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POEM OF THE DAY -- "Daydreams for Ginsberg" by Jack Kerouac

Here is yet another poem by iconic American novelist and poet Jean-Louis "Jack" Kerouac featured here on the eNOTHING blog.  Along with William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, Kerouac is widely credited with being a pioneer of the "Beat Generation". 

In many anthologies and lists, this poem is near the top of the list as one of Kerouacs most popular or viewed poems. There are more such as Bowery Blues and others (featured here on our blog) and some which we haven't posted yet, but will.
Kerouac is recognized for popularizing a "spontaneous" method of writing, covering controversial topics at the time such as jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, petty crime, and travel - all along indirectly promoting a youthful "freedom" counterculture and a disdain for authority. Along the way Kerouac became an underground celebrity and the "Beat Generation" became a progenitor of the 1960's hippie movement.  

His involvement in the beat movement have inspired many including popular musicians and those who inspired the popular musicians of the 1960's.  His writings have inspired other writers, including Ken Kesey, Bob Dylan, Eddie Vedder, Thomas Pynchon, Lester Bangs, Tom Robbins, Will Clarke, Ben Gibbard, Haruki Murakami, Jacquelyn Landgraf. Kerouac became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement.

Daydreams for Ginsberg

By Jack Kerouac

I lie on my back at midnight
hearing the marvelous strange chime
of the clocks, and know it's mid-
night and in that instant the whole
world swims into sight for me
in the form of beautiful swarm-
ing m u t t a worlds-
everything is happening, shining

blazing in faith, I know I'm
forever right & all's I got to
do (as I hear the ordinary
extant voices of ladies talking
in some kitchen at midnight
oilcloth cups of cocoa
cardore to mump the
rinnegain in his
darlin drain-) i will write
it, all the talk of the world
everywhere in this morning, leav-
ing open parentheses sections
for my own accompanying inner
thoughts-with roars of me
all brain-all world
roaring-vibrating-I put
it down, swiftly, 1,000 words
(of pages) compressed into one second
of time-I'll be long
robed & long gold haired in
the famous Greek afternoon
of some Greek City
Fame Immortal & they'll
have to find me where they find
the t h n u p f t of my
shroud bags flying
flag yagging Lucien
Midnight back in their
mouths-Gore Vidal'll
be amazed, annoyed-
my words'll be writ in gold
& preserved in libraries like
Finnegans Wake & Visions of Neal.


  1. "bhuti" for beauty is such a jack-ism of greatness -- alison winfield burns

  2. Yes, thanks for this. Somehow I've never read it before— or maybe in a moment of youthful vanity I skipped over the poem thinking I would return to it... nonetheless, appreciate your displaying the words.