Big Sur, Unmistakably Autobiographical, Big Sur,  Jack  Kerouac's Ninth
Novel,  Was Written As The "king Of The Beats" Was Ap-, Proaching Middle-age
And Re-  flects  His Struggle To  Come  To  Terms  With  His Own  Myth.  The
Magnificent And Moving Story. Of jack duluoz, a man blessed by great  talent
and cursed with an urge towards self-destruction, big sur is at once ker

     Unmistakably autobiographical, Big Sur, Jack Kerouac's ninth novel, was
written as the "King of the  beats" was approaching middle-age  and reflects
his struggle to come to terms with his own myth. The  magnificent and moving
story. Of jack duluoz, a man blessed by great talent and cursed with an urge
towards self-destruction, big sur is at once kerouac's toughest and his most
humane work.  JACK KEROUAC was born  in 1922 in  Lowell,  Massachusetts, the
youngest of  three children  in a French-Canadian family.  In high school he
was a star player on the local  football  team, and  went on to win football
scholarships to Horace Mann (a New York  prep school) and Columbia  College.
He  left Columbia  and football in  his sophomore year, joined the  Merchant
Marines and began the restless  wanderings that  were to  continue  for  the
greater part  of his  life.  His  first novel,  The  Town  and the City, was
published  in  1950. On the Road, although written in  1951 (in a few hectic
days on a scroll of newsprint), was not published  until 1957 -- it made him
one of the most controversial and bestknown writers of his time. Publication
of his  many other  books,  among  them  The  Subterraneans, Doctor Sax  and
Desolation Angels, followed.
     Jack Kerouac  died in 1969, in St  Petersburg, Florida, at  the age  of
forty-seven.

     My  work   comprises  one  vast  book  like  Proust's  except  that  my
remembrances are  written  on the run instead of  afterwards in  a sick bed.
Because of the objections of my early  publishers I was not  allowed  to use
the same personae names in each  work. On the  Road, The Subterraneans,  The
Dharma  Bums,  Doctor Sax,  Maggie Cassidy,  Tristessa,  Desolation  Angels,
Visions of Cody and the others including this book Big Sur are just chapters
in the whole  work which I call The Duluoz Legend. In my old age I intend to
collect  all my work and re-insert  my pantheon of uniform names, leave  the
long shelf full of  books there,  and die happy. The  whole thing forms  one
enormous comedy, seen through the eyes of poor Ti Jean (me), otherwise known
as Jack Duluoz, the world  of  raging  action and folly  and  also of gentle
sweetness seen through the keyhole of his eye. JACK KEROUAC




     The church is  blowing a sad windblown  "Kathleen" on the bells  in the
skid row slums as I wake  up all  woebegone and goopy, groaning from another
drinking bout and groaning most of all because I'd ruined my "secret return"
to San Francisco by getting silly drunk while hiding in the alleys with bums
and then  marching forth into North  Beach  to  see  everybody  altho Lorenz
Monsanto  and  I'd  exchanged huge  letters outlining how  I would sneak  in
quietly,  call him on the phone using  a code name like Adam Yulch or Lalagy
Pulvertaft (also writers) and  then he would secretly drive me to his  cabin
in the Big  Sur woods where I  would be alone and  undisturbed for six weeks
just  chopping wood, drawing water, writing, sleeping, hiking, etc., etc. --
But  instead I've bounced drunk into his City Lights bookshop at  the height
of Saturday night business, everyone recognized  me (even tho" I was wearing
my disguise-like  fisherman's hat and fishermen coat  and pants  waterproof)
and "t'all ends up a roaring  drunk in all the  famous bars the bloody "King
of the  Beatniks" is back in town buying drinks for everyone --  Two days of
that, including Sunday  the day Lorenzo  is  supposed to  pick  me  up at my
"secret" skid row hotel (the Mars on 4th and Howard)  but when he calls  for
me there's no  answer, he has the clerk open  the door and  what does he see
but  me  out  on the  floor among  bottles, Ben  Fagan  stretched out partly
beneath  the bed, and  Robert Browning the  beatnik painter out  on the bed,
snoring... So  says to himself "I'll pick  him up  next  weekend, I guess he
wants to drink for a week in the city (like he always does, I guess)" so off
he drives  to his Big Sur  cabin  without  me thinking he's doing the  right
thing but my  God when I wake  up, and Ben  and Browning  are  gone, they've
somehow dumped me on the bed, and I hear "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen"
being  bellroped so  sad  in  the fog winds out there that  blow across  the
rooftops of eerie old  hangover Frisco, wow,  I've hit the end  of the trail
and cant even drag  my body any more even to a refuge in the woods let alone
stay upright  in  the city a minute -- It's  the first  trip I've taken away
from home (my mother's house)  since the publication of "Road" the book that
"made me famous" and in fact so much so I've been driven mad for three years
by  endless  telegrams,  phonecalls,  requests,  mail, visitors,  reporters,
snoopers  (a big voice saying in my basemerit window as I prepare to write a
story: ARE YOU  BUSY? )  or the time the reporter ran upstairs to my bedroom
as  I  sat there  in my pajamas  trying to write down a  dream  -- Teenagers
jumping the  six-foot fence  I'd  had built  around my  yard for privacy  --
Parties with bottles yelling at my  study window "Come on out and get drunk,
all work and no play makes  Jack a dull boy! "... A woman coming  to my door
and saying "I'm not going to ask you if you're Jack Duluoz because I know he
wears a beard, can  you tell me where I can find him,  I want a real beatnik
at my annual Shindig party" -- Drunken visitors puking in my study, stealing
books and even pencils...  Uninvited acquaintances staying  for days because
of the clean beds and good food  my  mother provided... Me drunk practically
all  the  time to put on a jovial cap to  keep up with  all this but finally
realizing  I  was surrounded and outnumbered and had to get away to solitude
again  or die -- So  Lorenzo  Monsanto wrote and said "Come to  my cabin, no
one'll  know, " etc.,  so I had sneaked into San Francisco as I say,  coming
3000 miles from my home in Long Island (Northport) in a pleasant roomette on
the  California  Zephyr  train watching America roll  by outside my  private
picture  window, really  happy for the first time in three years, staying in
the roomette  all three  days  and three nights with my  instant coffee  and
sandwiches -- Up the Hudson Valley and over across New York State to Chicago
and then the Plains, the mountains,  the  desert,  the  final  mountains  of
California, all so easy and dreamlike compared to my old harsh hitch hikings
before I made enough money to take transcontinental trains (all over America
high school and college kids thinking  "Jack Duluoz is 26  years old  and on
the road  all the time hitch hiking" while there  I am  almost 40 years old,
bored and  jaded in a roomette bunk crashin across that Salt Flat) -- But in
any case a wonderful start towards my retreat so generously offered by sweet
old  Monsanto and  instead of going thru smooth and easy  I  wake up  drunk,
sick, disgusted,  frightened, in fact terrified by that sad  song across the
roofs mingling with the lachrymose  cries of a Salvation Army meeting on the
corner below "Satan  is the cause of your alcoholism,  Satan is the cause of
your immorality, Satan is everywhere workin to destroy you unless you repent
now"  and worse than that the sound of old drunks throwing up in  rooms next
to mine,  the creak of hall  steps,  the moans everywhere Including the moan
that had awakened me, my own moan in the lumpy bed, a moan caused by  a  big
roaring Whoo Whoo in my head that had shot me out of my pillow like a ghost.

     2

     And I  look around the  dismal cell,  there's  my hopeful  rucksack all
neatly packed with everything  necessary to live in the woods, even unto the
minutest first aid  kit and diet details and even  a neat little  sewing kit
cleverly reinforced  by my  good mother  (like  extra safety  pins, buttons,
special sewing needles, little aluminum scissors)... The hopeful medal of St
Christopher  even  which she'd sewn on the  flap... The survival kit all  in
there down to the  last little survival sweater and handkerchief and  tennis
sneakers (for hiking) -- But the rucksack sits hopefully in a strewn mess of
bottles all empty,  empty poor boys of  white  port, butts,  junk, horror...
"One fast move  or  I'm gone, "  I  realize, gone the way of the last  three
years  of  drunken  hopelessness  which  is a  physical  and  spiritual  and
metaphysical hopelessness you cant learn in  school no matter how many books
on  existentialism or  pessimism  you  read, or  how  many  jugs  of  vision
producing Ayahuasca you drink, or Mescaline take, or Peyote goop up  with --
That feeling when  you wake up with  the delirium tremens  with  the fear of
eerie death dripping from your ears like those special heavy cobwebs spiders
weave in the hot countries, the feeling of being  a bent back mudman monster
groaning underground in hot steaming mud pulling a long hot burden  nowhere,
the feeling of standing ankledeep in hot boiled pork blood, ugh, of being up
to your waist in  a giant pan of greasy brown  dishwater not a trace of suds
left in it... The face of yourself you see in the mirror with its expression
of unbearable anguish so haggard and awful with sorrow you cant even cry for
a thing so ugly,  so lost, no  connection whatever with early perfection and
therefore  nothing  to  connect  with tears  or  anything: it's like William
Seward Burroughs" "Stranger" suddenly appearing in your place in the  mirror
-- Enough! "One fast move  or I'm gone" so I jump up, do my headstand  first
to  pump blood  back into  the  hairy  brain, take a shower in the hall, new
T-shirt and socks and underwear, pack vigorously, hoist the rucksack and run
out  throwing  the key on the desk  and hit the cold street and walk fast to
the nearest  little grocery store to buy two  days of food, stick  it in the
rucksack, hike thru lost  alleys of  Russian  sorrow where bums sit head  on
knees in foggy doorways in the goopy eerie city night I've got to  escape or
die, and  into the bus station In a half hour into a  bus seat, the bus says
"Monterey" and off we go down  the clean neon hiway and I sleep all the way,
waking up amazed and  well again smelling sea  air the bus driver shaking me
"End of the line, Monterey. "  -- And by God it is Monterey, I stand  sleepy
in the 2 A. M. seeing  vague little fishing masts across the street from the
bus driveway.  Now all  I've got to do to complete my escape is get 14 miles
down the coast to the Raton Canyon bridge and hike in.

     3

     "One fast move or I'm gone" so I blow $8 on a cab to drive me down that
coast, it's foggy night tho sometimes you can see  stars in the  sky  to the
right where the sea  is, tho you cant see the sea you can only hear about it
from the cabdriver -- "What kinda country is it around here? I've never seen
it. " 'Well, you cant see it tonight -- Raton Canyon  you say, you better be
careful walkin around there in the dark. " 'Why? "
     "Well, just use your lamp like you say... "
     And sure enough  when  he lets me  off at the  Raton Canyon bridge  and
counts the money I sense something wrong  somehow, there's an awful roar  of
surf but  it isnt coming from the right place, like  you'd expect it to come
from "over there" but it's coming from "under there" -- I can see the bridge
but I  can see  nothing below it --  The bridge continues the  coast highway
from one bluff to another, it's a  nice white  bridge with  white rails  and
there's a white line runnin down  the middle familiar  and  highway like but
something's wrong -- Besides the headlights of the cab just shoot out over a
few bushes into empty space in the direction  where the canyon's supposed to
be, it  feels like being up in the air somewhere tho I can see the dirt road
at our feet and the dirt overhang on the side
     "What in the  hell is this? " -- I've got the  directions all memorized
from a little map Monsanto's mailed me but in my  imagination dreaming about
this  big  retreat back home  there'd been  something  larkish, bucolic, all
homely woods  and gladness instead of all this aerial roaring mystery in the
dark  --  When the cab leaves I therefore turn  on my railroad lantern for a
timid peek but its beam gets lost just like the car lights in  a void and in
fact the battery is fairly weak and I can hardly see the bluff at my left --
As for the  bridge I cant  see  it  anymore except for  graduating series of
luminous shoulder buttons going off further into the low sea roar... The sea
roar is bad enough except it keeps bashing and barking at me  like a  dog in
the  fog down there,  sometimes  it  booms the earth but my God where is the
earth  and  how can the sea be underground!  -- "The  only thing to  do, " I
gulp, "is to put this lantern shinin right in front of your feet, kiddo, and
follow  that  lantern and make sure it's shinin on the road rut and hope and
pray it's shinin  on the ground that's gonna be there when it's shinin, " in
other words I actually fear that even my lamp will carry me astray if I dare
to  raise  it for  a minute  from the  ruts in  the dirt  road --  The  only
satisfaction I can glean from this roaring high horror  of  darkness is that
the  lamp  wobbles  huge  dark  shadows  of  its little  rim  stays  on  the
overhanging bluff at the  left of  the road, because to the right (where the
bushes are wiggling in  the wind from the sea) there aint no shadows because
there aint  no light can take hold -- So I start my trudge, pack aback, just
head down following my lamp spot, head down but eyes  suspiciously peering a
little up, like a man in the presence of a dangerous idiot  he doesn't  want
to annoy The dirt road starts up a little, curves to the  right, starts down
a little, then suddenly up again, and up By now the sea roar is further back
and at one point I even stop and look back to see nothing -- "I'm gonna  put
out my light  and see what I can see" I stay rooted to my feet where they're
rooted to  that road Fat lotta good, when  I put out the light I see nothing
but the dim sand  at  my feet. Trudging up and getting further away from the
sea roar  I get to feel more confident but suddenly I come  to a frightening
thing  in the road, I stop  and hold out my hand, edge forward,  it's only a
cattle crossing (iron bars imbedded  across the road) but at the same time a
big blast of wind comes  from the left where the bluff should be  and I spot
that way and see nothing. "What  the hell's going on! " "Fol-low the road, "
says the other voice trying to be calm so I do but the next instant I hear a
rattling to my right, throw my light  there, see nothing but bushes wiggling
dry  and mean and just  the proper high  canyonwall kind of bushes  fit  for
rattlesnakes too --  (which it was, a rattlesnake doesnt like to be awakened
in the middle of the night by a trudging humpback monster with a lamp).  But
now the road's going down again, the reassuring bluff reappears on my  left,
and  pretty  soon according to my  memory of Lorry's map  there she is,  the
creek, I can hear her lappling  and gabbing down there  at the bottom of the
dark where  at least I'll be  on level  ground  and done with  booming  airs
somewhere above -- But  the  closer  I  get to  the creek  as the road  dips
steeply,  suddenly, almost  making me trot forward, the  louder it  roars, I
begin to think I'll  fall  right  into it before I  can  notice  it...  It's
screaming like a raging flooded  river right below me  -- Besides it's  even
darker  down there  than anywhere! There are glades  down  there,  ferns  of
horror  and  slippery  logs,  mosses, dangerous plashings,  humid mists rise
coldly like the  breath of death, big  dangerous trees are beginning to bend
over  my head  and brush  my pack  -- There's a noise I know  can only  grow
louder as I sink down and for fear  how loud it can grow I stop  and listen,
it  rises up  crashing  mysteriously  at me from a  raging battle among dark
things, wood or rock or something cracked, all smashed, all wet black sunken
earth  danger  --  I'm afraid to go down  there -- I am affrayed  in the old
Edmund Spenser sense of being frayed by a whip, and a  wet one at that  -- A
slimy green dragon racket in the bush  --  An  angry war that doesnt want me
pokin  around  --  It's  been  there  a million years and  it doesnt want me
clashing darkness with it -- It comes snarling from a thousand crevasses and
monster redwood roots all over the map of creation -- It is a dark clangoror
in the rain forest and doesnt want no skid row bum to carry to the sea which
is bad enough and waitin back there -- I can almost feel  the sea pulling at
that racket in the trees but there's my spotlamp so all I gotta do is follow
the lovely sand road which dips and  dips in rising carnage  and  suddenly a
flattening, a sight  of bridge logs,  there's the  bridge rail, there's  the
creek just four feet below, cross the bridge you woken bum and see what's on
the other shore. Take one quick peek  at the water as you  cross, just water
over rocks, a small creek at that.
     And  now before  me is a dreamy  meadowland with a good old corral gate
and a barbed wire fence the road running right on  left but this where I get
off at  last. Then I crawl thru  the barbed wire and find myself  trudging a
sweet  little sand road winding right thru fragrant dry heathers  as tho I'd
just popped thru from hell into familiar old Heaven on Earth, yair and Thank
God  (tho a minute later my heart's  in my mouth again because  I  see black
things in  the white sand ahead but it's only piles of good old mule dung in
Heaven).

     4

     And in the morning (after sleeping by the creek in the white sand) I do
see what was so  scary about my canyon road walk --  The road's up  there on
the  wall a thousand  feet with a sheer drop  sometimes,  especially at  the
cattle  crossing,  way  up highest,  where a break in the  bluff  shows  fog
pouring through from another bend of the  sea beyond, scary enough in itself
anyway as tho one hole wasnt enough to open into the sea... And worst of all
is the bridge! I go ambling seaward along the path by the creek and see this
awful  thin white line  of bridge a thousand  unbridgeable sighs  of  height
above the little woods I'm walking in, you just cant believe it, and to make
things heart-thumpingly horrible you come  to a little bend in what  is  now
just a trail and there's the booming surf coming at you whitecapped crashing
down on sand as tho  it was higher than where you stand, like a sudden tidal
wave world enough to make you step back or run  back to the hills -- And not
only that, the blue sea behind the crashing high waves is full of huge black
rocks  rising like old  ogresome castles dripping wet slime, a billion years
of woe  right  there,  the moogrus  big  clunk  of  it right  there with its
slaverous lips  of foam  at  the base -- So  that you  emerge from  pleasant
little wood paths with a stem  of  grass  in  your  teeth and drop it to see
doom... And you look up at that  unbelievably high bridge and feel death and
for a good reason:  because underneath the bridge, in the  sand right beside
the sea cliff, hump, your heart sinks to see it: the automobile that crashed
thru the  bridge rail  a decade ago and  fell  1000  feet straight  down and
landed upside-down, is still  there now, an upside-down chassis of rust in a
strewn skitter  of sea-eaten tires, old  spokes,  old  car seats sprung with
straw, one sad fuel pump and no more people...
     Big  elbows  of  Rock  rising everywhere,  sea  caves within them, seas
plollocking all around inside them crashing out foams, the boom and pound on
the sand, the sand dipping quick (no Malibu Beach  here) -- Yet you turn and
see the pleasant woods winding upcreek like a picture in Vermont -- But  you
look up into the sky,  bend  way back, my God you're standing directly under
the  aerial  bridge with its thin white  line running from  rock to rock and
witless cars  racing across it like dreams!  From rock to rock! All  the way
down  the raging coast! So  that when later  I heard people say  "Oh Big Sur
must  be beautiful!  " I gulp  to wonder why it has  the reputation of being
beautiful  above and  beyond its fearfulness, its Blakean groaning roughrock
Creation throes, those vistas when you drive the  coast  highway  on a sunny
day opening up the eye for miles of horrible washing sawing.

     5

     It was even frightening at the other peaceful end  of Raton Canyon, the
east end,  where  Alf  the pet mule  of  local settlers slept at  night such
sleepfull sleeps under a few weird trees and  then  got up in the morning to
graze in the  grass then negotiated the  whole  distance slowly  to the  sea
shore where  you saw him  standing by the waves like  an ancient sacred myth
character motionless in the sand -- Alf the Sacred Burro" I later called him
-- The thing  that was frightening was the mountain that rose up at the east
end, a strange  Burmese like mountain with levels  and  moody terraces and a
strange  ricepaddy hat on top  that I  kept staring at  with a sinking heart
even at first when  I was healthy and feeling good (and I would be going mad
in this canyon in  six weeks on  the  fullmoon night of  3 September) -- The
mountain reminded me of my recent recurrent nightmares in New York about the
"Mountain  of  Mien  Mo" with  the  swarms of  moony flying horses lyrically
sweeping  capes over their  shoulders as they circled  the peak  a "thousand
miles high" (in the dream it said) and on top of the mountain in one haunted
nightmare I'd seen  the giant empty stone benches  so silent in the topworld
moonlight as tho once inhabited by Gods or giants of some kind  but long ago
vacated so that  they  were all dusty and cobwebby  now and the evil  lurked
somewhere inside  the  pyramid nearby where there was a  monster with  a big
thumping heart  but also, even more sinister, just ordinary  seedy but muddy
janitors cooking over small woodfires...  Narrow dusty  holes through  which
I'd tried  to crawl with a bunch  of tomato plants  tied around  my  neck --
Dreams  -- Drinking  nightmares  -- A recurrent series of  them all swirling
around that mountain,  seen the very first  time as a beautiful but  somehow
horribly green verdant  mist enshrouded  jungle  peak  rising  out of  green
tropical country in 'Mexico" so called but beyond  which were pyramids,  dry
rivers,  other countries full of infantry enemy and  yet the  biggest danger
being  just hoodlums  out throwing  rocks on Sundays -- So that the sight of
that  simple sad mountain, together  with the bridge  and that car that  had
flipped over twice or so and landed flump in the sand with  no more  sign of
human elbows  or shred neckties (like  a terrifying  poem about America  you
could write), agh, HOO HOO of Owls living in  old evil  hollow trees in that
misty tangled further part of  the canyon  where  I was  always afraid to go
anyhow -- That unclimbably tangled steep cliff at the base of Mien Mo rising
to gawky dead trees among bushes  so dense and up to heathers  God knows how
deep with  hidden  caves  no one  not even  I  spose the Indians of the roth
century  had  ever explored --  And those big gooky  rainforest ferns  among
lightningstruck conifers right beside sudden  black  vine cliff faces rising
right at your side as you walk the peaceful path... And as  I say that ocean
coming at you higher  than you are  like the harbors  of old woodcuts always
higher  than the towns (as Rimbaud  pointed out shuddering) --  So many evil
combinations even unto the bat who would come at me  later  while I slept on
the outdoor cot on the porch of Lorenzo's cabin, come circle my head  coming
real low sometimes filling me with the traditional fear it'll get tangled in
my  hair, and such silent wings, how would you like to wake up in the middle
of the night and see silent wings  beating over you and you ask yourself "Do
I  really  believe  in Vampires? "...  In fact,  flying silently  around  my
lamplit cabin at  3 o'clock in the  morning as I'm  reading (of all  things)
(shudder) Doctor Jekyll and  Mister Hyde -- Small wonder maybe that I myself
turned from  serene Jekyll  to hysterical  Hyde  in the  short  space of six
weeks,  losing absolute control of the peace  mechanisms of my mind  for the
first time in my life.
     But Ah, at first there were fine  days and nights, right after Monsanto
drove me to Monterey and back with two boxes of a full grub list and left me
there alone for three  weeks  of solitude, as we'd agreed -- So fearless and
happy I  even  spotted his  powerful  flashlight up at the bridge the  first
night, right thru the fog the  eerie finger reaching the pale bottom of that
high monstrosity, and  even spotted it out over the farmless sea as I sat by
caves  in the crashing  dark in my fisherman's outfit writing down what  the
sea was  saying  --  Worst of all  spotting  it  up  at  those  tangled  mad
cliffsides 'where owls hooted ooraloo --  becoming acquainted and swallowing
fears and  settling down to life  in the little cabin with its warm glow  of
woodstove and kerosene lamp  and let  the ghosts fly their  asses off... The
Bhikku's home in his woods, he only  wants peace, peace he will  get  -- Tho
why after three weeks of perfect happy peace and adjustment in these strange
woods my soul so  went down the  drain when I came  back with Dave Wain  and
Romana and my girl Billie and her  kid, I'll never know -- Worth the telling
only if I dig deep into everything.
     Because  it  was  so beautiful at  first,  even  the circumstance of my
sleeping  bag suddenly erupting feathers in the  middle  of  the  night as I
turned over  to  sleep on, so  I  curse and have to  get up  and  sew it  by
lamplight  or in the morning it might be  empty of feathers... And as I bend
poor  mother head over my needle and thread in the cabin,  by the fresh fire
and in the light of the kerosene lamp, here  come those damned silent  black
wings  flapping  and throwing shadows all over my  little home,  the  bloody
bat's  come in  my  house --  Trying  to sew a poor patch on  my old crumbly
sleepingbag (mostly ruined by my having to sweat out a fever inside of it in
a hotel  room in  Mexico City  in 1957 right after  the gigantic  earthquake
there), the nylon all rotten almost from all that old sweat, but still soft,
tho so  soft I had  to cut out a piece of old shirt flap  and patch over the
rip -- I  remember looking up from my middle of the  night chore and  saying
bleakly "They, yes, have bats in Mien  Mo valley'...  But the fire crackles,
the patch gets sewn, the creek gurgles and  thumps outside -- A creek having
so many voices it's amazing, from the kettledrum basin deep bumpbumps to the
little gurgly feminine crickles over shallow rocks, sudden choruses of other
singers  and voices from the log dam, dibble dabble all night long  and  all
day long  the voices of  the creek  amusing me so  much  at first but in the
later horror of  that  madness night becoming the  babble and  rave  of evil
angels in my head  -- So not minding  the bat or the rip  finally, ending up
cant sleep because too awake  now and it's 3 A. M. so the fire I stoke and I
settle down and  read the entire  Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde novel in the
wonderful  little  handsized leather book  left there by smart Monsanto  who
also must've read it with wide eyes on a night like that -- Ending the  last
elegant sentences at dawn, time to get up and  fetch water from gurgly creek
and start breakfast of pancakes and syrup And saying to myself "So why  fret
when  something goes wrong like your sleepingbag breaking in  the night, use
self reliance'... "Screw the  bats" I add. Marvelous opening moment in  fact
of the first afternoon I'm left alone in the cabin and I make my first meal,
wash my first dishes, nap, and wake up to hear the rapturous ring of silence
or Heaven even within and throughout the gurgle of the creek -- When you say
AM ALONE and the cabin is suddenly  home only because  you made one meal and
washed  your  firstmeal  dishes  --  Then nightfall,  the  religious  vestal
lighting of the beautiful  kerosene lamp after careful washing of the mantle
in the creek  and  carefuldrying  with  toilet  paper,  which  spoils  it by
specking it so you  again wash it in the creek this time just let the mantle
drip  dry  in  the sun, the late  afternoon  sun that  disappears so quickly
behind those giant high  steep canyon walls...  Nightfall, the kerosene lamp
casts a glow in the  cabin, I go out and pick some ferns like  the ferns  of
the  Lankavatara Scripture, those hairnet  ferns,  "Look  sirs,  a beautiful
hairnet! " --  Late afternoon  fog pours in over  the  canyon walls,  sweep,
cover the  sun, it gets cold, even the flies on  the porch are  as so sad as
the fog on the peaks --  As daylight retreats the  flies retreat like polite
Emily Dickinson  flies and when it's  dark they're  all asleep  in trees  or
someplace -- At high  noon they're in  the cabin with you but edging further
towards the  open  doorsill  as  the  afternoon lengthens,  how.  "strangely
gracious -- There's the hum of the bee drone  two blocks  away the racket of
it you'd think it was right over the  roof, when the bee drone swirls nearer
and nearer (gulp again) you retreat into  the cabin and wait, maybe they got
a message to come and see you all two thousand of em -- But getting used  to
the bee drone finally which seems  to happen like a big party once a week...
And so everything eventually marvelous.
     Even  the  first frightening night on  the beach in  the  fog  with  my
notebook  and pencil, sitting there crosslegged in the  sand facing all  the
Pacific  fury flashing on rocks that rise like gloomy sea  shroud towers out
of the  cove, the  bingbang cove  with  its seas booming  inside  caves  and
slapping out, the cities  of seaweed floating  up  and down you can even see
their dark leer  in  the phosphorescent  seabeach  nightlight... That  first
night I sit there and  all I know, as I look up, is the kitchen light is on,
on the cliff, to  the right, where somebody's just built a cabin overlooking
all  the  horrible Sur, somebody up there's having a mild and tender  supper
that's  all I know... The lights from the cabin kitchen up there go out like
a little weak lighthouse beacon and ends suspended a thousand feet over  the
crashing shore -- Who would build a cabin  up there but some bored but hoary
old adventurous  architect maybe got sick of running for congress and one of
these days a big Orson  Welles  tragedy with screaming ghosts  a woman  in a
white nightgown'll go  flying down that sheer  cliff --  But  actually in my
mind what I really see is the  kitchen lights of that mild  and tender maybe
even  romantic supper up  there, in all that howling fog, and  here I am way
below  in the Vulcan's Forge itself looking up with sad  eyes -- Blanking my
little Camel cigarette  on a billion year old rock that rises behind my head
to a height unbelievable -- The little kitchen light on the cliff is only on
the end  of it,  behind it  the shoulders  of the  great  sea hound cliff go
rising up and back and seeping inland higher and higher till I gasp to think
"Looks like a reclining dog, big  friggin shoulders on  that sonofabitch" --
Riseth and sweepeth and scareth men to death but what is death anyway in all
this water and rock. I fix up my sleeping bag on  the porch of the cabin but
at 2 A. M. the fog starts dripping all wet so I have  to go indoors with wet
sleepingbag  and make new arrangements but  who cant  sleep like a log  in a
solitary cabin  in the  woods, you wake up in the late morning so  refreshed
and realizing the universe namelessly: the universe  is an Angel -- But easy
enough to say when you've had your  escape from  the gooky city turn  into a
success  -- And it's finally only in  the woods you  get  that nostalgia for
"cities"  at last,  you dream  of long gray  journeys  to cities  where soft
evenings'll  unfold like Paris but never seeing  how  sickening  it will  be
because of the primordial innocence of health and stillness in the wilds
     ... So I tell myself "Be Wise. "

     6

     Though there are faults to Monsanto's cabin like no screened windows to
keep the flies  out in the daytime just big board windows,  so that also  on
foggy days when it's damp if you leave them open it's too cold, if you leave
them closed you cant  see anything and have to light the lamp at noon -- And
but for that no other faults -- It's all marvelous -- And  at first  it's so
amazing to be able to enjoy dreamy afternoon meadows of heather up the other
end of the canyon and just by walking less than a half mile you can suddenly
also enjoy wild gloomy sea coast, or if you're  sick of either of these just
sit by the  creek in a gladey  spot and  dream over snags --  So easy in the
woods to  daydream and pray to  the local spirits and say "Allow me  to stay
here, I only want peace" and those foggy peaks answer back mutely Yes... And
to say to yourself (if  you're  like me with theological preoccupations) (at
least at that time, before I went mad I  still had such preoccupations) "God
who is everything possesses the eye of awakening, like dreaming a long dream
of an impossible  task and you wake up in a flash, oops, No  Task, it's done
and  gone'... And in  the flush of the  first few days of joy  I confidently
tell  myself  (not  expecting  what I'll do in  three weeks  only) "no  more
dissipation, it's time for me to quietly watch the world and even  enjoy it,
first in woods like these, then  just calmly  walk and talk among people  of
the world, no  booze, no drugs, no binges, no bouts with beatniks and drunks
and junkies and everybody, no more I  ask myself  the  question O why is God
torturing me, that's it, be a loner, travel, talk to waiters only,  in fact,
in Milan,  Paris, just talk to  waiters,  walk around, no  more self-imposed
agony... it's time to think and watch and keep concentrated on the fact that
after all this whole surface of  the world as we know it now will be covered
with the silt of  a billion years in time.. . Yay, for this, more aloneness"
-- "Go back to childhood, just eat apples and read your Cathechism -- sit on
curbstones, the hell with the  hot  lights of Hollywood"  (remembering  that
awful time only a year  earlier when I had to rehearse my reading of prose a
third  time under the hot lights  of  the Steve  Alien  Show in  the Burbank
studio, one hundred technicians waiting for me to start reading, Steve Alien
watching  me expectant as he  plunks the piano, I sit  there on the  dunce's
stool and refuse to read a word or open  my mouth, "I dont have to R E H E A
R S E for God's sake Steve! " --  "But go ahead, we just wanta  get the tone
of your voice,  just  this last time, I'll let you off  the dress rehearsal"
and I  sit there sweating not saying a word for  a whole minute as everybody
watches, finally I say, "No I cant do it,  " and I go  across the  street to
get drunk) (but surprising everybody the night of the show  by  doing my job
of  reading just fine, which surprises the producers and so they take me out
with a Hollywood starlet  who  turns out to  be a big bore trying to read me
her  poetry and wont talk love because in Hollywood man love is for sale)...
So even that marvelous, long remembrances of life all the time  in the world
to just sit  there  or lie there  or walk  about slowly remembering  all the
details  of life which now because  a million lightyears  away have taken on
the aspect  (as  they  must've for Proust in  his  sealed  room) of pleasant
movies brought up at will and projected for further study -- And pleasure --
As I imagine God to be doing this very minute, watching his own movie, which
is us.
     Even when one night I'm so happy sighin to turn over to resume my sleep
but a rat suddenly runs over my head, it's marvelous because I then take the
folding cot and put a big wide board on it that covers both sides, so I wont
sink into the canvas confines there, and place two old sleepingbags over the
board, then my own on  top, I have  the most  marvelous  and rat free and in
fact healthy-for-theback bed in the world.
     I  also  take  long  curious  hikes to  see  what's what  in the  other
direction inland,  going up a few miles  along  the dirt road  that leads to
isolated ranches  and logging camps  -- I come to giant  sad  quiet  valleys
where you see 150  foot tall  redwood trees with  sometimes  one little bird
right on  the topmost peaktwig sticking straight up  -- The bird balances up
there surveying the fog and the  great trees --  You see one  single  flower
nodding  on a cliff side far across  the canyon, or a huge knot in a redwood
tree  looking  like Zeus"  face, or  some  of  God's little  crazy creations
goofing  around in creek pools (zigzag bugs), or  a  sign  on a lonely fence
saying "M. P. Passey. No  Trespassing', or terraces of fern  in the dripping
redwood shade,  and you think "A long way from the beat generation,  in this
rain  forest'... So I angle back down to the home canyon and  down  the path
past  the  cabin and out  to the sea  where the mule  is on  the  sea shore,
nibbling under  that one  thousand  foot bridge  or sometimes just  standing
staring at me with big brown Garden of Eden eyes -- The mule being  a pet of
one of  the families who have a cabin  in the canyon and it, as I say Alf by
name, just wanders from one  end of the canyon where the  corral fence stops
him, to the wild seashore where the sea stops him but a strange Gauguinesque
mule  when you first  see  him, leaving his black dung on  the perfect white
sand,  an  immortal and  primordial mule  owning  a  whole valley -- I  even
finally  later  find out  where Alf  sleeps which is like a sacred  grove of
trees  in  that dreaming meadow of heather --  So I  feed Alf the last of my
apples which he receives with big faroff teeth inside his soft hairy muzzle,
never  biting,  just  muffing up  my apple from  my outstretched  palm,  and
chomping away sadly, turning to scratch his behind against a tree with a big
erotic motion that  gets  worse and  worse till finally he's  standing there
with erectile dong that would scare the Whore of Babylon let alone me.
     All  kinds  of  strange  and  marvelous  things like  the  weird Ripley
situation of a huge tree  that's fallen across  a creek maybe 500  years ago
and's made a bridge thereby, the other end of its trunk is now buried in ten
feet of silt and foliage, strange enough but  out  of  the middle trunk over
the water rises straight another redwood tree looking like it's been planted
in the  treetrunk, or stuck down into it by a God hand, I cant figure it out
and stare at this chewing furiously on big choking handfulls of peanuts like
a college boy -- (and only weeks before falling on my head in the Bowery) --
Even when a rancher car goes by I daydream mad ideas like, here comes Farmer
Jones and his two daughters and here I  am with a 6o-foot redwood tree under
my arm walking  slowly pulling it along, they are amazed and scared, "Are we
dreaming?  can anybody  be  that  strong? " they even  ask me and my big Zen
answer  is "You only think I'm strong" and I go on down the road carrying my
tree  -- This has  me  laughing in clover fields  for hours... I  pass a cow
which turns to look at me as it takes a big dreamy crap -- Back in the cabin
I light the fire and sit sighing and there are leaves  skittering on the tin
roof, it's August in Big Sur -- I  fall asleep  in the chair and when I wake
up I'm facing the thick little tangled woods outside the door and I suddenly
remember  them  from  long  ago,  even  to the  particular clumpness of  the
thickets, stem by stem, the twist of them, like an old  home place, but just
as I'm wondering what all this mess is, bang, the wind closes the cabin door
on my sight of  it! So I conclude "I see  as much as doors'll allow, open or
shut" -- Adding, as I get up, in a  loud English  Lord voice nobody can hear
anyway,  "An issue broached is an issue smote,  Sire, "  pronouncing 'issue"
like "iss-yew"  -- And this has me laughing all  through supper  -- Which is
potatoes wrapped  in foil and thrown  on the fire, and  coffee, and hunks of
Spam roasted on a spit,  and applesauce and  cheese --  And when I light the
lamp of after-supper  reading, here  comes the nightly moth  to  his nightly
death at my  lamp... After I put out the lamp temporarily, there's the  moth
sleeping on the wall  not realizing I've put it on again.  Meanwhile  by the
way  and however, every day  is  cold and  cloudy, or damp, not cold  in the
eastern sense, and  every night is  absolutely fog: no stars  whatever to be
seen... But this too turns out to be a marvelous circumstance as  I find out
later,  it's the "damp season"  and the  other dwellers (weekenders)  of the
canyon don't come out  on  weekends, I'm absolutely alone  for  weeks on end
(because  later in  August when the  sun conquered  the fog  suddenly I  was
amazed to hear laughing and scratching all up and down  the valley which had
been mine  only mine, and when I tried to go to the beach to squat and write
there were whole families having outings, some of them younger  people who'd
simply parked their cars up on the high bridge bluff and climbed down) (some
of them in fact gangs of yelling hoodlums)... So the  rainforest  summer fog
was  grand  and  besides  when  the  sun  prevailed  in  August  a  horrible
development  took  place, huge  blasts of  frightening gale like  wind  came
pouring into the  canyon making all the trees roar with a really frightening
intensity  that sometimes built up to a booming  war of trees that shook the
cabin and  woke you up -- And was in fact one of the things that contributed
to my mad fit.
     But  the most marvelous day of all when I  completely forgot who  I was
where I was or the time of day just with my  pants rolled  up above my knees
wading in the creek rearranging  the rocks and some of the snags so that the
water where I  stooped (near the sandy shore) to get jugfuls  would, instead
of just sluggishly passing by  shallow over mud,  with bugs in it,  now come
rushing in a pure gurgly clear stream and deep too  -- I dug into  the white
sand  and arranged underground rocks so now I could stick a jug in there and
tilt the  opening  to the stream and  it  would fill up instantly with clear
rushing unstagnated bugless drinking  water --  Making  a mill race, is what
it's called -- And  because  now the water rushed so fast  and deep right by
the sandy stooping place I had to build a kind of  seawall of  rocks against
that  rush so that the shore would not be silted  away  by the race -- Doing
that, fortifying the outside of the  seawall with smaller  rocks and finally
at  sundown  with  bent  head over  my  sniffling  endeavors (the  way a kid
sniffles when he's been playing  all day) I  start inserting tiny pebbles in
the spaces between the stones so that  no water can sneak over to  wash away
the shore, even down  to the  tiniest sand, a perfect  sea wall, which I top
with  a wood plank for everybody  to kneel  on when they come there to fetch
their  holy water -- Looking  up  from this work of an entire day, from noon
till sundown, amazed to see where I was,  who I  was, what I'd done  --  The
absolute innocence like of Indian fashioning a  canoe all alone in the woods
-- And as I say only weeks earlier I'd  fallen flat on my head in the Bowery
and everybody thought I'd hurt myself-  So  I make supper with  a happy song
and  go out in the foggy  moonlight  (the moon  sent its  white luminescence
through) and  marveled to watch the new swift  gurgling clear water run with
its  pretty flashes of light -- 'And when the  fog's over and the  stars and
the moon come out at night it'll be a beautiful sight. "
     And such things -- A  whole mess of little joys  like  that  amazing me
when I came back  in the horror of later  to see how they'd  all changed and
become sinister, even my poor little wooden platform  and mill  race when my
eyes and  stomach nauseous and my soul screaming a thousand  babbling words,
oh -- It's hard to explain and best thing to do is not be false.




