Kansas Heritage Group]

Beats In Kansas: The Beat Generation in the Heartland

I am forgiven and thrown over to older days, when lighter cares beset

the locked man

by Alan Russo, 1960
Wichita, Kansas

I am forgiven and thrown over to older days, when lighter cares beset—
How to get another beer, how to make mine wine—
but the blood will not sit still, and a deep brooding--ulterior vintage—
stirs, a remote past that I step on every day.
Breakthrough? We are here. The past is a lie against
the enormity of the present, the future a schoolmarm's lie that will
never come true. Sink into your moment, whether life or death
who knows what you have to gain or lose? To lose: a life of penal misery.
To gain: an infinity of bright, close discoveries.
Perhaps each of our lives is forming, all the while, a perfect and beautiful pattern
which we do not complete, and realize, until the moment of our death.
The kaleidoscope that half-drowned men report, "my whole life flashed before me"
but they don't stay to see the end. Only the dead have seen the whole truth,
There and clear for one instant. The end is just and "fitting."
The dead had their reward or punishment in life,
all they can get from death is consummation.
And recognition of their life without their "self"—now lost and gone forever.
Better to die once in truth than live a thousand years in folly—the American dream.

Originally printed by Charley Plymell. © 1960 Alan Russo; Page © 2011 George Laughead
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