KERRY'S Sunday Challenge #3  June 4, 2011 - June 11, 2011

Contest Completed


Opening Act - [writing deleted]
Main Event - fresh bread (i rant)
Show Stopper - Saxicolous
Grand Finale - “A Modern Beat”
Encore - [writing deleted]
Prima Donna - The Sunflower's Story
Star Performance - Pain Refrain #15
Stole the Show - [writing deleted]



The terms of each challenge will be very clearly stated, but the FIRST RULE, which will apply to all the challenges, is that the piece must be written in the week of the challenge. Any older poems that are entered in the contest will not be eligible for an award.

It is week 3 and we turn now to the novella. A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative, defined as having a word count between 17, 500 and 40, 000. It is a common literary genre in several European languages, but I have decided that it’s time for an American author. Is everyone ready to get the Beat on?


‘The Subterraneans’ is a 1958 novella by Beat Generation author, Jack Kerouac. It is a semi-fictional account of his short romance with an African-American woman named Alene Lee in San Francisco in 1953. In the novella, she is renamed Mardou Fox, and described as a carefree spirit who frequents the jazz clubs and bars of the budding Beat scene of San Francisco. Other well-known personalities, such as William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Gore Vidal and Neal Cassady appear under pseudonyms.

The Beat Generation is a group of American post-WW2 writers, who earned the reputation of new bohemian hedonists, and celebrated non-conformity and spontaneous creativity. They met originally in New York, but ended up together in San Francisco, where Lawrence Ferlinghetti set up his printing and book store, City Lights.


The following extract from Chapter 1 demonstrates Kerouac's free-flowing style:

"Making a new start, starting from fresh in the rain, 'Why should anyone want to hurt my little heart, my feet, my little hands, my skin that I'm wrapt in because God wants me warm and Inside, my toes--why did God make all this so decayable and dieable and harmable and wants to make me realize and scream--why the wild ground and bodies bare and breaks--I quaked when the giver creamed, when my father screamed, my mother dreamed---I started small and ballooned up and now I'm big and a naked child again and only to cry and fear. - Ah - Protect yourself, angel of no harm, you who've never and could never harm and crack another innocent in its shell and thin veiled pain - wrap a robe around you, honeylamb - protect yourself from harm and wait, till Daddy comes again, and Mama throws you warm inside her valley of the moon, loom at the loom of patient time, be happy in the mornings..."

If prose poetry is your thing - have at it!

Alternatively, link to any of the poets listed below and find inspiration from some of the most progressive and fearless writers of their age, such as:

Allen Ginsberg's 'Howl'

William S. Burroughs' 'The Naked Lunch'

Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 'The World is a Beautiful Place"

and write a poem in the Beat style.

If this is not YOUR style, then let the city of San Francisco or New York be your source of inspiration.


I would like to state that the badge awards are not given on a first, second, third, runners up basis. They are of equal value, and tokens of my great admiration for the work of POETS, and my deep respect for all who enter their pieces in these challenges.


Free exercise for the mind


Kerry O'Connor
Kerry O'Connor
South Africa


14 Contestants
14 Submissions
Created Jun 4, 2011

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