     Because on the fourth day I began to get bored and noted it in my diary
with amazement, "Already bored? " -- Even tho  the handsome words of Emerson
would shake me out of that where he says (in one of those  little redleather
books, in the  essay on "Self Reliance" a man "is  relieved and gay when  he
has  put  his heart into his work and  done his  best') (applicable  both to
building simple silly little millraces and  writing  big stupid stories like
this) Words from  the trumpet  of  the morning  in America,  Emerson, he who
announced Whitman  and also said "Infancy conforms to nobody" -- The infancy
of  the simplicity of just being happy in the woods, conforming  to nobody's
idea about what to do, what should be done --  "Life is not an  apology"  --
And  when a vain and malicious  philanthropic  abolitionist  accused  him of
being blind  to  the issues of slavery  he  said "Thy  love afar is spite at
home" (maybe the philanthropist had Negro help  anyway) -- So once again I'm
Ti Jean the Child, playing, sewing  patches, cooking suppers, washing dishes
(always kept the kettle boiling on the fire and  anytime dishes needed to be
washed I just pour hot hot water into pan with Tide soap  and soak them good
and then wipe them clean after scouring with little 5-&-10 wire scourer)  --
Long  nights  simply  thinking  about the  usefulness  of that  little  wire
scourer, those  little yellow copper things  you buy in  supermarkets for 10
cents, all to  me infinitely more interesting than the  stupid and senseless
"Steppenwolf novel in the  shack which  I read  with a  shrug, this old fart
reflecting the "conformity" of today and all the while he thought  he  was a
big Nietzsche,  old  imitator of Dostoevsky  fifty years too  late (he feels
tormented in a "personal hell" he calls it because he doesnt like what other
people like! )
     -- Better at noon to watch the orange and black Princeton colors on the
wings of a butterfly -- Best to go hear the sound of the sea at night on the
shore.
     Maybe  I shouldna gone  out and scared or  bored or belabored myself so
much, tho, on that beach at night which would scare any  ordinary  mortal --
Every night around eight after  supper I'd put on my  big fisherman coat and
take the  notebook,  pencil  and  lamp and  start down the trail  (sometimes
passing ghostly Alf on the  way) and go under that frightful high bridge and
see through  the dark fog ahead the  white mouths of ocean coming high at me
-- But knowing  the terrain I'd walk right on,  jump the beach creek, and go
to my corner  by the cliff not far from  one of the caves and sit there like
an  idiot in the  dark writing down the sound of  the waves  in the notebook
page (secretarial  notebook) which I  could  see white in the  darkness  and
therefore without benefit of lamp scrawl on -- I was afraid to light my lamp
for fear I'd scare the people way up there on the cliff eating their nightly
tender supper -- (later found  out there  was nobody up  there eating tender
suppers, they were overtime carpenters finishing the place in bright lights)
--  And  I'd get scared of the rising tide  with its  15 foot waves  yet sit
there hoping in faith that Hawaii warnt  sending no tidal wave I  might miss
seeing in the dark coming from miles away high as Groomus -- One night I got
scared anyway so sat  on top of 10-foot cliff at the  foot of the big  cliff
and the waves are going "Rare, he rammed the gate rare" -- "Raw roo roar" --
"Crowsh'- the way waves sound especially at night -- The sea not speaking in
sentences so much as in short lines: "Which one?... the one ploshed?...  the
same, ah  Boom'... Writing down these fantastic inanities actually but yet I
felt I  had to do  it because James Joyce wasn't about to do  it  now he was
dead (and figuring "Next year I'll write the different sound of the Atlantic
crashing say  on the  night shores  of Cornwall,  or  the  soft sound of the
Indian  Ocean crashing at the mouth  of the Ganges maybe') -- And I just sit
there  listening  to the waves talk all up and  down the sand  in  different
tones of voice  'Ka bloom, kerplosh, ah ropey otter barnacled be crowsh, are
rope the angels in all the sea? " and such -- Looking up occasionally to see
rare  cars  crossing the high  bridge and  wondering what they'd see on this
drear foggy night if they knew a madman was down there a thousand feet below
in all that windy fury sitting in the dark writing in the dark -- Some  sort
of sea  beatnik, tho anybody wants to call me a  beatnik for THIS better try
it if they  dare  -- The huge black rocks seem to move  -- The  bleak  awful
roaring isolateness, no ordinary  man could do it I'm telling you --  / am a
Breton! I cry and the  blackness speaks back "Les poissons de la mer parlent
Breton" (the  fishes  of  the sea speak  Breton)  -- Nevertheless I go there
every night even tho I dont feel like it, it's my  duty (and probably  drove
me mad), and write these sea sounds, and all the whole insane poem "Sea'.
     Always so  wonderful in fact to get away from that and back to the more
human woods and come to the cabin where the fire's still red and you can see
the Bodhisattva's lamp, the glass of ferns on the  table, the box of Jasmine
tea nearby, all so gentle and human after that  rocky deluge out there -- So
I  make an excellent pan of muffins and  tell myself 'Blessed is the man can
make his own bread" --  Like that,  the whole three weeks, happiness --  And
I'm rolling my  own cigarettes, too -- And as I say sometimes I meditate how
wonderful  the fantastic  use I've  gotten out of cheap little articles like
the scourer, but in this instance I think of  the marvelous belongings in my
rucksack like my 25-cent plastic shaker with which I've just made the muffin
batter  but also I've used it in  the past to drink  hot tea, wine,  coffee,
whiskey and even stored clean handkerchiefs in it when I traveled -- The top
part of  the shaker, my holy cup, and had it for five years now -- And other
belongings so valuable compared to the worthlessness of expensive things I'd
bought and never used -- Like my black soft sleeping sweater also five years
which I was now wearing in the damp Sur summer night and day, over a flannel
shirt in  the cold, and just the sweater for the night's sleep in the bag --
Endless use  and virtue  of it! -- And  because the expensive things were of
ill use,  like the fancy pants I'd bought for recent recording  dates in New
York  and other television appearances and  never even  wore  again, useless
things like a  $40 raincoat I never wore because it didn't have slits in the
side pockets (you pay for the  label and  the so called "tailoring') -- Also
an expensive tweed jacket bought for TV and never  worn again  -- Two  silly
sports shirts bought for Hollywood never  worn again and were 9  bucks each!
-- And it's almost tearful to realize and remember the old green T-shirt I'd
found,  mind  you,  eight years  ago,  mind you, on  the DUMP in Watsonville
California mind  you, and got fantastic use and  comfort  from  it  --  Like
working  to fix that new stream  in the creek to flow through the convenient
deep new waterhole near the wood platform  on the bank, and losing myself in
this like  a  kid playing, it's  the  little things that  count (cliches are
truisms and  all truisms are true) -- On  my deathbed I could be remembering
that creek  day  and forgetting  the  day MGM  bought  my book,  I  could be
remembering  the  old lost green dump T-shirt  and forgetting  the sapphired
robes -- Mebbe the best way to get into Heaven.
     I go back  to the beach in the daytime to write my "Sea', I stand there
barefoot by the  sea stopping to scratch one ankle with one toe, I  hear the
rhythm  of those waves, and they're saying suddenly "Is Virgin you trying to
fathom me" -- I go back to make a pot of tea.

     Summer afternoon...
     Impatiently chewing
     The Jasmine leaf

     At high noon the sun always coming out at last, strong, beating down on
my nice high porch where I sit with books and coffee and  the noon I thought
about the ancient Indians who  must have inhabited this canyon for thousands
of  years,  how  even as far  back as the loth century this valley must have
looked  the same,  just  different trees: these  ancient  Indians simply the
ancestors of the Indians of only  recently say  1860... How they've all died
and quietly buried their grievances and  excitements How the  creek may have
been  an inch deeper since logging operations of the last sixty  years  have
removed  some  of the  watershed  in the hills  back there...  How the women
pounded the local acorns,  acorns or shmacorns,  I finally found the natural
nuts of the valley and they  were sweet tasting -- And men hunted deer -- In
fact God knows what they did because I wasn't here -- But the same valley, a
thousand years of dust more or less over their footsteps of A. D. 960 -- And
as far as I can see the world is too  old for us  to talk about it with  our
new  words --  We will pass  just as quietly through  life (passing through,
passing through) as  the 10th  century  people  of this valley only  with  a
little more noise and a few bridges and dams and bombs that wont even last a
million  years --  The  world being just  what it  is,  moving  and  passing
through, actually alright in the long view and nothing to  complain about --
Even the  rocksof  the valley had earlier rock ancestors, a billion  billion
years ago, have  left  no howl of complaint -- Neither the bee, or the first
sea urchins, or the clam, or the severed paw -- All said So-Is  sight of the
world,  right there in front  of my nose as  I look, -- And  looking at that
valley in  fact  I also realize  I  have to  make  lunch and  it wont be any
different than the lunch of those olden men and  besides it'll taste good --
Everything is the  same,  the  fog says "We are fog and we fly by dissolving
like  ephemera, " and the  leaves say "We  are leaves and we  jiggle in  the
wind, that's all, we come and go, grow  and  fall" -- Even the paper bags in
my garbage pit say "We are man transformed paper bags made out of wood pulp,
we are kinda proud of being paper bags as long as that will be possible, but
we'll be  mush again  with  our sisters the leaves come rainy season" -- The
tree stumps say "We are tree stumps torn out of the ground by men, sometimes
by wind, we have  big tendrils full of earth that drink out of the earth'...
Men  say "We are men, we pull out tree stumps, we make  paper bags, we think
wise thoughts,  we  make  lunch,  we look around, we make  a great effort to
realize  everything is the  same" -- While the  sand says  "We are  sand, we
already know, " and the sea says "We are always come and go, fall and plosh.
" -- The empty blue sky  of space says "All this comes back to me, then goes
again, and  comes back again,  then goes again,  and I don't care, it  still
belongs to me" -- The  blue sky adds "Dont call me eternity, call me  God if
you like, all of you talkers are in paradise: the leaf is paradise, the tree
stump is paradise, the paper  bag is  paradise, the man is paradise, the fog
is paradise"  -- Can you imagine  a man with mar-velous insights  like these
can  go mad  within a month? (because you must admit all those talking paper
bags and sands were telling the  truth) -- But I  remember seeing  a mess of
leaves suddenly go skittering  in the wind and into the creek, then floating
rapidly down the creek toward the sea, making me feel a nameless horror even
then of "Oh my God, we're all being swept away to sea no matter what we know
or say  or do" --  And a bird who was  on a crooked branch is suddenly  gone
without my even hearing him.

     8

     But there's moonlit  fognight, the  blossoms of the fire  flames in the
stove  --  There's  giving an apple to the mule, the big lips taking hold...
There's the bluejay drinking my canned milk by throwing his head back with a
miffle  of milk on his beak -- There's the scratching  of the  raccoon or of
the rat out  there, at night  --  There's the  poor little mouse  eating her
nightly   supper  in  the  humble  corner  where  I've   put  out  a  little
delight-plate full  of cheese  and chocolate candy  (for my days  of killing
mice are  over) -- There's  the raccoon  in  his fog, there  the man to  his
fireside,  and  both  are lonesome  for God  -- There's me coming back  from
seaside night sittings  like  a muttering old Bhikku stumbling down the path
--  There's me throwing my spotlight on a sudden raccoon  who  clambers up a
tree his little heart beating  with fear but I yell  in  French "Hello there
little  man" (allo ti  bon-homme)  -- There's  the bottle  of  olives,  4gc,
imported, pimentos, I eat them one by one wondering about the late afternoon
hillsides of Greece -- And there's my  spaghetti... with tomato sauce and my
oil and vinegar salad and my applesauce relishe my dear, and my black coffee
and Roquefort cheese and  after-dinner nuts, my  dear, all in the  woods  --
(Ten  delicate olives slowly  chewed at midnight is something no one's  ever
done in luxurious restaurants) --  There's the  present moment  fraught with
tangled woods  -- There's the bird  suddenly quiet on his  branch while  his
wife glances  at  him... There's the grace  of an axe handle  as good as  an
Eglevsky  ballet... There's 'Mien Mo  Mountain" in the fog illumined  August
moon mist  among  other  heights gorgeous  and  misty rising in dimmer tiers
somehow rosy in the night like the classic silk paintings of China and Japan
-- There's  a bug, a helpless  little  wingless crawler, drowning in a water
can, I get it out and it wanders and goofs on  the porch till I get sick  of
watching -- There's the spider  in the  outhouse minding his own business...
There's my  side of bacon hanging from a hook on the ceiling of the shack --
There's the  laughter  of  the loon in the shadow of the moon-There's an owl
hooting  in weird Bodhidharma  trees --  There's flowers and redwood logs --
There's the simple woodfire and the careful yet absent-minded  feeding of it
which is an activity that like all activities is no-activity (Wu Wei) yet it
is a meditation in itself especially because all woodfires, like snowflakes,
are  different  every   time...  Yes,  there's  the  resinous  purge  of   a
flame-enveloped redwood log -- Yes the cross-sawed  redwood log turns into a
coal and looks  like a  City  of the Gandharvas or like a  western butte  at
sunset -- There's the bhikku's broom, the kettle --  There's the laced  soft
fud over the sand, the sea -- There's all these avid preparations for decent
sleep like the night  I'm looking for my  sleeping  socks (so's not to dirty
the sleepingbag inside) and find myself  singing "A donde es me sockiboos? "
-- Yes, and down in  the valley there's my burro, Alf, the only living being
in sight -- There's in mid of sleep the moon appearing  -- There's universal
substance which is divine substance because where else can it be? -- There's
the family  of deer on  the dirt road at dusk...  There's the creek coughing
down the glade -- There's the fly on my thumb rubbing its nose then stepping
to the  page of my book-There's the hummingbird swinging his head from  side
to side like a hoodlum --  There's all that, and all my  fine thoughts, even
unto my ditty  written to the sea "I took a pee, into the sea, acid to acid,
and me to ye" yet I went crazy inside three weeks.
     For  who  could  go crazy that could be  so relaxed as  that: but wait:
there are the signposts of something wrong.

     9

     The first signpost  came after that marvelous day I went hiking, up the
canyon road again to  the  highway at the  bridge where there was a  rancher
mailbox where I could dump mail (a letter to my mother and saying in it give
a kiss to Tyke, my cat, and a  letter to old buddy Julien addressed to Coaly
Rustnut from  Runty Onenut)  and  as  I walked way up there I could see  the
peaceful roof of my cabin way below  and  half  mile away in  the old trees,
could see the porch, the cot where I slept,  and my  red handkerchief on the
bench beside the  cot (a simple little sight: of my handkerchief a half mile
away  making  me unaccountably  happy) -- And  on the  way back  pausing  to
meditate in the grove of trees  where Alf the  Sacred Burro slept and seeing
the roses of the  unborn in my  closed eyelids just as clearly as I had seen
the red handkerchief and also my own footsteps in the  seaside sand from way
up on  the bridge, saw, or heard, the words "Roses of  the Unborn"  as I sat
crosslegged in soft meadow sand, heard that awful stillness at  the heart of
life,  but felt strangely low,  as tho premonition of the next day... When I
went to the sea in the afternoon  and suddenly took a huge deep Yogic breath
to  get  all that  good sea  air  in me but somehow just got an overdose  of
iodine,  or  of evil,  maybe  the  sea  caves,  maybe  the  seaweed  cities,
something, my heart suddenly  beating  -- Thinking  I'm gonna  get the local
vibrations instead here I am almost fainting only it isn't an ecstatic swoon
by St  Francis,  it  comes  over  me  in the  form of  horror of an  eternal
condition  of  sick mortality  in me --  In  me  and  in  everyone... I felt
completely nude of  all poor protective devices like thoughts  about life or
meditations under  trees and the  "ultimate"  and all that shit, in fact the
other  pitiful devices of making supper or  saying "What I do now next? chop
wood? " -- I see myself as just doomed, pitiful -- An awful realization that
I have been fooling myself all my life thinking there was a next thing to do
to  keep  the  show  going and  actually I'm just  a sick  clown and  so  is
everybody else... All  all of it, pitiful as it is, not even really any kind
of commonsense  animate effort to ease  the soul in  this horrible  sinister
condition (of mortal  hopelessness)  so I'm left sitting  there  in the sand
after having almost fainted  and stare at  the waves which suddenly  are not
waves  at all, with I  guess  what  must have been the  goopiest downtrodden
expression  God if  He exists must've ever  seen in His  movie career --  Eh
vache, I hate to write -- All my tricks laid bare, even the realization that
they're laid bare itself laid bare as a lotta bunk -- The sea seems to  yell
to me GO TO YOUR DESIRE DONT HANG AROUND HERE -- For  after all the sea must
be like God,  God isn't asking us to mope  and suffer  and sit by the sea in
the cold at midnight for the sake of writing down useless sounds, he gave us
the tools of self  reliance  after all to  make it  straight thru  bad  life
mortality towards Paradise maybe I hope... But some miserables like me don't
even know it, when it comes to us we're amazed -- Ah, life is a gate, a way,
a  path to  Paradise anyway, why not live for fun and  joy and  love or some
sort of girl by a fireside, why not go to your desire and LAUGH... but I ran
away  from the seashore  and  never  came  back  again  without  that secret
knowledge: that it didnt want me there, that  I was a fool  to  sit there in
the first place, the sea has its waves, the man has his fireside, period.
     That being the first indication of my later flip -- But also on the day
of leaving the  cabin to hitch hike back  to  Friscoand see everybody and by
now I'm tired of my food (forgot  to bring jello, you  need  jello after all
that bacon fat and cornmeal in  the  woods, every woodsman needs  jello) (or
cokes)  (or something) But it's time to leave, I'm  now  so scared  by  that
iodine blast by the  sea and  by the  boredom of the cabin I take 20 dollars
worth of perishable food  left and spread it out  on  a big board below  the
cabin porch  for the  bluejays and the raccoon and the mouse and  the  whole
lot, pack up, and go  -- But  before I go  I realize this isn't my own cabin
(here's  the  second signpost  of my  madness), I  have  no  right  to  hide
Monsanto's rat poison, as I've been  doing, feeding the mouse instead,  as I
said -- So like a dutiful guest in another man's cabin I  take the cover off
the rat poison but compromise by simply leaving the box on the top shelf, so
nobody can complain -- And go off like that -- But during my absence, but --
You'll see.


     10

     With my  mind even  and upright and abiding nowhere, as Hui  Neng would
say, I  go dancing off like a fool from my sweet retreat, rucksack  on back,
after only three weeks and  really after only three or four days of boredom,
and go hankering back for the city -- "You go out  in joy and in sadness you
return, " says Thomas a Kempis talking about all the fools who go  forth for
pleasure like high  schoolboys  on Saturday night hurrying clacking down the
sidewalk  to  the car  adjusting their  ties  and rubbing their  hands  with
anticipatory zeal,  only to  end up Sunday  morning groaning in blearly beds
that Mother has to make anyway -- It's a beautiful day as I come out of that
ghostly canyon  road  and step  out on the coast highway, just this  side of
Raton Canyon bridge, and there they are, thousands and thousands of tourists
driving by slowly on the high curves all oo ing and aa ing at  all that vast
blue panorama of  sea washing  and raiding at  the coast  of California -- I
figure I'll get a ride into Monterey real easy and take the bus there and be
in  Frisco by nightfall for a big ball of wino yelling with the gang, I feel
in  fact Dave Wain oughta be back  by now, or Cody will be ready for a ball,
and  there'll be girls, and  such  and  such, forgetting entirely  that only
three  weeks previous  I'd been  sent  fleeing from that gooky city  by  the
horrors -- But hadn't the sea told me to flee back to my own reality?
     But it is beautiful  especially to see up ahead north a vast expanse of
curving seacoast with inland mountains  dreaming  under  slow clouds, like a
scene  of  ancient  Spain,  or  properly really  like a  scene of  the  real
essentially Spanish California, the  old Monterey pirate  coast right there,
you  can see  what the Spaniards  must've thought  when they came around the
bend in their magnificent sloopies and saw  all that dreaming fatland beyond
the seashore whitecap doormat  -- Like  the land of gold -- The old Monterey
and Big Sur and Santa Cruz  magic -- So I confidently adjust  my pack straps
and start trudging down the road looking back over my shoulder to thumb.
     This  is the first  time I've hitch hiked in years and I  soon begin to
see things  have  changed in America, you  cant get  a ride any more (but of
course especially on a strictly tourist road like this coast highway with no
trucks or business)... Sleek long stationwagon after wagon comes sleering by
smoothly, all colors  of the rainbow  and pastel at that, pink, blue, white,
the  husband  is in the driver's seat with a long ridiculous vacationist hat
with a long  baseball visor making him look witless and idiot -- Besides him
sits wifey, the boss of America, wearing dark glasses and sneering, even  if
he wanted to pick me up or anybody up she wouldn't let him -- But in the two
deep backseats  are  children,  children,  millions  of children,  all ages,
they're fighting and screaming over ice cream, they're spilling vanilla  all
over the  Tartan seatcovers  -- There's no room anymore  anyway  for a hitch
hiker, tho conceivably the poor bastard might be allowed to ride like a meek
gunman or silent murderer  in the very back platform of the wagon,  but here
no,  alas! here  is ten  thousand  racks of drycleaned and perfectly pressed
suits and  dresses of all sizes  for  the family  to look  like millionaires
every time they stop at a roadside dive for bacon and eggs -- Every time the
old man's  trousers start to get creased a little  in the front he's made to
take down  a fresh pair of slacks from the back rack and  go  on, like that,
bleakly, tho he might have secretly wished just a  good oldtime fishing trip
alone  or  with his buddies for  this year's vacation  -- But  the  PTA  has
prevailed over every one of his desires by  now, 1960s, it's no time for him
to yearn for Big Two Hearted River and the old  sloppy pants  and  string of
fish  in the tent,  or the woodfire with  Bourbon at night  -- It's time for
motels, roadside driveins, bringing napkins to the gang  in  the car, having
the  car  washed  before the  return trip --  And if he thinks  he wants  to
explore  any of the silent secret roads of America it's no  go, the lady  in
the  sneering  dark  glasses  has now become  the navigator  and  sits there
sneering over her previously printed blue-lined roadmap distributed by happy
executives  in neckties to the vacationists of  America who  would also wear
neckties (after having come along so far) but the vacation fashion is sports
shirts,  long visored hats,  dark glasses, pressed slacks  and  baby's first
shoes  dipped in  gold  oil dangling  from  the  dashboard  -- So  here I am
standing in that road with that  big woeful rucksack but also probably  with
that expression of  horror on my face after all those nights sitting in  the
seashore  under giant  black cliffs,  they  see  in me the very apotheosical
opposite  of  their  every vacation  dream  and of course  drive on --  That
afternoon I  say about five thousand cars  or probably three thousand passed
me not one of them ever dreamed of stopping -- Which didnt bother me  anyway
because at  first seeing that gorgeous  long coast  up to Monterey I thought
"Well I'll  just hike right in, it's  only fourteen miles, I oughta do  that
easy" -- And on the way there's all kindsa interesting things  to see anyway
like the seals barking on  rocks  below, or quiet old farms  made of logs on
the  hills  across the highway, or  sudden upstretches that  go along dreamy
seaside meadows  where cows  grace  and graze in full sight of endless  blue
Pacific  --  But  because I'm  wearing desert boots with  their  fairly thin
soles, and the sun is beating  hot  on the  tar road, the heat  finally gets
through the soles and I begin to deliver heat blisters inmy sockiboos -- I'm
limping along wondering what's  the matter with me  when I  realize I've got
blisters -- I  sit by the  side of the road  and look -- I take out my first
aid kit from the pack and apply unguents and put on cornpads and carry on --
But the combination of the heavy pack and the heat of the road increases the
pain of the  blisters until finally I realize  I've got to hitch hike a ride
or  never make  it to  Monterey at all. But the  tourists bless their hearts
after all, they couldnt know, only think I'm having a big happy hike with my
rucksack and they drive on, even tho I stick out my thumb
     -- I'm in despair because I'm really stranded now, and by the time I've
walked seven miles I still have seven to go but I cant go on another step --
I'm  also thirsty and there  are absolutely no filling  stations or anything
along the way
     -- My  feet  are  ruined and  burned,  it develops  now  into a day  of
complete  torture,  from  nine  o'clock  in  the morning  till four  in  the
afternoon I negotiate those nine or so miles when I finally have to stop and
sit down and wipe the blood off my feet -- And then when I fix the  feet and
put the shoes on again, to hike  on, I can only do it mincingly  with little
twinkletoe steps like Babe Ruth, twisting footsteps every way I can think of
not  to press too  hard on any particular  blister  -- So that  the tourists
(lessening  now  as the  sun  starts to  go down) can  now plainly see  that
there's  a man  on the highway limping under  a  huge pack and  asking for a
ride, but still they're afraid he may be the Hollywood hitch  hiker with the
hidden  gun and  besides  he's got a  rucksack  on his back as tho he'd just
escaped  from  the  war in Cuba... Or's got dismembered  bodies  in  the bag
anyway -- But as I say I dont blame them.
     The only car that  passes that might  have given me a ride is going  in
the wrong direction, down  to  Sur, and it's a  rattly old  car of some kind
with a big bearded "South Coast Is the Lonely Coast" folksinger in it waving
at me  but finally a little truck pulls up and waits  for  me 50 yards ahead
and I  limprun that distance on daggers in my feet -- It's  a guy with a dog
-- He'll drive me  to the next gas station, then he turns off -- But when he
learns about my  feet  he takes me  clear to  the bus station in Monterey --
Just  as a gesture  of kindness --  No particular reason, and  I've  made no
particular plea about my feet, just mentioned it.
     I  offer to buy him a  beer but he's going on  home for supper so  I go
into the bus station and clean up and change and pack things away, stow  the
bag in the  locker, buy  the bus ticket,  and go limping quietly in the blue
fog  streets of Monterey  evening feeling lights  as  feather and happy as a
millionaire -- The last time I ever hitch hiked -- And NO RIDES a sign.




     The next sign is in  Frisco itself where after a night of perfect sleep
in  an  old  skid  row  hotel room I  go to see Monsanto  at his City Lights
bookstore and  he's  smiling and glad to see me, says "We were coming out to
see you next weekend you should have waited, " but there's something else in
his expression  -- When we're alone he says "Your mother wrote and said your
cat is dead. "
     Ordinarily the death of a cat means little to most  men, a lot to fewer
men, but to me, and that cat, it  was  exactly and no lie and sincerely like
the  death of my little brother -- I loved Tyke with all my heart, he was my
baby who as a kitten just slept in the palm of my hand with  his little head
hanging down,  or just purring, for  hours, just as long as I held him  that
way, walking  or sitting -- He was like a floppy fur wrap around my wrist, I
just twist him around  my  wrist or drape him and he just purred  and purred
and even when he  got big I still held him that  way, I could even hold this
big  cat in both hands with my arms outstretched right over my head and he'd
just purr, he had complete confidence in me -- And when I'd left New York to
come to my retreat in  the woods I'd carefully kissed him and instructed him
to wait for  me, 'Attends pour  mue kitigingoo" -- But my mother said in the
letter he had died the NIGHT AFTER I LEFT! -- But maybe you'll understand me
by seeing for yourself by reading the letter:

     "Sunday  20  July 1960, Dear Son,  I'm afraid  you wont like  my letter
because I only have sad news  for  you right now.  I really dont know how to
tell you this but Brace up Honey. I'm going through hell myself. Little Tyke
is gone. Saturday all day  he was fine and seemed  to pick up  strength, but
late at night I was watching TV a late movie. Just about 1: 30 A. M. when he
started belching and throwing up. I went to him and tried to fix him  up but
to no availe.  He was  shivering like he was  cold  so I rapped him up  in a
Blanket then he started to throw  up all over  me. And that was  the last of
him. Needless to say how I  feel and what I went through. I  stayed  up till
"day Break" and did all I could to revive him but it was useless. I realized
at 4 A. M. he was gone so at six I wrapped him up good in a clean blanket --
and at  7 A. M. went out to dig  his grave. I never did anything in my whole
life so heart breaking as to bury my beloved little Tyke who was as human as
you and I.  I  buried him under  the  Honeysuckle vines, the corner,  of the
fence. I just  cant sleep or eat. I keep looking and hoping to see him  come
through the cellar door calling Ma Wow. I'm just plain sick and the weirdest
thing  happened when  I buried  Tyke, all  the black Birds I fed  all Winter
seemed  to  have known what was going on. Honest  Son this is no lies. There
was  lots and lots of em flying over my  head and  chirping, and settling on
the fence, for a whole hour  after Tyke was laid to rest -- that's something
I'll never forget -- I  wish I had a camera at the time but God and Me knows
it and saw it.  Now Honey I know this is going to hurt you but I had to tell
you somehow... I'm  so sick not  physically but heart  sick...  I  just cant
believe or realize that  my Beautiful little Tyke is  no more  -- and that I
wont be seeing him come  through his little "Shanty" or  Walking through the
green grass
     ... PS. I've  got to dismantle Tyke's shanty, I just cant  go out there
and  see it  empty -- as is.  Well Honey, write  soon again and  be kind  to
yourself. Pray the real "God" -- Your old Mom XXXXXX. "

     So when  Monsanto told me the news and I was sitting there smiling with
happiness the way  all  people  feel when they  come out  of a long solitude
either in  the woods  or in a hospital bed, bang, my heart sank, it sank  in
fact  with  the  same  strange  idiotic  helplessness as  when  I  took  the
unfortunate deep  breath on the seashore --  All the premonitions  tying  in
together.
     Monsanto sees that I'm terribly sad, he sees my little smile (the smile
that came over me in Monterey just so glad to be back in the world after the
solitudes and I'd walked around the streets just bemusedly  Mona Lisa'ing at
the sight of everything)  --  He sees now how that  smile  has slowly melted
away into a mawk of chagrin -- Of course  he cant  know since I didn't  tell
him and hardly wanta tell it now, that my relationship with  my cat and  the
other  previous  cats  has  always  been  a  little   dotty:  some  kind  of
psychological  identification  of the cats with my dead brother Gerard who'd
taught me to love cats when I was 3 and 4 and we used to lie on the floor on
our bellies and watch them lap up milk -- The death of "little brother" Tyke
indeed -- Monsanto seeing me so downcast says "Maybe  you  oughta go back to
the cabin for a few more weeks -- or are you just  gonna get drunk again" --
"I'm  gonna  get  drunk  yes"  --  Because anyway  there are  so many things
brewing,  everybody's waiting, I've been daydreaming a thousand wild parties
in the woods -- In fact it's fortunate I've heard of the death of Tyke in my
favorite exciting city of  San Francisco, if I had been home when  he died I
might have gone mad in a different way but  tho I now ran  out  to get drunk
with the boys and still once in a while that funny little smile of  joy came
back as I drank,  and melted  away again because now the smile  itself was a
reminder  of  death, the news made me go mad anyway at the end of the  three
week binge, creeping up  on me finally on that terrible day of St Carolyn By
The Sea as I can also call it -- All, all confusing till I explain.
     Meanwhile anyway poor Monsanto a man of letters wants to  enjoy big new
swappings with me about  writing  and what everybody's doing, and then Fagan
comes into  the store (downstairs to  Monsanto's old rolltop desk making  me
also feel chagrin because it always was the ambition of my youth to end up a
kind of  literary  businessman with  a rolltop  desk, combining my  father's
image with  the  image of myself  as a writer,  which Monsanto  without even
thinking about  it has accomplished at the drop of a hat)  --  Monsanto with
his husky  shoulders, big blue  eyes,  twinkling  rosy skin,  that perpetual
smile  of his  that earned  him the  name Smiler in  college and a smile you
often wondered "Is  it real? " until you  realized  if  Monsanto should ever
stop using that smile how could  the world  go on anyway -- It was that kind
of smile too inseparable  from him  to be believably allowed to disappear --
Words words words but he is a grand guy as I'll show and now with real manly
sympathy he really felt I should not go on big  binges if I felt so bad, "At
any rate, " sez he, "you can go back  a little later huh" -- "Okay Lorry" --
"Did  you write anything? " -- "I wrote the sounds of the sea, I'll tell you
all about it -- It was the most happy three weeks of  my life dammit and now
this  has  to happen, poor little  Tyke -- You  should have  seen him  a big
beautiful yellow Persian the  kind they call calico" -- "Well you still have
my dog Homer, and how was Alf out there? " -- "Alf the Sacred Burro, he  ha,
he stands  in  groves of trees in the afternoon suddenly  you see  him  it's
almost scarey, but I fed himapples and  shredded wheat  and everything" (and
animals are  so sad and  patient  I thought as  I remembered Tyke's eyes and
Alf's eyes, ah death, and to think this strange scandalous  death comes also
to human beings, yea to  Smiler even,  poor  Smiler, and poor Homer his dog,
and all of us) -- I'm also  depressed because I  know how horrible my mother
now feels all  alone without  her little chum in the  house back there three
thousand miles (and indeed  by Jesus it turns out later some silly  beatniks
trying to see me broke the windowpane in the front door trying to get in and
scared  her so much  she barricaded  the door with furniture all the rest of
that summer).
     But there's old Ben  Fagan puffing  and chuckling over his pipe so what
the hell, why bother grownup men and poets at that with your own troubles --
So Ben and I and his chum Jonesy also a chuckly pipesmoker go out to the bar
(Mike's  Place) and sip a  few beers,  at first I  vow I'm not going to  get
drunk after all, we  even go out to the park to have a long talk in the warm
sun that always turns to delightful cool foggy dusk in that town of towns --
We're sitting in the park of the big Italian white church watching kids play
and people go by, for some reason I'm bemused by the sight of a blonde woman
hurrying somewhere "Where's she going?  does she have a secret sailor lover?
is she only going to finish her typing  afterhours in the office? what if we
knew Ben what every  one of these people  goin by is headed for, some  door,
some restaurant, some secret romance" -- "You sound like you stored up a lot
of energy  and  innerest in life in those  woods" --  And Ben knows that for
sure because he's  been months in the wilderness too, alone -- Old Ben, much
thinner than he used to be in  our madder Dharma Bum days of five years ago,
a little gaunt  in fact, but still the same  old Ben who stays  up  late  at
night  chuckling  over  the  Lankavatara Scripture and writing  poems  about
raindrops -- And  he knows me very well, he knows I'll get drunk tonight and
for weeks  on  end just on general principles  and that a day will come in a
few weeks when I'll be so exhausted  I  wont be able to talk to  anybody and
he'll come and visit me and just silently at my side be puffing his pipe, as
I sleep -- The kind of  guy he  is -- I trying to explain about  Tyke to him
but  some  people are cat lovers and some ain't, tho Ben always has a little
kitty around his pad -- His pad usually has a straw rug on the floor, with a
pillow  "pon which he  sits crosslegged by a smoking teapot, his bookshelves
full of Stein  and Pound and Wallace Stevens -- A strange quiet poet who was
only beginning to be recognized as a big rosy secret sage (one  of his lines
"When I leave town all  my friends go back  on the sauce') -- And I'm on  my
way to the sauce right now. Because anyway old Dave Wain is back and  Dave I
can see him rubbing his hands in anticipation of another big wild binge with
me like we had the  year before  when he drove me back  to New York from the
west coast, with George Baso the  little Japanese  Zen master hepcat sitting
crosslegged on  the back  mattress of Dave's jeepster  (Willie the  Jeep), a
terrific trip through Las Vegas, St Louis,  stopping off at expensive motels
and drinking  nothing but  the best Scotch out of the bottle all the way  --
And  what better way to go back to New York, I could have blown 190  dollars
on an airplane -- And Dave's never met  the  great Cody and will  be looking
forward to that -- So me and Ben leave the park and  slowly walk to the  bar
on Columbus  Street and I order my  first  double bourbon and gingerale. The
lights are twinkling on outside in that fantastic toy street, I can feel the
joy rise in my soul -- I now remember
     Big Sur with a clear piercing love and agony and even the death of Tyke
fits  in with everything but  I don't realize the enormity of what's yet  to
come -- We  call up Dave  Wain who's  back from Reno  and  he  comes blattin
downto the  bar in his jeepster driving that marvelous  way he does (once he
was a cab-driver) talking all  the time and never making  a mistake, in fact
as good  a driver as Cody altho I  cant imagine anybody  being that good and
asked Cody about it the next day -- But old jealous drivers always point out
faults and complain, "Ah well that Dave Wain of yours doesnt take his curves
right, he eases  up and sometimes  even pokes  the brake a little instead of
just ridin  that old curve  around  on  increased power, man you gotta  work
those  curves" -- Obvious at this time now,  by the way and parenthetically,
that there's so much  to  tell about  the fateful following three weeks it's
hardly possible to  find anyplace to begin. Like  life, actually  -- And how
multiple it all is! -- "And what happened to little old  George Baso, boy? "
-- "Little  old  George Baso  is probably dyin of TB in  a hospital  outside
Tulare"  --  "Gee, Dave, we  gotta  go see  him"  -- "Yessir,  let's do that
tomorrow" -- As usual  Dave has no money whatever but that doesn't bother me
at all, I've got plenty, I  go  out the following  day and cash  500 dollars
worth of travelers  checks just so's me and  old Dave can really have a good
time... Dave likes good food and  drink  and  so do I...  But he's  got this
young kid he  brought back from  Reno called Ron Blake  who is a goodlooking
teenager with blond hair who wants to be a sensational new Chet Baker singer
and comes  on with  that tiresome hipster approach  that was natural five or
ten and even twenty five years  ago but now in 1960 is a pose, in fact I dug
him as  a con man conning Dave (tho for what, I don't know) -- But Dave Wain
that lean  rangy red head Welchman with his penchant for going off in Willie
to fish in the Rogue River up in Oregon where he knows an  abandoned  mining
camp, or  for blattin around  the  desert roads, for suddenly reappearing in
town  to get drunk, and a marvelous poet himself, has that certain something
that young hip teenagers probably wanta imitate  -- For one  thing is one of
the  world's best  talkers, and funny too  -- As I'll show --  It was he and
George  Baso  who hit on the fantastically  simple  truth that  everybody in
America  was walking around with a dirty behind, but  everybody, because the
ancient  ritual of washing with water  after the toilet had  not occurred in
all the modern  antisepticism -- Says Dave "People in America have all these
racks of dry-cleaned clothes like you  say on  their trips, they spatter Eau
de Cologne  all over  themselves, they  wear Ban  and  Aid or whatever it is
under their armpits, they  get aghast  to see  a spot on a shirt or a dress,
they probably change  underwear and socks  maybe even  twice a day,  they go
around all puffed up and insolent thinking themselves the cleanest people on
earth  and  they're walkin  around with  dirty azzoles -- Isnt that amazing?
give  me a  little nip on that tit" he says reaching for my drink so I order
two  more,  I've  been  engrossed, Dave  can order all the drinks  he  wants
anytime, "The President of the  United  States, the big  ministers of state,
the great bishops and shmishops and big shots everywhere, down to the lowest
factory worker with all  his fierce pride, movie stars, executives and great
engineers and presidents of law firms and advertising firms with silk shirts
and neckties and great  expensive traveling cases in  which they place these
various expensive English imported hair brushes and shaving gear and pomades
and  perfumes are all walking around with dirty azzoles! All you gotta do is
simply  wash  yourself with soap and water! it hasnt occurred to  anybody in
America at all! it's one of the funniest things I've ever heard of! dont you
think it's  marvelous that we're being called  filthy  unwashed beatniks but
we're the only ones walkin around with clean azzoles? "  -- The whole azzole
shot  in fact  had spread swiftly and  everybody  I knew and  Dave knew from
coast to coast had embarked on this great crusade which I must say is a good
one -- In fact in  Big Sur  I'd instituted a shelf  in  Monsanto's  outhouse
where the soap must be kept and  everyone  had to bring a can of water there
on  each trip -- Monsanto  hadn't heard  about it yet, "Do you  realize that
until we  tell poor Lorenzo  Monsanto the famous  writer that  he is walking
around with  a dirty azzole he will be doing  just that? " -- "Let's go tell
him right now! " -- "Why of course if we wait another minute
     ... and besides do you know what it does to people  to walk around with
a  dirty azzole? it leaves a great yawning  guilt  that they cant understand
all day, they go to work all cleaned up in the morning and you can smell all
that freshly laundered clothes and  Eau de Cologne  in the commute train yet
there's something  gnawing at them, something's wrong, they know something's
wrong they don't know just what! " -- We rush to  tell Monsanto  at  once in
the book store around the corner. By  now  we're beginning to feel  great...
Fagan  has retired saying typically  "Okay you guys  go ahead and get drunk,
I'm goin home and spend a quiet evening in a hot bath with a book" "Home" is
also where Dave Wain and Ron Blake live -- It's an old rooming house of four
stories on the edge  of the Negro district of San Francisco where Dave, Ben,
Jonesy, a painter called Lanny Meadows, a mad French Canadian drinker called
Pascal and  a Negro called  Johnson all  live  in different rooms with their
clutter of  rucksacks  and  floor mattresses and books  and  gear, each  one
taking turns one day a week to go out and do all  the shopping and come back
and cook  up a big communal dinner in the  kitchen -- All ten or  twelve  of
them sharing the  rent, and with that rotation of dinner, they end up living
comfortable lives with  wild  parties and girls  rushing in, people bringing
bottles, all at about a minimum of seven dollars a week say
     -- It's a wonderful place but at the same  time a little maddening,  in
fact a whole lot maddening because the painter Lanny Meadows loves music and
has installed his Hi Fi speaker in the kitchen altho he applies  the records
in a back  room so the daily cook  may be concentrating on his Mulligan stew
and  all of a  sudden Stravinsky's dinosaurs start  dining  overhead And  at
night there are bottlecrashing parties usually supervised by wild Pascal who
is a sweet kid but crazy when he drinks A regular nuthouse actually and just
exactly  the  image  of what the journalists  want  to  say  about the  Beat
Generation   nevertheless  a  harmless  and  pleasant  agreement  for  young
bachelors and a good idea in the long run  -- Because you can rush into  any
room  and  find  the expert, like  say  Ben's  room and  ask "Hey  what  did
Bodhidharma say to the Second Patriarch?  " -- "He  said  go  fuck yourself,
make your mind like a wall, dont pant after outside  activities and dont bug
me  with your outside plans" -- "So the guy  goes out and stands on his head
in the snow? " "No that was Fubar" -- Or you go runnin into Dave Wain's room
and there  he is sitting  crosslegged on his mattress on  the  floor reading
Jane Austen,  you ask "What's  the  best  way to make beef  Stroganoff? "...
"Beef Stroganoff is very simple, "t'aint nothin but a  good well cooked beef
and onion stew that you  let cool afterwards then you throw in mushrooms and
lotsa sour cream, I'll come down and show  way soon's  I finish this chapter
in this marvelous novel,  I wanta find out  what happens  next" -- Or you go
into the Negro's  room and ask if you  can borrow his  tape recorder because
right  at the  moment some funny things  are being  said in the  kitchen  by
Duluoz and McLear and Monsanto and some newspaperman -- Because the  kitchen
was  also the  main talking room where everybody sat in  a cluster of dishes
and ashtrays and  all kinds of visitors came... The year before  a beautiful
16 year old Japanese girl had come there just to interview me, for instance,
but chaperoned by a Chinese painter The phone rang consistently -- Even wild
Negro hepcats from around the corner  came  in with bottles (Edward Kool and
several others) --  There was Zen, jazz, booze, pot and all the works but it
was somehow  obviated (as a  supposedly degenerate idea)  by the sight of  a
"beatnik"  carefully painting the wall of his room and clean white with nice
little  red  borders around the  door  and  windowframes --  Or  someone  is
sweeping out the livingroom. Itinerant visitors  like me or Ron Blake always
had an extra mattress to sleep on.





