Ozone Park Jack Kerouac Dream
Dan Sklar

Ozone Park is the name of a place
in Queens, New York where Jack
Kerouac lived in an apartment with
his mother over a flower shop and
he wrote and wrote and wore a
lumberjack shirt and took the
subway into Manhattan to meet with
friends to drink and talk and the name
Ozone Park seems to me the perfect
name for a place where Jack Kerouac
lived and wrote and wrote The Town
and the City, On the Road, Some of
the Dharma, Dr. Sax, and hundreds and
hundreds of journals and notebooks and
it dawned on me that this place named
Ozone Park could not be a better
name for a place where Jack Kerouac
lived and wrote and wrote and bought
wine and bread and cigarettes and ate
the meals his mother cooked and she
went out to work in a factory in Ozone
Park, Queens, New York and he would
dream oddly, very oddly of horses and
a ranch in Colorado, probably too many
Zane Grey novels and Saturday matinee
westerns and Red River and then when
Jack Kerouac gets a book published,
The Town and the City, he goes
to fancy Park Avenue dinner parties
and the opera with his agent and with
the publishers and their friends and
Jack Kerouac wears a tuxedo and
you see him on the subway from
Ozone Park where he walked on the
sidewalk to the subway station and
he is wearing a tuxedo and imagining
himself in a sophisticated English
play made into a movie like something
out of like Noël Coward who when they
said the play must go on Noël Coward
said why, and here is this French-Canadian
kid from Lowell, Massachusetts and
he is wearing a tuxedo and wants horses
and a ranch in Colorado and even Neal
Cassady thought it was a nutty idea and
Neal Cassady was the king of nutty ideas
but Jack Kerouac you cannot forget was a
hypergraphiac crazy nut maniac lunatic
wild man writing obsessed dreamer genius
and now I think about Ozone Park,
Ozone, Ozone, Ozone Park and Jack
Kerouac wearing a white t-shirt and gray
trousers in deep Queens, New York
October nights over the typewriter, fingers
pounding keys to keep up with his mind,
an old lamp from the house in Lowell,
Massachusetts on the desk now in
Ozone Park like Buddha in Deer Park
and all sentient beings are probably
Buddhas awake in tuxedos on subways like
Jack Kerouac alone on a subway car
heading to fancy Park Avenue dinners
and opera and jazz clubs and dive bars
and Jack Kerouac alone in a ranch house
with no furniture in Colorado, Jack Kerouac’s
bones in a tuxedo on a subway dreaming in
Ozone Park where everything becomes a
dream because it already is a dream anyway.


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