Ode to Jack Kerouac by Nicole D. Myers

I am from Atlantic famous sky
Kerouac and I
In Barstow,
having sailed to Frog Pond and back
A stop in San Juan Capistrano
for a pack of cigarettes
a box of Kleenex for our arguments
and a pen and paper for our poetry
Back in the car, he drives
without speaking, speeding
desert highway, sideways
I am sitting looking at the side
of his freshly shaven face
craving Mexico
savoring his words left behind
under a burnt out Texaco sign
“Jack I love you.” I say
He sighs and recites me some
Hawaii Five O haiku
“Fuck you.” I say
“I love you too.” He smiles
Santa Monica, Malibu, West Hollywood
Henry Miller for dinner
Johnny Depp for dessert
sex as a bedtime snack
whispers under a window sill
smoking, choking, provoking
I hear him laughing over acoustic music
I leave and slide into a booth next to
a movie star at the back of a barroom, bored
We kiss and I confess I am a poet
Though I won’t reveal my truest verses
I want a funk mobile, glockenspiel
Give me back my vinyl records
my electric typewriter, my pillow talk
Jack, I’m sorry I fear your loathing
I adore your roadside attraction
but I like cappuccino and cheap wine
I don’t like dirty fingernails and broken promises
You’re the devil in my boots Baby
I can quit you cold turkey
hook up with a rock and roll show
hide behind the harmonica and dance
I will find it hard to be alone
but I can’t be your home, your Hollywood
your hell
I will settle in Venice and take up tennis
publish a book, get on TV
teach English and smoke cigars
cut off my hair and change my name
believe in intercourse as an appetizer
a good night kiss as the main meal
Jack, in the car driving beyond the Vegas strip
I love you no doubt
How about Mexico in September?
How about the Atlantic?
You, the ocean, I and the famous sky.

IBPC 2001

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