Dead Man On The Road: Poem about Musicians Acting Writers and Poets

A street sign of Jack Kerouac Alley.
Image via Wikipedia


I read some good news yesterday: the On The Road movie, which many people doubted would ever get made, has been filmed and is due out within the next year or so.

On the Road film

It also looks as if there is a good production team, including Francis Ford Coppola. 

I was pleased, and not too surprised, to read that Sam Riley is playing the role of Sal Paradise in it; Kerouac’s alter ego.

Sam Riley and 10,000 Things

I first saw Riley on stage in Leeds, when he was fronting a band called 10,000 Things.  They were good, and looked likely to make it, but their first album had a bad review and they split up.  Riley returned to acting.

I thought that was a bit of a coincidence: the singer from the best Leeds band I’ve seen playing the role of the character that had been my biggest travel inspiration.

Johnny Depp and Rock City Angels

And then today I had another surprise when I read that Johnny Depp, who I’ve always thought of as cool, and who has acted in some of my favourite films, such as Dead Man, used to be in a band called Rock City Angels that I knew in the 1980s, but didn’t know Depp was in them.  I was travelling at the time, and picked up the album on the road.

The Poem

Anyway, I thought I’d make the two coincidences into a Folding Mirror poem, and here it is:

Two Days When My Cultural Worlds Collided

English actor, American poet
found out
one afternoon before
Sam Riley’s playing Sal Paradise
On The Road
10,000 Things to Kerouac
Leeds band and Beat writer
music, films, literature

cultural exchange across the spiritual big pond

past, present, future,
Hollywood star and Romantic poet
Depp played William Blake
in Dead Man
was Rock City Angel guitarist
one became aware
morning after
American actor, English poet

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