tell me that I'm not a mick. What does it mean to be Irish ? Well, it means we've got a touch of the magic. We root for the underdog. We can spin a good yarn and we always go down fightin'. My old man was from The Kennedy + Flynn Tribe. He had that twinkle in his eye, the charm of a Clark Gable, the humor of a Frederick March, the soul of a Van Morrison, Yeah. He's no longer with us, but his favorite books remain. I have been rereading his favorite authors and this is as good a time as any to share with our readers the books of William Kennedy, specifically: The First three in The Albany Series: LEGS, Billy Phelans Greatest Game and the heartbreaking, Ironweed, which is also a film. My old man would sit and read these books late into the night. They are somehow crafted, not for your comfort, but to the loyalty of a historical time and place. Immediately, you are dropped into a world, that is thick with characters, situations and a pungent, living, breathing reality with a trusty narrator, often looking back upon a piece of history. 

They are re-readable stories, the kind you will return to every few years. Reading LEGS at twenty one, and again at 3o and still again recently, is a different experience each time. The characters are alive with a dense color and a time and place in America that is currently being reflected on in shows like Boardwalk Empire. Kennedy's Books make you work a little to get inside, but once you are there, It is a whole world that seems much more interesting than the one your living in now. Historically colored, but not exacting in facts. He took real life characters and made them his own. It's easy to get into LEGS, a little more challenging to read Billy Phelans Best Game and, its downright heartbreaking to  deal with Ironweed, which I must confess, I have never read. But I will, when I am damn good and ready. I have seen the film, which is well done: Streep and Nicholson doing their thing. Since it is St Patricks time, enjoy the good Irish literature, the good Irish music, the good Irish other stuff, theres plenty of it. A lovely people with a mythical view on life and love. Certainly, having an Irish dad has been the biggest influence on me, my literature, my style and my very, very lucky life.


QUOTE: "One of the dangers you have to guard against as a novelist is repeating things you're deemed to have done well in the past, just for the security of repeating them. I've been praised in the past for my unreliable, self-deceiving, emotionally restrained narrators. You could almost say at one stage that was seen as my trademark. But I have to be careful not to confuse my narrators with my own identity as a writer. It's so easy, in all walks of life, to get trapped into a corner by things that once earned you praise and esteem."

New NOVEL: "Buried Giant"
AWARDS: The Man Booker
for "Remains of The Day" 1989
GRANTA Best Young Novelists 1983
The White Bread Prize for
"An Artist of the Floating World" 1986
Chevalier de L'Ordre des Artes et des Lettres 1998
DEGREE: Masters in Creative Writing 1980
Kent and The University of East Anglia
BORN: 1954 Nagasaki, JapanRAISED: United Kingdom
INFLUENCES: Yasujiro Ozu
NOVELS: A Pale View of Hills (1982)
An Artist of the Floating World (1986)
The Remains of the Day (1989)
The Unconsoled (1995)
When We Were Orphans (2000)
Never Let Me Go (2005)
The Buried Giant (2015)


BUREAU Editor Joshua Triliegi Interviews Michelle Arbeau on The Ancient Art of Numerology

JT: Numerology is a rather ancient and esoteric art, but anybody who has spent time with a good Numerologist and had a reading would be hard pressed to deny the accuracy. Would  you explain the history of this particular science and explain what attracted you to it ? 

MA: Numerology is the language of the universe. Everything in existence can be counted, sorted or measured using numbers. It was originally discovered by the Greek Mathematician and philosopher, Pythagoras who of course is famous for the Pythagorean Theorem. Unlike other esoteric arts like tarot and astrology, numerology is highly accurate because it's more quantum physics than metaphysics. Numbers are patterns and the world is made up of patterns. It's black and white, right or wrong. I fell in love with numbers and numerology about 12 years ago when I began dreaming in numbers out of the blue. I was a typical corporate stiff at the time, working unhappily in the field of banking for a major bank in Canada doing HR work (interviews/hiring). These dreams totally caught me off guard but in hindsight I realized numerology was my calling because I always had a photographic memory for numbers. My dreams would have numbers show up on things like doors, license plates and street signs – everywhere and on everything. The dreams lasted for about 3 weeks until I began to research the number codes and stumbled upon numerology. They number meanings were exact answers to the challenges I was facing in my life at the time. I was astounded and was immediately hooked on the ancient system. To this day (knock on wood) I have not had anyone not resonate with their numerical code. I often refer to our date of birth as spiritual DNA.

BUREAU:Many people see numbers and numerals as un-living entities with no significance, though others understand that everything has a vibe, a rhythm, a pulse and tone. I think musicians that compose understand that significance, would you help our readers comprehend the concept of numerology. 

MA: Numbers are absolutely entities to me. I'm a very practical person who likes a great deal of fact with my faith but I can tell you without a doubt that numerology is a way to see the unseen world of energy. Quantum physics has really given a lot of validity to numerology over the past several years with the new string theory concept. The essence behind this theory is that at the base of an atom, which was once thought to be solid matter is actually frozen light particles (aka energy). Numerology is a tool to see the unseen, recognize the patterns that make up all things. Math is either right or wrong, there is no grey area. They are the mathematical framework of creation. Numbers appear even in biblical scriptures and in the Mayan history. Each number is building block and can be likened to a musical note within a song. Each note makes a piece of the entire melody. To know someone' s numerical makeup is to have a looking glass into what makes them tick – who they are and how to relate to them. As a numerologist, I'm always curious to find out the numbers of the people I meet because it allows me to adjust how I communicate and interact with them. I can be found scribbling numbers on a napkin at a restaurant. I know immediately what that person is all about and we have a deeper, strong connection because of it. Life boils down to the relationships we have with others and if we have a tool like numerology that can help us connect better, that's a win-win to me.

JT: I was recently moving and had to pick and choose which books I would leave behind and which to keep, one of the books was a rare early numerology handbook form decades past: I kept it. Walk us through a small numerology exercise as an example. Utilize my birthday if you like. 

MA: It sounds like you're a numbers person if you felt drawn to keep the numerology book. I find that certain kinds of people are drawn more to the numbers than others. The mind plane dominate folks are usually the ones that are keen on the numbers while the more soul-centered people don't jive as much. Life is about perception. I find that it depends on whether you're predominately a thinker, feeler or doer. Spirit will speak to us and get the message across in the way we'll most pay attention and for me it's numerical patterns. Your date of birth is an interesting one because your base energy (sum of your date of birth) is a physical-based number (4) but your chart energy is very top heavy in the emotional and mental realms. Essentially you're the practical doer but you're lacking grounding energy which means you spend a good deal of your time in lost in thought or sorting through the emotional realm. If you could envision our energy as being this huge head/heart with a little, tiny stick body – that would be your energetic body. You have the Arrow of Emotional Balance which makes you the natural counselor for others but not necessarily great at navigating through your own emotional waters. You express yourself much better in writing than you do verbally because you have a single 1 (verbal self-expression number). This isn't to say you can't kick butt public speaking but when it comes to sharing of your more intimate self, that's where the disconnect happens. You are much more open and present on paper (don't close up). You also have the gift of the communication number so anything you do will center around communication and getting the message across. If you add your month and day it shows you what your gift is. It's a 10 for you, the earth guide who leads through casual conversation. This is a big year for you, a year of opportunities falling into your lap. It's starting a high change cycle for the next 3 years. You're also in an outer, longer cycle centered around career/career shifting (Peak cycle of 5). I left the corporate world to do what I do now under a double whammy 5 energy (personal year of 5, peak cycle of 5). 5 is always related to seeing more clearly our path and purpose.

JT: Could you give us an example of how numerology could transform or improve a particular situation ? 

