No Ginger

“I stand on my head on Desolation Peak
And see that the world is hanging
Into an ocean of endless space.”
—Jack Kerouac, from the 1st Chorus of “Desolation Blues” (Book of Blues

Prone to motion sickness, I’ve looked
for adjustments. How to encounter the rolls
and curves without losing myself
when I have a suspicion 

I should do just that. How to
accept this condition, this disease
of being human without
somersaulting over the bluff. How to drop 

everything I battle gravity
over to let stillness in the center
of a wild wind be my single garment.  How to be
a mammal without a thick coat 

of fur. How to be upright
on two leathered feet. How? Like this:

 I’ll let the blood rush
to my head without blushing.

What He Said in the 11th Chorus

You swim in the biggest one
of a chain
of lakes. Don’t fear
the consequences. There your head goes 

popping through the surface
then bubbling back under. You
were adamant—you don’t
like the tone of Kerouac’s poems. So there you go 

through water without salt,
through muck
seen and unseen. I could not be
so brave. I’d rather splash 

through an ocean without narrative,
would rather let sound
carry me
than the other way around.