Frank Lauria
So here is my Jack Kerouac story. On weekends from Army basic training i would race to NY to read poetry at a place called the Seven Arts on 9th Avenue and 43 St....And one night lo and behold in come the Big Guys (Ginsberg, Kerouac, Ray Bremser, Corso). A female poet friend (Barbara Moraff) scooped Jack and whisked him back to Paterson NJ for a night of innocent debauchery. Problem was come Sunday her parents came back Barbara foisted Jack off on me for safekeeping. The switch was made on a street corner and i took Jack back to my house for some Sunday afternoon dinner. My mom --who fed everybody--made him pasta and chicken while we talked in the living room about art, poetry and Jack's recent adventures. My father (who always wore his tie in the house) silently read his NY Times. At one point he put down the paper, glared at Jack and said "You know you're a bum?" Undaunted Jack ( Who knew how to hurt a guy) said "You come on like a bus driver--i made thirty-five thousand dollars last year." Just then Mom came to the rescue with food and wine, all of which, (especially the wine) Jack consumed heartily while complimenting mom on her cooking. My mom told Jack he should "settle down--you don't find nice girls in coffee shops" (A line i included in a poem to my mother). Afterwards Jack and i took the bus to New York and he taught me the fine art of sleeping on a bus (Wedging your body in the seats so you don't fall off) Just before boarding the bus we smoked some pot which i had acquired in the Army (a great source of boo in those barren, conservative times). When we reached NY Jack claimed the pot was so good he "came in his pants." We stopped off in a Times Square bar where Jack continued my crash course in Beat education by pointing out the various pimps, hustlers and gunmen drinking there (The Terminal Bar on 42nd street) . From there in search of more booze we went to my army buddy's apt where i was due to pick up my ride back to Fort Dix and the bleak reality of Army life. When we arrived Jim was asleep. "I'm here with Jack Kerouac i whispered excitedly. "Yeah sure," he grumbled, but broke into a beaming grin when he saw the great Jack sitting in his living room. Jack proposed we write a poem together. After scouring the house for a piece of paper we write a three stanza poem

Late night strangers
(Both only a little)
How better, awake!

Palms flip silver dollars
watching people with
wet coats

Pissing in the cold
tenement toilet,
I smoke my cigarette.

American author Frank Lauria
will read at the Kerouac Big Sur Marathon
July 22 in San Francisco's Washington Square Park