Numerology has been such an incredible tool for me to understand the difficult relationships in my life. Often relationship challenges are a result of miscommunication or misunderstanding. Think of the classic nagging wife and tuned out husband who says “Yes, dear.” They are simply a case of being misunderstood. If you were to examine their situation, you would discover that the wife is simply a predominately mental or intellectual based person who tends to over-think or over-analyze. The husband on the other hand is a physical based person who doesn't put much thought into what he does, he just does it. Each thinks the other doesn't understand them or is directly trying to hurt them in some way. The truth is, it's just a matter of not speaking each others' language. Once the husband knows the wife gets caught up in her own thoughts, he can offer to go for a walk with her to help her get out of her head. Likewise, the wife, knowing the husband isn't ignoring her, he just tunes out when she gets into over-thinking mode can appreciate he feels overwhelmed by her chaotic thinking. Each has much more patience and understanding for each other once they know their inner workings by examining their spiritual DNA.

JT: There have been some stigmas attached to certain ancient arts, sometimes because they have been 
misused, other times simply out of fear or misunderstanding the purpose of these arts. Could you talk 
a bit about how you see the self empowerment aspect of this ancient art ? 

MA: The best thing I ever did for my platform to take the science of numerology mainstream in the media is to keep it practical and in the realm of science. I was able to get onto national Canadian media such as CTV Morning Live and Breakfast Television which are huge conservative media outlets. They typically wouldn't even consider having someone like me on air but I was able to bridge the gap between science and spirituality. I call it practical spirituality. We live real lives and don't have time to meditate on a mountaintop. Numerology is a quick and easy way to see the unseen. I always approach numerology from the practical, scientific and logical point of view. I think I'm giving a new voice to this ancient art because people aren't afraid of how I present the numbers. I had a near death experience when I was 4 and although I'm a really practical person, I've seen both sides of life and I know without a doubt there is an energetic component to our existence. I use this knowledge and apply it to how I share the art of numerology. Most people automatically know what astrology is but when you say numerology, not everyone knows what that is. Numbers have become a hot item these days with so many people seeing random repeating number sequences. It's a phenomenon and I'm so excited to be the one to share the ancient art of numerology with the world. To be able to show them how incredibly accurate and truth-revealing it can be is very rewarding. My job is to give ah-ha moments. I'm a truth-revealer at my core. A natural scientist. The timing couldn't be more perfect for me to embrace my calling.                    

 Visit with Michelle Arbeau and check out her books and workshops currently available at her site.


          BUREAU  BOOKS :  







PARIS                     :  SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY




The Letters of Jack KEROUAC / Readers List: Part One

When the legend looms larger than the artistic expression, be it, Art, Music, Dance, or in his case Literature, 'Huston, we have a problem', as the saying goes. With Jack Kerouac, and say, Shakespeare this is one of the obstacles. Kerouac was a very real person. Just a guy, a very regular dude, who loved sports, reading the newspapers, cats, girls, America and Having some fun. As many people know, he also loved Jazz, Cars, Artists & historical facts. His opus is On The Road. But there is so much more in the canon. For beginners, it is always safe to start at the beginning with The Town and The City. There are also great everyday musings in The Selected Letters Volume One and Two. These are actually my favorites because The LETTERS document the highs and lows, the everyday hustle and bustle, the championships and the defeats, the fights among outsiders and his brawls and fallouts with many of his pals such as Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, Carl Soloman, Malcolm Cowley, John Clellon Holmes, Phillip Whalen, Peter Orlovsky and of course his extremely important relationship with Neil Cassady and Cassidy's extended families. Edited by Ann Charters at Penguin Books. Also by Ann Charters is The Portable Beat Reader on Penguin &The Portable Jack Kerouac. Both are fine reading and good gifts for someone curious about beats. We were so impressed with these letters, obsessed really, that it led to creating two feature films with thirty different directors each interpreting their own take on the Letters of artistic individuals. Titled LETTERS of The Underground Volume One in 2002, Volume Two in 2007. Both film projects were created in connection with a non profit film festival's experimental director's program. Letters are such an intimate and wonderful lost art. Many people have no idea how important the letter is and has been for writers. John Steinbeck wrote a daily letter to his Agent and or Publisher as a warmer - upper, describing the chapters he was working on for East of Eden. When he felt that the oven of creativity was preheated, he tossed in a clean sheet of paper and began the arduous work of creating the work of that day. The letter is often the work out / stretching session prior to the run. In the case of Jack Kerouac, it is also a chance to realize how messy & challenging life as an artist can be. Many of his letters to his agent are very helpful for those intending to learn about how things were, back in the day. We also suggest, Good Blonde & Others on Grey Fox press. Its got some very basic, everyday musings that will surprise even the more conservative readers. Lots of nuggets on writers, essays to newspapers, observations, essays on writing, on sports, on the Beats and On The Road. The book is edited by Donald Allen with an Introduction by Robert Creeley. Also out, more recently, is the Original Scroll of Kerouac's pinnacle, On The Road on Viking Press . We picked up a copy recently and plan diving into it soon. It is an unedited first draft of the opus work. The inside jacket sleeve explains that this new unedited version is, ' … rougher, wilder and more sexually explicit than the published version. Oh my, It looks to be a very interesting Year.



       Tony Fitzpatrick is a Chicago based Artist and Author with a keen sense 
       of style.  Utilizing  multi  media  collage to describe his narratives and     
       imagery culled from a wide variety of ephemera, including matchbooks,  
       wall paper, discarded elements  of paper, painting & drawing. We talked 
       with Tony about his book, " This  Train "  and  a  multitude  of  subjects: 
       Art, America, Influences and the City that he lives in & loves: Chicago.

       " I love taking things that have been discarded and that are detritus 
       and giving them a second definition and making them  part  of  an   
       extended narrative or a bigger story."             -  Tony  Fitzpatrick

Fine Art Painting By Davis FeBland courtesy of The Artist and The George Billis Art Gallery




Review By Joshua A. TRILIEGI / BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE Magazine

Steeped in mythology, visually suggestive imagery & prayers 

of a previous time and place. An interesting anthology of Celtic 
symbols, storytelling and original seasonal rituals that harken 
back to the early centuries when trees were considered sacred. 
A sort of Calendar of Astrology as seen through the eyes of an 
Irish Shaman with the trees instead of the planets, telling the 
story . With a twinkle in her eye and a hand on the bark, 
Hidalgo tells the origin stores like a mystic priestess with respect 
and awe for the power of plants, vines, shrubs and trees. The 
Irish have always had a deep respect for nature, its basic symbolic 
phenomena and the reasons and seasons that bring these signs 
to earth . Rainbows, lightening, shillelaghs, runes and the mystic 
power they represent are but a few of the examples sited here. 

In this extremely thorough and imaginative book, we are treated 

to a series of stories, visualizations and a compendium of dates 
which represent the changing of the seasons and which trees and 
plants they represent. With explanations of holiday rituals such as 
Christmas, Halloween, The Day of Bread, May Day, Summer and 
Winter Solstice, Easter, The Day of The Dead, Harvest and Mabon. 
As well as a Lunar Calendar connecting the animals, plants and 
strengths of the moon. 

For instance, January 24th is the beginning of The Time of Willow: 

honoring the Bee, the Goddess, the Maiden, the Dove . Ms. Hidalgo 
goes deep into interpretation of each symbol and how and why it 
represents this particular season, ritual and the ideas behind it. 
Equally intellectual & elementary, it' s a good read for youngsters 
as well as the curious and well educated on the healing and mystic 
arts . For those on the ecological side, it' s a great reminder of how 
important trees are and a good tool for helping to teach others the 
need for preservation. This book honors the earth and it' s hidden 
healing qualities locked within the ancient powers that many believe 
reside within each and every living plant. Most common medicines 
originate from plants and trees. Herbs for cooking such as "... parsley, 
sage rosemary and thyme ..." all retain healing ingredients which also 
carry strong stories that reflect issues pertaining to seasons that 
challenge humans, be it, common colds or even some forms of cancer. 

With informative illustrations of trees, descriptions of their branches 

& leaves. Guided meditations, healing imagery and little know facts 
such as there are actually thirteen moon cycles in a year. In writing 
this workbook, Ms Hidalgo discovered that she was able to heal, 
teach and provide a knowledge that was beyond anything she had 
experienced prior to this time in her life. Perhaps you too will 
some hidden quality within . Meanwhile, you will surely learn a 
bundle of new facts about trees and their mythology. An easy read 
that can be reviewed on a monthly basis & used almost as a calendar 
of learning, if not an interesting viewpoint that suggests that humans 
and trees have had a much deeper relationship than us moderns have 
been recently led to believe . 