     But Dave  is anxious  and so am  I to see  great Cody who is always the
major part of my reason  for journeying to the west coast so  we call him up
to Los  Gatos fifty miles away down  the  Santa Clara  Valley and I hear his
dear  sad voice  saying "Been waitin for ya old  buddy, come on  down  right
away, but I'll be goin to work at midnight so hurry up  and you can visit me
at work soon's the  boss leaves round  two and I'll  show you my new job  of
tire  recappin and see  if you cant bring  a little  somethin like a girl or
sumptin, just kiddin, come on down pal... "
     So there's  old Willie  waiting for us down on the street parked across
from  the little pleasant Japanese liquor store where as usual, according to
our  ritual, I  run and  get  Pernod  or Scotch or anything  good while Dave
wheels around to  pick me up at the  store door, and I get in the front seat
at  Dave's right where I belong all the time like old Honored Samuel Johnson
while everybody else that wants  to come along has to scramble back there on
the  mattress (a full mattress,  the seats are  out) and  squat there or lie
down there and also generally keep silent because when Dave's got  the wheel
of Willie  in his hand  and I've got the  bottle in mine and  we're off on a
trip  the talking all comes from  the front seat... "By  God" yells Dave all
glad  again, "it's  just like old times Jack, gee old Willie's been  sad for
ya, waiting for ya to come back -- So now I'm gonna show ya how old Willie's
even improved with age,  had him  reconditioned  in Reno last month, here he
goes, are you ready Willie?  "  and off  we go and the  beauty of it allthis
particular summer is that the front right seat is broken and just rocks back
and forth gently to  every one of Dave's  driving moves -- It's like sitting
in  a  rocking chair on a porch only this  is a moving  porch and a porch to
talk on at that -- And insteada watching old  men pitch horseshoes from this
here talking porch it's all  that fine white clean line in the middle of the
road  as  we go flying like birds over  the Harrison  ramps and whatnot Dave
always uses  to sneak out  of  Frisco real fast and avoid all the traffic...
Soon we're set straight and pointed head on down beautiful fourlane Bayshore
Highway to that lovely Santa  Clara Valley... But I'm amazed that after only
a  few years the damn thing no longer has prune  fields and vast beet fields
like at Lawrence  when  I  was a  brakeman on  the Southern Pacific and even
after) it's  one long row of houses right down the  line fifty miles  to San
Jose like a great monstrous Los Angeles beginning to grow south of Frisco.
     At  first  it's  beautiful  to  just watch that  white line reel  in to
Willie's snout but when I  start looking around  out the window there's just
endless  housing  tracts and new  blue factories everywhere -- Sez Dave "Yes
that's right, the population explosion is gonna cover every  bit of backyard
dirt in America someday in fact they'll even have to start piling up friggin
levels  of  houses and  others  over that like your city  City CITY till the
houses  reach a hundred miles  in the air in all  directions of the map  and
people  looking at the earth from another  planet with super telescopes will
see a prickly ball hanging in space -- It's like real horrible when you come
to think of it, even  us with our fancy talks, shit man it's all millions of
people and  events piling  up almost  unimaginable now, like raving  baboons
we'll all be  piled on top of each  other  or one another or whatever you're
sposed to say -- Hundreds of millions of  hungry mouths raving for more more
more -- And  the sadness  of it all is that the world hasn't  any  chance to
produce say a writer whose life could really actually touch all this life in
every detail like  you always say, some writers could bring you sobbing thru
the bed fuckin bedcribs of  the  moon to see  it all even unto the goddamned
last gory detail of some dismal robbery of the  heart at  dawn  when no  one
cares  like Sinatra sings" ('When  no  one  cares, "  he sings  in  his  low
baritone but resumes): "Some strict sweeper sweeping it  all up. I  mean the
incredible helplessness I felt Jack when Celine ended his Journey To The End
Of The Night by pissing in the Seine River at dawn there I am thinkin my God
there's  probably somebody pissing in the Trenton River at  dawn right  now,
the  Danube,  the  Ganges, the  frozen  Obi,  the  Yellow,  the  Parana, the
Willamette, the Merrimac in Missouri too, the Missouri itself, the Yuma, the
Amazon, the Thames, the Po, and so and so, it's so friggin endless it's like
poems endless everywhere and no one knows any bettern  old  Buddha  you know
where  he  says  it's  like  "There are  immeasurable  star misty  aeons  of
universes more numerous  than the sands in all the galaxies, multiplied by a
billion lightyears of  multiplication, in fact  if  I were to go on you'd be
scared and couldn't  comprehend and you'd despair so much you'd drop dead, "
that's what  he just about  said in one  of those  sutras  -- Macrocosms and
microcosms  and  chillicosms  and  microbes  and finally  you get  all these
marvelous books a man aint even got  time to read em all, what you gonna  do
in this already piled up multiple world  when you have to think of  the Book
of Songs,  Faulkner, Cesar Birotteau,  Shakespeare,  Satyricons, Dantes,  in
fact long stories guys  tell you in bars, in fact the sutras themselves, Sir
Philip Sidney,  Sterne, Ibn  El  Arabi, the copious  Lope  de  Vega and  the
uncopious  goddamn Cervantes,  shoo, then there's  all  those Catulluses and
Davids and radio  listening skid  row sages  to contend with because they've
all got a million stories too and you too Ron Blake in the backseat shut up!
down to everything  which is so much that it is  of necessity dont you think
Nothing anyway, huh? " (expressing exactly the way I feel, of course).
     And  to corroborate all that about the  too-much-ness of the  world, in
fact, there's Stanley  Popovich also  in  the back  mattress  next  to  Ron,
Stanley  Popovich of New York suddenly arrived in  San Francisco with  Jamie
his Italian beauty girl but's going  to leave her in a few  days to  go work
for the circus, a  big tough  Yugoslav kid who ran the Seven Arts Gallery in
New York with big  bearded beatnik readings  but now comes the circus and  a
whole big on-the-road of his own -- It's too much, in fact right this minute
he's started telling us about circus work -- On top of all that old  Cody is
up ahead with HIS thousand stories -- We all agree it's1 too big  to keep up
with, that we're surrounded by life, that we'll never understand it,  so  we
center  it all in by swigging  Scotch from the bottle and when it's  empty I
run out of the car and buy another one, period.

     13

     But on the way to Cody's my madness already began to manifest itself in
a  stranger  way,  another one  of those  signposts  of  something  wrong  I
mentioned a ways back: I thought I saw a flying saucer in the  sky over  Los
Gatos --  From five miles  away -- I look and I  see this thing flying along
and mention  it to Dave who takes one brief look and says 'Ah it's only  the
top  of a radio tower" -- It reminds me of the time I took a mescaline  pill
and thought an airplane was a flying saucer (a strange story this, a man has
to be crazy to write it anyway).
     But there's old Cody in the livingroom of his fine ranchito home sittin
over his chess set  pondering a  problem  and right by the fresh woodfire in
the fireplace his wife's set out because she knows I  love fireplaces -- She
a good  friend  of mine too... The kids are sleeping in the back, it's about
eleven, and good  old  Cody  shakes my hand  again  -- Havent  seen  him for
several  years because mainly he's just spent two years in San Quentin on  a
stupid charge of possession of marijuana... He was on his way to work on the
railroad  one night and was short  on time and  his driving license had been
already  revoked for  speeding  so he saw two  bearded  bluejeaned  beatniks
parked, asked them to trade a quick ride to work at the railroad station for
two  sticks  of  tea, they complied and  arrested him -- They were disguised
policemen... For this great crime he spent two  years in San Quentin  in the
same  cell with a murderous gunman  -- His job was  sweeping out the  cotton
mill room -- I expect him to  be all bitter and out  of his  head because of
this but strangely and magnificently he's become quieter, more radiant, more
patient, manly, more friendly even -- And tho  the wild frenzies of  his old
road days with me have banked down he still has the same taut eager face and
supple muscles and looks like he's ready to go anytime -- But actually loves
his  home (paid for by railroad insurance when  he broke  his leg trying  to
stop a boxcar from crashing), loves his wife in a way  tho they  fight some,
loves his kids and especially his little  son Timmy John partly named  after
me  -- Poor old, good old  Cody sitting  there  with  his  chess set,  wants
immediately to challenge somebody to a  chess game  but only  has an hour to
talk to us  before he goes to work supporting the family  by rushing out and
pushing his Nash Rambler down the quiet Los Gatos suburb street, jumping in,
starting the motor, in  fact his only complaint  is that the Nash wont start
without a  push  -- No bitter complaints about  society whatever  from  this
grand and ideal man who really loves me moreover  as  if I  deserved it, but
I'm bursting  to explain everything  to him, not even  Big  Sur but the past
several years, but there's no chance with everybody yakking -- And in fact I
can see in Cody's eyes that  he  can  see in my own eyes the regret  we both
feel that recently we haven't had  chances to talk whatever, like we used to
do driving across America and back in the old road days, too many people now
want to talk  to us and tell  us their  stories,  we've  been hemmed  in and
surrounded and outnumbered -- The circle's  closed  in on the  old heroes of
the  night  -- But he  says "However you guys, come on down  round "bout one
when the boss leaves and watch me work and keep me company awhile before you
go back to the City" -- I can see Dave  Wain  really loves him  at once, and
Stanley Popovich too who's  come along on this  trip just to meet the fabled
"Dean Moriarty" -- The name I give Cody in "On the Road" -- But O, it breaks
my  heart to see he's lost his beloved job on the railroad and after all the
seniority he'd piled up since 1948 and now is reduced to tire  recapping and
dreary parole visits -- All for  two  stick of wild loco weed  that grows by
itself in Texas because God wanted it -- And there over the bookshelf is the
old photo of me and Cody arm in arm in the early days on a sunny street -- I
rush to explain  to Cody  what  happened the year  before when his religious
advisor  at the prison had  invited me to come to San Quentin to lecture the
religious class -- Dave  Wain was supposed to drive  me and wait outside the
prison walls as  I'd go  in there  alone, probably with  a  pepup nip bottle
hidden in my coat (I hoped) and I'd be led by big guards to the lecture room
of the prison and there would be sitting a hundred or so cons including Cody
probably all proud  in the front row -- And I would begin by telling them  I
had been in jail myself once and that I had no right nevertheless to lecture
them on religion  -- But they're all  lonely prisoners and  dont care what I
talk about  -- The whole thing arranged, in any case, and on the big morning
I wake up instead dead drunk on a floor,  it's already  noon  and  too late,
Dave  Wain is  on  the floor also, Willie's  parked  outside  to take  us to
Quentin for the lecture but it's too late -- But now Cody says "It's alright
old buddy  I understand"  --  Altho our friend Irwin had  done  it, lectured
there, but Irwin can do all sorta things like that being more  social than I
am and capable of going  in there as  he  did and reading his wildest  poems
which set the prison  yard humming with  excitement tho  I think he shouldna
done it  after all  because I  say  just to show up  for any  reason  except
visiting inside a prison  is still SIGNIFYING -- And I tell this to Cody who
ponders a chess problem and says "Drinkin again, hey? " (if there's anything
he hates is to see me drink).
     We help him push his Nash down  the street, then drink awhile  and talk
with Evelyn  a  beautiful blonde  woman that young Ron  Blake wants and even
Dave Wain wants but she's got  her mind  on other things and taking care  of
the children who have to go to school and dancing classes in the morning and
hardly gets a  word in edgewise anyway as we all yak and yell like  fools to
impress her  tho  all she really wants  is to be alone with me to talk about
Cody and his latest soul.
     Which  includes  the  fact  of  Billie  Dabney  his  mistress  who  has
threatened to take Cody away completely from Evelyn, as I'll show later.
     So we  do go out  to  the San Jose highway to watch Cody recap tires --
There he is wearing goggles working like Vulcan at his forge, throwing tires
all over the place with fantastic strength, the good ones high up on a pile,
"This one's  no good" down on another, bing,  bang, talking all  the time  a
long fantastic lecture  on  tire  recapping  which has Dave Wain marvel with
amazement  -- ('My God he can do all that and  even explain while he's doing
it')  -- But I just mention in connection with the fact that  Dave  Wain now
realizes why I've always loved Cody... Expecting  to see a bitter  ex con he
sees instead a martyr of the American  Night in goggles in some  dreary tire
shop at 2 A.  M. making fellows laugh with joy  with his funny  explanations
yet at the same time to a T performing every bit of the work he's being paid
for  -- Rushing up and ripping tires  off car wheels with a  jicklo,  clang,
throwing  it  on  the machine, starting  up big roaring  steams but  yelling
explanations over that, darting,  bending, flinging, flaying, till Dave Wain
said he thought he was going to die laughing or cry right there on the spot.
     So we drive back to town and go to the mad boarding-house to drink some
more  and I pass out dead drunk on the floor as usual in that house,  waking
up  in the morning groaning far from my clean cot on the porch in Big Sur No
bluejays yakking for me to wake up any more, no  gurgling creek, I'm back in
the grooky city and I'm trapped.




     Instead there's the sound of bottles crashing in the  living-room where
poor Lex Pascal is holding forth yelling, it reminds of the  time a year ago
when Jarry Wagner's future wife got sore  at Lex and threw a half gallonfull
of tokay across the room  and  hooked  him  right across the  eye, thereupon
sailing  to Japan to marry Jarry  in a  big Zen ceremony that made coast  to
coast papers  but  all  old Lex's  got is a cut  which I try to fix  in  the
bathroom upstairs saying "Hey, that  cut's already  stopped bleeding, you'll
be alright Lex" -- "I'm French Canadian too" he says proudly and  when  Dave
and I and George Baso get ready to drive back  to New York he gives  me a St
Christopher medal as a goingaway gift -- Lex the kind of guy shouldnt really
be living in this wild beat boardinghouse, should hide on a ranch somewhere,
powerful, goodlooking, full of crazy desire  for  women  and booze and never
enough of either -- So as the bottles  crash again and the Hi  Fi's  playing
Beethoven's Solemn Mass I fall asleep on the floor.
     Waking up the next morning groaning of course,  but this is the big day
when  we're going to  go visit  poor George  Baso at the TB  hospital in the
Valley --  Dave perks me up  right away  bringing coffee or wine optional...
I'm on  Ben Fagan's floor  somehow, apparently I've harangued him  till dawn
about Buddhism some Buddhist.
     Complicated  already but now suddenly  appears Joey Rosenberg a strange
young kid  from Oregon with a full beard and his hair growing  right down to
his  neck like Raul Castro, once the  California High School high jump champ
who was only about five  foot  six but  had made the  incredible leap of six
foot nine  over the bar! and shows  his highjump ability  too by the way  he
dances around on light feet  -- A strange  athlete  who's  suddenly  decided
instead to become some sort of beat Jesus and in fact you see perfect purity
and sincerity in his young  blue eyes --  In  fact his  eyes are so pure you
don't  notice  the crazy  hair and beard, and also he's  wearing ragged  but
strangely  elegant  clothing ('One of the first of  the new Beat Dandies,  "
McLear  told me a few  days later, "did you  hear about  that? there's a new
strange underground group  of  beatniks or whatever who wear  special smooth
dandy  clothes  even tho  it may just  be  a jean jacket  with  shino slacks
they'll  always have strange beautiful shoes or shirts,  or turn  around and
wear  fancy  pants unpressed acourse but with  torn  sneakers')  -- Joey  is
wearing something like brown soft garments like a tunic or something and his
shoes look  like  Las Vegas sports shoes -- The moment  he sees my  battered
blue little sneakers that I'd used at Big Sur when my feet go sore,  that is
in  case my feet got  sore on  a rocky hike, he wants them for  himself,  he
wants to swap the snazzy Las Vegas sports shoes (pale leather, untooled) for
my silly little tightfitting tho perfect sneakers that in fact I was wearing
because the Monterey hike  blisters  were still hurting  me -- So we swap --
And I  ask Dave Wain about him: Dave says: "He's one of the really strangest
sweetest guys I've ever  known, showed up about a week ago I hear tell, they
asked him what he wanted to  do and never  answers,  just smiles  -- He just
sorta wants  to dig everything  and  just watch  and  enjoy  and say nothing
particular  about it... If someone's to ask  him "Let's drive to  New  York"
he'd  jump right for it without a word  --  On a sort of a  pilgrimage, see,
with all that youth, us old fucks oughta take  a lesson from him,  in  faith
too, he has faith, I can see it  in his  eyes, he has faith in any direction
he may take with anyone just like Christ I guess. "
     It's strange that in a later revery  I imagined myself walking across a
field to  find the strange gang of pilgrims in Arkansas  and  Dave Wain  was
sitting there saying "Shhh, He's  sleeping, "  "He" being  Joey and  all the
disciples are  following him on a march to New  York after which they expect
to keep going walking on  water to the other  shore -- But  of course (in my
revery even)  I  scoff and  don't  believe it (a kind of story daydreaming I
often do) but  in the  morning  when I  look  into Joey  Rosenberg's  eyes I
instantly  realize it IS  Him, Jesus, because anyone (according to the rules
of my revery) who looks into those eyes is instantly convinced and converted
-- So the revery continues into a long farfetched story ending with thinking
IBM  machines trying to  destroy this  "Second  Coming" etc.  (but also,  in
reality,  a few months later I threw away his shoes in the ashcan  back home
because  I  felt they  had brought me bad  luck and wishing I'd kept my blue
sneakers with the little holes in the toes! )  So anyway we get Joey and Ron
Blake who's always following Dave and go  off to see  Monsanto at the store,
our usual  ritual, then across the corner to Mike's Place where we start off
the 10 A. M. with food, drink and a few games  of  pool at  the tables along
the bar -- Joey winning the game and a stranger poolshark you never saw with
his long  Biblical hair  bending to slide  the  cue stick  smoothly  through
completely  professionally competent  fingerstance  and  smashing  home long
straight drives, like seeing Jesus shoot pool of course -- And meanwhile all
the food  these poor starved kids  all three of them do  pack in and eat! --
It's not every  day they're with a drunken novelist with hundreds of dollars
to splurge on them, they order everything,  spaghetti, follow that  up  with
Jumbo  Hamburgers, follow that up with  ice cream and pie and puddings, Dave
Wain has a huge appetite anyway but adds Manhattans and Martinis to the side
of  his plate  -- I'm just wailing away on my old fatal  double bourbons and
gingerale and I'll be sorry in a few days. Any drinker knows how the process
works: the first day  you get drunk is okay, the morning  after means a  big
head but so you can kill that easy with a few more drinks and a meal, but if
you pass up the meal and go on to another night's drunk, and wake up to keep
the toot going, and  continue  on to the fourth  day, there'll come one  day
when  the drinks wont take effect  because you're  chemically overloaded and
you'll have to sleep it  off but cant sleep any more because  it was alcohol
itself that made you sleep those last five  nights,  so delirium sets in  --
Sleeplessness, sweat, trembling,  a groaning  feeling of weakness where your
arms  are  numb  and useless,  nightmares, (nightmares  of  death)...  well,
there's more of that up later.
     About noon which is  now the peak of a golden blurry new day  for me we
pick up Dave's girl Romana Swartz a big Rumanian monster beauty of some kind
(I  mean with big purple eyes and very tall and big but Mae West big),  Dave
whispers in my ear "You oughta see her walking around that Zen-East House in
those purple panties of hers, nothing else on, there's one married guy lives
there who goes crazy every time she goes down the hall tho I dont blame him,
would  you? she's  not trying to entice him or  anybody she's just a nudist,
she believe in  nudism and bygod she's going to practice it! " (the Zen-East
house being  another sort  of boardinghouse  but  this  one for all kinds of
married  people  and  single and some small bohemian type families all races
studying  Subud or something, I  never was  there) -- She's  a big beautiful
brunette  anyway  in the  line of  taste you might attribute to every  slaky
hungry  sex slave  in  the  world  but  also  intelligent, well read, writes
poetry,  is a Zen  student, knows everything, is  in  fact just simply a big
healthy Rumanian Jewess who wants to marry a good hardy man and go live on a
farm in the valley, that's it...
     The TB hospital is about two hours away  through Trac and  down the San
Joaquin Valley, Dave drives beautiful with  Romana between us and me holding
the  bottle again,  it's  bright  beautiful California  sunshine  and  prune
orchards out there zipping by... It's always fun to have a good driver and a
bottle  and  dark  glasses  on  a  fine   sunny  afternoon  going  somewhere
interesting, and all the good conversation as  I said -- Ron and Joey are on
the back mattress sitting crosslegged just like poor George Baso had sat  on
that trip last year from Frisco to New York.
     But  the main thing I'd liked at once about that  Japanese kid was what
he told me  the first  night I met him in that crazy kitchen of the Buchanan
Street house: from midnight to 6 A.  M. in his slow methodical voice he gave
me his own tremendous version of the  Life of Buddha  beginning with infancy
and right down to the end... George's theory  (he has many theories  and has
actually run meditation classes with bells, just really a  serious young lay
priest of  Japanese Buddhism when  all is  said and done) is that Buddha did
not reject amorous love life with his wife  and with his harem girls because
he was  sexually  disinterested but on  the contrary  had been taught in the
highest arts of lovemaking and eroticism possible in the India of that time,
when great tomes like the Kama Sutra were in the process of being developed,
tomes  that give  you instructions on  every act,  facet,  approach, moment,
trick, lick, lock, bing and bang and slurp of how  to make love with another
human being "male or  female" insisted George:  "He knew everything there is
to know about  all  kinds  of sex so that when  he  abandoned the  world  of
pleasure to go be  an ascetic in the forest everybody of course knew that he
wasn't  putting  it all down out of ignorance... It served to make people of
those times feel a marvelous respect for all his words -- And he was just no
simple Casanova with a few frigid affairs across the  years, man he went all
the  way,  he had ministers and special eunuchs and special women who taught
him love, special virgins were brought to him, he was acquainted  with every
aspect of perversity and non perversity and as you know  he was also a great
archer, horseman,  he was just completely trained in all the  arts of living
by his father's orders because his  father wanted  to  make  sure he'd NEVER
leave the palace -- They used every trick in  the books to entice him  to  a
life  of pleasure  and as you know they  even  had him  happily married to a
beautiful girl called Yasodhara and he had a son with her Rahula and he also
had his  harem which included dancing boys and everything in the books" then
George would go into every detail of this knowledge, like  "He knew that the
phallus  is  held with  the  hand and moved inside  the vagina with a rotary
movement,  but this was only the first of several variations  where there is
also the lowering  down of the gal's hips  so that the vulva you see recedes
and the phallus  is introduced with a fast quick movement like stinging of a
wasp, or else the vulva is protruded by means of lifting up the hips high so
that the member is buried with a sudden rush  right to the basis, or then he
can withdraw real teasing like,  or concentrate on right or left side -- And
then he knew all the gestures, words, expressions, what to do with a flower,
what not to do  with a flower, how  to drink the lip in all kinds of kissing
or how to crush kiss or soft kiss, man he was a genius  in the beginning'...
and so on, George went all the way telling me this till 6 A. M. it being one
of the  most fantastic Buddha  Charitas  I'd ever heard ending with George's
own  perfect enunciation of  the law of the  Twelve  Nirdanas whereby Buddha
just logically disconnected all creation and  laid it  bare for what it was,
under the Bo Tree, a chain of illusions --  And on the trip to New York with
Dave  and me up front talking all the way poor George  just sat there on the
mattress for the most part very quiet and told us he was taking this trip to
find out if HE was traveling to New  York or just the CAR (Willie the  Jeep)
was  traveling to  New York or  was it just the WHEELS were  colling, or the
tires, or what --  A Zen problem of some kind -- So that when we'd see grain
elevators on the  Plains of Oklahoma George would say quietly "Well it seems
to  me that grain elevator is sorta waitin for the  road to  approach it" or
he'd say suddenly "While you guys  was talkin just  then  about how to mix a
good  Pernod  Martini I  just  saw  a white horse  standing  in an abandoned
storefront"  --  In  Las Vegas we'd taken a good motel  room and gone out to
play a little roulette, in  St  Louis we'd  gone to see the great bellies of
the East St  Louis hootchy kootchy joints where three of the most  marvelous
young  girls  performed smiling directly  at us as tho  they knew  all about
George and his  theories about  erogenous Buddha  (there  sits  the  monarch
observing the donzinggerls) and as tho they knew anyway all about Dave  Wain
who whenever he see a beautiful girl says licking his lips "Yum Yum'...
     But now George has TB and they tell me he may even die... Which adds to
that darkness in my mind, all these DEATH things piling up suddenly -- But I
cant believe old Zen Master George is going  to  allow his body to  die just
now tho it looks like it when we pass through the lawn and come to a ward of
beds and see  him sitting  dejected  on the edge  of his bed with  his  hair
hanging  over his  brow where before it was  always combed back -- He's in a
bathrobe and looks up at  us  almost displeased (but everybody is displeased
by  unexpected  visits from friends or relatives  in  a hospital) --  Nobody
wants to be surprised on their hospital bed -- He sighs and comes out to the
warm  lawn with us and  the expression  on his face says  "Well ah so you've
come to  see me because I'm sick but what  do you really  want? " as tho all
the  old  humorous  courage  of  the  year before has now  given away  to  a
profoundly deep  15 Japanese skepticism like that of a  Samurai warrior in a
fit of  suicidal depression (surprising  me by  its  abject  gloomy  fearful
frown).

     15

     I mean it  was  like  my  first  frightened  realization of  what to be
Japanese really  meant -- To be Japanese and not to believe in life any more
and to be gloomy like Beethoven yet to be  Japanese in  gloom, the gloom  of
Basho behind it all, the huge thunderous scowl of Issa or of Shiki, kneeling
in the frost with the bowed head like the bowed-head-oblivion of all the old
horses of Japan long dust.
     He sits  there on the lawn  bench  looking down and when  Dave asks him
"Well you gonna be alright soon George" he says simply "I don't know" --  He
really means "I dont  care" -- And always warm and courteous with me  he now
hardly pays any attention to me -- He's a  little nervous because  the other
patients, GI vets, will  see  that he's received  a  visit from  a  bunch of
ragged  beatniks including  Joey Rosenberg  who is  bouncing around the lawn
looking at  flowers with that  bemused  sincere smile  --  But  little  neat
George, just five  feet five and a few  pounds  over that and so clean, with
his soft feathery hair like the hair of a child, his delicate hands, he just
stares at the ground -- His answers come like an old man's (he's only 30) --
"I guess  all the  Dharma talk  about everything  is nothing is  just  sorta
sinking in my bones,  " he  concedes,  which makes me shudder -- (On the way
Dave's been telling us to be ready because George's changed so) -- But I try
to keep things going, "Do you remember those dancing girls in St Louis? " --
"Yen, whore candy" (he's referring to  a piece of perfumed cotton one of the
girls threw  at  us in  her dance, which we tacked  up  later to  a  highway
accident cross we'd  yanked  out  of  the  ground one  blood  red  sunset in
Arizona,  tacking this  perfumed  beautiful cotton right where  the  head of
Christ was  so that when  we brought the cross to New York naturally we  had
everybody  smelling it but George pointed  out  how  beautiful we'd done all
this  subconsciously  because the net  result  was  that all the  hepcats of
Greenwich  Village  who  came  in to see us were picking up  the  cross  and
putting their heads [noses] to it) -- But George  doesn't  care any  more --
And anyway it's time to leave.
     But ah, as we're leaving and  waving back at him and he's turned around
tentatively  to  go into the  hospital  I  linger behind the others and turn
around several times to wave again --  Finally  I start to make a joke of it
by  ducking  around  a corner and peeking  out  and waving again... He ducks
behind a bush and waves back I dart to a bush and peek out... Suddenly we're
two crazy hopeless sages goofing on a lawn -- Finally as we part further and
further and he comes closer to the door we are making elaborate gestures and
down to  the  most infinitesimal  like when he steps  inside the door I wait
till I see him sticking a finger out -- So from around my corner I stick out
a shoe -- So from his door he sticks out an eye -- So from my corner I stick
out nothing but just yell "Wu! " -- So from his door he  sticks  out nothing
and says nothing
     --  So I  hide in the corner and do nothing -- But suddenly I burst out
and there HE is  bursting out and we start waving gyrations and duck back to
our hiding places -- Then I  pull a big  one by simply walking  away rapidly
but suddenly I turn and wave again -- He walking backwards and waving back
     -- The  further  I  go now also walking backwards  the more  I wave  --
Finally we're  so  far apart  by  about a hundred  yards the game is  almost
impossible but we continue somehow -- Finally I see a distant sad little Zen
wave of hand
     -- I jump up  into the air and gyrate both arms -- He does the same  --
He goes into the hospital but a moment later he's peeking out this time from
the ward  window! -- I'm behind  a  tree trunk thumbing  my nose at  him  --
There's no end to  it,  in  fact -- The other  kids are all  back at the car
wondering what's keeping me -- What's keeping me  is that I know George will
get better and live and teach the joyful truth and George knows I know this,
that's why he's playing the game with me, the  magic game  of  glad  freedom
which is  what  Zen or for that matter the Japanese soul  ultimately means I
say, "And someday I will go to Japan with George" I tell myself after  we've
made  our last little wave because I've heard the supper  bell ring and seen
the other patients  rush for the chow  line and knowing  George's  fantastic
appetite wrapped in that little frail body I  don't wanta hang him up tho he
nevertheless does one last trick: He throws a glass  of water out the window
in a big froosh of water and I don't see him any more.
     "Wotze mean by that? " I'm scratching my head going back to the car.




     To complete this crazy day at  3  o'clock in  the  morning  here  I  am
sitting in a car being driven  100 miles an hour around the sleeping streets
and hills and  waterfronts  of  San Francisco, Dave's gone off to sleep with
Romana and the others are passed out and this crazy nextdoor neighbor of the
roominghouse (himself  a  Bohemian but  also  a laborer, a housepainter  who
comes  home with big muddy boots and has his little boy  living with him the
wife has died) -- I've been in his pad listening  to booming loud Stan  Getz
jazz  on  his Hi Fi and  happened  to mention I thought Dave Wain  and  Cody
Pomeray were the two greatest drivers in the  world -- "What? " he yells,  a
big blond  husky kid with a strange  fixed smile, "man I used  to  drive the
getaway car! come on down I'll show ya! " -- So almost dawn and here  we are
cuttin down Buchanan and around the corner on screeching wheels and he opens
her up,  goes  zipping towards a red light so takes a sudden screeching left
and goes up a hill fullblast, when  we come  to the top of the hill I figger
he'll pause  awhile to see  what's over the  top but he goes even faster and
practically  flies  off the  hill and we head  down one of  those incredibly
steep  San Fran streets with our snout pointed to the  waters of the Bay and
he steps on the gas! we go sailing down  a hundred m. p. h. to the bottom of
the hill where there's an intersection luckily  with the light on  green and
thru  that  we  blast with just one little  bump where the  road crosses and
another bump where  the street is dipping downhill  again -- We come down to
the waterfront and screech  right In a  minute  we're soaring over the ramps
around the Bridge entrance and before I can gulp  up a  shot  or two from my
last  late bottle  we're already parked back outside the pad  on Buchanan --
The greatest driver in the world whoever he was and I never saw him again --
Bruce something or other -- What a getaway.




     I end up groaning  drunk on the  floor this  time  beside  Dave's floor
mattress forgetting  that he's not even there. But a strange  thing happened
that morning I remember now: before Cody's call from downvalley: I'm feeling
hopelessly idiotically depressed  again groaning to remember Tyke's dead and
remembering that sinking beach but at the side of the radiator in the toilet
lies a copy of Boswell's Johnson which we'd been discussing  so happy in the
car: I open  to any page then one  more page and start reading  from the top
left  and suddenly I'm in an entirely perfect world again:  old  Doc Johnson
and Boswell are visiting a castle in Scotland belonging to a deceased friend
called Rorie More, they're drinking sherry by the great fireplace looking at
the picture of Rorie  on the  wall, the  widow of  Rorie  is there,  Johnson
suddenly says "Sir, here's what I  would do to deal with  the sword of Rorie
More" (the  portrait shows  old Rorie  with his Highlands  flinger) "I'd get
inside  him  with  a dirk and stab him  to  my pleasure like  an animal" and
bleary  with  hangover I realize  that if there  was  any way for Johnson to
express  his  sorrow   to  the  widow  of  Rorie  More  on  the  unfortunate
circumstance of his death, this  was the way --  So pitiful, irrational, yet
perfect -- I rush  down to the kitchen where  Dave Wain and some  others are
already eating breakfast of sorts and start reading  the whole thing  to the
lot  of them  --  Jonesy looks  at  me  askance  over his pipe for being  so
literary so early in the morning but I'm not being literary  at all -- Again
I see  death, the  death of Rorie More, but Johnson's response  to death  is
ideal and so ideal I only wish old Johnson  be sitting in the kitchen now --
(Help! I'm thinking).
     The  call comes  from Cody  in  Los  Gatos  that he lost  his  job tire
recapping  --  "Because  we  were there last night?  " -- 'No  no  something
entirely  different, he's  gotta  lay  off  some men because his mortgage is
bleeding him and all that and some girl is tryna sue him for forging a check
and all that, so man I've got to find another job but I have to pay the rent
and everything's all fucked up down here, Oh  old buddy how about, cant you,
I plead or I don't plead, or honestly,  Jack, ah, lend me a  hundred dollars
willya?  "  --  'By  God Cody  I'll  be  right down  and GIVE you a  hundred
dollars'... "You mean  you'll really do that,  listen just to lend to me  is
enough  but  if you  insist, hm" (fluttering his  eyelashes  over  the phone
because  he knows  I mean it) "you old loverboy  you, how you gonna get down
here  there and give me that money there son and make my old  heart glad" --
"I'll have Dave drive me down" -- "Okay I'll pay the rent with it right away
and  because  it's  now Friday,  why,  Thursday  or  whatever,  that's right
Thursday, why I dont have to be lookin for a new job till next Monday so you
can stay here and we'll have a long weekend just goofin and  talkin boy like
we used to do, I can demolish you at chess or we can watch a  baseball game"
and  in a whisper "and we can sneak into the City see and see my purty baby"
-- So I ask Dave Wain and  yes he's ready to go anytime, he's just following
me like I often follow people myself, and so off we go again.
     And on  the way we  drop  in on Monsanto at the bookstore and the  idea
suddenly comes to me for Dave and me and Cody to go to the cabin and spend a
big quiet crazy weekend (how? ) but when Monsanto hears this idea he'll come
too, in fact he'll bring his little Chinese  buddy Arthur Ma and we'll catch
McLear at Santa Cruz and go visit Henry Miller and suddenly another big huge
ball  is  begun. So there's Willie waiting down on the street, I go  to  the
store,  buy the bottle,  Dave wheels Willie  around,  Ron Blake  and now Ben
Fagan are  on the back mattress, I'm sitting in my front  seat rocking chair
as now in broad afternoon we go blattin again down that Bay Shore highway to
see old Cody and Monsanto's  in back of us in his  jeep with Arthur Ma,  two
jeeps now,  and about to be two more as I'll show -- Coming to Cody's in mid
afternoon,  his  own  house already  filled with  visitors  (local Los Gatos
literaries and all kinds of people the phone  there ringing continually too)
and Cody says to  Evelyn "I'll just spend  a couple  days  with Jack and the
gang like the old days and look for a  job Monday" -- "Okay" -- So we all go
to a wonderful pizza restaurant in Los Gatos where the  pizzas  are piled an
inch high with mushrooms and meat and anchovies or anything you want, I cash
a  travelers check  at the supermarket, Cody takes the 100 in cash, gives it
to Evelyn in the restaurant, and later that day the two jeeps resume down to
Monterey and down  that blasted road I walked  on blistered feet back to the
frightful  bridge  at Raton Canyon And I'd thought I'd never  see  the place
again.  But  now  I was  coming back loaded with observers. The sight of the
canyon down  there as we renegotiated the mountain  road made me bite my lip
with marvel and sadness.




