Friday, October 24, 2014

Carpe Diem "Sparkling Stars" #11, Jack Kerouac's

!! I publish this new episode of Sparkling Stars already, because I haven't enough time next weekend to write and publish new posts !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to publish an all new episode of our "Sparkling Stars" feature. In this episode I love to take you on a "trip" along haiku written by Jack Kerouac.
Let me first give you all a brief biography of his life:

Famed writer Jack Kerouac was born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac on March 12, 1922, in Lowell, Massachusetts. A thriving mill town in the mid-19th century, Lowell had become, by the time of Jack Kerouac's birth, a down-and-out burg where unemployment and heavy drinking prevailed. Kerouac's parents, Leo and Gabrielle, were immigrants from Quebec, Canada; Kerouac learned to speak French at home before he learned English at school. Leo Kerouac owned his own print shop, Spotlight Print, in downtown Lowell, and Gabrielle Kerouac, known to her children as Memere, was a homemaker. Kerouac later described the family's home life: "My father comes home from his printing shop and undoes his tie and removes [his] 1920s vest, and sits himself down at hamburger and boiled potatoes and bread and butter, and with the kiddies and the good wife." 
Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)
Living in New York in the late 1940s, Kerouac wrote his first novel, Town and City, a highly autobiographical tale about the intersection of small town family values and the excitement of city life. The novel was published in 1950 with the help of Ginsberg's Columbia professors, and although the well-reviewed book earned Kerouac a modicum of recognition, it did not make him famous.
Kerouac's most famous later novels include Book of Dreams (1961), Big Sur (1962), Visions of Gerard (1963) and Vanity of Duluoz (1968). Kerouac also wrote poetry in his later years, composing mostly long-form free verse as well as his own version of the Japanese haiku form. Additionally, Kerouac released several albums of spoken word poetry during his lifetime.

Despite maintaining a prolific pace of publishing and writing, Kerouac was never able to cope with the fame he achieved after On the Road, and his life soon devolved into a blur of drunkenness and drug addiction. He died from an abdominal hemorrhage three years later, on October 21, 1969, at the age of 47, in St. Petersburg, Florida. 
Credits: Jack Kerouac's Grave
Here are a series of haiku written by Jack Kerouac:

In my medicine cabinet,
the winter fly
has died of old age.

November - how nasal
the drunken
Conductor's call

The summer chair
rocking by itself
In the blizzard
Those birds sitting
out there on the fence -
They're all going to die

© Jack Kerouac

All wonderful haiku by Jack Kerouac, last May (2014) we had Jack Kerouac as our featured haiku-poet for the CD-Specials, you can find those episodes by clicking on the beneath given links:

And of course I have to share an all new haiku here inspired on the haiku above and from the posts. Not easy, but I have to try ...

Waterfall of Flowers
on their way home
drunken sailors bend over
to vomit

it's a strange sight
like a waterfall they fall
drunken sailors

Ah! that sight
a waterfall of flowers
when vomiting

© Chèvrefeuille

Well .... I hope you all did like this new episode of our "Sparkling Stars" feature and that it will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku (or more than one).

This episode of "Sparkling Stars" is open for your submissions Saturday October 25th at noon (CET) and will remain open until Saturday November 1st at noon (CET). For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.


  1. Hooray! Great to see Kerouac again! Though it breaks my heart to think of how On the Road both made him and broke him. Too bad his haiku didn't achieve more recognition.

    Finally bit the bullet and bought Kerouac's "Book of Haikus" which you mentioned somewhere along the line -- I must really recommend it to everyone here! Some of his haiku are "meh" but there are a lot of moments of brilliance.

    the leaves, fighting
    the empty sky --
    no clouds helping

    worm is looking
    at the moon,
    waiting for me

    I hate the ecstasy
    of that rose,
    that hairy rose

    me, my pipe,
    my folded legs -
    far from Buddha

    blizzard's just started
    all that bread scattered,
    and just one bird

    Plus, the haiku are compiled chronologically and you can see a real improvement, a real progression in his work -- something we haiku "grasshoppers" can appreciate.

    Poor Ti Jean - always such sad eyes.

    I do think he would have written about those poor drunken sailors.

    Thanks for revisiting Kerouac -- :)

  2. Thanks for this one. It will be fun doing haiku in the style of Kerouac.

  3. There is a soft place in my poetic heart for Kerouac's "haikus" even though he's not considered a master and a lot of the haiku literati sort of grudgingly acknowledge his western style contribution to the art. His haiku is fun and often lighthearted. I particularly like his poetry recital with accompanied jazz riffs. I believe it's available on youtube channels. Anyway, cool post.

  4. Ah.. the way his haiku brings in the grittiness.. is just awesome. Somehow it provide a break for cherry blossoms and moons.. Though in reality I prefer Ginsberg's approach with the American Sentences.. Maybe it's because I think Ginsberg is a better poet :-) Nevertheless I think it's a fresh approach.. Would be interesting to start an anthology of city kigo,,,

    How about: cobblestone, asphalt, concrete, gutter, subway, congestion, taxi, umbrella, alley, sewer, cigarette, stripper ... hmm.. just an idea.