Review By Joshua A. TRILIEGI / BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE Magazine

Most music fans know who John Coltrane is and what he did for jazz music, for saxophone players and new music spirituality . What you may not be aware of is that John Coltrane & his version of My Favorite Things in 1960s helped  to create an entire label that went onto reinvent and support a bevy of new jazz artists . The impulse label, which was originally fueled by funds from ABC and hits by Ray Charles such as, One Mint Julep, went on to become a leading label with an original look, style and feel. Album covers that opened up and told a story with extended liner notes, helping to create a dialogue and intellectual take on a lot of great new music that helped to fuel new jazz movements. 

The story of Impulse records is an interesting one. Ashley Kahn's research, his  writing style, with a flash - back / flash - forward motif, suits the subject well. Plenty of photographs, samples of albums and an incredibly thorough discography with just about every album, release date & important phase the label went through. Mr. Kahn has written extensively on Jazz with his other books on Miles Davis & Coltrane' s infamous Love Supreme . Sonny Rollins, Chico Hamilton, Yusuf  Lateef, Elvin Jones, Tom Scott, Charlie Mingus, Coleman Hawkins and Pharoah Sanders are just a few of the artists that followed Coltrane on Impulse. Often honoring him, his massive influence, musically, technically and often naming songs after some type of John Coltrane motif. 

Kahn is like a cool daddy professor who simply loves the music, the vibe, the history of jazz so much, that the reader, his students, soon find themselves steeped in fun facts that make up what we call jazz. From the inception of tunes, recording, players, dates and places, all bases are covered in this comprehensive jazz companion . Covering the period from the time John Coltrane came to the label and into his leaving the planet. The story reveals itself as important and informative . Alice Coltrane picks up the mantle and carries it into the present time. 

As the book reveals in Chapter six, 'Died' is not in Alice Coltrane' s vocabulary .You got that right. John Coltrane left. But with Impulse, his legacy, his fans, his family and books such as this one as well as Kahn' s other works, the Coltrane legend is indeed alive and well. Highly suggested for those who wish to learn more about this great contributor to the jazz music and vocabulary of great American Arts. With titles such as A Love Supreme, Ascension, Om and Cosmic Music, Coltrane completely transformed jazz into a totally spiritual idea . From the early until his untimely passing , Coltrane recorded albums and songs that have yet to be resolved, understood or entirely digested by any particular critic, audience or movement. He was exorcising his demons, inviting in his angels and taking what we considered as a pastime into a full on religious experience. The jazz solo is never the same after John Coltrane, neither are we. This is a good companion to that legacy and to an important Jazz Music Label. 













