I'm a writer, poet, blogger, musician, and songwriter.
My book of poems & short stories, Clocks Stopped at a Strange and Savage Hour, was published by Serious Ink Press in 2008.
I am a co-founder of the garage-rock bands, The Soul Assassins, and The Crazy Pages.
Where to find B.F. Spaeth online
Stories Told in Variegated Inks & Lurid Dyes
Three short stories—"The Plumbline": The city is transformed by an incapacitating heat-wave and an awakened Kundalini. "The Floods" tells of an unnatural tide that has risen up overnight to the narrator's window ledge and draws him into nostalgia and hallucination. "The Reprieve" concerns an act of mercy that is revealed to be the result of mere chance and arbitrariness.
The Sun Temple
A heat wave, fever, and tainted Cannabis sacrament all combine to create a grand hallucinatory vision in the dreams of the narrator of this short story that borrows from ancient Cannabis history and legend. Through a progressive derangement of the senses, we witness a modern day Battery Park morph into a great brooding, nocturnal theater of the imagination.
Smashwords book reviews by B.F. Spaeth
- Hip Hop
on Jan. 26, 2012
by Steven Hager
Counter-culture visionary Steven Hager travels to the South Bronx in 1980, and takes us with him to show us a street-level view of how Hip-Hop culture began. He interviews and hangs out with all the major players and seminal figures of this embryonic scene that was about to explode. Steven is always way ahead of the curve, often the very first to report on a particular scene, with an unerring, almost mystical sense of where the culture is moving, where it’s been, and where it came from. Steve’s counter-cultural radar picks up blips and ehoes that give him an early warning of seismic events that will later explode on the cultural scene. His ground-breaking books and articles steer clear of pretentious academic theorizing and boring, bullshit analysis, focusing instead on the flesh and blood artists themselves, illuminating the mysterious ways in which our culture is formed. Hager takes you to the streets and into the clubs and art galleries, introduces you to the players, and lets them speak, as they tell us how it all went down.
Hip-Hop, by Steven Hager, is one of the great American history books. If Howard Zinn had written a book about Hip-Hop, it might have turned out something like this. You won’t find any posturing or pontificating in these pages—what you will find is the real story of how Hip-hop originated, and you’ll hear it from the people who made it happen. Steve did the legwork, and he’s got the goods, and he shares all the riches with us in an amazingly concise and entertaining way. We are told of the fiery baptism of hip-hop, as the old buildings crumble and fall, the flames rise, and the armies of the night emerge to roam and pillage through the destruction, as the American dream turns to nightmare.
Hager first sets the scene for us, as he encapsulates the history of that blighted borough, as it is first carved up and butchered by Robert Moses in the 1960’s, and then swiftly descends into a terrifying spiral of gang violence, destruction, and drugs in the late 60’s and ‘70’s. But from this carnage and terror, a great spirit of culture and creativity arises from its ashes, and Hager is on it like nobody’s business, as he chronicles the new art forms that are improvised and invented on the spot, amid the gutted buildings and charred streets.
This book is readable, my friends!
- The Steam Tunnels
on Feb. 04, 2012
“The Steam Tunnels” by Steven Hager
This is a painful entry in the journals of youth—a direct, autobiographical transcription of a familial and generational war, recorded in the penultimate year of 1967, when the forces on both sides of the generation gap assembled for a great face-off. It is perhaps difficult for anyone who did not live through that period to understand just how high the emotions were running on both sides (Get a God-damn haircut!) America was a land of a thousand contradictions (and dances!) whose myths were being put to the test.
Blake Moore is a young man on fire: in love with books and ideas, and he has the great electric current of the 1960’s running through him at full voltage. His mentor is a slightly older classmate named Wesly Pinter, a rebellious semi-delinquent who functions as Huckleberry Finn to Blake’s Tom Sawyer. Pinter introduces Blake to some of the usual ways of teenage rebellion, but he also tells his intrigued and impressionable young friend about a mysterious secret: the existence of the steam tunnels that run underground beneath the entire town, offering an irresistible lure waiting to be discovered, and they are soon exploring the tunnels together. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect metaphor: the tunnels are a labyrinth—a great seething subconscious—affording a clandestine access to key places and buildings throughout the town—as the forces of the underground break through the thin crust of a complacent America, and literally through the cracks of academia as the forces of the burgeoning youth culture swell like lava through the crumbling monuments of the old society.
My favorite moment of the story is when Blake’s father catches him late one night in bed, hiding under the covers surreptitiously reading something with a flashlight. The father bursts into the room in a rage and tears back the blankets, perhaps expecting to find his son reading pornography or some other typical teenage interest: he grabs the book out of his son’s hands and is taken aback for a brief instant: the book is Moby Dick—our greatest American novel. This is a telling moment—the father onslaught is halted momentarily by this discovery—it wasn’t what he expected. His murderous rampage is slowed for a moment—but only for a moment—as he perhaps realizes that his son’s world is deeper and more complex than he assumed.
This very brief little story—its almost a book proposal, really—begs to be expanded and fleshed out into a full length novel. I want more: I want to read about Blake/Hager and his cronies in full battle mode—propelled through the tunnels by mad counter-cultural fuel—rising up from the underground (yes, like steam!) and breaking through into the consciousness of America in 1967. I want to explore the steam tunnels along with Blake—following all the twists and turns, and secret chambers, and I want to be with them as they break into the university!
We can hope that Hager may someday want to revisit this little sketch and turn it into something bigger. This story captures the pressures and violence—both physical and emotional—of a not too atypical family caught up in the turmoil of a radically changing America in the indelible year of 1967. Peace, man!
- Cannabis Cures Cancer?
on Feb. 16, 2012
Important, vital, ground-breaking, paradigm-shifting information that will cause the cash-bloated and metastasized cancer "industry" to expire. Power to the people!