www.4DBios.com

MUSICIANS - EURO-AMERICAN TROUBADOURS, MESSIAHS, SINGERS &SONGWRITERS - DYLANS & POES


PATHWAY OF THE POET AS DUALISTIC MESSIAH:
Storyline: The shy megalomaniac submits himself to virtual lifelong public scrutiny, after many a go-round of deliberate obscurity to see how the pressures of feeding into a bottomless appetite for celebrity would affect his sharp shaman’s tongue.

Bob Dylan (Robert Allan Zimmerman) (1941) - American songwriter and poet. Outer: Of Russian and Lithuanian Jewish descent, with both sets of grandparents emigrating to America. Father worked for Standard Oil, but contracted polio, and the family moved to Hibbing, Minnesota, living with his sire’s mother, where the former owned an appliance store. Also has one younger brother. Both parents were musical, and he taught himself to play piano, guitar and harmonica while leading several high school bands, beginning with the Golden Chords, although never learned to read music. Briefly went to the Univ. of Minnesota, but spent most of his time in the folk-music circle of Minneapolis before heading for NYC as a teenager to seek his fortune as a folksinger. Found himself easily accepted into the Greenwich Village folk scene, and just as quickly reinvented himself, changing his last name to Dylan in honor of poet Dylan Thomas (Shannon Hoon) and reimagining his past as an orphan, hobo and carnival freak.5’7 1/2”, and slim with blue eyes and dark brown hair. Strongly influenced by Woody Guthrie, whom he visited in a hospital while he was dying of Huntington’s disease. His haunting melodies and complex lyrics made up for his thin voice, and he achieved extraordinary success very quickly in the early 1960s, as the troubadour of his generation, with a mix of protest songs and ballads that were covered by many artists. Had a brief affair with folksinger Joan Baez, while maintaining an enigmatic public persona. His switch to electric music from acoustic at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 alienated many earlier fans, but opened him up to a larger audience. A heavy smoker and alcohol-imbiber, as well as amphetamine user, he initially had problems of self-worth, despite huge mass acceptance. Also found himself pursued and stalked relentlessly, to add to his general discomfort with himself. After expressing a desire to stop touring, he was injured in a motorcycle accident in his mid-20s, and ceased recording for 2 years. Returned with 2 albums done in a country vein and a more mellifluous singing style which he claimed was due to giving up smoking, although he did not tour again for another 8 years. Married a model, Sara Lowndes, in his mid-20s, divorced after 12 years, 3 sons and a daughter, as well as a stepchild from the union. His progeny Jakob Dylan went on to become a noted musician, while Jesse Dylan became a producer and director. His wife inspired 2 of his albums, on meeting her, "Blonde on Blonde," and divorcing her, "Blood on the Tracks." Fashioned a couple of pretentious over-indulgent films, while also making his mainstream debut in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, playing a character named Alias. Also published a book of poetry. Had a brief flirtation with Christianity in his 40s, thanks to the influence of a variety of black back-up singers, who would serve as his later life inamoratas, before reclaiming his Jewish heritage. Also a primitive artist, a venue of expression he has continued to explore. Maintains a Malibu residence as his primary home, with a variety of others, totaling a dozen. Had a 17 year common-law relationship with Ruth Tyrangiel, and wound up paying her alimony after their break-up in 1991. In his mid-50s, he released his most critically acclaimed album in 20 years, "Time out of Mind," and began touring again in small venues, then had a near-death bout with histoplasmosis, a lung infection. Spent the next two decades on the road around the globe, in what was called “the Never-Ending Tour,” while living a largely gypsy existence, in a giant customized bus, with his band traveling separately. Secretly wed in 1986 to Carolyn Dennis, a former back-up singer, one daughter, Desi, also a singer, from the union, which ended in divorce in 1992. Rumors have also abounded that he has more daughters, by more back-up singers. Inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991. Bemoaned the crippling effects of fame on his larger development, although unconsciously sought it just to see its effects on him, while claiming in a TV interview he had sold his soul to the devil. Appeared in a Victoria’s Secret lingerie commercial in an odd counter/coda to a deliberately countercultural life, then published his well-received memoirs, “Chronicle: Volume One,” in 2004, although remained largely unrevealed through its informal illuminations. His later works would all be heavily blues-tinged, with his voice a deliberate instrument of aging, and his lyrics the product of a person who has found no answers, but remains a lonely and absurdist quester after a sense of the divine. In 2006, he decided to give himself a more public face by becoming a satellite radio DJ, with a playlist and musical commentary, and was rewarded later that year with his first #1 album in 30 years, “Modern Times,” only to be accused of lifting lyrics from an obscure 19th century American poet, Henry Timrod (John Crowe Ransom), although he was readily forgiven for the deception. Stiffly and unsmilingly received a Presidential Medal of Honor at the White House in 2012, while incongruously clad in sunglasses, to deflect his seeming discomfort with the honor. Still highly prolific in his 70s, both on the road and with his releases, which have ranged from pessimistic darkness and ruminations on aging to covers of pop standards by Frank Sinatra. The recipient of a host of honors, including various Hall of Fame inclusions, as well as the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, which received a mixed reaction from the world literary community for his not being a novelist, despite his enormous influence as a premiere wordsmith of his times. Took his time to publicly react as well, before acknowledging he was overwhelmed by the honor, but then told the Swedish Academy he would not go to Stockholm to accept the award because of other commitments. Finally accepted it at a private ceremony in the spring of 2017. Has a net worth of $80 million. Inner: Deliberately enigmatic, deeply intelligent with the ability to be beloved by large audiences, despite his own lack of ease in being a public idol. Distrusts acclaim and success, quiet and unassuming, with an obsession about security and privacy. Sly wit alternating with melancholic introspection, a dual figure still trying to integrate his inner and outer sense of love and acclaim. It-ain’t-me-babe lifetime dedicated to seeing how he would function under microscopic inspection, while struggling through his own ongoing feelings of lack of self-worth in his dualistic battle with his genius for self-expression and his ineptitude for self-love, as antidote for his earlier megalomania. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) - German philosopher. Outer: His family had been connected to the Lutheran church for 3 generations. Father was a Lutheran minister, mother was the daughter of a pastor. Oldest of 3, including a sister, Elisabeth (Sara Dylan). His sire died when he was 4, and may have been a victim of syphilis. The family moved afterwards, and he became a child prodigy, and was given a scholarship to a fashionable school, although early religious doubts precluded a clerical career. Suffered from nightmares, stomach pains and headaches his entire life. 5’8”, with dark hair and eventually sported a distinctive walrus mustache. Went to the Univ. of Bonn, studying philology, but was not attuned to academic discipline, and probably contracted syphilis while there. His brilliance and originality, however, were very self-evident. Deeply influenced by the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer (Martin Heidigger) and the music of Richard Wagner (Werner Herzog), whom he later championed and befriended. Also a talented piano player in his own right. In his mid-20s, he was made professor of classical philology at the Univ. of Basel. Suffered a severe horseback riding accident, which may have fed into his later instability. Posited the duality of Greek civilization through the Apollo/Dionysian myths of lunacy and clarity in his first major work. Felt that civilization’s main purpose was the creation of individual genius, leading to his later theories of the superman, which were ultimately distorted by the Nazis. Showed himself to be a severe critic of contemporary Germany via his essays, hoping to see its bourgeois complacency buried in torrents of blood and replaced with godlike heros. His friendship with Wagner and his wife Cosima (Joan Baez) became strained, then broken, through his realization of the former’s inherent decadence and sentimental return to Christianity. Became an anti-idealist, replacing the ideal of the hero, with that of the free spirit. His health deteriorated and he gave up his teaching post in 1879, to live on a pension and became a disconnected wanderer, seeking his own company more and more. Fell in love with writer Lou Andreas-Salome, in his late 30s, although she rejected him, before becoming the lover of poet Rainer Rilke (Jakob Dylan). Her rejection ended any sense of sociality on his part, and he also realized he would never create anything of note in Germany. Became a nonperson, traveling and threadbare, his works rejected, and his academic colleagues indifferent to his ideas. Had an ecstatic vision of the eternally recurring cycles of his/story, as an affirmation of suffering life. In his late 30s, he wrote Thus Spake Zarathustra, creating the ancient Persian prophet, and a former life of his, as his imaginary companion. Pronounced, ‘God is dead,’ as a prelude to a new enlightened humanity freed of past superstitions, as he explored ‘the will to power,’ which he felt drove humanity, although never quite completed the project. Continued writing, until his final breakdown in his mid-40s in the tertiary stage of syphilis, when he witnessed a man beating a horse, and fell victim of his own megalomania, he eventually diappeared completely inside his own ferocious mind, after becoming more and more identified with Dionysus. Spent time in 2 asylums, then was tended to by his mother and his sister until his vacant death from pneumonia 11 years later. During that time, his sister liked to dress him in a toga and position him in front of a window, as if he were about to address the masses with his brilliance, before going on to distort his works and ideas as a rabid anti-Semite, although as soon as he collapsed, his oeuvre became accepted, as was his position as one of the most original thinkers of the 19th century. Inner: Fiercely intelligent, with a unique grasp of ancient and modern society and all its dualities. Introverted, asocial, and yet kind and awkward, with a great unsatisfied hunger for love. Solitary, yet needy, spiritual, yet anti-religious, a host of contradictions, in keeping with his ongoing status as the voice of reasoned dualism. Felt himself an actor in the guise of a great man, while viewing society as a structured hierarchy with the many supporting the greatness of the few at the top. Wandering minstrel lifetime of enforced obscurity, allowing his brilliance to shine forth through the purity of his intellectual ideas and ideals, only to pay karmic recompense for his ongoing dualistic struggle with his own grandiose and depressive view of himself. Friedrich Holderlin (1770-1843) - German poet. Outer: From a long line of clergy and lay officials of the Protestant church. Father was manager of church properties and died 2 years after his only son’s birth. Probably the same quick-exiting sire in the 3 most recent go-rounds in this series. Also had a sister. His mother remarried the mayor of a nearby town. Had a sweet childhood imbued with the natural world, along with a warm, deeply pious family, although his mother continually admonished for his dreamy, poetic nature. Strongly attached to his stepfather, who died when he was 9. Brought up by his mother and grandmother. At 14, he entered the Protestant seminary to become a cleric, although he found its rigidity and discipline difficult, and he preferred his own fantasies of ideal Greek civilization. Engaged at 17, although felt himself too moody for marriage and broke it off 3 years later. At 18, he entered the Univ. of Tubingen, where he fostered the friendship of several future philosophers. Gained his degree, but did not want to be a country preacher, feeling himself far more the poet. His early works were far too abstract, although eventually he developed his own lyrical style. Began working as a private tutor, but the task proved depleting, despite his conscientiousness. Moved to Jena through the beneficence of his first employer, and became involved in the intellectual life of his times. Felt himself unable to compete in the rarified intellectual air, and began evincing a dislike for human contact. In his mid-20s, he took a tutoring job with a wealthy Frankfurt banker and fell in love with the latter’s wife, Susette (Sara Dylan). She inspired his poesy, and he was able to complete his one and only novel, Hyperion, with Susette as an idealized heroine. Dismissed 2 years later by his employer, because of his unhealthy infatuation with his wife. Moved again, living off earlier earnings, and tried to write a blank verse tragedy on the death of Empedocles, an earlier life of his. Completed most of his more memorable poems during a 3 year period around the turn of the 19th century. Moved from early Greece as subject matter to a personal view of Jesus. Tried to gain other tutoring work, but began suffering mental unbalance, including his first major bout with schizophrenia in his early 30s. Recovered to become a librarian, but deteriorated again, was taken to a clinic, released, and lived the last half of his life in the home of a carpenter, in an unconscious nod to his Jesus obsession. Became more and more depressive as he got older, taking on a sickly demeanor. Occasionally wrote simple verse during periods of lucidity. Most of his time was spent emptily wandering around his university town, where his pitiable figure was mocked by students. Died peacefully in his sleep, and did not achieve recognition for his work and thought until the WW I era. Inner: Morbid, melancholy, diffident, and dreamy. Martyr to his own sanity. Tried to reconcile his own sense of Christianity with the humanism of ancient Greece, seeing the resurrected figure of Dionysus as a prelude to Jesus. Payback lifetime of playing the public fool in order to balance out his ongoing sense of grandiosity and religious fervor. Simon Dach (1605-1659) - Prussian poet. Outer: Father was a court interpreter in Lithuania. Grew up poor, although received a good education before entering the University of Konigsburg, where he studied theology and philosophy. Forced to leave, however, because of a pestilence and the equal plague of the Thirty Years’ War. In 1626, he returned to his homeland, settling in Konigsburg, which had become a refuge from the devastating conflict, for the rest of his largely uneventful life. After getting his degree, he worked as a tutor, then was made a teacher and assistant rector of the cathedral school where he was first educated. Suffered from ill health, as well as poverty, which hindered him. Unlucky in love as well, having been rejected by the daughter of a pastor, although he produced a lasting folk song dedicated to her. Found financial support from a friend, Robert Roberthin, which allowed him to spend more time writing and less time teaching. In 1639, once again through Roberthin, he was appointed to the Chair of Poetry at the Albertina Univ. in Konigsburg, where he penned poems for various university commemorations, including funeral services for colleagues. Wrote them in both Greek and Latin, and also celebrated the school’s centennial with a play in 1644. Sang the praises of Prussia’s various Electors, and wrote occasional poems as well. Got a land grant via Roberthin, which enabled him to marry the daughter of a court official in 1641. His lasting influence would be the hymns he created in concert with a group of poets and musicians who met to both give readings and create new hymns. The group published 8 books of poems and songs, and he was by far the most prolific, authoring a body of work that would be sung throughout the German states. In 1648, his friend Roberthin died, which re-channeled his focus from secular to religious poetry. Repeatedly elected dean of the faculty in the department of philosophy, he served as rector of the university in 1656 and 1657. Granted a small estate by the Great Elector shortly before his death for his lifetime body of work. Inner: Shy, retiring, highly spiritual, and blessed with a strong support group for his talents. A talented musician as well as writer. Praise-singing lifetime of battling a weak body with a high sense of spirit, before dipping down in successive existences into the lingering madness of his self-importance and megalomania, in order to try to purge himself of it. Mazdak i Baudad (c490-c526) - Persian prophet. Outer: Of noble birth. Became a Zoroastrian priest and eventually rose to the rank of high court counselor, although his status was viewed in extremely jealous terms by much of the clergy, who saw him as a manipulative heretic. Believed in the egalitarian dualism of the prophet Mani, an earlier incarnation of his. Came to exert tremendous influence over the emperor, Kavadh I, whose rule had been continually stymied by a totally reactionary nobility, that had even chased him into exile for two years. Claiming to be a visionary prophet, he came to prominence as a social reformer operating in the Zoroastrian mode of the dualistic universe forever doing battle between light and dark, and was seen by the Persian king as a useful tool in taking power back from his magnates, through his reformist drive to redistribute wealth. Felt community and sharing were the principles of a just society, and that all goods and women should be communal. His communistic call precipitated the zealous appropriation of both property and women by peasants and bandits alike, feeling his demand for equality extended to their manipulative material needs, as gangsters took over estates, while the agricultural elements of the empire suffered, since the new landowners knew nothing about cultivating the land. The ensuing chaos caused by the Mazdakites, who went on rampages throughout the empire, coupled with the empire’s previous periods of drought, famine, plague and upheaval was more than enough for the king to ultimately have the prophet seized and hanged, and his followers slaughtered by the tens of thousands, with the dangling bodies of peasants darkening the landscape for miles on end. Those who escaped death, were dealt even worse fates as estate and galley slaves or mine laborers, although the movement never quite died, later arising in other forms. Inner: Saw the three elements of fire, water and earth as sacred compliments to the four internal powers of discernment, understanding, preservation and joy. Abjured religious rote in favor of awareness and perception of the larger truths of the universe. Forswore against the consumption of all flesh and killing, while emphasizing the grace of the light and its trinity of kindness, compassion and charity. Cross purposes lifetime of preaching a doctrine of high consciousness and communal sharing, only to see it explode in the darkness of greed, chaos and retribution, leading to his own inevitable sacrifice, once more, as a prophet attuned to the dualities of his times, but not transcendent over them. Mani (216-274?) - Persian theologian. Outer: Born to Persian parents, and may have been related on his mother’s side to the royal house of Parthia, which was overthrown by the Sassinids when he was about ten. In his youth, he had a vision of an angel double of himself. Wandered as an ascetic, had the vision again and proclaimed himself in his mid-20s as a prophet of a new religion. Expelled by the empire’s Zoroastrians as a heretic, he traveled to northwest India, where h formed his first religious community. Returned to Persia in 241 on the coronation of a more tolerant king, Shapur I, and began preaching the basis for Manichaeanism, which synthesized various elements of the belief systems then prevalent in the area. Used the writings of Marcion, one of his earlier lives, as part of his theological overview. Rejected the Old Testament, as well as parts of the New, seeing himself as a continuation of Buddha and Zarathustra, among others. Always called himself as an apostle of Jesus, while leading an ascetic, blameless life, and preaching celibacy as a means of remaining clean and pure. Able to preach and travel widely under Shapur over the next 30 years, despite earning the undying enmity of the empire’s Magian priests. When the king’s successor, Bahram I, ascended the throne in 272, the Magians were allowed their revenge on him, and were given royal permission to persecute both him and his followers. Martyred by having the skin stripped from his body, although his teachings were able to hold fast and his synthesis of the metaphysical and spiritual would remain in effect in the area for the next millennium. Inner: Symbolic peeling was a rebirth on his part away from his early messianic urges, into a more secular mode of thought in succeeding go-rounds, after one more attempt at being a godhead, in the same Middle eastern arena. Messianic lifetime of playing with the duality of light and darkness, only to ultimately fall victim to the latter through the competitive jealousy of his fellow spiritual acolytes. Marcion (?-c160AZ) - Roman theologian. Outer: Son of a bishop who ultimately excommunicated him for immorality. Became a teacher, traveling in Asia Minor, then went to Rome around 140, to preach, offering the first widely-held heresy against conventional Christianity. Excommunicated in 144, he created his own Church, and stimulated the spread of unorthodox communities. Saw two different Gods in the Old Testament’s Creator and Christianity’s merciful Lord, with the former inferior to the latter, and Jesus as the epitome of the God of Love. Created his own New Testament, based largely on letters and writings of Luke (Sigmund Freud), while attempting to exclude the Old Testament from his system. His ideas later influenced Manichaeism, which absorbed his teachings. Forced the early Church to create a formal canon in reaction to him. Inner: Believer in faith rather than knowledge, with the same dualistic view of the universe, this time appropriated by competing Old Desert Gods. Gnostic lifetime of serving in a messianic capacity of drawing a deep line in the sand between Judaism and Christianity, so as to firmly underscore the emotional differences between the two. Empedocles (c493BZ-c433BZ) - Greek philosopher, poet and physiologist. Outer: From a rich, aristocratic family. Grandfather raced horses, and was an Olympiad victor. Traveled throughout the Grecian world, as well as Italy, drinking deep of the philosophic essence of his times, while penning verse that extolled his own sense of godhood, and pursuing a variety of interests from the scientific to the humanistic. Married, with a son of the same name. A natural healer, he gained a reputation for his seemingly miraculous curative powers. Known for his brilliant oratory, as well, he became a leader of the democratic faction of his native Sicilian city. Offered the crown but refused it, and then was forced into exile along with his followers. A respected and influential philosopher, he posited the four elements as the basis of the palpable universe, and innately understood the physical principles of motion. Thought himself a God, and as legend has it, threw himself into the volcanic crater atop Mt. Etna to prove to his followers he was divine, although achieved quite the opposite effect in his decidedly mortal ending. Nothing remains of his poetry save for a few hundred lines. Believer in reincarnation, as well as the transformation of all energy, rather than its destruction. Inner: Saw the world as dualistic, playing off the tensions between love and strife. Great believer in political equality, with a strong empathy for the poor. Messianic lifetime of continuing to play with dualistic themes, while acting out his ongoing sense of self-consuming megalomania. Zarathustra (Zarathustra Spitaman) c628-c551BZ) - Persian theologian. Outer: Figure of legend, rising to semi-divine status well after his death. Probably born into a family of camel handlers, which is how his name is translated. Lived in the high mountains north of present-day Afghanistan. Studied to become a priest, and at the age of 30, experienced a mystical vision from the Lord of Light (Ahura Mazda), and saw the world in dualistic terms, a constant battle between darkness and light, Ahura Mazda and Ahriman, from which the Light would ultimately emerge victorious, following an end-of-times apocalypse. Asked his followers to pray upright five times a day in the presence of fire, which he saw as the symbol of purity, creation and enlightenment. Saw Judgment Day as the culmination of linear time, rather cyclical time, per the other belief systems of his extended era, with each individual striding across a great bridge, while his or her deeds were weighted. His preaching was not popular in his own backwater, and he was forced to flee east, where he converted a king, the father of the future Persian emperor Darius I (Mark Zuckerberg), and lived at his court. Eventually disappeared into his own mind, although details of his life are mixed with both legend and myth. Not fully accepted until well after his death, although, the religion that arose, Zoroastrianism, continues into modern times. Inner: Mr. Duality of the ancient world, replete with his own volcanic mind consuming him, an ongoing motif of his. Thus Sprach lifetime of acting as ancient prophet, while establishing the dualistic themes of self-glory and self-abnegation, which he would continue to act out in both secular and spiritual fashion down through the centuries that would follow.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS SAD-EYED LADDIE OF THE LOWLANDS:
Storyline: The melancholic troubador bears the onus of either legendary or totally unsupportive fathers, forcing him to take longer than most to find his true voice, but once found, is able to resound down through the ages with it, as a unique visionary with a highly visual sense of language.

Jakob Dylan (1969) - American singer and songwriter. Outer: Son of singer/songwriter Bob Dylan. Mother, Sarah Lowndes Dylan, was an ex-model, who served as his father’s early muse. Youngest of 4, whose birth inspired the song, “Forever Young.” Had a protected upbringing, and was instructed to stay anonymous in public. Suffered through his progenitors’ very public break-up when he was 8, then spent half his time with each parent, afterwards. Attended a private high school, where he was a poor student, although traveled quite a bit, joining his father on tours while being continually exposed to music at home. 5’9 1/2’, with dark brown hair and blue eyes. Identified with his parental Judaism. Briefly an art student after high school at the Parsons School of Design. Overwhelmed by his father’s influence, he began playing music in his teens, although never felt the same sense of rebellion that drove his sire. Although his father was dead-set against his career initially, he persevered, organizing a group called The Wallflowers. Married his long-time friend, Paige Denny in 1992, 3 sons from the union. His first record came out the same year and sold poorly, but, after shifting some bandmates, he eventually won 2 Grammys for the multimillion-selling “Bringing Down the Horse,” in 1996, evincing a similar gruff voice to his sire’s. Toured steadily afterwards, and has been able to create a unique career on his own, despite the overshadowing effect of having a living legend for a father, whom he refuses to discuss in any detail publicly. Released his first solo album in 2009, an acoustic affair, “Seeing Things” and three years later the Wallflowers reunited, for an upbeat album, “Good All Over.” His latter works have not sold as well as his one blockbuster. Has a net worth of $20 million. Inner: Shy, intense, brooding, as well as wry, self-deprecating and good-humored. Far more into self-expression than fame, having experienced the latter through his father. Writes all his own material. Unprodigal son lifetime of linking up with his longtime mentor to relive his life in a completely different way. Rainer Maria Rilke (Rene Karl Wilhelm Johann Joseph Maria Rilke) (1875-1926) - German poet. Outer: Father was a railroad official whose military career had been frustrated and cut off by illness. Mother was the daughter of a self-important bank official, and encouraged his creativity. Had a difficult relationship with his sire, while his mother treated him as if he were her daughter, calling him Sophia, and dressing him in girl’s clothes until he was 5 to compensate for the earlier loss of a baby sister. His parents separated when he was 9, and the following year, he was sent to a military academy, where he was extremely unhappy under the rigid discipline and eventually invalided out. Later had similar difficulties in business school. Studied philosophy, literature and art his/story at Prague through the help of his uncle and then at Munich, before traveling with Lou Andreas-Salome, a previous obsession of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (Bob Dylan), to Russia, where he felt a strong spiritual kinship with the Slavic race. His early poetry was sentimental and contrived, and he took a while to find his true voice. Preferred an unstable, traveling life with literary people, while continually searching out ‘great men’ as a source of inspiration. In 1898, he traveled to Italy and North Africa, before returning to Paris, then visited Russia, where he met writer Leo Tolstoy, who had a strong effect on his work. Married sculptor Clara Westhoff in 1901, one daughter from the union, although the marriage ended the following year, despite never officially divorcing. Continued his pattern afterwards of withdrawing from romantic relationships whenever they became too close. Began getting recognition for his poetry shortly afterwards, and in 1905, he visited Paris, where he adopted the sculptural techniques of August Rodin (Robert Rauschenberg), whose secretary he became, and who showed him how to approach poetry through a craftsman’s perspective. After being abruptly dismissed from his employ, he wrote a study of him, while shifting to a less mystical and more reality-oriented mode in his subsequent oeuvre. Lived as a guest of a German princess near Trieste, and afterwards, produced a life of the Virgin Mary. WW I forced him to go back to Germany, while war service in the Austrian army, as well as chronic ill health, frustrated his creativity. After the war, he settled in Switzerland. Able to integrate his own sensibilities into his work by breaking down the barriers of subjective and objective views with a view of the thing itself. Wrote in long poetic cycles, with a striking sense of visual imagery, and a musical flow to his language. His verse often sounded medieval, because of his mystical and spiritual outlook. Suffered from leukemia, causing him to spend much of of his later life in a sanitarium. Died from blood poisoning received from the prick of a rose thorn, in a metaphoric internal alchemizing of beauty into toxicity. His reputation has soared after his death, as one of Germany’s most beloved poets. Inner: Melancholic, introspective, and extremely sensitive. Viewed himself as a true troubadour, and a singer of all creation. Had the ability to express the abstract in a highly tangible manner. Obsessed with death, and anti-modern, with a particularly disdain for modern cities. Disenchanted lifetime of exploring his own troubled nature through his poetic works, affirming his deep inner unhappiness with a life dedicated to artistically celebrating dolor. Heinrich Von Kleist (Bernd Heinrich Wilhelm Klaeist) (1777-1811) - German poet and playwright. Outer: First-born son of a retired major, he had extremely unhappy childhood in a military household. One of 5 children. His family had produced 18 generals, and his father died when he was 11. Enlisted in the army when he was 15, and eventually resigned his subsequent commission after 7 miserable years, much to his family and superior’s surprise. Studied law in an attempt to attain both knowledge and virtue, but felt logic and reason were not his proper pathways, and eventually chose to explore his emotions through writing. Proposed to a major general’s daughter, but took off right before the wedding, either sexually dysfunctional or perhaps suffering from a venereal disease. Maintained the illusion of impending marriage afterwards, although his fiancee eventually married another. No real evidence of his ever having slept with anyone. His life as a poet began when he rejected the tenets of rationalism. Traveled to Switzerland in 1801 in pursuit of a bucolic life, then went to France, where he wrote poetry and dramas. Was expelled from France, after trying to volunteer for the French army in hopes of dying on the battlefield. Tried to become a civil servant with the Prussian Ministry of Finance but resigned, then was imprisoned in 1807 by occupying French troops on the trumped up charge of being a spy. Suffered a nervous breakdown and several mysterious illnesses. Wrote both novels and for the stage, continued his travels, but his greater ambitions for fame and fortune were continually curtailed. After a stint as an editor of a literary journal that folded and the brief editorship of Germany’s first daily newspaper, he found himself completely impoverished, and dependent on loans from an otherwise unsupportive sister. Stopped writing and made a suicide pact with Henrietta Vogel, a terminally ill woman, preparing meticulously for it with numerous farewell messages. Shot her in the heart by a riverbank, and then shot himself in the mouth. Inner: Enigmatic with a profound penchant for unhappiness. Suffered a speech defect, and was extremely self-defeating and self-destructive. Angry, depressed, felt unfit for earthlife. Angst-ridden lifetime of an inability to get past the unhappiness of his childhood, as well as holding an overwhelming romantic draw towards death, as the only way he could understand his own life.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS ETERNAL PUNK:
Storyline: The fire-thieving phoenix finally begins to integrate her inner and outer life through a far more cohesive view of herself as a woman, rather than the tortured male she had earlier been in a long series of foreshortened go-rounds where her sensibilities soared at the cost of her very heart and soul.

