For Jack Kerouac, at 100

I crept to the end of a row and kneeled in the warm dirt. Her five brothers were singing melodious songs in Spanish. The stars bent over the little roof; smoke poked from the stovepipe chimney. I smelled mashed beans and chili. The old man growled. The brothers kept right on singing. The mother was silent. Raymond and the kids were giggling on one vase bed in the bedroom. A California home; I hid in the grapevines digging it all. I felt like a million dollars; I was adventuring in the crazy American night.

The Mexican Girl, pg 122, Still Wild: Short Fiction of the American West 1950 to the Present. Edited by Larry McMurtry

Jack Kerouac would’ve been turned 100 today. Few could rival his ability to set a scene.

Do read Ted Gioia’s excellent two part series on Jack Kerouac’s literary legacy here.

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