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As a kind of footnote, here’s a Billy Collins’ poem I’m fond of that kind of reminds me of a lot of dads, including mine.


Kerouac was born in the same town

as my father, but my father never

had time to write On The Road

let alone drive around the country

in circles.

He wrote notes for the kitchen table

and a novel of checks

and a few speeches to lullaby

businessmen after a fat lunch

and some of his writing is within

me for I house catalogues of jokes

and handbooks of advice

on horses, snow tires, women,

along with some short stories

about the deadbeats at the office,

but he was quicker to pick up

a telephone than a pen.

Like Jack, he took a drink but

beatific to him meant the Virgin Mary.

He called jazz jungle music

and he would have told Neal Cassady

to let him off at the next light.