In 1969 Jack Kerouac died…

Here’s a little poem left over from my mid-life crisis. Now that I’m up to my Medicare crisis I don’t need it any more. ..

In 1969,

Jack Kerouac died.

It was an ignominious death,

he puked his guts into a toilet,

moaned to Ste. Therese,

and left his mother to carry on.

After all those miles.

In 1969,

Some outlaws of art were still young –

rock desperadoes,

poets of armed robbery,

exiles on main street

But Neal Cassady was dead already

and John Lennon was fixin to die.

They met their rightful destiny.

But what happens to the outlaws who go free?

Whose sun-bleached hair grows grey?

Who have to walk the seacoast in a mothbitten overcoat

or raise a family?

What happens to bad mothers who don’t get shot?

when their time runs out and they’re still here?

There’s all those days to fill when the Muse won’t show – –

watering the geraniums

or teaching English to high-school gunmen

with slower draws than they had.

With sleeping in their cars,

answering the phone at the Institute for Parapsychology,

seeing their kids grow up,

looking into soft dead eyes forever in their dream.

Photo by Patrushka

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5 thoughts on “In 1969 Jack Kerouac died…

  1. Pig. Now you did it. You made me cry again.What happened to them? The outlaws that go free?What happened to us? Still on the road, but just not as fast, in our black cars in the night.

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  2. YOur profile says you grew up in SF but I bet your folks are southern. “John Lennon was fixin to die”. The verb give your roots away.

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  3. “Fixin’ to Die” was covered on Bob’s debut album. I was just listening to it and thinking how the baby-faced pic on the cover looks uncannily like my son Jake who is about the same age as Bob in that pic.Bob is still out there, on that road and my son Jake is just starting the road, playing every blue-light club and cheap dive that’ll let him in. His, though, is a more comfortable ride than some of us had. He don’t sit home and blog, like us old farts. He’s trying to cut a path or at least wander down some old ones.

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