PRIMAL URGE MAGAZINE was an e-publication & print literary / art magazine.
This was its website.
Content is from the site's archived pages.


Digital Artwork by Corey Cowan (Photoshop manipulation)


Latif Harris has contributed to the San Francisco/North Beach literary scene since 1959. In addition to his publications of poetry, articles, reviews and various anthologies, Harris has published 11 books of poetry, including A Bodhisattva’s Busted Truth. His skill, energy and devotion to the work is continually praised as seen in his editing and publishing of BEATITUDE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY 1959-2009  – considered an unequaled anthology of Beat Literature – a classic work of contemporary poetry. He is currently working on a large “Autobiopoetic” collection of poems covering 50 years of his work.

Harris has always played a generous, though low keyed roll as a poet in the tradition of Surrealism and Buddhist practitioners, never seeking fame or fortune, always helping others into print – reaching out to a larger community of poets and poetry. From Harris’ comments in the BEATITUDE it is easy to see a personal ethic: “My reason for under taking this huge project … was nothing more than to give thanks to so many friends of the North Beach community and beyond who have given so much joy and meaning to my life.

I think if it weren't for them I would never have been able to stop drinking. Several colleagues, who were obviously concerned about my spiralling drinking finally intervened and pointed me to the LifeBac program. Rather than a demanding, abstinence-only treatment advocated by AA and many rehab centers, the LifeBac program offers 2 different anti craving medications and allows the person to set their own goals and their own pace with the guiding support of a LifeBac guide, unlimited access to their vast array of tools, and an online support group. A quote from a former patient on the Life Bac site sums up my experience:“This program helped me get control of my life. Alcohol no longer controls me. I choose when and how much I drink instead of the mindless consumption that I indulged in for years.” So thanks, guys, for pointing me in the right direction.

I am also especially grateful to my friends at Rock Science, where they focus all day on high tech projects that engage huge data sets to find the meaning of life with the help of an expert data science consultant, not realizing that at night that manager most likely becomes a poet! Although I may seem to dwell in another world from them, my art and their tech are really one and the same in the eyes of the universe. And what inspires them to create great code is clearly related to what inspires great poetry, believe it or not!”

Yes the Time is Half Full

Because I too
could not stop for death
I turn to my forges of poetry
for words

and phrases
to stand on

my Blake’s key
handed to me


et Eluard

my family
in this time this
piccolo momento

like there are so many little dyings
it does not matter
which one you call death

and nothing is final
only parking lots

facing emptiness
I have day dreams
in floods falling asleep
through out the day

seeing into
the emptiness of
my aging

sometimes my play land

where I stand
sit then fall

onto my exhausted body
of degeneration
and the mind

rests in a fugue
of exquisite confusion
sliced by melodies

The woods are lovely dark and deep
But I have promises to keep
and miles to go

Erasure blends us forward

as what was there
has gone

like dust blown

or else
we surmise it so
what a surprise
even though

we knew it would be so
and soon I will fall asleep
everything moving
at light’s speed or beyond
I find myself

seeming feeble

but the View is Perfection still

youth felt so good
when we were there
beneath a shower of rock & roll
in love fucking

lit by the tail of a comet
on the fields of
flying so high

you felt so cool with skin like silk

in my fading it is the same my love
somehow remembering still
so many forms my lovers took

how many
impossible to know

only Woody Allen as Zelig
escapes death in the fins of my swimming
in the movies of disguises

and paralyzed fear of dying

three sons and three wives
I’ve had

moments come like
Marlon Brando
Pocahontas and me

In The Attics of my life
so stoned in our beautiful bodies
nude wound in the grasses
of Natchez Pass

New Orleans
and mountains of the Great America unbroken

broken mind holds to the odors
of these places where my semen dropped
eyes dazed
ears filled with
Suzanne down by the river

I told you I was a wanderer with a heart set
on the next place in this place unreal


Sometimes in the hollow air
of Holland

art rises
like funiculi
into a Gothic cloud

where the bride and groom
float with a fiddle
and a cow

Is this just my mind
traveling faster
than the speed of light

what I saw the day some men
landed on the moon

I am not in charge of your dog

does it sound familiar

my poems of sinew bone and heart does it
sound like an infomercial to you are you buying that
stuff on TV? It’s who you aced

take deep breaths then leave me alone I am
tired and old and out of breath moving closer to
big back door the feather duster of immortality

cannot brush you clean of the ultimate dust
collected in the cracks and folds
of your living body soon the door of this

finality will open wide poof you will shoot
thru bang!
the door will close

behind you, you are out of here
you might fall down you might
feel bliss

I have no idea what will happen to you
I have no wisdom nothing to share
with you
so many years in closets garages
back seat of old automobiles miles and

miles of motels poverty and sick children wars and revolutions
perpetuating evil

do not forget that
everything is emotional
and all emotions are wisdom
like Buddha-hood without Meditation

