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My pome in memoriam-published in Heaven and Jack Magazine, RIP:Aimer, Travailler, et Souffrir1







Aimer, Travailler, et Souffrir1


Ti Jean, Little Jack, Monsieur Kerouac

You who died early, drunk and infamous

Forgive me for filching your poetics

Let me shoulder your zen rucksack


You died for our sins and now are sinless

Beatitude was your sole aesthetic

Impossible, a prophetic voice

Telling tales of the roads you trod

Impossible, yet your voice still booms

Impervious, let all rejoice

That time’s unsparing rod

Has left your voice untouched, in tune

For all of us to hear and say

We’ve heard the voice of god.


Ti Buddha, I know you attained satori

Forgive the rabble of rancorous critics

Mere psychobabble, history has proved kinder

And we read it in all of your stories

Let us then not be small or parasitic

The world needs no more resplendent reminder


You exploded like a Roman candle show

burn, burn, burning – your witness empty sky

For me too, the mad are the only ones

And your center light is still aglow

Illuminating the dark night on high

the summation of innumerous suns


You lived between the Town and the City

Their polarity- patently a part of you

Sketching with strokes loving, sincere

But they each in turn lacked civility

and back to the crapulent womb you withdrew

Aimer, Travailler, et Souffrir


Your agent was a sterling Lord

Yet always stalling, waiting for Giroux2

when your works finally appeared

too long ignored, notoriety was reward

following in the footsteps of Van Gogh

It made yours a bhikku’s life, austere

Your only option was to go, go, go

And thus you made it your career

Aimer, Travailler, et Souffrir


Have you reached Big Sur’s golden eternity?

Are you safe in heaven dead?

Is it true that god is pooh bear?

Have you found old Father Moriarity?

Is Gerard finally out of bed?

Are you still living with memere3?

(The only woman you deemed ideal)

Did you take to heart what your motto read

Aimer, Travailler, et Souffrir?


Are you the truly gone one- tathagatta?

Is baseball holy? A priest forgiving?4

Has the face of god been revealed?

Have you returned, Ti Boddhisattva?

Are you still amongst the living,

Goofing off with holy Neal?

Is your mind full of misgivings?

Was the purpose of life revealed

Aimer, Travailler, et Souffrir?


Are you free of the slaving meat wheel, samsara?

Can anything golden stay?

In Heaven are there founts of beer?

Have you wrestled with and beaten lord Mara5?

Do you room with San Jose6?

Does your diamond mind persevere?

Is your wanderlust eroded, your rucksack packed away?

Or have you gone back on the road- most dear

Aimer, Travailler, et Souffrir?



1 What Jack believed to be his family Motto-In French, To love, to Work, and to Suffer

2 Publisher at Harcourt Brace

3 Jack’s mother

4 In the film Pull My Daisy, one of the questions the beats pose to the visiting priest

5 In Buddhism, Mara is the ruler of desire and death

6 San José-Saint joseph-In the Roman Catholic and other traditions, he is the patron saint of workers-see Motto

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