Patti Smith (Patricia Lee Smith) (1946) - American poet and musician. Outer: Of Irish descent. Mother was a waitress, laundress and singer, father was a former tap dancer turned factory worker. One younger brother. Both parents encouraged her imaginative development. The family moved east from Chicago, ending up in New Jersey, where she grew up. Tomboyish, she wore an eyepatch for an optic problem, and was subject to illness. 5’8”, with dark brown hair and eyes and rail-thin. Her father’s violent reaction to the rock group, the Rolling Stones, cemented her interest in r’n’r as a primary means of expression. At 19, she gave out-of-wedlock birth to a daughter, who was subsequently adopted. Worked briefly in a factory. Won a scholarship to Glassboro St. Teacher’s College in NJ, but dropped out to make a pilgrimage to Paris. Felt a very strong connection to Arthur Rimbaud, an earlier life of hers. Returned to Greenwich Village as both a painter-turned-poet and punk rocker, finding tremendous release in performance. Lived with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, under whose tutelage she drew, in order to capture her demons. His emerging homophile desires eventually ended their intimacy, but not before each had made the other a burgeoning artist. Also creatively and sexually connected with bad-boy poet Jim Carroll and playwright Sam Shepard, as well as musician Todd Rundgren. Turned from painting to writing, spewing forth for rock magazines, and then turning her love of wordplay to poetry. Always idolized outlaw-artists, and turned herself into one as well. Initially put her poems to an electric guitar backup, and eventually integrated her words and music. Released her first punk-rock record during the mid-1970s, and proved an extremely influential creative force, serving as an icon for both female and male performers who followed her. Never a full-rounded singer, and technically quite limited as a musician, but always a unique stage presence. Fell from the stage in Florida in 1977, was hospitalized, wrote her 46h book of poetry and then had her biggest commercial hit, “Because the Night.” Ended her public career shortly afterwards and moved to Michigan with her musician/husband, Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith, a guitarist for the MC5, and had a daughter and a son from the union, Jesse and Jackson, who would both eventually tour with her. Concentrated on their domestic scene and focused on the printed page, until the death of her husband from heart failure in 1994. Her brother’s subsequent demise inspired her to return to public life as a performer once again, bringing all her fire and passion back with her as a genuine rock’n’roll phoenix, while enjoying encomia for her come-back efforts, particularly “Gung Ho,” released in 2000. Has an ongoing relationship with her guitarist, longtime colleague and fellow poet, Lenny Kaye. As a career coda, she was inducted into the Rock’nRoll Hall of Fame in 2007. Published her early life memoirs, “Just KIds,” in 2010, which won a National Book Award, then added to her meditations on existence and creativity with “M Train” in 2015, ultimately proving herself to be less a memoirist than a master wordsmith who knows how to bathe thought in magical language. Needed two tries to sing “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” at the 2016 Nobel ceremony for Bob Dylan after forgetting the words the first time through. Later that year she released a tribute album to German singer/songwriter Nico, “Killer Road,” featuring her daughter Jess Paris Smith. Has a net worth of $15 million. Inner: Self-involvedly self-expressive, idealistic and deceptively strong, despite her fragile appearance. Lifelong rebel, good-hearted charismatic visionary. Obsessive, voraciously self-educated, fan-as-performer. Claimed to have masturbated to her own photographs as a youth. Thief of fire lifetime of changing genders to more fully experience her emotionality and spirituality through the added poetic venue of music and direct public performance. Raymond Radiguet (1903-1923) - French novelist. Outer: Father eked out a living as a cartoonist. One of 7 children. Little is known of his early childhood. Extremely precocious, at 14, he was writing fully formed verse. Came to Paris at 15 and wandered, never maintaining a permanent address. Sported extremely long hair and carried a cane too big for him, while plugging into 18th century neo-classicism. Dissipated himself through alcoholism and drugs, with the subconscious forethought that this would be an extremely short go-round. Joined the post-war Dadaist and Cubist circles, despite being uninterested in the isms of his own time, while poet and artist Jean Cocteau (Bryan Singer) became his mentor, although he later distanced himself from him by becoming heterosexual. Left the City of Light in 1920 and wrote two penetrating novels, one inspired by his own precocious adolescence, The Devil in the Flesh, and the other a tale of manners. Returned to Paris and caught typhoid fever there, expiring at the tender age of 20. Wrote of life laid bare by love. Inner: Skeptical, inscrutable, extremely lucid and rather cold. Handsome, short, grave, imperturbable. Myopic, bitter and cynical far beyond his brief years. Sip of absinthe lifetime of briefly exploring himself through the written word, before deciding to try to integrate his complex interior once again through a female perspective. Arthur Rimbaud (Jean-Nicolas-Arthur Rimbaud) (1854-1891) - French poet. and adventurer Outer: Mother was the daughter of a prosperous farmer, father was an infantry captain, who abandoned the family when his second son was 6. The former was a contentious figure, who imposed strict discipline on her 5 surviving children. Although he was her favorite, she was incapable of anything but criticism. Small and quiet as a child, with a volatile temperament. Proved to be a brilliant student at the College de Charleville school, where he was introduced to the romantics, which intoxicated his imagination, and inspired a torrent of verse from his pen, in imitation of the popular mode of the time. 5’10”. Won all but 2 of the prizes his school had to offer, before a violent argument with his mother sent him on the road to Paris, but because he had no money or ticket, he was thrown in jail. His mentor, George Izambard, rescued him, and offered him 3 weeks at his household. Returned to his outraged mother, before eventually running away again, living on the streets of Paris for several weeks, where he cadged drinks from anyone interested in listening to his poetic contumelies. Began to formulate a visionary poetry, claiming, “the poet is the thief of fire,” and must disorder his or her senses through experience in order to be so. Returned, ran away and came back home yet again in 1871, where he composed “Le Bateau ivre,” or “The Drunken Boat,” a seminal symbolist poem, which he sent to poet, Paul Verlaine (Mickey Avalon), and came to briefly live with him and his family in Paris, while also serving in the army of the Paris Commune. Following the dismantling of the latter, he and Verlaine were constant companions for a little over a year, in an orgy of absinthe, hashish, sadomasochism and sodomy, despite Verlaine’s vacillation between his family and his fascinating lover. Verlaine eventually went to Belgium, announced he was going to kill himself, and after the thief of fire arrived, the older poet shot at him several times, hitting him in the wrist. The police had to be called in the aftermath, and in the subsequent trial, Verlaine was sentenced to 2 years, while the thief returned home to his mother, where he finished his masterwork, “A Season in Hell,” which limned a hallucinogenic journey through his own darkness and light. With the nine-part poem’s poor reception, he burned many of his manuscripts and, in essence, gave up poetry at the age of 19, to become someone else entirely. Traveled extensively in Europe over the next 7 years, returning home only when he ran out of money, while pondering what to do with his life, and coming to see his poems as dregs and no further use to him. Signed up as a mercenary with the Dutch colonial army, but deserted after 13 days in 1876. Became a cashier in a Hamburg circus, then drifted to Alexandria and Cyprus, where he was foreman of a construction gang. In 1880, he set off for northeastern Africa, convinced he was destined to make his fortune as an explorer. Worked for a coffee exporter in Harar and Aden, lived with a native woman, and engaged in gun-running in the interior, while he also may have also been involved in slave-trading. Settled in Harar, in Abyssinia, where he operated a successful trading post, and also led trading expeditions into unexplored Africa, while living among the area’s natives as one of them, thanks to a facility for local languages, and an enthusiastic embrace of the various cultures of the area. Despite having many visitors, he experienced profound loneliness, as limned in his letters home, to his only outside world contact, his mother. Rediscovered when he was thought to be dead through the publication of his “lluminations” by Verlaine in 1883, but, by that time, he was suffering from an inflammation of the left knee, whose distorted size impelled him to make one last journey home. Underwent an excruciating ordeal, and had his leg amputated in Marseilles. Also suffered from a tertiary stage of syphilis, which paralyzed him while he was steadily eaten away by cancer, so as to completely give his body over to the dark embrace of thanatopsis. As his final act of rebellion, he made a deathbed conversion to the Church, after a pagan lifetime. Exerted extraordinary influence on both symbolist poetry, and later, on the poetics of rock’n’roll, through his pioneering use of free verse, the very first of the French writers to compose in that mode. Inner: Passionate linguist, bisexual, carrying both the uninhibited heart of the pagan, and his mother’s sense of tradition and moral control. Volatile and rebellious, with a counterpointing scholar’s sensibility, making him part of the landscape wherever he was. Harbored an unusual capacity for physical suffering, while continually playing the role of explorer and ethnographer in whatever culture he found himself. Season in Hell lifetime of acting out of his eternally adolescent duality, creating a unique Pan figure in the world of language and art. Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) - American poet, short-story writer, editor and critic. Outer: Of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Mother, Elizabeth Poe (Leighton Meester), was an English-born childless widow, who became an actress, as were her parents. Father, David Poe, Jr. (Matthew Broderick) had been destined for the law, but took to the stage instead, where he failed to shine, and was subject to alcoholic excess. Middle of 3 children, with his older brother, Henry (Mickey Avalon) also a poet before his premature death, and a younger sister. The latter, Rosalie, was below average intelligence, and lived her life largely as an afterthought, totally disconnected from her brothers. His alcoholic father either died or deserted the family shortly after his birth and his mother passed on of consumption soon after, but not before giving birth to a daughter, whose legitimacy was questioned. The family was spilit up, and he was adopted by his godfather, John Allan, a prosperous Scottish-born Virginia tobacco merchant, while the loss of his mother weighed heavily on him the rest of his life. Received a good education, and grew up in comfortable circumstances, after the extreme poverty of his beginnings, with the hopes he would follow his stepfather in business. Spoiled by his foster-mother, he went with his family on a trip to London and Scotland, and spent 5 years there, returning to America in 1820. 5’8’, with large melancholy eyes. Turned into a lordly youngster, somewhat aloof, but notably brilliant, although increasingly alienated from his guardian. Began writing verse in his early teens, emulating his idol Lord Byron (Bernardo Bertolucci). 5’8”, with piercing eyes, long lashes, and a perpetually haggard look. Went to the Univ. of Virginia for one semester but withdrew after excessive drinking and gambling, despite showing himself to be academically gifted. Returned home, quarreled violently with his adopted father and ran away to Boston, arriving almost penniless. Published his first book of poetry, “Tamerlane,” but received little recognition for it. Changed his name briefly to E.A. Perry, and joined the army, from which he was eventually dismissed 2 1/2 years later for disobeying an order. Appointed to West Point after a reconciliation with his stepfather and the death of his beloved stepmother, but was dismissed for rule infractions and disowned. Still a heavy drinker, he ultimately took refuge in Baltimore in 1831, with an aunt, Maria Clemm, to whom he was very close, joining her household on the death of his older brother. Lived with them for 4 years in seclusion and extreme poverty in Richmond, Virginia, as the family’s only support. Began receiving recognition for his short stories, then twice married his 13 year old cousin, Virginia Clemm (Taylor Momsen), when he was 27, with his aunt acting as mother to both of them, in what may have been an unconsummated relationship. The two were more like playmates than husband and wife, while he tutored her and enthusiastically supported her burgeoning musical abilities. Kept her awake each night til near dawn, while he created some of his finest metaphysical works, in a mutually close creative relationship. Showed himself to be a talented editor, but lost his position at the Southern Literary Messenger, for drinking, and went to live in Philadelphia in 1838, where he established a reputation as an incisive critic. Also considered the progenitor of the modern detective story, with his tales of the French detective, C. Auguste Dupin. Had a curious habit of extracting revenge on many who helped him, showing a propensity for ultimately turning all situations to his disadvantage. His wife began suffering from tuberculosis in 1842, which distressed him greatly. Added opium addiction to his drinking, and moved with his aunt and wife to a cottage in the Bronx, where he continued to live mired in abject poverty. Finally began making a little money from editing a successful magazine, Graham’s, while his works started attracting more attention. Lost his position, however, through drinking, and began freelancing, enjoying his greatest triumph with the poem, “The Raven,” which created a furor, and enabled him to begin socializing again. Despite his growing fame, he remained impecunious, and slipped back into his usual mode of poverty and despair. After his wife finally died in 1847, he completely fell apart, totally dissipating himself, while being nursed by his mother-in-law. Somehow became engaged again to a widow, but on his way north to the wedding by steamer, he debauched himself in Baltimore, and four days later, he was found in a tavern used as a polling place, dying of alcohol poisoning, from which he soon perished in a hospital, uttering as his final words, “Lord help my poor soul.” His funeral was attended by only four people, while his final days would be the subject of much speculation, as a concluding coda to his status as America’s greatest romantic-era artist. Inner: Obsessive, mournful, hungry for recognition. Passionate, intense, uncontrolled, unable to countenance the deaths of the various women in his life. Experienced wild swings from abstinence to binges, and was completely unable to control his drinking once he started. Continually pursued an unconscious search for both misery and tragedy to spur his curious genius. Ravin’ lifetime of thoroughly giving in to his wounds, while producing some of the most interesting literature in the American canon as an ineffective means of self-healing. Jean-Baptiste Rousseau (1670-1741) - French dramatist and poet. Outer: Son of a poor cobbler. Showed himself to be an excellent student at the Jesuit College of Louis le Grand, while evincing an early talent for satiric verse, which made him a popular figure in libertine literary circles. Although he was encouraged to try his hand at writing for the stage by the noted critic Boileau (Gore Vidal), he failed to find an audience in a variety of genres, which led to disputes, amid insults galore from his critics and detractors. Used classical forms, but based his works on personalities of the day, which fed into their poor reception. Became secretary to the French ambassador and went to London with him, before returning to Paris, determined to forge a literary career for himself, through his well-received epigrams, which gained him entrance to the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres in 1700. His reputation was sufficient for him to apply as a candidate to the Academie francaise in 1710, but fate intervened, through his continuous penchant for lampooning his fellow literary lights. In 1712, he was convicted of defamation for satiric verse that he probably did not write, forcing him to flee the country. Permanently exiled from France, he went to Switzerland, where he was sheltered by the French ambassador and forced to write banal verse for various rich patrons. Refused official permission to return in 1716, since it did not clear his name, while the powerful enemies he had made continued to impede any possibility of his reinstatement. Went to the court of Eugene of Savoy (Arnold Schwarzenegger), in Vienna, and finally to Brussels, spending the last 3 decades of his life wandering about Europe, only to die in extreme impoverished circumstances, with one failed attempt at sneaking back into France in disguise in 1738. Served as a bridge figure between classicism and rationalism, and was seen by many as the greatest epigrammatist of the eighteenth century. Inner: Irreligious and irreverent with a great need to mock others through his rapier wit. Venom-tongued lifetime of showing far more cleverness than good sense, in his ongoing battles between his considerable gifts for self-expression and his remarkable lack of an instinct for self-preservation. Francois l’Hermite (c1601-1655) - French dramatist and poet. Outer: Of noble birth. Born in the family castle, although his house was facing ruination at the time of his birth. Raised as a page in the royal household of Henri de Bourbon, an illegitimate son of Henri IV (FDR). Sent afterwards to the home of a treasurer of France, before becoming secretary to a marquis. Showed an extremely violent temperament, wounding two lessers for perceived slights, before killing an opponent in a duel in his mid-teens, which forced him flee the country. Lived in England, Scotland and Norway, and later burlesqued his adventures, with much exaggeration, in “The Disgraced Page,” taking on the nom de pen of Tristan l’Hermite, through a supposed family connection with the provost of the marshals of the household of Louis XI (Adolf Hitler) in the fifteenth century. When he returned to France, he participated in the campaigns of Louis XIII (Michael Bay) against the Protestant Huguenots in 1620. The following year, he joined the household of Gaston duc d’Orleans, the king’s younger brother, where he began penning poems, celebrating the virtues of both nature and love. Spent two decades with the duc, before serving the duchesse de Chaulnes and the duc de Guise in similar manner as poet-in-residence, penning encomia for his patrons, in the manner of the time, albeit with far more of a musical fluidity than his contemporaries. At home in a variety of modes, he was influenced by Italian poet Giambattista Marino (Mickey Avalon). In 1636, in association with the Bejarts, he also wrote a series of tragedies and tragicomedies for the stage, with his first, “Marianne,” his most successful. Most of his dramas were well-received, due to their tight construction, and strong sense of the dramatic. Largely a free spirit, he had access to all levels of society, while immersing himself in the debauchery of his age, with a prodigious taste for wine, which eventually undermined his health. Elected to the Academie Francaise in 1649, and died of tuberculosis six years later. Although his works would be forgotten with his death, they enjoyed a revival later on. Inner: Ardent, violent, melancholy and stoic, with a passionate, strongly moral nature. Subtle versifier, with an equal propensity for creativity and self-destruction, as in all his male lives in this series. Baroque lifetime of evincing his ongoing combination of unusual esthetic and personal volatility, which he would continue to explore in the coming eras, to literature’s benefit and his own salubrious detriment.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS COMPLEAT ALIEN:
Storyline: The lubricious luciferian spends his various seasons in his own hells, before finally finding a time and a message that integrates his oddball sensibilities and profound alienation with a supportive audience willing to give him his dark-eyed due.

Mickey Avalon (Yeshe Perl) (1975) - American singer and songwriter. Outer: Grandparents were both Auschwitz survivors. Father had that concentration camp’s motto, “Arbeit Mach Frei” or ‘Work Makes You Free,’ tattooed on his forearm. Obsessed with rhythm and blues music, with a darkside poetic sensibility, his sire and his mother married, traveled, and eventually resettled in Los Angeles, where he became a chiropractor. Younger sister from union. His father developed a heroin habit which took over his life, and his parents divorced, while the former started hanging out with some very dark characters, while running insurance scams. His mother sold baggies of pot to support the family. Grew up in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, and was fascinated by hip-hop from an early age, writing beats with his friends. Joined his mother’s modest business at 14, and 2 years later had his own apartment, but fell into his father’s habit, eventually turning to Orthodox Judaism, replete with beard, in order to try to ground himself, while taking care of his father, who was barely physically functional from all the drugs he had taken. Lean and sad-eyed. Able to get him into treatment, but ironically the latter was hit by a drunk driver, after proving to himself he could stay clean. Tried to start a family to curb his continued addiction, married and moved to Portland, and had a daughter. Got ever deeper into addiction, separated, became a hand/job street hustler, limiting himself to selling his palm so as not to threaten his heterosexuality, while sinking into the sorrow of the streets of the city. Had “Thank You’ tattooed in large letters in his pelvic area, as well as “Sorry” on the palm of a hand, and “Please” writ inside his lower lip, in addition to more conventional body art. Began performing in his early 20s, at the behest of DJ and actor, Simon Rex, using his life as beat material, and began building up a loyal following, replete with active groupies. Discovered his beloved sister dead on heroin, as a final family downer, but, through it all, he was able to fashion a celebratory act around his own extended seasons in Hell, with a highly willing audience more than eager to support him. Inner: Extremely vulnerable, candid, intelligent and guileless. Lower depths lifetime of acting it out in the beginning, rather than later on as in past lives in this series to help him better integrate his profound sense of disconnection, with his equal gifts for creation. Delmore Schwartz (1913-1966) - American poet. Outer: Elder son of Rumanian-Jewish immigrants. Father made a fortune in real estate, although homelife was bitter, with parents constantly arguing. Was able to read at 3, and found great escape in books. His progenitors finally divorced when he was a young teenager. Always wanted to be a poet, felt his name embodied the clash of cultures he represented, with commonality in his surname, and pretense in his first. His father died at the beginning of the Great Depression, and his fortune soon dwindled away to nothing. A compulsive journal keeper, with great ambitions for literary eminence. Educated at Wisconsin, NYU and Harvard. Became a lecturer afterwards at a number of schools, including Harvard, teaching composition there for 7 years. Blonde and blue-eyed and good-looking, with noble features, although both his face and frame gradually coarsened with drink and drugs. In 1937, he married Gertrude Buckman, a fellow literature student at NYC, then passed out at the reception, while her parents wept bitter tears throughout their wedding ceremony, later divorced. Earned fame in 1938 from his first work of poetry, In Dreams Begin Responsibilities. Also published criticism and short stories, and in 1943, he became an editor of the Partisan Review, holding that post until 1955. His 2nd marriage in 1949 was to novelist Elizabeth Pollet, but he constantly accused her of infidelity, and the marriage disintegrated into divorce in 1957. Attacked critic Hilton Kramer, accusing him of having an affair with his wife, after having hallucinated their illicit congress, and was strait-jacketed to Bellevue for his delusion. No children from either union, but he fathered a child with a dancer. During the 1950s, he held visiting lectureships at various universities, as well as several editorial posts. All the while, he took to liquor and benzedrine and barbiturates in most obsessive fashion, steadily spiraling downward, although he was able to maintain his public teaching stance, despite an increasing sense of paranoid persecution. His work was sprinkled with irony and a sense of disintegration of modern life, of which he was a prime example. Translated Arthur Rimbaud’s (Patti Smith) Saison en enfer, which was savaged by critics, causing him permanent humiliation, despite his earlier life’s intimate knowledge of the poet. His last several years were unproductive. In and out of Bellevue Hospital, he had turned off all his friends by the end of his life. Wound up a pathetic figure on a park bench, one of NYC’s many shadow casualties. Died of heart attack in an elevator in a seedy New York hotel, while his body was unclaimed until an obituary appeared in paper. Wrote of the individual in conflict with time and his times. Inner: Wit and raconteur, coined the phrase, “Even paranoids have real enemies.” Unstable, but with great sensitivity and an abiding interest in language. Saw the spiritual as a foundation for life. Poet of alienation. Profoundly alienated lifetime of riding a mind that was incapable of sustaining its own brilliance without degradation and disintegration. Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) - French poet. Outer: Father was a French officer in an engineering regiment. Both parents were conservative and piously Catholic, giving him a comfortable upbringing. His family was transferred numerous times, until his sire resigned and moved to Paris in 1851. As an only son, he was highly demanding, refusing to go to sleep without his mother standing by, and clinging to both parents. Initially a diligent student, he became slovenly, given to drink and ill-kempt, just barely graduating. Entered law school, but preferred the other kind of bar, and eventually became a municipal clerk. Published his first book of poetry in 1866, and his second in 1869, celebrating an orphan cousin he had loved, Elisa Dehee, who died young. After his father passed on, his mother continued to treat him like a child. Showed a brutal personality when drunk, otherwise was far more the aesthete when sober, writing poetry and convivializing with friends of similar sensibility. Gradually found his own poetic voice, and became a recognized writer, while his mother wanted him to marry to stabilize his unsteady character. Became engaged to a 16 year old, Matilde Maute, whom he married in his mid-20s, and separated from in his late 20s. One son from the union, who he once flung against a wall in a drunken pique. Served in the military, lost his government job, moved in with his in-laws, and began drinking again. Met Arthur Rimbaud (Patti Smith) and had a passionate affair with him. Abused his wife, drank to extreme excess, and his spouse left him, later divorced in 1885. Tempestuously traveled with Rimbaud to London and Brussels, causing ever more family turmoil, until, after several separations and reconciliations, he shot Rimbaud in the wrist following a 2 day drunk in 1873. Sentenced to 2 years in prison, he converted to a fervent Catholicism there. After his release, he became a teacher in England and at a private school in Chalons, where he met the final paramour of his life, Lucien Letinois (Taylor Momsen), whom he initially treated as his son. Their affectionate but chaste relationship, led to his firing and the expulsion of the latter. Moved in with Letinois and his parents to a farm, although failed miserably at the enterprise, while descending into sloth and drink. Got a teaching post for Letinois in London, while trying to resuscitate his career, then joined him there, and the two became lovers, before returning to Paris. Lost Letinois to typhus in 1883, which elicited his final notable in memorium poem, “Amour,” then had his mother purchase the farm where the two had lived together, only to wind up spending a month in prison for attacking her. Quickly sank into a life of poverty, and gross inebriation, with periods of hospitalization in between bouts of repentance. Often depended on public shelter for his night’s sleep, although he was able to garner some income for his earlier works. Suffered from rheumatism, cirrhosis, gastritis, jaundice, diabetes and a heart ailment. Spent his last years living alternately with two middle-aged prostitutes, and was accorded the honor of France’s “Prince of Poets,” in 1894. Died two years later from pneumonia, and his funeral attracted thousands. Best remembered for Romance sans paroles and Les Poets maudits, which made him a leader of the younger Symbolists. Inner: Sensitive, dependent, deeply and sensuously spiritual. Monumentally self-destructive, an eternal adolescent at heart, with a dual personality depending on whether he was drunk of sober. Subtle, delicate, musical writer. Season in hell lifetime of following his instinct for degradation, while defining his spirituality by acting the continual falling angel. Henry Poe (William Leonard Henry Poe) (1807-1831) - American poet and sailor. Outer: Of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Paternal grandfather, an Irish immigrant, had been an exemplary figure in the Revolutionary War, contributing his own money to it, while also fighting, at the age of 71, in the Battle of Baltimore in 1812. Mother, Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe (Leighton Meester), was an English-born childless widow, who became an actress, as were her parents. Father, David Poe, Jr. (Matthew Broderick) had been destined for the law, but took to the stage instead, although was far the inferior thespian, as well as given to excessive drink. Oldest of 3 children, with his younger brother, Edgar Allan Poe (Patti Smith), becoming a seminal figure in American letters, and his younger sister, Rosalie, appearing after the family had broken up, giving question to her legitimacy. His alcoholic father deserted the household when he was two, and his mother passed on of consumption in 1811, but not before giving birth to a daughter, Rosalie, who was of limited intelligence, and had little connection to her siblings, although outlived all members of her family by a quarter of a century. Following the deaths of the two older Poes, the children were split up, and he went to live with his paternal grandparents in Baltimore, although maintained contact with his brother. Lost his grandfather in 1816, and became a sailor aboard the USS Macedonian, allowing him to traverse the globe in his teens, before returning to his bedridden grandmother’s home, joining his aunt, Maria Klemm, and her two children, Virginia (Taylor Momsen) and her brother Henry. Slim, fragile and handsome, with “dark, inexpressive eyes.” Worked at a law office, where he began writing verse, giving public recitations. Also assayed the short story form, while serving as an inspirational spur for his brother, both in stylistics and themes, showing a similar melancholy sensibility. They may also have been collaborative efforts, since they reflect early poems of Edgar Allan, who moved into the same house sometime before the former’s early death, and may have shared the same bed. Like his father, he was given to alcohol, becoming a heavy drinker, which probably undermined his health. Before he could attain maturity in his writings, he died of tuberculosis at the age of 24. Inner: Doleful, sensitive, adventurous and addictive. Fraternal lifetime of serving as an early influence on his far superior sibling’s oeuvre, before returning to resume their relationship in a much more passionate and volatile manner, as part of his own development as a poet of far more than passing interest. Giambattista Marino (1569-1625) - Italian poet. Outer: Father was a well-to-do lawyer, who wished his son to follow in his path. Took legal training, but refused to practice. Because of his dissolute and rebellious habits, he was driven from home. Wandered for 2 years and acquired influential patrons, becoming a public poet, reciting his verses in salons and academies. In 1596, he became secretary to a Neapolitan prince, but was arrested on charges of immoral conduct, and only released through the intercession of the prince. Again imprisoned in 1600 for falsifying documents, when influential friends helped him escape to Rome. His poetry had also been denounced by the Inquisition as libidinous. Made a powerful ally of a cardinal who was nephew of the pope, traveled with him to Turin and stayed there. Quarreled with a rival poet, and found imprisonment once again, where he composed prose pieces. His fame spread, and he was released through it, but his disputatious nature again rose, and in 1615, he left for Paris. Probably received a royal pension there, and was supported by Italian friends. Eventually returned to Rome under the patronage of the cardinal, but the censorship against his work remained. Left and retired to Naples in 1624, his place of birth, where he died of an infection following an operation. Viewed during his life as Italy’s supreme sensuous poet. Inner: Pleasure-loving, restless, rebellious, libidinous. Dualistic lifetime of exploring both pleasure and pain, with plenty of meditative time in prisons of his own making to try to sort the two out.

