Like all labels that stick, the nickname “Beat” richly and succinctly characterizes major aspects of its so-called movement, which sprang from the ecstatic and tortured rhythms of visionary poets, painters, and musicians. Tellingly, informatively, paradoxically, meanings of “beat” extend from a resolute self-affirming strike and an appointed path to their dark opposite–dissipated and hopelessly exhausted resolution or morale. “Beats” can also mean a dissonant battering set up by discordant patterns.