On the Road
by Jack Kerouac
304 pages / $17.00 buy from Amazon
1. First thing I read by Kerouac was On the Road.
2. After that I read Dharma Bums, Big Sur, Mexico City Blues and a lot of other Beat shit (the most obscure of which was this poet Bob Kaufman who didn’t write his poems but walked up to ppl in cars at stop lights and spouted them then and there. After JFK died he went into a 10 year silence. When it ended the first words he spoke were: “To all those ships that never sailed” and then some more. I got that quote transcribed on my iPod. The iPod broke last summer.)
3. Big Sur is my favorite. The last few lines – that turn, that blink – I want it to be true and I think it is.
4. I first read On the Road my junior year in high school. It was just what I needed. I was bored. I called it depression at the time, but really I was just bored. I wanted to get my kicks.
5. When I got to college and read more “literature,” I grew wary of my early infatuation with the Beats. It seemed juvenile. I was eager to reread so I could dismiss it.
6. Then I reread it my junior year in college and I still liked it.
7. Dean is a crazy motherfucker.
8. I want to “sweat” like Dean. Of all the words I got from Kerouac (“blow,” “ball that jack,” “kicks”) I think sweat is my favorite. Dean gets going a hundred miles an hour just sitting there talking, scheming, licking his lips.
9. I’m not sweating. When I do sweat I don’t sweat for the reason Dean sweats. I sweat because its hot out or I’m nervous.
10. On the Road is very much of its moment: cars, San Francisco, the attempt to lay naked the psyche.
September 2nd, 2014 / 1:15 pm