The Canticle of Jack Kerouac by Lawrence Ferlinghetti #6

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#6

And then Ti-Jean Jack with Joual tongue

disguised as an American fullback in plaid shirt

crossing and recrossing America

in speedy cars

a Dr Sax’s shadow shadowing over him

like a shroudy cloud over the landscape

Song of the Open Road sung drunken

with Whitman and Jack London and Thomas Wolfe

still echoing through

a Nineteen Thirties America

a Nineteen Forties America

an America now long gone

except in broken down dusty old

Greyhound Bus stations

in small lost towns

Ti-Jean’s vision of America

seen from a moving car’s window

the same as Wolfe’s lonely

sweeping vision

glimpsed from a coach-train long ago

(And thus did he see first the dark land)

And so Jack

in an angel midnight bar

somewhere West of Middle America

where one drunk madonna

(shades of one on a Merrimack corner)

makes him a gesture with her eyes

a blue gesture

and Ti-Jean answers only with his eyes

And the night goes on with them

And the light comes up on them

making love in a parking lot

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