December 29, 2008


by John Rocco

I first read ON THE ROAD
in 1957
(I was 10 years old
in the floating red clouds
as they say in
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
I was floating toward the
vibrating reflections of
my copulating parents
but I lost and hate my father
and felt like Dean in Denver
but I always loved my mom
Jack in Queens smashing the Underwood
and she cooked him roast beef and potatoes, lamb chops,
apple pie, turkey sandwiches, meatloaf, cranberry sauce).
I dropped my unborn Sunday coffee
in 1957
reading about frozen fixed bayonets war
and the cops who broke into
Ed Gein’s hell farmhouse.
But the nowhere copulation clouds
have a way of righting themselves
not with compass or metaphysics
but with thumbs and empty stomachs.
Floating unborn unknowing
America growing in my eyes
before eyes were invented.
America growing in roads and waves
and bars and cities and songs and
meeting people who love you
and then don’t.
America growing always and the
more you move the more it grows,
Dr. Sax on the sidelines.
I first read ON THE ROAD
before everything
and I don’t believe in anything.
The red vibrations are coming
faster now so I have to end it:
the only thing too much about
ON THE ROAD is that
it blots out all early memories
and Kerouac’s other
true fictions
in the great fucked-up womb
of everything.
I’m almost born now
reading SATORI IN PARIS (1966)
and he smelled of booze in the
Bibliothèque Nationale
looking up the family name
and wrote Joyce thunderwords
to wake us
and we are born in Queens
to traffic noise
hearing him type it.


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