The most famous novel by the Beardists comes from the outsider Jon Pitore, "Jam Wouldn't Be So Sweet In Jaws Of Steel". A difficult post-modernist stream of consciousness beat novel, it combines enormous tenderness with brutal rants, often seemly aimed at women - though scholars are divided on this. Pitore, an Anglo-Italian emigré, married no less than seven times, though it seems non of his wives had anything but praise for him even after divorce.
Pitore Died in a fire at his home which he most likely started himself having always been something of a pyromaniac. His last book was also lost to the flames.
Excerpts from "Jam Wouldn't Be So Sweet In Jaws Of Steel"
"Aye there's the rubbing alcohol!" he said shaking my pen knife, like a drunken knave with as much dexterity as a impotent gnat!"Pg.16:04
"I bit the top off the cork, spitting it from me at an angle that said, pretend you haven't just eaten cork numb nuts. I poked it with my childhood pen knife, striking till vino cork soup gulped into my neckages!"Hey Riley, what did your mother say again?""Don't bite the bullet if your teeth aren't real, and Jam wouldn't be so sweet in Jaws of steel!""Smart woman!""Lousy Dyke!"Pg.39:06
"Hey, don't be such a creep!" Said Janice, always Janice, that girl who dressed in table clothes just to act unique!I took my navy black corvette to the beach, walking the pier with my two left feet, threw the bottle in the ocean, thinking "do molotov cocktails ever get read?" Till the bottle bounced back to the dumb blonde sand, finding inside it a drunk hermit crab.What a bitch!"Pg.123:01
"The obsequious nature of dutiful husbands echo razors, slight and guided, like trapezoids longing for new angles, or shapes. The mosquito fluttered over his hand, darting away from the toxic nicotine of his last cigarette of the night, as he sipped a slow melancholy from his canteen drifting away from the sound of the city, to the flapping of his force ten gale tent.
“I’ve drowned in worse places.” He thought as he planned his day. Then Zip! Startled he danced upwards, his sleeping bag slid like the shiniest of lizards. It was Domanik. A withered heroine physique coupled with the stench of someone who lived in their clothes and worst of all their socks.
“Hey gravy man, what’s cooking?” Guttural, short and stink ridden.
“I’m going to bed!”
“Well tell me when you get one.” He laughed, pushing him aside to make more room.
“Maybe you didn’t hear you cunt!”
“Hey, hey I only came to tell you that I’ve got a ride! But if you’re not interested?”
(He pulled out the leather wallet that always clinked like a sweet shop jar, and I knew at once he just meant junk.)
“Cook up somewhere else, I’m out of spoons and short of patience!”
“Fine” He said leaving the tent open just as the wind picked up dragging with it sand to land in the last sandwich he’d left for breakfast."
Richard Everret-Hyde was also a prolific writer of prose and poetry (See Beardist Poetry: Arboretum Rise). He was a keen recorder of dreams, which he painted and wrote about in his self-published 1965 booklet "At Play in Sublimia". "The Long Solemn March of the Silent Man" is perhaps the best example of this, being one of the few times a dream was revisited both in imagery and prose:
Of The Long Solemn March of the Silent Man
The coach arrived at Statton-on-Moor before the sun spiked golden rays through Gibson’s Wood and webbed the curve of the Guild House on Bennet St.
Seven Coachmen; oiled beards all, fully girded up in their trapping and pomp, stiff as any cigar, and as brittle, too, in the brace of morning, air in spiralled white burst forming. They tread a path unseen but by the early eye of the fishmonger, the market-tradesman, and still sacred, still profane, they set a brisk pace past the long red arc of the dye-works down Aldwich St., and out to the Seven Cedars, bearing seven crows each and standing as solemn, as inscrutable as them that pass beneath. Now, with manicured and rough, stained and clean hands – for history has no prejudice in this matter – the Coachmen remove both stocking and boot, and return them to their feet reversed – stocking over boot.
Now the golden dawn rays dust the cut-out edges of the gathering clouds and the Coachmen honour they that came before, they that knew, they that built the first and would be recalled until the last, the fathers and fallen, in the long and lonely March of the Silent Man.
There were other writers associated with Beardism such as Andrew Wilmingot, whose style riffed on Joyce and Beckett, much like Wilkinson's Poetry. His novella "Paradise Rex Press, Inc.", anonymously published in 1963 and infamously featuring a blank white cover, documents a month in the "ab-life" of "Parliament James", a printer in an imagined small industrial town called "Deadby" (largely taken to be a standin for Derby). Little known at the time, and even less today, it became a favourite of Pointon, Wilkinson and Everret-Hyde, though Pitore likened it to "rubbing one's unshaven cheek against rough stone in the rain..." Parliament Jones undergoes various obscure transformations and sexual awakenings whilst slipping in and out of his percieved "real" life existence in Deadby, all the while hunted by an "Oman" - part man facing one way, and woman facing the other - which is in a perpetual spinning motion and which wields an old iron filled with burning embers.
Extract from "Paradise Rex Press, Inc."
