The Semina Scene

                   I -
    in my own reason
find reasons to discuss
             a friend -
whose tires on his car
            Need air -
     my car and tires
           need air -
                He -
       as it is his way -
     tires and gets mad
               so I
          in my way -
      say - what is what
            I can say -
  like fill those mothers
          and lets go -

- John Altoon

Untitled poem from Altoon Papers


image sourced from Wolfgang's Vault

That poem was published in Semina Culturea book that was published by DAP and Santa Monica Press. NYU held an art show with most of the works published in the book and it truly sucks to be you if you missed it.

Set during the Beat era and centered around the Los Angeles art scene, Semina was a hand printed free-form poetry zine that was published in 9 issues from 1955 - 1964. Some might say that the end of the Semina scene was the end of West Coast Bohemia.


The guy who ran this racket was Wallace Berman, (who's one of the people on the Sgt. Peppers Cover) and he ran with a group of artists and poets like: Taylor Mead, Charles Bukowski, Dennis Hopper, Allen Ginsberg, Diane DiPrima, Alexander Trocchi, Dean Stockwell, Jean Cocteau, Antonin Artaud, William S. Burroughs, Toni Basil (of the song "Hey Mickey") and loads more. These people helped form the Beat culture in and around LA and San Francisco.





Berman died in a car crash in Topanga Canyon in 1976. His son runs Tam Tam Books.

Images sourced from Beat Museum & Design Boom & Steven Fama

Categories: Poetry, art