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Desolation Angels Desolation Angels by Jack Kerouac
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“So shut up, live, travel, adventure, bless and don't be sorry”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“I'm right there, swimming the river of hardships but I know how to swim...”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Sometimes during the night I'd look at my poor sleeping mother cruelly crucified there in the American night because of no-money, no-hope-of-money, no family, no nothing, just myself the stupid son of plans all of them compacted of eventual darkness. God how right Hemingway was when he said there was no remedy for life - and to think that negative little paper-shuffling prissies should write condescending obituaries about a man who told the truth, nay who drew breath in pain to tell a tale like that! ... No remedy but in my mind I raise a fist to High Heaven promising that I shall bull whip the first bastard who makes fun of human hopelessness anyway - I know it's ridiculous to pray to my father that hunk of dung in a grave yet I pray to him anyway, what else shall I do? sneer? shuffle paper on a desk and burp rationality? Ah thank God for all the Rationalists the worms and vermin got. Thank God for all the hate mongering political pamphleteers with no left or right to yell about in the Grave of Space. I say that we shall all be reborn with the Only One, and that's what makes me go on, and my mother too. She has her rosary in the bus, don't deny her that, that's her way of stating the fact. If there can't be love among men let there be love at least between men and God. Human courage is an opiate but opiates are human too. If God is an opiate so am I. Thefore eat me. Eat the night, the long desolate American between Sanford and Shlamford and Blamford and Crapford, eat the hematodes that hang parasitically from dreary southern trees, eat the blood in the ground, the dead Indians, the dead pioneers, the dead Fords and Pontiacs, the dead Mississippis, the dead arms of forlorn hopelessness washing underneath - Who are men, that they can insult men? Who are these people who wear pants and dresses and sneer? What am I talking about? I'm talking about human helplessness and unbelievable loneliness in the darkness of birth and death and asking 'What is there to laugh about in that?' 'How can you be clever in a meatgrinder?' 'Who makes fun of misery?' There's my mother a hunk of flesh that didn't ask to be born, sleeping restlessly, dreaming hopefully, beside her son who also didn't ask to be born, thinking desperately, praying hopelessly, in a bouncing earthly vehicle going from nowhere to nowhere, all in the night, worst of all for that matter all in noonday glare of bestial Gulf Coast roads - Where is the rock that will sustain us? Why are we here? What kind of crazy college would feature a seminar where people talk about hopelessness, forever?”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
tags: life
“The bartenders are the regular band of Jack, and the heavenly drummer who looks up to the sky with blue eyes, with a beard, is wailing beer-caps of bottles and jamming on the cash register and everything is going to the beat - It's the beat generation, its béat, it's the beat to keep, it's the beat of the heart, it's being beat and down in the world and like oldtime lowdown.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
tags: beat
“Every night I still ask the Lord, "Why?" and havent heard a decent answer yet”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“O Rosey,
why don't you stay just home
and eat chocolate bars
and read Boswell

all this society-izing will bring you nothing but lines of anxiety on your face -- and a sociable smile ain't nothing but teeth”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“What amazed me as much as anything were the fat calm tabby cats of London some of whom slept peacefully right in the doorway of butcher shops as people stepped over them carefully, right there in the sawdust sun but a nose away from the roaring traffic of trams and buses and cars. England must be the land of cats, they abide peacefully all over the back fences of St John's Wood. Edlerly ladies feed them lovingly just like Ma feeds my cats. In Tangiers or Mexico City you hardly ever see a cat, if so late at night, because the poor often catch them and eat them. I felt London was blessed by its kind regard for cats. If Paris is a woman who was penetrated by the Nazi invasion, London is man who was never penetrated but only smoked his pipe, dranks his stout or half n half, and blessed his cat on his purring head.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Now she is cuddling and kissing me all over and...Cody walks right in just as we're cooing (or haved cooed again) on the bed and he yells our "Ah just what I like to see in the morning, boys and girls!”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Pretty soon...do you realize there'll be so many additional childhoods and pasts with everybody writing about them everybody'll give up reading in despair-There'll be an Explosion of childhoods and pasts, they'll have to have a giant Brain print them out microscopically on film to be stored in a warehouse on Mars to give Heaven Seventy Kotis to catch up on all that reading- Seventy Million Million Kotis! - Whoopee! - Everything is free!”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“He is a believer in life and he wants to go to Heaven but because he loves life so he embraces it so much he thinks he sins and will never see Heaven ... You could have ten thousand cold eyed Materialistic officials claim they love life too but can never embrace it so near sin and also never see Heaven - They will contemn the hot blooded life lover with their cold papers on a desk because they have no blood and therefore have no sin? No! They sin by lifelessness! They are the ogres of Law entering the Holy Realm of Sin!”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“They put spotlights on me standing there in the road in jeans and workclothes, with the big woeful rucksack a-back, and asked:-"Where are you going?" which is precisely what they asked me a year later under Television floodlights in New York, "Where are you going?"-Just as you cant explain to the police, you cant explain to society "Looking for peace.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Meanwhile the sunsets are mad orange fools raging in the gloom....”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“One look at the officials in the American Consulate where we went for dreary paper routines was enough to make you realize what was wrong with American 'diplomacy' throughout the Fellaheen world: - stiff offcious squares with contempt even for their own Americans who happened not to wear neckties, as tho a necktie or whatever it stands for meant anything to the hungry Berbers who came into Tangiers every Saturday morning on meek asses, like Christ, carrying baskets of pitiful fruit or dates, and returned at dusk to silhouetted parades along the hill by the railroad track. The railroad track where barefooted prophets still walked and taught the Koran to children along the way. Why didn't the American consul ever walk into the urchin hall where Mohammed Maye sat smoking? or squat in behind empty buildings with old Arabs who talked with their hands? or any thing? Instead it's all private limousines, hotel restaurants, parties in the suburbs, an endless phoney rejection in the name of 'democracy' of all that's pith and moment of every land.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“As for his hobby, drawing, he was better at that than most artists alive today and I always knew he was really a great young artist pretending to be withdrawn so people would leave him alone, also so people wouldn't ask him to get a job.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“And all you hearts who love life realize now that to love is to love-”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Why did God do it? or is there really a Devil who led to the Fall? Souls in Heaven said "We want to try mortal existence, O God, Lucifer said it's great!"—Bang, down we fall, to this, to concentration camps, gas ovens, barbed wire, atom bombs, television murders, Bolivian starvation, thieves in silk, thieves in neckties, thieves in office, paper shufflers, bureaucrats, insult, rage, dismay, horror, terrified nightmares, secret death of hangovers, cancer, ulcers, strangulation, pus, old age, old age homes, canes, puffed flesh, dropped teeth, stink, tears, and goodbye. Somebody else write it, I dont know how.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Sunday morning,I empty of my little tricks to make life livable.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“I started to cry. And I looked up and saw the bleak pines by the bleak mills of Roanoke Rapids with one final despair, like the despair of a man who has nothing left to do but leave the earth forever.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Finally I end up snapping 'I'm too old for young idealisms like that, I ben through all that! - all over again I gotta go through all that?'