An Electronic Interactive Version of  BUREAU of Arts and Culture Magazine. 'Electronic' meaning you are reading it with a device, 'Interactive' meaning you can actually tap the featured interview or image & listen to extended Audio Interviews & Links. BUREAU Magazine can be read without being on-line, though it is much more useful and interesting if you are actually on-line or you may visit our website and enjoy a compendium of Interviews, Articles, Reviews and Essays. We suggest you view the pdf in the Two Page and Full Screen Mode options which are provided at the top of your menu bar under the VIEW section, simply choose Two Page Layout & Full Screen to enjoy. This  format  allows  for  The Magazine to be read as a Paper  Edition. The BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE has been a respected ART Institute since the early Nineteen Nineties. Many of the original BUREAU members have gone on to have stellar careers in The ARTS. Artists, Filmmakers, Musicians such as: Lucas Reiner, Spike Jonze, Alex McDowell, Martin Durazo,  James Gabbard, Christina Habberstock, Lorna Stovall, Heather Van Haaften, Chris Greco, Don Harger, Ron Riehel, Joan Schulze  all had very early collaborations with The BUREAU Projects. Our relationship with ART spaces who have been interviewed / reviewed by BUREAU: Jack Rutberg, Susanne Vielmetter, Tobey C. Moss, Shoshana Wayne, Known Gallery, Sabina Lee, The Bowers Museum, The Geffen Contemporary,  Hammer Museum, RED CAT, The Skirball Cultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Art in L A, San Diego and in Santa Barbara help to create well earned future partnerships, distribution as well as a 'word of mouth' that is priceless. Collectively, they have been in the business for hundreds of years. Not to mention the thousands of public readers that have received the magazine on their door steps. Our coverage of the MIAMI Art Fairs with in depth audio & slide presentations allow us to create a lasting relationship with the ' National Big Tent ' art events that allow for fundraising activity. We recently interviewed the Grammy Museum and are creating a lasting relationship. The same pattern applies for THEATER: Edgemar, LATC, Circle Theater, Cygnet, Robey.  MUSIC : The Echo, The Redwood, The Roxy, Grammy Museum, Origami, Vacation, Record Collector, LA Philharmonic & The San Francisco Philharmonic. BUREAU has created relationships with Film, Music and Art festivals, National & Local Radio Stations, continuing the tradition created with BUREAU Film projects and the utilization of Print, Radio and Web to facilitate publicity, fundraising & awareness. Triliegi Film programs were discussed on KCRW 89.9, KPFK 90.7 and Indie 103 FM  within the non profit umbrella in the past and we plan to sustain & develop those ties. We were invited to Cumulus Radio's Commercial Rock Formatted KLOS 95.5 FM [ Bureau mentioned on air] to consider an affiliation.  We recently interviewed Miles Perlich of KJAZZ 88.1 FM and we were given tickets to Classical Music concerts by K-MOZART Radio & we invited a guest reviewer to attend. The BUREAU of Arts and Culture Magazine will continue to create a lasting relationship with the Art Institutes, Media & Schools that drive the Arts in America. We distributed Paper Editions to OTIS Art School & The Campus at USC to support alignments with faculty, staff & students who will become future entrepreneurs & participants in the Arts. Our upcoming interview with Barbara Morrison and her connection with UCLA Jazz music department with Herbie Hancock & The Thelonius Monk Institute is solid.We delivered the first edition of the magazines to: Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes, West Hollywood, Los Feliz, Malibu and The beach communities: Hermosa, Redondo & Manhattan beaches. We received financial support from the arts & culture communities by creating a dialog about the arts, reviewing their art exhibitions, theater plays & films. Art Galleries from Culver City to Bergamot Station to Glendale approved of and supported Edition One. Now we have an online READERSHIP that grows exponentially. BUREAU sites in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara, New York City and very soon Seattle, allow for anyone, anywhere, to see what is going on in the arts in that particular city. Which we feel will allow for us to apply for support, distribution and grants within those particular cities and for local businesses to buy ads. We add new cities quite often and create a lasting relationship with the established Arts Foundations in ART, MUSIC, THEATER. Which usually includes Classical music, Art Galleries, live Theater and Film. We added Surfing , Skateboarding and Biking to get the interest of a younger readership and indeed it worked. We have also celebrated those subjects with our fundraisers, selling artworks in relation to Biking & Skatng. We partnered with local & national businesses that assisted & we provided logo affiliation & coverage on the web: Chrome Bags, Jarrittos, LA Skate, DTLA Bikes and The Los Angeles Bikers coalition, to name a few. Older Established Artists from diverse cultures also participate in the BUREAU of Arts and Culture Exhibitions and Interviews. We brought together Native American, African American, Chinese American, Armenian American and Mexican American elder artists in a single exhibition: a financial as well as critical success with "Gathering The Tribes: Part One". We hand delivered the first paper Edition throughout Southern California and select neighborhoods in San Francisco. We introduced the magazine & created Popular Cultural Sites. We are an official media Sponsor for L A Art Fair & PHOTO LA Photo Fair. We extensively cover and or interview galleries at Art Fairs such as, Platform LA, Pulse LA, Untitled Art, Basel Miami, Art Miami, Miami Project,  LA Art Book Fair. We provide an extensive overview, Audio walk throughs, visual presentations with 100+ images per on-line feature. If that doesn't convince you, nothing ever will.