May 26, 2011


ir·i·des·cent [ir-i-des-uh nt] -adj: Producing a display of lustrous, rainbowlike colours.

May 25, 2011

holy mendicant con-man

I have no zest to work except to observe the passing of time. I do not count the seconds or the minutes or the hours but only to note how quickly twelve minutes become lost between the moments I look at the display of the clock—a-ticking and a-tock—and how it's three a.m. all over again and four and five. Yesterday I went to the bookshop after staying in an entire week and picked up three books which can occupy me for a fortnight. I have been unhealthily obsessed over Jack Kerouac of late and wonder if I am not the re-incarnate of his spirit—the beers for kicks, the lost search for loss, the holy mendicant con-man like a looming gray cloud descending upon guileless mankind—I miss my dear saint Allen my soul-mate my holy goof Neal and Zen bodhisattva Japhy. I miss my angel Adrian who lit in me the candle of enlightenment whose own candle is burning no longer Adrian like Gerard Kerouac's elder brother the puresaint who left the world prematurely. Consequently this blog should be renamed Finding Kerouac, but Pushkin is also a respectable man who brought to Russia a soul—so did Kerouac to beatific America—but of what value can a blazing soul add to the modern man whose heart is a steel safebox of crisp bills? He will not have need of my flame: rather, I am a danger.

May 21, 2011

Kerouac to Ginsberg. May, 1954

ca. late May 1954

Dear Allen,

   Please be reassured, angel, I think dearly of you whenever I do think of you, which is often, as I'm sure you do think of me often and dearly, naturally, and I'm not trying to be mysterious, or quiet, or anything, but just have reached the essence center of things where nothingness resides and does quite absolutely nothing, and this is my Chinese position.
   I won't quote you the Tao, or make demands or impositions, or go into detail about what I been doing, except to mention, as you'll hear from Edgar Cayce Cassady and Carolyn, my discovery and espousal of sweet Buddha, which has been I guess in a wordly maybe even you sense my undoing, because, tho I always did suspect that life was a dream, now I am assured by the most brilliant man who ever lived, that it is indeed so, consequently I don't want to do anything any more, no writing, no sex, no nothing, I have abandoned and that is, hope to abandon, all evil outflowings of "life" for all good non-outflowings of mind essence more Subterraneans to harass you with, or Alenes to kick myself in the ass with and no more anything but a kind of like 1948 realization of the nothingness and the who-cares-anyhow of Lucien drunks...tho once in a while I go out, because people call and write, and drink and fuck a little, but always come back, to my room, to do nothing, to take the privilege of doing nothing and claim it for my own, and so that, if my mother should want me to leave, I will and would go to El Paso Texas at first, to wash dishes and live across the river in $4 a month dobe cottage where with my Buddha Bibles and bean stews I would live life of mendicant thinker in this humble earth dream.
   As for all your latest Mayan discoveries and poems, I want to hear every word of it if you want to transmit it, or tell it when we meet, but don't expect me to get excited by anything any more.
   I love you, you are a great man, a great little kid in my mind, full of bullshit but innocent of why you fully of bullshit, like a Lucien Carr hero properly, to give something for the Lucien Satan to rave and rant about I guess at dawn in front of his believing cribs and arrant wives, Allen boy, okay, make it Maya, Maya, Maya, which in Sanskrit, means, dreamlike, the earth, all living things in the Universe must be regarded as Maya, the reflection of the moon on the lake, ask Carolyn to let you read the big letter of about May 20 that I sent her, for a résumé of my philosophical expository thinking; and have good time with wonderful Neal who will certainly show you around as no one else could, the crazy inevitable American California, the likes of which, etc., and I'm so tired of all such discriminations which come and go with little radiant lifetimes one after another; if possible we meet again sometime and I'll tell you about the gypsy shrouds, pull out the crystal meaning balls, and show you the secrets of the magic saints and the radiant perfumed hands of the Tathagatas that may one day be laid in a wheel shimmering upon your awakened brow, if I have anything to do with it before I lost myself in the recognition that I have no self, no ego, and therefore can no longer act as "I" and because of that don't find you or see you; until which time I hope to see you, to help you angel, in the final great radiant final filial heavenly discovery that believe me your you-sad-sublime boy has accidentally and only accidentally recently and completely found—so after big Californias and washlines and rail roads and speeches and go dig my cactus grove in the backyard, and Jamie and Cathy and Johnny, and Maw Cassady's Pizzas, and the wine in the store across the street, and Neal's tennis-chess-and kicks, write, if you want, for full explanation of the Blessed One, and I send, if, as I say, I'm still alive, or still recognize that you are Allen Ginsberg old friend of Jack Kerouac, which I guess even in and after eternity I won't forget, but don't you forget our liquid giants ogling behind buildings, and the eternity radar machine in the sky, and dead eyes see, because, boy, I've now found out that it was all instinct pure and true, and I must say, we weren't so dumb, as I will prove, as I say, if I ever see you again, which, after all, may not be, for I am weary of the world and wish to weary from this globe, to other blobs where bloblessness grows more apparent with each passing kalpa—O So have a drink of wine, and dig the liquid sad ungraspable, fault-sour suffering Samsara sea of mournfulness for me, O Allen saint, Arhat, goodbye...I'll see you in the Tathagata Worlds anon.


