TSM 104

Jack Kerouac is like having bits of fish stuck in your teeth and you are desperate for floss, your tongue sweeping back and forth trying to dislodge it all

When I was a kid I knew Ted whose dad was Kerouac’s roommate at Columbia and his only square friend with a job and a normal family and Kerouac and Cassady would crash at Ted’s when back and forth from Denver and one day when I was over some guy who was Cassady and a girl came out of the shower naked his mom starts yelling at them to get the hell out Ted and his brother climbed a tree and started a crabapple fight with them Ted has a copy of On the Road signed Happy Birthday Teddy! – Uncle Jack which is creepy AF Kerouac must have been close to dying ’68 or early ’69 I guess that’s all he had to give at that point

Jack Kerouac is like getting the tip of your penis caught in the fly of your bluejeans, and shouting even though the whole world wears jeans because Kerouac and Cassady wore them

Hitchhiking East on Colfax in late December and finally making it out I-70 and a ride to Limon I’m standing for days in the snow and the wind because who the hell is going to Kansas from this on-ramp at Christmas freezing and waiting for luck finally a guy in a Caddy with a case of Blue Ribbon in the back he’s drinking the whole time and swerving but finally lets me off in front of a bar in Colby which isn’t any better than Limon I guess I hadn’t paid attention to that part of the book when Kerouac couldn’t get a ride half the time anywhere he went and got a bus I didn’t know taking a bus was an option and I didn’t have the money anyway I thought I just had to tough it out because that’s what Jack would do fuck you Jack you pussy

Jack Kerouac is like the subway leaving the station while you run alongside pounding the doors

In SF with my oldest must must go to City Lights where I buy him a copy of Howl and OTR a right of passage my big gesture later in the hotel he’s reading and puts it down and says Nah Dad these people are incredible assholes they lie and steal from their friends and treat people like shit you wouldn’t want to know them how on earth do you look up to them you raised me better than that

Jack Kerouac is like toenails clipped too close and your feet bleeding in your shoe

At Boulder Naropa had just set up their writing program and Ginsburg and Corso rambling in and out of people’s parties but at least they always brought a jug of Boone’s Farm and one night Burroughs ran his hand up my roommate Heather’s crotch what a decrepit scumbag shot his wife in Mexico City

Jack Kerouac is like the soles of your boots peeling off and duck taping them back on

Every late October near the anniversary of his death there is a 5K road race in Lowell I’d head over from Boston we’d run from the park of tall stone markers with Kerouac quotes up to the cemetery and back the outbound route was steep and hard but I stayed in it with everything I had didn’t let up coming back all downhill and I’ve got more in the tank so let it rip way too fast barely at the edge of falling and breaking my legs and ribs and face grinding into the pavement the thrill pulling away from the pack crossing the finish line a personal best that still stands how is this to memorialize someone who died at 47 of drink OK sure he was a football star in High School they give you a shot of whiskey when you are done who the fuck wants a shot of whiskey I want some water and a banana I wore the swag t-shirt with Jack’s picture on it until it was rags

Jack Kerouac is like

Sleepless all night Jack oh Jack Denver is still lonesome for her heroes

For The Sunday Muse

17 thoughts on “TSM 104

  1. So…not too much of a fan I guess? The first part about the shower and the crab apples and the note was amazing. It all was, but that I could visualize so clearly! The son, too. Too young to know anything about 1950’s America and the strangling conformity of it. Everything has a context, but yeah, they were assholes to some degree, but they do have that saying about not meeting your heroes. They made a statement that needed making, and that is the macro, even if the micro is shaky at best.

    Always take the bus, I say.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I might beg you to read it again, and maybe see more nuance. I live in the house that Jack and Allen built. What would Jack do (besides take the bus) wouldn’t he smash the icons in the temple, even if he is that icon? Wouldn’t he tell the unvarnished truth about the liars and the cheats and the scumbags, even if it is his word and his people that time has gilded? The style, if nothing else, homage to the last word of it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely. He would blow the heartbreaking jazz of instant truth, call you brother even as he pissed on your shoes, both of you streetlight angels in the gone mumble of night and ashtray and gravestone and anthem, with the coin landing on its edge every time.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “and blew the suffering of America’s naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio
          with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.”

          Liked by 1 person

  2. This has attitude…love it. Fame can be seductive and you can raise a glass to it or give it the middle finger snark it often deserves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bits of my life here, but I didn’t know Kerouac existed in those days. I led at least three lives at one time, twice in my life, thirteen years apart. The first in Lincoln, Nebraska. I remember a bunch came over and put me in the shower to get me sober. Not embarrassing in those surrounds. Actually I had four lives that first time, we had a modified stock class 1934 Ford Coupe racing car.
    Arnie, married but a boy whore, seemed to always have a girl, some were married.

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  4. Those were the times, yes. Shocking, crazy. How ironic that a tribute to Kerouac is a race that demands a healthy body and lots of rest. Well, a breaking of a veneer had to be done, and Jack not only did it but then wrote down a book similar to that very breakage. And he made it to 47! Your writing, your images and attention to Kerouac style are wonderful


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