Post by George Dance Post by Will Dockery Post by George Dance Post by Will Dockery Post by George Dance Post by drive-by Post by Will Dockery
with Cousin Jenny,
beyond the sheds.
Late summer vacation 1973
in the backwoods of Tennessee.
To the right
behind the barn
were apple trees.
There were several
of those trees
and other trees
beyond a field
and behind them, other trees.
Later, I stood near
as a crowd
watched Pops and my Uncle
cooking apple butter;
stirring the brown gunk,
boiling in a huge black kettle.
I saw my father
a wine bottle
to my Uncle Clarence.
I went from
breathing cold mist
out back behind the barn,
the hot misty steam.
The air smelled of apple fumes
and strong booze.
Too many 'Uncles' Drop 'and my Uncle' 5th stanza....
One way to cut that "uncle" yet keep him there is to say, "we stood near ... watched our fathers."
It gets more complicated the more the picture goes from impressionism to realist... Jenny's father is actually Uncle Fred, brother of Clarence.
Then you can't use "our fathers" - fair enough.
Yes... I am thinking of either taking the names out again, or Jack Kerouacing it, and giving the characters made up names.
Any thought son the pros and cons of this move, George,
'Kerouacing it' - you can't Kerouac your father, but if you think anyone else'll be embarrassed. I'm sure Rev. Whitley wouldn't be embarrassed about being caught drinking on the sly, but his children might. At the same time, imagine Kerouac bringing in a character and not naming him - these relatives of yours are characters in your mythos.
Well, Kerouac did make his mother his "Aunt" in On The Road:
Kerouac’s mother. She remained a huge influence on his life, living with him for much of his adulthood.
Doctor Sax – Ange
On the Road – Sal’s Aunt
The Town and the City – Marguerite Martin
Vanity of Duluoz – Ange
But mostly you are correct.
In Visions Of Gerard his father became "Emil":
his father, Emil, takes second place of importance. Emil has business and health problems and must also endure watching his firstborn slowly die. Kerouac must acknowledge that the realities of making a living and of backbreaking work are quite real. Emil is portrayed as capable of being a “tragic philosopher,” and this quality of mind links him to Gerard. Emil escapes from the death watch in his home on the pretext that he has extra work to do with his assistant Manuel. The two men hit the road in Manuel’s sidecar motorcycle and end up playing cards with some old vaudevillians in downtown Lowell. Legend has it in the Kerouac family that Leo Kerouac met W. C. Fields a time or two and that they played poker together [...] After he and Emil get drunk, Bull reflects Kerouac’s Buddhist philosophy by saying, “It’s a dream, lads, it’s a dream.”
Kerouac’s father died in 1946, and shortly after this, Kerouac sat down and wrote The Town & The City. He promised his dying father that he would always look after his mother.
Doctor Sax – Emil “Pop” Duluoz
Maggie Cassidy – Emil “Pop” Duluoz
The Town and the City – George Martin
Vanity of Duluoz – Emil “Pop” Duluoz
Visions of Gerard – Emil “Pop” Duluoz
Post by George Dance
Yeah. I'm not trying to monopolize the discussion.
No problem with me on that, any and all feedback on this is of great interest and help for me, I'm going to get this poem polished, yet retain the raw power, if possible.
Post by George Dance Post by Will Dockery
I don't want to disturb family with having their loved ones exposed in a beatnik poem... although I feel I do honor them all.
Post by George Dance Post by Will Dockery
This is interesting, the obituary of my uncle, Reverend Clarence Whitley,
from the Daytona Beach Sunday News-Journal - Nov 26, 1980.
Also, I see my mother was listed, "...a sister, Mrs. (Kelly) Dockery, a
frequent visitor from Columbus, Georgia."
And so it goes.
Uncle Clarence would journey up from Florida every year, and make the rounds visiting family and friends, which often built into some large gatherings.
Post by George Dance Post by drive-by
cut, print...or keep the original. Many things can fall to the cutting room floor, without destroying the message..in this case, the viewpoint of a young Will..
I think I am maintaining that integrity in the poem...