Friday, February 4, 2011

Neal Cassady (February 8, 1926-February 4, 1968)

Neal Cassady
(Charles Plymell)

An ego pressed onward
Like a tight skirt in the night

Popeye and Olive Oyl
Swaggering down the street
Jumping parking meters
doing exercise gyrations

Expectations surrounded him
in crowds and beach boy cronies
Tarot card sharks and wood shooters
The Fastest Gun in the West.

I showed him pictures
Of Butch and the wild bunch
"Neal, Was he your father?"
That worried orphaned-look
I'll not forget.

He lived fast, his beds, death rows
to blow genius away, like The Doors,
A race over rails from time's windowpane
sun hot on the Mexican landscape--the
Railroad tracks chromed with cocaine.

(from Six by Charles Plymell. Photo of Neal Cassady from Influx.)

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