Saturday, November 11, 2017

"Gypsies of New Rochelle" a novel by Ivan Jenson:

In the Aldridge family, nothing’s off limits—no dream is too big, no achievement is unreachable, and there are no rules to hold anyone back. It’s 1980 in New Rochelle, New York, and seventeen-year-old Shawn, the baby of the family, is a lost soul trying to find his own way in the grit and grime of nearby New York. As the rest of the family focuses on making his violin prodigy sister famous and rescuing their cousin from a cult, Shawn dates not one, but two girls—one a Times Square peep show dancer and the other a virginal neighborhood girl. The series of mishaps and mayhem leading up to his sister’s Carnegie Hall concert will leave you gasping, laughing, and crying through the very last action-packed line. Comical, whimsical, nostalgic, and raw, Gypsies of New Rochelle highlights the well-meaning, but misguided Aldridge family, a dumpster-diving band of twentieth-century gypsies.

Author Bio:
Ivan Jenson, a celebrated pop artist of New York City, moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he experienced success as a published poet and novelist. Ivan has close to six hundred poems published internationally, online and in print, as well as a book of poems and several successful novels including Marketing Mia, Dead Artist, Erotic Rights, and Seeing Soriah. Gypsies of New Rochelle is a fictional memoir loosely based on Jenson’s own family who he calls the “original gypsies of New Rochelle”.
Link to Gypsies of New Rochelle on Amazon:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Theater Musings
An Odd Episode – The Critic Speaks


Gary Beck
353 E. 83st, 6l
New York, NY 10028
212 481-8220

I had been immersed day and night in our forthcoming production of Lysistrata, which in the seventh year of our company, Sidewalks Theater, was showing signs of being our first hit show. About three or four late nights a week, around 1:00 a.m., I kept getting phone calls from a major drama critic, who drunkenly talked to me like an old acquaintance. He had confused me with the son of Julian Beck, who had a similar name to mine. No matter how many times I insisted I wasn’t he, the calls continued with crying, moaning about the torments his Asian girlfriend put him through and other pathetic laments.
Finally, in disgust one night, I said:
“You’ve spilled your guts to me over and over. Now I want you to do something for me.”
“Review my show.”
“I only do Broadway productions.”
“Did I say that to you when you kept calling?”
The discussion went back and forth and he finally said:
“Alright. I’ll come, if you send a limousine for me.”
Part of me wanted to tell the swine to piss off, but a selfish part recognized how good a review could be for my growing company. So I agreed. Opening night he arrived to the surprise of audience members who recognized him, as well as a friend who worked at the culture desk of a major newspaper. At intermission, she sent a wondering note backstage informing me that he stayed awake for the entire first act, laughed and applauded, a unique occurrence for a critic noted for sleeping through shows.
He came backstage after the show and made some nice comments to some of the actors, another unique occurrence according to my friend. Then he asked me to send one of the actresses home with him and he pointed her out. I told him I couldn’t do that. When he asked: ‘Couldn’t or wouldn’t?’ I replied: ‘Both’. He left in a snit.
We got the paper with his review later that night and he trashed the show. His particular vitriol was for my direction, acting and co-translation. However he put out enough venom for the set, lighting, costumes and the other actors that if we were a Broadway show we would have closed that night. Fortunately, his vicious assault didn’t seem to influence our audiences. We sold out every performance at our 125 seat theater, with standees at every show and turned away 40-50 requests for tickets for the weekend shows. So despite the fury of the thwarted critic, we had our first hit show, which we planned to move to a legitimate 299 seat theater. But that’s for another musing. I didn’t get any more phone calls from the noted critic of the American theater.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A poetry collection by

Gary Beck

For Immediate Release
Gary Beck's new poetry book evokes concern about disruptions to the desire for a comfortable, prosperous, untroubled life, Perturbations leads us through all its gloriously chaotic uncertainties.

Beautifully expressed loneliness – Page & Spine

Great work making the world a little more beautiful – Spank the Carp

Exactly what we like, strong and surprising – The Legendary

Perturbations is a 129 page poetry book. Available in paperback with a retail price of $11.99,  ISBN: 1941058701 and also in a Kindle version. Published through Winter Goose Publishing. Available now through all major retailers. For  information or to request a review copy, contact:

Perturbations Book Video:

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks and 2 more accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors & Perturbations (Winter Goose Publishing).Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). Virtual Living (Thurston Howl Publications). Blossoms of Decay, Blunt Force and Expectations will be published by Wordcatcher Publishing. His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing) and Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions). Sudden Conflicts (Lillicat Publishers). State of Rage will be published by Rainy Day Reads Publishing. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.

Winter Goose Publishing is an independent publisher founded in 2011. We are a royalty-paying publisher dedicated to putting out the best literature in prose, poetry and art; covering a variety of genres. For more information go to:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


I hear old boots walking up the stairs
Dragging scrapping dying all the way
As if that is all they can muster
After another day out at the waste of space
But something is wrong, wrong here
In the house that no one can find
On the never never in invisible Bristol Road
As my chest coughs and blusters and
My old body aches as is already legendary
And some of the stuff that I’ve been coughing up
Just seems alien and really shouldn’t be inside
My throat, my chest, anywhere in fact
As I sleep and grow ill off the damp
That’s creeping up my walls, onward to the top
And leaving me wondering how can people remain here?

