What I Read on Vacation
Predestined and Free

Blow: A Poem


Blow, Charlie Parker, blow.
Blow out Keroauc & Ginsburg,
Huncke, Burroughs, Holmes & Casady.
Give voice with every existential exhale.

Blow as deep as you want to blow
you said.
Write swiftly, excitedly, in
accordance with your heart, with the beat.

At the South Harlem Red Drum, in a
bendrine daze, Charlei Parker's
bop bop bop is swimming in our minds.
For a moment you cohere, whispering
conspiratorily to the crazy casadys:
"Believe in the holy contour of life, man.
You dig?"
Truth is caught in the world-widening horn,

          Stop the music, Charlie Parker.
Unblow the horn.
Summon back the Keroaucs, Gonsburgs,
Burroughs of this world.
Suck the dying right back out of them,
the going for the sake of going.

And if I meet him
in our dust,
our poverty,
our beat-ness shared,
I will tell him:

"Wake up and see the shepherds, Jack,
wake up and see the golden world
that Jesus came from, with your own
eyes, with your own heart, you can tell."

Slapping Moctezuma mud on that
dharma bum's eyes I would spit on my
hands and rub it in, harder now,
whispering as loud as I can:

Wake up, wake up, wake up.

Port_kerouac_1 [A few years back I read a book on the beat generation, the poets like Ginsburg and writers like Jack Kerouac, all who traversed Greenwich Village in the late Fifties and early Sixties.  There's much not to admire about them, but I did find their community and sense of freedom admirable, in a way.  I can't commend them, but this poem does arise out of the particulars of their lives, particulars I had a sense for, for a while at least.]