Today is the anniversary of the birth of Jack Kerouac. Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, he resonates and one has to suspect that's just the way he'd like it.
Hate him, you ask? Who might do a thing like that? Well, though the evidence is purely anecdotal, there is an awful lot of backlash against Kerouac out there these days. The beauty of Jack is he put it out there, flaws and all, and even if you feel that ultimately his was a sad tragic life, he rose above it to heights others can't even dream of. Could he be a prick? Absolutely. Was he full of, among other things, an expansive, all-encompassing love for everything? Sure was. Did he die a hopeless drunk, squandering much of what might have been? What of it?
If you're reaching for that first stone, know that a mirror is very fragile thing, indeed.
Here's a one-line poem from his Tangier days ...
I strike at that snake-heart that hurt my family
And a few shorter pieces from Pomes All Sizes. These are not traditional haiku, simply Jack working towards something, Jack being Jack, looking for Jack, and finding something.
Dusk: the bird on the fence
Haiku-KoanDoes a dog have
Water is water.
There is no sin —
I know perfectly well
where I am
POEMI could become a great grinning host
---------------like a skeleton
Hung Up in Heaven
--the falling star —
One final note on Kerouac - my favorite novel of his is one that not too many folks talk about: Tristessa. It is slim, sad-romantic-tragic novel, with the core of some of his personal obsessions on full display. It is also deeply moving and a must read for anyone who has ever enjoyed any of his work.
Today is also the birthday of rock pioneer, Paul Kantner, founding member and spirit of the seminal sixties band, Jefferson Airplane. My first published piece of "writing" was a review of their breakout album, Surrealistic Pillow, for my high school paper.
Oh, yeah, we do go back. So here's a video for Paul - happy birthday. For those of you who really can't stand all that old hippie music, just happily skip on over the vid to the Lilliput poem of the day, courtesy of Twitter ...
Finally, the Twitter Lilliput Poem-of-the Day.
PS Just a note to let you know that the comments section of the blog was mightily spammed over night. I'm very reluctant to disable the anonymous posting function on the blog, so what I've done is enable comment moderation on posts 14 day or older. 99% of the comments come on new or recent posts, so this shouldn't effect things much. If this doesn't work, I may have to just enable comment moderation altogether. Rather than knuckle under to spammers and disable the anonymous option, I'd rather moderate. How they get by the scripting function has got me stumped and obviously blogger/google, too.