Sure it would be quite alright
If my view wasn’t that of a rich mews house
And the back of that as well so they can have their privacy
Whilst I could really do with a few more square feet
As the damp means I sound like I smoke 40 a day
And my head feels messy but that might just be
All the weed I’m currently smoking
Hold on now it’s time for another
In the hope that maybe tonight I’ll just pass out
And not fidget enough to keep me awake
Leaving me feeling more uncomfortable than ever before
Or at least in a room with a roof
When on nights like these I’d just love to lay there and wallow


The prison walls were breeched tonight, a
Saturday night breakout, beer-bust had to be
Completed in order to sit here and write
Alone again but sick of what’s out there
Sick of the illness that is slowly killing this town
Gentrification, drug addiction it’s all the same
Bloody deal as where the money goes the bad
Tend to follow, oiling the wheels of commerce
In the insurance industry as who knows
A shady dealer may well move in next door
To you, especially if you’re on the front
And buy right next to a slum clearance
Dwelling that is chock full of mad ones
Some good, some great, some desperate
To just escape this town that brings it out
Shines a light and lets you know
You’re mad, it’s Saturday night and you’re
Sat here, alone and mad but sick of out there
When I could be out there getting drunk despite
The fact I got work tomorrow and barely enough
To afford more than two, a half and shot and
I’d be done tonight back to sit here, screaming
Mad thoughts about how I should be out there
But all I want to do is stay here and hope that
I’ll never see the inside of any of those places
Ever again

I can smell my escape, it’s growing more imminent with
Every passing day and right now I can just about
Wait it out, under six months and a ton to do but
Hopefully not once will I have to pass through that
Door to blow my tiny wad and increasingly mad cells
Just in order to sit and talk or hear another human
Voice that isn’t coming from my radio box
As today the only person I spoke to was the guy at
The shop and that was to just clarify a price
Four big cans of strong Polish lager was what I
Wanted, needed and he let me have them at a discounted
Rate and that is all the highlight I need for this dreaded
Saturday deep into the heart of middle-aged insanity


Trying to be good is hard
In this city of sin, in this home of the crazies
The only thing to do is get out or
Go wild, out of your mind
Until the day comes when it all gets too much
And you just got to bolt
For the refuge of the old
Because, honestly, it wasn’t always like this
I haven’t always been a madman
Waiting for the next time to get blasted
And right now, the longer I wait
The madder I get, the worse my head feels
As it deals with living in this god-forsaken dump of a town
Where no friends mean no one to talk
No one to confide in, no one to cry too
It all just feels like my time is coming to an end

After a long while I met a woman who I fell for
And we were like two peas in a pod
Despite having nothing in common outside of poetry
Drinking anything and smoking the weed
But now she’s cleaning up and I again have no one at all
As I lose another one to the futile attempt
Of being good right here in this city of sin
And I really hope it works out well for her
That she sees the light and gets what she wants
A sober life forever more
But me, I just want a friend with something in common
And in this town, well, am I all alone?
It certainly feels like it at this time
When I can’t even get a colleague at work to say hello to me
What can I do but get over it and move on

So the new list of things to do currently runs like this
Get a new job,
A new friend who ain’t interested in self-destructive ways
A new flat where my neighbour isn’t drug dealing scum
Who it sounds like regularly smashes up his room
Angry about something but then again maybe nothing
Just trying to exert his masculinity with a view to getting me out
So he can move a mate in
That’s a pretty long list and right now it seems hard
Nearly impossible for me to achieve any, not even one
As the rents soar and the drinks are priced too high
And all the jobs pay never enough to afford anything better
Than the life I have here in the damn last resort.


I got home after work today, tired but free after a hard days’ shift
And ate some dinner and switched on my radio
The plan for tonight was going to be some football on my radio
Another Madrid derby as a centre-piece of a major European night
And a bit of the other, a poem or new story to be started on
But then as I unlocked the laptop it all went pear-shaped
My stupid lovely old laptop didn’t recognise who I was and shit
I couldn’t remember my mate’s old password
He’s passed on now so no way to make contact but that still
Still didn’t stop me from trying every which way I could
To get it to work, to open my words up and write again
And then finally I managed to get inside and wow, no shit
I managed to get it fixed. 

I sit here now and the match has just kicked off
So plan A is back in action and the only stuff I didn’t have backed-up
Was a poem I wrote last night, a proper stink fest
Of words and confusion caused by someone
Most generally me, sitting down with no idea of what words I wanted to write
So i think this one works a little bit better
And hopefully I’ll remember to back this one up!


I dream of my youth and all I can see my young self doing is sitting alone, writing
Just like I am now
But it’s not at my home; it’s at friends from yesteryear
Numbers 11, 15 and 19 all on the same street but a few years apart
Number 19 came first and the lower the number the older I get
And the smaller the houses become until well I’m back
Sat here in the last resort penning this little ditty

Then I’m older still and sat in a familiar place
A time of clubbing and mad nights with mad drugs and near-dead Goths
But I sit in the corner, imagining Kerouac typing like mad
On his never-ending scroll of eternal delight
As I do nothing but yell at my drug dealer, give me more because
I just got to write.


I was sitting on the beach yesterday with a friend from yesteryear and he’d been through some similar shit to me of late
Another old punk struggling with their demons and both of us admitting to mistakes in our past when the great old combo of drink and drugs
Made us feel real, different to how we were when we were young and growing up
When all the madness made us the life and soul of every party and life was just one big long party because then we didn’t need much food and it was all dirt cheap
The days were spent listening to snot-filled speed-fuelled music and the nights were spent pushing hard at those god damn doors of perception as we determined that all drugs were good and they could never harm us
Now after being spat out the other end we sat and talked and he asked me about things that happened in our squalid house-share and all I could say was
I don’t remember much of it as for me I pushed it a lot harder than anyone else at that house and I’d already seen and done so much stuff, some I was desperate to forget
The women, the occasional terrible music we used to listen to, I’m thinking the horridly bland pop-punk and the drug-fuelled gabba that ruled just because of all that damn amphetamine sulphate
And the things I can vaguely recollect are just mostly things I want to forget hence all these years of drinking and doping but now they’ve ended well shit what comes now??