Cleaving Neil Cassady

The Last Third

“Americanist minute particulars”
—Allen Ginsberg, The Visions of
The Great Remember—Letters by
Neal Cassady

Sitting, waiting, meditating—these are things

I could never do—I had to be on the road
But now I’m entering—The Last Third
Of my earthy meat-reality—existence
February 3, 1968—four days short of my
Forty-second birthday by a dingy Mexican
Railroad track—San Miguel de Allende
I’m found unconscious—lying here
Next to the track—in the morning
Alone as usual—the only way to go

My First Third—full of Denver doldrums
Boyhood ashes now—all ashes again
My bulging baseball—swollen biceps
How Ginsberg loved—too feel me up
He liked my asshole too—his queer
Lips annealed to—my silken skin
My high school thick—adolescent
Prolix pubes—plus uncut cock tip
All ashes now—my flat hard stomach
Belly button—convict Venus torso

Entering Denver dharma—again
Burned out and used up—by America
Returning to Colfax—no more fast cars
So much for Howl—15-minutes of fame
No more windshields—full of tears
No more—thin Gene Autrey waist
For beautiful chicks—to wrap around
No more nipples—to get erect
No more coast-to-coast—mad trips
No more Green Automobile—elegies

Neil Cassady—Bildungsroman

“Cassady was the energy
of the archetypal West,
the energy of the frontier,
still coming down. Cassady
is the cowboy crashing”
—Gary Snyder

Remembering—back then
Never asking—never finding out
Boyish déjà vu—eternal watchfulness
My father—an alcoholic barber
Next door a movie house—one of
Denver’s worst dives—catering to
Poor clientele—mostly Westerns
Scumbag Grade B—Tim McCoy
Dumpy Bijou—next to barber shop
Sitting in the filth—movie darkness

Watching Hollywood’s—magic show
Most of the day—killing time watching
Same scenes—over and over again
Immersed in—indescribable stench
Waiting for my father—to get off work
Zara’s overpowering—stink of things
Aftershave lotions—colognes
The Great Stink—its many nuances
Odorous—discomforting for a kid
Vivid Western—horse-operas

Sometimes movies—more lurid
A few of them—unforgettable
“King Kong”—“Son of Kong”
All those—slinky skanky dinosaurs
Still embedded in—Colorado shale
Hungry brontosauruses—chasing sailors
Skull Island—full of nasty surprises
Pterodactyls—swooping away girlfriends
Faye Wray the Screamer—stalked by
A Giant Ape—Empire State Bldg rape!!!

Sing-song—dirty boyish limericks
Reptilian—adolescent sexual desires
King Kong—plays Ping Pong with his
Simply huge—monstrous Ding Dong
Making me self-conscious—of myself
Already hustled—by Colfax queens
Priests and—high school teachers
Taking more than—a literary interest
In my goodlooks—lanky cowboy legs
Always in and out—of trouble

Neil Cassady—Literary Autobiography

“Restlessness then poetry
subdued with words thought”
—Neil Cassady, The First Third

Naturally—movies got me
Reading—into deeper excursions
Beyond Bijou westerns—reading
The Invisible Man—opening up my
Imagination—influencing my
Daydreaming powers—until images
Were all suffocated—beneath
The ebb and flow—of Literature
Springing forth—perusing its
Gleaming—insatiable solitudes

Books quizzical—adolescent
Overcoming the—indecision of
My drunk father—who gave up
Evading anything—positive
Avoiding any—commitments
While paradoxically—books
Did the same thing—except
Words even more—evasive
Refusing to—clarify anything
Other then—detouring me

But it was—an adroit detour
An instance—of killing time
Thru intellectual—hesitancy
My acceptance—of myself
Wanting to be—like Proust
An old Tea Head—of time
Restlessness—deep inside me
Driving it—like a stolen car
As long—as I could without
Touching—the brakes

No comments: