PROFESSIONAL TIPS — JACK KEROUAC
by Leigh Lundin
Hey man, those of you who dig the Beat Generation and especially, like Jack Kerouac, man, this column is for you.
I live a few minutes from the Kerouac house in College Park, a nice but not too pretentious suburb that Orlando swallowed, but still manages to maintain its own identity, at least until the city allowed developers to drop a hideous multi-story monstrosity into the middle of Edgewater Drive. Did I say it was monstrous? Forgive me; I’m waxing sarcastic. It merely has fourteen different architectural styles. In case you don’t like Mediterranean or Key West, you can tear your eyes away to the ponderous Ponderosa quarried stone look.
In lovely contrast, the Kerouac home is an ordinary frame house on an ordinary plot in a more or less ordinary section within walking distance of downtown College Park, where Jack wrote The Dharma Bums. Every year, the Kerouac Project gives one writer residency in the house. Pretty cool, huh! I mean, like that’s devine, daddy.
After fans asked the writer how he managed to write what he did, he wrote thirty, ah, tips. There’s probably hip wisdom if you can figure it out, perhaps with the help of bongo drums and Granny’s weed.
Belief and Technique for Modern Prose
- Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
- Submissive to everything, open, listening
- Try never get drunk outside yr own house
- Be in love with yr life
- Something that you feel will find its own form
- Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
- Blow as deep as you want to blow
- Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
- The unspeakable visions of the individual
- No time for poetry but exactly what is
- Visionary tics shivering in the chest
- In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
- Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
- Like Proust be an old teahead of time
- Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
- The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
- Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
- Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
- Accept loss forever
- Believe in the holy contour of life
- Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
- Don’t think of words when you stop but to see picture better
- Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
- No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
- Write for the world to read and see yr exact pictures of it
- Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
- In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
- Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
- You’re a Genius all the time
- Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven
So, like that’s that. If you can figure it out, man, it’s yours, free. Me, I’m gonna dig some Lenny Bruce.