Jim Morrison, the Beat Poet?, and a Revolving-Door Upbringing
"The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first."
by Kevin Stoda
I am busy listening/watching the film, (London Wavelength) Three Hours For Magic: The Jim Morrison Special . Unlike a lot of documentaries about Jim Morrison and the rock group, The Doors, this one focuses and emphasizes Jim as a poet--even as it takes time to play lengthy sections of poetry and songs.
As I was watching just now, it was noted that often in-and-around LA people could have observed Jim Morrison wandering up and down streets all over town--not drunk but bearded and looking like Allen Ginsberg. "Allen Ginsberg was the poet laureate of the Beat Generation, his poems setting the wheels in motion for one of the most creative and influential literary movements in American history. He was a reserved, intelligent man who won the respect of his peers, his audience, and his critics alike."  Jim Morrison's great "howls" on stage hearkened back to one of Ginsberg's most famous works, Howl.
"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked," who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war, who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,". who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a candle and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate c-word and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness," who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deusto recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head, the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death"Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!"and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America's naked mind"."
Michael McClure, one of the famed beat poets, has said of Morrison, "When Jim and I were in London, in the late 1960s, working together on a screenplay from my novel The Adept, he showed me the manuscript of his first poems, The New Creatures. It is hard to believe that there was a better poet than Jim, at his age. The manuscript was perfectly edited by his wife, Pam. I urged Jim to publish it and when he demurred because of his concern that it would be read as rock-star poetry, I persuaded him to do a private publication, and helped him distribute it."
In the streets of LA in those days, Jim would be talking to himself, sitting down and writing, in and out of cafes and perhaps a bar. Eventually, he would lay a 5 dollar bill and walk out of a liquor store.
In other words, Jim Morrison wasn't drunk all of the time--otherwise, he would never have written and produced so much in such a short life. When it was time to go on tour, the beard would come off and you'd see the Rock Star Jim, who everyone in the band (including Jim himself) called "The Kid".
The band members of the Doors talk of the demons and multiple personalities of Jim--the rock star, the poet, etc. They claimed that drinking spirits was how Jim handled the demons from these different spirits.
In contrast to these spiritual and psychological views on the "Weird Scenes inside the Morrison Gold Mine", as a lifelong educator, I look at his poetry and upbringing to explain more of Morrison to modern youth.
You see, Jim Morrison was a military brat who went to more than 20 schools all over the USA before he even went off to first to a junior college in Florida and then to LA to become a movie producer--as had been one of his first dreams for himself .
Could you imagine what would have been your life like had you had to change schools 20 times in less than 12 years of your young life? Jim Morrison refers again and again to his fragile child and the images that haunted him. In Dawn's Highway, Morrison retold a story from one of his traveling adventures as a very small lad: The incident was a car accident he had witnessed with many dead bodies on the road.
The whole world would have looked like a Revolving Door to Jim Morrison after visiting just a dozen schools--but he had to move to nearly two dozen. In those cold war days, if you were an American kid, like Jim Morrison, you'd have had to become (or develop) a new person/person in every place you arrived at, i.e. if you didn't wish to be quashed by the authorities pigeonholing you as a confused kid --or as a this-or-that--someone who had trouble succeeding at any long term projects.