March 28, 2012

And where are the days
I used to be friendly



David DiMichele, Broken Glass, 2011

* From a 1968 interview of Jack Kerouac by Ted Berrigan:

INTERVIEWER

You don't believe in collaborations? Have you ever done any collaborations, other than with publishers?

KEROUAC

I did a couple of collaborations in bed with Bill Cannastra in lofts. With blondes.

INTERVIEWER

Was he the guy that tried to climb off the subway train at Astor Place, in Holmes's Go?

KEROUAC

Yes. Yeah, well he says, “Let's take all our clothes off and run around the block” . . . It was raining you know. Sixteenth Street off Seventh Avenue. I said, “Well, I'll keep my shorts on”—he says, “No, no shorts.” I said, “I'm going to keep my shorts on.” He said, “All right, but I'm not going to wear mine.” And we trot-trot-trot-trot down the block. Sixteenth to Seventeenth . . . and we come back and run up the stairs—nobody saw us.

INTERVIEWER

What time of day?

KEROUAC

But he was absolutely naked . . . about three or four A.M. It rained. And everybody was there. He was dancing on broken glass and playing Bach. Bill was the guy who used to teeter off his roof—six flights up, you know? He'd go, “You want me to fall?” We'd say, “No, Bill, no.” He was an Italian. Italians are wild, you know.

INTERVIEWER

Did he write? What did he do?

KEROUAC

He says, “Jack, come with me and look down through this peephole.” We looked down through the peephole, we saw a lot of things . . . into his toilet.

I said, “I'm not interested in that, Bill.” He said, “You're not interested in anything.” Auden would come the next day, the next afternoon, for cocktails. Maybe with Chester Kallman. Tennessee Williams.

INTERVIEWER

Was Neal Cassady around in those days? Did you already know Neal Cassady when you were involved with Bill Cannastra?

KEROUAC

Oh yes, yes, ahem . . . he had a great big pack of pot. He always was a pot happy man.

* “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." -- Jimi Hendrix

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