Monday, 21 July 2008

21 July 2008

called each other Yo. “Yep,” I said. I wandered around Denver. It seemed to me every bum on Larimer St. maybe was Neal Cassady’s father, Old Neal Cassady they called him, the Barber. I went in the Windsor hotel where father and son had lived and where one night Neal was frightfully waked up by the legless man on the rollerboard who shared the room with them who came thundering across the floor on his terrible wheels to touch the boy. I saw the little midget newspaperselling woman with the short legs, on the corner of Curtis and Fifteenth. “Man,” Neal told me, “think of lifting her in the air and fucking her!” I walked around the sad honkeytonks of Curtis street: young kids in jeans and red shirts, peanut shells, movie marquees, shooting parlors. Beyond the glittering street was darkness, and beyond the darkness the west. I had to go. At dawn I found Allen. I read some of his enormous journal, slept there, and in the morning, drizzly and gray, tall sixfoot Al Hinkle came in with Bill Tomson- -a handsome kid---and Jim Holmes the hunchback poolshark. Jim Holmes had saintly big blue eyes but he was a mumbling bore. He wore a beard; he lived with his grandmother. Big Al was the son and brother of a cop family. Bill Tomson claimed he could run faster than Neal. They sat around and listened with abashed smiles as Allen Ginsberg read them his apocalyptic mad poetry. I slumped in my chair, finished. “Oh ye Denver birds!” cried Allen. We all filed out and went up a typical cobbled Denver alley between incinerators smoking slowly. “I used to roll my hoop up this alley” Hal Chase had told me. I wanted to see him do it; I wanted to see Denver ten years ago when they were all children and in the sunny cherryblossom morning of Springtime in the Rockies they rolled their hoops up the joyous alleys full of promise…the whole gang. And Neal, ragged and dirty, prowling by himself with a preoccupied frenzy. Bill Tomson and I walked in the drizzle; I went to Eddie’s girls house and got my wool plaid shirt back---the shirt of Preston Nebraska. It was all there, all tied up, the whole enormous sadness of a shirt. Bill Tomson said he’d meet me in Frisco. Everybody was going to Frisco. I went and found my money had arrived. The sun came out, and Ed White rode a trolley with me

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