     It's as familiar as an old face in an old  photograph as tho I'm gone a
million years  from all that sun shaded brush on  rocks  and that  heartless
blue of the sea  washing white on yellow sand, those rills of  yellow arroyo
running down mighty cliff shoulders,  those distant blue meadows, that whole
ponderous groaning upheaval so strange to see after the last several days of
just looking  at little  faces  and mouths of people As  tho  nature  had  a
Gargantuan leprous  face of its own with broad nostrils  and huge bags under
its  eyes  and  a  mouth  big  enough  to  swallow  five  thousand  jeepster
stationwagons  and ten thousand Dave Wains and Cody Pomerays without  a sigh
of reminiscence or regret -- There it is, every sad  contour  of my  valley,
the  gaps, the Mien Mo  captop mountain again, the  dreaming woods below our
high shelved road,  suddenly indeed  the  sight of  poor  Alf  again far way
grazing in the mid  afternoon by the corral fence  -- And  there's the creek
bouncing  along as tho  nothing had ever happened  elsewhere and even in the
daytime somehow dark and hungry looking in its deeper tangled  grass. Cody's
never seen this country  before altho he's an old Californian by  now, I can
see he's  very  impressed and even glad he's come out on a little jaunt with
the boys and  with me and is seeing a grand sight -- He's  like a little boy
again now for the first time in  years because he's like let out of  school,
no job, the bills paid, nothing to do but gratefully amuse  me, his eyes are
shining  -- In fact ever  since he's  come out of  San  Quentin there's been
something hauntedly boyish about him as tho  prison walls had taken all  the
adult dark tenseness out of him -- In fact every evening after supper in the
cell  he shared with the quiet gunman he'd  bent his serious head to a daily
letter  or  at  least  every-other-day  letter  full  of  philosophical  and
religious musings to his mistress Billie... And  when  you're in bed in jail
after lights out and you're not sleepy there's ample time  to just  remember
the  world and indeed savor its sweetness if any (altho it's always sweet to
remember it in jail tho  harder in  prison, as Genet shows) with  the result
that he'd  not  only come to a chastisement of his bashing bitternesses (and
of  course it's always good to get away  from alcohol  and excessive smoking
for  two years) (and all that regular sleep) he was just like  a kid  again,
but as I say that haunting kidlikeness I think all ex cons seem to have when
they've just come out -- In seeking to  severely  penalize criminals society
by putting the criminals away behind safe  walls  actually provide them with
the means of greater strength for  future atrocities glorious  and otherwise
-- "Well  I'll be damned" he keeps saying as he sees those bluffs and cliffs
and hanging vines and dead  trees,  "you  mean to tell me you ben alone here
for three weeks, why I wouldn't dare that... must be awful at night
     ... looka that  old mule down there... man, dig the redwood country way
back in... reminds me of old Colorady b'god when I used to steal a car every
day and  drive  out to hills like  this  with  a  fresh  little  high school
sumptin" -- "Yum Yum, "  says Dave Wain emphatically turning that  big goofy
look to  us from his driving wheel with his big  mad feverish  shining  eyes
full  of  yumyum  and  yabyum  too  -- "S'matter  with  you boys not  making
extensive plans to bring a bevy of schoolgirls down there to  wile away  our
conversation pieces thar" says Cody real  relaxed and talking sadly.  Behind
us the Monsanto  jeepster follows doggedly -- Passing thru Monterey Monsanto
has  already called  PatMcLear, staying for the summer with  wife and kid in
Santa Cruz, McLear with his own  jeepster is  following us  a few miles down
the highway -- It's a big Big Sur day.
     We  wheel downhill to cross the creek and at the corral fence I proudly
get  out to officially open the gate and let the cars through  We go bumping
down  the two-rutted lane to the  cabin and  park My heart  sinks to see the
cabin. To see the cabin so sad and almost human waiting there for  me  as if
forever, to hear my  little neat  gurgling creek resuming its song  just for
me, to see the very same bluejays still waiting in the tree for me and maybe
mad at me now they see I'm back because I havent been there to lay out their
Cherios along the porch rail every  blessed morning- And in fact first thing
I do is  rush inside and  get them  some food and lay it out -- But so  many
people around now they're afraid to try it.
     Monsanto  all decked out  in his old  clothes and  looking forward to a
wine and talkfest weekend in his pleasant cabin takes the big sweet axe down
from the wall nails and  goes out and starts hammering at a huge log  --  In
fact  it's  really a  half of a tree  that fell there  years ago and's  been
hammered at intermittently but now he's bound he's going to crack it in half
and again in half so we can then start splitting it down the middle for huge
bonfire  type logs --  Meanwhile  little Arthur Ma who  never goes  anywhere
without  his  drawing paper and his Yellowjack  felt tip pencils is  already
seated in my chair on the porch (wearing  my hat now too) drawing one of his
interminable  pictures, he'll do twenty-five a day and  twenty-five the next
day  too  -- He'll talk and go on drawing -- He has felt tips of all colors,
red, blue, yellow,  green, black, he draws marvelous subconscious glurbs and
can  also  do  excellent  objective  scenes  or  anything  he  wants  on  to
cartoons...  Dave is taking my  rucksack and his rucksack out of Willie  and
throwing them  into the cabin, Ben  Fagan is wandering around near the creek
puffing on his pipe with a  happy bhikku  smile, Ron  Blake is unpacking the
steaks we bought enroute in Monterey and I'm already  flicking the  plastics
off the  top of bottles with that expert twitch and twist  you only  get  to
learn after  years of winoing in alleys  east and west. Still the  same, the
fog  is blowing over  the walls of the  canyon obscuring the sun but the sun
keeps fighting back -- The inside of  the cabin with the fire finally  going
is still the dear lovable abode now  as sharp in my mind as I look at  it as
an unusually well focused  snapshot -- The sprig  of ferns still stands in a
glass of water,  the books are there,  the neat groceries  ranged  along the
wall shelves  -- I feel excited to be  with the  gang but there's  a  hidden
sadness too and  which is expressed later by  Monsanto when he says "This is
the kind of  place where a person should really be alone, you know? When you
bring a  big gang here it somehow desecrates it not that I'm referring to us
or anybody in particular? there's such a sad sweetness to those trees as tho
yells shouldnt  insult them or conversation only" -- Which is just the way I
feel too.
     In a gang we  all go down the path  towards the sea, passing underneath
"That sonofabitch  bridge" Cody  calls it  looking up with  horror...  "That
thing's enough to scare anybody  away" -- But worst of all for an old driver
like Cody, and Dave too, is to see that  upended  old chassis  in  the sand,
they spend a half hour poking around the wreckage and shaking their heads --
We  kick  around the beach awhile and  decide to come  back  at  night  with
bottles and flashlights and  build a huge bonfire, now it's time to get back
to the cabin and cook those  steaks and have a ball,  and  there's  McLear's
jeep  already  arrived  and  parked  and  there's  McLear himself  and  that
beautiful blonde  wife of his  in  her tight blue jeans that makes  Dave say
"Yum yum" and  Cody just say "Yes, that's right, yes, that's  right,  ah hum
honey, yes. "




     A roaring drinking bout  begins  deep  in the canyon  -- Fog  nightfall
sends cold  seeping into the  windows  so  all these softies demand that the
wood windows  be closed  so we  all sit there  in  the glow of the  one lamp
coughing in the smoke but they dont care -- They think it's just the  steaks
smoking over  the fire -- I have one  of the jugs in my hand and I won't let
go  --  McLear  is the  handsome  young  poet who's just written  the"  most
fantastic poem in America, called "Dark Brown', which is every detail of his
and his wife's body described in ecstatic union and communion and inside out
and everywhichaway and not only that he insists on reading it to us -- But I
wanta read my "Sea"  poem too -- But Cody and  Dave  Wain are  talking about
something else and that silly kid Ron  Blake  is singing like  Chet Baker --
Arthur Ma is drawing in the corner, and it sorta goes like this generally:
     "That's what old men do, Cody,  they drive  slowly backwards in Safeway
Supermarket parking lots" -- "Yes  that's right, I was tellin you about that
bicycle of mine but that's what they do yes you see that's because while the
old woman  is shoppin in that store they figure they'll park a little closer
to the  entrance and so they spend a half hour to  think their big move  out
and they back in out  slowly from their slot, can hardly turn around to  see
what's in back, usually nothin there, then they wheel  real slow and trembly
to that slot they picked but all of  a sudden some  cat jumps in it with his
pickup and them old men is  scratchin their heads saying and whining  "Owww,
these  young fellers  nowadays" and all that  obvious,  ah,  yes,  but  that
BICYCLE of mine in Denver I tell you I had it twisted and that wheel used to
wobble so by necissity I had to invent a new way to maneuver them handlebars
see...  " -- 'Hey Cody have  a drink, " I'm yelling in his ear and meanwhile
McLear is reading: "Kiss my thighs in darkness the pit of fire" and Monsanto
is chuckling saying to Fagan: "So this crazy character comes down stairs and
asking for  a copy of Aleister Crowley and I didnt know "bout that till  you
told me the other day, then on the way out  I see him  sneak a book  off the
shelf but he puts another  one in  its place that he got out of  his pocket,
and the book is a novel by somebody called Denton Welch all about this young
kid in China  wanderin  around the streets  like real romantic young  Truman
Capote only it's China" and Arthur Ma suddenly yells: "Hold still you buncha
bastards,  I got a hole in my eye" and generally the way  parties go, and so
on,  ending with the  steak dinner (I dont even touch  a bite but just drink
on),  then the big  bonfire  on the  beach  to which we  march  all  in  one
armswinging  gang, I've gotten  the idea  in  my head I'm  the leader  of  a
guerilla warfare unit and I'm marching ahead  the lieutenant  giving orders,
with  all our  flashlights and yells we come  swarming down the narrow  path
going "Hup one two three" and challenging  the enemy to come out of  hiding,
some guerillas. Monsanto  that old woodsman  starts  a  huge bonfire  on the
beach  that can be  seen flaring from  miles  away, cars passing  across the
bridge way up there can see there's a party goin on in the hole of night, in
fact the bonfire lights up the eerie weird beams and staunches of the bridge
almost all the way up, giant shadows dance on the rocks -- The sea swirls up
but seems subdued -- It's not like being alone down in the vast hell writing
the sounds of the sea.
     The  night ending with  everybody  passing out exhausted  on  cots,  in
sleepingbags outside (McLear goes home with wife) but Arthur Ma and I by the
late fire keep up yelling spontaneous  questions and answers right till dawn
like "Who told you you had a hat on your head? " -- "My head never questions
hats"  --  "What's the matter with  your  liver  training? "  --  'My  liver
training got  involved  in kidney  work"  -- (and  here again  another great
gigantic  little Oriental friend  for  me, an eastcoaster who's  never known
Chinese or Japanese  kids, on the West coast it's  quite common but  for  an
eastcoaster like me it's amazing and what with all my earlier studies in Zen
and  Chan and Tao)  -- (And  Arthur also  being a gentle  small  soft-haired
seemingly  soft  little  Oriental goofnik)  And we  come  to  great  chanted
statements, taking turns, without a pause to think, just one then the other,
bing and bang, the beauty of them  being that while one guy is  yelling like
(me):...  "Tonight  the  full  apogee August moon  will out,  early  with  a
jaundiced  tint,  and  pop angels  all  over my  rooftop  along  with  Devas
sprinkling flowers" (any kind  of nonsense being the rule) the other guy has
time  not  only  to  figure  the next  statement  but  can take off from the
subconscious arousement of an idea from "angels all over my rooftop" and  so
can  yell  without  thinking  an  answer the stupider  or  rather  the  more
unexpectedly  insaner sillier brighter it is the  better 'Pilgrims  dropping
turds  and  sweet  nemacular  nameless  railroad  trains  from  heaven  with
omnipotent youths  bearing  monkey  women that will stomp  through the stage
waiting for the moment when  by pinching myself I  prove  that a  thought is
like  a touch" --  But this is  only the beginning because  now we know  the
routine and get better  and better till at dawn  I seem to recall we were so
fantastically brilliant (while everyone snored) the skies must have shook to
hear it and not just foil: let's see if I can recreate at least the style of
this game:
     ARTHUR: "When are you going to become the Eighth Patriarch? "
     ME: "As soon as you give me that old motheaten sweater" -- (Much better
than that, forget this for now, because I want to talk first about Arthur Ma
and try again to duplicate our feat).




     As I say my first little Chinese  friend, I keep saying "little" George
and  "little"  Arthur but the fact is  they were both small anyway --  Altho
George talked slowly and was a little absent from everything in the way of a
Zen  Master actually who realizes  that everything  is  indifferent  anyway,
Arthur was friendlier, warmer in a way, curious and always asking questions,
more active  than George with  his constant draw-ng, and  of  course Chinese
instead of  Japanese -- He wanted me to meet  his father the following weeks
-- He was Mon-santo's best  friend at  the  time  and they made an extremely
strange pair going down the street  together, the big ruddy  happy  man with
the crewcut and corduroy jacket and sometimes pipe in mouth,  and the little
childlike Chinese boy who looked so young most bartenders wouldn't serve him
tho  he  was  actually 30  years old --  Nevertheless the  son  of a  famous
Chinatown family and Chinatown is right back there behind the fabled beatnik
streets of Frisco -- Also  Arthur was a  tremendous little loverboy  who had
fabulously beautiful girls on the line and however'd just separated from his
wife,  a girl  I never saw but Monsanto told  me she was the  most beautiful
Negro girl in the world -- Arthur came  from a large family but as a painter
and a  Bohemian his  family  disapproved of him  now so he lived alone in  a
comfortable old hotel on North Beach tho sometimes he went around the corner
into  Chinatown  to  visit his father who sat  in the  back of  his  Chinese
general store brooding among his  countless poems written swiftly in Chinese
stroke  on pieces of beautiful colored  paper which he then  hanged from the
ceiling of his little cubicle  -- There  he sat, clean, neat, almost shiney,
wondering  about  what poem  to write next  but his  keen little eyes always
jumping to  the street  door to see who's going by and  if someone came into
the shop itself he knew at  once who it was  and for what -- He was in  fact
the best friend and  trusted adviser of Chiang Kai Shek in America, true and
no lie -- But Arthur himself was  in favor of the Red  Chinese which  was  a
family matter  and  a Chinese matter I had  nothing to  say  about and didnt
interest  me except insofar as it gave a dramatic  picture of father and son
in  an  old culture --  The point of  the matter anyway  being that  he  was
goofing with me just like George had done and making me  happy  somehow like
George had  done --  Something anciently familiar  about  his loyal presence
made me wonder if I'd  ever lived before in some other  lifetime in China or
if he'd  been  an Occidental  himself  in  a previous lifetime  of  his  own
involved  with  mine somewhere  else than China -- The pity of  it is that I
have no record of what we were yelling and announcing back  and forth as the
birds  woke  up  outside but it  went  generally like  this: --  ME: "Unless
someone  sticks a hot iron in my heart or heaps  up  Evil Karma like tit and
tat the pile of that and pulls my mother out  her  bed to slay her before my
damning human eyes... "
     ARTHUR: "And I break my hand on heads... "
     M E: "Everytime you  throw a rock  at a  cat from  your glass house you
heap upon yourself the automatic Stanley Gould winter so dark of death after
death, and growing old
     ARTHUR: "Because lady those ashcans'll bite you back and be cold too...
"
     ME: "And your son will never rest  in the imperturbable knowledge  that
what he thinks he thinks as well as what  he does he  thinks as well as what
he feels he thinks as well as future that... "
     ARTHUR: "Future  that  my damn  old sword cutter Paisan  Pasha lost the
Preakness again... "
     ME:  "Tonight  the moon  shall witness  angels trooping at  the  baby's
window where  inside he gurgles  in  his pewk looking with mewling  eyes for
babyside waterfall  lambikin hillside  the day the little Arab  shepherd boy
hugged the babylamb to heart while the mother bleeted at his bay heel... "
     ARTHUR: "And so Joe the sillicks killit no not... "
     ME: "Shhhhoww graaa... "
     ARTHUR: "Wind and carstart... "
     ME: "The angels Devas monsters Asuras  Devadattas Ved-antas McLaughlins
Stones will  hue and  hurl in hell if  they dont  love the lamb the lamb the
lamb of hell lambchop... "
     ARTHUR: "Why did Scott Fitzgerald keep a notebook? "
     ME: "Such a marvelous notebook... "
     ARTHUR: "Komi donera  ness pata  sutyamp anda wanda  vesnoki shadakiroo
paryoumemga sikarem  nora  sarkadium  baron roy  kellegiam  myorki  ayastuna
haidanseetzel  ampho  andiam  yerka yama chelmsford alya  bonneavance koroom
cemanda versel... "
     ME: "The a6th Annual concert of the Armenian Convention? "




     Incidentally I forgot to mention that during the three  weeks alone the
stars had not come out at all,  not even for one minute on any night, it was
the foggy season,  except the very last  night when  I  was getting ready to
leave --  Now  the  stars  were out every night,  the sun shone considerably
longer but a sinister wind accompanied the Autumn in Big Sur: it seemed like
the whole  Pacific Ocean  was blowing with  all its might  right  into Raton
Canyon and also over the high gap from another end causing all the  trees to
shudder  as the big groaning howl came  newsing and noising from downcanyon,
when  it hit there was raised a roar of noise I didn't like -- It seemed ill
omened  to  me somewhere...  It was much better to  have fog and silence and
quiet trees -- Now the whole canyon  by one blast could be led screaming and
waving in  all directions in such a confused mass that even the fellows with
me were a little surprised to see it --  It was too  big a  wind for such  a
little canyon.
     This  development also prevented the constant hearing of the reassuring
creek. One  good thing  was  that  when jet planes  broke the  sound barrier
overhead the wind  dispersed the clap of empty thunder they caused,  because
during  the  foggy  season  the  noise would  come  down  into  the  canyon,
concentrate there, and rock the house like an explosion  making me think the
first time (alone) that somebody'd set off a blast of dynamite nearby.
     While I woke up groaning and sick there was plenty  of wine right there
to start me  off with the hounds of hair, so okay, but  Monsanto had retired
early and typically  sensibly  to  sleep by the  creek and now he was  awake
singing swooshing his whole head into the creek and going Brrrrr and rubbing
his  hands for a new day -- Dave Wain made breakfast with  his usual lecture
"Now the real way to fry eggs is  to put a cover  over them so that they can
have that neat basted white look on  the yellows, soon's  I get this pancake
batter  ready  we'll  start on them"  --  My list  of groceries was  so  all
inclusive in the beginning it was now feeding guerilla troops.
     A big axe chopping  contest began  after breakfast, some  of us sitting
watching on the porch and the performers down below hacking away at the tree
trunk which was over a foot thick'- They were chopping off  two foot chunks,
no easy job -- I realized you can always study the character of a man by the
way  he  chops wood --  Monsanto an old lumberman  up in Maine as  I say now
showed us how he conducted his whole  life  in fact by the  way he took neat
little short handled chops  from both left and right angles getting his work
done in reasonably short time without too much sweat -- But his strokes were
rapid -- Whereas old Fagan  pipe-in-mouth slogged away I  guess the  way  he
learned in Oregon and  in  the Northwest fire schools,  also getting his job
done, silently, not a word -- But Cody's fantastic fiery character showed in
the way he went at the log with horrible force, when he brought down the axe
with all his might  and holding it far at the end you could  hear  the whole
treetrunk groaning the whole length inside, runk, sometimes you could hear a
lengthwise cracking going on, he  is really very strong and he brought  that
axe down so  hard his  feet left the earth when it hit -- He chopped off his
log with the fury of a Greek god -- nevertheless it took him longer and much
more sweat than Monsanto
     --  "Used  to  do this in  a  workgang in southern  Arizony"  he  said,
whopping one down that  made the whole treetrunk dance off the ground -- But
it was  like  an  example of vast  but senseless strength, a picture of poor
Cody's life and in a sense my own -- I too chopped with all my might and got
madder  and went faster and raked the log but  took more time than  Monsanto
who watched us smiling -- Little Arthur thereupon tried his luck but gave up
after five strokes... The axe was like to carry him away anyway... Then Dave
Wain demonstrated with big easy strokes and in no time we had five huge logs
to use -- But now it was time to get in the cars (McLear had re-arrived) and
go driving south  down the coast  highway to a  hot  springs bath house down
there, which sounded good to me at first. But the new Big Sur Autumn was now
all winey sparkling blue which made  the  terribleness and giantness of  the
coast all the  more clear  to see in all its gruesome  splendor,  miles  and
miles of it  snaking away south, our three jeeps  twisting  and  turning the
increasing curves, sheer drops at our sides, further ghostly high bridges to
cross with smashings below -- Tho all the boys are wowing to see it -- To me
it's  just an inhospitable madhouse of  the earth, I've  seen it  enough and
even  swallowed  it in  that  deep  breath --  The boys  reassure me the hot
springs bath will do me good (they see I'm gloomy now hungover for good) but
when we  arrive my heart sinks  again  as McLear points out  to sea from the
balcony of the outdoor pools: "Look out  there  floating in the sea weeds, a
dead otter! "  -- And sure enough it  is a dead  otter I guess,  a big brown
pale lump floating up and down mournfully with the swells and ghastly weeds,
my otter, my dear otter, my dear otter I'd written poems about
     -- "Why  did he die? " I ask myself in despair -- "Why do they do that?
" -- "What's the sense of  all this? "  -- All the fellows are shading their
eyes to get a better look at the big  peaceful tortured  hunk of seacow  out
there as  tho  it's  something  of passing interest while  tome it's  a blow
across the eyes and  down into my heart -- The hot water pools are steaming,
Fagan and  Monsanto  and the others are  all sitting  peacefully up to their
necks, they're all naked, but there's a gang of fairies also there naked all
standing around in various bath house postures that make me hesitate to take
my clothes off just on general principles -- In fact Cody doesnt even bother
to do  anything but lie down with his clothes on in the  sun, on the balcony
table, and just smoke -- But I borrow McLear's yellow bathingsuit and get in
-- "What ya wearing a  bathingsuit in  a hot springs  pool for  boy? "  says
Fagan chuckling -- With horror I realize there's spermatazoa floating in the
hot water... I  look and I  see the other men  (the fairies) all taking good
long looks  at Ron  Blake who stands there facing the sea with  his arse for
all  to  behold, not to mention  McLear  and Dave Wain too  -- But it's very
typical of me  and Cody that we wont undress in this situation (we were both
raised Catholics? ) -- Supposedly the  big sex heroes of  our generation, in
fact  --  You  might  think  --  But the combination  of the  strange silent
watching fairy-men, and the dead otter out there, and the spermatazoa in the
pools makes me sick, not to mention  that when somebody informs me this bath
house is owned by the young writer Kevin Cudahy whom I knew very well in New
York and I ask  one of the younger strangers where's Kevin Cudahy  he doesnt
even deign to reply -- Thinking he  hasnt heard me I ask again, no reply, no
notice, I ask  a third  time, this time he gets up and stalks out angrily to
the locker rooms -- It all adds up to the confusion that's beginning to pile
up in my battered drinking brain anyway, the constant reminders of death not
the least of which  was the death of my  peaceful love of  Raton  Canyon now
suddenly becoming a horror.
     From  the  baths  we  go  to  Nepenthe which is  a beautiful  cliff top
restaurant with vast  outdoor  patio, with excellent food, excellent waiters
and management, good drinks, chess tables, chairs and tables to  just sit in
the sun and look at the grand coast -- Here we all sit at various tables and
Cody starts playing chess with everybody will  join while he's chomping away
at those  marvelous hamburgers called Heavenburgers (huge with  all the side
works) -- Cody doesn't like to just sit around and  lightly chat away,  he's
the kind of guy if he's going to talk he has  to do all the talking  himself
for hours  till everything is exhaustedly explained, sans that he just wants
to bend over  a  chessboard and say "He he heh, old Scrooge is saving  up  a
pawn  hey? cak!  I got  ya!  " --  But while  I'm sitting  there  discussing
literature with McLear and Monsanto suddenly a  strange couple  of gentlemen
nearby strike up an acquaintance -- One of  them is  a youngster who says he
is a lieutenant in the Army -- I instantly (drunk on fifth Manhattan by now)
go  into my theory of guerilla  warfare based  on my observations the  night
before  when it did seriously occur  to me  that if  Monsanto, Arthur, Cody,
Dave, Ben, Ron Blake and  I  were all  members of one fighting unit (and all
carrying canteens of booze on our belts) it would be very  difficult for the
enemy  to  hurt  any of us  because  we'd be,  as dear friends, watching  so
desperately closely  over one  another, which I  tell the first  lieutenant,
which attracts the interest of the older man who admits that  he's a GENERAL
in the Army -- There are also some  further homosexuals  at a separate table
which prompts  Dave Wain to look up from the chess game  at one quiet drowsy
point  and announce in his dry  twang "Under redwood  beams,  people talking
about  homosexuality  and  war... call it my Nepenthe Haiku"  -- "Yass" says
Cody checkmating him "see what  you can ku about that m'boy and get  out  of
there and I'll  noose you with my queen,  dear. " I mention the general only
because  there  is also some-thing sinister about the fact that during  this
long binge I came across him and another  general, two strange generals, and
I'd never met  any  generals in my  life -- This  first general  was strange
because he  seemed too polite and yet there was something sinister about his
steely eyes behind goof  darkglasses --  Something sinister  too  about  the
first lieutenant who guessed who we  were (the  San Francisco poets, a major
nucleus  of  them  indeed) and  didn't seem at all  pleased tho the  general
seemed amused -- Nevertheless  in a sinister way the general seemed  to take
great interest in my  theory about buddy units for guerilla warfare and when
President Kennedy about a year later ordered just such a new scheme for part
of our armed  forces I wondered (still  crazy even then but for new reasons)
if the general had got an idea from me... The second general, even stranger,
coming up, occurred when I was even more far gone.
     Manhattans and  more Manhattans  and  finally  when we got back to  the
cabin in late afternoon  I was feeling good  but realized I was going to  be
finished tomorrow -- But poor young Ron Blake asked me if he could stay with
me in the cabin, the  others were  all  going  back to the city in the three
cars, I couldn't think of any way to reject his request in a harmless way so
said yes... So when they all left suddenly I was alone with this mad beatnik
kid singing me songs and all I wanta do is sleep -- But I've got to make the
best of  it and not  disappoint  his  believing heart. Because after all the
poor kid actually  believes that there's something noble and  idealistic and
kind about all  this beat stuff,  and  I'm supposed  to be the King  of  the
Beatniks according to the newspapers, so but at the  same time  I'm sick and
tired of all the endless enthusiasms of new young kids trying to know me and
pour out all their lives into me so  that  I'll jump up and down and say yes
yes  that's  right, which I cant do any more  -- My reason for coming to Big
Sur for  the summer being precisely to get away from  that  sort of thing --
Like  those pathetic  live highschool kids  who all came  to my door in Long
Island  one  night  wearing  jackets  that said "Dharma Bums"  on  them, all
expecting me to be 25 years old according to a mistake  on a book jacket and
here I am old enough to be their father -- But no, hep swinging  young jazzy
Ron wants to  dig everything, go to the beach, run  and romp and sing, talk,
write tunes, write stories, climb  mountains, go hiking,  see everything, do
everything  with everybody But having one last quart of port with me I agree
to follow him to the beach.
     We go  down the  old sad path of the bhikku  and  suddenly I see a dead
mouse  in the grass  -- "A  wee dead  mousie"  I say cleverly poetically but
suddenly I  realize and  remember now for the  first time  how I've left the
cover off the rat poison in Monsanto's shelf and so this is my mouse -- It's
lying there dead  -- Like the otter in the sea -- It's my own personal mouse
that I've carefully fed  chocolate and cheese all summer but once again I've
unconsciously sabotaged all these great plans  of  mine to be kind to living
beings  even bugs, once again I've murdered a mouse one way or  the other --
And on top of that when we come  to the place where the garter snake usually
lie;  sunning itself, and I bring it to Ron's attention,  he suddenly  yells
"LOOKOUT! you never can tell what kind of snake it is! " which really scares
me, my heart pounds with horroi -- My little  friend the garter snake  turns
therefore  with my  head from a living being with a long green body into the
evil serpent of Big Sur.
     On top of that, at  the surf,  where long  streamers o: hollow sea weed
always lie around drying in the sun some of  them huge,  like  living bodies
with skin, pieces of living material that always made me sad somehow, here's
the young hepcat lifting them up and dancing a dervish around the beach with
them, turning my Sur into something sea-change -- Something brainchange.
     All that night by lamplight we sing and yell songs which is okay but in
the morning the bottle is gone and I wake up with the "final horrors" again,
precisely the way I woke up in the Frisco skidrow  room before escaping down
here, it's all caught up with me again, I can hear myself again whining "Why
does God torture me? " -- But anybody who's never  had delirium tremens even
in their early stages  may not understand that it's not  so  much a physical
pain but a  mental anguish indescribable to  those ignorant  people who dont
drink and accuse drinkers  of  irresponsibility -- The mental anguish is  so
intense that you feel you have betrayed your very birth, the efforts nay the
birth pangs of your mother when she bore you and delivered you to the world,
you've betrayed every effort your father ever made to feed you and raise you
and make you strong and my God even educate you for "life', you feel a guilt
so  deep  you  identify yourself  with the  devil  and  God  seems far  away
abandoning you to your sick silliness -- You feel sick in the greatest sense
of  the  word, breathing without  believing  in  it, sicksicksick, your soul
groans, you look at your helpless hands as  tho  they were on  fire and  you
cant  move to help, you look  at the world with  dead  eyes, there's on your
face an expression  of incalculable repining like a constipated  angel  on a
cloud --  In  fact it's actually  a cancerous look you  throw on the  world,
through browngray wool  fuds  over  your eyes  -- Your  tongue is  white and
disgusting,  your teeth are  stained,  your  hair seems  to have  dried  out
overnight, there are huge mucks in the corners of your eyes, greases on your
nose, froth at  the sides of your mouth: in short that  very  disgusting and
well-known hideousness everybody knows who's walked past a city street drunk
in the Boweries of the world...  But there's  no joy at all, people say  "Oh
well he's drunk and happy let  him sleep  it  off --  The poor  drunkard  is
crying... He's crying for his mother and father and great  brother and great
friend, he's crying for help -- He tries to  pull himself together by moving
one shoe nearer to his  foot and he  cant even do that properly,  he'll drop
the  shoe, or knock  something over, he'll  do  something invariably that'll
start him crying again -- He'll want to bury his face in his  hands and moan
for mercy and he knows there is none -- Not only  because he doesn't deserve
it but  there's no such thing anyway -- Because he looks up at  the blue sky
and there's nothing there but empty space making a big  face at him He looks
at  the world,  it's  sticking  its tongue out at him  and once that mask is
removed it's looking at him with hollow big red eyes like his own eyes -- He
may see the earth move but there's no significance of any particular kind to
attach to that -- One little unexpected noise behind him will make him snarl
in rage --  He'll  pull and tug at his poor stained shirt  -- He feels  like
rubbing his face into something that isn't. His socks are thick tired moisty
slimes --  The beard on his  cheeks itches the running sweats and annoys the
tortured mouth  -- There's a twisted feeling of no-more, never-again, agh...
What  was  beautiful and clean yesterday has irrationally and  unaccountably
changed into a big dreary crock of shit... The hairs on his fingers stare at
him  like  tomb  hairs  -- The shirt and trousers  have become  glued to his
person as  tho he was to be drunk forever -- The ache of remorse sinks in as
tho somebody was pushing it in from above -- The pretty white clouds in  the
sky hurt his  eyes only -- The only thing to  do  is turn over and lie  face
down and weep -- The mouth is so blasted there's not even  a chance to gnash
the teeth -- There's not even strength to tear the hair.
     And here comes Ron Blake starting off his new day singing at the top of
his voice -- I go down by the creek  and throw myself  in  the sand and  lie
looking with  sad eyes  at  the  water which no longer  friends me but sorta
wants me to Go away -- There isnt a drop to drink left in the cabin, all the
goddamn jeeps are  gone  with all its healthy cargo of  people and I'm alone
with an enthusiastic kid  on  a lark  --  The  little  bugs  I'd  saved from
drowning just because I was bemused and alone and glad, now drown  unnoticed
within my reach anyway -- The spider  is still minding his  own business  in
the outhouse -- Alf lows  mournfully in the valley far away to express  just
the way  I feel... The  bluejays yak around me as  tho because I'm too tired
and helpless to feed them any more they're  figuring  on  trying  me if they
can, "They're friggin  vultures anyway" I  moan with my mouth in the sand --
The  once  pleasant thumpthump gurgle  slap of the creek  is now  an endless
jabbering  of  blind  nature which doesn't  understand anything in the first
place -- My old thoughts about the silt of a billion years covering all this
and all  cities and generations eventually is just a dumb old thought, "Only
a silly sober  fool could  think  it, imagine gloating  over such  nonsense"
(because in one sense the drinker learns wisdom, in  the words  of Goethe or
Blake  or whichever it was  "The  pathway to wisdom lies through excess') --
But in  this condition you can only say "Wisdom is just another way to  make
people sick" -- "I'm SICK" I yell  emphatically to the trees,  to  the woods
around, to the  hills above, looking  around  desperately, nobody cares... I
can even hear Ron singing at his lunch inside. What's even more horrible  he
tries to show compunction and wants to help me. "Anything I can do" -- Later
he goes for a  lone walk so I go in the cabin  and lie  on the cot and spend
about two  hours  groaning out a lament: "O mon Dieux, pourquoi Tu  m'laisse
faire malade comme fa  --  Papa  Papa aide mue -- Aw  j'ai mal  au  coeur --
J'envie  Owaowaowao-" (I go into a long "awaowaowao" that I guess  lasted  a
whole minute) --  I toss over and find  new reasons to  groan -- I think I'm
alone and I'm letting it all go a whole lot like I'd heard my father do when
he was dying of cancer in the night in the bed  next to  mine...  When I  do
manage to  stagger up  and go lean  on  the door I  realize with double upon
double horror that Ron Blake has been sitting there all this time  listening
to  everything over  a book -- (I  wonder now what he told people about this
later, it must have sounded  horrible) (Idiotic  too, cretinous even,  maybe
only French Canadian who knows? )
     ... "Ron I'm sorry you had to hear all that, I'm sick" -- "I know, man,
it's okay, lie down and try to sleep" --  "I can't sleep! " I yell in a rage
-- I feel like yelling "Fuck yourself you little idiot what do you know what
Im  going  through! " but then I realize how oldman  disgusting and hopeless
all that is, and here he is enjoying  his big weekend with the big writer he
was supposed to  tell all his friends what a great  swinging ball it was and
what  I did and  said  But  methinks  and  mayhap  he took  away a lesson in
temperance,  or a lesson in  beatness really --  Because the  only time I've
ever been sicker and madder was a week later when  Dave and I came back with
the two girls leading to the final horrible night.




