June 10, 2014

My favorite Kerouac poem, this breaks my heart a little every time.


I read this following (silly me) Anne Waldman (read my conversation with her, here) at a poetry reading hosted by Beat Book Shop at good ol’Penny Lane in Boulder, Colorado, many years ago.

I love Kerouac for many reasons—but most of all his open, real heart. As a young man, so full of promise, arrogance, insecurity, craziness…he grounded me. I knew that an other human being shared my wild ride.

From: City Lights Publishing’s “POMES ALL SIZES” “…which includes a wonderful preface by Ginsberg himself, declaring…  “My own poetry’s always been modeled on Kerouac’s practice of tracing his mind’s thoughts and sounds directly on the page.”  A formidable statement by arguably one of the 20th centuries greatest and most influential poets.”


By Jack Kerouac

And when you showed me the Brooklyn Bridge
   in the morning, 
      Ah God,

And the people slipping on ice in the street,
                    two different people
                    came over, goin to work,
                    so earnest and tryful,
                    clutching their pitiful
                    morning Daily News
                    slip on the ice & fall
                    both inside 5 minutes
                    and I cried I cried

That’s when you taught me tears, Ah
   God in the morning,
      Ah Thee

And me leaning on the lampost wiping
                  nobody’s know I’d cried
                  or woulda cared anyway
                  but O I saw my father
                  and my grandfather’s mother
                  and the long lines of chairs
                  and tear-sitters and dead,
                  Ah me, I knew God You
                  had better plans than that

So whatever plan you have for me
Splitter of majesty
Make it short
Make it snappy
   bring me home to the Eternal Mother

At your service anyway,
   (and until)



Jack Kerouac essentials of spontaneous prose.

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