CHAPTER ONE. Don't you talk to me like that, not now not ever, she said, and I walked away walked away and didn't look back it was over. I'd grabbed a bucket of sand to douse or dust or whatever the fire out. But little embers defeated the dumping so. Alright then, I says, and fuck you too. She been a hot little baby that one, bloomin bloody sweet little fuck yes, but I knew when a thing was done and so it was. It was early yet, but not so early as people were rising yet, other than the milky with his grin that said everything you'd hate to think might be cliché but wasn't infact you know? He was fucking them fucking all down Gent and Wall street, Havisham and Bellend. Still had his looks, and they liked the tache and that thick natural curled black hair of his, tickling their necks and breasts. He'd a knife coming, sudden in the morning, a cuckold of many with a beef and temper to match, but not for a while, not before he'd had more fun than any of us has a right to. Grin. Grin. Grin.
So I'm pretty much alone as I head back into Deadby centre, up the weave of Adam St. then along the tree-lined battered grand Milton Av. The keys jangle. Clickettyfuckingclickofboots.
I'm a freeborn man of the travelling people
Got no fixed abode with no man am I numbered
Parliament Jones now single opens the double blue wood doors to the Paradise Press, Inc. and finds inside six tumble down buckets of green whatever the fuck, and spinning behind an Oman, man-woman, coal-dust flares and spit-gouts of fear - fuck!
Two years ago his mother died. He th th th benea beneath he th th th...such hurt now. No Such such
And it spun and never recovered and he spun and never recovered and the shade of the sky of Deadby was the shade of the sky of Deadby now and forever the same, no matter what, and it wasn't ever going to fucking change now was it
Parliament Jones backed up against the sink, away from the spinning terrible tortured terrifying Oman that spat it's firey dust and span towards him, span and span, and he pissed himself and cried and ran, and then puked at the end of Darwin Alley when he knew it wasn't following him any longer. Oh shit, oh fucking shit. The third time now.
Donald Blakey entered the printers and it wassafe, everything wassafeagain thankfuckinggod
I'm off down Shelby today, Jones. Watch the shop for us?
Oh aye. No problem I says, and my eyes are darting around looking for signs, but it's quiet now, but for the slam kethuddle of printing machinery.
I'll see you later Donald.
Right-o. He says, pulling his cap a bit further over his forehead. See you down't Shovel later fer a pint?
I'll be there I says. Split up with Laura you know. She were gettin ideas
That right? Bloody women eh? Later then and he's out the door in a burst of moats that echo the terrifying flares of the Oman but presage the delight of sunshine not the terror and doom of something darker.
Extract from Chapter five:
The walls tear in they tear in more rub and they anger and daub me with their make-up bags full of beetles and mice fat mice with hardly a leg between them squirm like furry maggots furry maggots they are they is they am am am sing your songs love sing ‘em and see if I fucking care it’s a long hard lookout I know but you see I’m not alone not really and the police they run past past run past and they don’t see the mice and the abmen the abmen the Oman Oman spinning like his her ablife depended on it and just maybe it does because the embers burn and I think it’s his her blood and now I’m coming coming coming hard long oh god oh Christ it’s good bad and it hurts heals hurts and I’m lost again to it. Parliament James turns. Sees fractured faces in a warped mirror. It’s me you he she says the Oman says says. Love me love you and let’s forget about this place this fading rotten place and go home. Where is home? he asks. The iron the fire the cold hot heart of nothing everything. I meet you there my love. He torn and the butcher’s asking are you alright mi’ ode? C’n I do oat for yer like? You need a doctor? No, nope, I’m fine says Parliament James, standing up again on his shaky legs, feeling the glass counter – it’s hard solid I’m back he thinks back! Thank Christ I’m back! But the teeth squirm in the butchers mouth and there are one two many hfingers on the hand that holds the cleaver, cleaving meat that looks alive still alive and tries to escape those big hands big hands with too many fingers Oh shit Oh shit! The old woman behind says e’s ‘ad one too many luv, I should chuck ‘im out on t’ street, look at state of ‘im! And Parliament James thinks she’s right that’s it she’s right I’m ill it’s not real this, none of it is real. I’ll take my chances out there out there on the street where it’s bright and white and light and the features on the walls are singing they’re singing nobody loves a fool like a fool and I have to agree with that son, I do. The same the shame the rust and rub and swealter and sin the sex oh god the sex is was so good and terrible and terrifying and I’m scared in love with the Oman Oman oh man what should I could could will I do now when I am am I back home again in the place I know well will werll wirld world…
Extract from the final Chapter:
The sweet agony that overwhelmed Parliament James on passing into the Abworld this final time was born of sound and cut like starlight. Opening eyes of diamond, faceted and bright, he perceived love finally in a form he could understand. Its roots buried themselves deep near his heart and he felt them stroke his innards tenderly, fusing with his nerves and blood vessels, filling him with their sap. No more long howls of loss and the remorse on unsung lovers. No more sweating alone, fist jerking his disdain of all things flesh. No more blank-eyed incomprehension at what life’s gifts failed to tell. It was time for the Oman to feast and he in turn surrendered, making a lamb of himself, neck readied for blissful slaughter.