     But look at this:  in the afternoon restless  youngster Ron wants to go
hitch hiking to Monterey of all  things to go see McLear and  I say "Okay go
ahead" -- "Ain't you coming with me? " he asks surprised to see the champion
on-the-roader wont even  hitch hike  any  more,  "No I'll stay here  and get
better  -- I gotta be  alone,  " which is true, because as soon as he's gone
and has yelled  one final hoot from the  canyon road directly above and gone
on, and I've sat in the sun alone on the porch, fed  my birds finally again,
washed my socks and shirt and pants  and  hung  them  up  to dry on  bushes,
slurped up tons of water kneeling at the  creek race, stared silently at the
trees, soon  as the sun goes  down I swear on  my arm  I'm as well as I ever
was: just like that suddenly.
     "Can  it  be  that  Ron and all these  other guys,  Dave and  McLear or
somebody,  the other guys earlier are all a big bunch of witches out to make
me go  mad? " I seriously consider this... Remembering that childhood revery
I always had, which I  used  to  ponder  seriously as I walked home from  St
Joseph's Parochial School or sat in the parlor of my home, that everybody in
the world is making  fun of mooney me and I dont know it because everytime I
turn  around to see who's behind  me they snap back into place  with regular
expressions, but  soon's I look away again they dart  up to my nape  of neck
and all whisper there giggling and plotting  evil, silently, you  can't hear
them,  and when I  turn quickly  to  catch them they've already snapped back
perfectly  in  place and  are saying "Now the proper way to cook eggs is" or
they're  singing  Chet  Baker songs looking the  other way or they're saying
"Did I ever tell you  about Jim that time? " -- But my childhood revery also
included the fact  that everybody  in  the  world was  making this fun of me
because they were all members of an eternal secret society or Heaven society
that knew  the secret of the world and were seriously fooling me so I'd wake
up and see the light (i. e., become  enlightened, in fact) -- So that I, "Ti
Jean', was  the  LAST Ti Jean left  in the  world, the last  poor holy fool,
those people at my neck were the devils of the earth among whom God had cast
me, an angel baby, as tho I was the last Jesus in fact! and all these people
were waiting for me  to  realize it and  wake up and catch them peeking  and
we'd all laugh in Heaven suddenly -- But animals werent doing that behind my
back, my cats were always adornments licking their paws sadly, and Jesus, he
was a  sad witness to  this, somewhat like the animals --  He wasn't peeking
down  my  neck  -- There lies  the root  of my  belief in  Jesus -- So  that
actually the only reality in the world was Jesus and the lambs (the animals)
and my brother Gerard who had instructed me -- Meanwhile some of the peekers
were kindly and sad, like my father, but had to go along with everybody else
in  the same boat -- But my waking up would  take  place and then everything
would vanish except Heaven, which is  God -- And that was why later in  life
after  these rather strange you must admit  childhood  reveries, after I had
that fainting vision  of the Golden Eternity and others  before and after it
including Samadhis  during Buddhist meditations in the woods, I conceived of
myself as a special solitary angel sent  down as a messenger  from Heaven to
tell everybody or show everybody by  example  that their peeking society was
actually the Satanic Society and they  were all on the wrong track. With all
this  in my background, now at  the point of adulthood disaster of the soul,
through  excessive drinking,  all  this was easily converted into a  fantasy
that everybody  in the world  was witching me to madness:  and I must have 
believed it subconsciously because as I say  as soon as Ron Blake left I was
well again and in fact content.
     In fact very contented -- I rose that following morning with  more  joy
and health  and  purpose than ever,  and there was me old Big Sur Valley all
mine again, here came good old Alf  and I gave him  food and patted  his big
rough neck with  its various cocotte's manes, there was the mountain of Mien
Mo in the distance just a dismal old hill with funny bushes around the sides
and a peaceful farm  on top, and nothing  to do  all  day but  amuse  myself
undisturbed  by witches and booze -- And I'm singing  ditties again "My soul
ain't snow, wouldn't you know, the color of my soul, is interpole"  and such
silly stuff -- And I yell "If Arthur Ma is a witch he sure is a funny witch!
har har! "... And there's the bluejay idiot with one foot on the bar of soap
on the porch  rail, pecking at the  soap and eating it,  leaving  the cereal
unattended, and  when  I laugh and yell  at  him he looks  up cute  with  an
expression that seems to say "What's the matter? wotti do wong? "
     --  "Wo wo, got the wong  place, " said another bluejay  landing nearby
and  suddenly leaving  again... And everything  of my life  seems  beautiful
again,  I even start remembering the nutty  things of  the binge and go back
even  farther  and  remember  nutty things all through  my  life,  it's just
amazing now inside our own souls we can lift out so much strength I think it
would be enough strength to  move mountains at  that, to  lift our boots  up
again and go clomping along happy out  of nothing  but the good source power
in  our own bones -- And when I visit the sea it doesn't scare me anymore, I
just sing out "Seventy thousand schemers in the sea" and go back to my cabin
and just quietly pour my coffee in the cup, afternoon, how pleasant!
     I make  a wood run, axe  and yank logs outa everywhicha-where and leave
em by the side of the road to  leisurely carry home -- I investigate a cabin
down  the creek that  has 15 wood matches  in it for my emergency --  Take a
shot of sherry, hate it -- Find an old San Francis Chronicle with my name in
it all over -- Hack a giant  redwood log in half in the middle  of the creek
--  That  kind  of day, perfect, ending  up sewing  my  holy sweater singing
"There's no place like home" remembering my mother -- I even plunge into all
the  books  and magazines  around,  I  read  up  on  "Pataphysics  and  yell
contemptuously  in the lamplight " "T'sa'n intellectual excuse for facetious
joking,  "  throwing  the magazine  away,  adding 'Peculiarly attractive  to
certain shallow types" -- Then I turn my rumbling  attention to a couple  of
unknown Fin du Siecle poets called Theo Marzials and Henry Harland -- I take
a nap after  supper  and dream of  the  US Navy, a  ship anchored near a war
scene, at an island, but everything is drowsy as two sailors go up the trail
with fishing poles and a dog between them go make love quietly in the hills:
the  captain  and  everybody  know  they're  queer  and  rather  than  being
infuriated however they're all drowsily enchanted by  such  gentle love: you
see  a  sailor  peeking  after  them with binoculars from the poop:  there's
supposed to be a war but nothing happens, just laundry...
     I  wake   up  from  this  silly  but  strangely  pretty  dream  feeling
exhilarated  -- Besides now the stars come  out every night and I  go out on
that porch and sit in the old  canvas chair and turn my  face up to all that
mooching  going  on up there,  starmooched firmament, all those stars crying
with happy sadness, all that ream and cream of mocky ways  with alleyways of
lightyears old as Dame Mae Whitty and the hills... I go walking towards Mien
Mo  mountain  in  the  moon illuminated  August  night, see  gorgeous  misty
mountains  rising the  horizon  and like  saying to me  "You don't  have  to
torture your consciousness with endless thinking"  so I sit in the  sand and
look inward and see those old roses of the unborn again Amazing, and in just
a few hours this change -- And I have enough physical energy to walk back to
the sea suddenly realizing what  a  beautiful oriental silk scroll  painting
this whole canyon would make, those scrolls you open slowly  at  one end and
keep unrolling  and unrolling as the valley unfolds towards  sudden  cliffs,
sudden Bodhisattvas sitting  alone  in  lamplit  huts, sudden creeks, rocks,
trees, then sudden white sand, sudden sea, out to sea and you've reached the
end of the scroll And with all  those misty rose  darknesses of varying tint
and tuckaway shades to express the actual  ephemerality of night -- One long
roll  unfurling from  the range  fence among the  misty hills, moon meadows,
even the hay rick near  the creek,  down to the trail, the  narrowing creek,
then the  mystery of the AW SEA -- So I investigate the scroll of the valley
but  I'm  singing  "Man is  a busy little animal, a nice little animal,  his
thoughts about everything, dont amount to shit. "
     In fact back at the cabin to  make my bedtime hot Oval-tine I even sing
"Sweet Sixteen"  like an angel (by God  bettern  Ron Blake) and  all the old
memories  of  Ma  and Pa, the upright piano in  old  Massachusetts,  the old
sum-mernight sings
     -- That's how I go to  sleep, under the stars on the porch, and at dawn
I turn over with a blissful smile on my face because the owls are callin and
answering from two different  huge  dead trunks across  the  valley, hoo hoo
hoo.  So maybe it's true what  Milarepa says: "Though you youngsters  of the
new generation dwell in towns  infested with  deceitful  fate, the  link  of
truth  still  remains" (and  said  this  in  890! ) -- "When  you remain  in
solitude, do not think of the amusements in the town... You should turn your
mind  inwardly, and then  you'll find your way... The wealth  I found is the
inexhaustible  Holy  Property...  The  companion  I found is  the  bliss  of
perpetual Voidness... Here in the  place  of  Yolmo  Tag Pug Senge Dzon, the
tigress howling with a pathetic trembling  voice reminds me that her piteous
cubs are playing lively... Like a madman I have no pretension and no hope...
I am telling you the honest truth... These are the crazy words of mine... Oh
you innumerable motherlike beings, by the force of imaginary destiny you see
a  myriad visions and  experience endless emotions...  I smile... To a Yogi,
everything   is  fine  and  splendid!...  In   the  goodly  quiet   of  this
Self-Benefiting sky Enclosure, the timely sounds I hear  are all my fellows"
sounds...  At  such  a pleasant place,  in  solitude, I,  Milarepa,  happily
remain, meditating upon the void-illuminating mind -- The more Ups and Downs
the more Joy  I feel -- The greater the  fear, the greater  the happiness  I
feel... "




     But in the morning (and I'm no Milarepa who could also sit naked in the
snow and was seen flying on one occasion) here comes Ron Blake back with Pat
McLear and Pat's wife the beautiful one, and by God their  little sweet five
year old girl who is such a pleasant sight to see  as she  goes jongling and
jiggling  through  the fields  to  look  for flowers, everything  to  her is
perfectly  new  beautiful  primordial Garden  of Eden  morning  here in this
tortured human canyon --  And a rather beautiful morning develops -- There's
fog so we close the blinds and light the fire and the lamp, me  and Pat, and
sit  there  drinking from the  jug  he brought talking about literature  and
poetry while his wife  listens and occasionally gets up to heat more  coffee
and tea or goes out to play with Ron and the little girl -- Pat and I are in
a serious  talkative mood and  I feel that lonely shiver  in my  chest which
always warns me: you actually love people and you're glad Pat is here.
     Pat is one if not THE most  handsome man I've ever seen -- Strange that
he's announced in a preface to his  poems  that his heroes, his Triumvirate,
are Jean Harlow, Rimbaud and  Billy  the  Kid because he himself is handsome
enough to  play Billy the  Kid in the movies, that  same darkhaired handsome
slightly sliteyed look you expect from the myth appearance of  Billy the Kid
(I suppose not the actual  real life William Bonnie who's said  to've been a
pimply cretin monster).
     So we launch on a big discussion of everything in the comfortable gloom
of  the cabin  by the  warm  red glow  of the girly  fire,  I'm wearing dark
glasses anyway for fun, Pat says "Well Jack I didnt have a chance to talk to
you yesterday or even last year or  even ten years ago when I first met you,
I remember I was terrified of  you and Pomeray when you ran up my  steps one
night with sticks of tea, you  looked like  a couple of car thieves  or bank
robbers -- And  you  know a lot of this sneery stuff they've written against
us, against San Francisco or beat poetry and writers is because a  lot of us
don't LOOK like writers or intellectuals or anything, you and Pomeray I must
say  look awful in a way, I'm  sure I dont fill the bill either" -- 'Man you
oughta go to  Hollywood  and play  Billy  the  Kid" -- "Man I'd rather go to
Hollywood and play Rimbaud" --  'Well  you can't play Jean  Harlow"  -- "I'd
really like to just get my "Dark Brown" published in Paris, do you know that
when you think it's possible a word from you to Gallimard  or Girodias would
help" -- "I  dunno" -- "Do you know that  when I read your poems Mexico City
Blues I immediately  turned around and started writing a  brand new way, you
enlightened me with that book"  -- "But it's nothing  like  what you  do, in
fact it's miles away, I am a language spinner and you're idea man" and so on
we talk  till  about noon  and Ron's  been in and out, "s'made jaunts to the
beach with the little ladies and  Pat and I don't realize  the  sun has come
out but still sit there deep  in the cabin  by now talking  about Villon and
Cervantes.
     Suddenly, boom, the door of the cabin is  flung open with a  loud crash
and a burst of sunlight illuminates the room and I see an Angel standing arm
outstretched in  the door! -- It's Cody! all dressed in his Sunday best in a
suit! beside  him  are ranged  several graduating golden  angels from Evelyn
golden beautiful  wife down  to the most dazzling angel of  them  all little
Timmy  with  the  sun striking  off  his hair  in  beams!  -- It's  such  an
incredible  sight and  surprise that both  Pat and  I  rise from our  chairs
involuntarily, like we've  been lifted up in awe, or scared, tho I dont feel
scared so much as ecstatically amazed  as tho I've seen a vision...  And the
way Cody  stands there not saying a word with his arm  outstretched for some
reason, struck a pose  of some sort to surprise us or warn  us, he's so much
like  St  Michael  at  the  moment  it's unbelievable especially  as I  also
suddenly realize what he's just actually done,  he's  had  wife  and kiddies
sneak  up  ever so  quiet up  the porch steps (which are noisy and  creaky),
across  the  wood  planks, easy and  tiptoeing, stood there  awhile while he
prepared to fling the door open,  all lined up and stood straight, then pow,
he's opened the door and thrown  the golden universe into the dazzled mystic
eyes  of big hip Pat McLear  and big amazed  grateful me -- It reminds me of
the. "time  I once saw  a whole tiptoeing gang of  couples sneaking into our
back kitchen door on West Street in Lowell the leader telling me to shush as
I stand  there  nine years  old amazed, then  all bursting  in on  my father
innocently listening to the Primo Carnera-Ernie  Schaaft  fight  on the  old
1930s radio --  For  a big  roaring toot... But  Cody's oldfashioned  family
tiptoe  sneak  carries  that  strange apocalyptic burst  of gold  he somehow
always manages to produce, like I said elsewhere the time in Mexico he drove
an old car over a rutted road very slowly as we were all high  on tea  and I
saw golden Heaven, or the other times he's always seemed so golden like as I
say in a davenport of some sort in Heaven in the golden top of Heaven.
     Not that he means to produce this effect: he's just standing there with
innate dramatic mystery holding forth his arm as if  to say Behold, the sun!
and Behold, the angels! sorta pointing at all the golden heads of his family
and Pat and I stand aghast.
     "Happy birthday Jack! " yells Cody or some  such  ordinary  crazy inane
greeting "I've come to you with good news! I've brought Evelyn and Emily and
Gaby and Timmy because we're all so grateful and glad because everything has
worked out absolutely dead perfect, or living perfect, boy, with that little
old hunnerd dollars you gave  me let me tell you the fantastic story of what
happened" (to him it was utterly  fantastic), "I went out  and traded  in my
Nash that as you know wont even start but  I have to have m'old buddies push
it down  the  road for me,  this guy had a perfect gem of a  purple or  what
color  is it  Maw?  magenty, slamelty, a  jeepster station-wagon  Jack but a
perfect  beauty mind you listen with  a beautiful radio, a brand new set  of
backup  lights,  thisa  and  thata down to the perfect new  tires  and  that
wonderful shiney paint job, that  color'll knock you out, that's what it is,
Grape! "  (as Evelyn murmurs  the color) "Grape color for all  the old grape
wine jacks, so we've come  here to  not only thank you and see you again but
to celebrate this, and on top of all that, occasion, goo me I'm all so gushy
and girly, hee hee hee, yes that's right come on in children and then go out
and get that gear in the car and get ready to sleep outdoors tonight and get
that good open fresh air, Jack on top of all that and my  heart is jess OVER
flowin I got  a NEW  JOB!! along with that splissly little old beautiful new
jeep!  a new job right downtown  in Los  Gatos in fact  I dont  even have to
drive to work any more, I can walk it, just half a  mile, now Ma you come in
here, meet  old Pat McLear here, start up some eggs or some of that steak we
brought, open up that vieen roossee wine we brought for drunk  old Jack that
good old  boy while I  personally private take him to walk with me back down
the road where the jeep is parked, unlock that gate,  you got the corral key
Jack, okay, and we'll talk and walk just like old times and  drive back real
slow  in my new slowboat to China. "  So  it's a whole new day, a  whole new
situation the way it is with Cody, in  fact a whole new universe as suddenly
we're alone again really for the first time in ages walking rapidly down the
road to go get the car and he looks at me with that hand-rubbing wicked look
like he's  about to spring a surprise on  me that's the top surprise of them
all, "You guessed it old buddy I have here the LAST, the absolutely LAST yet
most perfect of all blackhaired seeded  packed tight superbomber  joints  in
the world which you and I are now going to light up, "s'why I didnt want you
to bring any of that wine right away, why  boy we got time to drink wine and
wine and dance" and  here  he  is lighting up, says "Now dont walk too fast,
it's time to  stroll along  like  we used to do remember  sometimes  on  our
daysoff on the railroad, or walkin across that Third  and Townsend  tar like
you said and the time we watched the sun go down so perfect holy purple over
that Mission cross -- Yessir, slow  and easy, lookin at this gone valley" so
we start to puff the pot but  as usual it creates doubtful paranoias in both
our minds and we actually sort of fall silent on the way to the car which is
a beautiful  grape colour at that, a brand new shiney  Jeepster with all the
equipments,   and  the   whole  golden  reunion   deteriorates  into  Cody's
matter-of-fact lecture  on why the  car  is  going to  be  such a honey (the
technical  details) and  he even yells at me to hurry up  with  that  corral
gate, "Cant wait here all day, hor hor hor. "
     But that's  not  the point, about pot paranoia, yet maybe it is at that
-- I've long given it up because it bugs me anyway
     -- But so we drive back slowly  to the shack and Evelyn and  Pat's wife
have met and are having woman talk and McLear and I and Cody talk around the
table planning excursions with the kids to the beach. And there's Evelyn and
I havent had a chance to talk to her for years  either, Oh the old days when
we'd stay up  late by the fireplace  as I say discussing  Cody's soul,  Cody
this and Cody that, you could hear the  name Cody ringing under the roofs of
America  from coast to coast almost to  hear his women  talking  about  him,
always pronouncing  "Cody" with  a  kind  of anguish  yet  there was girlish
squealing pleasure in it,  "Cody has to learn to control the enormous forces
in him" and Cody "will always modify his little white lies so much that they
turn into  black  ones',  and  according to Irwin Garden  Cody's  women were
always  having  transcontinental  telephone talks about  his dong  (which is
possible).
     Because  he   was  always  tremendously  generated   towards   complete
relationship  with  his  women to  the  point  where  they ended up  in  one
convoluted  octopus  mess  of souls  and  tears  and fellatio and hotel room
schemes and rushing in and out of  cars  and doors  and great  crises in the
middle of  the  night, wow that madman you can  at least  write on his grave
someday "He  Lived, He  Sweated" --  No halfway house is Cody's house -- Tho
now  as I say sorta sweetly chastised  and a little bored at  last with  the
world  after  the crummy injustice  of  his  arrest  and sentence he's sorta
quieted down and  where  he'd launch into  a tremendous explanation of every
one of his thoughts for the benefit of everybody in the room as he's putting
on his  socks  and arranging his papers to leave, now he just flips it aside
and may make a stale shrug --  A Jesuit at work -- Tho I  remember one crazy
moment  in  the  shack  that  was  typically  Cody-like:   complicated   and
simultaneous with a million nuances as though the whole of creation suddenly
exploded  and  imploded together in  one moment: at  the  moment that  Pat's
pretty  little  angel  daughter  is coming  in to hand me  an extremely tiny
flower ('It's for you, "  she says  direct to me) (for some reason the  poor
little thing thinks I need  a flower, or else  her mother instructed her for
charming reasons, like adornment) Cody is furiously explaining to his little
son Tim "Never let the right hand know what your left  hand is doing" and at
that moment I'm trying to  close  my pafm around the incredibly small flower
and it's so small I cant even do that, cant feel it,  cant hardly see it, in
fact such  a small  flower only  that little girl could have found it, but I
look up to  Cody as he says that  to Tim, and also  to impress Evelyn  who's
watching me, I  announced 'Never let  the left hand know what the right hand
is doing but this right hand cant even hold this flower" and Cody only looks
up "Yass yass. "
     So  what started as  a big  holy reunion  and  surprise party in Heaven
deteriorates to a lot of showoff  talk, actually, at least on my  part,  but
when I get to drink the wine I feel lighter and we all go down to the  beach
-- I walk in front  with Evelyn but when we get to the narrow path I walk in
front like an  Indian to show her what a big Indian I've been all  summer --
I'm bursting to  tell her  everything -- "See that  grove there,  once  in a
while you'll be surprised out of your shoes to see the mule quietly standing
there with locks of hair like Ruth's over  his forehead, a big Biblical mule
meditating, or over there, but up here, and look at that bridge, now what do
you  think  of that? " -- All  the kids are fascinated by the upsidedown car
wreck... At one point I'm sitting in the sand as Cody walks up my way, I say
to him imitating Wallace  Beery  and scratching my  armpits "Cuss a  man for
dyin in Death Valley" (the last lines of that  great movie Twenty Mule Team)
and Cody says "That's right, if anybody can imitate old Wallace Beery that's
the only way to do it, you  had just the right timber there  in the tone  of
your  voice there, Cuss a man for dyin in  Death Valley hee  hee yes" but he
rushes off to talk to McLear's wife.
     Strange sad  desultory the way families and people sorta scatter around
a beach and look vaguely  at the sea, all disorganized and  picnic sad -- At
one point I'm telling Evelyn that a tidal wave from Hawaii could very easily
come someday and we'd see it  miles away a huge wall of awful water and "Boy
it would take  some doing to run back and climb up these cliffs,  huh? " but
Cody hears this and says, "What? " and I say "It would wash over us and take
us all to Salinas I  bet" and Cody says "What? that brand new jeep? I'm goin
back and move it! " (an example of his strange humor).
     "How'd'st rain rule  here? " says I  to Evelyn to show her  what  a big
poet I am --  She  really loves me,  used to love me  in the old days like a
husband,  for  awhile  there she had  two  husbands Cody  and me, we were  a
perfect family till Cody finally got jealous or maybe I got jealous,  it was
wild for awhile I'd be coming home  from work on the railroad all dirty with
my lamp and just as I came in for my Joy bubblebath old Cody was rushing off
on a call so Evelyn had her new husband in the  second shift  then when Cody
come home at dawn  all  dirty for his Joy bubblebath, ring, the phone's rung
and the crew  clerk's asked me out and  I'm rushing off to work, both  of us
using the same old clunker car in  shifts -- And  Evelyn  always maintaining
that she and I were really made  for each other but  her Karma was  to serve
Cody in this particular lifetime, which I really believe  and  I believe she
loves  him, too, but  she'd  say "I'll get you. Jack, in another lifetime...
And you'll be very happy" -- "What? "  I'd yell to joke, "me running  up the
eternal  halls of Karma tryina get away from you hey? "  -- "It'll take  you
eternities to get  rid of  me, "  she adds sadly, which makes  me jealous, I
want her to say I'll never get rid of her... I wanta be chased  for eternity
till I catch her.
     "Ah Jack" she says putting  her arm  around me on the beach, "it's nice
to see  you again,  Oh I  wish we  could be  quiet  again and  just have our
suppers of homemade pizza all together and  watch TV together,  you  have so
many friends and responsibilities now  it's sad, and  you get sick  drinking
and everything, why dont you just come  stay with  us awhile and rest" -- "I
will"  -- But Ron Blake is redhot for Evelyn and  keeps coming over to dance
with seaweeds and impress her,  he's  even asked me  to ask Cody to  let him
spend some time alone with Evelyn, Cody's said "Go ahead man. "
     Having run out  of liquor in fact  Ron  does get his opportunity  to be
alone with Evelyn  as  Cody and me  and the kids in one car,  and McLear and
family in the other start for Monterey to  stock up for the  night  and also
more  cigarettes -- Evelyn and  Ron light a bonfire on the beach to wait for
us... As  we're  driving along little Timmy says to Paw "We  shoulda brought
Mommy  with us, her  pants got wet  in the beach" --  "By now they oughta be
steamin, " says Cody matterof-factly in another one of his fantastic puns as
he  lockwallops that awful narrow dirt canyon road like a getaway car in the
mountains in a movie, we leave poor McLear miles back --  When Cody comes to
a  narrow tight curve  with  all  our death staring us in the face down that
hole he just swerves the curve saying "The way to drive in the mountains is,
boy, no fiddlin around, these roads dont move, you're the one that moves'...
And we come out on the highway and go right battin up to Monterey in the Big
Sur dusk where down there on the  faint gloamy  frothing  rocks you can hear
the seals cry.

     24

     McLear  exhibits  another  strange facet of  his  handsome  but faintly
"decadent" Rimbaud-type personality at his summer camp  by coming out in the
livingroom with a  goddamn HAWK on his shoulder -- It's his pet hawk, of all
things, the hawk is  black as  night and sits there on his shoulder  pecking
nastily at a clunk of hamburg he holds up to it -- In fact the sight of that
is so  rarely poetic, McLear whose poetry is really like  a black hawk, he's
always  writing about darkness, dark brown, dark  bedrooms, moving curtains,
chemical fire dark  pillows, love in chemical fiery red darkness, and writes
all that in  beautiful  long lines  that go across the  page irregularly and
aptly somehow  --  Handsome Hawk McLear, in fact I suddenly yell out  "Now I
know  your real name! it's M'Lear! M'Lear the  Scotch  Highland  moorhaunter
with his hawk about to go  mad and tear his  white hair in a tempest"  -- Or
some such silly thing, feeling good again now  we've got new wine -- Time to
go back  to  the cabin and fly down that dark highway the  way only Cody can
fly (even bettern Dave Wain but you feel safer with Dave Wain tho the reason
Cody gives you a sense of dooming boom as he pushes the night out the wheels
is not because he'll  lose perfect control of  the car but you feel  the car
will  take  off suddenly up to  Heaven or  at least just  up into  what  the
Russians  call the  Dark Cosmos, there's  a  booming rushing sound  out  the
window when  Cody bats her down the white line at night, with Dave Wain it's
all  conversation and smooth sailing, with Cody it's a  crisis  about to get
worse) -- And now he's saying to  me "Not  only today but the other day with
the boys, that beautiful McLear woman there, wow, with her tight blue jeans,
man I cried under a tree to  see that poppin around  so innocent like, whoo,
so I  tell  you what we're gonna  do old buddy: tomorrow  we go back  to Los
Gatos the whole family and we've dropped Evelyn and the kids home  after the
hiss-the-villain play we're all gonna see at seven... "
     -- "The what? " -- "It's a play, " he says suddenly imitating the tired
whiney  voice of an old PTA Committee woman,  "you go there and you sit down
and out comes  this old  1910 play about villains  foreclosing the mortgage,
mustaches, you know,  calico tears, you  can sit there  you see and hiss the
villain  all you want even  for  all I know yell  obscenities or something I
dunno -- But it's Evelyn's world,  you know,  she's designing the  sets  and
that's the work  she's done  while I  was in the can so I  cant begrudge her
that, in fact I aint got  a  word in edgewise, when you're  the father of  a
family you go along with the little woman  acourse,  and the  kids enjoy it,
after that plan and after you've hissed the villain we'll drop them home and
then old buddy" zooming  up the car even of all thinks, the hawk is black as
night  and  sits there faster  in lieu of rubbing his hands with zeal, so to
say  Zocm, "you  and  me gonna go  flyin down  that Bay Shore highway and as
usual you're gonna ask your usual dumb almost Okie wino questions, Hey Cody"
(whining like a old drunk) 7 b'lieve we're coming  into Burlingame  aint it?
and you're always wrong, hee hee, old crazy dumb fuckin old Jack, then we go
rubbin  shoulders into  that  City and go poppin right up to my sweet little
old baby Willamine that  I want you to meet  inasmuch and also I want you go
dig because she's gonna  dig YOU my dear old  sonumbitch Jack, and I'm gonna
leave you two little lovebirds together  for days on end alone, you can live
there and just enjoy that gone  little  woman  because also"  (his tone  now
businesslike) "I  want her to  dig as much as possible everything you got to
tell  her about what YOU know, hear me? She's my soulmate and confidante and
mistress and I want her to be happy and learn" -- "What's she look like? " I
ask grossly -- And I  see the grimace on his face, he really  knows  me, "Eh
well she looks alright, she has a gone little body that's  all I can say and
in  bed  she  is  by  far  the  first  and only  and last possible  greatest
everything you dig" -- This being  just  another of a long line of occasions
when Cody gets me to  be  a sub-beau for his beauties so that everything can
tie  in together, he really loves me like a  brother and more than that,  he
gets annoyed at me sometimes especially when  I fumble and blumble like with
a bottle or the time I almost stripped the gears of the car because I forgot
I was  driving,  in which case  actually I remind him of his old wino father
but the fantastic thing is that HE reminds ME of MY  father so that we  have
this strange eternal father-image relationship that goes on and on sometimes
with  tears, it's easy  for me to think of Cody and almost cry, sometimes  I
can see the same tearful expression in his eyes when he  sometimes  looks at
me  -- He reminds  me of my  father because he too blusters and  hurries and
fills all his pockets with Racing Forms and papers and pencils and we're all
ready to go on some mission in the night he takes with ultimate  seriousness
as tho we were  going  on  the last trip of  them all but  it always ends up
being a hilarious meaningless Marx Brothers  adventure which  gives  me even
more  reason to love him (and my father too) -- That  way -- And finally  in
the book I wrote about us ('On The Road') I forgot to mention two  important
things, that we were both  devout little Catholics in our  childhood,  which
gives us  something in common tho we never talk about it, it's just there in
our natures, and secondly and  most important that strange business when  we
shared another girl (Marylou, or that is, let's call her Joanna) and Cody at
the  time announced "That's  what we'll  be  old buddy, you and  me,  double
husbands, later on we'll have whole Harreeeem and  reams of Hareems boy, and
we'll call ourselves  or  that is" (flutter) "ourself Duluomeray, see Duluoz
and  Pomeray, Duluo-meray, see, hee hee  hee" tho  he was  younger  then and
really silly  but that gives an indication of the way he felt about me: some
kind  of  new thing  in  the world actually  where men can really be angelic
friends and not be homosexual  and not fight over girls -- But alas the only
thing we'd ever  fought about  was  money, or the ridiculous time  we fought
about a  little line of marijuana dust  running down  the  middle of  a page
where we were separating  our  shares with a knife, when I objected I wanted
some  of  the dust he  yelled "Our original agreement had nothing to do with
the dust! "  and he slumps it all into his pocket and stalks off redfaced so
I jump up and pack and announce I'm leaving and Evelyn drives me to the City
but the  car won't start (this is years ago) so Cody redfaced and  crazy and
ashamed  now has to push  us  with  the clunker,  there we go down San  Jose
boulevard with Cody behind us pushing us and with Cody behind  us pushing us
and bumping us not just to give us a  start but to chastise  me for being so
greedy  and  I shouldnt leave at all -- In fact he'd back up and come  up on
our  rear  and  really wham  us  -- That night ending  me dead drunk on  Mal
Damlette's floor on North Beach -- And in any case the whole question of us,
the  two  most  advanced men  friends in the world still fighting over money
after all being,  as Julien says in New York, indication of  the  fact  that
"Money is the only thing  Canucks ever fight  about, and Okies too I  guess"
but Julien I suppose imagining and  fantasizing himself as a  noble Scotsman
who fights about honor (tho I tell him "Ah you Scotchmen  save your spit  in
your  watchpocket').  Lacrimae rerum,  the tears  of  things, all the  years
behind me and Cody, the way I always say "me and Cody" instead  of "Cody and
I"  or  some such,  and Irwin watching us across the world night  now with a
bite of marvel on his lower  lip saying  "Ah, angels of the West, Companions
in  Heaven" and writing letters  asking "What now,  what's  the latest, what
visions, what arguments, what sweet agreements? " and such.
     That night the kids end up sleeping in the jeep  anyway because they're
afraid of the big black woods and I  sleep by the creek in my bag and in the
morning we're all set to go  back to Los Gatos and see  the  villain play --
Frustrated  Ron is casting sad eyes at Evelyn, apparently she's put  him off
because she says to me (and I dont blame her) "Really the  way Cody  presses
people on  me  it's awful, at least  I  should  have my own choice" (but she
laughing because it's funny and it is funny the way Cody does it anxious and
harried wondering if  that's what she really wants  and wants no such thing)
-- 'At least not with utter strangers, " says I to be funny -- She: "Besides
I'm  so sick of  all  this  sex business, that's  all  he  talks  about, his
friends, here they are all open channels to do  good as co creators with God
and all they think about is behinds
     --  that's  why you're  so  refreshing" she  adds  --  "But I  aint  so
refreshing  as  all that? hey! "  -- But that's my relationship with Evelyn,
we're real pals and we can kid about anything even the first night I met her
in  Denver in  1947 when we danced and  Cody  watched anxiously,  a  kind of
romantic pair in fact and  I shudder sometimes to think of all that  stellar
mystery  of how she IS going to get me  in a future lifetime,  wow  -- And I
seriously do believe that will be my salvation, too. A long way to go.




     The silly stupid hiss-the-villain play is alright in itself but just as
we arrive at  the scene of the chuck wagons and tents all done  up  real old
western style there's a big  fat sheriff  type with two sixshooters standing
at the admission gate, Cody says "That's to give it color see" but I'm drunk
and  as  we all  pile out  of the car I go up to  the  fat sheriff and start
telling him a  Southern joke  (in fact just the plot of  an Erskine Caldwell
short story) which he  receives with a witless  smiling expression or really
like the expression of an executioner or a Southern constable listening to a
Yankee talk -- So naturally I'm surprised later when we go into the cute old
west saloon and the kids start banging on the old piano and I join them with
big loud Stravinsky  chords,  here comes two gun sheriff fatty coming in and
saying in a menacing voice like TV western movies "You cant play that piano"
--  I'm  surprised,  turning  to  Evelyn,  to learn  that he's  the  blasted
proprietor of the whole place  and if he says I cant  play the piano there's
nothing I  can  do  about  it  legally  -- But besides that he's got  actual
bullets in those  six guns -- He's going all out to play the part -- But  to
be yanked from joyful pianothumping with kids to see that awful dead face of
negative  horror  I just  jump  up and  say "Alright, the  hell with  it I'm
leaving anyway" so Cody  follows me  to the car where I take another swig of
white port  -- "Let's  get the hell out of here"  I say... "Just what  I was
thinkin about, " says Cody, "in fact I've already arranged with the director
of the play  to drive Evelyn and the kids home so we'll  just go to the City
now" -- "Great! " -- "And I've told Evelyn we're cuttin out so let's go. " `
'I'm sorry Cody I screwed up your little family party'-  "No No" he protests
"Man I have to come to these things you know and be  a  big hubby and father
type  and you know I'm on  parole and I  gotta put up appearances but it's a
drag" -- To show what  a drag it is we go scootin down that road passing six
cars easy as pie  -- "And  I'm GLAD  this happened  because  it gave  us  an
excuse, hee  hee  titter you know to get  outa there,  I was thinking for an
excuse when it happened, that old fart is crazy you know! he's a millionaire
you know! I've  talked to  him, that little beady brain, and you be glad you
missed hangin around till that performance, man, and that AUDIENCE, ow, ugh,
I almost wish I was back in San Quentin but here we go, son! "
     So  of  old we're alone  in a car at night bashing down the  line to  a
specific somewhere, nothing nowhere about it  whatever, especially this time
in a way  --  That white line is feeding  into  our  fender like  an anxious
impatient  electronic quiver shuddering  in  the  night and how  beautifully
sometimes it curves one side or the other as he smoothly swerves for passing
or for something  else, avoiding  a bump  or  something...  And  on  the big
highway Bay Shore how beautifully he just swings in and  out of lanes almost
effortlessly and  completely unnoticeable passing  to the  right and  to the
left without a flaw all kinds of cars with anxious eyes turning to us, altho
he's the only one on the road who knows how to drive completely well -- it's
blue dusk all  up and down the California world -- Frisco  glitters up ahead
--  Our radio plays rhythm and blues as we pass the joint back and forth  in
jutjawed silence both looking ahead with big private thoughts now so vast we
cant communicate them any more and if we tried it would take a million years
and a billion books -- Too late, too  late, the  history of everything we've
seen together  and separately has become  a library in itselt -- me  shelves
pile higher  --  They're full of misty documents or documents of the Mist --
The mind has convoluted in every tuckaway every-whichaway tuckered hole till
there's  no  more the expressing  of our latest thoughts  let  alone  old --
Mighty  genius of the mind  Cody whom I announce as the greatest writer  the
world will ever know  if  he  ever gets  down to writing  again like he  did
earlier -- It's so enormous we both sit here sighing in fact -- "No the only
writing I done, " he says, "a few letters to Willamine, in fact quite a few,
she's got em all wrapped in ribbons there, I figgered if I tried to  write a
book or sumptin  or prose or sumptin they'd just take it away from me when I
left so I wrote her  "bout three letters  a  week  for two  years -- and the
trouble of course and  as I say and you've heard a million times is the mind
flows the mind rises and nobody can by any possible c- oh hell, I dont wanta
talk about it"  -- Besides I  can see from glancing at him that  becoming  a
writer holds no interest  for him because life is so holy for him there's no
need to do anything but live it, writing's just an afterthought or a scratch
anyway at the surface -- But if he could!  if he would! there I am riding in
California miles away from home  where my poor cat's  buried and  my  mother
grieves and  that's what I'm thinking. It always  makes me proud to love the
world somehow -- Hate's so easy compared --  But here I go flattering myself
helling headbent to the silliest hate I ever had.




     Altho  Cody's said these  things  I'm  very well  aware  that the  real
arrangement of the evening is that we're just going  to see Billie  together
so  she can get her kicks meeting  me (after hearing about me  from  him and
after reading my books  etc. ) and in fact Cody has  already conferred  with
Evelyn about how I'm  going to be staying  at their house in Los Gatos for a
month,  as of old  sleeping in my bag in the backyard not  because they dont
want me to sleep in the house but it's my idea, but it's beautiful anyway to
sleep  under  the stars and anyway I therefore keep out  of the way  of  the
family when they  get up to go to work and  school... At  noon  they see  me
shambling  in from the  big back field yard yawning for coffee -- And I'm in
line for that, i. e., that's what I want to  do  and that's my plan  --  but
when we run upstairs to Willamine's  apartment and  come bursting in to this
neat little well arranged  pad  with goldfish bowl,  books, strange doodads,
neat kitchen, the whole clean as a pin,  and there's Billie herself a blonde
with arched eyebrows exactly like the male Julien blond with arched eyebrows
and I yell out  "It's Julien by God it's Julien!  " (and  by  now  I'm drunk
anyway because we've as of old picked up an old hitch hiker on Bay Shore who
says his  name is Joe  Ihnat and we bought  him a bottle and I bought me one
too, never will forget old Joe Ihnat in fact somehow because  he said he was
a Russian and his was an ancient Russian name and when I wrote out our names
he  said my name was an ancient Russian  name  also)  (tho it's Breton) (and
also  told us he'd just been beaten up  by a young Negro  for no reason in a
public toilet  and  Cody gasps and says to  me "I've met  those Negroes that
beat up old men, they're called the Strongarms in  San Quentin,  they're all
put away among themselves away from the other prisoners, they're all Negroes
and it seems all they wanta do  is beat up  old defenseless men, he's tellin
the absolute  truth'... "But  why do they do that? "...  "Oh man I dont know
they just wanta hit up on some old man that cant hit back and just beat  him
and  beat him  till he's  dead" and Oh the horror of Cody's knowledge of the
world when all is said and done) -- So  now we're sitting with Billie in her
pad, outside the  window you see the glittering lights of the city again, ah
Urbi y  Roma,  the world  again, and she's got these mad blue  eyes,  arched
eyebrows, intelligent face, just like Julien, I keep sayig "Julien goddamit!
" and I see even  in my drunkenness  a little worried flutter in Cody's eyes
--  The fact of  the  matter  being, Billie and I go for each other like two
tons of  bricks  right  there  in front of  Cody  so that when he  rises and
announces he's going back to Los  Gatos to get some sleep to go to work it's
already well agreed  I'm staying  right where  I am and not only for tonight
but for weeks months years.
     Poor  Cody  --   Yet  you  see  I've  already  explained  why  actually
subconsciously  this is what he really wants to happen but he wont  admit it
ever and always invents reasons around this to get mad  at me and call me  a
bastard --  But  aside from  Cody I find Billie to  be  a very companionable
strange  kid in  this lonesome night and  I actually  NEED to stay  with her
awhile --  In fact  both Billie and  I explain  to Cody  why --  But there's
nothing  evil, man-against-man or  sinister  about any of  it,  it's just  a
strange  innocence, a spontaneous burst of love in fact and Cody understands
that bettern anybody else anyway so  he leaves at  midnight saying  he'll be
back tomorrow night and all of  a sudden I'm alone with a charming woman and
we're talking a blue  streak  sitting  cross-legged facing each other on the
floor  in  a litter of books and  bottles. It gives me  a  pang of  pain and
remorse  really now to recall that  on this first night her apartment was so
neat  and clean and charming  --  The  chair by the  goldfish bowl  which  I
quickly  appropriated as my old man  chair, where  I  sat constantly sipping
port  for a whole week,  the  kitchen with its  intelligent arrangements  of
spices and eggs in  the icebox, and  for that matter too the poor little son
of Billie  sleeping in a well arranged back  room (her son from her deceased
husband who was also a  railroad man) Elliott the  child's name and I didn't
get  to see him till later that  night -- And with the huge packet of Cody's
San Quentin  letters  in her hand she launches forth on her  theories  about
Cody  and eternity but all I  can keep saying as I swig  from  my bottle  is
"Julien, you're talking too  much! Julien, Julien,  my God who'd ever  dream
I'd run  into a woman  who  looks  like Julien... you look  like Julien  but
you're not Julien and on top  of that you're a woman, how goddam strange" --
In fact  she  had to pack  me off  to bed drunk -- But not before our  first
lovely  undertaking  of  love  and everything  Cody  said  about  her  being
absolutely true  -- But the main thing being that tho she looked like Julien
etc. and  had Cody's  big sad abstract  letters about Karma in a ribbon  and
actually  went  out in the  morning  and  earned a hundred a week in fashion
modeling she had the most musical beautiful and sad voice I've ever heard in
my life  The  things she's saying are really rather inane  because after all
her  education is  based on really  Californian  hysterias like  the earlier
mistress of Cody Rosemarie  who also was  thin and pale haired and crazy and
kept talking abstract (Like she's  saying "I thought I could do something to
ease the contradiction between immanent and universal ethics which I thought
was  my  problem  and  was  what  I  hoped  to gain  thru therapy, like, any
evolution presupposes  an  involution  and all that kind of  thinking"  as I
sigh, but she does say  something  interesting once in a while  like  "While
Cody  was in prison my main occupation was praying for him, I had an all day
going, there was also a bit we did together  every evening from 9:  00 to 9:
09 but he's out now and something else is happening I'm not sure what... but
I'm sure  we aid the storm when we transcend  time in  one respect and can't
even keep up with it in others... ")-But also all kinds of to-me-unimportant
and uninteresting crap about channels about  people being  either closed  or
open channels and  Cody is a big open channel pouring out all  his holy gysm
on  Heaven, I  really  can't remember,  or  the  destinies,  the  sighs, the
rooftops of all that, the stars are shining down on their poor heads as they
draw breath to explain inanities really -- Like the letters to her (I glance
at them) are all about how they've met and their souls have collided in this
dimension because of some unfulfilled Karma on another planet and in another
plane  that is,  and now  they  have to gird themselves  to  assume this big
responsibility to meet some measure of this and that, I dont  even wanta  go
into it -- Because also the  fact of the  matter being, when Willamine talks
to me I'm utterly bored, I'm only interested  in the sad  music of her voice
and in the strange circumstance (I guess Karmalike too)  that she looks like
poor Julien.
     Her voice  is the main point -- She talks with  a broken  heart...  Her
voice lutes brokenly like a heart lost, musically too, like in a lost grove,
it's almost too much to bear sometimes like some  fantastic futuristic Jerry
Southern singer in a night club who steps up to the mike in the spotlight in
Las Vegas  but doesn't even have to sing,  just talk, to  make  men sigh and
women wonder I  guess (if women ever wonder)... So  that as she's trying  to
explain all that nonsense to me (all that philosophy of hers  and Cody's and
Cody's  new buddy Perry, coming up  the next day) I  just sit and marvel and
stare at her mouth wondering where all the beauty is coming from  and why --
And we end up making love sweetly too -- A little blonde well experienced in
all the facets of lovemaking and sweet with compassion and  just too much so
that b'dawn we're already going  to  get married and fly away to Mexico in a
week -- In fact  I can see it  now, a great big four way marriage with  Cody
and Evelyn.
     For she is the great enemy of Evelyn --  She's not satisfied just to be
Cody's lover and soul heart she wants to go right over there  and lay Evelyn
down on the line and take Cody  away with  her forever and to do this she'll
even  have a deadend heaven deep love affair with old  Jack (same pattern of
old) --  There's not much difference between her and Evelyn when you  listen
to their  talk about Cody except  in Evelyn's  case I'm always  fascinatedly
interested -- Billie actually bores me tho of course I cant tell her that --
Evelyn is still the champ and I wonder about Cody.
     O the ups and downs and juggling of women, blondes at that, all in that
great magical City of the Gandharvas of San Francisco and here I am alone on
a magic carpet with one of em, whee, at first of course it's a great ball, a
great new eye-shattering explosion of experience --  Not dreaming, I, what's
to come -- For with  sad musical  Billie in my  arms and  my name Billie too
now, Billie and Billie arm in  arm,  oh beautiful,  and Cody  has given  his
consent in a way, we go roaming the  Genghiz  Khan  clouds of  soft love and
hope and anybody who's never done this is crazy -- Because a new love affair
always gives hope, the  irrational mortal loneliness is always crowned, that
thing I  saw (that  horror of snake emptiness)  when I  took the deep iodine
deathbreath on the Big Sur beach is  now justified and hosannah'd and raised
up like a sacred urn to Heaven in the mere fact of the taking off of clothes
and clashing wits  and bodies in  the inexpressibly nervously sad delight of
love... Dont let no old fogies tell you otherwise, and on top of that nobody
in  the world even ever dares to write the true story of love,  it's  awful,
we're stuck  with a  50% incomplete literature and drama  --  Lying mouth to
mouth,  kiss  to  kiss  in the  pillow  dark,  loin to loin in  unbelievable
surrendering sweetness so  distant from all our mental fearful  abstractions
it makes you wonder why men have termed God antisexual somehow -- The secret
underground truth of mad desire hiding under fenders under  buried junkyards
throughout the world, never mentioned in newspapers, written about haltingly
and like corn by authors and painted tongue in cheek by  artists, agh,  just
listen to Tris-tan und Isolde by Wagner and think of him in a Bavarian field
with his beloved naked beauty under the fall leaves.
     How  strange in all, and making everything that's happened in the  past
weeks, the backs and forths and pains of  me in City  and Sur,  all piled up
now rationally like a big  construction whereon could be built a divingboard
which would enable me clumsily to  dive into Billie's soul and therefore why
complain? In the middle of the night she fetches the  little 4 year  old boy
to show me the spiritual beauty of  her  son --  He is one  of  the weirdest
persons I've ever met -- He has large  liquid brown eyes very  beautiful and
he  hates anybody  who comes near his  mother and keeps asking her questions
constantly like "Why do you stay with him? why is he  here,  who is he? " or
"Why is  it dark  outside?  "  or  "Why does the sun  shine  yesterday? " or
anything, he'll  just ask  questions about everything  and she answers every
one  of them with extreme delight and  patience till I say "Doesnt he bother
you  with  all  these questions? why dont  you let him croon and goof like a
little child, he's tugging at your  knee asking EVERYTHING man why don't you
just  let him  singsong? "... She  answers  "1  answer him because I may  be
missing his next question, everything he asks me and  says to  me represents
something important  about  the abso-lute I may be missing"  -- "What do you
mean the absolute?  " -- "You yourself said everything  is the absolute" but
of  course  she's right and I realize that in my dirty old  soul I'm already
jealous of Elliott.




