As the title hints at, I met a girl with an amazingly elfin face who likes Jack Kerouac. It’s not that those are all that rare; but she was the other end of the first beatnik conversation I’ve had in Oregon. It got me thinking about good old Kerouac, especially about the ending of “On the road.” The last paragraph of that book is an amazing sequence of run-on sentences coalescing into one beautiful closing statement about the story and the impetus thereof(Neal Cassidy). So I went home and wrote down the musings of one angry anthropoid.
Blasting caps thrown into the furnace of kids wandering the cleaner city streets alone, and there is no sign of Kerouac here, save for random photos in bars and that raw land rolling in one huge bulge which has roads leading back to the old directions, no broken down piers or signs of Dean in a crowd, as the children smile in the land where children are free and schools are open till they ride back home, and roads too systematized, and up in Lowell, over in Lowell, it’s a dream of this coast to roll to the other and back again, to find the end of the beginning, a mirror reflection and Burroughs is only sleeping with Dharma dreams and a methadone headache.
The clouds carry the senses to an ideal mimicked and morphed from the ideal set forth upon this continent by our forefathers, Neal, Jack and Allen. But who is left here to pick up the mantel when the trip is over, the bottle taken for gospel and the poems stopped? The readings are slower, less madness of creation and discomfort, the impetus of suffering recognized and digested, not fought over and made into holy writ. Where does the road begin when Jack was in Denver and moving West? Where is the ennui made, and the causeless movement found lacking, in need of piano chords in the dissonant night? Can we, as a the survivors of the word war be made whole again? Can we rise up from the ashes of the anti-poet Angelou to find again the restless travels which once made us whole? We found ourselves in that same forest but both paths seem too well traveled, too much foot traffic has dulled the sense of being separate but common, and we must look back to where we came from, and the grasses growing over our steps and walk back again to find another, older, path to follow.
We can note the differences between modern and past by showing the verbiage used to describe the up and coming, the eternal movement from East to West and back again. Where are the madness monks to chant our way home; where is the Om to radiate new awareness? There are no signs of Jack or Allen or even old Neal here, save for a genetic memory plugged into a microphone and left in want for someone to take the helm, I think of Dean Moriarty the father Jack found, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the impetus to a generation. I think of Dean Moriarty.