Welcome to JACK Magazine

JACK Magazine, edited by Mary Sands and Michael Rothenberg, is an offshoot of Beat Generation News and an arc to the Big Bridge. It's where the parameters of the Beat Generation are redefined and expanded to embrace a creative movement that goes beyond personality wedged in temporal categories and public relations concepts. JACK will ponder emanations and movements in modern literature and art that have been operating and vital since before the turn of the 20th century but eclipsed by the "Beat movement," such as Post-Apocalyptic Romanticism, Psychedelic Shamanism, Green-Pea Soupism and Biannual Surrealism, Cannabis Mumbo Gumbo, Burroughsian Utopianism, San Francisco Renaissance Poetry, Modern Urban Thoreauism and Forest Beatnikism, Black Mountain Poetry, and Language School Poetry—all creative phenomena that inform, as well as are informed by, what is popularly know as "Beat."

Tom Wolfe put it well: ...the notion that A in the past caused B in the present, which will cause C in the future, when actually A, B, and C are all part of a pattern that can be truly understood only by opening the doors of perception and experiencing it...in this moment..this supreme moment...

Jonathan Kane, Composition with Plums

Maximalism and Minimalism: Key to JACK's Mind

"Maximalism" is applicable to Ira Cohen and William Burroughs—the tendency to examine a more simplified, physical reality like the entire continent of India or a Persian tapestry, multimedia pre-deconstruction Romanticism; it is natural in the way that a opium dream is natural. It is not a white room, or Japanese mind-breath-space, or passion reduced to an intellectual abstraction, as in Minimalism; it is perpetuated in the post-Hiroshima, post-apocalyptic holocaust nightmares of the times. It is not theoretical. Maximalism, like in works of Cohen and Burroughs, though fragmented, remains multi-faceted and visceral. It is not Post-Modernism, which is an abstraction. It is not Deconstruction, which is an abstraction. It is not Minimalism, which is an abstraction. It is everything at once: in the broadest sense, both "minimal" and "maximal" are the same. The bamboo leaf and hummingbird are as maximal as a tattooed billboard on the freeway to "The Garden of Earthly Delights." But it seems that an effort to de-romanticize and de-materialize the academic theoreticians of many new tendencies in art and poetry has created a more faceted and more romantic abstraction that complicates and encourages attachment and materialism in exact contradiction to their stated goals and philosophy. Because what we have as it is, is as simple as it gets. We mustn't simply say that minimalism is the only fruit of what has been known as Beat. We must also consider maximalism, the legacy of those like Burroughs—an example because he is considered a Beat, and so very "unbeat" in all the obvious ways—and other artists like Brion Gysin and Ira Cohen, who gobbled up phenomena whole, maybe rearranged it, cut it up, created Mylar chambers and kaleidoscopic contraptions for re-envisioning and distancing themselves from the stranglehold of their own heartbeat, only to get closer to the beat, to get a grip on the rhythm of chaos and breath—who ran the culture with a cosmic plunger, atom bombs, Dachau, Vietnam, and strychnine, through their blood streams, in the footsteps of geniuses like Edgar Allan Poe, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Lautremont, because they make the present whole. When we look around and see all the efforts of younger artists trying to duplicate or reconstruct the dream with only the resources available in reprint, of only the more popular beats, and hardly any of the prototypes, like Ira Cohen, we see how helpless we have become. It is important for us to fill in the blanks and add Maximalism documentation and resources to the record for those willing to take their work seriously. That way, the younger artists can get on with their work at a richer and more informed level. This is not just archiving, this is restoring the unconscious to a status of new possibilities.

What You'll Find in JACK Magazine

JACK includes original works by cutting-edge artists who continue in the tradition of small press literary magazines that understood art as an essential ingredient in the primordial community of world culture. You'll find:

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 All works herein are copyrighted by their respective authors and artists. No work may be reprinted, reproduced, distributed, or copied without written permissions from its owner.

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