*

PATHWAY OF THE ENTERTAINER AS SCANDALOUS TORCH SINGER:
Storyline: The ongoing I-dont-care girl continues to pursue her own pathways with little regard for public opinion while showing a penchant for both publicity and high drama to complement a genuine talent and a need to truly be who she is.

nTaylor Momsen (Taylor Michael Momsen) 1993) - American singer and actress. Outer: Of German descent. Given tremendous freedom by her parents to discover herself, while always feeling well-loved by them. Younger sister Sloane is also an actress. Began performing at age 3 in a Shake ‘N’ Bake commercial, which brought her several movie roles, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Lived in St. Louis and Maryland, before going to the Professional Performing Arts High School in NYC. Studied both music and martial arts at her various schools. Able to parlay her fresh-faced appeal into a successful early career, which took a brief hiatus, before resuming with several Disney vehicles, although she lost out on the coveted role of Hannah Montana to Miley Cyrus. Continued her early high profile career with the TV series “Gossip Girl,” becoming a star through it at the age of 14, while also pursuing her musical interests as the front for the rock band, The Pretty Reckless, for whom she also writes all the songs. Fired her stylist because of being unhappy with her squeaky-clean look, and went for outrageous bedheaddom, which made her the face of Material Girl, the teen fashion line of Madonna’s daughter Lourdes while serving in a similar capacity for the British chain, New Look. 5’8” with blonde hair and blue eyes. Continually challenging conventional mores with her outrageous outfits, while also serving as a disapproved model for rebellious young teens, in an ongoing display of pique over the straightjacketing of young stars for mass approval. Made public plaint about having no childhood because of constantly working from the age of 2, precluding any sense of normalcy to her upbringing, before being suspended indefinitely from “Gossip Girl” for behavior unbecoming off-screen. Continued recording material for her band with three albums as of 2016, including “Going to Hell” and “Who You Selling For?” Inner: Always felt she never fit in anywhere, and once having established herself, continues to pursue her own unique modes of self-expression. Different drummer lifetime of continuing her uninhibited assault on public sensibilities, while trying to stay far more grounded in doing so. nLibby Holman (Elizabeth Holzman) (1904-1971) - American singer and actress. Outer: Of Jewish descent. Father was a lawyer and stockbroker. The middle of three children, with an older sister, Marion, and a younger brother. Eventually subtracted two years from her age in her ongoing fascination with youth. Despite coming into a wealthy family, they were rendered destitute after an uncle embezzled a million from the family stock brokerage firm around the time of her birth. Raised by an angry mother, who felt betrayed by life, which would affect her own overweening ambition to compensate for her deprived beginnings. Morbidly jealous of Marion, who she felt was more beautiful and talented than she, although her sister ultmately committed suicide in 1963. Skipped two grades, and wound up with a BA degree from the Univ. of Cincinnati in 1923, where she had an excellent academic record, while also pushing boundaries with her clothing and behavior. The following year she came to NYC ostensibly to pursue a journalism career at Columbia Univ., while announcing she wanted to be a star and marry a millionaire. Made her Broadway debut in a clinker, “The Sapphire Ring,” in 1925, while becoming close friends with actor Clifton Webb (Hugh Jackman). Appeared with him in a revue, “The Little Show,” in 1929, earning raves for singing the blues classic, “Moanin’ Low,” which would serve as her signature song. Continued appearing on Broadway as one of the Great White Way’s brightest and highest paid stars, while her personal life also elicited considerable interest, because of her bisexuality, which included Louise d’Andelot Carpenter, a Dupont heiress, during the 1930s, actress Jeanne Eagels (Jean Seberg) and writer Jane Bowles in the 1940s. As she grew older, her taste in men also grew younger, including actor Montgomery Clift (Ben Chaplin), for whom she served as mentor. In 1931, she wed a smitten fan, Z. Smith Reynolds, the heir to the tobacco fortune. Their union proved extremely unpopular with his larger family, while he wanted her to abandon her career for him, which she did for a year. After revealing she was pregnant to her spouse in1932 at a party at their 1000 acre estate, Reynolda, in North Carolina, an argument ensued, and Reynolds fell mortally wounded with a gunshot wound to the head. Drunk, hysterical and incoherent at the time, she was at first absolved when the shooting was ruled a suicide, although later she and her lover, Ab Walker, who was a childhood friend of Reynolds, were indicted for murder. Pressure from the family had the charges dropped during the media circus and preliminary trial that followed for fear of the scandal should she be found guilty, and she wound up with a generous financial settlement. Produced a son who was born three months premature the following year. Shared posh homes with Louisa Carpenter, and together the two raised her son over the next decade. Her career continued, and in 1939, she wed actor Ralph Homes, who was a dozen years her junior, after having an affair with his brother, who was killed during WW II. The following year her husband joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, and at war’s end returned home, only to find the marriage unofficially over. The duo separated and several months later, he committed suicide with an overdose of barbiturates. In the interim, she adopted a son, and then later adopted a second one, while living in a Georgian mansion dubbed Treetop in upscale Connecticut. Her natural child died in 1950 after falling while climbing Mount Whitney in California. Never forgave herself for his death, and in 1952 she created a foundation dedicated to assisting groups and individuals in the civil rights movement in his memory, after having moved to France to try to deal with the loss. During the decade, she worked with her accompanist, Gerald Cook, on researching and rearranging blues and spirituals. Felt a strong affinity for African-American music, and was an earlier supporter of the civil rights movement, and later the antiwar movement. In 1960, she married artist/sculptor Louis Schanker for a sense of stability, while continuing to make records and give recitals. Felt shackled by her marriage, and was deeply depressed over the deaths of Pres. John Kennedy and Martin Luther King, whom she had earlier funded to a trip to India through her son’s foundation. Found nearly dead in the front seat of her Rolls Royce in her garage by her staff, and was taken to a hospital where she died hours later in what was considered a suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning, although few of her friends believed it. Inner: Strongly self-possessed, but with a curious magnet for the tragic, feeling herself to be a magnet for death. Vain, manic depressive, alluring, and sarcastic, with a snobbish disdain for film. Often sang in a strapless evening gown, which became her trademark. Loved performing for live audiences, who brought out her extremely seductive nature. Socially sensitive to injustice, and a galvanizing performer. Moanin’ low lifetime of literally living the blues, despite wealth, fame, mass admiration, and an I don’t care attitude about what other people thought of her. Lucien Letinois (1861-1883) - French tutor and paramour. Outer: From a peasant farming family. Showed an inclination for academics and attended the College de Notre Dame at Rethel, where one of his teachers was poet Paul Verlaine (Mickey Avalon). The latter, who was 34 and twice his age at the time, took special interest in him, and treated him as if he were a son, in a chaste, albeit affectionate relationship, which, nevertheless, sent both school and village tongues wagging. The following annum, 1879, Verlaine was fired and he was expelled, and the duo moved in with his parents on a farm, which his mother had bought. The pair tried farming, although Verlaine showed no aptitude for it, and soon descended into sloth and drink, which sent both back to Paris. Drafted into the military, he spent a year in Chalons, and at the end of his term of service, Verlaine arranged a tutoring job in London for him, with the daughters of a well-to-do family. Became involved with at least one of them, which caused a perturbed Verlaine to join him there, and the two became lovers. Both soon returned to Paris, where he lived with his parents, while Verlaine tried to resuscitate his career as a poet, hoping his young muse would marry and raise a family, and include him in the household. Instead he fell ill with typhoid fever, and died soon afterwards at the age of 21, devastating Verlaine, whose last works of note would be in memorium poems to him. Inner: Bright and innocent, while allowing others to manipulate him towards their own ends. Gender-switching lifetime of exiting extremely early, while once again serving as a muse for an extremely self-destructive poet, without being given a chance to truly find himself. Virginia Poe (Virginia Eliza Clemm) (1822-1847) - American literary spouse and singer. Outer: Mother, Marie Klemm, was the sister of poet Edgar Allan Poe’s (Patti Smith) father, David Poe, Jr. (Matthew Broderick). She was also the first cousin of the deceased first wife of her husband, a hardware merchant. His original marriage produced five children, while the second union yielded three more, including a brother, a sister and herself. Given the name of the sister who had died 10 days before she was born. Lost her sire when she was four, which plunged the family into poverty, since he had left them little money, and their relatives refused to help support them, because they had been against the marriage. Her mother took in boarders and sewed, while also living on a small pension her own bedridden mother had received for her father’s governmental service as a quartermaster. Plump with brown hair and violet eyes, and extremely pale skin, giving her a transcendental look. First met her future husband and cousin, Edgar Allan Poe, when she was seven and he was 20. The following annum, he joined their Baltimore household, after his older brother, Henry (Mickey Avalon), who had been living with the three generations of women and her male sibling, died prematurely from TB. In 1835, her bedridden grandmother passed on, robbing the house of her much needed pension, and making the family destitute, as her brother, an alcoholic apprentice mason, went off to sea, leaving Edgar as the family’s sole support. Poe left the house soon after to take a job in Richmond, while pledging himself to her, and turning down an offer from another cousin, Neilson Poe, who had married her half-sister, to take her into his own household, creating a lifelong enmity between the two. Along with her mother, she joined him in Richmond, and the following year, when she was still thirteen, the two wed. Her mother continued to play a maternal role with both, so that there was a brother-sister overlay to their extremely close union, which produced no children, and may have been unconsummated. His nickname for her was Sis or Sissy, further underlining the sibling nature of their relationship. Encouraged her musical abilities, including a beautiful singing voice, while he also inspired her innate creativity, grounding her in the classics. The couple moved to Philadelphia, and, in 1842, while playing the piano and singing to him, she suddenly began coughing up blood, suffering a pulmonary hemorrhage, which signaled the onset of tuberculosis. Became an invalid through the disease, which devastated Poe. To add to their suffering and poverty, she was deeply pained by her husband’s rumored inconstancies, as well as his heavy drinking to offset his sense of impending loss of her. The two moved to Fordham in 1846 in the Bronx, where she died the following annum of pulmonary consumption, inspiring the poems “Annabel Lee” and “Ulalume,” by her deeply grieving spouse, who never fully recovered from her death, although he managed to get engaged again, before following her to the grave two years later. Inner: Extremely ethereal and totally devoted to her husband, remaining, in essence, a little girl her entire life. Quoth the raven lifetime of being deeply loved by a partner of unstable genius, eventually sending her on an unsteady pathway of exploring her own considerable creative talents in a similar volatile manner in order to give far fuller expression to her mercurial temperament, which would come to the forefront in her subsequent go-rounds.

*

PATHWAY OF THE IRRESPONSIBLE HARD-TRAVELING TROUBADOUR:
Storyline: The popular populist rises from humble origins to become an ongoing national poet in whatever milieu he finds himself, although prefers the freedom of the road to the constrictions of personal responsibility, and winds up a victim of his own frail constitution.

Woody Guthrie (Woodrow Wilson Guthrie) (1912-1967) - American songwriter. Outer: Of Scottish descent. From Oklahoma farming stock. Mother was a cattleman’s daughter and rural schoolteacher who taught her son old songs, and also suffered from Huntington’s chorea, a degenerative nerve disease that she passed down to him. One of five children, with two brothers and two sisters, and named after Pres. Woodrow Wilson (Michael Eric Dyson), who was nominated just before his birth. Father was a singer, banjo player and sometime prizefighter, who encouraged his children to stand up for themselves, while running a cattle and real estate business and involving himself in Democratic politics. A firm anti-socialist, he suffered financial reverses in the 1920s, from the collapse of that state’s oil boom, and ultimately drowned himself, perhaps the victim of the family accursed genetics. Their son’s early homes burned down 3 times, one of which claimed the life of his older sister, who had set it after an argument with their mother. An uncle taught him the guitar and fiddle and he began composing and singing folk songs. His mother was put in an asylum after hurling a kerosene lamp at her dozing husband when her son was 13, and died there 5 years later, as she alternately jekyll-and-hyded it before his very eyes. Took to the rails at 15, and left home for good at 17. Worked as a newsboy, sign painter, spittoon washer and other such jobs, and also sang in the streets. Small and scrawny, while ultimately crippling his guitar hand in a cooking fire to complete the family’s tragic relationship to flames. Became a familiar figure in migrant camps of the 1930s, with his guitar, which read “this machine kills Fascists,” and a slew of songs which were written and compiled from his farming heritage. Left his first wife, Mary Jennings, with a 2nd child on the way, to roam in 1937, and began his public career in California, performing daily on radio, and enjoying popularity for his Will Rogers (Arlo Guthrie)-type humor. Moved to NYC at the start of WW II, where he became involved with the folk-singing group, the Weavers. Actively pro-labor and union, he rarely ceased traveling, despite marriage and family, whom he often left behind when stirred to hit the road. Had 7 children all told, including singer Arlo Guthrie, by dancer Marjorie Greenblatt Mazia, whom he wed in 1940 and divorced in 1953. Lost one daughter in a fire in 1947, while 5 children survived him. His final union was to Anneke Van Kirk in 1953, which lasted 3 years and produced one more daughter, who died in her late teens. Briefly embraced communism, but was rejected for membership because he refused to renounce his religion. Began recording in 1940, and is most noted for the anthem, “This Land is Your Land,” which was originally written as “God Blessed America,” a parody on Irving Berlin’s syrupy anthem, although has since become an alternative anthem itself. Served in the merchant marine for 2 years during WW II, and published his autobiography, “Bound For Glory,” in 1943, after his creative well had all but run dry. By 1952, he was diagnosed an alcoholic and confined to a mental institution, before it was discovered he had Huntington’s chorea. Spent the last decade of his life in a hospital, gradually succumbing to the disease, while ultimately unable to speak or move, as acolytes sat around his bed, staring at him. Also a political cartoonist, as well as a folk artist. Folkie icon, whose influence bridged over to the next generation, thanks in part by his adoption by Bob Dylan. In 1988, he was inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame and was given a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Inner: Gregarious, highly sympathetic to working people, and loveably irresponsible, far preferring the road to domesticity. Extremely limited singer, and far more the writer than the musician, using variations on tunes others had written Compulsive self-mythologizer, as well as seducer. Also petulant, angry and difficult, with a profound sense of loneliness. Machinegun-like writer, limning thousands of pages during his life, for which he received advances, although other than his autobiography, was never able to cohere them into books. Moveable feast lifetime of irresponsibility to family, although great loyalty to movements and moving about, while leaving a stirring legacy of populist words’n’music. Robert Burns (1759-1796) - Scottish poet and songwriter. Outer: Eldest of 4 sons and 3 daughters of a bankrupt tenant farmer, who valued learning and passed his sense of idealism down to him. Although his mother could not write, she had a keen knowledge of ballads and song, while a widowed cousin who lived with them filled his wee head with folklore fantasy. His father’s ill luck and hard work would subsequently turn him into a bitter satirist of existing institutions of Scotland. His family moved from farm to largely infertile farm, while he was behind the plow from the age of 6. Had some formal education, in a series of schools, but was largely self-taught through reading and oral traditions, as well as a hired teacher. Wrote his first song at 14, “Handsome Nell,” in celebration of a local beauty. By 15, he was the working mainstay of his father’s farm, while reading everything in sight, and dancing, drinking and diddling in his spare time. Suffered periodically from rheumatic fever, but never lost his joy for life. Joined the Freemasons in 1781, then labored as a flax-dresser, although the shop soon burned down. Worked his father’s spread and on the former’s death in 1784, from sheer exhaustion, he and his brother became tenant farmers, although the enterprise failed. Spread his seed generously, while the father of one of his recipients, Jean Armour, wanted revenge for despoiling his daughter. Later married her in 1786, without the blessing of the church. Had his marriage repudiated by his father-in-law, and in turn repudiated his wife, but not before she bore him twins, not once, but twice, with the second set, a pair of girls, serially dying in 1788, the same year he had another illegitimate son. Ultimately had 15 children, with 9 construed, more or less, legal, thanks to his setting up official house with his repudiated wife in 1788, despite continuing his extramarital dalliances. Despite his continuous infidelities, he took responsibility for all his extended brood. Wrote for friends, employing Scottish dialect, and after deciding to emigrate to Jamaica, when farming proved unsuccessful, he published a volume of poetry in 1786 that proved extremely popular. Eventually looked on as the national poet of Scotland, and the greatest songwriter the British Isles ever produced. Accepted a job as plantation bookkeeper in the West Indies, then fell in love with a domestic servant, whom he immortalized as Highland Mary and had planned to marry, but sudden fame sent him off to Edinburgh as the Plowman’s Poet, where he was entertained by high society and abandoned his plan to emigrate. Highland Mary died soon afterwards, possibly of typhus or with child from him. Strong humanitarian, champion of the poor, and an outspoken scold against hypocrisy, giving him a universality that made him a poet of the ages. Used traditional melodies for all his songs. Lost a daughter in 1787, then was lionized in Edinburgh, but found fame unsettling, and returned to farming after further adventuring and traveling around Scotland, as well as producing one legitimate son and one illegitimate daughter virtually simultaneously in 1791. Spent the rest of his short life collecting and editing traditional Scottish songs, and adding to his own oeuvre. Obtained a post in the excise service, was an enthusiast for the French Revolution, but his hard life wore him down physically, and he died at home of heart disease and consumption, with the threat of debtor’s prison hanging over him. Soon after, his final son was born to his impoverished widow, although only lived 33 months. Simple versifier, with an equal facility in both Scots and English, celebrating, satirizing and describing as a ‘ploughman poet,’ one of the few in any culture to transcend his meager upbringing. Accepted posthumously as Scotland’s national bard, with a host of international clubs subsequently springing up to celebrate him. Inner: Highly creative traditionalist, and humanitarian deist. Restless, intelligent, but unintegrated into larger multi-class society. Populist lifetime of turning his travails into uplifting songs, and serving as the unofficial songbird of Scotland. William Dunbar (c1460-c1520) - Scottish poet. Outer: Life ill-recorded. Probably of noble Scottish birth. More than likely educated at St. Andrews Univ. he became an itinerant novice within the Franciscan order. Ultimately renounced his calling, and attached himself to the court of of James IV (Kathleen Kennedy), for whom he undertook diplomatic missions, traveling to England and France under the king’s auspices. Around 1500, he was granted a generous pension from the crown, and was highly active around the court, writing in a number of different poetic genres, while complaining about not receiving a long sought-after benefice. Wrote earthy satires and venerating verse, showing extreme versatility with the songs of his pen. Disappears from the records after 1513, at which point he may have gotten his benefice. Inner: Highly creative traditionalist. Frank, eclectic, very much like Robert Burns in the wide range of his subjects, and his earthiness and honesty. Pre-road lifetime of spiritual connection to the crown, while being given ample leeway to express himself in a variety of versifying ways.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS ROMANTIC HERO:
Storyline: The silver-tongued devil operates on the dictum of handsome is as handsome does, and leaves a long legacy of martial, manly and love-struck lyrics in his radiant wake.

bKris Kristofferson (1936) - American singer, songwriter and actor. Outer: Father was an Air Force general, who wished his son to follow suit. Oldest of three children. Moved around a lot as child, before finally settling in northern California. 6’3”, lean and handsome. A star athlete in high school, and Golden Gloves boxer, he went to Pomona College, from which he ultimately received an honorary doctorate, then attended Merton College, Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship to study literature. Initially wanted to be a novelist, before ultimately deciding to become a songwriter, while in the UK. Briefly changed his name to Kris Carson. Married Fran Beir in 1960, divorced 9 years later, daughter and son from the union, including Tracy Kristofferson, an actress/producer. Joined the army, and became a helicopter pilot, rising to the rank of captain, while forming a band in West Germany. In 1965, when he was about to accept a job teaching English at West Point, he resigned his commission and opted for song-writing instead, taking a job as a night janitor in the Columbia studios in Nashville, much to his mother's distress, who refused to speak to him for two decades afterwards. Wrote for other artists, while his own eponymous debut album failed to garner interest. Also worked as a commercial helicopter pilot, and landed one in singer Johnny Cash’s backyard, to give him some tapes, after the latter had initially ignored his efforts. Cash recorded one of his songs, “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” which was voted Song of the Year in 1970 by the Country Music Association. Cut his second album, The Silver Tongued Devil and I, and became a star in 1971, expanding his career into motion pictures, beginning with a bit part the same year, in The Last Movie. In 1973, he married singer Rita Coolidge, with whom he performed and recorded, daughter from union. Passed out at the controls, and lost his pilot job, while nose-diving into Jack Daniels, which effectively ruined his marriage as well, duo were divorced in 1980. Married Lisa Meyers, an attorney, while in his late 40s, 5 children from his third and final union. Had a 2 decade drinking problem, which he finally contained. His later albums would prove less and less commercially viable, although his songs, rendered in the voices of others, would continue to be hits, as would his singing collaborations. Despite some health problems from earlier excesses, he is continuously performing, with an active acting career, and a sense of having triumphed over his own self-shattering demons. Made over 50 films, won 3 Grammys and an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Has a net worth of $80 million. Inner: Handsome, charming, gifted, an archetypal scruffy hero. Silver-tongued devil lifetime of bringing his poet’s sensibilities to popular culture as a living embodiment of the romantic and self-destructive warrior/artist. bRupert Brooke (1887-1915) - English poet and soldier. Outer: Middle of three sons of a headmaster at Rugby, who taught the classics. Attended Rugby as well, where he was a star athlete and scholar, winning the school poetry prize twice. Remarkably handsome, with great charm and vitality. Highly social at King’s College, Cambridge, he became president of the Fabian society, and was friendly with the group who would later become known as the Bloomsbury crowd. A voracious reader, he also enjoyed acting in college, and was an all-around campus hero. His father died suddenly in 1910, and for a brief time, he became a deputy housemaster at Rugby, before receiving an allowance from his mother. Studied in Germany, traveled in Italy, and loved to roam the English countryside round Cambridge, which he celebrated in verse, while leading a group who called themselves Neo-pagans, in their worship of nature and life au natural, although they prudishly drew the line at pre-marital congress. Began publishing in 1911, and wrote about friendship, love and laughter, showing both a sardonic and lyrical bent. Secretly and unsatisfactorily engaged himself to Noel Olivier, a teenager, while also having an affair with the actress Cathleen Nesbitt, only to suffer a nervous breakdown around his confused notions of physical sexuality. Afterwards, he traveled to Germany with a lover, Ka Cox, and a stillborn child resulted from the liaison. Got a fellowship at King’s College as a result of his thesis, and continued his traveling in North America and the south seas, becoming involved with a Tahitian woman, during a three month stay on that exotic isle. Joined the Royal Navy as a commissioned officer at the outbreak of WW I, but saw no action, and instead died aboard ship from sunstroke and blood poisoning after a harrowing retreat. Much mourned as a golden god of the playingfields and versifier, although only his light verse eventually outlasted him. Inner: Well socialized, well-loved, easy-going, delightful companion. Had a revulsion to the human body, which made for much psychosexual confusion. May have been a homophile, but the idea of congress repulsed his puritanical nature. Truncated lifetime of much confusion around the seal sphere while playing the archetypal romantic hero who lives fast, exits young and leaves a good-looking corpse behind. bRichard Lovelace (1618-1657) - English poet and soldier. Outer: From an old and wealthy Kentish family. Eldest of five sons of a military official, who was killed in action in 1627. Brother Francis became a colonial governor of NY. Educated at Gloucester Hall, Oxford, where he was a member of the best social circles, and began writing drama early. A model courtier very much beloved by the queen, he sided with the Royalists during the English Civil War. Took part in several inglorious military expeditions into Scotland in 1639 and 1640. Retired, and became a justice of the peace in Kent. Imprisoned for presenting a Royalist petition to Parliament in 1642. After his release, 2 months later, he spent some time in Holland, then in 1646, fought for the French army, and was once again imprisoned as a Royalist as a precautionary move on his return to England, after being made a Freeman of the Painters’ Company. Released, and sold off most of his estates in the cause of the king. Supposedly died in unhappy poverty, while living on charity. Best remembered for lines, “I could not love thee, dear, so much/Loved I not honor more,” and “Stone walls do not a prison make.” Inner: Ideal cavalier poet. Handsome, charming, poetic. Martial lifetime of derring-do in service of the crown, only to suffer for his unbending loyalties and chivalry, as a true hero should, according to his continual play with this motif.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS DIONYSIAN DINER UPON HIMSELF:
Storyline: The libidinous lizard king overdoes everything in his uninhibited attempt at crashing through his own doors of perception, only to be summarily evicted from life for his excesses and inabilities to find any sense of peace within the restrictive form of a human body.

