Saturday, 20 August 2011


And I am an unhappy stranger
grooking in the streets of San Francisco–
My friends have died on me...

If I get drunk I get thirsty
–if I walk my foot breaks down
–if I smile my masks a farce
–if I cry I'm just a child
–if I remember I'm a liar
–if I write the writing's done
–if I die the dying's over–
–if I live the dying's just begun–

–if I wait the waiting's longer
–if I go the going's gone–
if I sleep the bliss is heavy–
the bliss is heavy on my lids–

–if I go to cheap movies
    the bedbugs get me–
Expensive movies I cant afford

–if I do nothing
    nothing does

*From Mexican Loneliness a poem by Jack Kerouac. You can listen to Matt Dillon perform it here (It is one of the best poetry readings ever.) Kerouac: Kicks Joy Darkness is a must listen/buy for anyone whose mind has been "blown away" by Kerouac.
The first three photographs are of Jack Kerouac Alley in San Francisco.


Anonymous said...

Hi from Germany. I like that Kerouac poem too - but I'm still German and don't exactly understand the word GROOKING. I learned that Kerouac was playful with words and invented 'grook' by himself - but what is the meaning? Is it something like lurking or hanging around?

Anvita Lakhera said...

Hello! Yes, I too have wondered about the meaning of the word “grooking”. I think you've got it right. Kerouac used the word often. Some examples that may explain more:

“it didn’t occur to me cactus was poison and shoulda looked at those needles closer, cactus with his big lizard hide and poison hole buttons with wild hair, grooking in the desert to eat our hearts alive, ack”
– Visions of Cody

And suddenly I saw that the Northwest was a great deal more than the vision I had of it of Japhy in my mind. It was miles and miles of unbelievable mountains grooking on all horizons in the wild broken clouds, Mount Olympus and Mount Baker, a giant orange slash in the gloom over the Pacific-ward skies that led I knew toward the Hokkaido Siberian desolations of the world.
–The Dharma Bums

Hope this help.

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

thank you Anvita that was helpful :-)