Jack Kerouac writes the intro to Robert Frank’s photo-essay, The Americans (1958):

The humor, the sadness, the EVERYTHING-ness and American-ness of these pictures! Tall think cowboy rolling butt outside Madison Square Garden New York for rodeo season, sad, spindly, unbelievable—Long shot of night road arrowing forlorn into immensities and flat of impossible-to-believe America in New Mexico under the prisoner’s moon—under the whang whang guitar star—Haggard old frowsy dames of Los Angeles leaning peering out the right front window of Old Paw’s car on a Sunday gawking and criticizing to explain Amerikay to little children in the spattered back seat—tattooed guy sleeping on grass in park in Cleveland, snoring dead to the world on a Sunday afternoon with too many balloons and sailboats—Hoboken in the winter, platform full of politicians all ordinary looking till suddenly at the far end to the right you see one of them pursing his lips in prayer politico (yawning probably) not a soul cares—Old man standing hesitant with oldman cane under old steps long since torn down—Madman resting under American flag canopy in old busted car seat in fantastic Venice California backyard, I could sit in it and sketch 30,000 words (as a railroad brakeman I rode by such backyards leaning out of the old steampot) (empty tokay bottles in the palm weeds)—Robert picks up two hitch hikers and lets them drive the car, at night, and people look at their two faces looking grimly onward into the night (“Visionary Indian angels who were visionary Indian angels” says Allen Ginsburg) and people say “Ooo how mean they look” but all they want to do is arrow on down that road and get back to the sack—Robert’s here to tell us so—St. Petersburg Florida the retired old codgers on a bench in the busy mainstreet leaning on their canes and talking about social security and one incredible I think Seminole half Negro woman pulling on her cigarette with thoughts of her own, as pure a picture as the nicest tenor solo in jazz…

Kerouac had the poetry down. But it was Frank who captured the images of the road that both traveled on…get this book…[buy it | borrow it ]…

trolley-new-orleans_1955Trolley—New Orleans, 1955
© Robert Frank

[NY Times Magazine, 7/2/2015, article that led me to his book…]

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