Looking for Kerouac


at night
weekend poets
with Wal-Mart berets
search for meaning
in faux jazz joints
haikus are lost
to jazz notes swingin
from a computer programmed
Bose system.

28 Responses to Looking for Kerouac

  1. alison says:

    Wow. I love tag surfers when I come across blogs (poetry) like this. Your header is wonderful. But I loved the line in particular — Weekend poets with Wal-Mart berets. Reminds me of the unique sound and beat I hear at the poetry slams. Nicely done. Ali

  2. Scot says:

    hey, thanks so much for dropping in and the kind words. Don’t be a stranger.

  3. Tina Trivett says:

    Modern beatniks? Love this one. 🙂

  4. Bob says:

    This poem reminds me that we can never replace an original. Emulate– we possibly can… replicate– we can’t come close. I guess we, as humans, need to pay tribute to those whose art we can never hope to re-create.

  5. Voodoo says:

    Kerouac, a genius, against computer generated art. Nice little contrast in a poem that, otherwise, leaves me wanting just a little more.

  6. johemmant says:

    This does swing from line to line, good one, Scot.

  7. Scot says:

    paying tribute is possibly the highest honor…thanks for reading

  8. Scot says:

    thanks for the read–good to see ya here!

  9. Scot says:

    thanks for stopping in–got confused on your Kerouac comment–“against computer generated art”?

  10. Scot says:

    Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  11. Voodoo says:

    Yes, the faux-jazz and the programmed Bose seemed to contrast against the poem itself (at least, what I think you were going for in the imitation of the Beat rhythms)

    It’s a synthesizer against Stomp, something arbitrary against poetry. I adore the american haiku just a little more than I do the rest of the beat stuff (less academic than even most of them would care to admit, funny how ideologies seem to twist around and around until they’re the same thing under a different crucifix)

    Still, reading the poem on the poem’s terms, I don’t see much. I don’t care for the rhythm (it’s choppy, and I’ve had long conversations with people regarding the concept of breaking lines like this; will mention ‘modern’ again with a little distaste at how some things have fallen) and I don’t see much else… I’m left with a ‘so what?’

    It’s simple without making me laugh at how simple it is. For that, it’s a good job that I just won’t remember in a few weeks.


  12. Scot says:

    I should never explain a poem, but you have hit on what it was intended to be–
    It is a contrast against the beats– that is the point. Kerouac died in 69–no bose,etc. I never intended to pattern jazz poetry. The “so what” that you were left with was the whole point of the poem–there is not much to see–nothing profound but intended to be a simple statement.

  13. Paul says:

    simple, elegant, perfectly phrased, the beauty is in the subtle tones and contrast, cool,

  14. alison says:

    Aha. I there was something in the air of your poetry. You should never explain a poem is write, but in your explanation to Sterling, I see something else. The simple statement written in complicated forms of patterns contradicting each other. Yes, Scot, sometimes poems just “flow” but with jazz, beatnik or other…there is a choppy , elcectic art to it, which you have mastered. I thought I left you a comment about the poetry slams I have been to, and this is prime meat for one of those tribute-like “songs” that they sing. I am not stalking you 😉 just taking copious notes. No pun intended. Not fanning the flames for arguments, but really…much more to see inm leaving well alone. Read and absorb…

    I like your styles.


  15. alison says:

    WTF! I misspelled everything up there! *sigh* I get excited to share what is on my mind, and forget to review. Uh sorry…that would be “I knew there was something” and is RIGHT. ECLECTIC and whatever else I missed. Good Lord! I can’t think straight today. Why post another comment? English major curse. Cannot leave a misspelling even in friendly world of blogging. I should be going now 😉

  16. Love the poem and the header of the engraved stonework in Jack Kerouac Alley. I spent many an hour in that alley smoking cigs while taking a break from whatever book I was reading on a bar stool in Vesuvio,

  17. Scot says:

    Theres another poem somewhere here about that alley complete with a cluttered picture. Thanks for the comment.

  18. I’ll search for it, Scot. I spent an entire year hanging out at Vesuvio and last year produced a show there, “The Ragged Promised Land”, a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of OTR.

  19. Scot says:

    I put the link above. I read your bio–many lives. I suppose that scene has changed–according to Winans it’s all but died. My daughter was out there doing an internship for the Onion–she was there during the International Poetry Festival–I will check out your blog more–Did this show air yet?

  20. Huh. At Vesuvio, we were one of the hosts of the festival last year. We had a reading in the alley. Also, the Onion made a brief mention of my Kerouac show at Vesuvio. Nice intersection of your daughter’s life and mine.

    The Kerouac show was a live presentation. We did it once at Vesuvio to an SRO crowd and then reprised it one month later for the Beat Museum across the street.

    Yes, Scot. Many lives, many lives indeed.

    I’ll put your blog on my daily rounds from here on out.

  21. Just read the poem linked above. Excellent. I can tell you about those North Beach ghosts, man. I’ve made a few feeble attempts writing about them at Carver’s Dog but something — and several peers as well — keep telling me to write it as a novella or a novel.

  22. Scot says:

    I will pop over and check them out–that one started out as a haiku–then went to a tanka. I suppose it was inspired by trips there and emailing back and forth with A.D. He sure has some stories about those ghosts–he was suppose to start another book on that theme–but I doubt he does.

    A novel/novella—if you got it–then you are wasting time.

    I can’t imagine that city sucking–so much material for a writer just on the street. I have been there a few times in the past couple of years–loved it. I am sure it has downsides, but anyplace does.

  23. For, or depite, all it’s charms, Scott, North Beach is what sucks, not the whole city. But there are other issues with the other districts. North Beach, though, is slime central. Above every storefront and restaurant (almost every) is a run-down, rat infested, junkie laden, cockroach crawling, public bathroom down the hall nightmare of a residential hotel. Inadequate heat? No problem. Electrical circuitry so bad you risk burning your hard drive just by turning your computer on? Sure, they can handle that. Oh, and by the way, no cooking facilities in the hotels so you’re on your own with the pricey restaurants in the neighborhood. There are no fast food joints in Norh Beach. It would harm the aesthetics, don’t you know. And the knifings and fist fights on Broadway after the strp clubs let out at 2:00 AM is a special treat too.

  24. […] the meantime, Scot at Be Hospitable To Strangers, continues to scribble up some damn fine poems and haiku arrangements. Tagged with: Fiction, haiku, J.A. Terry, Joseph Mailander, Kafka’s Mouse, […]

  25. Excellent poem my friend. I wish I could say as much in so little amount of words.
    Great work. I will be back


  26. Scot says:

    thanks for the compliment–stop in anytime

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