You Love Biker Poetry And You Still Don’t Know.

The 1st time I listened to biker poetry was in 1995 in Milwaukee at the Harley factory headquarter. I just met with Dr. Martin Jack Rosenblum, Harley-Davidson Historian Emeritus. After some small talk about custom motorcycles, he invited me to join a group of bikers to listen to his motorcycling poetry. I clearly remember being fascinated by the colors of his words, and the music of his sentences. Biker poetry started on a farm in Colorado in 1975, and was attended by an assortment of bikers and hippies and a young Hunter S. Thompson. Since then, biker poetry is a genre on the rise and there is now an official Biker Poetry Movement. Writing poems about the biker lifestyle is celebrating the fact that we are a special breed of people who can’t be fenced in by society, who simply enjoy open space and natural beauty. “Rubber Side Down” (I would have preferred a more poetic title) is a wonderful anthology of poetry, essays and photography about the biker community. Contributors to this book include motorcyclist Jose “JoeGo” Gouveia  head of the “Highway Poets Motorcycle Club,” Allen Ginsberg and Thom Gunn, Diane Wakoski, and a host of writers from the motorcycle press, including Dr. Martin Jack Rosenblum Susan Buck, and K. Peddlar Bridges. In addition, a special photo section has been provided by celebrated motorcycle photographer Michael Lichter. And yes, I guarantee that after reading a couple of pages you are going to love motorcycle poetry. Rubber Side Down


4 Responses to “You Love Biker Poetry And You Still Don’t Know.”

  1. 1 Mike Greenwald Oct 4th, 2008 at 10:28 am

    heck out the interview with GypsyPashn and follow the links contained in the interview.

  2. 2 MJ Oct 5th, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Thanks for posting this. I realize that people in general don’t read books because so much is available online. This book should be an exception – The historic and contemporary photography, and essays by Rosenblum work together to challenge the “bad boy” biker stereotype, while presenting a portrait of the worldwide biker community.

  3. 3 RHP Sep 17th, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    At no time was the intention of any Biker Poet in Rubber Side Down to dress down or up or in any other way than to be themselves.. to thine own self be true … it the essence of Biker Poetry. The life force behind Biker poetry is in fact driven by the old skool codes and brotherhood. All that talk about percenters has nothing to do with Biker poetry.. you are what you are.. what we are interested in is your Bikerpoetry. There are some errors in this review.. Joe Go for example is not now or then the head of the Highway Poets … Biker Poetry did not start in 1975, and the entire legendary meeting with Thompson is quite questionable. More lore than anything. The facts and history of Biker Poetry are easily found and have been well documented. Having said that, the Biker Poetry of Blaze Elliot, Kate Johnson, Sorez the Scribe and K. Peddlar Bridges are examples of Biker Poets that bring the house down every time they read their work. Colorado T. Sky is an excellent story teller and a master of the ballad, but ballads do not define biker poetry.. it is just one poets gift. Biker Poetry does not strive to fit any form or any structures per se.. Biker Poetry is in perpetual motion, never stopping long enough to fit a mold. Rubber Side Down stalls on an uphill climb because the engine is flawed, but with a little attention to the Biker Poets inside the covers, you can have a decent run. Keep watching the horizon..

  4. 4 Larry Dec 7th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Read what Bikers are riding about….

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