Aug 21, 2007

"So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all the rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty."
            - Jack Kerouac

What grabbed me, first, wasn’t the free-wheeling, world-exploring, enjoyment-exploding lifestyle. It was the sentences.

Kerouac writes sentences that carry you, that scream along. They run and run and catch their breath and yell at the top of their lungs. Sometimes he picks up the excitement in the voice of an excited kid, sometimes the free-stylings of a jazz performance, sometimes the open-throated roar of a plane passing by, and he writes it.

Then I picked up on the people, and they were like that too: Mad, screaming with joy, full of life and as far away from home as anyone could possibly imagine.

I read it. I got drunk on it. I wanted to write like that. I started hearing those voices, seeing those visions, screaming those Jack Kerouac screams.

Sometimes I still do.