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Aimer, Travailler, Et Souffrir1
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Aimer, Travailler, Et Souffrir1

Poem By kami bleu

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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