bJim Morrison (James Douglas Morrison) (1943-1971) - American singer and songwriter. Outer: From a family that had a long military tradition. Son of a career naval pilot, who became a rear admiral. Oldest of 3, with a younger sister and brother. His mother was also employed by the Navy. Moved numerous times during his childhood, and resented his parents, who were strict, using yelling and berating as a means of control. Felt possessed by an Amerindian spirit after viewing an automobile accident in New Mexico at 4. Began drinking and doing drugs as an adolescent, while reading voraciously, with an emphasis on French poets and French existential philosophers as well as medieval texts on demonology. Always had a little notebook handy, where he scribbled his own verse. Took classes at a junior college in Florida, then transferred to Florida State for a year, before moving to Los Angeles and entering the UCLA Theater Arts Dept. in 1964 to study filmmaking. Made several shorts and graduated the following year, while crashing wherever he could, in a desire for absolute unfettered freedom. Went on to break off all contact with his family while continuing to consume vast quantities of alcohol, as well as dabbling in drugs, as a means of both opening himself up, and shutting himself down. A big fan of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (Bob Dylan), and into symbolic death and rebirth, he began exploring music as his most accessible form of expression. Formed a band with fellow film student, Ray Manzarak, then added Robby Kruger and John Densmore. Chose the name, The Doors, from poet William Blake’s, “There are things that are known and things that are unknown; in between the doors,” as well as writer Aldous Huxley’s (Alistair Reynolds) “The Doors of Perception.” 5’11”, with blue-gray eyes and uncommonly handsome. The group initially had difficulties, because of a shyness that saw him singing with his back to the audience, before he developed an uninhibited Dionysian stage presence. Started performing in the LA area, with himself as lyricist and lead singer, and by 1967, after signing with Elektra records, the Doors were a national phenomenon, with “Light My Fire,” an eventual number one hit. Refused to alter its drug-referent lyrics on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” America’s sacrosanct Sunday night variety program, blithely and summarily ending the group’s TV career. Continued to do lots of experimentation with altered states with fellow group members, and met and hooked up with Pamela Courson, an equally volatile mate, with a similar predilection for mashing her mind into oblivious oblivion. Thought of himself as “Mr. Mojo Risin'’” an anagram of his own name. Continually unfaithful to his spouse, yet saw her as an inspiration to him, as they constantly broke up and tearfully came together again. Also performed a wicca marriage ceremony with Patricia Kennealy, a journalist and sci-fi writer who introduced him to drinking blood and other pagan pastimes. Had several hit albums, and while his bandmates eventually rejected drugs, he totally embraced them, ultimately settling on alcohol as his consistent high, and often both performed and recorded in a considerably inebriated state, which caused him to balloon, after which he grew a beard, and affected a whole other style of dress. A self-styled Lizard King, who could do anything, save for shooting up, since he had a fear of needles, and preferred snorting as an acceptable form of ingestion. Arrested for public obscenity in New Haven, then pushed his own envelope in Miami by trying to start a riot, while being accused of exposing himself on stage during a concert in 1969, although no proof exists that he did. Convicted only of lewd and lascivious behavior, but the incident affected the group strongly, since it forced cancellation of many of their concerts. Recorded their last album, "L.A. Woman" in 1970, while he became interested in film again, forming his own production company. Deteriorated further on drugs and alcohol and eventually moved to Paris in early 1971. Less than 6 months later, he was found dead by Pamela Courson in his bathtub of an apparent heart attack at 27, with some 20 paternity suits pending, although none were ever levied against his estate. Buried in Paris, and Courson joined him in death from a heroin overdose 3 years later, after insisting that was how he had died as well. His grave became so festooned with flowers, condoms, beer cans and graffiti, that cemetery officials decided to dig him up in 2001 when his lease expired and set him to permanent rest elsewhere. In 2007, some 36 years after his demise, a French-born former NY Times journalist claimed the singer had died of a heroin overdose on the toilet of a nightclub he was managing at the time, and then was carried by two drug dealers and dumped in his bathtub to make it look like he had expired there, although the late claim was probably spurious. Portrayed in very convincing fashion on the screen in 1991 by actor Val Kilmer in Oliver Stone’s fanciful biopic, The Doors. In his ongoing active afterlife, he was finally granted a posthumous Florida pardon in 2010 for his indecent exposure and profanity conviction in 1969. Inner: Striking sensualist with a deep-seated sense of anger and alienation. Self-styled shaman trying to light the world on fire. Sensitive, poetic, generous, non-materialistic and intelligent, but with no sense of moderation, and an ineluctable draw towards self-immolation. Lizard king lifetime of trying to play Dionysus to a world that loves to eat its pop gods alive as a way of celebrating them. bAlfred Jarry (1873-1907) - French poet and playwright. Outer: Mother was an eccentric whose own brother was unbalanced, while she spent time periodically in mental institutions. His father was a carpenter whose own father had been a mason. His family was from a long line of laborers and farmers. Considered his father a nonentity, but expressed admiration for his mother, despite her madness. His progenitor became a commercial traveler, while his mother moved with her son and his older sister to her own sire’s house, so he could continue his schooling. Showed himself to be a brilliant student, equally adept in the sciences and the humanities, with a facility for effortlessly absorbing information. Wrote a satire with some friends on his physics teacher, which they presented in a marionette theater they called ‘Theatre des Phynances,’ and their creation would prove to be the incipient form of the ‘Ubu’ plays, from which he would receive his enduring fame. Moved to Paris at the age of 18 to prepare for further schooling and fell in with the literary circles there as a frequenter of cafes and night clubs. Short and sturdy with powerful legs from cycling, effecting long dark hair which fell to his shoulders. Had warm black eyes, wore a cape, women’s shoes, and carried pistols, while painting ties on his shirt and living in bizarre dwellings with funereal drapings, live owls and phallic sculptures. Both his parents died when he was 21, and with his inheritance he founded a periodical, which lasted 5 issues. At the same time he also published his first book, Les Minutes de Sable Memorial. Although called up for military service the following year, he was soon discharged for medical reasons. Published two issues of a luxurious art review afterwards, then, at 23, he published the work that would make him famous, Ubu Roi, a prose drama which satirized human stupidity. Its premiere at the end of 1896 was greeted with screaming, whistling and fist-shaking by the insulted and outraged audience, and the resultant hubbub over the next several weeks in the newspapers, insured his notoriety. Continued writing in a variety of forms - essays, novels, journalism, art and literary criticism and two more plays in the Ubu series over the next couple of years, although the reaction to the first one precluded any producer risking staging the latter two, until decades after his death. Probably a homophile, he showed a strong antipathy towards women in his works, and tried to recreate himself according to his artistic vision. A heavy drinker, as well as a user of drugs and stimulants. Tried to transcend human experience through extremes, but he eventually succumbed to malnutrition in his mid-20s, and had to be taken to a hospital in a paralyzed condition, where he died of tubercular meningitis. Inner: Sharp-minded. nonconforming nose-thumbing sensualist who preferred being high to eating. Arch critic of the grotesque in human behavior. Performance art lifetime of self-destructing in the name of art, while playing the role of Dionysian holy fool. Georges-Maurice de Guerin (1810-1839) - French poet. Outer: Born in an ancestral castle of a noble family in financial straits. His mother died when he was 6, and his father, an austerely religious man, mourned her forever afterwards. Reared in very strict Roman Catholic circumstances by a possessive sister, and had no other friends his age. His sire’s constant gloom and his enforced solitude, made him a very grave young man. Used to accompany his local curé in his rounds with the parish’s sick and dying, to further underline his sorrow-filled view of life. Went to school in Toulouse, then studied in Paris at the College of Stanislas for a clerical career, but was ill-suited for scholastics. Pallid and thin with black hair. Despite his chosen vocation, he had a conflicted character, overlaying his morbidity with an artistic temperament, thirsting for new experiences and at-odds with any rules and restrictions laid upon him. Found solace in literature, as well as the literary-inclined friends of his sister. Had an unrequited love for a cousin, which was discouraged because of his ill health. Went to Brittany to live in a radical religious community led by a charismatic rebel priest, and kept a journal on the stimulating atmosphere. The priest was condemned by the pope, the community dissolved, and he returned to Paris, where he wrote pantheistic poetry on the wonders of nature. Spent four years as a tutor at his alma mater, which he considered sheer drudgery. Fell ill in his late 20s, and returned to his native city, where he recovered enough to marry a rich Batavian Creole, while passionately and madly in love with another woman. Died soon after of tuberculosis, without ever having published anything. Following his death, his works were published posthumously, as well as his correspondence with his sister, who had a more traditional romantic mysticism. A cult rose around him towards the middle of the century. Most noted for The Centaur Inner: Mystical, spiritual, absolute pagan and pantheistic. Dissipated, melancholic, romantic, defeatist. Attenuated lifetime of searching for God through nature, and succumbing to the favorite pose of romanticism, early death. Urbain Grandier (1590-1634) - French prelate, writer and martyr. Outer: From a small village in western France. Studied the sciences with his father and uncle, who were both astrologers and alchemists, before entering the Jesuit college at Bordeaux at the age of 12. Had a natural gift for languages and oratory, and was given a classical education. A favorite among his professors, so that as soon as he took holy orders, he was made curate of a parish in Loudon in the Diocese of Poitiers, in central western France. The position made him the object of envy of his older fellow ecclesiastics, since he was not from there. Handsome and far better educated, as well as quite charismatic, he drew enough of a following to incite the jealousy and hatred of those prelates far less gifted than he. Largely the victim of small village small-mindedness, since he would have shone in a large city like Paris, which would have appreciated him far more. Exacerbated local feelings by being cold and sarcastic to those who despised him, while also insisting on all the rights owed him, showing an inflexibility that further alienated him from any and all who opposed his will, creating some powerful enemies, particularly since he came out victorious in every struggle in which he was involved. To further inflame his situation, he was extremely seductive, having had relations with a number of women, while penning a book attacking the whole idea of clerical celibacy. In 1632, a group of nuns from a local Ursuline convent accused him of having bewitched them, after their Mother Superior was rejected by him. Accused of employing black magic, he was arrested and tried by an ecclesiastical tribunal, which could find no evidence of the charge and acquitted him. Took on a far too powerful enemy in Cardinal Armand de Richelieu (Henry Kissinger) the chief minister of France, after criticizing him both orally and in print. Richelieu ordered a new trial under the auspices of his special envoy, who was a relative of the rejected Mother Superior. He was subsequently rearrested, and though neither the nuns nor the Mother Superior repeated their accusations, it mattered not a whit. Several documents purportedly written by him, including a pact with the devil, were produced as proof of his diabolical nature and he was sentenced to death, although he remained resolute in not confessing to anything. Prior to being tied to the stake, eight wedges were serially driven into his body, breaking his bones, as he moaned and prayed in extreme agony. Unable to stand, he was attached to his death stake by an iron bar, while his final words were a weaker and weaker repetition of the name of Jesus, before he succumbed to the flames. Afterwards, his ashes were scattered to the winds. His primary executioner died in agony a month later, while a second inquisitor perished in great pain, screaming blasphemies four years following, Others involved in his martyred sacrifice also seemed beset by the prelate’s ghost, in one final victory for him from beyond the grave. Inspired numerous writers centuries later as an emblem and totem of the inquisitorial zeal of small-minded people eager to extract vengeance on any and all who stood out as superior to them in any way. Inner: Prideful, seductive and self-righteous, while also a gifted and eloquent speaker, with the ability to fill his lessers with jealousy and murderous hatred. Martyred lifetime of being far too large a personality for a small-minded provincial village, forcing him to ultimately suffer mightily for his superiority, as a victim of his own hubris.

*

 

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS OFT SHORT-LIVED TROUBADOUR:
Storyline: The droll lyricist finally brings himself into full maturity after many a go-round of battling deficient bodies that couldn’t sustain his ongoing gift for celebratory song.

nRandy Newman (Randall Stuart Newman) 1944) - American singer/songwriter, composer and pianist. Outer Of Jewish descent.: Father was a musician turned physician, mother was a secretary. Lived all over the South his first few years, while his sire was stationed at various posts during WW II. Had several operations for crossed eyes as a child. Grew up in a comfortable middle-class home in Los Angeles and intended to follow the career of three uncles who were all composers of movie scores. At 17, he became a staff writer for a California publishing company .6'. Attended UCLA, but dropped out a semester short of getting a music degree. Signed with a record label, and had many of his songs performed by other singers. Became a popular campus act, while touring with friend Harry Nilsson, who did a whole album of his songs. His darkly comic material was often misunderstood, particularly with his sense of conciseness and irony. Married Roswitha Schmale, who was German-born, in 1967, 3 sons from the union. Continued producing albums under a variety of musical influences, ranging from New Orleans style to semi-classical, punctuated by his biting wit. Began writing for films in the 1970s, and established himself on a par with his revered uncles, with his sense of orchestration and American musical idioms. Divorced in 1985, and five years later married a second time, to Gretchen Preece, son and daughter from the union. Wrote his first musical comedy in his early 50s, based on the Faust legend, showing the depth of his skills, although it was not well-received. Followed it up with “The Education of Randy Newman,” as he continued to mature and stretch his talents, having been given the extended time to do so, after numerous abbreviated go-rounds in this series. After 16 tries, he finally won an Academy Award in 2002 for the music to Monster’s Ball. Inducted into the rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame wth the class of 2013. Won another one in 2011 and has a dozen Grammys to go along with them, as well as three Emmys and a host of other honors to clutter his mantle-place. Inducted into the rock’n’Rol Hall of Fame wth the class of 2013. After focusing on scores for Pixar’s animated films for nearly a decade, he released his first album in 9 years, “Dark Matter” in 2017, which contains both his bite and humor, in an well-reviewed ironic look at science, religion and politics through his inimitable way of seeing and hearing things. Has a net worth of $50 million. Inner: Mordant wit, with a particular sensitivity to life’s ironies. Full breath lifetime of finally breaking through his propensity for relatively early deaths to give full maturity to both his lyrical and musical talent. nStephen Vincent Benet (1893-1943) - American poet and novelist. Outer: From a military family with literary talent and a long martial tradition. Father was an army ordnance officer. Brother William (Paul Thomas Anderson) became an editor and poet, sister also became a writer. Raised on a series of army post, and contracted scarlet fever at the age of 3 which weakened his eyesight and ruled out a military career. Educated at home initially, then spent one year at a military academy, which he hated. First published poems at 15, then was indifferent student at Yale, but chairman of the Yale literary magazine. WW I interrupted his education. Memorized the official eye chart, passed the army physical in order to enlist, but his deception was soon discovered, and he became a cryptographer for military intelligence. After the service, he graduated Yale, then submitted poems instead of a thesis for his M.A. graduate degree. Published a novel and short stories, went to France, and studied at the Sorbonne on a Yale fellowship. Met his wife Rosemary Carr, in Paris, and the happy union produced 2 daughters and a son. Returned to the U.S. and continued his prolific output, and then went back to France with his family on a Guggenheim fellowship in his late 20s. Produced the epic poem, “John Brown’s Body,” for which he is best remembered, and established his reputation as a leading American poet. The stock Market crash in 1929, however, wiped out his financial successes. Went to Hollywood but disliked it, and returned to grinding out stories. Suffered a nervous breakdown in 1939 from overwork, complicated by severe arthritis. During WW II, he wrote propaganda against the totalitarian Axis. Died of a heart seizure, halting his ambitions as a his/storical poet of America. Inner: Honest, straightforward, but literally and figuratively shortsighted, as well as rigid. Lyrical lifetime of poetically probing his love of his/story, while continuing to deal with life-foreshortening physical limitations. nSidney Lanier (1842-1881) - American poet and musician. Outer: From a distinguished Southern family, brought up by devoutly religious parents. Father was a lawyer. Although he showed musical precocity, he was expected to join his sire’s firm. Graduated from Oglethorpe College, fought for the South in the Civil War, and was captured and imprisoned, where he contracted tuberculosis. Returned to civilian life by walking through the Carolinas, and after continuing to be ill, told his father he would rather devote his life to poetry and music. Worked at odd jobs, where the climate helped his health. In 1867, he married Mary Day. Wrote, worked in his father’s law office, taught at Johns Hopkins Univ., and ultimately became first flutist in a Baltimore orchestra, where he moved his family. His lectures led to “Science of English Verse,” published in 1880, which would be his seminal work. Struggled financially because of TB, wrote verse and potboilers and gave private concerts. Eventually died from TB at 39, with the wry commentary, “Most of my life has been spent in not dying.” Inner: Witty, well-liked, hard-working, with a sense of imminent cessation throughout his adult life. Cup of coffee lifetime of bringing all his gifts to bear, while fighting against the time limits of a failing physical body. nJoseph Rodman Drake (1795-1820) - American poet. Outer: Father died when his son was a boy, mother remarried and went to New Orleans, leaving him with relatives. Only son and one of 4 children. A poet from childhood on, he graduated from medical school, and while a student became friends with Fitz-Greene Halleck (Wallace Stevens), collaborating on satiric verse with him, which proved very popular. In 1816 he began to practice medicine and in the same year married Sarah Eckford, the daughter and heiress of a wealthy shipbuilder, and took an extended honeymoon. One daughter from the union, whom he named Halleck after his close associate. His friends feared his wealthy marriage would change him, but it didn’t, and he opened a pharmacy in NYC. Tubercular most of his life, he eventually died from that disease in his mid-20s. Wished his poems destroyed, but they were published posthumously. Curious parallel with poet John Keats (Jeff Buckley) in the same span of years, choice of profession and cause of death, although the latter was far the superior wordmeister. Inner: Engaging personality, handsome, tubercular and lovable. Warm and modest. Penciled in lifetime of trying to self-heal his frail constitution, while adding to the humorous collective oeuvre of America. nFrancis Hopkinson (1737-1791) - American musician, writer and political figure. Outer: From a distinguished family, grew up in a cultured atmosphere. Both parents were English-born, father was a judge. After the latter died when he was young, his mother sacrificed to give him the best education possible. Educated at the Univ. of Penna., he began composing while still a student, contributing to college entertainments. Later wrote songs, an oratorio, and pieces for the pianoforte, while proving himself a skilled harpsichord performer. Short, with animated features. Studied law, and after a brief business career, became a successful lawyer. Lived for two years in England in the mid-1760s, then married Ann Borden, the daughter of the founder of Bordentown, N.J, 3 daughters and 2 sons from the union. Represented New Jersey in the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence, held several minor posts and ended his career as a judge. A strong supporter of the Constitution, he wrote several articles that helped its passage in Pennsylvania. An accomplished artist as well as musician, he also wrote political satires. Designed various seals, and may have helped with the design of the American flag. Son Joseph became an eminent lawyer and jurist, and also displayed musical skills. Maintained correspondence with many of the heavyweights of the Revolutionary period. Died of apoplexy, in the last longterm life he would lead in this series until the 20th century. Inner: Renaissance man, adept at both politics and the arts. Considered the first secular American composer. Kind and benevolent. Full breath lifetime of developing all his artistic gifts, while playing a peripheral but important role in the founding of the United States, before abbreviating his existences over the next two centuries.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS PERENNIAL POLITICAL PROTESTER:
Storyline: The musical martyr searches for public love under the guise of politically correct protestation, before strangling in his own frustration over his lack of full and unquestioned acceptance as an entertainer sans agenda.

Phil Ochs (1940-1976) - American singer and songwriter. Outer: Mother was Scottish, father was a doctor of Russian/Polish descent, who met her while studying overseas, thanks to quotas on Jewish students. 2nd of 3 children, brother Michael became a noted r’n’r photo archivist. Naturally shy and withdrawn, which was compounded by his father’s absence in the army during his early childhood. Moved from Texas to Queens with his family, and followed family tradition by attending military school in Virginia, while pursuing the clarinet. Studied journalism at Ohio State, and began writing songs while serving 15 days in jail on a vagrancy charge. Formed the Singing Socialists with a friend, later the duo transformed into the Sundowners. Became a solo act, moving from Cleveland to New York, where he was part of the folk protest circle of performers there. Active in causes and the protest movements during the 1960s, while he was banned on both radio and TV. His direct lyrics about social imbalances soon made him into a well-known figure, with “I Ain’t Marching Anymore,” both a song and album of the same name released in 1965, his best-known work. Recorded and gave concerts, and then moved to Los Angeles, where he added rock‘n’roll to his repertoire, and, to the shock of his booing fans, appeared on stage in a gold lame suit a la Elvis Presley (Kesha),, protesting that had always been his fantasy. In 1973, he was mysteriously assaulted while traveling in Africa, and nearly strangled, so that his vocal chords suffered permanent damage. Lived in Africa and London during the early 1970s ,occasionally performing, despite the loss of his voice, while descending into alcoholism. Made his last public appearance in NYC and 6 months later hanged himself in his sister’s house. Cremated afterwards, with his ashes scattered in Scotland. Carried all sorts of symbols with the throat or communication area and the strangulation of his true voice, which was actually one seeking public love rather than protesting injustice. Inner: Highly self-involved, with a strong martyr complex. Calculated lifetime of taking full advantage of the popularity of articulated protest, and then seeking more conventional mass approval, only to self-strangulate when it wasn’t forthcoming. Joe Hill (Joel Häagland) (1879-1915) - Swedish/American labor figure. Outer: Father was a Swedish railroad conductor. One of 9 children, he grew up in an orthodox Lutheran home where singing and playing instrumental music were encouraged. Played the violin, and wrote poems and songs from an early age. His sire was killed in an on-the-job accident when he was 8, and by 12, he was working in a rope mill. Contracted TB at 17, although recovered after years of treatment, only to lose his mother. Emigrated to the U.S. in 1902, with a brother and worked in a Bowery saloon for a while in NYC. Then went out to Chicago, and finally to California, where he became a maritime worker. Later joined the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) or the Wobblies. Took part in the Mexican revolution in 1911 with an international brigade and then began writing a host of labor songs. In a celebrated case, he was tried for the murder of a prominent Salt Lake City grocer and his son, and was found guilty. Before execution by a firing squad, he announced to a friend, “I die like a true rebel. Don’t waste time mourning - organize.” Left a will that said, “For there is nothing To divide, My kin don’t need to fuss and moan, Moss does not cling to a rolling stone. About 30,000 people attended his funeral in Chicago and the following May day, his ashes were sent to locals in every state, save for Utah, and to several foreign countries, where they were scattered simultaneously. Became a figure of both song and legend, and a martyr for labor organizing. Later immortalized in folk song. Inner: Introverted, with a strong sense of martyrdom, and growing radical sensibilities from a go-round on society’s periphery. Legendary lifetime of political passion, and the subsequent immortality of martyrdom. Henry Clay Work (1832-1884) - American songwriter. Outer: Grew up in a political family, father was an ardent abolitionist, who was active in the Underground Railroad that helped slaves escape to free territory. One of 5 children, with three sisters and a brother. His sire was imprisoned for 4 years when he was 9, and he was left to be raised by friends, even after his father’s release. Learned the printing trade, and in his early 20s, went to Chicago, and eventually hooked up with a music publishing firm, Root and Cady, who began bringing out his songs. Later parted with them when he criticized a prominent composer for improving on old hymns. Married Sarah Parker in his mid-30s, two sons and two daughters from the union, with one of each predeceasing him. During the Civil War, he followed his father’s earlier anti-abolition stance and wrote pro-Northern songs, including a celebration of William Sherman’s (Nguyen Giap) devastating march through Georgia. The year after the Civil War, his wife suffered a mental breakdown, which severely limited his output and he returned to the printing trade. Fell in love with an 18 year old, but she married someone else. The latter part of his life was depressing and frustrating, but also inspired his two best songs, “Grandfather’s Clock,” and “The Silver Horn.” His wife died in an insane asylum and he followed suit a year later with a heart attack. Inner: Deeply religious, highly sensitive to social injustice, with his wife acting out his innate sense of imbalance. Socially aware lifetime of externalizing his own lack of internal integration through his mate, while using loss, sorrow and social spirituality as inspiration for his muse.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS SELF-DESTRUCTOR:
Storyline: The bloated body-denier continually manages to turn success into an excuse for excessive over-indulgence to become either a joke or a dead-end to his confreres, despite a lyrical gift for esthetic harmonies, which he has finally learned to transliterate into his physical existence.

bDavid Crosby (David Van Cortland) (1941) - American musician and songwriter. Outer: Of British descent with a touch of Dutch. Father was an Oscar-winning cinematographer, mother was a music-lover. One older brother. The family would sing together, and he was able to harmonize at 6, while developing a high melodic tenor. His sire’s constant travel put a strain on the family, and his parents eventually divorced when he was a teen. Went to prep school, where he didn’t fit in, and though an insatiable reader, he was a poor student. 5’10 1/2” with reddish-brown hair and trademark walrus mustache. Ultimately found his true metier singing in a school play. Adopted a famous crooner’s name and began performing as a teenager as a folk-singer on the West Coast coffeehouse circuit, with his brother. Finished high school by correspondence course, then dropped out of Santa Barbara Community College. Founded the Jet Set, which later became the Byrds in 1964. Played rhythm guitar, sang intricate harmonies and wrote many of the songs for the group. Its technocratic leader, Roger McGuinn, caused tensions galore within the quintet, including occasional onstage fisticuffs. Began his self-destructive hedonistic pursuit of sexual partners and drugs galore, showing little restraint in his pleasure-seeking. Left after the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, in which he announced on stage that the Kennedy assassination was the work of a group of conspirators. Afterwards, he produced Joni Mitchell’s first album, recorded a solo album and founded Crosby, Stills & Nash, later adding Neil Young to the mix, all of whom had been disaffected with their previous groups. Beginning in 1968, the group proved overwhelmingly popular with their high harmonies, folk rock lyrics and intricate musicianship, although their harmonizing did not carry over into their personal interrelationships. Loved the trappings of success, bought a home north of San Francisco, although the woman he was living with, Christine Hinton, died in a car accident shortly afterwards. Totally derailed afterwards, he drowned his sorrow in drink aboard his schooner, the ‘Mayan,’ imbibing his way around the world, while also using coke and heroin. Had a daughter with a friend of Hinton’s. Disbanded to pursue separate efforts, then regrouped with CSN&Y to tour and record again, maintaining their popularity. Developed a hole in his nose from his cocaine habit, and began freebasing. Met his future wife, Jan Dance in 1976, and together the duo went through a decade of further addiction. Grew more paranoid, carrying guns, while overdosing repeatedly, and putting all of his money into drugs. Graham Nash served as his caretaker, but he continually resisted rehab. Finally arrested and convicted on a drug and weapon’s charge in Texas, in his mid-40s, and sentenced to 5 years in the Texas State Penitentiary. Served a symbolic nine months, while playing with the prison band only to emerge grossly overweight and contrite, to become something of a rock’n’roll joke, although successfully conquered his addiction, as did his future wife. Later made a triumphant return to the stage, a changed man. Married Jan Dance in 1987, one son from the union, but was increasingly exhausted from touring, finally getting a liver transplant when doctors told him he only had a week to live. At around the same time, his brother Ethan committed suicide. Discovered he had a 32 year old son, who would later tour with him with his band CPR. Donated the sperm for singer Melissa Etheridge’s 2 children, while enjoying himself as a clean and sober family man, having finally conquered his demons, only to be arrested on marijuana and gun possession charges at a Times Square hotel in 2004. Released his first album in 20 years, “Croz,” in 2014, after having mellowed out considerably, from all the self-made drama in his life. Inner: Enormously self-destructive despite being an extoller of nature and love in his lyrics. Political, pleasure-loving, and finally able to love both himself and those around him. Body-denying lifetime of being forced to take a long hard look at himself under extremely confining quarters, after creating a successful public, if not private, life for himself, and coming through to write a happy ending for himself. bRichard Hovey (1864-1900) - American poet. Outer: From a multigenerational family of pioneers in various countries. Mother was also a well-known educator and translator of French literature for the U.S. Bureau of Education, who oversaw her son’s early instruction. Father was president of Normal Univ. One of two brothers. His sire served as a major-general in the Civil War, during which time his mother nursed wounded soldiers and sheltered runaway slaves. After the fray, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where he grew up. At 16, he wrote and published his first book of poems. Studied English literature at Dartmouth, where he was class poet and editor of the college magazine. An enthusiastic drinker with his fraternity, he also affected bohemian dress, with a taste for outlandish outfits that would last his lifetime, topped off by a dark, flowing beard. Graduated Phi Beta Kappa and wrote many songs still sung there. Strongly identified with his alma mater, which gave him the stimulation to pursue literature as a career. Unable to win a teaching position because of his dandified look, he studied art for a year in Washington, then was a student for an annum at the General Theological Seminary, where he pursued Anglo-Catholicism, while serving as a lay assistant. Abandoned the clergy and went to Boston, where he became a newspaper reporter. Met Bliss Carman (Neil Young), and collaborated with him on their best known work, Songs of Vagabondia, after walking through Massachusetts with him. Became an actor for several years to give him experience as a playwright. Planned a series of 9 plays around Launcelot and Guinevere, but only completed four of them, because of his abbreviated life. Visited England and France in his late 20s, and came under the influence of the Symbolist poets, whom he translated. Met Henrietta Russell, who was married but separated from her second husband, and matched him in eccentricities. 14 years his senior, she was noted as the chief American practitioner of “eurhthymics,” or harmonious bodily movements. Went to France with her, when she was pregnant with their son. For appearance sake, they placed the child with a French foster mother, and did not retrieve him until 3 1/2 years later, when they were officially married in 1894. Wandered with his bride both in Europe and America, and on their return he became a lecturer on Eng. Literature at Columbia, and a professor in the same subject at sister college Barnard. Wrote jingoistic verse during the Spanish-American War, then died unexpectedly of a blood clot in his heart, following minor surgery. Inner: A wanderer his entire life, he never had a fixed home, nor did he ever settle on an occupation, preferring to be a dilettante in all he pursued. Enjoyed drunken camaraderie, and both high literary life and low tavern life. Deeply spiritual and a proto-feminist, supporting women’s issues, as a result of a deep, abiding respect for his strong-willed mother. Highly sensitive, with a deeply aesthetic nature, and a great love of both classical and modern literature. Body-denying lifetime of coming in through an academic environment, and still finding a way to self-destruct, despite the cerebral nature of his existence, and the overt health habits of his mate. Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863) - French poet and playwright. Outer: From an aristocratic family, who had long served as soldiers to the crown and lost much in the French Revolution. Mother was a dominating figure, who took charge of her son’s education, while his father, a comte, who was 60 at his birth, was a secondary figure in the household. Unhappy at school, at seventeen, he was admitted to an aristocratic corps of the Gendarmes Rouges, and then served for seven years as an officer with the Royal Guard, following the restoration of Bourbon monarchy. Began writing poetry, and was first published anonymously in his early 20s. Followed it up with a collection of verse and an his/storical novel, which gave him a name in Romantic circles, and made him a strongly influential figure. His first love affair was broken up by his mother. In 1825, he married an Englishwoman, Lydia Bunbury, and several years later, tiring of army life as repetitious and monotonous, he retired from military service, and settled in Paris. His wealthy and eccentric father-in-law could never remember his name or anything about him, save his being a poet, and denied him a dowry, much to his acute disappointment. Frequented Parisian salons, but despite his identification with romantic tenets, he would remain an outsider his entire life, a somewhat aloof figure who led from the head, rather than the heart, as his fellow romantics did. His marriage would also prove unhappy, since his wife never really learned French, and quickly dwindled down into invalidism and ill health, proving to be far more of a burden than anything else. No children from the union. Served as a translator for Shakespearean works, while becoming more and more of a political liberal, in spite of his family’s longtime loyalty to the royal house. Had his first play produced in 1831, an his/storical drama, and took on a well-known actress, Marie Dorval, as a mistress, in compensation for his weak state of wedlock. She would later star in his best known work, “Chatterton,” based on the short life of the English literary hoaxer, Thomas Chatterton (Shannon Hoon). Despite his successes, his homelife was profoundly unhappy, and his relationship with his lover was fraught with jealousy, while his reputation was soon surpassed by the talented horde who were also now writing under the banner of romanticism. The death of his mother in 1838 signaled a break with Marie Dorval, as he inherited a property near Angouleme, Le Main Giraud, and retreated there, to what would be described as an “ivory tower.” While initially finding his surroundings inspiring, for some of his best poetry, he eventually stopped publishing altogether and retreated wholly into himself. After a half-dozen turndowns, he was finally elected to the French Academy in 1845. Had several more affairs, including one with writer Louise Colet (Anais Nin). His one stab at elective office in 1848, when he ran for the Chamber of Deputies, resulted in defeat. Continued his writing in a journal, while pondering both the greater and lesser issues of his time. Grew grapes for cognac, and lived as a country squire in his last years, before dying a few months after his wife, from stomach cancer, which he bore with grim forbearance. Best remembered for his poetry. Inner: Stoical, intellectual and pessimistic, viewing life in terms of tragedy rather than comedy. Felt the artist was responsible to his age, and saw human suffering in silence as a high spiritual pathway. Ivory tower lifetime of looking at existence from the head, since his heart could never find true satisfaction, before returning and deliberately loosening himself with excess stimulants, in order to come down from his town in order to get at his deeper, and far more vulnerable emotional core.

