Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kerouac (Beyond This Old Honesty There Can Be Only Thieves)

Dizzy was the first to understand, he
 named a piece for
That strange handsome drunken
  college kid at the foot
   of the bandstand
   in Minton's
Or was he a sailor some murderous
  accomplice after the fact
   football star smalltown has-been
   Buddhist Catholic
  polymorphous junkie
Who was the first to understand
   I guess he must have thought
That it must take
Une negre blanc (please pardon my joual) or some
 To understand that when the mode of music changes,
    the walls of the city shake
(That's Plato, paraphrased probably, see there's nothing
   new under the sun) there's nothing now under the sun
      there's now nothing under the sun
                                                       DIg that
   To understand that America is but a dream
       Has always been but a dream
So rushing in his sleep to the points of that skewed flawed diamond
At immigrant New England the first conquered capital
        lonesome foghorn city the mount of shame and reckoning
        and all the graveyards eternal Larimer Streets and
        little mother's houses in between
To see them all before he is awakened . . . . by
So often the dreamer mistakes the cause of his disturbance
Awakes and assigns to the first noise heard the reason
For what vanished with the dream
So many sounds thereby unrecognized
What keeps you awake is not always what woke you
When there's no more territory to light out for, then the real
          restlessness begins
And I saw that afternoon on the train (just a paying passenger
          two stops past yours)
That the judgment had come to pass
This is the way we will live now
Arming ourselves against imaginary foes lending to others
          so they may put up a fight, who can dream when
               you got to work
The diamonds were empty the landfills converted to green
          rolling hills the parking garages filled to closing
                    the schools starved and abandoned to immigrants' kids
          invisible airplanes flying where the music used to rise
Above it all satellites in the heavens reading the newspapers
           wherein mothers are condemned as whores for the miracle
                     of their nature wayfarers are hounded from their paths
Wherego the poor in spirit in the global marketplace?
Camps are good but a bomb is quicker
Who could have compassion on it now?

Will you deny your daughter in heaven?

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