     The mat of night admits the  groaning glory godlike love I guess but at
the same time it's also boring in a way and we both laugh to discuss that --
We stay awake that  first night till dawn discussing everything in the books
from Cody in every detail down to me in every detail to  her in every detail
to Evelyn to books and philosophies and religions and the absolute and I end
up  whispering her poems...  Poor kid has to get up in the morning and go to
work and  I'm left there snoring  drunk... But she makes her  neat breakfast
and takes Elliott off to the daily  babysitter lady  and I wake up at one in
the afternoon alone and take a swig  of wine and get in the hot bath to read
a  book --  The  phone keeps  ringing, everybody from  Monsanto to  Fagan to
McLear to the Moon Man has somehow found out  where I am and what the number
is, tho none of them have previously even met Billie let alone seen her -- I
shudder to realize Cody will get mad for making his secret life so public.
     But  here  comes  Perry  -- Like me  Perry has  that strange  brotherly
relationship with Cody whereby he gets to be  confidant  and sometimes lover
of  all Cody's gals... And I can see why --  He looks just like me only he's
young and looks like I did when first Cody met me but the  point is not that
so much, he  is a tempestuous lost  tossed  soul just  out of  Soledad State
Prison for attempted  robbery with a boyish face and black hair falling over
it but powerful chick muscular arms  that I realize  he could break a man in
half with -- His name is strange too, Perry Yturbide, I  immediately say: "I
know  what you are, Basque" -- "Basque? is that it? I never found out! let's
call my  mother longdistance in Utah and tell her that! " -- And he rings up
his mother way  over  there, on Billie's phone bill, and here I am bottle of
port wine in one hand and butt in mouth talking to  a Basque ex con's mother
in  Utah telling  her in fact  reassuring  her "Yes  I believe it's a Basque
name" -- She's  saying "Hey, what you say? who are you? " And there's  Perry
smiling all glad --  A very strange kid -- It's  been a long time in fact in
my literary sort of life that I've met a real tough hombre like that  out of
jails and with those arms  of steel  and  that  fevered concern that  scares
governments  and makes  officials pale, that's  why he's always put  away in
prison  this type of man -- Yes yet the type of man the country always needs
when  there's  a little old war started by  an  aging  governor  --  A  real
dangerous  character,  in fact, Perry, because tho I  appreciate his  poetic
soul and  everything I realize looking at him he's capable  of exploding and
killing somebody for an idea maybe or for love. Some of his own friends ring
Billie's doorbell, everybody seems to know I'm there, they come up, they are
strange anarchistic Negroes and ex cons, it seems to be some sort of gang, I
begin to wonder -- Like a ring of fevered sages, the Negroes are intense and
crazy and intellectual  but they've all got those strong muscular arms again
and  all  have jail records yet they all talk as  tho  the end of the  world
depended  on their words -- Hard  to explain (but will do).  Billie and  her
gang  in fact,  with all that  fancy  rigamarole about spiritual  matters  I
wonder  if it isnt just a big secret  hustler outfit tho I also realize that
I've noticed  it before in San  Francisco a  kind of ephemeral hysteria that
hides in the  air  over  the  rooftops among certain circles  there  leading
always to suicide and maim... Me just an innocent lost hearted meditator and
Goop among strange intense criminal  agitators of the heart -- It reminds me
in  fact of a nightmare I had just before  coming  out  to the Coast, in the
dream  I'm  back  in  San  Francisco but  there's something funny  going on:
there's  dead  silence throughout  the  entire city: men  like  printers and
office  executives  and house-painters  are  all standing silently in second
floor windows  looking down on the empty streets of San Francisco: once in a
while some beatniks walk by  below, also silent:  they're being watched  but
not only by the authorities but by everybody: the beatniks seem to have  the
whole street system to themselves: but nobody's saying anything: and in this
intense silence  I take a ride  on a self  propelled platform right downtown
and out to the farms where a woman running a chicken farm invites me to join
her and live with  her... The  little platform rolling quietly as the people
are watching from windows in groups of profile  like the profiles in old Van
Dyck  paintings,  intense, suspicious,  momentous  -- This  Billie  business
reminding me of  that but  because  to me the only thing that matters is the
conceptions in  my own mind, there has to be  no reality  anyway  to what  I
suppose is going on -- But this  also an indication of the coming madness in
Big Sur.




     Strange -- and Perry Yturbide that first day while Billie's at work and
we've just  called his  mother  now  wants me  to  come with him to  visit a
general of the US Army -- 'Why? and what's all these generals looking out of
silent windows? "  I say -- but  nothing  surprises Perry -- "We'll go there
because I want you to dig the most beautiful girls we ever saw, " in fact we
take a cab -- But the "beautiful girls" turn  out to be  eight and nine  and
ten years old, daughters of the general or  maybe even  cousins or daughters
of a next door strange general, but the mother is there, there are also boys
playing in a backroom, we have Elliott with us whom Perry has carried on his
shoulders all the way -- I  look at  Perry and he  says "I wanted you to see
the most  beautiful  little  cans  in  town" and I  realize he's dangerously
insane -- In fact he then says "See this perfect beauty? " a pony tailed ten
year old daughter of the general  (who ain't home  yet) "I'm going to kidnap
her right now" and  he takes her  by the hand and  they go out on the street
for an hour while  I sit there over drinks talking to  the mother -- There's
some vast conspiracy to make me go  mad  anyway  -- The mother  is polite as
ordinarily  --  The general  comes  home and  he's a  rugged  big baldheaded
general and with him  is his best friend a  photographer called Shea, a thin
well  combed  welldressed  ordinary  downtown commercial photographer of the
city -- I dont understand anything -- But suddenly little Elliott  is crying
in the other room and I rush in there and see that the two boys have whacked
him or something because he did something wrong so I chastise them and carry
Eliiott  back  into the  livingroom on my shoulders like  Perry  does,  only
Eliiott wants  to get down  off my  shoulders at once, in fact he won't even
sit on my lap, in fact he hates my guts  -- I call Billie desperately at her
agency and she says she'll  be over to pick us all up  and adds 'How's Perry
today? "... "He's kidnapping little girls he says are beautiful, he wants to
marry ten year old girls with pony tails" -- "That's the  way he is, be sure
to dig him" -- In her musical sad voice over the phone.
     I  turn my poor  tortured  attention to the general who says  he was an
anti-Fascist fighter with the Maquis during World War II and also a guerilla
in  the  South Pacific  and  knows one  of  the  finest  restaurants in  San
Francisco where we can all go feast, a Fillipino restaurant near  Chinatown,
I say okay, great -- He gives me more booze -- Seeing the amusing Irish face
of Shea the photographer I yell "You can  take my picture  anytime you want"
and he  says sinister: "Not for propaganda reasons,  anything but propaganda
reasons" -- "What the hell do you mean propaganda reasons, I aint got nothin
to do with propaganda" (and here  comes  Perry  back through  the door  with
Poopoo holding his hand, they've gone to dig the street and have a coke) and
I  realize  everybody  is just living their lives  quietly  but it's only me
that's  insane. In fact I yearn to have old Cody  around to explain all this
to me tho it soon  becomes apparent  to me not even  Cody could explain, I'm
beginning to go seriously crazy, just like Subterranean Irene went crazy tho
I don't realize it yet... I'm beginning to read plots into every simple line
-- Besides the "general"  scares  me  even further  by turning out  to  be a
strange affluent  welldressed civilian who doesn't even help  me to pay  the
tab  for  the  Fillipino  dinner  which  we  have,  meeting  Billie  at  the
restaurant, and the  restaurant itself is weird especially because  of a big
raunchy  mad thicklipped  sloppy young Fillipino woman sitting alone  at the
end of the  restaurant gobbling  up her  food  obscenely and  looking at  us
insolently  as tho to say "Fuck  you, I eat  the way I like" splashing gravy
everywhere I cant understand what's going on
     -- Because also the general has suggested this dinner but I have to pay
for  everybody,  him,  Shea,  Perry,  Billie,  Eliiott, me,  others, strange
apocalyptic  madness is now shuddering  in my eyeballs and  I'm even running
out of  money in their Apocalypse which they themselves have created in this
San Francisco silence anyway.
     I  yearn  to  go hide  and cry in Evelyn's arms but I end up hiding  in
Billie's arms and here she  goes again,  the  second evening, explaining all
her spiritual  ideas --  "But  what about Perry?  what's he up to? and who's
that strange general? what are you, a bunch of communists? "




     The little child refuses to sleep in his  crib but has to come trotting
out and watch us make  love  on the bed but Billie says "That's  good, he'll
learn, what  other way will he ever  learn? " -- I  feel ashamed but because
Billie  is  there  and she's  the mother I  must go along  and not  worry...
Another  sinister fact  -- At one  point  the  poor child  is  drooling long
slavers of spit from his lips watching, I cry "Billie, look at him, it's not
good for him" but she says again "Anything he wants he can have, even us. "
     "But kid it's not fair, why  doesn't  he  just sleep? " -- "He  doesn't
wanta  sleep,  he wants to  be with us" -- "Ooh, "  and I  realize Billie is
insane and I'm not as  insane as I thought and there's something  wrong -- I
feel myself skidding: also because  during the following week I keep sitting
in that same chair by the goldfish bowl drinking bottle after bottle of port
like  an  automaton,  worrying about  something, Monsanto  comes  to  visit,
McLear, Fagan, everybody, they call  to me dashing up the stairs and we have
long drunken  days talking but I  never seem to get  out  of that  chair and
never even take another  delightful warm bath  reading books -- And at night
Billie comes home and we  pitch into  love again like monsters who dont know
what else to do and by now I'm too blurry to know what's going on anyway tho
she  reassures  me everything is alright,  and meanwhile Cody has completely
disappeared -- In fact  I call him  up and say "Are you gonna  come back and
get me here?  "  -- "Yes yes yes in a few  days, stay there" as tho maybe he
wants me to learn what's happening like putting  me through an ordeal to see
what I have to say about it because he's been through the ordeal himself.
     In fact everything is going  crazy. Perry's visits scare me: I begin to
think he must be  one  of those "strong armers" who beat up old men: I watch
him warily -- All this  time he's pacing back and forth saying "Man dont you
appreciate  those sweet little cans? what does it matter how old a woman is,
nine or nineteen, those little pony tails jiggling as  they walk  with those
little jigglin cans"  -- 'Did you ever kidnap  one? "  -- "You  out of wine,
I'll make a  run for  you  get some more,  or would  you rather have  pot or
sumptin?  what's wrong  with  you? "  --  "I dont know what's  goin on! " --
"You're drinking too much maybe. Cody told me you're falling apart man, dont
do it" -- "But  what's goin on? " -- "Who cares, pops, we're all swinging in
love and  trying  to  go  from day to day with  self  respect while all  the
squares are putting us down" -- "Who? " -- "The Squares, putting down Us
     ... we wanta swing and live and carry across the night like when we get
to L. A. I'm  goin to show you the  maddest scene some friends of  mine down
there" (in  my drunkenness I've already projected a big trip with Billie and
Elliott and Perry to Mexico but we're going to  stop in  L. A. to see a rich
woman Perry knows  who's going  to give him  money  and if she  doesn't he's
going  to get it  anyway, and as I say Billie  and I are going to be married
too) -- The insanest week of my life
     --  Billie at night saying "You're worried  that I cant handle marrying
you but  of course we  can, Cody wants it too, I'll  talk to your mother and
make her  love me  and  need me: Jack! " she suddenly  cries  with anguished
musical  voice (because I've just  said "Ah Billie go get yourself a  he-man
and get married'), "You're my last chance to marry a He Man! " -- 'Whattayou
mean  He Man, dont  you realize I'm crazy? "  -- "You're crazy but you're my
last  chance  to have an understanding with a He Man" -- "What about Cody? "
"Cody will never  leave Evelyn" --  Very strange  --  But more,  tho I don't
understand it.





     I  do understand  the  strange day  Ben Fagan finally came  to visit me
alone,  bringing  wine,  smoking his  pipe, and  saying "Jack  you need some
sleep, that chair you say you've been sitting  in  for days have you noticed
the bottom is falling out of it? " -- I get on the floor and by God look and
it's true, the springs are coming  out -- "How long have you been sitting in
that chair?  " --  "Every day waiting for Billie to come home and talking to
Perry and the others all day... My God let's go out and sit in the park, " I
add -- In the blur  of  days  McLear has also been  over on  a forgotten day
when, on  nothing  but his  chance mention that  maybe I could  get his book
published in Paris I jump up and dial longdistance for Paris and call Claude
Gallimard and only get  his butler apparently in some Parisian suburb  and I
hear the  insane giggle on  the  other end of the line -- "Is this the home,
c'est le  chez eux de Monsieur Gallimard?  " -- Giggle --  "Ou  est Monsieur
Gallimard? "  -- Giggle -- A very strange phone call -- McLear waiting there
expectantly to get his "Dark Brown" published -- So  in a fury  of madness I
then call  London to talk to my old buddy Lionel just for no reason  at  all
and I finally reach him at home he's saying  on the  wire "You're calling me
from  San Francisco? but why? "... Which  I can't answer  any more than  the
giggling butler  (and  to  add  to  my  madness, of  course,  why  should  a
longdistance call to  Paris  to a  publisher  end  up with  a giggle  and  a
longdistance call to an old friend in London end  up with the friend getting
mad? )  -- So Fagan now sees I'm going overboard crazy and I need  sleep  --
"We'll get abottle! " I yell -- But end up, he's sitting in the grass of the
park smoking his pipe,  from  noon to 6 P.  M., and I'm passed out exhausted
sleeping in  the grass, bottle unopened,  only to wake up  once  in a  while
wondering where I am and  by God I'm in  Heaven with Ben Fagan watching over
men and me.
     And I say to Ben  when I wake up in the gathering 6 P. M. dusk "Ah  Ben
I'm sorry I ruined our  day by sleeping like this" but  he says: "You needed
the  sleep, I told  ya" -- "And you mean  to tell  me you  been  sitting all
afternoon like that? "  -- 'Watching  unexpected events,  " says  he,  "like
there seems to  be  sound of a Bacchanal in those bushes over  there"  and I
look and hear children yelling and screaming in hidden bushes in the park --
"What they doing? " -- "I  dont know: also a lot of  strange people went by"
-- "How long have I been sleeping? " -- "Ages" -- "I'm sorry" -- "Why should
be sorry,  I love  you anyway"  -- "Was I snoring? " -- 'You've been snoring
all day  and I've been sitting here all  day" -- "What a beautiful day! " --
'Yes it's been a beautiful day"  --  "How strange! " -- "Yes, strange... but
not so strange either, you're just tired" -- "What do you think of Billie? "
-- He chuckles over his pipe:  "What do you expect me to say? that  the frog
bit your leg? " -- "Why do you have a diamond in your forehead? " -- "I dont
have  a   diamond  in  my  forehead  damn  you  and  stop  making  arbitrary
conceptions!  " he roars -- "But what am I doing?  " -- "Stop thinking about
yourself, will ya, just float with the world" -- "Did the world float by the
park? " -- "All day, you should have seen it, I've smoked a whole package of
Edgewood, it's been  a  very strange day" --  "Are you sad I  didn't talk to
you? " -- "Not at  all, in fact I'm glad:  we better be  starting back, " he
adds,  'Billie be coming home from work soon  now" -- "Ah Ben, Ah Sunflower"
-- "Ah  shit" he says -- "It's  strange" -- "Who  said it wasn't" -- "I dont
understand it" -- 'Dont worry about it" -- "Hmm holy room, sad room, life is
a  sad room"  -- "All sentient  beings  realize that, "  he  says sternly --
Benjamin my  real Zen Master  even  more than  all  our Georges and  Arthurs
actually
     -- "Ben  I think I'm  going crazy" --  "You said that to me in 1955" --
"Yeh but  my brain's gettin  soft from drinkin  and  drinkin and drinkin" --
"What you  need  is  a cup of tea I'd  say if I didn't know that  you're too
crazy to know how really  crazy you are" --  "But why? what's going on? " --
"Did you come three thousand  miles to  find out? " -- "Three thousand miles
from where, after all? from whiney old me" -- "That's alright, everything is
possible,  even  Nietzsche  knew  that"  --  "Aint  nothin  wrong  with  old
Nietzsche" -- " "Xcept he went mad too" -- "Do you think I'm going mad? " --
"Ho  ho ho" (hearty  laugh)  -- 'What's  that mean,  laughing  at  me?  " --
"Nobody's laughing at you, dont get  excited" -- "What'll we  do now?  "  --
"Let's go  visit the museum  over there" -- There's a  museum  of some  sort
across the grass of the park so I get up wobbly and walk with old Ben across
the sad grass,  at one point I put my arm over  his shoulder and lean on him
-- "Are you a ghoul? " I ask -- 'Sure, why not? " -- "I like ghouls that let
me sleep? " -- "Duluoz it's  good for you  to drink in  a  way "cause you're
awful stingy with yourself when you're sober" -- "You sound  like Julien" --
"I never met Julien but I understand Billie looks like him, you  kept saying
that before you went to sleep" -- "What happened while  I was asleep? " "Oh,
people went by  and came back and forth  and  the sun sank and finally  sank
down  and's gone  now almost as you can see, what you want, just name it you
got it" -- "Well I want sweet salvation" -- "What's sposed to be sweet about
salvation? maybe it's sour" -- "It's sour in my  mouth" -- 'Maybe your mouth
is too big, or  too small, salvation  is  for  little  kitties but  only for
awhile" -- "Did you see any little kitties today? " -- "Shore,  hundreds  of
came  to visit  you while you were sleeping" -- "Really? "  -- "Sure, didn't
you know you were saved? " -- "Now come on! " --  "One of them  was real big
and  roared  like a lion but he had a big wet snout  and kissed you and  you
said "Ah""  -- "What's this museum  up  here?  "  -- "Let's  go in and  find
out'... That's the way Ben is, he  doesnt know what's going on either but at
least he waits to find  out maybe -- But  the museum  is closed  -- We stand
there on the steps looking at the closed door -- "Hey,  " I say, "the temple
is closed. "  So  suddenly in  red sundown me and Ben Fagan  arm in  arm are
walking slowly sadly back down the broad steps like two monks going down the
esplanade  of Kyoto  (as  I imagine  Kyoto somehow)  and we're both  smiling
happily suddenly
     -- I feel good because I've had my sleep but mainly I feel good because
somehow old Ben (my age) has blessed me by sitting over my sleep all day and
now with these few silly  words -- Arm in  arm we  slowly descend  the steps
without a word -- it's been the only peaceful day I've had in California, in
fact, except alone in the woods, which I  tell him and says "Well, who  said
you werent alone now? " making me realize the ghostliness of existence tho I
feel his big  bulging body with my  hands and say:  "You  sure some pathetic
ghost with all that ephemeral heavy crock  a flesh" -- "I didn't say nottin"
he laughs -- "Whatever  I say Ben, dont mind it, I'm  just a  fool"  -- "You
said  in 1957 in the grass drunk on whiskey you were the greatest thinker in
the world"  -- "That was before I fell asleep and woke up: now I realize I'm
no good at  all and that makes me feel free" -- "You're not  even free being
no good,  you better stop thinking, that's all'... "I'm glad  you visited me
today. I  think I might  have died'... "It's all your fault'... "What are we
gonna do with our  lives?  "  -- "Oh, " he  says, "I dunno, just  watch em I
guess" -- "Do you hate me?... well, do you like me?... well, how are things?
"  -- "The hicks are alright" --  "Anybody hex ya lately...? "... "Yeh, with
cardboard games?  " --  "Cardboard games?  " I ask... "Well  you  know, they
build  cardboard houses and put people in them  and the people are cardboard
and  the magician makes the dead  body twitch and they bring  water  to  the
moon, and the moon has a strange ear, and all that, so I'm  alright, Goof. "
'Okay. "




     So there  I  am as it starts to get dark  standing with one hand on the
window curtain looking down on the street as Ben Fagan walks away to get the
bus on the  corner, his big baggy corduroy pants  and  simple blue  Goodwill
workshirt, going  home  to the bubble bath and  a  famous  poem,  not really
worried  or at  least not worried  about what  I'm worried  about tho he too
carries  that  anguishing guilt  I  guess  and  hopeless  remorse  that  the
potboiler of  time hasnt made his early primordial  dawns over the  pines of
Oregon come true  -- I'm clutching  at  the  drapes of the  window  like the
Phantom of the Opera behind the masque, waiting  for Billie to come home and
remembering how I used to stand by the windows like this in my childhood and
look  out on dusky  streets and think how  awful  I  was in this development
everybody said was  supposed to be "my life" and  "their  lives'. -- Not  so
much that I'm a drunkard that I feel guilty about but that others who occupy
this  plane of "life  on earth" with me don't feel guilty at all  -- Crooked
judges shaving  and  smiling  in  the morning on  the  way  to their heinous
indifferences, respectable generals ordering soldiers by telephone to go die
or drop dead, pickpockets nodding  in cells saying "I  never hurt anybody, "
"that's one  thing you can say for me, yes sir', Women who regard themselves
saviors  of  men simply stealing  their  substance  because they think their
swan-rich necks deserve it anyway (though for every swan-rich neck  you lose
there's another ten waiting, each  one ready to lay for  a  lemon), in  fact
awful hugefaced monsters of men just because their shirts are clean deigning
to control the lives of working men by running for Governor saying "Your tax
money in my hands will be  aptly used, " "You should  realize how valuable I
am and how much you need me, without me what would you be, not led at all? "
-- Forward to the big designed mankind  cartoon of a man standing facing the
rising sun with strong  shoulders with a  plough at  his feet,  the necktied
governor is going to make hay while the sun rises -- ? -- I feel guilty  for
being a member of the  human race -- Drunkard yes and one of the worst fools
on earth -- In fact not even a genuine drunkard just a  fool -- But I  stand
there with  hand  on curtain looking  down for Billie, who's late, Ah  me, I
remember that frightening  thing Mila-repa  said which is  other  than those
reassuring words of  his I  remembered in the cabin of sweet loneness on Big
Sur:  "When the various experiences come to light in  meditation, do not  be
proud and  anxious  to  tell other people, else to Goddesses and Mothers you
will bring annoyance" and here I am a perfectly obvious fool American writer
doing  just  that not  only for a living (which I was always  able  to glean
anyway from railroad and ship and lifting boards and sacks with humble hand)
but  because if I  don't write what actually I see happening in this unhappy
globe  which  is rounded by the contours of  my deathskull I think I'll have
been sent on earth  by poor God  for nothing  -- Tho being a Phantom of  the
Opera why should that worry me? -- In my youth leaning my brow hopelessly on
the typewriter bar, wondering why God ever was anyway? --  Or  biting my lip
in brown glooms in the parlor chair in which my father's  died and we've all
died a million deaths
     --  Only Fagan  can  understand  and now  he's got his bus --  And when
Billie comes home  with Elliott I  smile  and sit  down in the chair and  it
utterly collapses under me, blang, I'm sprawled on the  floor with surprise,
the  chair has gone. 'How'd that happen?  " wonders Billie and at  the  same
time we  both look at  the fishbowl  and both the goldfishes  are upsidedown
floating dead on the surface of the water.
     I've been  sitting in that chair by that fishbowl for a  week  drinking
and smoking and talking and now the goldfish are dead.
     "What killed them? " "I don't know" -- "Did I kill them because  I gave
them some  Kelloggs  corn flakes? " -- "Mebbe,  you're not supposed to  give
them anything but their fish food" --  "But I thought they were  hungry so I
gave  them a few flicks of corn  flakes" -- "Well I dont  know  what  killed
them'... "But why dont anybody know?  what happened?  why  do they  do this?
otters and  mouses and every damn thing dyin on  all sides  Billie,  I  cant
stand  it, it's all my goddam  fault every time! " -- "Who said it  was your
fault dear? "... "Dear? you call me dear? why do you call me dear? "... "Ah,
let me  love  you"  (kissing me),  "just because  you  dont  deserve it"  --
(Chastised): "Why dont I deserve it" -- "Because you say so... "
     -- "But what about the fish'... "I dont know, really" -- "Is it because
I've been sitting in  that  crumbling chair  all week blowing smoke on their
water? and all the others smoking and all the  talk? " -- But the little kid
Elliott  comes  crawling up  his mommy's  lap  and  starts asking questions:
"Billie, " he  calls her, "Billie, Billie, Billie,  " feeling her  face, I'm
almost going mad from  the sadness of it all -- "What did you  do all day? "
-- "I was with Ben Fagan and slept in the park...  Billie what are  we gonna
do? " -- "Anytime you say like you said, we'll get married and fly to Mexico
with Perry and Elliott'...  'I'm afraid of  Perry and I'm afraid of Elliott"
-- "He's  only  a  little boy" --  "Billie I  dont  wanta  get married.  I'm
afraid... " -- 'Afraid? " -- "I wanta go home and die with my cat. " I could
be  a handsome  thin young  president  in  a suit sitting in an oldfashioned
rocking chair, no  instead I'm  just the Phantom of the  Opera standing by a
drape among  dead  fish and broken chairs -- Can it be that no one cares who
made  me  or why?... "Jack what's  the matter, what are you talking about? "
but suddenly as she's making supper and poor little Elliott is waiting there
with spoon upended in fist  I realize it's  just a  little family home scene
and I'm  just a nut in the wrong place  -- And in  fact Billie starts saying
"Jack we  should be married  and  have quiet suppers like this with Elliott,
something would sanctify  you  forever  I'm  positive. "  'What have  I done
wrong? " --  "What you've done wrong is withhold your love from a woman like
me  and from previous women and  future women like me -- can you imagine all
the  fun we'd have being married, putting Elliott to bed, going out to  hear
jazz  or even taking planes to Paris suddenly and all the things  I have  to
teach you and you teach me  -- instead all you've been doing is wasting life
really sitting around sad wondering where to  go and all the time it's right
there for you to  take"  "Supposin  I dont want it" --  "That's  part of the
picture where  you say  you dont want it, of course you  want... " -- "But I
dont,  I'm  a creepy  strange  guy you dont even  know"  -- ('Cweepy? what's
cweepy? Billie?  what's cweepy? "  is  asking poor  little  Elliott)...  And
meanwhile  Perry comes in for a minute and I pointblank say to him 'I  don't
understand you Perry, 1 love  you, dig you, you're wild, but what's all this
business where you wanta kidnap little  girls? " but suddenly as  I'm asking
that I see tears in his eyes and I realize he's  in love with Billie and has
always  been, wow I even say  it, "You're  in love with  Billie aint ya? I'm
sorry,  I'm cuttin out" -- "What are you talkin about man?  " -- It's a  big
argument then about  how he and  Billie are just friends so  1 start singing
Just Friends like  Sinatra "Two friends but not like before" but goodhearted
Perry  seeing me sing runs  downstairs to get  another  bottle for me -- But
nevertheless the fish are dead and the chair is broken.
     Perry in fact is a tragic young man with enormous potentials who's just
let himself swing  and float to  hell I guess, unless something else happens
to him soon, I look at him and realize that besides  loving Billie  secretly
and  truly  he  must also  love old Cody as much  as  I do and all the world
bettern  I do yet he is the  character who is always  being put  away behind
bars for this -- Rugged, covered with woe, he sits there with his black hair
always over his brow, over  his black eyes, his iron arms hanging helplessly
like  the arms of a powerful idiot in  the  madhouse,  with  the  beauty  of
lostness pasted all over him -- Who is he? in fact? -- And why doesnt blonde
Billie washing the homey  dishes there acknowledge his love? -- In  fact  me
and  Perry end  up  we're both sitting with hanging heads when Billie  comes
back in the livingroom and sees us like that, like two  repentant catatonics
in hell -- Some Negro comes  in and says if I  give him a few  dollars he'll
get some pot but as soon as I give him five dollars he suddenly says "Well I
aint gonna  get nothin" -- 'You got five dollars, go  out and get it"  -- "I
aint sure I can get any" -- I  dont like him at  all -- I suddenly realize I
can leap up  and throw him on the floor and take  the five dollars away from
him but I dont even care about the money but I am  mad about him  doing that
-- "Who is that guy? " -- I know that if I start fighting him he has a knife
and we'll  wreck Billie's livingroom too -- But suddenly another Negro comes
in and turns  out a sweet visit talking about jazz and brotherhood  and they
all  leave and me and Billie are alone to wonder some more. All the muscular
gum of sex is such a bore, but  Billie and I  have such a fantastic  sexball
anyway that's why we're  able to philosophize like that  and agree and laugh
together  in sweet nakedness "Oh baby we're together crazy, we could live in
an old log cabin in the hills and never say anything for years, it was meant
that we'd meet'... She's  saying all  kinds  of things as an  idea begins to
dawn on me:  'Say I  know Billie, let's leave the City and take Elliott with
us and go to Monsanto's  cabin in  the woods  for  a week or  two and forget
everything" "Yes I can call up my boss right now and get a coupla weeks off,
Oh Jack let's  do it" -- "And it'll be good for  Elliott,  get away from all
these sinister friends of yours,  my  God" -- "Perry aint sinister. " 'We'll
get married and go away and have a lodge in the Adirondacks, at night by the
lamp we'll have simple suppers with Elliott" -- Til make love to you always"
"But you wont even  have to because we both realize we're bugs... our  lodge
will have  truth written all over it but tho the whole world  come smear  it
with big black paints of hate and lies we'll be falling dead drunk in truth"
"Have some coffee" -- "My  hands'll grow  numb  and I wont be able to handle
the axe  but still I'll be the truth  man...  I'll stand by the drape of the
window  night listening to  the babble of  all the  world and I'll tell  you
about it" "But Jack I love you and that's not the only reason why, don't you
see that we're meant for each other from the beginning, didn't you see  that
when  you came  in  with Cody and  started calling me  Julien for that silly
reason you told me about where  I look like  some old buddy  you know in New
York"  -- "Who hates Cody's guts  and  Cody hates him"  -- 'But dont you see
what a  waste it is? " -- "But what about Cody? you want me to marry you but
you love  Cody and in fact Perry loves you too? " -- "Sure but  what's wrong
with  that  or all that? there's perfect love between us  forever there's no
doubt about  it but we only have two bodies" -- (a strange  statement) --  I
stand by the  window  looking out on the glittering San Francisco night with
its magic cardboard houses saying  "And  you have Elliott who doesnt like me
and I dont  like myself  either, how about  that? " (Billie says nothing  to
this but only stores up an anger that comes out  later) -- 'But  we can call
Dave Wain and he'll  drive us  to Big Sur cabin and  we'll  be alone  in the
woods at least" -- "I'm telling you  that's what  I wanta do! " -- "Call him
now! " -- I tell her the number and she dials it like a secretary "O the sad
music  of  it  all, I've  done  it  all, seen  it all, done everything  with
everybody" I  say phone  in hand,  "the whole world's coming on  like a high
school sophomore eager to learn what he calls New things, mind you, the same
old  singsong sad  song truth of death... because the reason I yell death so
much is because I'm really yelling life, because you cant have death without
life,  hello Dave? there  you are?  know  what I'm callin you  about? listen
pal... take that big brunette Romana that Rumanian madwoman and pack her  in
Willie and come down to Billie's here and pick us up, we'll pack while you's
en  route, honey's on,  and  we'll all  go spend  two  weeks  of  bliss  in/
Monsanto's cabin" -- "Does Monsanto agree? "... "I'll call him right now and
ask him, he'll say sure'... "Well I  thought  I'd  be painting Romana's wall
tomorrow but maybe I'd a just got drunk doin that anyway:  sure you wanta do
all this now? " -- "Yes yeh yeh, come on... " "And I can bring Romana? "
     ... "Yes but why not? "...  "And what's the purpose of  all this?  "...
"Ah  Daddy, maybe just  to see  you again  and  we can talk  about  purposes
anywhere:  you wanta go on a  lecture  tour  to  Utah  university  and Brown
university and tell the well scrubbed  kids? " -- 'Scrubbed  with what? "...
"Scrubbed  with  hopeless perfection  of pioneer  puritan  hope  that leaves
nothing but dead pigeons to look at? " -- "Okay I'll be right out... first I
gotta get Willie's tank filled up and  an oil  change  too" -- 'I'll pay you
when you  get here" -- "I heard you  were eloping with Billie"  -- "Who told
you that? " -- "It  was  in the  paper  today'... "Well  we'll  start off by
getting  into Willie  again  and dont  bring Ron Blake,  we'll  be  just two
couples dig? " -- 'Yeh -- and lissen I'll bring my surf castin rod and catch
some fish down there'... "We'll have  a ball... and listen Dave I'm grateful
you're free and willing to  drive us down there, I'm down in the mouth, I've
been sitting here for a week drinking and the chair  broke and the fish died
and I'm all screwed up again" -- "Well  you shouldnt oughta drink that sweet
stuff all the  time and you never eat"  -- "But that's not the real trouble"
"Well we'll decide what the real trouble is" -- "That's right"  -- "Methinks
the real trouble is those  pigeons" -- "Why?  " "I dunno, remember  when  we
were  in  East  St  Louis  with George,  and  Jack you said you'd love those
beautiful dancing girls if you knew they would live  forever as beautiful as
they are? " "But that's  only a quote from  Buddha"  -- "Yeh, but  the girls
didn't expect all that" -- "How ya feeling Dave? what's Fagan doing tonight"
-- "Oh he's  sitting in his room writing something, calls it his G O O F B O
O K,  has big wild  drawings in it, and Lex  Pascal  is drunk again and  the
music is playing and I'm real  sad and I'm glad you called'... "You  like me
Dave?  " --  "I ain't got  nothin  else to do, kid" -- "But  you really have
somethin else to  do really? "  -- "Lissen never mind, I'll be up,  you call
Monsanto right away  tho because we also gotta get the corral gate keys from
him" --  "I'm  glad I know you Dave"  -- "Me too Jack" --  "Why? "  "Maybe I
wanted to stand on my head in  the snow to prove it  but I do, am glad, will
be glad, after all that's right there's  nothing else for us to do but solve
these damn problems and I've got one right here in my pants for Romana" "But
that's so sick and tired to call  life a problem that can be solved" -- "Yes
but  I'm just repeating  what I read in  the dead pigeon  textbooks" -- "But
Dave I love you" -- "Okay I'll be right over. "




     We pack up little Eliott's pathetic  warmclothes and put  food together
and get the hamper  all set and wait  for Dave to come sadly in the night --
And  we have a big talk... "Billie but why did the fish die? " but she knows
already  they  probably  died  because I gave  them Kelloggs  cornflakes  or
something went wrong, one thing sure is  that  she didnt forget to feed them
or anything, it's  all me, all my  fault, I'd as  soon  be  rusted by autumn
too-much-think  than be  dead-fisher cause  of  those poor  little  hunks of
golden death floating on that scummy water -- It reminds me of  the otter --
But I cant explain it to Billie  who's  all abstract  and talking  about our
abstract soul-meetings in hell, and little Elliott is pulling  at her asking
"Where we going? where we going? what for? what for? " She's saying "And all
because you think you don't deserve to be loved because you think you caused
the  death  of  the  goldfish  tho  they  probably  just  died on their  own
accord'... "Why would they do that? why? what kind of logic is that for fish
to have? " -- "Or  because  you think you drink too much and therefore every
time you're  feeling  good on a little booze you give up and say your  hands
hang helpless, like you said last  night when you were holding me with those
hands blessing my heart and my body with your love, O Jack it's time for you
to wake up and  come with me or  at least come  with somebody and  open your
eyes to why God's put  you here, stop all that staring at the floor, you and
Perry  both you're  crazy -- I'll draw you  magic moon circles'll change all
your luck" -- I look her dead in the eye and it is blue and I say "O Billie,
forgive me"  -- "But you  see  you go there talkin  guilty again" -- "Well I
dont know all those big theories about how everything should be goddamit all
I  know is that I'm a helpless hunk of helpful horse manure  looking in your
eye saying Help  me" --  "But when  you make those  big  final statements it
doesnt help you" --  "Of course I know  that  but what do you want? " --  "I
want us to get  married and  settle  down to a  sensible understanding about
eternal things"  -- "And  you may be right" -- I see it all raving before me
the endless yakking  kitchen mouthings of life, the long dark grave of tomby
talks under midnight kitchen bulbs, in fact it fills me with love to realize
that life so avid and misunderstood nevertheless reaches out skinny skeleton
hand to  me and to Billie too -- But you know  what I  mean. And this is the
way it begins.