*

 

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS CANADIAN SINGER OF SAD SONGS:
Storyline: The Grand Old Man of rock’n’roll remains a scolding but lyrical voice of consciousness over the decades, taking on the role of generous godfather to the generations of musicians that have followed, while rarely losing his own sense of unambiguous moral determination.

bNeil Young (Neil Percival Young) (1945) - Canadian/American singer and songwriter. Outer: Of Scottish, British and Northern Irish descent. Father was a well-known Canadian sports journalist. After his parents divorced, he moved with his mother to Winnipeg. His sire later wrote a book, “Neil and Me,” on their relationship, which was always very solid. Had polio and was subject to epileptic seizures as a youth. Played in high school rock bands, then moved to Toronto to work in folk clubs, where he became friends with singer Joni Mitchell. 6’, with dark brown hair and blue eyes. After the failure of a band, he drove to Los Angeles in his Pontiac hearse, and formed Buffalo Springfield in 1966, a popular folk/rock group, whose members, nevertheless, despised one another. Occasionally would suffer epileptic seizures while playing with them. After the band split up 2 years later, he acquired Joni Mitchell’s manager, and formed a back-up band, Crazy Horse, which would accompany him on his solo career. Also joined with Crosby, Stills and Nash, to create a supergroup of harmonizers, alternating recordings with them. Following the drug death of a member of Crazy Horse, as well as one of his roadies, he entered a bleak period of mournful songs, followed by a far more political oeuvre, making himself a voice of protest and consciousness down through the decades. Able to become a bridge figure between older and younger rockers, as the Grand Old Man of rock’n’roll, stretching his active career from the 1960s to the millennium. Continued to be an outspoken critic of American militarism and violence, occasionally importuning his audiences to wake up. Suffered a crumbling spinal disc in 1971. Briefly supported Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s in a short political turn-around. One of the very few rock’n’roll celebrities to continue a highly relevant career into middle age. Married Pegi Morton in 1978, their son Ben, would have severe cerebral palsy. Also had a daughter with her, as well as another son with a milder case of the same afflictiion with actress Carrie Snodgrass. Because of his sons’ disabilities, he became involved in a San Francisco school for severely handicapped children, and also became part owner of Lionel Trains, after developing a remote control device that allows the disabled equal opportunity for play. Ever the scold, but rarely sacrificing his strong esthetic in the process, he remains a man for all the ongoing seasons, refusing to mellow his stances with age. Has produced over 25 solo albums, seeing himself as a musical schizophrenic, equally capable of the contemplative and the discordant, while serving as a grandfatherly beacon for the generations of young musicians who have followed him. Inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Turned a self-described music novel, Greendale, into a film in 2004, serving as cinematographer as well, in his ongoing desire to continually expand his metiers in order to serve his unabated creativity. Successfully underwent surgery for a brain aneurysm the following year, and continues to be a steady voice of his times, with the release of “Living With the War,” in 2006, and its damning of the Bush administration. In 2012, he penned a memoir, “Waging Heavy Peace,” putting his cranky, cantankerous sensibilities in the service of aging, nostalgia and remaining relevant in a discipline that has always smacked of adolescent vainglory, without succumbing to its various siren calls, which have consumed most of his contemporaries. After 36 years of marriage he split from his wife, citing irreconcilable differences, while agreeing to mutually support their afflicted son. In 2015, he put out the anti-GMO documentary, “Seeding Fear” on the same day as the House of Representatives passed a bill to block compulsory labeling of GM foods. Inner: Driven, mournful and restless. Primitivist, uncompromising, always striving for simplicity, with a wonderful ear for lyrics and a simply, resonant playing style. Uncompromising lifetime of a long and fruitful career as a voice of lyrical protest, dedicated to righting social wrongs, while plumbing the depths of his heart with his own personal triumphs and tragedies. bWilliam Bliss Carman (1861-1929) - Canadian/American poet. Outer: From a family of American loyalists who fled to Canada during the American Revolution. Father was a Canadian barrister. Mother was loosely related to New England Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson (Reinhold Niebuhr). Educated at Frederickton Academy, then studied the classics at New Brunswick Univ. After only three days at Oxford Univ., he left and wound up doing graduate work at the Univ. of Edinburgh, where he studied physics, math and philosophy. Classically beautiful, tall, with a mass of blond hair, while he dressed eccentrically as a matter of principle. Returned to Canada to teach and read law with his father, but didn’t care for the profession. Since he was a child, he had an abiding love for the poetry of nature, but didn’t find any early adult pursuits that matched it. Published his first poem in 1884, while editing a weekly, then two years later, he went to Harvard to study philosophy. Met poet Richard Hovey (David Crosby) there and the duo decided to dedicate themselves to Poetry, with a capital ‘p’. Went hiking with him in New England, and their joint adventures resulted in his best remembered work, “Songs of Vagabondia,” which wound up a three volume series. Remained a close friend of Hovey until his premature death in 1900. An optimistic, impressionistic writer, his poetic outpouring was highly emotional, transliterating his feelings into high language. After Harvard, he worked as an editor for various journals. Lived like a poor bohemian in NYC, fending off starvation with an editing job, and later wrote a literary column for various newspapers, although his single-minded devotion remained to poetry. A true lyricist, all his works were fresh and spontaneous. Never married, and he eventually retired to Connecticut, where he died. Inner: Shy, reticent and self-deprecating. Unswayed by celebrityhood even after being awarded a poet’s laureate medal by the Canadian Parliament. Sweet nature, without a sense of the profound. Esthete’s lifetime of totally dedicating himself to the art of poetry as a higher form of expression, without being burdened by the familial trappings of mundane life. Petrus Borel (Joseph-Pierre Borel d’Hauterive) (1809-1859) - French poet. Outer: Father had fought for the armies of the Convention and was an ironmonger, who worked hard to see that all his sons got a decent education. 12th of 14 children. Studied architecture per his sire’s desire, and was apprenticed to an architect, but his real love was for literature, and he eventually abandoned his studies for it. Became the center of a bohemian circle of eccentric Romantics, who rebelled against all classical tenets, while he was known as “le Lycanthrope,” the man-wolf. His group, who were an offshoot of those who hung around Victor Hugo (Henry Miller), called themselves Les Jeunes France, and flung down their gauntlets against all philistine forms, while embracing poverty as a reflective lifestyle. Published his first verse in 1832, and did his most resonant work during the decade, including a translation of Daniel Defoe’s (John Steinbeck) “Robinson Crusoe,” and his own best-known work, “Madame Potiphar.” Wrote in a largely melodramatic style, filled with horror and shocking imagery, which would later influence the Surrealists. Part of the crew, including Charles Baudelaire (Lou Reed) and Theophile Gautier (Tom Waits) who met and consumed hashish and opium under the name of the Club des Hashichin, holding monthly seances to open their minds to altered states. Earned little from his efforts and spent a largely impoverished life, living communally with friends, while openly despising all that was bourgeois and materialistic. In 1846, he ultimately had to take a civil service job, which took him to colonial Algeria. Lost his post, however, because of his unsuitability for any kind of steady employment, and his accusations of his superiors of malfeasance in 1855, and wound up ragged and unkempt in a Gothic mansion, where he died in abject poverty. Inner: Charismatic and intense but also proud and touchy, and little suited for the realities of this world. Otherworldly lifetime of giving poetic and public vent to a deep unbridled, and decidedly unromantic, anger, which he would later transliterate in far more disciplined fashion.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS VISIONARY OF VIOLENCE:
Storyline: The martial memorialist mixes his passive-fist nature and belief in the ultimate transcendence of humanity with a gritty lyrical take on the mayhem underlying that transcendence, while dealing with his own addictions to death and self-destruction, in an ongoing attempt at integrating his realities with his projections.

nWarren Zevon (1947-2003) - American songwriter. Outer: Named after his uncle, who died in WW II, and whose memory hovered over him. Father was a Russian Jewish immigrant who became a boxer, then a professional gambler and gangster. Mother was Mormon and of Scotch-Welsh descent, who was extremely withdrawn, but encouraged her son’s pursuit of music. The family name was Livotovsky, which was changed by his grandfather. Raised in California. His progenitor’s profession kept the family moving, not close with parents, who divorced when he was a teen. Learned to play piano as a child. Briefly studied music, and after several visits to maestro Igor Stravinsky, taught himself guitar and began writing songs. Played in local bands, moved to NYC, then the San Francisco area. After the failure of his initial efforts, he wrote advertising jingles and worked as a pianist and bandleader for the Everly Brothers, before they broke up. Married and divorced, one child from union. Moved to Spain, where he sang in an Irish bar outside Barcelona, before the popularity of some of his songs induced him to return and record. His friend, Jackson Browne, produced his next album, and by the end of the 1970s, he had made a name for himself, despite spending much of the decade in an alcoholic haze. His breakthrough album would be Excitable Boy in 1978, which included his best known single, “Werewolves of London.” Married Crystal Brelsford in 1974, and proved to be an abusive unfaithful husband, so that she divorced him in 1981, although she later compiled a posthumous oral biography of him entitled I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, thanks to her ongoing belief in his supreme talent. One child from union. Addicted to alcohol, which curtailed his career, although he finally freed himself of it in the early 1980s, after retreating from the music business for several years. In 1987, he celebrated with Sentimental Hygiene, which featured collaborations with an all-star medley of rock icons. Continually exploring violence, politics and offbeat circumstances in his work. Married a third time to actress Kim Lankford. His oddly eccentric songs made him a headliner, but he couldn’t maintain his momentum and his career waned, as he went to small venues, rather than pursue the path of the rock-star. Despite occasional writer’s block, he continued his off-beat calling and maintained a low key existence, as an oddity of rock’n’roll. Discovered he had inoperable lung and liver cancer in 2002, but faced his demise with good humor and a sense of inner peace, although began drinking again at the news. Continued writing and recording, and lived long enough to see the birth of his first grandchildren, a set of twins, before dying at home from the dis-ease. His final album, The Wind, went on to win 2 posthumous Grammy awards, the very first of his career. Inner: Good-natured wit with a belief in the enduring goodness of humanity. Lifelong smoker, voracious reader and movie-goer, with a preference for ‘hard-boiled’ fare. Well-informed, with an earlier braggadocio about his capacities for self-destruction. Self-appointed poet laureate of martial violence. Obsessive-compulsive, with a phobia around doctors. Eccentric lifetime of creating himself as an offbeat uncompromising voice in the public wilderness. nWilfred Owen (1893-1918) - English poet. Outer: Born in the house of his grandfather, who had been a former mayor. When the old man died 2 years later, he was forced to live in backstreets with only memories of wealth. The oldest of 5, with three brothers and a sister. His mother wanted him to restore their family to gentility via a Church career, and gave him a strong evangelical upbringing. On Sundays, he would rearrange the family sittingroom to resemble a church, then in a cardboard mitre would conduct an evening service, replete with a sermon. His father eventually was made an assistant superintendant of joint railways. Serious and slightly priggish as a youth, with interests in archaeology, geology and botany, he left school at 18, after failing to win a scholarship to the Univ. of London, and became an unpaid lay assistant to a vicar. Away from his mother’s influence, he was less and less enamored of evangelism and more critical of the Church, while remaining sensitive to the suffering of poor. Showed himself to be a romantic at heart in his poetic dabblings, with a particular affinity for John Keats (Jeff Buckley). On the verge of a nervous breakdown, he left the vicarage and became an English teacher at the Berlitz School of Languages in Bordeaux, France, after recovering. A homophile, although considerable doubt exists as to whether he ever acted on his sexual feelings. Served as a tutor in a cultivated French household when WW I broke out. Returned to England the following year, enlisted in the Artists Rifles and was commissioned with a Manchester regiment. Several months later, he fell into a cellar, where he was trapped for three days, while suffering a severe concussion, a symbol of his own resisted underground world. Invalided home a few weeks later with severe shellshock. Met poet Siegrfried Sassoon in a hospital in Edinburgh, and began contributing to the hospital magazine, “Hydra,” as part of a work-cure, while viewing Sassoon as his poetic mentor. Found a far leaner voice under the latter’s tutelage, and quickly surpassed him in the musicality and density of his verse. Returned to the front later that summer, where he served as a company commander with the Artists Rifles, despite being highly critical of the war. Won a medal for bravery and was killed in battle by machine gun fire leading his platoon, one week before the armistice to end WW I. Had been planning a book of poetry based on WW I, as well as verse dramas. His collected poems were published 2 years following his death, by Sassoon. Inner: Although he repudiated his mother’s religiosity, he was a strong believer in Jesus Christ. Intrigued with the aesthetics of violence, poet of martial conflicts. Martyred lifetime of celebrating violence and death through poetry, while directly sacrificing himself to the great gods of war as a way to purge himself of his obsessive linkage to the brutality of humanity. Oliver Madox Brown (1855-1874) - English poet. Outer: Father was artist Ford Madox Brown (Lindsay Anderson). Mother was his sire’s former model and second wife, who was originally illiterate, but taught by her husband to read and write, only to prove to be a difficult partner, because of a combination of epilepsy and alcoholism. Had one older step-sister, Lucy (Carly Simon), as well as an older brother who died in infancy, and another younger artist sister who went on to marry the writer Ford Madox Ford (Anthony Minghella). Known as ‘Nolly’ to his family, he proved to be a precocious writer, penning one novel, “Gabriel Denver,” and some poetry, most of which he destroyed. Like his sisters, he was also an artist, although his talents were never given a chance to develop, because of his early death from blood poisoning on the anniversary of the publication of his novel. Left two other nearly completed novels, as well as some short stories as his legacy. Inner: Precocious, with a respectable talent for exposition. Flickering candle lifetime of exhibiting innate poetic skills, while feeding into a pattern of premature deaths that probably preceded this go-round as well, and would continue on after it.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS HOBOING TROUBADOUR:
Storyline: The gravel-voiced vagabond eventually finds his way off the road to a stable life, after many a go-round of moving in confused circles around any semblance of self-worth and self-satisfaction.

vTom Waits (1949) - American singer, actor and songwriter. Outer: Claims to have been born in a moving taxi, on the 8th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Parents were both teachers, mother was of Norwegian descent and was a sometime singer, father was Scotch-Irish, taught Spanish and played guitar in a mariachi band. One of 3 children, with two sisters. The duo divorced when he was 10, and he lived with his mother afterwards, with his sire largely disappearing from his life. Had a middle-class upbringing, but attended a mostly black junior high school, which opened him up to more eclectic musical tastes. Felt himself a man out of time, a 1950s character in the 1960s, a decade he said he slept through, while pursuing an offbeat affinity for the Beats and classic Americana music of the past. 6’. Left home, served in the Coast Guard, lived a vagabond life out of a car, and began songwriting while working as a doorman at an L.A. nightclub. Appropriately, he began his career at L.A.’s Troubadour Club. A gravel-voiced performer, he soon built up a cult following as an opening act, although he often received negative audience reaction for his offbeat style, which including carrying a whiskey flask onstage and offering musical paeans to the detritus of American culture. His first album did poorly, but he continued touring with a trio, which he later had to disband because of financial reasons, as well as his own escalating drinking problem. Despite adverse record sales, he maintained his eccentric mumbling style of talk-singing, then expanded into movies, beginning with Paradise Alley in 1979, playing numerous small, but memorable parts. Involved with singer Rickie Lee Jones at the same time. Built up a small cult following during the 1970s, and then abandoned his down-and-out performing persona, when he saw his act was becoming too contrived around it. Eventually stopped smoking and drinking, married his co-writer and producer, Kathleen Brennan, in 1980, had a daughter and two sons and settled down in Northern California, while continuing his wry assault on the complacent musical sensibilities of America. Began exploring the nightmare alley aspect of his contemporary world, stripping down his instrumentation to its barest of essences, while recasting his voice into a host of transmutations, becoming, in essence, the storytelling bard he had always been. Credited his wife with opening him up to his greater possibilities, including serving as a co-writer on many of his subsequent songs. Won several Grammys for his efforts, and also co-wrote a musical play in 1986 with Brennan, “Frank’s Wild Years,” which successfully ran on Off-Broadway and with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater. Continued his theatrical collaborations into the 1990s, as well as movie soundtracks, acting, more albums and working on other people’s projects. In his steady rise to greater and greater prominence and preeminence, he added TV to his C.V. after the turn-of-the-century, while fighting successfully over the decades, against the abject commercialization of his voice by suing ad companies which tried to imitate him for their own gain. Inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. The same annum, he released his first album of new material, “Bad as Me,” in seven years, showing a strong empathy for working people, and the ability to bring them musically to life. Inner: Off-beat, wry, eccentric and a deliberate outsider, with a unique voice and stage presence. Self-styled albino catfish in the lake, allowed to grow bigger and bigger without ever being caught. Bibulous bard lifetime of eventually getting the intimate support and outward acclaim he needed to set his life straight without losing any of his originality or need to redress the culture of his times. vNicholas Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931) - American poet. Outer: Father was a physician. 2nd of 6 children. The death of 3 younger sisters made his mother ardently religious, which affected the whole household. His parents wanted him to be a doctor but he was more attuned to the dis-ease of the collective human spirit. Attended Hiram College, then left to go to Chicago and study at the Art Institute there. Didn’t think of himself as a poet, and never lost interest in drawing, illustrating some of his own books. Worked in a department store during the day, attending Chicago Art Institute at night. Unable to sell any of his work, he set out on a vagabond trip out west, reciting poems for food and lodging. Continued this mode throughout much of his early life, chanting his verse, and trading his poesy for momentary survival. When he wasn’t tramping in his late 20s, he lectured at the YMCA and Illinois anti-saloon league. Eventually grew weary of wandering and in 1925, married Elizabeth Conner, after meeting her at one of his lectures, 2 children from the union. Had a special affinity for his hometown of Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln had had his law office. Poverty, ill health and worry sapped his strength as a writer. Lived in his wife’s hometown of Spokane, then returned to Springfield. His last years were filled with gloom and despair. Suffered from diabetes, and officially died from a coronary thrombosis, although probably committed suicide by drinking a bottle of Lysol. Best remembered for his poems, “The Congo,” and “General William Booth Enters Heaven.” Inner: Had a troubadour’s impulse, but couldn’t maintain his early vitality and vigor. Intuitive, grew steadily more pompous, never transcended his early limits. Saw himself as a teacher and evangelist, but was tired, sick and unhappy by life’s end. Burnout lifetime of searching for support for his poetic sensibilities, but an inability to find it over an extended period ultimately did him in. Theophile Gautier (Pierre Jules Theophile Gautier) (1811-1872) - French poet, novelist, journalist, dramatist and critic. Outer: Father was a tax collector and staunch royalist, as well as fairly well-educated. Two sisters. When he was three, the family moved to Paris. A superior student, he was taught partially at home by his sire, as well as at the College Charlemagne, where he formed a lifelong friendship with fellow poet Gerard de Nerval (Nathanael West), with whom he shared a fascination with earlier French literature. Through him, he fell into the Parisian circle of romantics around dramatist Victor Hugo (Henry Miller), known as the “petit cenacle.” Originally wanted to be a painter, and pursued that pathway, but soon found literature far more to his liking, and embarked on a multifaceted career of French letters. A good athlete, as both a swimmer and boxer, although he was basically gentle and benign. Published early verses with family money, but after the uprising against Charles X (Roland Emmerich) in 1830, he was forced to be a support for his siblings, with his family’s financial position in ruins. Enjoyed his first success with an epistolary novel, “Mademoiselle de Maupin” in 1835, that propounded his basic philosophy of “art for art’s sake.” Highly social and a bohemian at heart, he fell in with a group of hashish and opium users in the 1840s, including Nerval, Petrus Borel (Neil Young) and Charles Baudelaire (Lou Reed), and grew fat with maturity after enjoying a slender youth, while sporting a flaming crimson waistcoat as his signature garment. Became known as “the elephant,” because of his subsequent huge size and exceptional strength. An enthusiastic traveler, he used his wanderings as fodder for his pen, personalizing his observations, and adding immeasurably to the travelogue genre over the course of his active life. Had many affairs, with a son from one of them. The great love of his life was with Carlotta Grisi, a ballet dancer, although she failed to reciprocate his heartfelt feelings and he wound up having two daughters with her sister, Ernestina, a singer whom he married. Disliked writing, although needed to live off what he could produce by the pen. A critic as well as inveterate letter writer, he wound up outlasting many of his fellow romantics to become a grand old man of the movement. Became a highly prolific journalist as a reviewer and theater critic, most notably for La Presse from 1836 to 1854, despite a distinct dislike for producing work under deadline pressure. Nevertheless, he was given several prestigious editorships, including the influential “L’Artiste,” in 1856, thanks to a keen eye for detail, and a highly esthetic nature. Totally apolitical, he had little difficulties in accepting and largely ignoring the tumultuous changes in France during his life. Despite his influence on the country’’s intellectual life, he was rejected for the French Academy three times, although held other high posts, including royal librarian to a cousin of emperor Napoleon III (Darryl F. Zanuck) in 1868. At the outset of the Franco-Prussian War, which would lead to the latter’s fall, he suffered through the Prussian invasion of Paris, and the violence of the Paris Commune afterwards, and eventually succumbed to a long-standing cardiac condition. Inner: Well-loved, large-hearted and highly eccentric, with a good sense of humor. Bohemian to the bone, with a good command of language, a prodigious memory and an astute literary sensibility. Expressed little interest in the larger issues of his times, preferring to focus on the cultural life of France, and letting everything else serve as backdrop for it. Had great affection for cats. Elephantine lifetime of exploring sheer volume as a means of expression, creating a prolific career that was popular at the time, but might have been better remembered had it been more focused.

*

PATHWAY OF THE MUSICIAN AS POET OF THE PEOPLE:
Storyline: The homespun hoosier learns that macho posturing is not what it means to be a man, but rather caring, responsibility and maturity, allowing him to ultimately reclaim his poet’s voice and be a true observer of mid-Americana.

nJohn C. Mellencamp (1951) - American singer and songwriter. Outer: Father was an electrical contractor, mother was a homemaker and postal employee. Born with meningocele, a potentially crippling deformity of the spine, making the backbone a lifelong issue of his. Operated on and separated from his mother for about a month as an infant. Taught to be macho by his father, although felt the latter was never home for him. Rebellious, good athlete, but wound up as a beer-swilling truant as a teenager. 5’7’, with dark brown hair and eyes. Continually clashed with parents and authorities. In his teens, he married Priscilla Esterline, a young woman 3 years older than himself, who was already 3 months pregnant with their daughter. Lived with his wife’s parents, worked as an electrician’s handyman and played in rock’n’roll bands. Enrolled in a 2 year community college, and gave up drugs in school, while becoming interested in glitter rock. Took a job as a telephone installer, but was fired for his obscene nature. Went to New York and wound up signing a contract with the same manager as David Bowie. Still raw, he released 2 albums, but then disbanded his band. Divorced in 1981, and the same year he married Vicky Granucci, only to divorce at decade’s end. Two daughters from the union. Renamed himself Johnny Cougar, and had a breakout album in 1982 with “American Fool,” catapulting him center-stage. Slickly marketed, he went to England, then back in the U.S., before finally finding more of his own songwriting voice. Save for that one stint, he has spent most of his life in southern Indiana. Fell in love with the daughter of a stuntman, divorced and married her, but remained on good terms with his ex-wife. His back-up band came together and he started recording under the name John Cougar Mellencamp. As his music turned more personal and far less imitative, he became more of a political activist. Made amends with his sire, and his family eventually entered his sphere, with his father becoming his financial manager, his brother his road manager and his ex-wife his office manager. In 1992, he married a much younger model, Elaine Irwin, and had 2 more sons from the union, which ended after nearly twenty years in 2010. Continues his career with occasional film appearances, and a growing maturity and depth to his work, voicing his concerns for humankind in general. Suffered a mild heart attack at 40 because of poor dietary habits. Also an artist, publishing Mellencamp: Paintings and Reflections. Inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. Inner: Short and feisty, populist at heart. Tamed down from his earlier wildman stance to become a vocal poet of note. Spine-searching lifetime of getting in touch with his inner cougar, while allowing a darker, more volatile side of a poet of the people to come through, before finding the courage to embrace a softer maturity. nJames Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916) - American poet. Outer: Of Pennsylvania Dutch extract, father was a lawyer. Mother loved poetry, father loved oratory, and their son had a strong sense of language while growing up. Observant and slender, he would listen to his sire at the courthouse, where he also picked up the Hoosier dialect. An amateur musician, he left school at 16, and traveled around Indiana with a group of boys who called themselves, “The Graphics,” and decorated country barns. Became a wandering musician afterwards with a patent medicine company before finally settling as a newspaperman. Under the name of “Benj F. Johnson of Boone,” he began writing for the Indianapolis Journal in his mid-20s. Much of his work was penned in Hoosier dialect, chronicling the ordinary life of the area. Printed a poem purportedly by Edgar Allan Poe (Patti Smith), as a joke, and was forced to resign, receiving local and unwanted publicity. Became known as “the Hoosier Poet.” Extremely popular in his time because of the simplicity, sentimentality, humor and pathos to his lyrics. “When the Frost is on the Punkin” is one of his most popular poems. Had acute stage fright which he never conquered, despite being a popular lecturer. Lived with close friends until his death. Never married. Also wrote children’s verse and published several collections of poems during his lifetime. His later work, however, was extremely repetitious. Inner: Meticulous, dignified hermit who had a steady stream of visitors. Extremely modest, repressed. Conflicted lifetime of opening himself up a sliver as a public figure, despite a dual pull both towards and away from the spotlight, and a shyness that did not match his ambition to be famous. Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) - American lawyer, writer and poet. Outer: From a slave-owning family. Father was a lawyer, judge and an officer in the Continental Army. Grew up on the family 1800+ acre plantation, ‘Terra Rubra,’ and was educated at home until the age of 10. His only sister married future Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (Earl Warren). After attending a local school, he went to St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, where he graduated at the top of his class, then studied law at his uncle’s firm there. Slender, erect, with dark blue eyes and thin, mobile features. Thought about entering the ministry, although didn’t, but subsequently became a leader in the Sunday school movement. Passed his bar and by his mid-20s had a well-established practice in Georgetown. In 1802, he married Polly Taylor Lloyd, the daughter of a colonel, six sons and five daughters from the union. War with Britain, which saw nearby Washington destroyed, disrupted his relatively harmonious life, and he joined the army in 1814. When he heard a well-loved elderly physician was being held hostage by the British, he and an American agent of prisoner exchange, negotiated for his release. While waiting under guard, an intense battle raged through the night over Baltimore, but by the dawn’s early light in the rockets red glare, they saw that nearby Ft. McHenry had not surrendered, and the American flag was still there. In jubilation, he penned the commemorative lines on the back of an envelope that would become the core of the American national anthem, and set them to the tune of an old British drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heaven.” The verses were published later that month by a Baltimore periodical, under the name, “Defence of Ft. McHenry.” Soon after, a Baltimore actor sang it as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” at a public performance, and it became such a popular patriotic song, that over a century later, in 1931, Congress declared through legislation, that it was now the official national anthem. Capped his career by becoming a United States District Attorney, and appeared before the Supreme Court a goodly number of times. Lived in Georgetown until the last decade of his life and died of pleurisy in his sleep while visiting one of his daughters. Numerous monuments and memorials would be subsequently built in his honor, and he would eventually be inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1970. Inner: Ardent, generous and fond of riding. Strongly patriotic, and well-grounded, with his focus on his professional, rather than creative life. Totally racist, taking great umbrage that slaves fought for the British in the hopes of gaining their freedom. Third verse of his anthem addressed this issue in no uncertain terms. Star spangled lifetime of penning a lyric for the American ages, as prelude to plunging full-time into his creative side in future go-rounds as a regional poet celebrating the country’s interior landscape.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS INCOMPLEAT ALIEN:
Storyline: The pessimistic recluse pounds his disaffected disconnection from life around him with nine inch nails while trying to reconcile a deep spirituality and love of nature with less-than-heartfelt sentiments about his fellow human beings.

