o, blue spine wiggle – Beat Poet Guy R. Beining

In the spring of 2015 The Nomadic Journal encountered the eclectic collage works, painting and poetry of Guy R. Beining.

Untitled, 2004, acrylic, 40 x 30 inches.

…close to the lake
a farm hand eats
the suns reflection
old beer cans
ugly in his throat…

from “Backroads”, 1979

Since the 1960s, Beining has published thousands of poems, as well as dozens of collections of poem-novellas and chapbooks, has had his artwork gracing the covers of zines and literary magazines, and has been exhibited in art galleries ranging across the United States from Allan Stone’s gallery on Madison Ave. to University of California, San Diego. We asked if he had any previously unpublished works, and not surprisingly this prolific artist had a plethora of options for us.

Now seventy-five years old, Beining still guards a treasure trove of experimental poems, fiction, and text-images at his home in Massachusetts. We are pleased to publish a selection here online, for though the artist does not have a computer and is resistant to using one, his works deserve the attention of generations young and old who primarily read this way and who would not likely discover his work otherwise.

Enjoy, and please comment freely at the end of this post, for we will be forwarding responses to the poet by mail.

Raze, 2014, collage, 8 1/2 x 11 inches.

felt tongue 219.
if there is a
solution there is
no art, breaking
chalk on blackboard,
pulling hood over
sculptured head.
the poet recites
to himself, shutters
closed around him.
he tips the stool,
breaks one leg
& falls to
the hardwood floor.
he is blindfolded
with black tape
seared across his mouth.
he plucks his senses
& sees the essence
of something sparkling
in the farthest corner
of his mind.


The Latest Insect Defector, 1998, collage, 8 1/2 x 11 inches.

exhibition 20
his teeth in pits
& temple gowned by the sun;
his form smashed like a toy
ice box.
she opens his mouth;
takes out a jewelry box
& leaves.
her spirits long ago between
the sleeves of a bed.

exhibition 21
alive in growing
from weeds
tongue of rain with
nowhere to move.
a boulder as plant
cracks open & exposes
a dead egg.
a tattooed jinni-guru
points, shrieking      god!
there is no time
for adjustment.

from “Artism”, 1979

Earthlight, 2014, acrylic on ink pad, 8 1/2 x 11 inches.
Deform, 2014, acrylic on ink pad, 8 1/2 x 11 inches.
Key, collage, 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Recent work.


excerpt from “Backroads,” 1979

… exhaustive swimming
in water-hole
the whole scale of creation
for moments in that
muddy spot
skin swells churning madly
almost without

the trees act loco
so many extensions
& directions
bone to branch
trunk onto trunk

insects ease
& feed on a heap
of dead roses

the smell
a festive curse

the moor
had a book
about it
as could the wet
that slapped against
the fence

a great silver
spelled out
passing a row of houses
out west…

Cartoons, no date, 9 x 12 inches each.
Untitled, 2003, acrylic, 22 x 30 inches.

felt tongue 176.
it is a picture
of no means.
we can’t penetrate
the window.
the shine is gone.
it is as dark as
what it hides.
there is a brow
in one pane,
3rd from the top.
all those divisions
(12) divide nothing.
someone once grabbed
a slab of darkness
& pinned it
to the wall.
it smelt of guilt
but told us nothing.


Dug Out, 11 x 17 inches. Includes a self-timer photo of Beining as a concierge on Madison Ave. in the 1980s. Recent work.

Guy R. Beining biography:

Born in mid transatlantic hurricane,
London, 1938, in moor and smoke
(future blitz) & tinkering wind;
veered onto u.s. coastline in spring of 1941.

Since being propelled
from the army in 1963 has worked
in various departments of the infernal (banks);

was unable to jar loose from N.Y.C., o, blue spine wiggle.

As of 2015 Beining lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.