     It sounds all so sad  but it was actually such a  gay night as Dave and
Romana came  over and there's all the business of  packing boxes and clothes
down to  the car, nipping out of bottles, getting  ready in fact to sing all
the way to Big Sur 'Home On the Range"  and "I'm Just a Lonsome Old Turd" by
Dave Wain  -- Me  sitting up  front next to Dave and Romana for some  reason
maybe because I wanted to identify with my old broken front rockingchair and
lean there  flapping and singing  but with  Romana  between  us  the seat is
pinned down and no longer flaps  -- Meanwhile Billie is on the back mattress
with sleeping child and off we go booming down Bay Shore to that other shore
whatever it will bring, the way people always  feel whenever they essay some
trip long or short  especially in the night... The eyes of hope looking over
the glare of  the hood into the maw  with its white line feeding in straight
as an arrow, the lighting  of fresh cigarettes, the buckling to lean forward
to the  next adventure  something that's been going on in America ever since
the covered wagons  clocked  the deserts  in  three  months  flat --  Billie
doesn't mind that I dont sit in back with her because she knows I wanta sing
and have a good time -- Romana and I hit up fantastic medleys of popular and
folk songs of all kinds and Dave contributes his New York Chicago blue light
nightclub romantic baritone specialities --  My wavering  Sinatra  is barely
heard in fact -- Beat on your knees and yell and sing Dixie and  Banjo On My
Knee,  get raucous and  moan out Red  River Valley, "Where's my harmonica, I
been meanin  to  buy  me a eight dollar harmonica for eight  years now. " It
always starts out good like that,  the  bad moments -- Nothing is  gained or
lost also by the fact that I insist we stop at Cody's en route so I can pick
up some clothes I left there but secretly I want Evelyn to finally come face
to  face  with  Billie -- It surprises  me more  however to see the  look of
absolute fright on Cody's face as we  pour into  his livingroom at  midnight
and I announce that Billie's in the jeep sleeping -- Evelyn is not perturbed
at all and in fact says to me privately in the kitchen "I guess it was bound
to happen sometime she'd come here and see it but I guess it was destined to
be you who'd bring her" "What's Cody so worried about? " -- "You're spoiling
all  his  chance to be real  secretive"  -- "He hasnt come and seen us for a
whole week, that's in a  way  what happened, he just left me stranded there:
I've been feeling awful, too"
     -- "Well if you want you can ask her to come in" "Well we're leaving in
a minute  anyway, you wanta  see  her  at least?  " "I dont care" -- Cody is
sitting in the livingroom absolutely rigid, stiff,  formal, with a big Irish
stone in his eye: I know he's  really mad at me  this time tho I dont really
know why I go out and there's Billie alone  in the car over sleeping Elliott
biting  her fingernail -- "You  wanta  come  in and  meet  Evelyn?  " --  "I
shouldnt, she  wont like  that,  is Cody there? " -- "Yah" --  So  Willamine
climbs out (I  remember  just  then  Evelyn  telling  me seriously that Cody
always calls his women by their full first names, Rosemarie, Joanna, Evelyn,
Willamine, he never  gives them silly nicknames nor uses them). The  meeting
is not eventful, of course, both girls keep their silence and hardly look at
each other so it's all me and Dave Wain carrying on with  the usual  boloney
and  I see  that  Cody is really  very  sick and tired of me  bringing gangs
arbitrarily to his place, running off with  his  mistress, getting drunk and
thrown  out of  family  plays,  hundred dollars or  no  hundred  dollars  he
probably feels I'm just a fool now anyway and hopelessly lost  forever but I
dont  realize  that myself because  I'm feeling good --  I want us to resume
down that  road  singing bawdier  and darker  songs till  we're  negotiating
narrow mountain roads at the pitch of the greatest songs.
     I try to ask Cody about Perry and all the other strange  characters who
visit Billie in the City but he just  looks at  me out of the corner eye and
says "Ah, yah, hm, "... I dont know  and I never will know what  he's up  to
anyway in  the long  run: I realize I'm just a silly  stranger  goofing with
other strangers  for  no reason far away from anything that ever mattered to
me  whatever that  was... Always an  ephemeral "visitor" to. the Coast never
really involved  with  anyone's lives there because I'm always  ready to fly
back across  the country but not  to any life of  my own  on  the other  end
either, just a traveling stranger like Old Bull Balloon, an  exemplar of the
loneliness of Doren Coit actually waiting for  the only real trip, to Venus,
to  the  mountain  of Mien  Mo --  Tho when I look out of Cody's  livingroom
window  just then  I do see my star still  shining for me as  it's  done all
these 38 years over crib, out ship windows, jail  windows, over sleepingbags
only now it's dummier and dimmer and getting blurreder damnit as tho even my
own star be now fading away from concern for me as I  from concern for it...
In  fact  we're  all  strangers with  strange  eyes  sitting in  a  midnight
livingroom  for nothing --  And small talk at that,  like Billie  saying  "I
always  wanted  a nice fireplace" and I'm yelling "Dont worry we  got one at
the cabin hey Dave? and all the wood's  chopped! " and Evelyn: -- 'What does
Monsanto think of you using his cabin all summer, weren't you supposed to go
there alone in secret? " -- "It's too late now! " I  sing swigging from  the
bottle  without which I'd only drop with shame  face flat on the floor or on
the gravel driveway -- And Dave and Romana look a  little uneasy  finally so
we all get up to go, zoom, and  that's  the last time I  see Cody or  Evelyn
anyway.
     And as  I say  our  songs grow mightier as  the road  grows  darker and
wilder, finally here we are on the canyon road the headlights  just reaching
out there around bleak sand shoulders -- Down to the  creek  where  I unlock
the corral gate -- Across the meadow  and back to the haunted cabin -- Where
on the strength of  that night's booze  and  getaway  gladness  Billie and I
actually have a  good time lighting fires and making  coffee and gong to  be
together in the one  sleepingbag  easy as pie after we've bundled up  little
Elliott and  Dave and Romana have  retired in  his  double nylon bag  by the
creek in the moonlight.
     No, it's the next day and night that concerns me.




     The whole day begins  simply enough with me getting up feeling fair and
going down to the creek to slurp  up water in  my  palms and wash up, seeing
the languid waving of one large brown thigh over  the mass of Dave's  nylons
indicative of an early morning  love scene, in  fact Romana telling us later
at breakfast "When I woke up  this morning and saw all those trees and water
and  clouds I told Dave "It's a beautiful  universe  we  created"'... A real
Adam  and  Eve  waking  up,  in  fact this being one of Dave's gladdest days
because he'd really wanted  to get away from  the City again anyway and this
time with a pretty doll,  and's brought his surf casting gear planning a big
day -- And we've brought a  lot of good food -- The only trouble is  there's
no more wine so Dave  and Romana go off in Willie to get some more anyway at
a  store  thirteen miles  south  down  the highway -- Billie and I are alone
talking by the fire... I begin to feel extremely low as soon as last night's
alcohol wears off.
     Everything is trembly again, the trembling hand, I cant for a fact even
light the fire and Billie has to do it -- "I cant light a fire any more! " I
yell... "Well I can"  she says in a rare instance  when  she lets me have it
for being such a nut -- Little  Elliott is constantly  pulling at her asking
this and that, "What is that stick for, to put in the fire? why? how does it
burn? why does it burn? where are we? when  are we  leaving" and the pattern
develops where she  begins to talk to him instead of  me anyway because  I'm
just  sitting  there staring at the floor sighing -- Later when he takes his
nap  we go down the path to the beach, about noon, both of us sad and silent
-- "What's the  matter I  wonder" I say out  loud  --  She:  'Everything was
alright last night when we slept in the bag together now  you wont even hold
my hand...  goddamit I'm going to  kill myself! " -- Because  I've begun  to
realize in my soberness that  this thing has come too far, that I  dont love
Billie, that  I'm leading her  on,  that  I made a mistake dragging everyone
here, that I simply wanta go  home now, I'm just plumb  sick  and tired just
like Cody  I  guess  of the whole nervewracking  scene bad  enough as it  is
always pivoting back  to  this poor haunted canyon which  again gives me the
willies as we walk  under the bridge  and  come to those heartless  breakers
busting in on sand higher than earth  and  looking like the heartlessness of
wisdom -- Besides I suddenly  notice as if for the  first time the awful way
the leaves of the canyon that have managed  to be blown to the  surf are all
hesitantly advancing  in gusts of wind then finally plunging into  the surf,
to be dispersed and belted and melted and taken off to sea -- I turn  around
and notice  how the wind is just harrying them  off  trees and into the sea,
just  hurrying them as it were  to death -- In my condition  they look human
trembling to that brink -- Hastening, hastening  -- In  that awful huge roar
blast of autumn Sur wind.
     Boom, clap, the waves are  still talking but now I'm sick and  tired of
whatever  they ever said or ever will say -- Billie  wants me to stroll with
her down towards the caves but I dont want to get up from the sand where I'm
sitting back to boulder... She goes alone -- I suddenly remember James Joyce
and stare at  the  waves realizing "All summer you were sitting here writing
the so called sound of the waves  not realizing how  deadly serious our life
and doom is, you fool, you happy kid with a pencil, dont you realize  you've
been using words as a happy game -- all those marvelous skeptical things you
wrote about graves and sea death  it's ALL TRUE YOU FOOL! Joyce is dead! The
sea took him! it  will  take YOU! " and I  look  down the beach and  there's
Billie wading in the  treacherous undertow, she's  already  groaned  several
times earlier (seeing my indifference and also of course the hopelessness at
Cody's  and the hopelessness  of her  wrecked apartment  and wretched  life)
"Someday I'm going to commit suicide, " I suddenly wonder if she's going  to
horrify the heavens and  me too with a sudden suicide walk into  those awful
undertows... I see her sad blonde hair flying, the sad thin figure, alone by
the sea, the leaf-hastening sea, she  suddenly reminds me of  something... I
remember her musical sighs of death and I see the words clearly imprinted in
my mind over  her figure in the sand: -- ST CAROLYN BY  THE SEA -- "You were
my last, chance" she's said but dont all women say that?... But can it be by
"last  chance"  she  doesnt  mean  mere marriage  but  some  profoundly  sad
realization  of something in me  she really needs to go on living,  at least
that  impression coming across anyway on the  force  of all the gloom  we've
shared -- Can it be I'm  withholding from her something sacred just like she
says, or am  I just  a fool who'll  never learn to have a  decent  eternally
minded deepdown relation with a woman and keep throwing that away for a song
at a bottle? -- In which case my  own  life is over anyway and there are the
Joycean waves with their blank mouths saying "Yes that's so, " and there are
the leaves hurrying one by one down the  sand and dumping  in -- In fact the
creek is freighting hundreds more of them  a minute right  direct  from  the
back hills -- That big wind blasts and roars, it's all yellow sunny and blue
fury everywhere -- I see the rocks wobble as it seems God is  really getting
mad for such a  world  and's about to destroy it: big  cliffs wobbling in my
dumb eyes: God says "It's gone too far, you're all destroying everything one
way  or the other  wobble boom the end  is NOW. " 'The Second  Coming,  tick
lock, " I think shuddering -- St Carolyn by the Sea is going in further -- I
could run and go see her but she's so far away -- I realize that if that nut
is going to try this I'll have to make an awful run and swim to get her -- I
get up and edge over but just then she  turns around and starts back... "And
if 1 call her "that nut" in my  secret thoughts wonder what she  calls me? "
-- O hell, I'm sick of life -- If I  had  any guts I'd  drown myself in that
tiresome  water but that wouldnt be getting it over at all, I  can just  see
the big transformations and plans jellying down there to curse us up in some
other wretched suffering form eternities of  it --  I  guess that's what the
kid feels --  She looks so sad down there wandering Ophelialike in bare feet
among thunders.
     On top of that now here come the tourists, people from other  cabins in
the  canyon, it's the sunny season and they're  out  two three times a week,
what a dirty look I get from the elderly  lady who's apparently  heard about
the  "author" who was  secretly  invited to Mr Monsanto's  cabin but instead
brought  gangs  and  bottles and today worst of all trollopes -- (Because in
fact earlier that morning Dave and Romana have already made love on the sand
in broad daylight visible not only to  others  down  the beach but from that
high new cabin on the shoulder of the cliff) (tho hidden from sight from the
bridge by cliffwall) -- So it's all well known news now there's a ball going
on  in  Mr Monsanto's cabin and him not even here -- This elderly lady being
accompanied by children of all kinds -- So that when Billie returns from the
far end of the beach and starts back with me  down the path  (and  I'm silly
with  a big footlong wizard pipe in my  mouth trying to light it in the wind
to cover  up)  the lady gives her the once over real close  but Billie  only
smiles lightly like a little girl and chirps hello.
     I feel like  the  most disgraceful and nay disreputablewretch on earth,
in fact  my hair is blowing  in beastly streaks across my stupid and moronic
face, the hangover has now worked paranoia into me down to the last pitiable
detail.  Back  at the cabin I cant chop wood for fear I'll cut a foot off, I
cant sleep,  I cant  sit, I cant pace, I  keep going to  the creek to  drink
water till finally  I'm  going down there a  thousand times making Dave Wain
wonder as he's come back with more wine -- We sit  there slugging out of our
separate bottles, in my  paranoia I begin to wonder why  I get to drink just
the  one  bottle and he the  other -- But he's  gay "I am now going out surf
castin and catch us a grabbag of fish for a marvelous supper; Romana you get
the salad  ready and anything else you can think of; we'll leave  you  alpne
now" he adds to gloomy me and Billie thinking he's in our way, "and say, why
dont we go to Nepenthe and private our grief tonight and enjoy the moonlight
on the terrace with Manhattans, or go see Henry Miller? " -- "No! " I almost
yell, "I mean I'm so exhausted I dont  wanta do anything or  see anybody'...
(already  feeling  awful  guilt about  Henry Miller  anyway,  we've  made an
appointment with  him about  a  week  ago and instead  of showing up  at his
friend's house in Santa Cruz at  seven  we're  all drunk at ten calling long
distance  and poor Henry just said  "Well I'm sorry I dont  get to meet  you
Jack  but I'm an old man and  at ten o'clock  it's time for me to go to bed,
you'd never make it here till  after midnight  now') (his voice on the phone
just  like  on  his  records,  nasal,  Brooklyn,  goodguy   voice,  and  him
disappointed  in a way  because he's  gone  to the  trouble  of writing  the
preface to  one  of  my books)  (tho  I suddenly now think in  my remorseful
paranoias 'Ah the hell with it he was only gettin in the  act like all these
guys write prefaces so you dont  even get to read the author  first') (as an
example of how really psychotically suspicious and loco I was getting).
     Alone with Billie's even worse -- "I cant see anything to do now, " she
says  by the fire like  an ancient Salem housewife  ('Or Salem  witch? " I'm
leering)  -- "I  could  have  Elliott taken  care of in a private home or an
orphanage and just go to a  nunnery myself, there's a lot of them  around --
or  I  could kill  myself  and Elliott both"  --  "Dont talk  like that"  --
"There's  no other  way to talk when there's no more  directions to take" --
"You've got me all wrong I wouldnt be any good for you" -- "I know that now,
you want to be a hermit you say but you dont  do it much  I noticed,  you're
just tired of life and wanta sleep, in a way that's how I feel too only I've
got Elliott to worry about... I could take both our lives and solve that" --
'You, creepy talk" -- 'You told me the first night you loved me,  that I was
most interesting, that you hadn't met anyone you liked so much then you just
went on drinking, I really can see now what they say about  you is true: and
all the others like you: O I realize  you're a writer and suffer through too
much but you're really ratty sometimes... but even that I know you cant help
and I know you're not really ratty but  awfully broken up like you explained
to me, the reasons
     ... but  you're always groaning about how sick you are, you really dont
think  about others  enough  and I KNOW you cant  help it,  it's  a  curious
disease a lot of us have anyway only better hidden sometimes... but what you
said the first night and even just now about me being St Carolyn in the Sea,
why dont you follow through with what your heart knows  is Good and best and
true,  you  give  up so easy to discouragement...  then I guess too you dont
really want me and just wanta go home  and resume  your own  life maybe with
Louise your girlfriend'... "No I couldn't with her either. I'm just bound up
inside like constipation, I cant move emotionally like you'd say emotionally
as tho  that  was some  big  grand magic  mystery  everybody  saying "O  how
wonderful life is, how miraculous, God  made this and God made that", how do
you know he doesnt hate what He did: He might even be drunk and not noticing
what he went and done tho of course that's not true" --  "Maybe God is dead"
-- "No, God cant be dead because He's the unborn'... "But you have all those
philosophies and sutras you were talking about" -- 'But dont you see they've
all  become empty words, I realize I've been playing like a happy  --  child
with words words words in  a big serious tragedy, look around" -- "You could
make some effort, damn it! "
     But  what's even ineffably worse is  that the  more she advises me  and
discusses the trouble  the worse and worse it gets, it's  as tho  she didn't
know what she was  doing, like an unconscious witch,  the more she tries  to
help the more I tremble/almost too  realizing she's doing it on purpose  and
knows she's witching  me but it's all gotta be formally understood as "help"
dingblast it -- She  must be some kind of chemical counterpart to me, I just
cant stand her for a minute, I'm racked with guilt because  all the evidence
there  seems to say she's a wonderful person  sympathizing in  her quiet sad
musical  voice with an obvious rogue nevertheless  none  of  these  rational
guilts stick --  All I feel is the invisible stab from her  -- She's hurting
me! -- At some points  in our conversation I'm a veritable ham actor jumping
up to twitch my head, that's the effect she has -- "What's the matter? " she
asks softly -- Which  makes me almost scream and I've  never screamed in  my
life --  It's the first time in my life I'm not confident I  can hold myself
together no matter  what happens and be inly calm  enough to even smile with
condescension at the screaming hysterias  of women in madwards -- I'm in the
same madward all of a  sudden... And  what's happened?  what's caused  it...
"Are you driving me mad on  purpose? " I finally blurt... But  naturally she
protests I'm talking  out  of  my  head,  there's  no such evident intention
anywhere, we're just on a happy weekend in the  country with  friends. "Then
there's something  wrong with ME! " I yell  -- "That's  obvious but why dont
you try  to calm  down and  for instance  like make love  to me,  I've  been
begging you all day and all you  do is groan and  turn  away as tho I was an
ugly old bat" --  She comes and offers herself to me softly and gently but I
just stare at my quivering wrists --  It's really very awful -- It's hard to
explain -- Besides then the  little boy is constantly coming at  Billie when
she kneels  at my  lap or sits  on it or tries to soothe my hair and comfort
me, he keeps saying in the same pitiful voice "Dont do it Billie dont  do it
Billie dont  do  it Billie"  till  finally  she has  to  give  up that sweet
patience of hers where  she answers his  every  little pathetic question and
yell "Shut up! Elliott will  you shut upl DO I have to beat you again! " and
I groan "No! " but Elliott yells louder "Dont do it Billie dont do it Billie
dont  do  it  Billie!  "  so she  sweeps him  off  and  starts  whacking him
screamingly on the porch and I am about to throw in the towel and gasp up my
last, it's horrible.
     Besides  when she beats Elliott she  herself  cries  and  then will  be
yelling madwoman  things like  "I'll kill  both  of us if you dont stop, you
leave me no alternative! O my child! " suddenly picking him up and embracing
him rocking  tears,  and gnashing of hair and  all under those  old peaceful
blue-jay trees where in fact  the  jays are still waiting for their food and
watching all this -- Even so Alf the Sacred Burro is in the yard waiting for
somebody to  give him an apple -- I  look up  at  the  sun going down golden
throughout  the insane  shivering  canyon,  that  blasted  rogue wind  comes
topping down  trees a mile away with an advancing roar that when it hits the
broken  cries of mother and son in grief are blown away with all those crazy
scattering leaves -- The creek screeches -- A door bangs horribly, a shutter
follows  suit, the house shakes -- I'm beating my  knees in the din and cant
even  hear that. 'What's I got to do with you  committing  suicide anyway? "
I'm yelling -- "Alright, it has nothing to do with you" -- "So okay you have
no  husband  but at least  you've got little Elliott, he'll grow up  and  be
okay,  you can always meanwhile go on with your job, get married, move away,
do something, maybe it's Cody but more than  that I'd say it's all those mad
characters making you insane and wanta kill yourself like that -- Perry... "
-- "Dont talk about Perry, he's wonderful and sweet and I  love him and he's
much kinder to  me than you'll ever be: at least he gives of himself -- "But
what's  all  this giving  of  ourselves, what's there  to give  that'll help
anybody'... "You'll never know you're so wrapped up in yourself -- We're now
starting to insult each other which would be a healthy sign except she keeps
breaking down and crying on my shoulder more or less again insisting I'm her
last chance  (which  isnt true)...  "Let's go to a monastery together, " she
adds  madly... "Evelyn, I mean Billie you might go to  a nunnery at that, by
God get thee to a nunnery, you look like you'd make a nun, maybe that's what
you  need all that  talk about Cody  about religion  maybe all  this worldly
horror is just holding you back from what you  call your true realizing, you
could become a big reverend mother someday with not a worry on your mind tho
I met  a reverend mother once who cried... ah it's all so sad"  -- "What did
she cry about? " -- "I dont know, after talking to me,  I  remember  I  said
some silly things like "the  universe is  a woman because  it's round" but I
think she  cried because she was remembering her early days when she  had  a
romance  with some soldier who died, at least that's what they say, she  was
the greatest woman I ever saw, big blue eyes,  big smart woman... you  could
do that, get out of this  awful mess and leave it all behind" -- "But I love
love too much for that"  -- "And not because  you're sensual either you poor
kid" -- In fact we quiet down a little and do actually make love in spite of
Elliott pulling at  her  'Billie don't do it don't do it Billie don't do it"
till right in the middle I'm yelling "Don't  do what? what's he mean? -- can
it be  he's right  and  Billie you shouldnt  do  it? can it be we're sinning
after all's said and done? O this is insane! -- but he's the most insane  of
them  all, " in fact  the child is up on bed with us tugging at her shoulder
just  like  a  grownup jealous lover trying to pull a woman off  another man
(she being on top indication of exactly how helpless and  busted  down  I've
become and here it is only four in the afternoon) -- A little drama going on
in  the cabin maybe a little different than what cabins  are intended for or
the local neighbors are imagining.




     But  there's  an  awful paranoiac  element  sometimes  in  orgasm  that
suddenly  releases  not  sweet  genteel sympathy but  some token  venom that
splits up  in  the body  --  I  feel a great ghastly  hatred  of  myself and
everything, the empty feeling far from being  the usual relief is now as tho
I've been robbed  of my spinal  power right  down the middle on purpose by a
great witching  force --  I feel evil  forces gathering down all  around me,
from her, the kid, the very walls  of the cabin, the trees,  even the sudden
thought of Dave Wain  and Romana is evil,  they're all coming now -- I leave
poor Billie face in  hand and rush off to drink water in the creek but every
time I do something like that I have to run back to be sorry and say so, but
the moment I see  her again "She's doing something else" I leer and  I don't
feel sorry at  all --  She's mumbling  face  in  hands and the  little boy's
crying at her side -- "My God she should get to a nunnery! " I think rushing
back to the creek... Suddenly the water in the creek tastes different as tho
somebody's  thrown  gasoline or  kerosene in  it  upstream  --  'Maybe those
neighbors wanta get back at me that's what! " -- I taste the water carefully
and I'm positive that's what happened.
     Like  an idiot  I'm sitting by the  creek staring when Dave Wain  comes
striding down with  one fish  on the line and his big cheerful western twang
as tho  nothing  unusual's  happened "Well boy I spent a whole two hours and
look what I got! one measly but beautiful pathetic as you'll see holy little
rainbow sea trout that I'm now  going to clean... Now the  way to clean fish
is as follows, "  and  he kneels innocently by the creek to show me how -- I
have nothing else to do  but  watch and smile -- He says: "Be prepared to be
taken on tour  of  Farollone  Island within next two  years, boy, with  wild
canaries actually lighting on  your boat hundreds of miles out at sea -- See
I'm tryna to save money for a fishboat of my own, I think fishing is bettern
anything and I  intend to entirely reorganize my life for this tho I see the
stern image of Fagan shrieking with a Roshi stick,  but you ought to see how
fast you can bait up hundreds of herring and clean salmon in one  and a half
minutes, it's a  fact,  and you walk  about in hickory shirts and wool  knit
caps -- Man I  know all about it and I'm  writing a final definitive article
on how  clean hard work is  the saviour of us  all -- When you're out  there
it's a very primal light,  fishing is -- You're a hunter  -- Birds find fish
for you --  Weather  drives you -- Foolish  mind-hangs dissolve before utter
fatigue and everything comes in" -- As I squat there I imagine maybe  Billie
is telling Romana what happened in the cabin and Dave'11 know in a while tho
he seems to  know a lot that's going on  --  He's hinted several times, like
now, "You look  like you're having  the  worse time of  your  life, that kid
Elliott is enough to drive anybody crazy and Billie is sure a nervous little
wench -- Now here's the way you scale, with this here knife" -- And I marvel
that I cant be so  useful and humanly simple and good enough to  make  small
talk to make  others feel better, like Dave,  there he is long and hollow of
cheeks  from  long  drinking  himself the  past  few  weeks,  but  he's  not
complaining or  moaning in the  corner like me,  at least he  does something
about it, he puts himself to the test -- He gives me that feeling again that
I'm the only person in the world who is  devoid of human beingness, damn it,
that's true, that's the way I feel anyway -- "Ah Dave someday you  and me'll
go fishing in your  abandoned mining camp  on the Rogue River, huh, we'll be
feeling better by then somehow gaddamit" "Well we've got to cut  down on the
sauce a whole lot, Jack,  " saying "Jack" sadly a lot like Jarry Wagner used
to  do on our Dharmabumming mountain climbs where we'd confide dolors, "yes,
and we drink too many SWEET drinks in a way,  you know all that sugar and no
food is bound to upset your metabolism and fill your blood with sugar to the
point  where you aint  got the strength of a hen; you especially you've been
drinking  nothin  but sweet  port  and  sweet  Manhattans now for weeks -- I
promise you the holy flesh of this little fish will heal you, " (chuckle). I
suddenly look at  the  fish and feel horrible all over again, that old death
scheme is back only  now I'm gonna put my big healthy  Anglosaxon teeth into
it and wrench away at the mournful flesh  of a little living being that only
an hour ago/was swimming happily in the sea, in fact even Dave thinking this
and saying:  "Ah yes that little muzzling mouth was blindly sucking  away in
the glad waters of life and now look at it, here's  where the fittin  head's
chopped off, you dont have to look, us big drunken sinners are now  going to
use it for  our sacrificial supper  so in fact  when we cook it I'm going to
say an Indian prayer  for  it hoping it's the  same prayer the local Indians
used  -- Jack in a way we might even start  having fun here and make a great
week out of it! " -- "Week? "  -- "I thought we was coming here for a  week"
-- "Oh I said that didn't I... I feel awful about everything... I dont think
I can make it... I'm going crazy with Billie and Elliott and me too... maybe
I'll have to, maybe we'll have to leave or something, I think I'll die here"
-- And Dave is disappointed  naturally and here  I've already routed him  up
out of his own affairs to  drive down here anyway, another matter to make me
feel like a rat.




     But Dave's making the best of clomping up and down  the cabin preparing
the bag  of cornmeal and starting the corn oil in the frying pan, Romana too
she's making an exquisite big salad with lots of mayonnaise and in fact poor
Billie is  mutely helping  her setting  the  table and  the  little  boy  is
crooning  by the stove it's  almost  like a happy domestic scene suddenly --
Only I watch  it  from the  porch with  horrified eyes -- Also because their
shadows in the lamplight gone casting on the walls look huge and monsterlike
and witch-like and warlock-like, I'm alone in the woods with happy ghosts --
The wind is  howling as the sun goes down so I  go in, but I go  out at once
again madly to my creek, always thinking the creek itself will give me water
that will clear away everything and reassure me forever (also remembering in
my distress  Edgar  Cayce's advice  "Drink  a  lot  of water')  but "There's
kerosene in the water! " I  yell in  the wind, nobody hearing -- I feel like
kicking the creek and  screaming -- I turn around and there's the cabin with
its  warm interiors, the silent  people inside  all noticeably glum  because
they cant understand anyway what's  with the  nut wandering  in and out from
cabin to creek, silent, wan faced, stupefacted, trembling and sweating  like
midsummer was on the  roof and  instead it's even  cold now -- I sit in  the
chair with  my back to  the door and watch Dave as  he lectures  on bravely.
'What we're  having is a  sacrificial banquet with all kinds of  goodies you
see laid  in  a regal spread around one little delicious fish so that we all
have to pray to the fish and take tiny little bites, we only have about four
bites apiece  and there's all kinds of parts of the fish where the bites are
more  significant -- But  beyond that  the way to properly fry a freshcaught
fish is to be sure the oil is burning and furiously so when you lay the fish
in it, not  burning but real hot  oil, well, yeh even  burning, hand  me the
spat, you then gently lay  the fish into  the  oil  and  create a tremendous
crackling  racket" (which he does as Romana cheers) (and  I glance at Billie
and  she's thinking of  something else like  a nun in  the  corner) but Dave
keeps on making jokes  till he actually has us all smiling -- While the fish
is cooking, tho, Romana as she's been doing all day is constantly handing me
a bite  to  eat, some hors d'oeuvres or piece of tomato or other, apparently
trying  to  help  me feel better... "You've got to  EAT"  she and Dave  keep
saying but I dont want to eat and yet they're always holding out bites to my
mouth until  finally now I begin to frown thinking  "What's  all these bites
they keep throwing at me, poison? -- and what's wrong  with my eyes, they're
all dilated black like I've had drugs,  all I've had is wine, did  Dave  put
drugs in my wine or  something? thinking it  will help or  something? or are
they members  of a secret society that dopes  people secretly the idea being
to enlighten them or something? " even as Romana is handing me a bite and  I
take it from her  big brown  hands  and chew... She's wearing purple panties
and purple  bras, nothing else, just for fun, Dave's slappin her on the  can
joyfully as  he cooks the supper, it's  some big  erotic natural thing to do
for Romana, she believes in showing her beautiful big body anyway -- In fact
at one  point when Billie's up leaning over a chair  Dave goes behind Billie
and playfully touches  her and winks at  me,  but I'm not of all this like a
moron and we  could all  be having fun such as  soldiers dream the  day away
imagining,  dammit  -- But the venoms in the blood  are asexual  as well  as
asocial  and a-everything --  "Billie's so nice and  thin,  like I'm used to
Romana  maybe  I should switch around here for variety,  " says Dave  at the
sizzling frying pan I look over my shoulder and see at first  with a leap of
joy but then with ominous fear an enormous full  moon  at full fat  standing
there between Mien Mo mountain  and the north canyon wall, like saying to me
as I look over my trembling shoulder "Hoo doo you. "
     But I say  "Dave, look,  as  if all this wasn't enough" and I point out
the moon to him, there's dead silence in the trees and also among us inside,
there she is, vast lugubrious fullmoon that frights madmen and makes  waters
wave, she's got one or two treetops silhouetted and's got that whole side of
the canyon lit  up  in silver  Dave  just looks at  the  moon with his tired
madness eyes (over-excited eyes, my mother'd said) and says nothing I go out
to the creek  and drink water and  come back and wonder about  the moon  and
suddenly the four shadows in the cabin area all dead silent as tho  they had
conspired with the moon.
     "Time to  eat, Jack, " says Dave coming out on the porch suddenly -- No
one's saying anything  -- I go in and sheepishly sit at the  table  like the
useless pioneer who doesn't do anything to help the men or please the women,
the idiot  in the  wagon train who nevertheless  has to be  fed Dave  stands
there saying "Oh  full moon, here is our little fish which  we are now going
to  partake  of to feed  us  so that we shall  be  stronger;  thank you Fish
people,  thank you Fish God; thank you  moon  for making  our light tonight;
this is the  night  of the  fullmoon fish which  we  now consecrate with the
first delicate bite" He takes his fork and opens the little fish  carefully,
it's beautifully breaded and  fried and centered  in a dazzle of salads  and
vegetables  and cornmeal johnny-cakes,  he  opens a funny gill, goes  under,
removes a strange bite  and  projects it to my  mouth saying "Take the first
bite Jack,  just a little  bite, and be  sure to chew very slowly" I do  so,
oily  delicious bite but nothing delicious any more in my tongue -- Then the
others  take  their  little holy bites, little Elliott's  eyes  shining with
delight at this wonderful game that  however has started  to frighten me  --
For obvious reasons  by now. As we eat Dave announces that he and I are sick
from too much drinking  and by God we're going to reform  and see to it that
we shape up, then he launches into  stories as usual, ending in a  talkative
ordinary supper that I think will sorta straighten me out at first but after
supper I feel even  worse, "That fish has all the death of otters and mouses
and snakes  right  in it or  something" I'm thinking  --  Billie is  quietly
washing  the dishes  without complaint, Dave  is gladly smoking after-dinner
cigarettes on  the  porch, but here I am again  mooning by  the creek hiding
from all of them  each  five minutes  tho I cant understand what makes me do
it... I HAVE to get out of there... But I have no right to STAY AWAY -- So I
keep coming back  but  it's all an  insane revolving automatic directionless
circle of anxiety, back and forth, around and around, till they're really by
now  so  perturbed by  my increasing  silent departures  and creepy  returns
they're all  sitting  without a word  by the stove  but now their  heads are
together and they're whispering -- From the  woods I see those three shadowy
heads whispering me by the stove -- What's Dave saying? --  And why  do they
look  like  they're plotting  something  further? -- Can  it be  it was  all
arranged by Dave Wain via  Cody  that I would meet Billie and be driven  mad
and now they've got me alone  in the woods  and  are going to give me  final
poisons  tonight that will  utterly remove all  my  control  so that in  the
morning I'll have to go to a hospital forever and never write another  line?
--  Dave  Wain is  jealous  because I  wrote 10 novels? --  Billie  has been
assigned by Cody to get me to marry her so he'll get all my money? Romana is
a member  of the  expert  poisoning society  (I've  heard  her  mention tree
spirits already, earlier in the  car, and she's sung some strange songs  the
night before) -- The  three of them, Dave Wain in fact the chief conspirator
because  I know he does have  amphetamine on his person and the needles in a
little box, just  one injection of a tomato,  or  of  a  portion of fish, or
drops into a bottle of wine, and my eyes become mad wide and black like they
are now,  my nerves OO ouch, this is what I'm thinking Still they  sit there
by  the  fire in  dead silence, when I tromp into the cabin in fact they all
start  up again talking: sure sign -- I walk out again, "I'm going  down the
road  a  ways" -- "Okay"  -- But the moment I'm alone on the path  a million
waving moony arms are thrashing around  me and every  hole in the cliffs and
burnt out trees I'd calmly passed a hundred times all summer in dead of fog,
now has something moving in it quickly -- I hurry back Even on the porch I'm
scared to see  the familiar bushes near the  outhouse or down  by the broken
treetrunk  -- And now  a babble in the creek has somehow entered my head and
with all the rhythm of the sea waves going "Kettle blomp  you're up, you rop
and dop, ligger lagger ligger" I grab my head but it keeps babbling.
     Masks explode before my eyes when I close them, when I look at the moon
it waves, moves, when  I look  at my hands and feet they creep -- Everything
is moving,  the porch is moving like ooze  and mud, the chair trembles under
me -- 'Sure you dont wanta go to  Nepenthe for a Manhattan Jack?  "  -- "No"
('Yeh and you'd dump poison in it" I think darkly but seriously hurt I could
ever  allow  myself  to think  that about poor  Dave) -- And  I  realize the
unbearable anguish of insanity: how uninformed people can be thinking insane
people are "happy', O God, in fact it was Irwin Garden once warned me not to
think the madhouses are full  of  "happy nuts', "There's a tightening around
the  head  that  hurts,  there's a terror of the mind  that hurts even more,
they're so unhappy and especially because they cant explain it to anybody or
reach out and be helped through all the hysterical paranoia  they are really
suffering more than anyone in the world and I think in the universe in fact,
" and Irwin knew  this  from  observing his mother Naomi  who finally had to
have a lobotomy
     ...  Which sets me  thinking  how nice  to cut away therefore  all that
agony in my forehead  and  STOP IT! STOP  THAT  BABBLING! -- Because now the
babbling's not only in the creek, as  I say it's left  the creek and come in
my  head, it  would  be alright for coherent  babbling meaning something but
it's all brilliantly enlightened  babble that does more than mean something:
it's telling  me to die because everything is over -- Everything is swarming
all over me. Dave  and Romana retire again by the creek for  a night's sweet
sleep. under the moon while Billie and I sit there gloomy by the fire -- Her
voice is crying: "It might make you feel better  to just come in my arms" --
"I've  got to try something, Billie after  all I've told you I cant make you
see  what's  happening  to  me,  you dont  understand"  --  "Come  into  our
sleepingbag again  like last night, just  sleep'... We get in  naked but now
I'm not drunk I'm aware of the real tight squeeze in there and besides in my
fever  I'm perspiring so much it's unbearable, her  own skin is  soaking wet
from mine, yet our arms arc outside  in  the  cold -- "This won't do!  "  --
"What'll you do? " -- "Let's  try the cot  inside" but  maniacally I arrange
the  cot all screwy  with a board on top of it forgetting to put sleepingbag
pads underneath like I'd done  all summer, I simply forget all that, Billie,
poor Billie lies down  with me on this  absurd board  thinking I'm trying to
drive my madness away by self torturing ordeals...  It's ridiculous,  we lie
there  stiff  as  boards on  a  board -- I  roll  off and saying  "We'll try
something else" --  I try laying out the sleepingbag  on  the floor  of  the
porch but the moment she's in my arms a mosquito comes at me, or I burst out
sweating,  or I see a flash of lightning, or I hear a big roaring Hymn in my
head, or imagine a thousand people are coming down the creek talking, or the
roar of the wind is bringing flying treetrunks that will crush us -- "Wait a
minute. " I yell and get up to  pace awhile  and run down to  drink water by
the creek where Dave and  Romana are peacefully entangled -- I start cursing
Dave "Bastard's got the only decent spot there is to  sleep in anyway, right
there  in that sand by the creek,  if he wasnt here I  could sleep there and
the creek would cover the  noise in my  head  and I could sleep there,  with
Billie  even, all night, bastard's got  my spot, "  and I kick  back to  the
porch
     --  Poor Billie's  arms are outstretched  to me: "Please Jack, come on,
love me, love me" -- "I CANT" -- "But why cant you, if even we'll  never see
each  other  again  let us  our  last night  be beautiful and  something  to
remember forever. " 'Like a big ideal memory for  both of us,  cant you give
me just that? "  --  "I would if I could" I'm muttering  around like a fussy
old nut  inside  the  cabin  looking  for  a match  -- I cant  even light my
cigarette, something sinister  blows it out,  when it's lit it  mortifies my
hot mouth anyway like a mouthful of death -- I grab up another batch of bags
and blankets and  start  piling myself  up on the other  side  of  the porch
saying  to Billie who's  sighing now realizing it's hopeless "First I'll try
to take a nap by  myself here then when I wake up  I'll feel better and come
over to  you" --  So I try that,  turning  over  rigidly my  eyes wide  open
staring full fright into the dark like the time in the movie Humphrey Bogart
who's just killed  his partner trying to sleep by  the fire and you see  his
eyes staring  into the  fire  rigid and  insane  -- That's  just the way I'm
staring If I try to close my eyes some elastic pulls them open again -- If I
try to turn over the whole universe turns over with me but it's no better on
the other side of the universe -- I realize I may never come out of this and
my mother is  waiting  for me at home praying for me  because she must  know
what's happening tonight, I cry out to her to pray and help me -- I remember
my cat  for the  first time in three hours and let out a  yell  that  scares
Billie  -- "All  right Jack? "... 'Give me a  little time'... But  now she's
started  to sleep, poor girl is exhausted, I  realize she's going to abandon
me  to  my fate anyway and I cant help thinking she  and Dave and Romana are
all secretly awake waiting for me to die -- 'For what reason? " I'm thinking
"this secret poisoning society, I know, it's because I'm a Catholic,  it's a
big anti-Catholic  scheme, it's Communists  destroying everybody, systematic
individuals are poisoned  till finally they'll have everybody,  this madness
changes you completely and  in  the morning you no longer have the same mind
--  the drug  is invented by Airapatianz,  it's the brainwash drug, I always
thought that Romana was a Communist being a Rumanian, and as for Billie that
gang of hers is strange, and Cody dont care, and Dave's all evil just like I
always  figured maybe" but soon my thoughts arent even as "rational" as that
any more but become hours of raving... There are forces whispering in my ear
in rapid  long  speeches  advising and  warning, suddenly other  voices  are
shouting, the trouble is all the voices are longwinded and talking very fast
like Cody at his fastest and like the  creek so that  I have to keep up with
the meaning tho I wanta bat it out of my ears -- I keep waving at my ears --
I'm afraid  to close my  eyes for  all the turmoiled universes I see tilting
and expanding suddenly exploding suddenly clawing in  to  my center,  faces,
yelling  mouths,  long  haired  yellers,  sudden  evil  confidences,  sudden
rat-tat-tats of cerebral  committees arguing about  "Jack" and talking about
him as  if  he  wasn't there... Aimless moments when I'm  waiting  for  more
voices and suddenly the wind explodes huge  groans  in  the million  treetop
leaves  that sound like  the moon gone mad -- And  the  moon  rising higher,
brighter, shining down in  my  eyes now like  a streetlamp  --  The  huddled
shadowy sleeping  figures  over  there  so coy So human and safe, I'm crying
"I'm not human any more and I'll never be safe  any more, Oh  what I wouldnt
give  to be home on Sunday afternoon yawning because I'm bored, Oh for  that
again,  it'll never come back again Ma was right,  it was all bound to drive
me mad, now  it's done What'll I say  to  her? -- She'll be terrified and go
mad herself -- Oh ti  Tykey,  aide mue -- me  who's just eaten fish have  no
right to  ask for brother Tyke again "  An argot  of sudden screamed reports
rattles  through  my  head  in  a  language  I never  heard  but  understand
immediately -- For a moment I  see blue Heaven and  the Virgin's  white veil
but suddenly a great evil blue like an ink spot spreads over it, "The devil!
-- the devil's come  after me tonight! tonight is the night! that's  what! "
-- But angels are laughing and  having  a big barn dance in the rocks of the
sea, nobody cares any more -- Suddenly as clear as anything I ever saw in my
life, I see the Cross.




