In Honor Of Jean Bon Kerouac On The 60th Anniversary Of “On The Road” (1957)
Jack of Lowell hometown, Jack of some Micmac-traded ancient Canad French-Canadian fur trader beyond time and back to Breton woods and great field of serf fellaheen peasants plowing, cowing, milking, harvesting, corvee-ing some milord’s land seen in some far distance, since with river running. Ownership burned out in the Yankee mill night, the time-owned night, the day too. Mainly now of triple and double-deckers squalid flats constantly changing renter-ship, constantly babies squabble in six languages, but above all patois, beautiful lilt keltic fringe hard Atlantic seas and torrents of rain Breton coast patois. And so they established an outpost here, among the mix of mill town hands, making mill things, dreaming non-mill things, and for the men working, working hard and long and then off to some card-playing (as disguise for heavy drinking) Franco-American Club, no women, no children, no kikes, no micks, no English (absolutely no English for there is a swollen bone to pick over that on one), no oppressors unnamed and unloved allowed. A man’s life as befits a man whose people came down from places deep in Quebec woods and along the mighty Saint Lawrence.
New York City, Time Square of course, Columbia of course(before the heist of all property when it was merely an Ivy outpost in a brazen, bare knuckles city), the Village of course (those who need to know what village just move on), of movies and movie theaters, and, uh, art films for the discreet, of men in raincoats stinking or urine or Thunderbird wines, of drifters, grifters, grafters, midnight sifters, hustling, always hustling like some rats on speed, of mad men and monks, and semi-monks disguised as poets, of street poet gangsters all shiny words and a gun at your head to say yes you liked the last verse, of Gregory Corso, of muggers and minstrels, of six dollar whores for a quickie, of twelve dollar whores who will take you around the world, of neon signs, night and day, of neon cars and car beams night and day, of trash spread every which way, of the flotsam and jetsam of human existence cloistered against 42nd Street hurts, of Howard Johnson’s frankfurts eaten by the half dozen to curve hungers, not food hungers but hungers that dare not speak their name, of Joe and Nemo’s two AM fatty griddle hamburgers, of fags and fairies, and, shade distant dreams, of quasi-Trotskyite girl lovers taking a rest from their bourgeois travels who loved truth, truth and dark-haired revolutionary French guys from textile mill lowells, all proletarian Lowell and can write too, write one million words on order, and of stalinite-worthy betrayals with some new found friend’s wife, or husband, of Siberia exile of the mind, and of second million word writes all while riding the clattering subway to and fro, and not to speak of Soho or the Village. And of junkies, of every description, morphine, speed, cocaine, and of hustlers pushing their soft wares, call your poison, step right up, of William Burroughs, of deadly terror at the prospects for the next fix, of human mules face down in some dusty Sonora town failing to make that connection to get them well, and of off-hand forgotten murders. Jesus, suffering humanity.