The Canticle of Jack Kerouac by Lawrence Ferlinghetti #3



And the old Worthen Bar

in Lowell Mass. at midnight

in the now of nineteen eighty-seven

Kerouacian revellers

crowd the wood booths

ancient with carved initials

of a million drinking bouts

the clouts of the

Shrouded Stranger

upon each wood pew

where the likes of Kerouac lumberjack

feinted their defiance

of dung and death

Ah the broken wood and the punka fans still turning

(pull-cord wavings

of the breath of the Buddha)

still lost in Lowell’s

‘vast tragedies of darkness’

with Jack


The Canticle of Jack Kerouac by Lawrence Ferlinghetti #2



There is a garden in the memory of America

There is a night bird in its memory

There is an andante cantabile

in a garden in the memory

of America

In a secret garden

in a private place

a song a melody

a nightlong echoing

in the memory of America

In the sound of a nightbird

outside a Lowell window

In the cry of kids

in tenement yards at night

In the deep sound

of a woman murmuring

a woman singing a broken melody

in a shuttered room

on a old wooden house

in Lowell

As the world cracks by


like a lost lumber truck

on a steep grade

in Kerouac America

The woman sits silent now

rocking backward

to Whistler’s Mother in Lowell

and all the tough old

Canuck mothers

and Jack’s Memere

And they continue rocking


And may still on stormy nights show through

as a phantom after image

on silent TV screens

a flickered after-image

that will not go away

in Moody Street

in Beaulieu Street

in ‘dirt street Sarah Avenue’

in Pawtucketville

And the Church of St. Jean Baptiste


The Canticle of Jack Kerouac by Lawrence Ferlinghetti



Far from the the sea from the sea

of Breton fishermen

the white clouds scudding

over Lowell

and the white birches the

bare white birches

along the blear night roads

flashing by in darkness

(where once he rode

in Pop’s old Plymouth)

and the birch white face

of a Merrimac madonna

shadowed in streetlight

by Merrimac’s shroudy waters

— a leaf blown

upon sea wind

out of Brittany

over endless oceans



Tears by Allen Ginsberg


I cry all the time now.

I cried all over the street when I left Seattle Wobbly Hall.

I cried listening to Bach.

I cried looking at happy flowers in my backyard, I cried at

the sadness of the middle-aged trees.

Happiness exists I feel it.

I cried for my soul, I cried for the world’s soul.

The world has a beautiful soul.

God appearing to be seen and cried over. Overflowing heart of


Seattle, February 2, 1956

Scribble by Allen Ginsberg


Rexroth’s face reflecting human

tired bliss

White haired, wing browed

gas mustache

flowers jet out of

his sad head,

listening to Edith Piaf street song

as she walks the universe

with all life gone

and cities disappeared

only the God of Love

left smiling.

Berkley, March 1956


A Strange New Cottage In Berkley by Allen Ginsberg


All afternoon cutting bramble blackberries off a tottering

brown fence

under a low branch with its rotten old apricots miscellaneous

under the leaves,

fixing the drip in the intricate gut machinery of a new toilet;

found a good coffeepot in the vines of the porch, rolled a

big tire out of the scarlet bushes, hid my marijuana;

wet the flowers, playing the sunlit water each to each,

retuning the godly extra drops for the stringbeans and daisies;

three times walked around the grass and sighed absently;

my reward, when the garden fed me its plums from the

form of a small tree in the corner,

am angel thoughtful of my stomach, and my dry and lovelorn



Dream Record : June 8, 1955 by Allen Ginsberg


William S Burroughs


A drunken night in my house with a

boy, San Francisco: I lay asleep:


I went back to Mexico City

and saw Joan Burroughs leaning

forward in a garden-chair, arms

on her knees. She studied me with

clear eyes and a downcast smile, her

face restored to a fine beauty

tequila and salt had made strange

before the bullet in her brow

We talked of life since then.

Well, what’s Burroughs doing now?

Bill on earth, he’s in North Africa.

Oh, and Kerouac? Jack still jumps

with the same beat genius as before,

notebooks filled with Buddha.

I hope he makes it, she laughed.

Is Hunke still in the can? No,

last time I saw him on Times Square.

And how is Kenney? Married, drunk

and golden in the East. You? New

loves in the West-

Then I knew

she was a dream: and questioned her

-Joan what kind of knowledge have

the dead? can you still love

your mortal acqaintances?

What do you remember of us?

faded in front of me- The next instant

I saw her rain-stained tombstone

rear an illegible epitaph

under a the gnarled branch of a small

tree in the wild grass

of an unvisited garden in Mexico.