Before the Bridges Fell #10 : Everyone is Kerouac by David L O’Nan – Poetry





Everyone is Kerouac

It doesn't matter who you are, how you started.
How your mind runs, when you're on the stage.
And he looks at you, he says there goes "Jack Kerouac"

He was the godly catalog model in the suburbs of Milwaukee
A very proper, a very Grandpa's toy Quarterback.
He was alert with the ladies, he knew some poetry he found from a collection of Keats and he read them over and over to them.
And they fell to the floor in love, unless they knew his fraudulent stem.  The smarter girls could spot the false heart from miles away.
He tried to grow in a soul patch and dabble with some weed and next thing you know he thought he was the Earthquake.  
He shook that literary world.  Boy, he's off to New York City at the drop of a hat.

Off in Greenwich Village he pretended he came from the same grass as the Beat Poets and became obsessed by Jack Kerouac.
He'd say "Here sir, here's another $1000, a new poem for you...it is about drifting"   "Please listen to THESE words"  'cause shake your feet in your shoes and tell the New York Times you've just met van Gogh and Buddha too. 

Yes, he'd strut poetry through the streets.  Attaching a bongo to his back.  While the burnt weenie aroma hit the air.  He'd just laugh and laugh.   "Hey there girl with the gas leak apartment, let's go stay at the Chelsea Hotel, I know a few folks back there and they'd definitely get us On the Road"   He'd hit the subway with his Andrew Jackson style messed hair and jumped around high on amphetamine and like an elfin, whistling & snapping his fingers.  He'd just try to breathe and breathe.   

The women began to see a fake. Funny how every coffeehouse he'd visit he'd be holding that faded copy of "Dharma Bums" 
"Hey barista mama, I hate that media man, did you hear what they said about my poem I submitted to the Times? It will make you mad"

It didn't take long before his butt was back on a bus towards the Midwest.  Settle down in Indiana farms, cows, horses, shit, paint everywhere.   Writing that same poem about being angry about the news.   That news from 1980 when Ronald Reagan became a repeat to your fading memory.  Every year it is just the same.  The poetry like your soul patch began to grey.

And you see him stoned and deadpan at an art exhibit,  you see him cancelling other people that try to steal his show.   He is lit to the moon and talking about his squirrel habitat house.  He's wondering where that lady he saw outside and invited to the Chelsea Hotel is still alive.  "Oh, why she's his biggest fan and follows him into his own fame"  While everyone is a dairy farm caught ablaze, "in his mind" he is walking through the Village and making Oil Rag Frakensteins and tossing them into the frame to burn the world into art that no one had ever seen.  He'd read you "The only people for me are the mad ones: the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who... burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles." straight from Kerouac.   He'd say this one is for Ginsberg, this one is for Hunter, and this one is for Ferlinghetti. The old feller he's just in another dream. 

And now he's just blaming his old behavior on all of the stale midwest air, reading political quotes and acting as if he can predict which way his weed smoke will blow in the air during a windstorm.
Maybe he also had a gas leak that he could blame all his flirty ways with the girls half his age, and then drink with the cougars from the bars.   He'd write an avant-garde poem about the death of Burroughs, while the older women would swift away and flirt with the younger poets right in front of their girlfriends or wives.  They are there for a drink and act like art is their life.

Years later he is hyperventilating on the steps of a downtown flood. In the heart of a homemade College kid gentrified neighborhood. 
Breathing in, weed smoke out, breathing in, just laughs

"Kerouc, man, Kerouac, and...and...and..Burroughs"..... "Yeah"


Before the Bridges Fell #9 by David L O’Nan : Living in This Toxic Coalmine – poetry first on Icefloe Press

Before the Bridges Fell Poem #8 by David L O’Nan   “Those Hazels, They Slice” – poetry first published on IceFloe Press.

Poem #7 from Before the Bridges Fell: Scattered Christmas Garbage by David L O’Nan – poetryPoem #6 Before the Bridges Fell by David L O’Nan : “They Are Running My Prints” – poetry