Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Kerouac won't let me get no Sleep! by David Mac


Ode to that jack K, and I know he comes around and stays up all night drunk and talking fast of the this and the that, and pointing his finger up and considering bop and jazz and yelling, 'Go, go,' and, 'blow as deep as you want to blow...' and blah, blah, blah, until soon I am drunk with him.

Little does he realise or even stop to think that some of us are TRYING TO GET SOME SLEEP! in this town in the night when only madmen and saints and holy angels stir and refuse to lay still without a word.

But we finish all the whisky and he goes running down to liquor store for some more and I know when he returns he will have picked up some other beats and bums who he’s found who go up to him and say, ‘Hey, you, Kerouac, where you going, man?’ and he’ll bring them all back to see me shake my head and gaze at the clock (who is also saddened and tells me it has gone two in the morning).

Ah, but he don’t care coz he’s been up all night finishing some book in heaven that he throws down with stars and dust. Something glorious and blessed no doubt with his blues and spontaneous sudden sweating visions and scribblings.

Kerouacky, great and holy writer of legendary fifties America who is now spinning bottles on the floor of my pad and talks of making it with some baby in some city of some place I never been. And he lays back and I just know he sees the picture deep, deep and wild mystic visions he is creating as he goes, to store for another book time.

He is always sacrificing himself to be in the scene so his eyes may see it all as it all goes down, then he’ll boom and clap and be delirious from everything all at once. ‘Dig that, dig that! Ah, fwa, oomph, you gotta really dig it all! Aw!’ and he tells me of when he was out to get some booze and great hanging epiphanies he saw, constructed golden and angelic, and illuminating down from the black sky-ceiling of Times Square.

‘I’m gonna make you some coffee,’ I tell him, but he’s already trying to speak to me the greatest sketches from the back of his mind (and this is younger Kerouac, just after On the Road, before he got all puffy and eternal world-hater of it all).

He don’t know he’ll die a drunk in Florida.

But he came and he saw. ‘I’m a brakeman who worked on the railroads,’ he spits at me, and I nod and tell him I know all this. He tells me about his routes west from New York, to Denver, Frisco, down to LA, down to Mexico, on great endless roads in backseats of huge worldly automobiles that race fast and straight with Neal Cassady (AKA: Dean Moriarty, Cody Pomeray) just a hunching and leaning, topless and driving the whole way.

He’ll tell me of diners and bars and neons flashing, and girls, gals, gurls…

He’ll speak of kicks and good times, Benzedrine, Dharma, God, Marijuana!!!

He’ll tell me of the convulsions he had and the desire to write endless prose with sentences that stretch out on the page for thousands of words.

I bend down and hand him boiling cup of coffee and hear the birds sing and see sun rising up, and still Jack K is still here and won’t let me ever sleep again. So we sit up and I listen to him. ‘Lissen to me, man!’

Then I get up and stretch and say, ‘Jack, come on, man, I gotta go to sleep to get up and go to work in just a few hours.’

And he goes, ‘Ah, just time, time and time! I’m a teabag of time!’ Then he mentions the world’s misery and tells me I must accept the loss.

I nod and show him to the door.

He steps through it and I watch him cut up my street to go and knock some other person’s door, or else go back to his mother’s house and sit in his chair.

There he goes, that old Jacky Kerouacky (Jack Duluoz). He turns the corner as I turn the page as I turn out the lights. I go to sleep. I dream of him.

'Aw,' I smile.

Demons Dancing - Pretty Good Dance Moves

David Mac is an ancient sea monster that awakes from the depths now and then to get some work done. He writes using his flippers and loves beat writers like Bukowski, Kerouac, Miller, Donleavy and Thompson. He has work in Ambit, Mudluscious and Monkey kettle magazines. He is currently riding his agent around London town trying to get the first book published!

Photo by Adam Lawrence.

Chicago's Genevieve Schatz has one of the most sensual and original voices in music. Pretty Good Dance Moves is a her fun electronic side project as she moonlights from her full-time band Company of Thieves.

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