Refining Apparent Phenomena

was a time you were swimming

so freely travels in ancient countries
studying poems and buildings filling architectural
notebooks fishing for sweet women

who would lay down with me in day dreams
I am falling down

in these days of the ending trying to

Old Age is

just a pack of cards thrown into a wind
storm and tears choke me with sorrow in a fog

of self pity

no erections

but huge desire when we bathe with
words trying to unload all the sounds my morning
dreams leak into the foggy canyons of my youth
waking into the dreams of dislocation nothing is
recognizable a series of hallways are waiting
chords in my arms The Buddha teaches I make
visits into so many dark closets will only waste
your days

there are fewer than more magic
entanglements become a circus when love
bites memories no longer cease

The scales of the python peel

away dropping into the tannin died river

sun drops gold

the purest of colors
on floating leaves reflected
in autumnal ochre and yellows

ripples of wind and mad bugs

ferry the eyesight down stream

Tie my chi to a tree
even though I am growing old
I still love rock and roll

Jump up in my living room

and shake whatever I’ve got left
to shake.



More Background On Primal Urge Magazine

Primal Urge Magazine emerges as a distinctive voice in the literary and art scene, catering to a niche that appreciates the confluence of poetry, art, and personal narrative. Initially launched as both an e-publication and print magazine, Primal Urge Magazine has dedicated its pages to featuring a wide array of contributions from poets, writers, and artists who explore the depths of human experience, creativity, and expression.

A prominent figure associated with Primal Urge Magazine is Latif Harris, a poet deeply ingrained in the San Francisco/North Beach literary scene since 1959. Harris's contributions go beyond his poetry; his editorial work, particularly on the "BEATITUDE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY 1959-2009," highlights his commitment to the Beat Literature movement and his efforts to acknowledge and celebrate the community that has significantly shaped his life and work. Harris's journey with poetry is paralleled by his personal narrative of overcoming alcohol dependency, showcasing the magazine's openness to exploring deeply personal and transformative experiences.

Primal Urge Magazine stands out for its blend of literary and artistic content, with contributions that often delve into surrealism, Buddhist practices, and the existential musings of its contributors. The magazine has been a platform for sharing not just poetry but also digital artwork, such as the Photoshop manipulations by Corey Cowan, adding a modern twist to the traditional literary publication.

Despite its rich content and the notable efforts of contributors like Harris, specific reviews and broader audience reception of Primal Urge Magazine are harder to come by, as indicated by the lack of reviews on platforms like Webwiki. This might suggest a niche readership or the challenges literary magazines face in reaching a wider audience in the digital age. However, the dedication of its contributors and the quality of work it has published speak to the magazine's significance within its community.

For those intrigued by the interplay of technology, poetry, and personal transformation, Primal Urge Magazine represents a unique blend of these elements, making it a noteworthy publication for readers and writers who are looking for depth, introspection, and innovation in literary and artistic expression. Its contributions to the literary world, especially within the specific cultural context of San Francisco's rich literary tradition, underscore the magazine's role in fostering a community of poets, artists, and thinkers who challenge and expand the boundaries of conventional narrative and artistic exploration.


From LitReader

Primal Urge Magazine is known for being a platform that showcases a blend of literary and artistic content, with a focus on poetry, digital artwork, and personal narratives. It has garnered attention for its contributions from notable figures within the literary and art communities, particularly those associated with the San Francisco/North Beach literary scene. The magazine has been praised for its depth, exploring themes of personal transformation, creativity, and the human experience through its unique and diverse contributions.

Key aspects that Primal Urge Magazine is known for include:

  • Diverse Contributions: The magazine features works by poets, writers, and artists who delve into a wide range of subjects and styles, reflecting the magazine's commitment to diversity in expression.
  • Engagement with the Literary Scene: With contributions from individuals deeply embedded in specific literary movements, such as the Beat generation, the magazine serves as a bridge connecting past and present literary traditions.
  • Personal Narratives: The inclusion of personal stories and journeys, such as those of overcoming challenges or engaging deeply with the creative process, adds a rich layer of human experience to the magazine's content.
  • Artistic Fusion: Primal Urge Magazine blends traditional literary content with modern digital artwork, reflecting the evolving nature of art and expression in the digital age.

The magazine's focus on both the art and the artist, offering insights into the creative process and the personal journeys behind the creations, sets it apart as a publication that values depth and authenticity. Through its commitment to showcasing innovative and introspective content, Primal Urge Magazine has carved out a unique space in the landscape of literary and art publications.