The Existence of A Deadbeat and Kerouac style dreams

Those who know me – know I am a fan of Jack Kerouac and the whole Beat Generation idea of cool.

My poetry has many moments of Beat style homages and a naked yearning for that coolness that is lauded through rose tinted glasses and the smoke filled, Jazz loving hipness of that era of the fifties and sixties, when Jack ( Kerouac) and his friends Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and other like minded souls sought out to find a meaning to life that was different from the way that the US establishment lead the rest of the world to believe life was, ( The American Dream) that was often portrayed as candy floss, station wagons, bubblegum and the nuclear family of : Husband, Wife and two point four children – living conventionally- the wife and mother being the house wife. The husband and father going to the office while the children went to school and perhaps played sports at the weekend. So they the “Beats” sought to show how life was not that seen depicted in a Mad Men advertising brochure but was in equal parts full of light and shade. Vibrant colour and the blackness of the horror’s that real life could bring. The post war realism and the idea of the Cold War leading to a common hysteria of an actual Atom Bomb hitting America. These writers acknowledged that hysteria and basically stuck two fingers up at the establishment and felt ” If we are going to die – at least let’s do it while having a good time!” So seeking kicks and a life full of experience, knowledge. and later a sort of spirituality they made their marks. Kerouac eventually gaining fame for the ultimate road trip novel On The Road, Ginsberg for Howl, and Burroughs for works like The Naked Lunch and Junky they paved the way for a way of looking at the world differently. Yes they were hedonistic, yes they could be shallow, drunk and possibly violent – but equally they were thirsty for knowledge in all areas. Whether it be sex, the colour of the sky on a Rocky Mountain peak, the conversations of strangers – the rhythm of a tune played by one of their Jazz hero’s. It didn’t matter. They had voracious appetites- and I am no different. Whereas they read books by Walt Whitman, Nietzsche, Baudelaire etc. I read the works left to us by the Beats- but like them I want to find wisdom and knowledge from other things also. So I read, write, converse with friends and live as full a life as I am able. For The Beat is not dead. The Cold War has returned. Spy scandals with Russian spies are back. The US and North Korea are attempting to cool or hoodwink the threat of Nuclear war – Europe is chaotic and my own nation is unsure of what it wants to do with itself. So it’s no surprise to me at this moment in time that I find myself having an affinity with writers, and artists I greatly admire. Their work is as relevant now as it was back in the fifties and sixties. I write unashamedly naked poetry that reveals how my mind works. I write spontaneously and with passion. Is my work any good? Only others can say – but opinions are not what I am after. I just tend to live the only way I know how- and my writing is just simply a part of that life. I dream of living a life full of great experiences and being able to write something that resonates – just how Jack’s work resonates with me. Here is one of my poems I wrote recently, a poem that inspired this article

The Existence of A Deadbeat

My life and the way I exist

Or have I got it the wrong way round?

How I exist and live

I seem to be ambling along on a road

Without end

Living a life which

Takes turns

Going round corners

That are not upon the road my life depends –

On the off beat

The Downbeat

And the upbeat

Digging

New instances

Experiencing something

Every day

Like a movie in my mind

Cool cool moments immortalised

On a screen inside my head.

And all the

While

The molecules enjoy a drive in

And the neutrons skip and skat

With a pa pa pa

Knowing

Knowing

The final credits

Will always roll with the wheels

Putt – putt – putting

Through the imagined

Neon of an indignant indigo night.

For life is a personal thing

Allowing directions to create maps

That are full of the purple haze of

A Hendrix confusion.

Only to be travelled

When eyes are open

And the elements

Let themselves be felt

By the way nature

Intended.

You may think

I’m a Deadbeat

Or that the

Beat is dead

But I tell you this

Counter cultures

Are back again

Actually they never even went.

They just didn’t shout for a while

As everyone else tried to travel a golden

Mile.

No the truth is

The Beat is not dead

For it pounds in my

Chest

And I have the heart to

Prove it.

So use your loaf

Daddy “O”

And wipe that Grime away

For

A Jean Paul Sartre style nausea

Is pervading the existence of a society

That is drawing upon

The tales of the past

To create new monsters

That shouldn’t exist.

Unless they are revolutionary.

Jason Disley (March 2018)

If you are interested in my books they are available fromAmazon If you wish to leave any comments about any of my blog posts please do. JD.

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