“On Neal’s Ashes” – Remembering Neal Cassady

Delicate eyes that blinded blue Rockies, all ash
Nipples, ribs touched w/my thumb are ash
Mouth my tongue touched once or twice all ash
bony cheeks soft on my belly are Cinder, ash
earlobes & eyelids, youthful cock-tip, curly pubis
breast warmth, man palm, high school thigh,
baseball biceps arm, asshole anneal’d to
silken skin all ashes, all ashes again.

July, 1968

It’s the anniversary today (February 4th) of the death of Neal Cassady

From Wikipedia

“On February 3, 1968, Cassady attended a wedding party in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. After the party, he went walking along a railroad track to reach the next town, but passed out in the cold and rainy night wearing nothing but a T-shirt and jeans. In the morning, he was found in a coma by the tracks, reportedly by Anton Black, later a professor at El Paso Community College, who carried Cassady over his shoulders to the local post office building. Cassady was then transported to the closest hospital where he died a few hours later on February 4, four days short of his 42nd birthday.

The exact cause of Cassady’s death remains uncertain. Those who attended the wedding party confirm that he took an unknown quantity of secobarbital, a powerful barbiturate sold under the brand name Seconal. The physician who performed the autopsy wrote simply, “general congestion in all systems.” When interviewed later, the physician stated that he was unable to give an accurate report because Cassady was a foreigner and there were drugs involved. “Exposure” is commonly cited as his cause of death, although his widow (Carolyn Cassady) believes he may have died of renal failure.”

For further fascinating research and investigation – see here 

We thought to feature this classic poem of Allen’s on Neal, “Cocksman and Adonis of Denver”, (see also Booktryst on the poem – here).

 

[Neal Cassady – Photo: Allen Ginsberg  c. The Estate of Allen Ginsberg]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *