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POEM OF THE DAY -- "The Thrashing Doves" by Jack Kerouac

It's been a while since we've put up some fresh Kerouac.  His refreshing free-wheeling flow of words tickles the inspiration out of my soul; I know I'll be writing again soon.

In addition to the interesting Kerouac video we found (with Steve Allen playing Jazz) -- in our Awesome Artist page above -- I'll have to find one in which Kerouac reads his poems...he's such an interesting character to watch.

Speaking of Jazz, it's referenced here and can be found referenced in much of Keouacs work.  His writing did reflect the spontaneity of jazz - the free flowing of thoughts, yet still following patterns and certain defined parameters -- this work was relaxing and somehow inspires readers to "click their fingers".

This poem comes from his City Lights (Ferlinghetti) Pocket publication "Scattered Poems".

Way out, man.

Love Kerouac.


The Thrashing Doves

By Jack Kerouac

In the back of the dark chinese store
  in a wooden jailhouse bibbet box
  with dust of hay on the floor, rice
  where the rice bags are leaned,
  beyond the doomed peekokoos in the box
  cage

All the little doves'll die.
  As well the peekotoos--eels
  --they'll bend chickens' necks back
  oer barrels and slice at Samsara
  the world of eternal suffering with silver
  blades as thin as the ice in Peking

As thick and penetrable as the Wall of China
  the rice darkness of that store, beans,
  tea, boxes of dried fish, doodlebones,
  pieces of see-weed, dry, pieces of eight,
  all the balloon of the shroud on the floor

And the lights from the little tinkly Washington St.
  Behung, dim, opium pipes and gong wars,
  Tong, the rice and the card game--and
  Tibbet the tibbet the tink tink tink
  them Chinese cooks do in the kitchen 
  Jazz

The thrashing doves in the dark, white fear,
  my eyes reflect that liquidly
  and I no understand Buddha-fear?
  awakener's fear? So I give warnings
  'bout midnight round about midnight

And tell all the children the little otay
  story of magic, multiple madness, maya
  otay, magic trees-sitters and little girl
  bitters, and littlest lil brothers
  in crib made made of clay (blue as the moon).

For the doves.

1959

 
 

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