Friday, August 31, 2012

"WALKING ON WATER WASN'T
BUILT IN A DAY" ~









Jack Kerouac was like a man observing his river, sitting in the rain, letting it soak through his clothes, his skin, his being, his self; a man weighed down, feeling the cold, his tears as opaque as his heart. He was a Catholic man, "I'm a Catholic all along. I was really kidding Gary Snyder. Boy, they're so gullible;" he was a man imbued with service and sacrifice; he was a lover of God invested in the purification of the soul to be made ready for the resurrection of the dead; yet he was a creature confused by the conflicting pulls between loving and dying, willful individualism and martyrdom.


Still, he was a Catholic poet — his cross was not a plain cross, not a Protestant cross, stripped of the body of the sacrificed man-God. His cross bore Christ on it, and Christ was his own heart that bled like an iron rose, a Rose-En-Fer. "Wealth was neither a power / nor a consolation; he could only exist through love, through / religion, and through his faith in the future. Love made him / understand eternity. His heart and the gospels marked out / two worlds awaiting him. Night and day he was plunged in / the depths of infinite thoughts, which for him perhaps merged / into one."


~ from the Introduction


________________________

Jack Kerouac
Collected Poems
edited by Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell
(Library of America, 2012)







A long way from

---The Beat Generation

In the rain forest







4 comments:

Luster said...

Bob,

Lovely piece on Kerouac and his Catholic soul. Is it yours or is it from the new book? Either way, lovely lovely. Isaac has come calling here, much diminished and not directly centered on us but with fits of intense rain and a pervading movement of stifling heat and humidity. Horses in the pasture across the fence are galloping around. This too shall pass.

stay close,
mike

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Good morning, Mike,

38 degrees this morning and holding. That air degrees is falling right into the river. It'll be a hardy soul who continues jumping into the creek for a swim. I went yesterday, maybe not tomorrow.

The text for the Kerouac is from the collagist introduction, a beautiful piece of discovery. I will now tuck that bit of information into the B'house. My mistake, or oversight. I believe it happened as I was watching and experiencing Clint Eastwood dissolve before my eyes into an authentic theater of the absurd at the RNC last night. Starting and revelatory at once.

Watch them horses
all's well, Bob

Luster said...

Yes, Clint's bit was truly odd especially here with the literal coming storm. Weary from mowing and other chores, I fell asleep before Mitt finished saying whatever it was he was saying. 38 degrees in August? Strange days indeed...

m

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Hi Mike,

That's 38 degrees after midnight with the moon wash; glorious, eh?

Eastwood. It's a shame. The media and the critics will pounce on this and him forever now. As they should. It was mean spirited, heartless and unfair. My parallel lines say it has to be addressed. So go get him. I'm trying to keep my mouth shut and not formulate a Birdhouse.

sleep well, Bob