Trent Reznor (Michael Trent Reznor) (1965) - American singer and songwriter. Outer: Of German, Irish and British descent, along with some Swiss, French, Belgian and Dutch. Parents were divorced, lived with his grandparents in a small Pennsylvania town, and had an alienated upbringing, with a perennial feeling of being an outsider, as well as a taste for extremes. Initially trained to be a classical pianist, from the age of 5. Found contemporary music more to his liking and began exploring it in his teens. 5’7 1/2’, with dark brown hair and green eyes. Went to nearby Allegheny College, studying computer engineering for a year. Became interested in the possibilities of electronic music, dropped out and moved to Cleveland, where he worked at a recording studio doing odd jobs. Played in various bands as a keyboardist, then found a manager, and signed with a small NY label. His first album, recorded with his band Nine Inch Nails, “Pretty Hate Machine,” became an underground hit, and he was anointed the first star of the ‘industrial rock’ genre. Subsequent tensions with his label, however, fostered feelings of self-destruction, which were evident in his follow up album. Moved to Los Angeles and lived for a year in the house in which Charley Manson’s minions killed actress Sharon Tate (Carmen Electra), where he recorded his second album. Made a memorable mud-splattered appearance at Woodstock ‘94, and then spent the next several years allowing alcohol and cocaine addiction largely strip him of his sensibilities, while issuing two albums, “The Downward Spiral,” a dark look at youth’s angst, after which he checked into a rehab clinic, and “The Fragile,” which started him bingeing again. Often was so depressed after a concert, that he’d resent his audience for having a good time. Scored several bleak films during this period, and helped his friend Marilyn Manson, by producing his breakthrough album, although the duo later had a falling out. Finally went cold turkey after the turn of the century, and moved from the temptations of New Orleans, to a more sober life in Los Angeles. It would not be until 2005, 8 years after his previous effort, that he would finally feel together enough for another album, which was enthusiastically greeted by his hard core fan base. The same year, he was awarded $2.9 million in a breach of contract suit against his former manager. Plays most of the instruments on his recording sessions, although tours with a back-up band, while dressed in his customary black. Has his own independent record label, the Null Corporation, and in 2010, won an Academy Reward for original score for The Social Network, collaborating with Atticus Ross on the effort. At the same time, along with Ross, he formed How to Destroy Angels, which includes his wife, vocalist Mariqueen Maandig, fifteen years his junior and Philippine-born, whom he married in 2009, one son from the union. Four years after a farewell tour, he was on the road again in 2013 with a reconstituted band. Made plaint in 2017 that social media has taken the mystery out of lives of performers with their need to constantly expose their inner feelings. Has a net worth of $70 million. Inner: Angry, disconnected and pessimistic, with the ability to transpose emotion into his music. Obsessive, moody, and reclusive, while continually searching for connection with the outside world outside of his music. Always apprehensive about the road and its self-destructive lures. Severed head lifetime of giving clear musical reflection to the industrial waste tastes of his generation, while exploring more directly the outre aspects of his reclusive personality. Robinson Jeffers (John Robinson Jeffers) (1887-1962) - American poet. Outer: Father was a 49 year-old Presbyterian minister, who held a chair at Western Theological Seminary, mother was 22 years her husband’s junior. Educated his son in languages, then sent him to private schools in Switzerland, Germany and America. Began writing verse at 11. Changed schools often because of his family’s predisposition for travel. Went to the Univ. of Western Pennsylvania, then when his family moved to California when he was 16, Occidental College. Did grad work at USC, then the Univ. of Zurich in Switzerland, before abandoning literature for medicine at USC, and finally forestry at the Univ. of Washington. Fell in love with Una Call Kuster, an attorney’s wife, but didn’t pursue the romance. His move to Washington was an attempt to end the relationship, but she divorced and the duo eventually married anyway when he was in his mid-20s, 3 children from the union, including twin sons, with one daughter dying in infancy. The marriage was basically a satisfactory one. Built his own tower home of stone on the rugged slopes of Carmel, California at the start of WW I, and spent the rest of his life there. Saw humanity as a disaster waiting to happen, and lived at a remove from everyone else, although he made the cover of Time magazine in 1932 for having done so. Despite popular acceptance, he became bored with his poetry, after trying to rescue it from obscure references with his own sense of narrative drive, with incest as a repetitive theme. Isolationist before and during WW II. Despite a self-described love of nature, he preferred to wander in his own mind, rather than the surrounding landscape. Wrote little after his wife died in 1950. Deeply critical of humanity in his work, with a powerful sense of metaphor and image for the grandeur of nature and the ignorance and the pathos of the human race, himself included. Wrote free verse lyrics and grim blank verse narratives, although his reputation plummeted after his death. Inner: Pessimistic, alienated, isolated. Vain and self-contradictory. Felt the planet would be far better off without his own species. Moody lifetime of pursuing his own company and thoughts as a buffer against being part of a reviled race, that, nevertheless, provided him with a lyrical language with which to disparage it. Philip Freneau (1752-1832) - American poet, essayist and editor. Outer: From a family of French Huguenot settlers in NYC. Father was an importer of wines, and his home was a cultured center of refinement. Graduated Princeton, taught school and studied for the ministry. Spent 2 years in the Caribbean, then actively participated in the American Revolution. Captured and imprisoned by the British for sailing through a blockade, which earned him the reputation as ‘Poet of the Revolution’ for his biting verse in response to his temporary bondage. Served as master of a brig for 5 years, married in his late 30s, then became editor of a political journal. Balanced his life with political activism and the quiet contemplation of the sea in order to write poetry. After a lack of success as an editor over subsequent journals, he took to the sea again as master of freighters, and finally retired in poverty to his small farm. Fought his entire life against special privilege and the tyranny of wealth, before ironically embracing both his next go-around. Lived his adult life in perpetual economic uncertainty, thereby not only identifying with commonality but also being to able to write of and for it through direct experience. Lost his way in a blizzard while walking home and perished. Inner: Passionate, romantic, egalitarian. Deeply imbued with nature, while having a fierce political nature as well. Lost bearings lifetime of losing his sense of equilibrium between the poet and the activist, and suffering for it at life’s end.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS BELLIGERENT INDIVIDUALIST:
Storyline: The shorn-headed iconoclast learns the lesson of forgiveness and is ultimately able to integrate the feminine into her off-balanced psyche and reclaim herself as an interesting voice with a soaring esthetic and something of note to say.

Sinead O’Connor (1967) - Irish singer and songwriter. Outer: Father was an engineer, who became a barrister, mother was a dressmaker. 3rd of 4 children, with three brothers. Had a middle-class upbringing until her parents separated when she was 8, then lived with her abusive mother for 8 years. Subject to constant beatings, and often starved and locked in her room. Stole and skipped school in reaction to the abuse. As a petty thief, she was constantly hauled into the police station, but never charged because of tearful confessions. Moved in with her father and stepmother, after the former won a landmark case for sole custody of his children, but was sent to a home for delinquent girls run by Dominican nuns for shoplifting. Got her first taste of performing music in reform school. Released after 18 months, she went to a boarding school, but ran away to Dublin at 16. Sang on street corners, and worked as a Kiss-o-gram girl, delivering singing messages, dressed as a French maid. 5’5” with green eyes and a shaved head. Sang with a band, and while awaiting a contract, her mother died in an auto accident. Realized the latter didn’t know what she was doing, and was able to forgive her for her atrocious behavior. Immediately afterwards, her career shifted into high gear. Moved to London, had a son by John Reynolds, a drummer in a band she played with. The duo married in 1994 and amicably divorced four years later. Made her debut album in her early 30s, “The Lion and the Cobra,” which she produced herself and was extremely well-received for the depth of its lyrics and its out-and-out Irish romanticism. Her career expanded, and she became an international figure, but continued to court controversy. Refused to appear in New Jersey during the Gulf War build-up because of the violence in the lyrics to the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Shaved her head, although later let hair grow out. In 1992, she tore up a picture of the pope on American national television, causing great controversy, as radio stations banned her, fans destroyed her albums, and her popularity never fully recovered from the incident. Later bore a daughter, without initially naming the father, journalist John Waters, and then did court battle for custody of her. Came out as a homophile, and was ordained as a clergy-woman by an unrecognized bishop of a renegade Irish sect in 1999, taking the name Mother Bernadette Maria, although she is not recognized as such by the traditional Church. Eventually able to forgive herself and become a more mature, emotionally integrated entertainer, more interested in developing her own lyrical grace then setting the media afire with her antics. Married Nicholas Sommerlad, a younger British journalist in 2001, before divorcing two years later, then announced her retirement at the same time, because of chronic fatigue syndrome, and asked to be left alone. Had a son with musician Donal Lunny, in 2004. Became a rastafarian, and unretired in 2005 with a reggae album, followed up two years later by “Theology,” an album about her own benevolent sense of God, to countervail the wargod sensibilities of the world. Publicly revealed she suffers from bipolar disorder, and in 2011 shaved her head again, feeling it is a true expression of who she is, while also adding a large Jesus tattoo to her upper chest, to complement her inked arm decorations. One daughter and three sons all told, with the last the product of Frank Bonadio, who was married at the time to singer Mary Coughlan. Contracted a third marriage with sessions guitarist Steve Cooney, which ended in 2011, after eight months, then wed Dublin substance-abuse counselor Barry Herridge at the end of the same year, only to announce 16 days later, that union would end like her others, before rescinding her decree, following a night of intense love-making. Later claimed she was in serious danger without her meds, after a suicide attempt via an overdose of pills, before once again announcing the termination of her marriage. Announced at the end of 2014, she was joining the left-wing nationalist Sinn Fein party, asking its leaders to step aside and allow younger people a voice who do not have connections to the IRA. At the same time, she released her 10th album, “I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss.” A stalker who threatened her with rape in late 2015, sent her to a hospital where she was placed under suicide watch, because of his excessively brutal menace. On her release, she made another suicide attempt, leaving a note on Facebook filled with self-pity, as her erratic behavior continued into the spring of 2016, with her briefly reported missing amidst fears of another suicide attempt. Inner: Impulsive, angry, able to channel her rage into a powerful singing voice, but not into her private life. May suffer from bi-polar disorder, although her various doctors have disagreed on it. Perennial sense of being an outcast, refuses to live in Ireland. Passionate pacifist, fierce feminist and very much her own woman. By the short hairs lifetime of rising from abusive beginnings to become an international figure, while continually giving voice to her own considerabe ire within, no matter the consequence. Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) - American writer. Outer: Parents were German-Jewish immigrants. Father was a successful businessman, who was tyrannical and irascible, and made a handsome fortune through investments. Youngest of 5, 2 siblings died in childhood. Lived in Vienna and Paris before moving back to America as a child. Heard 3 languages while growing up, and was able to disassociate words from their meaning because of it. Her mother was an invalid who died of cancer when she was 14. The former was a remote and negative figure in her life, making her reject the feminine within her. The death of her father when she was 17 was also a release. Lived with relatives in Baltimore afterwards, then studied philosophy and psychology at Harvard Annex (now Radcliffe), while her older brothers provided for her education. Went to Johns Hopkins to become a psychologist, but got bored after 4 years and traveled abroad with her sibling Leo. 5’1” and round, with trademark close-cropped hair. Independently wealthy, the duo settled in Paris in 1903, and became art patrons and collectors, while running an informal salon for young artists and writers. Eclipsed by her bossy, supercilious sibling for years, with whom she created the basis for an extremely impressive modern art collection, before the two eventually went their separate ways in 1914. A homophile, she had a lifelong companionship, beginning in 1907, with Alice B. Toklas (Samantha Ronson), who served her as secretary, typist, and protector of her flame, after meeting her on her very first day in Paris. Managed to avoid WW I through judicious travel, before becoming a supply driver to French hospitals. Began writing in college, and saw that would be her foremost field of expression. After publishing several inaccessible novels of wordplay, she became the leader of avant-garde literary experimenters of the 1920s. Considered music to be “an art for adolescents,” nevertheless established a working relationship with composer Virgil Thomson, inspiring "Four Saints in Three Acts." At the same time, during the 1930s, she wrote "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas," her best known work, in which she augmented her own legend. Thoroughly enjoyed the long-sought fame which that work gave her. Her 2nd autobiography followed 3 years later. Considered herself a Republican, and gave enthusiastic support to right-wing governments, while vocally opposing the American New Deal. Returned to America after a 30 year absence for a triumphant lecture tour in mid-decade. During WW II, she lived in seclusion with Alice B. in occupied France, showing herself to be an enthusiatic supporter of the Vichy regime, particularly its head, Gen. Philippe Petain (Yoav Galant), while evincing a remarkable insensitivity to its persecution of the Jews, going so far as translating a host of anti-Semitic speeches by the latter, in her desire for stability above all other concerns, even when it embraced the subhuman tenets of the Nazis. Died of stomach cancer in an American hospital in a Paris suburb, at the end of the conflict, and was buried in the Pére Lachaise cemetery. Inner: Highly original, subjective and abstract, as well as a powerful cultural force, albeit only of her own time. Wrote musically, rather than literarily, with an emphasis on verbal sound instead of meaning. Incisively witty, given to theatrical gestures, belligerently individualistic. Self-professed genius, courageous, and her own woman. Self-celebrating lifetime of taking advantage of the privilege of her birth, if not her parents, and creating a unique existence dedicated to the promulgation of her view of art and language. Eugène Scribe (Augustin Eugène Scribe) (1791-1961) - French playwright. Outer: Father was a silk merchant of modest means. Youngest of three children. Following his sire’s death when he was 7, he continued his studies at the Sainte-Barbe college, showing himself to be a diligent student. Studied law, despite a strong interest in the theater, then had his first success, Les Dervis, in 1811, a collaboration with one of the Delavigne brothers. Became a playwright, although his initial efforts were all highly derivative, until he realized he would fare better if he dealt with current customs in his writings. After 1816, and a satirical work that brought him far more to public notice, he devoted himself exclusively to his craft. Initially wrote “vaudevilles,” which were primarily amusements, with catchy songs appended to him. Began writing comedies of intrigue in 1820, producing some 150 of them for a new theater, often in collaboration with others, with twists galore, while reflecting his contemporary world. Beginning in 1822, he worked in close concert with composer Daniel Auber (Virgil Thomson) writing libretti for his works, as well as for others. Realized his great wish to write for the prestigious Comedie Francaise in 1833, with far more substantial material, and in 1836 he was elected to the French Academy. Married Julie Biollay, a widow with two sons three years later, and he proved a loving father to them. Continued penning his vaudevilles, and, following a series of failures in the 1850s, ended his career with them. Always had a good business instinct, and wound up quite wealthy, with several estates. Had little sense of character in his work, and was stylistically undistinguished, but made up for both failings with a good feel for plot and drama. Worked with types, rather than people, but had an innate wit, and helped move drama out of its romantic conventions and into the arena of middle-class problems, so that he had a ready identifiable audience for his works, allowing him to be the most successful French dramatist, for a while, of his particular age. Lived lavishly and generously and when he died of a sudden attack on the way to a business appointment, thousands attended his funeral. Penned over 400 plays, while viewing the theater as a business and measuring his success by the box office he generated. Ultimately became a largely forgotten figure after his departure, since he was a reflection of his times, and as tastes changed, he failed to change with them. Inner: Extremely generous, well-socialized and tuned to his times for a time. Often enlisted the help of collaborators, causing his critics to accuse him of running “a play factory.” Entertaining lifetime of taking a collaborative talent as far as he could, before switching genders to get far more into his/her emotional side, and all the inherent drama latently lying there.

*

PATHWAY OF THE MUSICIAN AS ONGOING AMERICAN ICON:
Storyline: The Texas troubadour turns himself into an institution, while leading a larger-than-life on-the-road existence, fueled by bio-diesel, altered states, and an outlaw disregard for ordinary propriety.

Willie Nelson (Willie Hugh Nelson) (1933) - American singer/songwriter, actor and activist. Outer: Of British, with some Scots-Irish and Northern Irish descent. Mother abandoned the family, when she went out to find a job and never returned. The younger of two, with one older sister, Bobbie Lee, a talented pianist who would become part of his subsequent ongoing road show. His father remarried and opened a pool hall, although he was raised largely by aunts and his gospel-singing grandparents, who encouraged his musical talents with mail order lessons beginning at the age of 6. Already songwriting a year later, he was playing guitar with a local polka band by 9, and precociously getting drunk on beer. Picked cotton to help family finances, and joined the Bohemian Fiddlers in high school, while also involving himself in the Future Farmers of America. At the same time, he worked as a disc jockey and sang in local honky tonk bars. 5’6’. After dropping out of high school in 1951, he joined the Air Force, although was released 9 months later because of back problems. Married 16 year old Martha Matthews, a full-blooded Cherokee, in 1952, but the duo divorced a stormy decade later, after his wife got sick and tired of his coming home drunk almost every night. Two daughters and a son who died in his 30s from the union. Went to Baylor Univ. for a year, where he studied agriculture, then moved to the northwest in his early 20s, and continued to sing in clubs and spin records, while working as a plumber’s assistant. Sold Bibles and vacuum cleaners door-to-door, and his song, “Family Bible,” which was covered by another, became a gospel classic. 5’7”, with eventual waist length red/grey hair worn in two long braids, and a short white beard. Came to Nashville in 1960, although struggled there, even while writing one of the most covered country songs of all time, “Night Life.” Despite penning standards for others, record companies didn’t like his singing style, which didn’t conform to country dictates of the time. Married a second time in 1963 to singer Shirley Collie, although his second union also ended in divorce in 1971. Played bass on Ray Price’s touring band, and wrote several hits for others, including “Crazy” for Patsy Kline (k.d. laing), but Nashville failed to fully appreciate his talents, and, after a stint with the Grand Ole Opry and a switch of record labels, he saw his house burn to the ground in 1970. Moved back to Texas, and dropped out of the music scene altogether for a while in order to regroup himself. Returned with a sound that fused a variety of traditions, including country, western swing, r’n’r, and folk, and found his permanent place in the music firmament as an Austin, Texas institution, singing his own songs. Continued switching labels, before finally achieving a number one hit, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” a cover of an earlier classic, as part of the best-selling country album of all time up to that time, “Red-headed Stranger.” Built a studio, Pedernales, and along with Waylon Jennings, became one of the main proponents of outlaw country. Married a third time to former lab technician Connie Koepke in 1971, and moved to Minnesota for a while, where he added three children to his expanding brood of progeny. His third marriage ended in divorce in 1988, thanks to his constantly being on the road, which also curtailed his other unions. Beginning in 1979, with The Electric Horseman, he launched a film career playing character roles, cameos and occasionally singing on screen. Also has made guest appearances on a variety of dramatic TV shows. In the middle of the 1980s, he formed The Highwaymen with Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash, to cash in on their collective outlaw reputation. At roughly the same time, he began sponsoring, along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp, free Farm Aid concerts in Texas, to help farm families, which would become a subsequent yearly staple. In keeping with his outlaw reputation, the IRS hit him with a $16.7 million bill for back taxes and seized most of his assets, many of which were bought up by friends and fans and returned to him. Subsequently sued his accounting house for their manipulations, and by 1993, he had paid of the debt. Two years earlier, he made his fourth and final marriage to Annie D’Angelo, two sons from the union, which was more inclusive than his earlier marriages. Constantly on the road with his bio-diesel bus, the Honeysuckle Rose, and its various incarnations, he would also become a primary spokesman for alternative fuels, creating Bio-Willie, a bio-fuel firm that sells vegetable oil fuel to truck stops. An inveterate and enthusiastic pot smoker, he is also on the advisory board of NORML, an organization dedicated to the legalization of marijuana, the possession of which caused him to be busted in 2005. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. An active supporter of political progressives, as well, he founded an eponymous Peace Research Institute in 2007. In 2010, he cut off his waist-length pigtails, for maintenance reasons, deciding he had spent more than enough time with the upkeep on the downsweep of his hair. Charged with marijuana possession after 6 ounces was found aboard his tour bus in Texas shortly afterwards, for which he claimed responsability. With changing legal attitudes towards medical marijuana, he announced in 2015, he would be selling his own brand of cannabis along with a chain of stores throughout the U.S. Still on the road again in his mid-80s, releasing his best album in years with 2017’s “God’s Problem Child.” which confronts his mortality. Has an estimated net worth of $25 million. Inner: Well-liked and well-lubricated. Highly liberal in his politics, and completely libertarian in his actions and beliefs, as an outlaw with an unending need to be out there entertaining both himself and his adoring audiences. On the road again lifetime of forging himself into a unique American institution, by simply being himself, and letting the devil take the hindquarters. ‘Uncle’ Jimmy Thompson (James Donald Thompson) (1848-1931) - American musician and farmer. Outer: Little really known of his early life. A farmer by trade, he also played music locally as a fiddler in a genre known at the time as “hillbilly music.” Grew up in Tennessee, then lived in Texas until 1912, where legend had it he beat all competition in a monster eight-day marathon fiddle contest. Combined the styles of the two states, while focusing his existence on making a living through tilling the earth. As he got older, and the grind of farming began to wear on him, he began to organize tours to fairs and other public venues, where he was a featured solo fiddler. Along with his wife, who danced to his tunes, he toured, using an old truck, the back of which he had rigged up as a home for them. The duo were known as Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Ella, and were eventually joined by his niece Eva Thompson Jones, on the piano. The latter was a Nashville music teacher. Legend also has it, he was the first performer for the initial radio broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry on WGM, on November 28, 1925. The date is considered the official birth of the show, despite another version having been on the air a month or so beforehand, while the official name was not adopted until 1927. At the time he was in his late 70s, but his spry fiddling and warbling supposedly elicited a large audience response, and helped make the Opry an electronic institution. Supposedly knew 1000 fiddle tunes, although only stayed with the Opry for about a year. Because he performed well-before the electronic era, he remains a vague figure, whose detail of life has been lost to the unrecorded vagaries of time. Only a quartet of his recordings survive. Inner: Fiddling around lifetime of laying some of the foundations for his subsequent go-round in this series, in which both Nashville and Texas would play a pivotal part in his playing, as would his continuous on-the-road sensibilities.

*

PATHWAY OF THE MUSICIAN AS CHARISMATIC RASTA MON:
Storyline: The well-loved Wailer embodies the heart and soul of reggae in his ongoing self-appointed role as messianic messenger for the culture of his native isle as a world-class uplifter and healer via the magic of his incandescent music.

