Beat Generation

Reading Kerouac’s _Maggie_Cassidy_ today, and thinking about the beat generation.


In the depths of the Greyhound Terminal
sitting dumbly on a baggage truck looking at the sky
    waiting for the Los Angeles Express to depart
worrying about eternity over the Post Office roof in
    the night-time red downtown heaven
staring through my eyeglasses I realized shuddering
    these thoughts were not eternity, nor the poverty
    of our lives, irritable baggage clerks,
nor the millions of weeping relatives surrounding the
    buses waving goodbye,
nor other millions of the poor rushing around from
    city to city to see their loved ones,
nor an indian dead with fright talking to a huge cop
    by the Coke machine,
nor this trembling old lady with a cane taking the last
    trip of her life,
nor the red-capped cynical porter collecting his quar-
    ters and smiling over the smashed baggage,
nor me looking around at the horrible dream,
nor mustached negro Operating Clerk named Spade,
    dealing out with his marvelous long hand the
    fate of thousands of express packages,
nor fairy Sam in the basement limping from leaden
    trunk to trunk,
nor Joe at the counter with his nervous breakdown
    smiling cowardly at the customers,
nor the grayish-green whale’s stomach interior loft
    where we keep the baggage in hideous racks,
hundreds of suitcases full of tragedy rocking back and
    forth waiting to be opened,
nor the baggage that’s lost, nor damaged handles,
    nameplates vanished, busted wires & broken
    ropes, whole trunks exploding on the concrete
    floor,
nor seabags emptied into the night in the final
    warehouse.


(I stole that from Ginsberg, FYI).


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