Giant shaving cut under nose, rosary, fat tie,

sport jacket, thick head of silver hair like Boris

Yeltsin battling totalitarian Forest Services of

Polka Dot ambulance drivers in happy garbage can

lid loneliness, smiling in blue, white & red stamp

machine café static black noise ringing through

the mortuary silences of toothless, ragged America.

Peter Orlovsky putting out his smoke with

tennis shoe bottom, says, “I have very good news,

important news for everyone. Stop talking. Turn

your two eyes into ears. Turn the kettle off. Turn

the camera off. I don’t want you to repeat this.

Listen. Forget about what I’m going to tell you.

If you write it down you’re in for a lot of trouble.

Don’t even talk to a tree about it. Shhhhhhhhh.

I found out that Kerouac was reborn. In the Bronx.

He’s 25 years old. Kerouac has come back. He’s got

a very cranky mother in the Bronx. We spent the

day together. I’ll repeat it for the last time.

Kerouac is back. He’s much more healthy and strong.

And he’s working very hard. Doesn’t have much time

to write. He has 4 brothers. Maybe three brothers

and a sister. He writes mostly in his heart––

heart poetry. That’s about it. I never said nothing.

It’s a secret, and it can’t leave this room.


Spoken word version from Walking thru Hell Gazing at Flowers.

Copyright © 1996 by Jim Cohn.

Text from The Dance Of Yellow Lightning Over The Ridge (Writers & Books Publications).

Copyright © 1998 by Jim Cohn.