by Jack Kerouac (1922-1969)

Belief & Technique for Modern Prose


1.   Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for your own joy
2.   Submissive to everything, open, listening
3.   Try never get drunk outside your own house
4.   Be in love with your life
5.   Something that you feel will find its own form
6.   Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7.   Blow as deep as you want to blow
8.   Write what you want bottomless from the bottom of the mind
9.   The unspeakable visions of the individual
10.  No time for poetry but exactly what is
11.  Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12.  In tranced fixation dreaming upon an object before you
13.  Remove literary, grammatical, and syntactical inhibition
14.  Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15.  Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16.  The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17.  Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18.  Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19.  Accept loss forever
20.  Believe in the holy contour of life
21.  Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
22.  Don’t think of words when you stop but to see the picture better
23.  Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in your morning
24.  No fear or shame in the dignity of your experience, language, & knowledge
25.  Write for the world to read and see your exact pictures of it
26.  Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27.  In Praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28.  Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29.  You’re a Genius all the time
30.  Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven



As ever,

Jack [Kerouac]



Note: Jack Kerouac, “Belief & Technique For Modern Prose: List of Essentials,” from a 1958 letter to Donald Allen, published in Heaven & Other Poems, Grey Fox Press, 1958, 1977, 1983. This was also published in the spring 1959 issue of Evergreen Review.



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Written on 2020-11-16 at 00:00

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Bibek The PoetBay support member heart!
"Submissive to everything, open, listening": been doing that for some time, in the hopes that I can write better verse. These are honest thoughts. Thanks for posting!