The Joker is Wild
Download Full Text
The Joker by Llyn Foulkes evokes the Beats’ dark views of American society and their notoriety as childlike artists or jokers dancing at its fringes. The scrap of newspaper in the center characterizes this piece as assemblage, a style that showcases the downward mobility of Beat writers and artists who pitched their work against the competitive upward momentum of mainstream American culture. The ominous figure in the middle hints at Ginsberg’s depiction of Moloch, the Canaanite god of child sacrifice he used to personify toxic capitalism and corporate development; the faded and chalky figures of people dissolve in the surrounding darkness.
joker, wild, Llyn Foulkes, beat poetry, Ginsberg
Foulkes, Llyn, "The Joker is Wild" (1962). ENGL 4310 – Heart Beats Exhibit. 11.