September 5, 1957

Jack, I can see you on that New York corner waiting
For the Times, knowing a review was coming out,
knowing something good might happen.

In that classic photo, you stand by the corner
window, a Lucky Strike dangling from your lips,
an Orpheus in a black leather jacket.

That night you’d never forget. Going out at dusk
you got an early copy of the Times. The next day
On the Road would be on the streets and highways.

You’d be celebrated as the beat. Who was to know
how your life would change? Who could understand
it all? Who could imagine what would come?

You drove across America,
always on the move and always moving on,
searching for wherever that somewhere never was.

Peter Krok, the editor of Schuylkill Valley Journal, serves as humanities director of the Manayunk  Roxborough Art Center where he has coordinated a literary series since 1990. Because of his identification with row house Philadelphia, he is often referred to as “the red brick poet.”  His poem “10 PM At a Philadelphia Recreation Center” was included in Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania. His book, Looking For An Eye, was published by Foothills Press.