The Kid from Red Bank
Sep16

The Kid from Red Bank

“Count Basie’s swing arrangements are not blaring, but they contain more drive, more power, and more thrill than the loudest gang of corn artists can acquire by blowing their horns apart.” i Jack Kerouac Count, bink-bink! The Kid from Red Bank On the River Navesink Red Bank Boogie One O’Clock Jump Stomp and stamp and stump the band Give the man a mighty hand Tinkling keys Fats Waller knees William Basie’s simple swing Keep your flashy...

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Literature
Sep11

Literature

“ . . . companionship . . . definition of literature . . .” i Jack Kerouac In memory of Patrick and Paul Let me reach for another book And another and another Let me climb that ladder That soars up high As I reach for another and another book Not any old book But books that speak to my soul And tell me I have traveled this road before you And as Thoreau said “If it is not a tragical life we live, then I know not what to call it” And...

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Tristessa
Sep03

Tristessa

Tristessa Black tresses Dirty dresses You mess-a Mucha lucha, Muchacha, señorita Esperanza Junk is a drag “It is a way of life.” i Just ask BOOL No gains, all loss (Not everyone as smart as old Harvard Lee, anthropologist) Junk is called junk because it is junk “They all looked like junk.” ii Hope is gone, Esperanza Replaced with junk Sickness Hopelessness Tristessa Junk is a drag Junkies are a drag Goodbye peachy coffee complexion...

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I am Bartleby i
Aug08

I am Bartleby i

“It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn’t gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization . . . ” Jack Kerouac I am Bartleby, So don’t bother me The narrator say “the easiest way of life is the best” That, too, is my bray, don’t press it “a bit of wreck in the mid Atlantic” Sailed from Perth to Niantic So let’s not get frantic “No; I...

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Melvillian Flat
Aug06

Melvillian Flat

There’s something about this second-floor Red Bank flat that hints of Melville, poor Bartleby scribbling away at his lonely desk, (or Kerouac when he took the job in the Hartford filling station and typed away gloomy hours). Maybe it’s the curve of the rounded windows or the rectangular window facing the street with its late nineteenth- century commercial buildings or the hardwood flooring with its long planks or the kitchen stool I...

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Of the Beautiful Alene Lee
Aug01

Of the Beautiful Alene Lee

It was Paradise Alley so long ago In the alphabet downtown east Lived a subterranean in clouds of strong dark tea By the name of Alene Lee San Fran or New York City Names, places changed but ‘tis the same Heavenly Lane and hipster games Pillow talk and pushcart walks Of the beautiful Alene Lee Of the beautiful Alene Lee He was young and drunk and jazzed She younger and cool and sweet High cheekbones and velvet slacks She was brown and...

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Fracas is a Bar
Jul27

Fracas is a Bar

Fracas is a bar I live not far Oh, the place is full of history Involving many a cop and car A big melee comes to memory About the night Of the smashing fist fight In the parking lot And not a little but a lot From near and yon two hundred folks Online zine screamed and spoke The place shut down With nary a frown But soon reopened Sharply spoken About hush-hush dollars And boy, folks hollered Things calmed down In the town But now new...

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“To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” i
Jul22

“To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” i

The title of the William Butler Yeats poem “To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” makes me cringe. Is it kind to encourage a friend whose talent may be nonexistent, or is it kinder to speak plainly, in other words, tell the truth? Friend, it’s my unfortunate obligation to say you have no talent in this area and must give this up, the sooner the better, because you‘re wasting everyone’s time and making yourself crazy and are...

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