Tag Archives: Johnny Depp

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

Alice in Wonderland Poem

With Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland released tomorrow in UK cinemas, I thought it would be an opportune moment to create a Folding Mirror poem on that theme.

Poem Explanation

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland story does indeed seem a very relevant theme for a Folding Mirror poem, with the normal world above the rabbit hole inverted down below.

So, with the folding middle line acting as the rabbit hole, I thought I’d create the FM poem with the normal world in the top half and wonderland below.

Poem Structure

The poem mirrors either in the mirroring lines either side of the middle, with a word count of:
5-9-7-6-5-6-4-3 (6) 3-4-6-5-6-7-9-5

The Poem

Our Land and Wonderland Above and Below the Rabbit Hole

world of order with antipodies
food clearly labelled so you know what it is
walk in straight lines and follow signs
which way, makes sense, linear lines
laws maintain straight and narrow
formal protocol for you to follow
people work to time
regular clockwork chime

another world down the rabbit hole

it’s mad-hatter’s luck
time does not work
cheshire cat lost grin mouse tailcity
reverse expected abnormality to normality
no rules, rules are, inverted showing
turn away to get where you’re going
don’t eat with expectation that it is what sees
wonderland is full of antipathies

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I researched the poem on the Victorian Web website.