Poetry Dispatch No. 4 | September 5, 2005
Jack Kerouac’s novel ON THE ROAD came out on this day in 1957, the story of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty roaring across America—the book that defined the Beat Generation. In the opening pages, Kerouac wrote: “I’d been poring over maps of the United States for months, even reading books about the pioneers and savoring names like Platte and Cimarron and so on, and on the road-map was one long red line called Route 6 that led from the tip of Cape Cod clear to Ely, Nevada, and there dipped down to Los Angeles. I’ll just stay on 6 all the way to Ely, I said to myself, and confidently started.” The book got good reviews: The September 5 New York Times review called it “the most beautifully executed utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as ‘beat’.” (from: Writer’s Almanac)
1. Scribble secret notebooks and wild type-written pages for the joy of it.
2. Be submissive to everything, open, listening.
3. Be in love with your life.
4. Something you feel will find its own form.
5. Try never to get drunk outside of your own home.
6. Blow as deep as you want to blow.
7. No time for poetry, but exactly what is.
8. Accept loss forever. (That’s a big one.)
9. No fear of shame in the dignity of your experience, language
10. Compose wild, undisciplined, pure, crazier the better, coming from the
11. You’re a genius all the time.