Imitatio #1

Stylized after the last paragraph in Jack Kerouac’s novel, On the Road: 

 

So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.

 

Thus, when Christofferson goes to the food bank and he sees all the sad people in shambles just waiting for hot, hot food served with a drink and feels all their slack mouths that loll with recognizably deep pain over a need for sweet bread, and just to get one mouthful, just to remind yourself of your humanity in this and in Wichita he is known by his first name for being a good man where no one would be, and tomorrow a maybe is yours, and won’t it be nice to die happy? the ripening fruit could start falling and rotting with humble flesh in the orchard, which is right when the animal inside you would show itself to be, hiding in bushes, lurks in eaves and springs in your cold bones, and no one, no one can tell animal from human in starvation except the woe-worn faces like haunted ghouls, he knows of man’s deprivation, he even knows of all man’s deprivation the burden we always carry, he knows of man’s deprivation. 

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