May 18, 2011

a haiku (II)

the pomegranate flower
welcomes the bee

a haiku

morning dew
the rain tree stirs
oolong tea rising

May 15, 2011

living death.

Do you realise how quickly time passes when you live life almost like a zombie? I wake up at 1pm almost every day, then I will say that 4pm isn't so far away—a mere 3 hours—and 4pm comes and I will say that 8pm isn't so far away—a mere 4 hours— and 8pm goes and I will say that soon it'll be 4am again the time when I begin to go to bed—because sometimes it can drag to 8am—then the next day restarts at 1pm or so. Yes it is great to live to watch new sunrises and/or sunsets but you know what, life goes on and on and on forever and ever and ever and you will be a fool if you think new sunrises and sunsets are the things that make life worth living for because one day, someday, sooner or later, you will come to realise that everything becomes a habit, even the habit itself becomes a dreary addiction you need to kick. Nothing lives again, nothing nothing to the end of time. We are essentially dead.

May 14, 2011

forever and forever and forever.

   The last two miles of the hill were terrible and I said 'Japhy there's one thing I would like right now more than anything in the world—more than anything I've ever wanted all my life.' Cold dusk winds were blowing, we hurried bent with our packs on the endless trail.
   'A nice big Hershey bar or even a little one. For some reason or other, a Hershey bar would save my soul right now.'
   'There's your Buddhism, a Hershey bar. How about moonlight in an orange grove and a vanilla ice-cream cone?'
   'Too cold. What I need, want, pray for, yearn for, dying for, right now, is a Hershey bar...with nuts.' We were very tired and trudging along home talking like two children. I kept repeating and repeating my good old Hershey bar. I really meant it. I needed the energy anyway, I was a little woozy and needed sugar, but to think of chocolate and peanuts all melting in my mouth in that cold wind, it was too much.
   Soon we were climbing over the corral fence that led to the horse meadow over our shack and then climbing over the barbed-wire fence right in our yard and trudging down the final twenty feet of high grass past my rosebush bed to the door of the good old little shack. It was our last night home together. We sat sadly in the dark shack taking off our boots and sighing. I couldn't do anything but sit on my feet, sitting on my feet took the pain out of them. 'No more hikes for me forever,' I said.
   Japhy said 'Well we still have to get supper and I see where we used up everything this weekend. I'll have to go down the road to the supermarket and get some food.'
   'Oh, man, aren't you tired? Just go to bed, we'll eat tomorrow.' But he sadly put on his boots again and went out. Everybody was gone, the party had ended when it was found that Japhy and I had disappeared. I lit the fire and lay down and even slept awhile and suddenly it was dark and Japhy came in and lit the kerosene lamp and dumped the groceries on the table, and among them were three bars of Hershey chocolate just for me. It was the greatest Hershey bar I ever ate. He'd also brought my favorite wine, red port, just for me.
   'I'm leaving, Ray, and I figured you and me might celebrate a little...' His voice trailed off sadly and tiredly. When Japhy was tired, and he often wore himself out completely hiking or working, his voice sounded far-off and small. But pretty soon he roused his resources together and began cooking a supper and singing at the stove like a millionaire, stomping around in his boots on the resounding wood floor, arranging bouquets of flowers in the clay pots, boiling water for tea, plucking on his guitar, trying to cheer me up as I lay there staring sadly at the burlap ceiling. It was our last night, we both felt it.
   'I wonder which one of us'll die first,' I mused out loud. 'Whoever it is, come on back, ghost, and give 'em the key.'
   'Ha!' He brought me my supper and we say crosslegged and chomped away as on so many nights before: just the wind furying in the ocean of trees and our teeth going chomp chomp over good simple mournful bhikku food. 'Just think, Ray, what it was like right here on this hill where our shack stands thirty thousand years ago in the time of the Neanderthal man. And do you realize that they say in the sutras there was a Buddha of that time, Dipankara?'
   'The one who never said anything!'
   'Can't you just see all those enlightened monkey men sitting around a roaring woodfire around their Buddha saying nothing and knowing everything?'
   'The stars were the same then as they are tonight.'
   Later that night Sean came up and sat crosslegged and talked briefly and sadly with Japhy. It was all over. Then Christine came up with both children in her arms, she was a good strong girl and could climb hills with great burdens. That night I went to sleep in my bed by the rosebush and rued the sudden cold darkness that had fallen over the shack. It reminded me of the early chapters in the life of Buddha, when he decides to leave the Palace, leaving his mourning wife and child and his poor father and riding away on a white horse to go cut off his golden hair in the woods and send the horse back with the weeping servant, and embarks on a mournful journey through the forest to find the truth forever. 'Like as the birds that gather in the trees of afternoon,' wrote Ashvhaghosha almost two thousand years ago, 'then at nightfall vanish all away, so are the separations of the world.'

- Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

May 10, 2011

The Dharma Bums (an excerpt)

   'Come on Smith, only another five minutes. I only got a hundred feet to go!'
   'I'm staying right here! It's too high!'
   He said nothing and went on. I saw him collapse and pant and get up and make his run again.
   I nudged myself closer into the ledge and closed my eyes and thought 'Oh what a life this is, why do we have to be born in the first place, and only so we can have our poor gentle flesh laid out to such impossible horrors as huge mountains and rock and empty space,' and with horror I remembered the famous Zen saying 'When you get to the top of a mountain, keep climbing.' The saying made my hair stand on end; it had been such cute poetry sitting on Alvah's straw mats. Now it was enough to make my heart pound and my heart bleed for being born at all. 'In fact when Japhy gets to the top of that crag he will keep climbing, the way the wind's blowing. Well this old philosopher is staying right here,' and I closed my eyes. 'Besides,' I thought, 'rest and be kind, you don't have to prove anything.' Suddenly I heard a beautiful broken yodel of a strange musical and mystical intensity in the wind, and looked up, and it was Japhy standing on top of Matterhorn peak letting out his triumphant mountain-conquering Buddha Mountain Smashing song of joy. It was beautiful. It was funny, too, up here on the not-so-funny top of California and in all that rushing fog. But I had to hand it to him, the guts, the endurance, the sweat, and now the crazy human singing: whipped cream on top of ice cream. I didn't have enough strength to answer his yodel. He ran around up there and went out of sight to investigate the little flat top of some kind (he said) that ran a few feet west and then dropped sheer back down maybe as far as I care to the sawdust floors of Virginia City. It was insane. I could hear him yelling at me but I just nudged further in my protective nook, trembling. I looked down at the small lake where Morley was lying on his back with a blade of grass in his mouth and said out loud 'Now there's the karma of these three men here: Japhy Ryder gets to his triumphant mountaintop and makes it, I almost make it and have to give up and huddle in a bloody cave, but the smartest of them all is that poet's poet lyin down there with his knees crossed to the sky chewing on a flower dreaming by a gurgling plage, goddammit they'll never get me up here again.'

- Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

Of Eternity and Transience

As I sat at the dimly-lit fitness corner of my estate, reading Kerouac's The Dharma Bums while downing beer—a habit of drinking while reading it has grown into of late—I was gripped by a moment of clarity in which I saw the books I am to write. In that brief space of time everything was especially clear; I quickly came home, settled down at my computer, but my fingers immediately fumbled. The image wasn't lost, only I once again became conscious of what I will bring into existence. It happened thus: the other day, a thought which I had been ruminating on some time ago resurfaced like a flash of enlightenment which made clear in me God's existence. How do I know? His silence is too loud. For a few months now I have been asking Him why why why, and all that time He has kept quiet. His refusal—or incapability—to speak draws all the more attention to His presence. I finally understood that silence is the divine language. All the sounds and all the furies of men are but futile. What remains silent is eternal; the moment it is given a name its nobility wanes and it begins to die. So is the love which we speak of, and that other love which we do not speak of, which flows between our cells and transcends all languages. Yet, we all fail: we cannot attain total silence: Babel fell. And here is the oxymoron, my dilemma—I cannot speak of something I know within me which will die in words!

May 9, 2011


13:17. 3 more than yesterday? 13:14. Right. Same ceiling. Same room. Same body. What was that—I was writing something: something-something-culture-something-something—heehee now, I write more in my sleep - eat what? carrot spinach garlic onions spinach stir-fry luncheon meat mushrooms fried rice maybe - I must get it back...

13:44. Dreadful, living like a ghost.