Bob Marley (Nesta Robert Marley) (1945-1981) Jamaican singer/songwriter. Outer: Of African and English descent. Mother was an 18 year old Jamaican. Father was a white English naval officer who wed his mother, the year their son was born, much to her family’s disapproval. After spending his early years in rural mountainous terrain, his progenitor took him to Kingston to live with a nephew, before dying in 1955. His mother followed and the family wound up in impoverished Trench Town, a govt. housing project in Kingston, where she took up with the father of Neville ‘Bunny’ Livingston, who would become part of the Wailers. Grew up in indescribable poverty, while also feeling totally alien from those around him because of his much lighter colored skin, to the point where he would put shoe polish on his face to appear darker. Dropped out of school, despite being a good student, and became a welder, only to injure his eye with a piece of metal. 5’8” and lithe. At 17, he recorded his first ska song, “Judge Not,” which became a local hit. His subsequent early recordings didn't find an audience. After meeting Peter McIntosh or Tosh, he and Bunny Wailer, the former Neville Livingston, began writing songs under the name the Wailing Wailers, and they found success as such, ultimately adopting Jamaica’s reggae rhythm as their signature sound. Met his future wife, Alfarita Anderson or Rita at a free music clinic, and was immediately taken with her, particularly since she had the dark skin he lacked. The two were married in 1966, and produced three children, a daughter and two sons, with the middle child, Ziggy, eventually carrying on the family musical tradition. He also had eight more children out-of-wedlock with a variety of women, while Rita had two on her own. Had a dream where the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie claimed him as his son, and he became a dedicated Rastafarian through it, replete with dreadlocks and an all-abiding belief in Jah, the religion’s representation of God. Joined his mother in Delaware to make money for the family, only to be called up by the draft board there which caused him to hasten back to Jamaica. Began working with innovative producer Lee Scratch Perry, while founding the Tuff Gong label. The Wailers’ next album was a pan-Caribbean hit, and after hooking up with Island Records, they become a world-wide phenomenon. Both Tosh and Bunny left the Wailers in 1974 to pursue their own solo careers, and the group became Bob Marley and the Wailers, with other back-up singers. Their album “Natty Dread,” was the first to chart in the U.S. with the hit single, “No Woman, No Cry.” Did shows for charity as well as giving a free concert called “Smile, Jamaica” to heal the island’s political wounds. Spent time in London, then toured Europe to international acclaim. Given a Third World Peace Medal by the UN in 1978 for his efforts at bringing rival Jamaican political factions together, before making a pilgrimage to Ethiopia. In 1980 he built a recording studio, Tuff Gong Studios and a record manufacturing plant. With his wife, he helped form the Melody Makers with two sons and two daughters. Went on a grueling world tour after, including a stopover in Harare, Zimbabwe. Returned to the U.S. and while jogging in Central Park, collapsed. A brain tumor was subsequently diagnosed. Continued performing, however, while being baptized in the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition as Behane Selassie, or “light of the trinity.” Played his last concert in Pittsburgh, before flying to Miami and then Germany for cancer treatments. Returned to Miami, where he died at Miami Cedars Sinai Hospital surrounded by his family. Beforehand, his family shaved off his dreadlocks, because they had become too heavy to hold up his head. Given a state funeral service in Jamaica, and buried in a mausoleum in the village where he was born. In 1994, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Subsequently received a Grammy :Lifetime Achievement Award, while ‘One Love,” was named song of the millennium. Never left a will, which would cause much posthumous confusion, because of all the products created in his name, which led to a $20 million plus estate. Inner: Deeply spiritual, and strongly empathetic, as well as accepting of people from all races. Serious in his work ethic, and a marijuana enthusiast, often smoking huge newspaper rolled spliffs. for which he was once busted. One love lifetime of bringing his charismatic, driven character to bear as a world-class uniter and healer through music. Alexander Bedward (1859-1930) - Jamaican political leader. Outer: From very humble stock of African descent. Mother was a healer. Uneducated. he was a laborer on a sugar plantation, called Mona Estate. Showed himself to be earthy, and a hard worker, while marrying a woman named Elizabeth and fathering children. Spent two years as a laborer in Panama from 1883 to 1885 for reasons of health, then returned to Jamaica, got sick again, and came back to Panama, only to receive a series of frightening dreams and visions, that convinced him to abandon his immoral life, as the source of his sickness and come back to his native Jamaica as a healer and minister, using the waters of the Hope River as his cleansing Jordan. Eventually did so, and earned the opprobrium of authorities, because nude men and women bathed together by the thousands under his benediction. In 1889, he was inducted as one of 24 elders of the Native Free Baptist Church and two years later he resigned his plantation job. Citing divine commands, he conducted thrice-weekly fasts and weekly riverside healing services, as part of a ministry that would bring great power to him. Preached against ministers and physicians as mercenaries for charging fees instead of working for free, while fulminating against the exploitative white minority and government, asking his followers to drive them out, which was more than enough to excite the authorities against him. Had approximately 125 congregations in Jamaica, Cuba and Central America, with the majority composed of the poor and landless. Predicted the imminent end of the world, and was so feared by people of privilege and authority, that in 1895, both the press and the police framed him, accusing him of fomenting insurrection. A white lawyer defended him and he was acquitted by reason of insanity. Subsequently committed to an asylum, he was released on a technicality, and immediately took up his ministry again. Once broke his legs by showing his followers they could fly back to Africa via a sheet by jumping from a tree. By 1920, he felt his powers were waning, and claimed fellow Jamaican and pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey (Stokeley Carmichael) as Moses and himself as merely his brother, Aaron. Feeling he had completed his earthly journey, he announced he was ready to make an ascension to heaven at the end of that year. Several thousand subsequently gave up their material belongings to witness this event, only to be told that he had not risen in spirt after all, since he had more work to do on Earth. In 1921, he led a procession as an avowal of his renewed strength and was promptly arrested, along with some supporters. Released, he was rearrested, declared insane, and once again committed as a lunatic to Kingston’ Bellevue Asylum, where he passed the rest of his days, ultimately dying of chronic bronchitis. After his death, his sect went into decline, although several followers transformed his beliefs into Rastafarianism, a movement he would ascribe to in his next go-round in this series. Inner: Claimed to be one of the Book of Revelation’s two witnesses. and believed in the coming millennium when society would reach its perfection. Never advocated armed rebellion, and held numerous traditional religious beliefs, including Judgement Day’s punishment of the wicked and sinful, be they black or white. Extraordinary egotistic at times, claiming himself to be an incarnation of the prophet Jesus, and at others, a simple, earthy healer. Mixed message lifetime of playing with messianic prophecy and leadership, only to ultimately wind up the victim of his own hubris, leading him the next go-round in this series to use music as a far more universal and acceptable means of bringing his charismatic sense of unifying self to the fore.


*

PATHWAY OF THE MUSICIAN AS THE SON ALSO RISES:
Storyline: The shining scion continues in his legendary sire’s large footsteps, as both an entertainer and activist, wishing, especially, to make the world a far more hospitable place for its underprivileged children.

Ziggy Marley (David Nesta Marley) (1968) - Jamaican musician, activist/philanthropist and producer. Outer: Of African and English descent. Grandfather was a white English naval officer who married his full-blooded Jamaican grandmother. 3/4 Jamaican and 1/4 British. Father was reggae-master Bob Marley. Mother was Cuban-born Alpharita Anderson, better known as Rita Marley, who joined her husband’s group, the Wailers, in the mid-70s. Second of three children by his parents, with an older sister and younger brother, although his progenitor would sire eight more out-of-wedlock children and his mother two out-of-wedlock daughters, so that he would eventually have ten half-siblings, in addition to his sister and brother. Soon after his birth, his progenitor began establishing himself as a reggae phenomenon, and he was able to capitalize on it as a youngster. With siblings and half-siblings, he recorded his first song, “Children Playing in the Streets,” written by his father, in 1979. After his progenitor's death two years later, he and his siblings formed the band Melody Markers, although their first two albums failed to find an audience. Their third, however, “Conscious Party,” won a Grammy, and made them mainstream, thanks to its upbeat and yet topical content. Won a Best Reggae Recording Grammy the following annum as well, for “One Bright Day.” The group had one more Grammy winner before disbanding. 5’9”, handsome and ultimately bearded, while sporting a trademark knitted beret while performing. Released his first solo album, “Dragonfly” in 2003, amending his sound to include rock and hip-hop influences. Won the 2006 Grammy for Best Reggae album, with “Love is My Religion.” Married Orly Agai, an Israeli of Iranian descent, who was vice-president of the William Morris Agency, and following their nuptials, she became manager of his career. Five sons and a daughter from the union, with his eldest becoming the third generation of Marley entertainers. Continued his father’s Tuff Gong record label and Jamaica studio, and remains very much his heir on a whole host of levels. Has made numerous TV appearances, while doing some voice-over film work, although his main venue has always been concerts. A social activist, he formed U.R.G.E. (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment) to help impoverished children, by focusing on education health and the environment. Also supports ‘Little Kids Rock,’ a non-profit which offers musical instruments for free to children in the U.S. Lives in California, the Bahamas and Jamaica. Won a second Grammy in 2015 for “Fly Rasta.” Inner: Rastafarian like his father, with deep religious sensibilities. Also celebrates all Jewish holidays with his wife, having grown up reading the Old Testament. Extremely sensitive to the world’s injustices, with a great desire to right them, particularly through uplifting the lives of its impoverished children. Good deeds lifetime of maintaining the Marley name as both entertainer and activist, while trying to make the world a far better place for his having been anointed his sire’s successor. Sam Manning (c1899-1930) - Trinidadian musician. Outer: Of African descent. Grew up near a Yoruba community in Trinidad and Tobago. Served in a British West Indies regiment in France and the Middle East during WW I. After his discharge, he moved to NYC in the early 1920s and began doing “concert party work” before convincing a Brooklyn theater owner to stage a vaudeville program based on Caribbean themes, which proved to be huge success. Able to fuse West Indian music with hot jazz, thanks to the careful selection of sidemen who were well-versed in a host of traditions. Seen as more of a showman and comedian than a crooner, favoring a pink vest, white top hat and trousers that were not quite long enough. In 1934, he moved to London, giving performances there. Hooked up with Amy Ashwood Garvey (Diana King) the estranged ex-wife of pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey (Stokeley Carmichael) and together they produced a trio of Broadway musical revues in NY, including “Brown Sugar” in which he was featured. All, however, only realized short runs. Returned to London, where he and Garvey opened the Florence Mills (Diana Ross) Social Club in the 1930s, and it became a gathering place for the city’s black intelligentsia and culturati. Returned to NY in 1941 and began producing what were called “soundies,” three minute 16mm film clips, which included a song, dance and a band number made for jukeboxes in restaurants and bars. In 1947, he wrote, directed and appeared in “Caribbean Carnival,” a lavish calypso musical revue, along with Adolph Thenstead, who produced it. Like his other shows in the U.S. it only had a short run, since it was a little too alien for the audience of the time, who preferred white interpreters of Caribbean music. The duo also founded a record company, Cyclone, which issued a few releases and then failed financially. Died while traveling in West Africa. Inner: The basic details of his life, such as parents and cause of death are inaccessible. Covered a wide range of subject matter in his recordings, from economic survival to battered women to lesbianism to pride and self-esteem. Cultural ambassador lifetime of serving as an introducer of Caribbean music to a larger world still very much caught up in its racial divisions and prejudices, as well as fears of anything different from mainstream norms.


*

PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS FLAMBOYANT ANDROGYNE:
Storyline: The multi-faceted ex-model brings her striking presence to whatever she assays as an uninhibited rebel who delights in shocking ordinary sensibilities as a means of giving voice to her personal power and great anger within.
Grace Jones (Beverly Grace Jones) (1948) - Jamaican model, singer, songwriter, actress and record producer. Outer: Of Afro-Jamaican descent, with a touch of Scottish. Father was a politician and Apostolic clergyman, with whom she did not get along. Mother’s sire was a touring pianist with Nat ‘King’ Cole (Usher), and she, herself, was a high-jumper who qualified for the Olympics, although her husband’s church put pressure on her to pull out. Third of seven children, with one brother, Bishop Noel Jones, who became pastor of a mega-church. Brought up by her grandparents while her parents worked in the U.S., with her grandfather a “ferocious disciplinarian,” who beat her with a leather belt for minor infractions. Shy and skinny as a child, she had to endure teasing by her classmates, although eventually found she excelled in sports. Later on felt she never really had a childhood. When she was 13, she moved to Syracuse where her father had established a Pentecostal ministry. Went to Syracuse Univ. afterwards, but dropped out after two years to accompany a drama professor to Philadelphia to work with him on a play. 5’10”, and dark-skinned with striking features, an androgynous look and eventually highly-sculpted hair. When she was 18, she signed with the Wilhelmina Modeling agency, although was too exotic for American standards, Moved to Paris in 1970, where she was more readily accepted and got to work with some of the top designers. In the mid-1970s she released a number of singles, although none found an audience. Nevertheless, she signed with Island Records in 1977 and brought out her debut album, “Portfolio,” with the hit “La Vie en rose,” the Edith Piaf (Erikah Badu) signature recording on it, as well as several songs she co-wrote. Her next album came out the following year, and more followed, making her a disco favorite. In 1979, she had a son with her long-term collaborator, Jean-Paul Goude, a French designer and photographer, who choreographed her stage performances and directed her videos, while visually turning her into an androgynous alien with cropped hair. Their relationship ended when she became pregnant. Her most successful album, “Nightclubbing,” came out in 1981, which proved to be her career breakthrough, and cemented her position as ‘Queen of the Gay Discos,’ because of her large following of homophile men. Played minor roles in a number of movies beginning in 1973, before appearing with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Destroyer in 1984. He, in turn, complained about working with her. Lived with Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren, who was once her bodyguard, for four years in the latter half of the 1980s. Her next high profile film was A View to Kill, in 1985, a James Bond thriller in which she was a villain. Continued her recording career, and in succeeding albums, she explored other genres. Married producer Chris Stanley in 1989, divorced two years later. Did not release any albums in the 1990s, and instead went back to modeling, while finally giving up body-building because of the stress on her joints. Married another bodyguard, Hungarian-born Artila Altaunbay, who was nearly 30 years her junior, in 1996, divorced in 2004. Exposed her breasts at a Disney World performance in 1998, getting her a permanent ban from the park. After 20 years, she released “Hurricane” in 2008, which had a number of autobiographical songs, and included both her mother and son singing on it. Has continued releasing albums and working with others, with a somewhat lower profile, but her feistiness still very much intact. In 2015, she published her autobiography, “I’ll Never Write My Memoirs,” in which she excoriated contemporary acts for stealing her brazen aesthetic. Splits her time behind London and Jamaica. In 2017, she was subject of the Sofia Fiennes documentary Bloodlight and Bami, slang for red studio light and bread. In it her iconic otherworldliness is explored, while traveling through Jamaica and acting out her terrifying step-grandfather’s mannerisms as a means of releasing his memory from her life. Has a net worth of $7 million. Inner: Filled with considerable rage, with no inhibitions about expressing it. Often keeps interviewers waiting for hours, and loves to act the heavy, with her male side usually dominating her female side. Ultimately fluent in 7 languages, and either speak-sings or easily reaches both high and low notes. Diva lifetime of taking her full power as a calculated freak after earlier being forced to mute her considerable intelligence per the lesser freedoms for women of those times. Jane Avril (Jeanne Beaudon) (1868-1943) - French dancer and memoirist. Outer: Mother was a courtesan and father may have been an Italian aristocrat of the lower nobility who had little interest in a family. Educated by nuns in a convent where she was happy and showed herself to be a bright pupil, before being reclaimed by her drug-addled mother, who beat her unmercifully. Ultimately ran away from home, landing in a psychiatric hospital with a movement disorder, as well as facial tics and hysterical limb-thrashing, although cured herself at a fancy-dress ball the hospital put on for its patients. Excessively thin, pale and twitchy but with an otherworldly sense about her. Her mother would continue to fetch her and abuse her with the idea of turning her into a prostitute. Finally escaped her permanently in her mid-teens. After being rejected by a lover, she wanted to commit suicide by throwing herself in the Seine, only to be rescued by the madame of a brothel. Worked at whatever she could during the day, while dancing the can-can at night. Realized that this was the vocation which could support her, and became a well-known personality in the Latin Quarter, as Jane Avril, taking the name because it sound English, and therefore trés trés chic. Combined both sensuality and ethereal detachment to make her unique among her fellow dancers. Enjoyed the company of intellectuals, and in 1889, wound up in 1889 at the Moulin Rouge in Montmartre, where she would be immortalized on posters by diminutive artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (Jean Basquiat). Stylish now and well-dressed, she ultimately gave birth to a boy, only to give him to foster parents, although visited him frequently and lavished gifts on him, while developing a talent for writing and water colors as a further means of self-expression. Went to NYC after century’s turn, but was unhappy there. On her return, she found Paris had moved on from her glory days, making much of the rest of her life anti-climactic. In 1910, she married German artist Maurice Blais, although he proved an inconstant mate. Danced for charity during WW I, and after her husband’s death in 1926, she was forced to live in near poverty. Penned her memoirs in 1933, and moved into a home for aged actors and actresses which she hated. Discovered by a group of admirers in 1941, and performed one last time for them. Suffered from angina, and lost her power of speech at the end, before dying and being laid to rest in Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Inner: Soft-spoken and melancholic by nature, but also bright and eager to learn, enjoying the company of stimulating people. Accepted her existence without question, including maltreatment and starvation in her early years and disappointments following her glory days. Fatalist lifetime of exploring her femininity via dance and passivity before returning in far more aggressive form to see where her masculine side would take her.


*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS MAN OF THE PEOPLE:
Storyline: The workingman’s laureate finds great appeal from his audiences with his ability to plumb the lyrical metaphors of commonality, while doing ongoing battle with his own demons, as a means of fueling his electric performances.

Bruce Springsteen (Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen) (1949) - American singer and songwriter. Outer: Of Dutch and Irish ancestry on his paternal side, and Italian on his maternal. Father was a bus driver, who drifted from job to job, and was probably bipolar, as well as extremely uncommunicative, helping to set up a lifetime dynamic within his son of desperately desiring not to turn out like him. Mother was a secretary. One younger sister, Pamela, who became a photographer after a brief acting career. His parents wanted him to be a lawyer, but he was an indifferent student, who felt he had spent his childhood in a trance in reaction to the depressive atmosphere at home. His family moved to California when he was 15, but he stayed behind to finish school. 5’10 with light brown hair and eyes. His singular early interest was in garage bands, hosting numerous along the Jersey shore, until finally he settled on the E-Street Band. Dropped out of community college to pursue music fulltime and signed a contract with Columbia Records. Discovered by Crawdaddy Magazine, he affected an unkempt diffident look, while singing of commonplace teenage experience with which his audience could readily identify. Became an extremely popular showman, giving unstintingly of himself in his gravel-voiced strutting, swaggering performances, while personifying a workingclass spirit, that he easily transcended with his success. Appeared simultaneously on the covers of Newsweek and Time in the early 1980s, and enjoyed a huge popularity, while remaining largely hidden from the public, despite the seeming autobiographical material of his songs. Began undergoing psychoanalysis because of suicidal thoughts, while constantly battling overwhelming feelings of self-loathing, which he would not publicly admit to until years later.. Worked out with weights to give himself an even more imposing stage presence and married Julianne Phillips, a former model, in 1985. The two divorced 4 years later, eliciting his most morose, and probably most honest, album, "Tunnel of Love." Later married a back-up singer, Patti Scialfa, who had been in his band for several years, 2 sons and a daughter from the union. Continued on as a major recording and performing star, remaining curiously remote as ever, despite the easy accessibility of his music and lyrics, in a long career buoyed by the fantasies he so easily projects of hard working accessibility. Inducted into the R’n’R Hall of Fame in 1999. After several relatively low profile years, he made a patriotic return in 2002 with his first album in 7 years, “The Rising,” taking advantage of the country’s stunned sensibilities following the shock of the World Trade Center bombing the previous annum. Also reunited with his E-Street Band after cutting them loose some 15 years earlier. Found himself a corespondent in a divorce suit in 2009, although vehemently denied the allegation. The winner of 13 Grammy awards, he remains a voice of his times. In 2014, he came out with a picture book, “Outlaw Pete.” In his 2016 autobiography, “Born to Run” he admitted to years of depression in his early 60s, while limning his paternal relatives various disorders, and his father’s inability to ever tell him, “I love you,” prior to his death in 1996. Given the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. The following annum he won rave reviews for his Broadway debut, an acoustic concert intermixed with biographical recollections, that had pleased both fans and critics alike. Has a net worth of $345 million. Inner: Shy, reserved and remote, but able to command a huge following through his symbolic, rather than actualized, stance as spokesperson for commonality. Never used drugs, for fear they would lead to complete and utter self-destruction, and other than music, held only one real job in his life, as a gardener for several weeks in 1968. Liberal and empathetic, with the ability to feed off his audiences, much as if he were a musical preacher. Loves reading about cosmology and the deeper reasons we are all here. Uncommon commoner lifetime of continuing to pursue his ongoing stance as lyrical poet of the people, without feeling the need to reveal too much of his painful self in the process until his 60s. Edwin Markham (Charles Edwin Anson Markham) (1852-1940) - American poet. Outer: Mother was a sharp-tongued, greedy, unaffectionate religious fanatic, father was a trapper and hunter. Grew up on a ranch near San Francisco, with his parents divorcing shortly after his birth. Second youngest of 10 children. Spent an unhappy childhood dominated by his bitter, eccentric mother. A vivid fantasist during that time, pretending that his father had died instead of divorced his mother, who had 2 short-lived marriages afterwards. His bleak and disturbed mother was constantly haranguing him. Tended sheep as a youth, but the latter wouldn’t allow him to read, feeling it separated him from her, and he was driven inside by her abuses. Went to Christian College in northern California and then taught school in Coloma, California. Highly ambitious, he studied socialism and wrote poetry. Married in 1875 to Annie Cox, who was emotionally incompatible with him, divorced in 1884. A liaison with Elizabeth Senter, a mistress forced him to give up his school post and in 1887, he married Caroline Bailey, an older woman to assuage public disapproval, then tried to live at his mother’s house, but his wife left because of maternal tensions, and he sadly realized he could not desert his overbearing forbearers. His wife eventually died in 1894. During the 1880s, he published poems in various magazines. His best known poem was written in his late 40s, “The Man with the Hoe,” inspired by a painting by Jean Millet (Ben Shahn), which made him world-famous. Became a Swedenborgian, and changed his name from Charles to Edwin. His mother died in 1891, finally freeing him from her bondage. His 3rd marriage in his mid-40s to Anna Catherine Murphy, a teacher who became his editor and collaborator was successful, and their collaboratory son became a novelist. Moved to New York, and became a muckraking journalist with pieces on child labor. Became a national institution of sorts as a lecturer and public personality identified with working people. Ultimately looked upon as the dean of American poets, despite the simplicity and lack of depth of his verse. His birthday, the same as Shakespeare’s, became a national event. In 1936, he suffered a stroke while he was in Mexico, and his last years were spent incapacitated. Died of pneumonia. Inner: Mother-dominated, with an inability to integrate the feminine within himself. Interested in transcendentalism, and had a great desire for fame, at the expense of his self as an artist. Man with a hoe-rrific problem with his female side lifetime of an off-center upbringing which gave him great thirst for public love, and, in the process, lessened his unique natural abilities as a poet of plainness.

*

PATHWAY OF THE ENTERTAINER AS SELF-ENTITLED ROYALTY:
Storyline: The superstar sensualist expands his musicianship, while remaining fascinated with erotica, before finally being betrayed by a body that couldn’t keep up with the dancing demands placed on it.

Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson) (1958-2016) - American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actor and producer. Outer: Of African-Ame rican descent. Mother was a jazz singer who sang with her husband’s group, father was a lyricist and pianist who performed with the jazz trio the Prince Rogers. His sire also had five children from his first marriage. Raised as a 7th Day Adventist. Self-taught as a musician at a young age, Suffered seizures as a child and was often teased in school because of his small size. When he was 10, his parents split up, and he initially lived with each of them, before running away to a neighbor’s home. Formed his first group in high school, a trio, called Grand Central which was later changed to Champagne, 5’3”. and slim, with a deliberately exotic look to himself. Tried to compensate for his sense of alienation by being as flashy and noisy as he could. In 1978, he was signed by Warner Bros. Records, and the same year he released his first album, .”For You” which was followed the next year by “Prince.” Played all the instruments on both albums, Had a long on-and-off relationship with singer-songwriter Susannah Melvoin, as well as drummer Sheila E. Continued penning hits, which were noted for their graphic sexuality, although further releases also explored spirituality and the majesty and wonder of existence. Became an international figure with “1999” and its concerns with nuclear doomsday. With his band Revolution, he had his biggest-seller, in 1984, “Purple Rain,” which became a hit film of the same name, and garnered an Oscar for Best Original Score. as it served an autobiographical emblem of his life. It also stirred controversy when Tipper Gore, Sen. Al Gore’s wife, insisted that graphic lyrics needed to be labeled as such. Throughout the 19k80s, hie albums proved extremely popular. Disbanded Revolution and continued penning hits, in most prodigious fashion as one of America’s top recording artists. In the early 1990s, he formed a new band, the New Power Generation, which played with sexuality, gender norms and physicality. In 1992, he signed a record $100 million deal with Warner Bros., the largest of its kind at the time. In 1996, he married back-up singer and dancer Mayte Garcia. One son from the union, who died from a genetic disorder at the age of one week, leading to the couple’s ultimately divorcing in 2000. The following year he wed Manuela Testloni, only to divorce her as well in 2006. Became a Jehovah’s Witness with his marriage, despite a conflict between his overt sensuality and his faith’s conservative ideology.,Worked in collaboration with others, while his own releases fared below expectation the next couple of years. Did battle with WB, at one point changing his name to an unpronounceable glyph, causing him to be referred to as “”the artist formally known as Prince.” He also began appearing with “SLAVE” on the side of his face in protest to his record recording contract. Finally got released from all contractual obligations to his label, and after ups and downs returned to commercial favor in 2004, the same year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Performed at the half-time show of 2010’s Superbowl in the pouring rain, to accolades galore. Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and was also given a Lifetime Achievement Award by BET, the same year. Resisted providing songs to online sites, while remaining a social activist against police brutality. His performances began taking a huge toll on his body, and he became addicted to pain medication, which ultimately did him in. Hospitalized after being stricken on his plane, he died a week later from an overdose of “self-administered” fentanyl, a synthetic opiate. Cremated afterwards, while his estate would be contested among his relatives. His home/studio in Minneapolis, Paisley Park, was turned into a museum lester that year. Won a host of awards, and would remain an icon of unusual talent in the Rock’n’Roll stratosphere. Had a net worth of $300 million at the time of his death. Inner: Possessed a freakishly extended vocal range, despite a basically reedy voice. Eccentric, extremely self-involved and quite innovative musically,. Philanthropic, idealistic, socially aware and secretive about his personal life, with a need to keep himself partially hidden, despite h is very public existence. Royally unique lifetime of creating himself as an inimitable presence in the musical pantheon of his time, before ultimately sacrificing his body to his need to uplift and entertain. Earl Tucker (1906-1937) - American dancer and entertainer. Known as ‘Snake Hips.” Outer: Of African-American descent. Early life largely unrecorded. Brought to NYC as a child, presumably by his parents. By the mid-1920s, he was dancing regularly at Connie’s Inn, a Harlem nightclub that catered to a white clientele. Acquired his nickname via a dance he popularized during the 1920s. Frequented various Harlem music clubs, as well as the Savoy Ballroom, and via his unusual hip motion, he gave the illusion that he had the flexibility of a snake. The dance itself dates back to pre-emancipation plantation days brought over from Africa. Known for making women in the audience scream and swoon, because of the erotic nature of his movements. His popularity led to a movie career beginning with a 1930 short, Crazy House. where he appeared in a shiny white shirt and shiny baggy gold pants. Did other shorts, as well, before dying at a relatively early age, either from a heart condition or from being shot by a jealous man, whose girlfriend he had entranced with his dancing. Inner: Extremely flexible physically, with his entire existence predicated on his mastery of movement. Precursor of break dancing, as a bridge figure between African movements and modern street dancing. Man in constant motion lifetime of gaining fame through his unusual ability to control his body via suggestive hip movements, which probably ultimately did him in, via the jealousy it engendered.


*

PATHWAY OF THE MUSICIAN AS MARTYR TURNED MESSENGER:
Storyline: The former voiceless victim finally gets to actualize her desire for fame through her talents rather than her associations, as she turns the political into the personal, and her earlier iconic fall gal stance into totemic status as a survivor and exemplar of awakened social consciousness.