     I see the Cross, it's  silent, it stays a  long time, my heart goes out
to it, my whole body fades away  to it, I hold  out my arms to be taken away
to it, by God I am being taken away my body starts dying and swooning out to
the Cross  standing  in a luminous area of  the  darkness, I start to scream
because I know I'm dying but I dont want  to scare Billie or anybody with my
death scream  so I swallow the scream and ju'st let myself go into death and
the Cross: as soon as that happens I  slowly  sink back to life -- Therefore
the devils are back, commissioners are sending out orders in my ear to think
anew, babbling secrets are hissed, suddenly I see the Cross again, this time
smaller and far away but  just as clear  and  I say through all the noise of
the voices "I'm with you,  Jesus, for always,  thank you'... I  lie there in
cold sweat wondering what's come over me  for years my  Buddhist studies and
pipesmoking assured meditations on emptiness and all of a  sudden  the Cross
is manifested  to me  -- My eyes fill with tears -- "We'll all be saved -- I
wont even tell Dave  Wain about  it,  I wont go  wake him  up down there and
scare him, he'll know soon enough -- now I can sleep. " I turn over but it's
only begun -- It's only one o'clock in the morning and the night wears on to
the  wheeling  moon worse and worse till  dawn by which  time I've  seen the
Cross again  and again but  there's a  battle somewhere  and the devils keep
coming back -- I know if I could only sleep for an hour the whole complex of
noisy  brains would  settle  down, some  control would  come back  somewhere
inside there, some blessing would soothe the whole issue
     --  But the  bat comes silently  flapping  around me  again, I  see him
clearly in the moonlight now  his  little head of  darkness  and wings  that
zigzag maddeningly  so you cant  even get a look at  them  Suddenly I hear a
hum, a definite  flying saucer is hovering right over  those trees where the
hum must be, there are orders in there, "They're coming to get me O  my God!
" --  I jump up and glare at the tree, I'm going to defend myself -- The bat
flaps in front of my face -- "The bat is their representative in the canyon,
his radar message they got, why dont they leave? doesnt Dave hear that awful
hum? " -- Billie is dead asleep but little Elliott suddenly thumps his foot,
once -- 1 realize  he's not even asleep and knows everything that's going on
I lie  down again  and  peek at  him  across  the  porch floor:  I  suddenly
realizing he's  staring at the moon and there  he  goes again,  thumping his
foot: he's sending  messages  --  He's  a warlock disguised as a little boy,
he's also destroying  Billie! -- I get up to look at him  feeling guilty too
realizing this is  all nonsense probably but he is not properly covered, his
little  bare arms are outside the blankets in the cold night, he hasn't even
got a nightshirt, I curse at Billie  -- 1 cover  him up and he whimpers -- I
go back and lie down with mad eyes looking  deep inside me, suddenly a bliss
comes over me  as the sleep mechanism  takes sinking  hold -- And there I am
dreaming  me and two  kids are  hired  to work  in the mountains on the same
"ridge"  as Desolation Peak (i. e. Mien  Mo Mountain again) and start with a
cliffside  river crew  who tell us two  workers  have apparently sunk in the
cliffside snow  and we must lean over sheer drops and see  if  we can  "dump
them out"  or  haul  them in --  All we do is lie  there  on  crumbly snow a
thousand foot fall to the  river crumbling the  snow off in slabs so big you
wouldn't know if men were trapped in em or not -- Not only that  the  bosses
have special shoes on sliders that are holding them to the  safe shore (like
ski clamps) so  I  begin to realize they're only fooling us poor kids and we
could have fallen too (I almost  do) -- (did) -- (almost) --  As observer of
the story I see it's just an annual ritualistic joke to fool the new kids on
the job who are then dispatched to the other side  of the river to slump off
more snow  from sheer banks in hopes  of finding the lost  workmen -- So  we
start  there on a big trip, downriver first, but  en route all  the peasants
tell  us  stories of the God  Monster  Machine on the other shore who  makes
sounds  like certain birds and owls  and has a million infernal contraptions
enough to  make you sick with all the slipshod windmill rickety  details, as
"Observer of the story" again I see it's just a trick to make us scared when
we get there at  night and hear actual natural  sounds  of birds, owls, etc.
thinking as green rookies in the country it's that "Monster'... Meanwhile we
sign on to go to the  main mountain but  I promise myself if I dont like the
work  there I'll  come back  get my  old job  on Desolation --  Already  our
employers  have  shown a murderous  sense of humor -- I  arrive  at  Mien Mo
Mountain which is like Raton Canyon again but  has a large tho dry rot river
running in  the wide hole and down there on  many rocks  are  huge  brooding
vultures  -- Old bums row  out to them  and pull them clumsily off the rocks
and start  feeding them like pets, bites of red  meat or  red  mite,  tho at
first I thought the eccentric old town  bums  wanted them to eat  or to sell
(still  maybe so) because before I  study  this I  look  and see hundreds of
slowly fornicating vulture couples on the town dump
     ... These are now humanly formed vultures with human shaped arms, legs,
heads, torsos, but they have rainbow colored  feathers, and the men  are all
quietly sitting behind Vulture Women slowly  somehow  fornicating at them in
all the same slow obscene movement -- Both man and woman sit facing the same
direction and somehow there's contact because you can see all their feathery
rainbow behinds slowly dully  monotonously fornicating  on the dumpslopes --
As I pass I even see the expression  on the face of a youngish blond vulture
man eternally displeased because his Vulture Mistress is an old Yakker who's
been arguing with him  all  the  time -- His face is  completely  human  but
inhumanly pasty like uncooked  pale pie dough with dull seamed buggy  horror
that he's doomed to  all this enough to make me shudder in sympathy,  I even
see  her awful expression of middleaged pie dough tormentism  --  They're so
human! But suddenly  me and the  two kid  workers  are  taken to the Vulture
People respectable quarter of town  to our  apartment  where a Vulture Woman
and her daughter show us our rooms Their faces are leprous thick with  softy
yeast but painted with makeup to make them  like  thick Christmas  dolls and
dull and fuzzy but human  expressions, like with thick lips  of rubber muzz,
fat expressions  all  crumbly like cracker  meal, yellow  pizza  puke faces,
disgusting us tho we say nothing -- The apartment has dirty beatnik beds and
mattresses everywhere but  I walk thru the back looking for a  sink  -- It's
huge... An endless walk thru long greasy pantries and vast washrooms a block
long with single  filthy little  sink  all dark and slimey  like underground
Lowell  High  School crumbling  basements... Finally I  come  to the Kitchen
where we "new workers"  are s'posed  to cook little meals all summer -- It's
vast stone fireplaces and stone stoves all rancid and greasy from a monthold
Vulture People  Banquet  Orgy with still  dozens of uncooked chickens  lying
around on  the floor  among  garbage  and  bottles  --  Rancid stale  grease
everywhere, nobody's ever  cleaned it up or knew how and the place as big as
a  garage  --  I push  my  way  out  of  there  pushing  a huge  greasystink
foodstained tray of  some sort hurrying  away  from the big stinky emptiness
and  horror  --  The  fat golden chickens lie  rotten upsidedown on littered
stone slabs -- I hurry out never having  seen such a dirty sight in my life.
Meanwhile I learn the two  boys are studying  a hamper full  of Vulture Food
for us and one of  them wisely says  "Blisters in our sugar,  "  meaning the
Vultures put their blisters in our sugar so we'll "die" but instead of being
really dead we'll  be taken  to the Underground Slimes  to walk neck deep in
steaming mucks pulling huge groaning wheels (among small  forked snakes)  so
the  devil with the long ears can mine his Purple Magenta Square Stone  that
is the  secret of  all this  Kingdom --  You end up down there groaning  and
pulling thru  dead bodies of other  people even your own  family floating in
the ooze  -- If you succeed  you can become a pasty Vulture Person obscenely
fornicating slowly on the dump above, I think, either that or the devil just
invents the Vulture People with what's left over out of the underground Hell
--  "Beans anyone? " I hear myself saying as thump! I'm awake again! Elliott
has thumped his foot  just  at that moment  on  the  porch! --  I  look over
there!... He's doing it on purpose,  he knows everything that's going on! --
What on earth have  I brought  these people for and why just this particular
night of that moon that moon that moon?
     I'm  up  again and pacing up and down and  drinking water at the creek,
Dave and Romana's lump figures in the moonlight dont  move, like hypocrites,
"Bastard has my only sleeping spot" -- I clutch my head, I'm so alone in all
this -- I go fearfully casting about for control back  inside the  cabin  by
the  lighted lamp, a smoke,  trying to squeeze the last  red drop out of the
rancid  port bottle,  no  go --  Now that Billie's  asleep and so  still and
peaceful I wonder if I can sleep just by lying beside her and holding her --
I do just this,  crawling in with  all my clothes which  I've put on because
I'm afraid of going mad naked or of not being able to suddenly run away from
everything,  in  my  shoes, she  moans  a little in  her  sleep  and resumes
sleeping as I hold her with those rigid staring eyes -- Her  blonde flesh in
the moonlight, the poor  blonde  hair so  carefully  washed  and combed, the
ladylike little body also a burden to carry around like my own but so frail,
thinnish, I just  stare at her shoulders with tears  -- I'd wake her up  and
confess everything but I'll  only  scare  her -- I've done  irreparable harm
('Garradarable  narm!  "  yells  the  creek) All  my self  sayings  suddenly
blurting babbles  so the meaning cant even stay a  minute I mean a moment to
satisfy my rational  endeavours  to  hold,  control, every thought I have is
smashed  to a million pieces  by  million pieced mental  explosions  that  I
remember I thought were so wonderful when  I'd first seen them on  Peotl and
Mescaline, I'd said then (when still innocently playing with words) "Ah, the
manifestation of multiplicity, you can actually see  it, it aint just words"
but now it's "Ah the  keselamaroyot you rot" -- Till when dawn finally comes
my mind is  just a series of explosions that get louder and more  "multiply"
broken in pieces some of them big  orchestral and then rainbow explosions of
sound  and sight  mixed.  At dawn also I've  almost dimmed  into sleep three
times but I swear (and this is something I remember that makes me  realize I
don't understand what happened  at Big Sur even now) the little  boy somehow
thumped his foot just at the moment of drowse, to instantly wake me up, wide
awake, back  to  my horror which  when all is said and done is the horror of
all the worlds the showing of it to me being damn well what I deserve anyway
with my  previous  blithe yakkings about the sufferings of others  in books.
Books,  shmooks, this sickness has got me  wishing if I can ever  get out of
this I'll gladly become a millworker and shut my big mouth.




     Dawn is most horrible  of all  with the owls  suddenly calling back and
forth in  the misty  moon haunt -- And even worse than  dawn is morning, the
bright sun only GLARING in on my pain, making it all brighter,  hotter, more
maddening, more nervewracking -- I even go roaming up and down the valley in
the bright Sunday morning sunshine with bag under arm looking hopelessly for
some spot to sleep  in -- As soon  as I find  a spot of grass by  the path I
realize  I cant lie down there because the tourists might walk by and see me
-- As  soon as I find  a  glade near the creek  I realize it's  too sinister
there, like Hemingway's darker part of the swamp where "the fishing would be
more  tragic" somehow  -- All the haunts  and glades having certain  special
evil forces  concentrated  there  and  driving  me away --  So  haunted I go
wandering up and down the canyon crying with that bag under my arm: "What on
earth's happened to me? and how can earth be like that? "
     Am I not a human being and have  done my best as well as  anybody else?
never really trying  to hurt anybody or  halfhearted cursing Heaven? --  The
words I'd  studied  all  my life  have  suddenly gotten  to me in  all their
serious and definite deathliness,  never more I  be a "happy poet" "Singing"
"about death" and allied romantic matters, "Go  thou crumb  of dust you with
your silt of a billion years, here's a billion pieces of silt for you, shake
that out  of  your  shaker"  -- And all the  green nature of the  canyon now
waving in the morning sun looking  like  a  cruel idiot  convocation. Coming
back  to  the sleepers and staring at them wild eyed like my  brother'd once
stared at me in the dark  over my crib, staring at  them not  only enviously
but lonely in human isolation from  their simple sleeping minds -- "But they
all look dead! "  I'm  carking in my canyon, "Sleep is death,  everything is
death! " The horrible climax coming when the others finally get up  and pook
about making a troubled breakfast, and I've told  Dave  I cant possibly stay
here another minute, he must  drive us  all  back to town, "Okay but  1 sure
wish we could  stay a week like Romana wants to do, "  -- "Well you drive me
and come back" --  "Well I  dunno if  Monsanta would like that we've already
dirtied up the place aplenty, in fact we've got to dig a garbage pit and get
rid of the junk"  -- Billie  offers  to dig the  garbage pit but  does so by
digging  a neat tiny  coffinshaped grave  instead of just  a garbage hole --
Even Dave Wain blinks to see  it -- It's  exactly the size fit for putting a
little dead Elliott in  it,  Dave is thinking the same thing I am I can tell
by a glance he gives me... We've all read Freud  sufficiently  to understand
something there -- Besides little  Elliott's been crying all morning and has
had two beatings both  of them ending  up crying and Billie saying  she cant
stand it any more she's going to kill herself -- And Romana  too notices it,
the perfect  4 foot by 3 foot neatly sided grave like you're ready to sink a
little box in it -- Horrifying me so much I  take the shovel and go  down to
dump junk  into it and mess  up  the neat pattern somehow but little Elliott
starts screaming and grabs the shovel  and  refuses I go near the hole -- So
Billie herself  goes and starts filling the garbage  in but then looks at me
significantly (I'm sure sometimes she  really did aspire to  make me  crazy)
"Do you want to finish the job yourself? " -- "What do you mean? " -- "Cover
the earth on, do the honors? " "What do you mean do the honors! " -- "Well I
said I'd dig the garbage pit and I've done that, aint you supposed to do the
rest? " --  Dave Wain  is watching fascinated,  there's something screwy  he
sees there too, something  cold and  frightening -- "Well okay" I say, "I'll
dump  the earth over it and tamp it down" but I go down to do this Elliot is
screaming "NO no no no no!  " ('My God, the fishes" bones are in that grave"
I realize  too) -- "What's the matter he wont let me go near that hole!  why
did you make it  look  like a  grave? " I finally yell... But Billie is only
smiling quietly and steadily at me, over  the grave, shovel in hand, the kid
weeping tugging  the shovel, rushing  up to block my way, trying to shove me
back with his little hands... I cant  understand any of it -- He's screaming
as I grab the shovel as tho I'm about to bury Billie  in  there or something
or himself  maybe -- 'What's the  matter  with this kid is he a cretin? "  I
yell. With the  same quiet  steady smile Billie says  "Oh you're so  fucking
neurotic!  " I  simply  get mad and dump earth over the garbage and tromp it
all down and say "The hell with all this  madness! " I get mad and  stomp up
on the porch and throw myself in the canvas chair and close my  eyes -- Dave
Wain says he's  going down the road to investigate the canyon a bit and when
he comes  back the girls will have finished  packing and  we'll all leave --
Dave goes off, the girls clean up and sweep, the little kid is  sleeping and
suddenly hopelessly  and  completely finished I sit there in the hot sun and
close my eyes: and there's the golden swarming peace of Heaven in my eyelids
-- It comes with a sure  hand a soft blessing as big as it is beneficent, i.
e., endless -- I've fallen asleep. I've fallen asleep in a strange way, with
my hands clasped behind  my head  thinking I'm  just going to sit  there and
think, but I'm sleeping like  that, and when I wake up just one short minute
later I realize the two girls are both sitting behind me in absolute silence
-- When I'd sat down they were sweeping,  but now they were squatting behind
my back, facing  each  other, not a  word -- I turn and see  them  there  --
Blessed relief has come to me from just that minute -- Everything has washed
away -- I'm perfectly normal again -- Dave Wain is down the  road looking at
fields and flowers -- I'm sitting smiling in the sun, the birds  sing again,
all's well again. I still cant understand it.
     Most of all I cant understand the miraculousness of the silence  of the
girls  and  the sleeping boy and the  silence of  Dave Wain in the fields --
Just a golden wash of goodness has spread over all and over  all my body and
mind --  All the dark torture is a  memory -- I  know now I  can get  out of
there, we'll drive back to the City, I'll take Billie home, I'll say goodbye
to  her  properly, she wont commit no suicide  or do anything  wrong, she'll
forget me, her life'll go on, Romana's life will go on, old Dave will manage
somehow, I'll forgive them  and explain everything (as I'm doing now) -- And
Cody, and George  Baso, and ravened McLear and perfect starry Fagan, they'll
all pass through one way or the other -- I'll stay with Monsanto at his home
a few days and he'll smile  and show me how to be happy  awhile, we'll drink
dry wine instead  of sweet and  have quiet evenings in his home -- Arthur Ma
will come to quietly draw pictures at my side  -- Monsanto will  say "That's
all there is to  it, take it easy, everything's  okay, dont  take things too
serious, it's  bad  enough  as it  is without  you going the deep  end  over
imaginary conceptions just  like  you always said  yourself  --  I'll get my
ticket and say goodbye on  a flower  day and leave all  San Francisco behind
and go back home across autumn  America and it'll all be like it  was in the
beginning -- Simple golden eternity blessing all -- Nothing ever happened --
Not even this --  St Carolyn by  the Sea will go on being  golden one way or
the other... The little boy will  grow up and  be a great man... There'll be
farewells and smiles -- My mother'll be waiting for me glad -- The corner of
the yard where  Tyke is buried will be  a new and fragrant shrine  making my
home more homelike somehow -- On soft Spring nights I'll stand  in the  yard
under  the  stars -- Something good will  come out of all things  yet And it
will be golden and eternal just like that  -- There's no need to say another
word.

     "SEA'

     Sounds of the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur

     'Sea'
     Cherson! Cherson!
     You aint just whistlin Dixie, Sea
     Cherson! Cherson! We calcimine fathers
     here below! Kitchen lights on...
     Sea Engines from Russia seabirding here below...
     When rocks outsea froth I'll know Hawaii
     cracked up & scramble up my doublelegged cliff
     to the silt of a million years...

     Shoo -- Shaw -- Shirsh...
     Go on die salt light You billion yeared
     rock knocker Gavroom
     Seabird Gabroobird
     Sad as wife & hill Loved as mother & fog
     Oh! Oh! Oh! Sea! Osh!
     Where's yr little Neppytune tonight?

     These gentle tree pulp pages
     which've nothing to do with yr crash roar,
     liar sea, ah, were made for rock
     tumble seabird digdown footstep hollow weed
     move bedarvaling crash? Ah again?
     Wine is salt here? Tidal wave kitchen?
     Engines of Russia in yr soft talk...

     Les poissons de la mer
     parle Breton... Mon nom es Lebris
     de Keroack...
     Parle, Poissons, Loti,
     parle... Parlning Ocean sanding
     crash the billion rocks...

     Ker plotsch... Shore... shoe...
     god brash...

     The headland looks like a longnosed Collie sleeping
     with his light on his nose, as the ocean,
     obeying its accommodations of mind, crashes in
     rhythm which could & will intrude, in thy
     rhythm of sand thought...
     ... Big frigging shoulders on that sonofabitch
     Parle, O, parle, mer, parle. Sea speak to me, speak
     to me, your silver you light Where hole opened up in Alaska
     Gray -- shh -- wind in The canyon wind in the rain
     Wind in the rolling rash Moving and t wedel
     Sea Sea
     Diving sea O bird -- la vengeance
     De la roche Cossez
     Ah

     Rare, he rammed the gate rare over by Cherson, Cherson,
     we calcify fathers here below
     ... a watery cross, with weeds
     entwined -- This grins restoredly, low sleep -- Wave -- Oh, no,
     shush -- Shirk -- Boom plop Neptune now his arms extends
     while one millions of souls sit lit in caves of darkness
     ... What old bark? The dog mountain? Down by the Sea

     Engines? God rush -- Shore...
     Shaw -- Shoo -- Oh soft sigh we wait hair twined like
     arks -- Pissit -- Rest not
     ... Plottit, bisp tesh, cashes,
     re tav, plo, aravow, shirsh, -- Who's whispering over
     there -- the silly earthen creek! The fog thunders -- We put
     silver light on face -- We took the heroes in -- A billion
     years aint nothing...

     O the cities here below! The men with a thousand
     arms! the stanchions of their upward gaze! the
     coral of their poetry! the sea dragons tenderized, meat
     for fleshy fish... Navark, navark, the fishes
     of the Sea speak Breton... wash as soft as people's
     dreams -- We got peoples in & out the shore, they call
     it shore, sea call it pish rip plosh -- The
     5 billion years since earth we saw substantial
     chan -- Chinese are the waves -- the woods
     are dreaming

     No human words bespeak the token sorrow older
     than old this wave becrashing smarts the
     sand with plosh of twirled sandy
     thought -- Ah change the world? Ah set
     the fee? Are rope the angels in all the sea?
     Ah ropey otter barnacle'd be...
     Ah cave, Ah crosh! A feathery sea

     Too much short -- Where
     Miss Nop tonight? Wroten Kerarc'h
     in the labidalian aristotelian park
     with slime a middle
     ... And Ranti forner
     who pulled pearls by rope to throne
     the King by the roll in the
     forest of everseas? Not everseas, be seas
     ... Creep Crash

     The woman with her body
     in the sea -- The frog who never moves & thunders, sharsh
     ... The snake with his body under the sand -- The dog
     with the light on his nose, supine, with shoulders so
     enormous they reach back to rain crack -- The leaves hasten
     to the sea -- We let them hasten to be wetted & give
     em that old salt change, a nuder think will make you see
     they originate from the We Sea anyway... No dooming booms
     on Sunday afternoons -- We run thru the core of cliffs,
     blam up caves, disengage no jelly or jellied pendant
     thinkers...

     Our armies of anchored seaweed in the
     coves gives of the smell of jellied salt...
     Reach, reach, some leaves havent hastened near
     enuf -- Roll, roll, purl the sand shark floor
     a greeny pali andarva
     ... Ah back -- Ah forth...
     Ah shish -- Boom, away, doom, a day -- Vein we
     firm... The sea is We... Parle, parle, boom the
     earth -- Aree -- Shaw, Sho, Shoosh, flut,
     ravad, tapavada pow, coof, loof, roof,...
     No, no, no, no, no, no...

     Oh ya, ya, ya, yo, yair... Shhh...

     Which one? the one? Which
     one? The one ploshed... The ploshed one? the same,
     ah boom -- Who's that ant that giant golden saltchange
     ant magnifying my mountain of feet? "Tis Finder, finding
     the change in thought to join the boomer hangers in the
     cave a light -- And built a house above it? Never fear,
     naver foir, les bretons qui parlent la langue de la Mar
     sont espanol comme le cul du Kurd qui dit le maha
     prajna paramita du Sud? Ah oui! Ke Vlum!
     Glum sea, silent me...

     They aint about to try it them ants who wear
     out tunnels in a week the tunnel a million years
     won -- no -- Down around the headland slobs for weed,
     the chicken of the sea go yak! they sleep...
     Aroar, aroar, arah, aroo... Otter me otter me daughter me sea
     ... me last blue lagoon inside of me, the sea -- Divine is the
     substance all over the Sea... Of space we speak &
     hasten -- Let no mouth swallow the sea -- Gavril...
     Gavro... the Cherson Chinese & Old Fingernail sea -- Is
     ringin yr ear? Dier, dee? Is Virgin you trying to
     fathom me

     Tiresome old sea, aint you sick & tired of all of this merde?
     this incessant boom boom & sand walk -- you people
     hoary rockies here to Fuegie & never get sad? Or despair
     like a German phoney? Just gloom booboom & green
     on foggy nights... the fog is part of us...
     I know, but tired as I can be listening to all
     this silly majesty... Basho
     Lao! Pop!
     Who is this fish sitting unsunk? Run up
     a Hawaii typhoon smash him against his rock... We'll jelly you,
     jellied man, show you essential jello of the sea... King
     of the Sea.

     No Monarc'h ever Irish be?
     Ju see the Irish sea? Green winds on tamarack vines
     Joyce -- James -- Shhish... Sea -- Sssssss -- see
     ... Varash
     ... mnavash la vache
     ecriture -- the sea dont say muc'h actually...

     Gosh, she,
     huzzy, tow, led men on, Ulysses and all them
     fair headed moin... Terplash, & what difference
     make! One little white spark of light!
     Hair woven hands Penelope seaboat
     smeller -- Courtiers in Telemachus "sguise
     dropedary dropedary creep -- Or...
     Franc gold rippled that undersea creek
     where fish fish for fisher men -- Salteen
     breen the wet Souwesters of old Portugee Prayers
     Tsall tangled, changed, salt & drop the sand
     & weed & water brains entangled -- Rats
     of old Venetian yellers Ariel Calibanned
     to Roma Port... Pow -- spell...
     Speak you parler, in this my mother's
     parlor, wash your undershoes when you
     come in, say thanks to foggy moon

     Go brash, Topahta
     offat, -- we'll gray ye rose -- Morning
     primord creeper sees the bird of paravision
     dying tweet the yellow mouthroof! How sweet
     the earth, yells sand! Xcept when tumble
     boom! O we wait too
     for Heaven -- all in One...
     All is there in fair & sight

     I'm going to wash now
     old Pavia down, & pack my salt
     to Either Town... Cliffs of Antique
     aint got no rose, the morning's seen
     the ledder pose... Boom de boom dey

     the sea is me...
     We are the sea... It ain't all snow
     We wash Fujiyama down soon, & sand
     crookbird back... We hie bash
     rock -- ak... Long short...
     Low and easy... Wind & many freezing
     bottoms and luckrock... Rappaport...
     Endymion thou tangled dreamer love my thigh
     ... Rose, Of Shelley, Rose, O Urns!
     Ogled urns in fish eye

     Cinco sea the Chico sea the Magellan headland sea
     ... What hype sidereal did he put down bending beatnik sea goatee
     over old goat manuscripts to find the other side of Flat?
     See round, see the end of me? Rounden huge bedoom?
     Awp hole cave & shwrul... sand & salt & hair eyes
     ... Strong enuf to make coffee grow in your hair...
     Whose plantation Neptune got? That of Atlas still down there,
     Hesperid's his feet, Sur his sleet, Irish Sea fingertip
     & Cornwall aye his soul bedoom

     Shurning -- Shurning -- plop
     be dosh -- This sigh old learning's high beside me -- Rough
     old hands have played out pedigree, we've sunk more boats
     than dreamer'll ever ever see
     ... Burning -- Burning -- The world
     is burning & needs waaater
     ... I'll have a daughter,
     oughter, wait & see... Churning, Churning, Me...
     Panties -- Panties... these ancient fancies are
     so girling... You've not seen mermaids in my actual sea
     ... You've not seen sexless babies with breasts of Majesty...
     My wife -- My wife... Her name is Oh so really
     high life

     The low life Kingdom where we part out tea, is sea
     side Me... Josh -- coof... patra...
     Aye ee mo powsh... Ssst -- Cum here read me...
     Dirty postcard... Urchin sea... Karash your name...?
     Wanta swim, sink or swim? Ears ringing again?
     Sea vibrate rhythm crash sets off cave
     hanger blowers whistling dog ear back -- to sea
     Arree... Gerudge Napoleon nada
     Nada

     Pluto eats the sea... Room...
     Hands folded by the sea... 'On est tous caches, mange
     le silence, " disent les poissons de la mer -- Ah Mar -- Gott
     Thalatta -- Merde -- Marde de mer -- Mu mer -- Mak a vash...
     The ocean is the mother... Je ne suis pas mauvaise quand j'suis
     tranquille -- dans les tempetes j'cries! Comme une folle!
     j'mange, j'arrache toutes! Clock -- Clack Milk...
     Mai! mai! mai! ma! says the wind blowing sand...
     Pluto eats the sea... Ami go -- da -- che pop
     Go -- Come Cark... Care -- Kee ter da vo
     Kataketa pow! kek kek kek! Kwakiutl! Kik!
     Some of theserather taratasters trapped hyra tecere thaped
     the anadondak ram ma lat round by Krul to Pat the lat
     rat the anaakakalked romon tottek

     Kara VOOOM
     frup... Feet cold? wade... Mind sore?
     sim -- sin -- Horny? -- lay the sea! Corny? try me...
     Ussens here hang no more here we go, ka va ra ta
     plowsh, shhh, and more, again, ke vlook
     ke bloom & here comes big Mister Trosh
     ... more waves coming, every syllable windy

     Back wash palaver
     paralarle -- paralleling parle pe Saviour
     A troublesome spirit hanging here cant make it
     in the void... The sea'll only drown me -- These words
     are affectations of sick mortality...
     We try to make our way in self reliance, aid
     not ever comes too quick from wherever & whatever
     heaven dear may have suggested to promise us...

     But these waves scare me...
     I am going to die in full despair...
     Wake up where? On second breath in life
     the atmosphere is dearer maybe closer to Heaven
     ... O Paradise... Is the sea really so bad?
     Have you sent men here for this cold clown
     & monstrous eater at the world? whose sound
     I mock?

     God I've got to believe in you or live in death!
     Will you save us -- all? Soon or now?
     Send illumination to our drowning brains
     ... We're pitiful, Lord, we need yr help!
     Save us, Dear... (Save yourself, God man,
     ha ha! ) If you were God man
     you'd command these waves to very well Tennyson stop
     & even Tennyson is dear
     now dead Leave it to the light
     Concern yourself with supper, & an eye

     somebody's eye -- a wife,
     a girl, a friend, an animal
     ... a blood let drop...
     he for his sea, he for his fire,
     thee for thy desire

     "The sea drove me away & yelled "Go to your desire! "
     ... As I hurried up the valley It added one last yell: --
     "And laugh! "'

     Even the sea cant stop me from writing something to read in my old age
     ... This is  the chart of brief forms,  this sea the briefest --  Shish
yourself...
     After scaring me like that, Mar, I'll excoriate yr slum -- yr
     iodine weeds & slime hoops, even yr dried hollow seaweed
     stinks -- you stink all over... Boom -- Try that, creep...
     The little Monterey fishingboat glides downward home 15 miles to go,
     be home  to  fried  fish &  beer b'five... It guides the  sea  its bird
routes...
     ... Silver loss forever outward
     ... From blue sky of human bridges
     to the massive mawkcloud sea center heap -- to the gray...
     Some boys call it gunboat blue, or gray, but I call it
     the Civil War of Rocks
     ... Rocks "come air, rocks "come water,
     & rock rocks... Kara tavira, mnash grand bash
     ... poosh 1'abas -- croosh L'a haut -- Plash au pied...
     Peeeee -- Rolle test boulles... Manche d'la rache...
     The handsome King prevails over boom sing bird head...
     "Crache tes idees, " spit yr ideas, says the sea, to me, quite
     appro priate ly... Pss! pss! pss!
     Ps! girl inside! Red shoes scum, eyes of old
     sorcerers, toenails hanging down in the barrel of old firkin cheese
     the Dutchman forgot t'eat that tempest
     nineteen O sixteen
     When torpedoed by gunboat Pedro in the Valley
     of a Million Fees?

     When Magellan crosseyed ate the Amazonian feet...
     And, Ah, when Colombo cross't! When Drake sir francised the waves
     with feeding of the blue jay dark -- pounded his aleward
     tank before the boom, housed up all thoughts of Erik
     the Red the Greenland caperer & builder of rockdungs in New
     Port -- New -- yet... Oldport Indian Fishhead...
     Oldport Tattoo Kwakiutl Headpost taboo potash Coyotl potlatch?
     Old Primitive Columbia....

     Named for Colom bus? Name for Aruggio Vesmarica...
     Ar! -- Or! -- Da! What about Verrazano?
     he sailed!... He Verrazano zailed & we
     statened his Island in on deep

     in on dashun Rotted the Wallower?
     Sinners liars goodmen all sink waterswim drink Neptune's
     nectar the zal sotat... Zal sotate name for crota?
     Crota ta crotte, you aint 'bout to find (Jesus Christian! )
     any dry turds here below... Why fo no?
     Go crash yonder rock of bleak with yr filet mignon teeth
     & see -- For you, the hearth, the heart, the lock of hair...
     For me, for us, the Sea, the murdering of time by eating
     lusty cracks of lip feed wave at aeons of sandy artistry
     till nothing's left but old age newmorning primordial pain
     of sitters by the unborn
     bird of roses yet undone...

     With weeds your roses,
     sand crabs your hummers? With buzzers in the sea!
     With runners in the deep! This Sceptred Osh, this wide leg
     spanning rock U. S. to rock Ja Pan, this onstable
     roller roaming all, this ploosher at yr gory
     dry dung door, this mouth of silverwhite arring to hold thee,
     this purger of conscience arra for thee...
     No mouse in here but's got a little glee -- and
     aft, or oft, the osprey in his glee's agley...
     Oh purty purty ocean me...
     Sop! bring the Scepter down! Again you've accepted me!

     Breathe our iodine, filthy yr drink,
     faint at feet wet, drop yr profile move it in the sea,
     float weeded watery Adonais longs for thee -- & Shelley three,
     that's three -- burn in salt with slow most change...
     We've had no crack at eternity in a billion years of trying...
     one grain of sand possesses 3 thousand worlds of glee...
     not to mention me... Ah sea
     Ah si -- Ah so... shoot -- shiver -- mix...
     ha roll -- tara -- ta ta... curlurck -- Kayash -- Kee...
     Pearls pearls in the yellow West
     ... Yellow sky to China...
     Pacific we named here water as always meeting
     water -- Pacific Pacific Pacific tapfic -- geroom...
     gedowsh... gaka... gaya... Tatha -- gata -- mana...
     What sails used old bhikkus? Dhikkus? Dhikkus!
     What raft mailed Mose to the hoven dovepost?
     What saved Blackswirl from the Kidd plank?
     What Go-Bug here? Seet! Seeeeeeeeeee
     eeeeeee -- kara... Pounders out yar...

     Big Sur they call this sand
     these rocks this creek? Raton Canyon by name pours
     Coyote leaves & old Pomo bones & old dust of Tomahawks
     into your angler'd maw... My salt maw shall salvage
     Taylors -- sewing in the room below...
     Sewing weed shrat for hikers in the milky silt...
     Sewing crosswards for certainty... Sartan
     are we of Price Victory in this salt War with thee
     & thine thee jellied yink! Look O the sea here called
     Pacific Sea! Taki!

     My golden empty soul'll
     outlast yr salty sill
     ... the Windows of my jelly eye
     & fish head muck look out on thee, slit, with cigar-a-mouth,
     some contempt... Yet I hie me to see you
     ... you hie thee to eat me -- Fair in sight
     and worn, aright... Arra! Aroo!
     Ger der va... Silly silent cities in the sea
     have children playing cardboard mush with eignyard old Englander
     beeplates slickered oer with scum of histories below...

     No tempest as still & awful
     as the tempest within... Sorcerer hip! Buddhalands
     & Buddhaseas! What sails Maudgalyayana used
     he only knows to tell but got kilt by yellers
     screaming down the cliff 'Let's go home!
     Now! "
     ... leave marge smashed djamas
     Maudgalyayana was murdered by the seaBut the sea dont tell...
     The sea dont murder... The seadrang scholars
     oughter know that or
     go back to School Hear over there the ocean motor?
     Feel the splawrsh of it? Six silly centepedes here, Machree...
     Ah Ratatatatatat... the machinegun sea, rhythmie
     balls of you pouring in with smooth eglantinee
     jn yr pedigreed milkpup tenor...
     Tinder marsh aright arrooo... arrac'h -- arrache...
     Kamac'h -- monarc'h... Kerarc'h Jevac'h...
     Tamana -- gavow... Va -- Voovla -- Via...
     Mia -- mine sea
     poo

     Farewell, Sur...

     Didja ever tell him about water meeting water...?
     O go back to otter... Term -- Term -- Klerm
     Kerm -- Kurn -- Cow... Kow... Cash -- Cac'h -- Cluck...
     Clock -- Gomeat sea need de deep I see you
     Enoc'h soon anarf
     in Old Brittany

     21 August 1960 Pacific Ocean at Big Sur
     California

     The complete poems  written by the sea are to  be found  at the end  of
this book, in the appendix entitled "SEA'. Sounds  of  the Pacific Ocean  at
Big Sur. JK.

: 26, Last-modified: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 14:02:56 GMT