'But it's real, it's truth!' yells Simon. 'The world is a place of infinite charm! Give everybody love and they'll give it right back! I seen it!'

'I know it's true but I'm bored'

'But you can't be bored, if you get bored we all get bored, if we all get bored and tired we all give it up, then the world falls down and dies!'

'And it's as it should be!'

'No! It should be life!'

'That's no difference!”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Pretty soon there'll be a new kind of murderer, who will kill without any reason at all, just to prove that it doesn't matter, and his accomplishment will be worth no more and no less than Beethoven's last quartets and Boito's Requiem-- churches will fall, Mongolian hordes will piss on the map of the West, idiot kings will burp at bones, nobody'll care and then the earth itself'll disintegrate into atomic dust (as it was in the beginning) and the void still the void won't care, the void'll just go on with that maddening little smile of its that I see everywhere, I look at a tree, a rock, a house, a street, I see that little smile-- That 'secret God-grin' but what a God is this who didn't invent justice?--So they'll light candles and make speeches and the angels rage. Ah but 'I don't know, I don't care, and it doesn't matter' will be the final human prayer.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“And there's my poor endeavoring human desk at which I sit so often during the day, facing south, the papers and pencils and the coffee cup with sprigs of alpine fir and a weird orchid of the heights wiltable in one day– My Beechnut gum, my tobacco pouch, dusts, pitiful pulp magazines I have to read, view south to all those snowy majesties– The waiting is long.

On Starvation Ridge
little sticks
Are trying to grow.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Tutte le notti continuo a chiedere al Signore, "Perché?" E ancora non ho avuto una risposta decente.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“I go all the way down to First Avenue . . . I realize it's Friday Night all over America, in New York it's just ten o'clock and the fight's started in the Garden and longshoremen in North River bars are all watching the fight and drinking 20 beers apiece, and Sams are sitting in the front row . . . while I spent all summer pacing and praying in mountaintops, of rock and snow, of lost birds and bears, these people've been sucking on cigarettes and drinks and pacing and praying in their souls, too, in their own way . . .”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“We live to long, so long I will,”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Wearing Deni's huge vicuna coat with the si cap over my ears, in cold biting winds of December New York, Irwin and Simon led me up to the Russian Tea Room to meet Salvador Dali.
He was sitting with his chin on a finely decorated tile headed cane, blue and white, next to his wife at the Cafe table. He had a cane, blue and white, next to his wife at the Cafe table. He had a little wax moustache, thin. When the waiter asked him what he wanted he said 'One grapefruit...peenk!' and he had big blue eyes like a baby, a real or Spaniard. He told us no artist was great unless he made money. Was he talking about Uccello, Ghianondri, Franca? We didn't even know what money really was or what to do with it. Dali had already read an article about the 'insurgent' 'beats' and was interested. When Irwin told him (in Spanish) we wanted to meet Marlon Brando (who ate in this Russian Tea Room) he said, waving three fingers at me, 'He is more beautiful than M. Brando.'
I wondered why he said that but he probably had a tiff with old Marlon. But what he meant was my eyes, which were blue, like his, and my hair, which is black, like his, and when I looked into his eyes, and he looked into my eyes, we couldn't stand all that sadness. In fact, when Dali and I look in the mirror we can't stand all that sadness. To Dali sadness is beautiful.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Alzo gli occhi, ecco lì le stelle, sempre le stesse, desolazione, e sotto gli angeli che non sanno di essere angeli.
E Sarina morirà.
Ed io morirò, e voi morirete, e tutti moriremo e persino le stelle si spegneranno una dopo l’altra con l’andar del tempo”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Everything’ll be all right, desolation is desolation everywhere and desolation is all we got and desolation aint so bad”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“We live to long, so long I will, and jounce down that mountain highest perfect knowing or no highest perfect knowing full of glorious ignorant looking to sparkle elsewhere-”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“Sometimes during the night I'd look at my poor sleeping mother cruelly crucified there in the American night because of no-money, no-hope-of-money, no family, no nothing, just myself the stupid son of plans all of them compacted of eventual darkness.”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels
“The tremendous secrecy of alleys between houses”
Jack Kerouac, Desolation Angels

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