The Canticle of Jack Kerouac by Lawrence Ferlinghetti #2

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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

thundering

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

 

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