They placed a plaque on a building in the Village. It states this is where Burroughs and Ginsberg once lived early in their literary careers. The marker goes onto say they often had Jack Kerouac over and these three formed the Beat Generation; a new way of writing, leaving materialism behind, searching for existential ways. Although I just paraphrased, I couldn’t help but think of the influence the three amigos have had on me. The words on the building ring true. A movement was started.
Maybe by accident, perhaps by choice, I have followed this Beat life. Gave up possessions, gone without a home, sacrificed everything for writing and literature. Hours spent reading and working on poetry and prose. And for what? Money? Fame? No. I do it ’cause it’s in my bones. It’s what I do. Asking the question, what are you? I am a nomad with a keyboard and a bag of books in search of purity in the word; I am a follower of the three wise men.
I’ve spent time in New York, Chicago, had the blues in D.C. Slept under rusty trees in the autumn of Vermont. Watched the ocean slap rocks in Maine. Pawned a typewriter in Philly. Traveled by bus from the Midwest to California on Route 66. Looked at mountains of red clay in west Texas and New Mexico. Saw snow in Arizona and smelled alfalfa in Indio. Broke bread with bums on skid row. I’ve seen the riches of America in its poorest neighborhoods. And, like Kerouac, I wrote about it. Cleansed the soul with words. And, I am grateful. Grateful I never sold insurance. Thank you Burroughs, Ginsberg and Kerouac. Thank you. It’s OK to be an outsider.