| We were second row stage left for closing
night of 2 and a half year Seattle run of Vincent Balestri's one-man show
The Essence of Jack. I asked two questions during the audience participation
q-n-a which was part of Mr. Balestri's reenactment of Kerouac's
interview with William F. Buckley.
When are you coming back?
There was a doublemeaning to this, neither of which was where I was really
coming from. In one way the question could have applied directly to Mr. Balestri,
whose final performance this was. On another level it could have been seen
to cast Kerouac as a kind of messiah whose acolytes eagerly await a second
coming. Neither of these is really what I had in mind.
I had a dream while visiting Florida, Thanksgiving 1995. In it Kerouac told
me something known only to him and Allen Ginsberg, and he instructed me to
contact Allen, tell him the secret, and then say, "Tell him Jack is safe
and says hi." I woke up immediately and reached for my notebook (at the time
I was in the habit of recording my dreams) but
of course I couldn't remember the details. Nevertheless, I should have contacted
Allen but didn't until it was too late. Now he and
Jack are in the same place. It never occured to me until tonight that Florida
is where Kerouac died and so it was the logical place for a visitation. I
think I meant when would he come back to visit my dreams, but with most of
his family and friends now gone why would he need to speak through me?
Past, present, future--where does a writer live?
After asking me to repeat the question, Jack (who by now we were temporarily
convinced was speaking through Vincent) said without hesitation, "In the
eye of the hurricane," an answer which everyone liked.
are some good photos of a past performance, unfortunately coupled to an opaque
review written in that beat-imitation style which sacrifices clarity for