The magic of the journey transcending the arrival, the adventure of the process more than the goal, inspired Kerouac and drives such fellow travelers as Seamas Navarro, a poet who lives the Beat tradition in verse as well as transit. The freedom and uncertainty of the nomadic life, in which everywhere and nowhere is home, liberates his writing. He’s roamed the country for 37 months, giving recitals in 17 states, and will return to SLO for readings in late fall. Here, he contributes a poem in honor of Jack.
She stands in the morning’s golden glow,
Soft light filters through the picture window.
Polkadotting the kitchen table
piled high with mail
surrounding a house plant
in the middle.
Half awake she sips her tea and smiles.
Then tries to unravel for me
the enigma she visited
while in slumber’s restful keep.
Jumbles the train of thought
and leaves it unfinished
with a mysterious shrug—
a little smile.
Graceful even in gracelessness.
She is beautiful.
More than beautiful
with a fairytale princess quality;
like those make-believe books and post cards
you find at the hippie-dippy shops.
Long straight hair the hue
of dirty blonde silkiness.
Her features, you fill in the rest;
for lovely is an individual taste
and those words aren’t mine to teach.
And I love her.
Not in a sexual way
though I could go there maybe
but, why ruin it?
This warm and
tense feeling inside
inspires me to write.
Though I ain’t been writing much these days.
and draw my tribal art,
though I ain’t been doing much of that either.
And cook and clean
and fix her tea
(she likes it with honey)
as if I’m some
love-struck imbecile and,
I admit it, I am though,
more in a friendship way
than anything so,
I enjoy doing things for her.
This is rare for me.
To be happy in a woman’s presence
she is she:
I’m from Southern California
and if you know what that implies
you know I’m saying a lot
for someone who grew up among
the physique-worshipping plastiques.
She has a two-year-old son
I’ve dubbed little King David.
That’s not his real name,
call him that
Because he’s got this
little prince air about him.
I read them the Bible
and the Times
and say grace
to God the Almighty Father in Heaven
at dinner time
and recite poems.
Two years old
and he never interrupts—
So intent is he on my voice
when I poem
and so is she.
And I am truly,
One day we all went to the beach for a picnic.
On the way I asked her “Wanna see some voodoo?”
She smiled and cocked her head the way I dig
and said “Yeah!”
I put on Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”
and then I saw in the rear view mirror
as she turned around to check periodically—
as his eyes grew wide in dreamy hynotize
and then “BONK!”
out like a light—
off to the land of innocent fantasies
and OH, we had a great day
at the beach too.
She filled one of the rare good spaces
in life I’ve had.
And hot sorrow melts cold from the back of my eyes
to the soul-center chest of me.
She’s not my friend any more
and it’s my fault—
a damned drugger and alcoholic
with a lot of baggage stamped, “Unworthy and no good.”
In the oily bushes next to the railroad tracks,
I count my change
working on the next ‘bender-run’ forgetfulness.
I write these words to commemorate
one of the rare good spaces in life I’ve had,
she deserves it.
I deserve to be exiled here:
for stealing from her to feed my addiction to
and for hurting her with undeserved, drunk, sharp words.
A gifted poet wasted to a tramp,
under the oily bushes sitting in the mud,
in a field next to the railroad tracks,
on the wrong side—of nowhere. …