Jack Kerouac, the indefatigable beat novelist, left a kind of legacy of a “literary lifestyle.” Each of its stories contained a healthy ingredient of anecdotes from his life. And perhaps in that same tonic he also wrote a list of 30 beliefs and techniques for life and prose. Legend has it he wrote it in Allen Ginsberg’s hotel in North Beach a year before that poet and fellow beat would write ‘Howl,’ his great poem of the US literary landscape.

The list evokes the Kerouac of The Dharma Bums, an athlete of words bewitched by Buddhism. At times he is almost an avatar of Li Po, the poet of drunkenness, and at others a kind of Zen quarterback. Jack Kerouac teaches us to release the handbrake so as to allow the dynamo of language to flow; those clear bursts of sparkling light; the spirit on automatic and fearless.

.

1. Scribble secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy

2. Submissive to everything, open, listening

3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house

4. Be in love with yr life

5. Something that you feel will find its own form

6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind

7. Blow as deep as you want to blow

8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind

9. The unspeakable visions of the individual

10. No time for poetry but exactly what is

11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest

12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you

13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition

14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time

15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog

16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye

17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself

18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea

19. Accept loss forever

20. Believe in the holy contour of life

21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind

22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better

23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning

24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge

25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it

26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form

27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness

28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better

29. You’re a Genius all the time

30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

.

Image: Jack Kerouac and Peter Orlovsky horsing around on the beach, Tangier. From the Allen Ginsberg Collection of Photographs.

Jack Kerouac, the indefatigable beat novelist, left a kind of legacy of a “literary lifestyle.” Each of its stories contained a healthy ingredient of anecdotes from his life. And perhaps in that same tonic he also wrote a list of 30 beliefs and techniques for life and prose. Legend has it he wrote it in Allen Ginsberg’s hotel in North Beach a year before that poet and fellow beat would write ‘Howl,’ his great poem of the US literary landscape.

The list evokes the Kerouac of The Dharma Bums, an athlete of words bewitched by Buddhism. At times he is almost an avatar of Li Po, the poet of drunkenness, and at others a kind of Zen quarterback. Jack Kerouac teaches us to release the handbrake so as to allow the dynamo of language to flow; those clear bursts of sparkling light; the spirit on automatic and fearless.

.

1. Scribble secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy

2. Submissive to everything, open, listening

3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house

4. Be in love with yr life

5. Something that you feel will find its own form

6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind

7. Blow as deep as you want to blow

8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind

9. The unspeakable visions of the individual

10. No time for poetry but exactly what is

11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest

12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you

13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition

14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time

15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog

16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye

17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself

18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea

19. Accept loss forever

20. Believe in the holy contour of life

21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind

22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better

23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning

24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge

25. Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it

26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form

27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness

28. Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better

29. You’re a Genius all the time

30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

.

Image: Jack Kerouac and Peter Orlovsky horsing around on the beach, Tangier. From the Allen Ginsberg Collection of Photographs.

Tagged: , , , ,