Jack Kerouac’s sonorous
voice rotted more
brains than just his own.
Mine was nearly one.
Mine was nearly won.
Mine was nearly wondering.
Mine was nearly one-dimensionally focussed
for a time.
Old Jack and Bill and Corso too,
the best minds of my generation
were destroyed by cell phones,
internet rage, intermittent signalling
all around – or when it was around,
the sound of inertia tuned to acid-jazz,
turned on its ear, with the only drain
being the phoney sonic of it all.
Howling, howling, howling, howling, howling, howling, howling, howling
after too many beers and not enough attention.
Howling, howling, howling, howling at
the moon or at any pack of loons, or at
the notion that things might never actually
be so bad so you have to be sad, you have to be mad, you have to
want to make it seem like you could never be glad, you could
only be lonely, you could only be confused…
if they only knew – if those others, with or without sisters and brothers, could
only know, if they only knew, if they only knew, if they only knew
what you alone had put yourself through.
but it’s only words.
Just absurd. So absurd, how silly can you get?
You got pretty fucking silly…
as you imagined your own high coup
being to record your words with the drift
and waft of a saxophone in the background, the clatter
It happened once.
You were there on the stage. You had a blank look
and a full page. And the band stood behind you
And the notion that all you
actually had was the nothing
that you had to say – that in the end
you did try to display –
seemed the best summation
of this phase.