Jack Kerouac Eats an Eggroll

San Francisco Chinatown courtesy Roger 4336 http://www.flickr.com/photos/24736216@N07/4061824394/

Photo: roger4336

JACK KEROUAC EATS AN EGGROLL

San Francisco, March, 1952

Hey hunger, typewriter scroll of walled up
mysteries. Here’s to you, binge three weeks’ wide,
dragon hitched to your sleeve. The love letter
in a menu’s calligraphy. Hey stained teacup.
Waitress’s face a crazed plate. Blame
nicotine, benzedrine, beg a dime (hey buddy).
Doodle on a napkin. Pray to the wharf gods
of shucking, bushel of oysters yielding
one imperfect pearl to pawn. Down the hatch,
harvest moon, Buddha & bunny rabbit,
hunger grabs you by the balls
& tosses you like cabbage onto the back
of a migrant workers’ truck. The habit
of wandering requires salt, wine &
twilight, something unpronounceable
on the side. Presto! pungent exotic orchids
blessing the window sill. Porcelain cat
of fortunes waving a golden paw,
metronome of busboy pacing. Hey holy
vinegar tooth, porkpie grease, gullet
of dipthongs & orange sauce. Get a load
of whiskered & hangover chin, fat fried
payday, mouthful of delicious yawning. Eyelids
soon heavy as coins. Hey koi with the gambling mouths.
Barkeep flicks crumbs across your small ocean.
Gong Hee Fot Choy. A wish for all sentient beings:
good tidings and sleep a bellyful tonight.

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About Andrea Bates

Andrea Bates is the author of Origami Heart (Toadlily Press) and The Graveyard Sonnets (Finishing Line Press). She has published numerous poems in literary journals both in the U.S. and abroad. A writing teacher for nearly 20 years, she blogs about creativity and the writing life at Lyrical Chemistry.

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