Melissa Etheridge (Melissa Lou Etheridge) (1961) - American singer and activist. Outer: Of French-Canadian and British and Scottish descent. Mother was an army computer specialist, father taught psychology and government, and also coached the high school basketball team. Grew up blocks away from the federal penitentiary at Ft. Leavenworth, in an unconscious nod to her incarcerated existence the previous go-round in this series. Took music lessons as a child, and was writing songs by the time she was ten. Sexually abused over a five year period by her older sister, while also coming to see that her orientation was towards her own gender. Had a girlfriend in high school, although remained surreptitious in her priapic activities, finding little support in her hometown for who she really was. 5’3”, with blonde hair.Played piano and guitar in various cover bands around Kansas as a teenager, before going to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, which opened her up to her true place in the larger homophile community. Found formal schooling was not the direction she needed, and dropped out after her second semester to return home and make some money in order realize her dream of going to Los Angeles. In 1982, she began playing small bars in L.A., including lesbian venues, which led to becoming a staff songwriter for A&M Records. Finally signed with Island Records in 1986, although they rejected her first album for being too slick. Undaunted, she recut it, and it was released as her debut album. Won Grammys in 1982 and 1994 for Best Female Rocker. In 1993, she publicly came out as a lesbian at the Triangle Ball, which was part of the inaugural festivities for Pres. Bill Clinton’s first term. A highly public gay rights activist afterwards, she has also taken on the environment as an issue close to her heart. Took up with music video producer Julie Cypher, and had a daughter and son with her, who were fathered by the sperm of singer David Crosby. Eventually she and Cypher separated, after the latter had an affair with singer k.d. laing. Co-wrote her memoirs, “The Truth is...My Life in Love and Music” in 2001, in which she candidly discussed both the light and the dark of her life. Hooked up with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels afterwards and the pair had a commitment ceremony in 2003, before an anonymous sperm donor blessed them with twins, a son and daughter in 2006 via the latter. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, she underwent chemotherapy for it, and returned to performing the following year at the Grammy Awards, where she appeared sans hair but with her talent and determination intact, and has since become a public totem of cancer survivors. Politically active for liberal causes, she has often performed for various benefits, and in 2007, she was part of a Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway. In addition, she sang at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Won an Academy Reward in 2007 for Best Original Song for “I Need to Wake Up,” which accompanied Al Gore’s environmental scare-a-thon, An Inconvenient Truth. Announced she was separating from her spouse after 7 years in 2010. Took up with Linda Wallem, the writer and producer of the cable series “Nurse Jackie, afterwards, and, in 2014, the two officially wed. Has a net worth of $25 million. Inner: Highly personable, with a strong sense of mission. Turnaround lifetime of slaking her thirst for fame via her abilities after earlier falling victim to the fear and loathing of her times. Ethel Rosenberg (Ethel Greenglass) (1915-1953) - American convicted spy. Outer: Of Austrian Jewish ancestry on her mother’s side, and Russian-Jewish on her father’s. Grew up in poverty in a coldwater, windowless, three-room tenement in the immigrant enclave of NYC’s Lower East Side. The oldest of 3, with two younger brothers, including David Greenglass. Close to her father, but estranged from her unhappy mother, who made her the target of her frustrations over her husband’s inability to truly provide for the family. Wanted to be a singer and actress, evincing quite a bit of talent in the former discipline in school productions, but received absolutely no support from her family in her ambitions. Acted in amateur troops on the NYC-New Jersey circuit, and also was part of a large choir that regularly sang at Carnegie Hall. Saved money for music lessons and acting groups, while her mother insisted all of it should go towards the family. Took a job as a shipping clerk for a shipping and packing company, then, angered that men made more money for doing the same work, joined the Ladies Apparel Shipping Clerks Union, only to be let go for her activities. Began singing on picket lines and at union rallies while joining the Young Communist League, where she met Julius Rosenberg (Julian Assange), an engineering student, who was three years her junior. Got a better job as a steno for a textile company, and the duo were married in 1939 and had two sons. Became a part-time typist for the U.S. Census Bureau, and took some college child psychology courses in order to try to be a better mother, feeling overwhelmed by her domestic role, with two high-strung children. Although her husband was recruited as a Soviet agent, there is no evidence she ever was. During WW II, her brother David became a machinist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and, as such, passed on some information to Julius. After the war, Julius, David and another partner established a machine shop in NYC, but by 1947, it had failed. In 1949, the Soviets exploded their first atomic bomb, and the paranoia of the time suggested that they had to have done so with espionage help. In subsequent investigations, David Greenglass admitted to have passed on secrets via a courier, after claiming to have been recruited by Julius Rosenberg. Although he initially denied his sister had anything to do with the conspiracy, he later identified her as having typed the notes that were passed on, thereby protecting his own wife, Ruth, who probably was guilty of having done so. Arrested along with her husband, she and he went to trial in 1951, and it was her brother’s testimony that she was the typist which sealed her unfortunate fate, turning her into a major martyr of the Cold War period. The paranoia of the time convicted her even before the trial did, while she did little to protect herself, save for continually proclaiming her innocence. Leftist intellectuals around the world condemned the trial, but popular opinion prevailed. Despite having passed on relatively worthless information, and her own questionable role in the debacle, she and her husband were convicted on conspiracy charges to commit espionage and sentenced to death. Both had repeatedly taken the anti-self-incrimination 5th Amendment, and she refused to bow to governmental pressure to name anyone else involved in the plot. Later evidence would point to her husband’s guilt, although nothing, save her brother’s testimony, would ever implicate her. Her mother and brothers pressured her up until the end to confess, even if it were a fabricated story, although she never did. A popular prisoner while in detention, she used to sing requests to the other incarcerated women. Eventually she became the only woman in Sing Sing’s death house, and her last months were fraught with both fear and depression. In a cause célèbre, both she and her husband were executed via the electric chair, although it took three charges for her to succumb because of her small size, after her husband died following only one. Reputedly smoke rose from her head afterwards, in what would later be deemed a great miscarriage of social justice, in which the government knew they were executing an innocent person. Their two sons were raised by songwriter Abel Meeropol and his wife, taking on their names, and eventually penning their own tome on the affair. Greenglass confessed in a newspaper interview decades later it was his wife who had typed the notes, but he wanted to protect her and so gave up his sister instead. Inner: Largely naive, probably far more fascinated with the movements of her time from a personally expressive perspective than a social or political one, despite being gender-sensitive to slights. Dowdy, neurotic and overprotective as a housewife and mother, allowing her husband sway over her, after her earlier desire for fame as a performer had been quashed.Always felt her mother never cared for her, which may have fed into a profound lack of self-love on her part, and her ultimate self-sacrifice. Victim lifetime of being turned into an American Cold War icon, in an odd performance artist piece, guaranteeing her an immortality that the stage or recording studio would never have been able to do.

*

PATHWAY OF THE POET AS COMPLEAT ALIEN:
Storyline: The excessive exhibitionist finds ample audience for his need to both shock and dismay those around him with an outrageous need for attention, thanks to a theatrical imagination equal to the task.

Marilyn Manson (Brian Hugh Warner) (1969) - American musician, actor and painter. Outer: Of German, British and Irish descent. From a middle-class background, the only child of a Vietnam vet and furniture salesman, and a nurse, with whom he had a difficult relationship. She eventually slipped off into Alzheimer’s and ironically died on a Mother’s Day. Sent to a private Christian school to ensure a good education, although he chafed at the rules in his decade-long run there, and the conformity imposed on him, while getting beaten up because his classmates thought he was a homophile. Initially, more of an ideological, than a behavioral rebel. Given his life’s course when his school began holding seminars on the evils of rock and roll, making him far more of an avid listener, and allowing him a ready escape from the pressures of adolescence. Got expelled and spent his last 2 years in a public high school, where he discovered he had a talent for songwriting. Moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. with his parents and began writing rock critiques, then thought he could do better than the bands about which he wrote. 6’1” and thin. Adopted his name from screenstar Marilyn Monroe and mass murderer, Charley Manson, and tried from the outset to combine stardom and social anarchy. Drew from a wide range of alienated stances, including Satanism, pornography and horror films to fashion an act and a persona that would be deliberatively provocative, to become a voice of the forbidden, with a lyrical and musical talent to complement his profound alienation from the norm. Became an opening act for former fellow poet, Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails, and by the time he had released, “Antichrist Superstar,” an Armageddon-ridden take-off on the blandified Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Jesus Christ, Superstar,” he had found his metier. Ripped pages of the Bible and walked around with a dangling fake penis hanging from his pants as part of his calculated shows, and was soon number one on conservative hit lists, who continually protested his tours and shows. Began finding it difficult to get venues, as his androgynous look, flaming red hair and sexual insouciance made him the object of protests, and victim of his own excesses. Wrote "The Long Hard Road Out of Hell," glorying in his nihilism, anti-clericalism and debauched sensibilities, while expunging himself of some his earlier Gothic extremes. Moved to Los Angeles, did a little interior re-plumbing, and re-emerged in somewhat more thoughtful mode with “Mechanical Animals.” Feeling trapped by his public persona, he turned to acting as a secondary release, appearing on a variety of TV series as well as in David Lynch’s Lost Highway, in 1997. Continued as a tour guide through the nightmares of the American psyche, although his deliberate provocations began wearing thin by century’s end, and his fan base began to diminish, thanks in large part to his inability to get beyond his one note message. An avid painter, with a similar penchant for the grotesque, he also maintains a Web blog that shows his innate poetic sensibilities. In 2005, he married burlesque queen and fashionista Dita Von Teese, only to have her file for divorce a year later. Joined the cast of the cable series “Sons of Anarchy” for its 7th season in 2014 as a white supremacist, while still releasing provocative albums, including his best in a decade, “The Pale Emperor,” in his own personal need to both change and stay forever the same. More TV work would follow, including a throat/slashing barber/surgeon on “Salem,” in 2016, to add to his ever-expanding gallery of grotesques. The following year, he was struck by pair of giant proper pistols in concert stunt gone wrong, then later fired his bassist over sexual allegations against him. Has a net worth of $25 million. Inner: Fiercely ambitious, intelligent, intense and articulate. Able to both grab attention with surface shock and deliver the artistic substance behind it to balance the two into a unique artistic vision. Wishes to be a catalyst for change, which includes himself, as well, although also clings to his own alienated sense of self. Luciferian lifetime of playing the nerd in hell, in hopes of providing a role model for the disaffected and alienated who have neither the voice nor the courage to act out their stranger-in-a-strange land sensibilities. Maxwell Bodenheim (Maxwell Bodenheimer) (1893-1954) - American poet. Outer: Father was a shopkeeper, and the family moved to Chicago in 1900. Expelled from high school, and served 3 years in the military, from 1910-1913, but was dishonorably discharged for going AWOL. Went back to Chicago to live with his parents, where he survived as both a petty thief, and a constant cadger of both food and drink. A handsome self-promoter, with red hair and and blue eyes. Continually leeched off women, but in 1918, he became nominally married to Minna Schein for the next 20 years. One son from the union. Hooked up with writer and journalist Ben Hecht, cowriting plays with him, as well as a short-lived literary paper, before the duo had a falling out, and subsequently raked one another as characters in succeeding novels. Began publishing poetry at the same time, writing in the Modernist vein of the Imagists, although he proved to be a very minor poet. Had one successful novel, Replenishing Jessica, in 1925, and wound up penning 13 of them, as well as 10 books of verse. More than made up for his limitations as a writer with his social antics, continually drawing attention to himself via his outrageous behavior, unconsciously playing the role of the performance poet. In his early 30s, he came to NYC and settled in Greenwich Village, becoming a fixture of the bohemian scene there, particularly the San Remo bar. Had several women threaten to or take their lives over him while he steadily self-destructed. Married a second time to Grace Finan, the widow of a painter, in 1939, who died of cancer in 1950, after which he was both arrested and hospitalized several times for public drunkenness and vagrancy. His final marriage was to Ruth Fagin, an unstable young woman nearly three decades his junior, in 1950, who joined him in his derelict lifetstyle. By life’s end he was largely homeless, and wound up shot to death, while reading Rachel Carson’s “The Sea Around Us.” This poignant commentary would be underlined by the unstable seas of his wife and Charlie Weinberg, a dishwasher, rutting madly in front of him, which occasioned a fight, and then his being shot twice in the chest, before his wife was stabbed to death in the back, to summarily end their lives in one final explosion of creation/destruction. Inner: Displayed a dissipated sexiness when he was younger, despite being extremely unhygienic. Tremendous need for attention, and an equal draw towards self-destruction. Performance art lifetime where his unhinged mind ultimately rose up to slay and consume him, as reminder of his ongoing need to destroy himself in order to create, a lesson he may have finally learned in the next go-round in this series.

*

 

PATHWAY OF THE MUSICIAN AS ONGOING REBEL WITHOUT A PAUSE:
Storyline: The ardent activist turns herself into a world figure through the sheer dint of her ongoing drive to be someone of importance and effect her life and times.

Diana King (1970) - Jamaican singer. Outer: Mother was Indo-Jamaican, father was Afro-Jamaican. One of 15 children in a devoutly religious family. Grew up singing hymns in a Baptist church, while feeling drawn to popular soul and gospel music, despite her parents’ disapproval of it. At 13, she got a job singing in one of Kingston’s premier clubs and when her parents objected, she ran away from home. Wound up in Ocho Rios, on Jamaica’s north coast, and was somehow protected because she looked older than she was. Sang in a variety of hotels there, in a whole variety of modes. After a couple of years, she began singing with City Heat, touring Jamaica with them. Her first recorded single, “Change of Heart,” failed to sell, so she accepted an offer to tour Europe and the U.S. with Shabba Ranks, a popular dancehall musician. Some earlier demo tracks she had made came to the attention of a female exec at Columbia Records and she subsequently had her first hit with “Stir It Up,” which made the sound track of Cool Runnings. Signed a recording contract with Sony, and in 1995, made her debut album, “Tougher Than Love,” with several hit singles from it. In 1997, her second album, “Think Like a Girl” became a no. 1 reggae album, while she was featured on several popular film soundtracks. Continued to make TV appearances in the 1990s, while becoming a world figure, touring Asia annually, with a large following in Japan. Eventually got a tattoo on the middle of her forehead, which means ‘Love Yourself,’ that was inspired by a 1998 trip to India. Also sports angel wings on her shoulder blades and roses on her arm to cover up a scar from a beating received by her father. Declared she was a lesbian to her fans in 2012, as the first Jamaican artist to ever publicly come out, particularly since the island/nation has an atrocious, violent record around LGBT rights. Inner: Deeply spiritual, with a strong identification with Asia. Headstrong lifetime of being raised in an oppressive environment, as a means of motivating her to seek out her own identity, which she found through music, re-creating herself as a world figure and her own woman. Amy Ashwood Garvey (Amy Ashwood) (1897-1969) - Jamaican Pan-African activist, playwright and lecturer. Outer: Of African Ashanti descent. One of 3 children. Spent part of her childhood in Panama, where her father ran a restaurant and worked as a printer, before returning to Jamaica to finish her education at an all-girl’s high school. Met pan-Africanist Marcue Garvey (Stokeley Carmichael) during a debate society program in 1914, shortly before founding the Universal Negro Improvement Assoc. (UNIA). The duo became secretly engaged, and her parents promptly shipped her back to Panama, before she reunited with him in Harlem in 1918. They were married the following year on Christmas Day in an elaborate ceremony, although the union was effectively over after two months, despite her becoming the general secretary of the new American version of their organization, as well as putting together its women’s wing and promoting its influential Negro World newspaper. The two soon became estranged over power struggles, and he filed for divorce in Missouri 1922 before immediately wedding her former maid of honor, Ann Jacques, while accusing her of infidelity with several UNIA members, as well as theft, alcoholism and laziness. Never accepted the divorce, and spent the rest of her life contending she was the real Mrs. Garvey, while plaguing him with lawsuits and countersuits for annulment, divorce, alimony and bigamy.. In 1924, she became one of the first black female impresarios when she mounted a short-lived jazz production, “Brown Sugar,” in NYC, while also working as a playwright. Partnered up with Sam Manning (Ziggy Marlowe), a Trinidadian actor, composer and calypso performer and he would be her main man until his death in 1930. Moved to London, with its less tinged racial atmosphere, and in 1936 opened the Florence Mills (Diana Ross) nightclub, which became a main venue for the city’s black intelligensia and culturati, while forging strong political networks there. After Garvey’s death in 1940, she staged a coup within the UNIA, while totally disregarding his second wife. Her activities may also have precipitated the series of strokes that eventually killed him. Spent the 1940s as an activist focusing on the education of girls and fostering black wage-earning women’s rights. Moved back to Jamaica during WW II and ran a school of domestic science for girls there, while becoming involved in Kingston civic issues. Traveled frequently to Africa, where she lectured on behalf of women, spending her time moving back and forth between England, Africa, Trinidad and Jamaica, all the while tirelessly trying to uplift the lives of black men and women. Despite all her movement and activity, she spent the last years of her life worn out and living in poverty in Jamaica, where she died of cancer. Inner: Gifted and charismatic, although also flitted from program to program, never seeing many of them to complete fruition. Very much into power, with the gift of empowering others. Hard-driving lifetime of trying to better the existences of ordinary black people, while also playing with power on all sorts of levels as a Pan-Africanist with a compulsion to uplift, organize and make right the social wrongs of her times.


*

PATHWAY OF THE MUSICIAN AS MIRROR OF THE ANGER AND RHYTHMS OF HIS TIMES:
Storyline: The unrepentant reprobate channels his innate ire and violence into his songs, reflecting the styles and traditions available to him, while continuing to be a completely unique figure on the larger American musical scene.
Busta Rhymes (Trevor Smith, Jr.) (1972) - American rapper and actor. Outer: Mother was of Jamaican extract, father was African-American. At 12, his family moved to Long Island, where he connected up with the hip hop community there, several of whom would go on to notable careers of their own. Became part of Leaders of the New School, and began recording while still in high school. Received his nickname from rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy, who bestowed it upon him as tribute to an Oklahoma Univ. halfback of the time. After he graduated, he pursued music full time, releasing his debut group album in 1991, “The Future Without A Past,” a hard rapping effort, that enjoyed great acclaim from hip-hop aficionados. 6’1”. Personality dynamics doomed the group, and he went solo afterwards, sporting dreadlocks to underline his Caribbean background. Had a son by a girlfriend in 1993. Released his debut solo album on his own Flipmode Records in 1996, “The Coming,” in which he touched back on his reggae roots, combining them with hip hop, to create a unique sound all his own. Enjoyed both critical and commercial success with the effort, not only in the U.S. but in England, as well, and continued as both a single act, and the leader of the Flipmode Squad, as a transatlantic phenomenon. Thought the world might end in 2000, and addressed that possibility in song, while turning to the Bible for some of his thematics. Began doing filmwork to complement his recording career, and switched to a new label, J Record, to celebrate the fact that it didn’t end after all. Able to release a greatest hit collection, relatively early in his career, while attracting big names to all his albums, although his work during this period didn’t sell quite as well as his earlier efforts, and he switched labels once again in 2004. Had his dreadlocks shorn the following year, as a symbol of changing his musical focus, and enjoyed his biggest transatlantic success with “The Big Bang,” thanks to the production touches of Dr. Dre. Began piling up various offenses, including drunken driving, third degree assault and drug and weapon possession, although received light punishment for his various transgressions. His bodyguard was also shot to death during this period, as reflection of the energy around him, as he continues to bust rhymes as an important voice of his larger musical community, while giving strong expression to the antisocial tendencies that scarred his previous go-round in this series. Inner: Angry, Afrocentric and apocalyptic. ‘A’ side lifetime of transposing his singing and songwriting skills to the urban rhythms of his life, after earlier reflecting his southern rural roots, while continuing to act out his asociality, as well as his natural musical charisma. Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter) (1885-1949) - American singer and songwriter. Outer: Grandparents were killed by the Ku Klux Klan. Only son of African-American sharecroppers turned small landholders, with a 65 acre farm. Mother led a church choir, and he learned Cajun accordion as a child from his uncle. Absorbed all sorts of musical influences from the life around him. Serious and spoiled when young and, by 16, he was a prodigious cottonpicker, absentee father and promiscuous seducer. In demand at local dances for his powerful voice, extensive repertoire and virtuosity on the 12 string guitar, mandolin, piano, accordion and harmonica. Contracted gonorrhea while working the Shreveport red-light district, recovered and moved to Dallas where he became partners with Blind Lemon Jefferson. Attacked a woman who resisted him in 1916, and was sentenced to a year on a chain gang, but escaped 3 days later, and was hidden by his father, who had mortgaged the family farm to pay for a lawyer. Shot and killed a man over a woman, was convicted in 1918, escaped, lived under the name of Walter Boyd, got caught, was sentenced to 30 years at hard labor, escaped, was recaptured, and in 1920 was transferred to a prison outside of Houston. Worked on labor gangs 12 to 14 hours a day, and through his strength became lead man. The governor was impressed with his voice when he sang a ditty asking for his freedom. Pardoned after 6 1/2 years in 1925, he worked for a Buick agency, then returned home. Accosted by a group of white men, he wounded 5 with a knife, and once again was given 10 years at hard labor in 1930. Got a reprieve 4 years later after once more singing a song asking for a pardon. Recorded by folklorists, the Lomaxes, who took him on tour of college towns. An emotional, rather than virtuoso singer, he kept things simple in his playing and songwriting, relying on his authenticity as a genuine product of southern music traditions. Worked as chauffeur and singer for the Lomaxes, and married Martha Promise, his common law wife in 1935, although continued his compulsively seductive ways, as well as his partying and drinking. Moved to NYC, where he was adopted by left-wing intellectuals, although many could not understand his lyrics because of his heavy accent. Wound up doing two years for assault in NYC’s Riker’s Island, and on his release his home became a musical center fro traveling bluesmen. Went to Europe in 1949, only to find his right hand becoming paralyzed. Hospitalized for six weeks on his return, he died soon after of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Inner: Violent, earthy, extremely strong physically. Master of the 12 string guitar, with a deep bass voice. Hard time lifetime of literally living the blues, while expressing himself both physically and musically, via an unrepentant assaultive anger and an equal facility for transforming his milieu into song.

*

 

PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS FAME & FORTUNE HUNTER:
Storyline: The record-breaking recording artist continues to be a bestseller, no matter the medium she assays, in her ongoing onslaught on the vicissitudes of celebrity in her own self-celebration of a pop sensibility that instinctively knows how to find its audience.
hTaylor Swift (Taylor Alison Swift) (1989) - American singer and actress. Outer: Of Irish, Italian, French, Scottish, Dutch, German and English descent. Grandmother Angela Ann was an opera singer. Father was a stock broker. One younger brother. Won a national poetry contest in the fourth grade with “Monster in My Closet.” Continued writing both poetry and prose, and began penning songs at 12 when she received her first guitar, while performing locally at malls, fairs and karaoke contests. Joined a kid’s comedy sketch group, TheatreKids Live!, while crediting country singer LeAnn Rimes as a primary early influence. In her early teens, she sang the national anthem at the U.S. Open tennis tourney, garnering a lot of attention for herself. Felt herself somewhat of a misfit, and used her creativity to find a sense of balance about herself. Her family started taking trips to Nashville to further her ambitions beginning when she was 11, and after she signed a publishing deal with Sony/TV at 14, to become their youngest ever staff songwriter, they moved to nearby Hendersonville, where she finished her education at a Christian high school, combined with home-schooling. After signing with the newly formed Big Machine Records, her career was launched. Her eponymous debut album, for which she wrote or co-wrote all the songs, was released in 2006, and stayed on the charts for 3 years. 5’11” blonde and willowy, with a mezzo-soprano that doesn’t translate well live, at least in her earlier career. Had her first no. 1 Billboard hit at 18, “Our Song,” and since then has been a recording phenomenon, continually setting records for her records. Used her MySpace page to build up a huge following, taking care to connect with fans and respond to all commentary on it, allowing her to become the no. 1 Country Artist on the site, with more than 40 million streams. Outsold everyone else in 2008, with some 4,000,000 albums, and sang “the Star-Spangled Banner” at the World Series in Philadelphia the same year. At the 2009 MTV VMAwards, she won for best female video, only to have Kanye West storm the stage, claiming that Beyoncé should have won, although he would later apologize to her for his oafish behavior, while unintentionally garnering much-wanted publicity for her. Has continued to rack up awards and firsts, including being the youngest ever Country Music Entertainer of the Year in 2009. The following year she was pronounced the best-selling digital music artist of all time. Has been linked with several fellow stars of her generation, including singer Joe Jonas and actor Taylor Lautner, although career and record-breaking seem to be her early priorities. Has also appeared in videos, on numerous magazine covers and in documentaries, while making her TV debut in 2009 in an episode of CSI to launch an incipient acting career as well, which was followed up by her big screen debut the following year in Valentine’s Day. Won 4 Grammys in 2010, including the coveted Album of the Year for “Fearless,” although fans remain mixed around her singing abilities, despite being unanimous on her songwriting talents. Donated a half million dollars to Nashville to help with flood relief, as emblem of her extraordinary material success. Won two more Grammys in 2012, while proving to be Billboard’s top moneymaker in 2011, earning some $35 million. At the same time, she became involved with Conor Kennedy, grandson of Bobby Kennedy, and some four years her junior, while buying a mansion near his family compound, in her ongoing fascination with that fated crew. Her obsessive nature, however, ended the relationship fairly quickly, while giving great plaint on her part about every having a normal connection with anyone. Joined “The Voice’ as a universal adviser for its seventh season in 2014. The same year she released her fifth album, “1989”, which is her birth year. It was largely reviewed as regressive and girlish, using a pop-synth sound of the 1980s to underline its insubstantial nature, which nevertheless translated into million plus sales and a world tour for her, thanks to her ongoing attunement to her largely undiscriminating audience. Despite all, she remains a fascinating figure for the press, and a reaper of endless awards, setting a record at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards ceremony while her highly anticipated music video, “Bad Blood,” was an exercise in power on her part, with a host of high profile friends playing different roles on it. Won an unprecedented Album of the Year Grammy for the second time in 2016 for “1989”, her third award of the night. Embroiled with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West over a variety of issues, leading to possible public overconsumption of her, as she has also had serial trouble maintaining intimate relationship, thanks to the attention that all the details of her life constantly draws. Won a 2017 lawsuit and $1 against an ex-dj for groping her, while his countersuit was dismissed. Earlier she had been attacked for her silence during the 2016 presidential election and over the Black Lives Matter movement, but finally made a universal feminist statement, via the suit and afterwards, she pledged to donate money to survivors of sexual assault, thanks to her own belated political awakening. Used her “Look What You Made Me Do’ video for hidden references for her various feuds with fellow pop superstars, while breaking several streaming records, with some viewing her political silence as indication that she is a secret Trump supporter. Has a net worth of $250 million. Inner: Uses her songs to limn her life, while also keeping her listeners in mind. Highly charitable and active in a host of organizations for numerous causes. Less the singer than the writer in her early career, while enjoying tremendous support both publicly and privately. Flip side lifetime of showing a similar obsession with career as in her previous go-round, in her continued all-out assault on winning the love and approbation of her serial designated audiences. hJacqueline Susann (1918-1974) - American writer, actress and singer. Outer: Of Dutch/Jewish descent. Father was well-known portrait painter Robert Susann, mother was a public schoolteacher. An only child, she was raised in an upper middle-class milieu. Had a difficult relationship with her highly critical mother, while worshiping her philandering progenitor, who would be the prototype for some of her rakish characters. 5’7”. Despite a high intelligence, she was a pot-puffing party girl in her formative years, before heading for NYC as soon as she finished high school, to become a bit part actress. Despite not being attracted to him, she married publicist Irving Mansfield, who was a decade her senior, in 1939, for career reasons, since he made sure she got maximum press coverage for her minimum achievements. One son from the union, who was autistic and quickly institutionalized. Enjoyed infidelities galore, including several reputed same-sex connections with such well-known figures as singer Ethel Merman and designer Coco Chanel, as well as comedian Joe E. Lewis. Her obliging husband, however, adored her and always took her back. Failed in her initial endeavor as a playwright, co-penning “Lovely Me,” which ran for a month on Broadway in 1946, although never lost belief in her ability to become a celebrity in her own write. Continued penning in private, then when she saw her larger career, which had been reduced to commercials for Schiffli lace, was going nowhere, she knocked off a bestseller on her poodle, “Every Night, Josephine,” in 1963, establishing her easy-to-read style with short, punchy sentences. After developing breast cancer, a mastectomy in 1962 would end her extra-marital affairs, but not her ongoing flirtation with fame, as she kept her infirmity a secret. In 1966, she published her paean to celebrity, pill-popping and soft-core porn, “Valley of the Dolls,” whose ill-disguised insider revelations found a huge vicarious audience, as it racked up some 30 million in sales, to become, for a time, the best-selling novel of all time, thanks to her and her husband’s ceaseless promotional tours. From that point onward, she became a numbers phenomenon, with “The Love Machine,” and “Once Is Not Enough,” also enjoying number one status on their respective releases. Her formulaic works were all geared towards a middle-aged female audience looking for some breathless and far from deathless melodrama to brighten their otherwise mundane existences. A frequent talk-show guest, she made sure her name was always before the public, while garnering occasionally catty sideswipes for her presumptuousness. Despite suffering from various cancers, she insisted on going on a book tour for her last tome, before entering a hospital, where she went into a coma for seven weeks. Her final words to her husband were, “Let’s get the hell outta here, doll.” Died of breast cancer, and her cremated ashes were placed in an urn made to look like a book. Had two novels published posthumously, while her various works made it to the silver screen, as equally popular formulaic films. Inner: Charming, supremely self-confident, loud and brassy. Extremely calculating, and overly sensitive to criticism, rationalizing her best-seller success as proof of her scriverning abilities. Quite guilty over her abandonment of her son, while initially feeling cancer was for “losers,” not a winner like herself. By the numbers lifetime of rationalizing decisions around her private life when they proved impediments to her public life, while putting her entire focus on fame and fortune as raisons d’etre, only to subconsciously eat herself away because of the priorities she had set for herself.

*

 

 

Lists

1- Rulers-Ancient Kingdoms
2 - Rulers-Modern EuroAmerica

3 - Camelot Lists
4 - AngloAmerican Lists
5 - Euroroyalty Lists

6 - Show Biz Royalty Lists
7 - Show Business Lists
8 - Writers Lists
9 - Artists Lists
10 - Musicians Lists

Home Sweet Home Page

 

Biographies