Friday, 2 December 2011

Frisco Blues and Jack Kerouak

The following poem is by way of an experiment. What I've done here is to take one of Jack Kerouac's long poems, in this case the 80 chorus poem San Francisco Blues, and then to take one line from each chorus (or verse) and assemble these lines together in sequence to create a new Jack Kerouac poem using only Kerouac's own words. Jack, I hope you approve wherever you are,


I see the backs
you see in black
of a thousand hundred feet
an excited selzerite
taste washed in
to work in dawn
in the milky dawn
of pain
in San Francisco
in the reel of wake up
to buy bananas
to step on it & get some bread
and Acme Beer
hurrying and laughing
with the battered coat
that's my home
and a red bag hangin
far away.

Don't ask for gold
and death & taxes
marching arm in arm.

Swing yr umbrella
for the world
and death
to happen
on a rainy corner
as a soda truck
at quarter of four
when the dog's let out
Sambati was his name
earnest for deliverance
it was a mournful day
in the calm & peaceful
"Rain on. O cloud!"
bluer than misery
Oh -
what a deal!

Pour me a drink
and sing another song
give me a hiball
or lay down dead
to end up there
to advertise the stone
in the afternoon
in this town
in the hellish street.

And I'm no where
torn and tattered
in some old dream
and unknown
to come on in
on the last & fading hill
that everything
light illuminates
tonight off Toohey's head
on Labor day
when Frisco was a drizzle
falling everywhere
you here see
gelatinous & composed
for funny you.

The tattered awnings flap
the neons redly twangle
- "Switch to Calvert"
sun on down
of shady curtain night
in almost dark
dusk down sky
nevermore to remain
lost in the blue
for sullen brooding boys
glaring from black eyebrows
who walk alone
and then wearied
absolved of suicide
mourning the Renaissance


  1. Inspired me to go off and write something. One could create a series of "variations" (a la music) like this: I was left wondering what other realities lay concealed!

  2. And that's exactly what I was wondering Dominic and so today I'll take the same 80 verse Kerouac poem and faithfully using other lines of text see if I can cobble together something, as they say, completely different.

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