Wednesday, April 27, 2016

An email from Mike Hardaker regarding 'The White-hearted Nigger'

As stated in Who was Sinclair Beiles?, when I met Sinclair he told me that his first publication was a novel called The White-hearted Nigger, which I have never been able to trace.

However, I have just received the following communication from Mike Hardaker:

Just a little Sinclair Beiles note that may be of interest. Volume 4/2 of Nimbus (a British “little magazine” of the 1950s) includes a piece called “The Commercial Traveller” by Sinclair Beiles, which is billed as "Being the first chapter of a novel entitled The Life and Times of a White-hearted Nigger”. Then, The Painter and Sculptor for 1958 has an advert for The Memoirs of a White-hearted Nigger being published by "Halcyon Press Limited, 24 Charlotte Street, London W1, (Mayfair 7153)”.

I have no idea whether the book was ever actually published, and these are just stompies picked up from Google Books snippets, but it does give some context to Beiles’s claim regarding his first book. As for his claim that it was published by The English Literary Review, that might be a misremembering of Nimbus’s secondary title of New English Review. As far as I can tell, Nimbus was also published by (or via) Halcyon Press, and certainly from the same Charlotte Street address.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review of Who was Sinclair Beiles? by Dawn Swoop

This little book grows and grows. It is a revised and expanded edition, the third edition in all. The book
first surfaced in 2009.

Little was known about Sinclair Beiles outside of his home country, South Africa. He got a name largely by being around Burroughs, Gysin, Ginsberg and Corso at the ‘Beat Hotel’ in Paris in the 1950s. There were photos of them all together. Beiles collaborated on the cult book Minutes To Go in 1960. There were conversations about books in the pipeline. Beiles worked at the Olympia Press, famous of course for Maurice Girodias and Junkie and other things.

Beiles never quite established his name in Europe and he struggled in his homeland also. His Ashes of
Experience won prizes but caused few ripples anywhere.

But he had a gift and a band of people did believe in him over the years. Gary Cummiskey for one, Fred de Vries, Carl Weissner, Heathcote Williams. They all befriended Beiles through Europe, Amsterdam, London, Greece, South Africa.

Beiles was hampered by his drug consumption, his personal issues. He was always on the cusp of something. He was a casualty of the literary world, a sometime Syd Barrett figure. A nearly man.

Gary Cummiskey and Eva Kowalska have researched and then some more to strip away the layers of time and fog around Beiles. More understanding, photos, bibliographies, letters. Well done to them.

Published in Beat Scene no 80, December 2015

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The worm in my thumb, by Sinclair Beiles

I was born
with a fat green worm in my thumb
whenever I ate he appeared
drooping down into my plate
to share my meal.
He was also good at singing
and many a maid did he entertain.
He was killed in my twentieth year
by getting caught in the door of
an elevator.

(Published in The Idiot's Voice, Cold Turkey Press, France, 2012) 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sinclair Beiles reading his play Chopin in Majorca

Sloow Tapes in Belgium has just issued a cassette recording of Sinclair Beiles reading his play Chopin in Majorca, recorded in 1989. An extract of the recording is on Sloow Tape's Soundcloud page. For more information visit Sloow Tapes.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

during the rush-hour, by Sinclair Beiles

Original page from Sacred Fix, Cold Turkey Press, Rotterdam, 1975

whatever we do, by Sinclair Beiles

Original page from Sacred Fix, Cold Turkey Press, Rotterdam, 1975

there is a way of committing suicide, by Sinclair Beiles

Original page from Sacred Fix, Cold Turkey Press, Rotterdam, 1975

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

On a canal, by Sinclair Beiles

The canal water
Black my mood
In this houseboat.
Through the bleary porthole
A cobbled street.
Sodden leaves turning black.
Shut-in people with bent heads -
A lid rattles on a pot of boiling stew.
Sodden socks hang on a string
Across my brain.

(from Ashes of Experience, Wurm Publishers, Pretoria, 1969)   

Sunday, August 2, 2015

An invitation, by Sinclair Beiles

When your voice
Sounds of dark avenues
And parks
Breathing with mysterious hoodlums
When the last rattling tram
Has frozen
And hangs in icicles from the eaves
When your heart no longer stands
On a street corner
With feverish eyes
Stamping its boots
When the traffic lights have stopped
And you are through with calculating
Forgetting your train journeys
And timetables
Come to me
With your switchblade knife.
We'll climb the spire of the town hall
And carve our names on the moon!

(from Ashes of Experience, Wurm Publishers, Pretoria, 1969) 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Exiles, by Sinclair Beiles

in the flower market
at night
beside the church
with its glowing ornaments
beneath the windowsill
on which she leans
staring at the twinkling city
when the dustbins are rattled
by marauding cats
when the shoes of the last lover
beat like drums
and suddenly a chorus of drunken singers
lights up the street
the exiles gather silently
to examine their wounds
and to plan for their departure...

(from Ashes of Experience, Wurm Publishers, Pretoria, 1969)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sinclair Beiles, le poète excentrique du Beat Hotel, by Bruno Sourdin

Né en 1930, le poète sud-africain Sinclair Beiles a vécu à Paris dans les années 50. Il travailla pour Olympia Press, la maison d’édition de Maurice Girodias, qui publiait en anglais des livres sulfureux et subversifs, à la fois des récits érotiques (dirty books) et des oeuvres interdites aux Etats-Unis (parmi lesquelles Sexus d’Henry Miller, Lolita de Nabokov et Naked Lunch de William Burroughs). Sinclair lui-même a édité un roman érotique, Houses of Joy, sous le pseudonyme de Wu Wu Ming....Read more