The Jack Kerouac page: sex, drugs, and rock n' roll
In the spirit of the venerable Jack Kerouac, we offer these excerpts from IN, AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey, by Kerouac's namesake, Jack Haas, who has been called "The Kerouac of the new millennium." Frank Wolf (author of Blind Bay). To view all of Jack Haas' books, click here.
...Oh, to be sure, life was no torture chamber, and there was always a bevy of young strumpets flitting about in my wayward existence. The Vancouver area, in fact, is a romantic fool's playground- what with the surfeit of idyllic hot springs, out-of-the-way cabins, choice little valleys and alpine meadows, and the earth's ever-present sex scent to get the juices flowing. For the lonely hound there were always enough uninhibited, bright, and talented wood nymphs roaming about who were often more than pleased to tangle in the pleasures of the flesh just for the freedom and joy of it.
     The city seemed to attract these fresh, adventurous, west-coast vixens who just loved to coax you down to the sea with their clothes off, splash about, and then share a bed under the starry sky.
     And to be sure, there is nothing like coupling with a most willing, sensual, free-spirited woman, on the wild coast, under the greatest cedars the earth has ever produced, amongst all the glory of mother nature's finest. The two go hand in hand. For in the heart of every woman, just as in every man, is the unquenchable love of being naked with the earth.
     The Gods tossed us out of Eden, but they couldn't toss Eden out of us. It's as simple as that. At the center of every human being is the desire- the need- to be unclothed and frolicking, untamed through the untamed wilds with desire and passion in their souls.
     This understanding was well hidden from me in the puritanical denials of the east where I grew up. But not on the coast. It must be the salt air that loosens up the loins and sets us free to enjoy the more rudimentary pleasures.
     I remember driving out to Bamfield, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, with three young women one summer, then hiking out along Barkley Sound until we arrived at the beach where we planned to camp. I had not even time to put my pack down before not one of them had a stitch of clothing left on and they were suddenly splashing and swimming about and then taking photos of each other and I was watching the whole innocent burlesque show in disbelief.
     It was a similar experience the first time I went with a couple of buddies and a car load of women to one of the many geothermal pools which dot the coast, and I was joyously astounded to see how they, like we, couldn't wait to get to the tubs, strip down, and prance about in natural glee.
     I must have been cornered as a youngster by a demented Calvinist or something, because I had no clue that this kind of thing went on. But soon enough I had assimilated this delight into my working reality, and it was a solid fact that if you took a bottle of wine and one or more of the hussies out into the wilderness, all of the sudden you were Krishna with the gopis and the pastures were limitless.
     To take your lover from behind, doggy-style, on a big, flat rock overlooking the sea, is to inscribe the Kamasutra on the trade winds, and send your liberating incontinence across the entire frigid land. ...

     ...Indeed there was little more vivifying at that time in my life than a gathering of like-minded, reckless and restless, unrepressed individuals with bellies full of grog and psychedelic mushrooms, minds full of grass, and a growing hunger amongst the crowd to revisit the land of Pan and wash away the veil of this profane earth.
     There is much to be said for those all-out, uninhibited, intense years of debauchery which we enjoyed to their fullest, with as few or as many other willing folks as we could cajole into joining us, or who could cajole us into joining them. To be out in the raw world, hyped and opened up and obliterated from the mundane plane, on a pharmacological cornucopia of narcotics, booze, and hallucinogens, and to throw yourself into that midsummer night's dream, to tear your clothes off and go running uncontrollably through the bush, to stand far off on a hill and bellow out a call of indescribable euphoria and intensity, and to hear it echoed back to you in a chorus of intoxicated and charmed hoots, howls, guffaws, and acclamations, and then to trundle back down to the focus of the crowd, all souls in invisible communion with their extra-selves, and bouncing off of each other's vibes, and to pass a bottle of whiskey around, then a joint, to devour a plate of barbecued salmon, a baked potato, a hash brownie, a chocolate mushroom, and then off again into the twilight zone, without plan or concern, always lost and always found, leaning suddenly against a giant spruce, or yellow cedar, gasping in disbelief, rolling about in the moss in blessed depravity, then sitting down in a circle of jocularity and repose, hearing the ribald laughter of another group somewhere off in the night, stopping to stare into one of your mates eyes for a brief second of siblinghood and contact, and then out and away again, another beer, another hug, or kiss, a wrestling match, more tom-foolery, singing out at the top of your lungs nothing in particular but for the inability to any longer squash the earthquake of delight and gratitude that cannot help bursting forth in your every word, move, and offering. The hallowed madness of it all. ...

     Anyone who breaks free of the imposed structure, who lives life for life itself, with no worry or expectation of reward or praise, develops their own individual force, unknown to the greater part of mankind. We all have it, but most of us give it away to convention, or cowardice.
     We were not born to follow others, to learn what they say we should learn, to go where others wander, nor to deny the smallest part of our own force for comfort or acceptance.
     We are not alive to toil, to lie, to impress people, or to suffer. We are alive to be life- to be the great mystery endlessly awakening to itself. We are all God becoming infinitely godlike. And each of us must live it through. Alone.
     The hero today is simply the one who finds that part of life which is not a tragedy- which is to say, the hero finds Life- and then lives life for its own sake, no matter the direction nor meanness of the day.
     To live life is to bring your death back to Life, and then to bring Life back to mankind- back to this mummified race, caught in an endless cycle of delusion and imagination. To live life is to take Life down into the lair of Death, and to dance upon the tombstones.
     To live life is to tune into the music of the spheres, to open up and give your whole soul to it so that it will get inside and move you. And when it seeps in and grabs you- grabs you like a wave in a waterless ocean- then you must dance like hell, and never stop dancing. You must rise to the rhythm and song, touch the earth beneath you, kick off your shoes and forget. You must hold your curses, and pocket your blame, because, Spirit, you're only here to dance.
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