Jack Kerouac Quotes

Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac, more commonly recognized as Jack Kerouac, distinguished himself as an American novelist and poet. He stood as a pioneering figure of the Beat Generation, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. Raised in a French-speaking household in Lowell, Massachusetts, Kerouac had roots tracing back to French-Canadian heritage. Wikipedia

“If you own a rug you own too much.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Some of my most neurotically fierce bitterness is the result of realizing how untrue people have become.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Walking on water wasn’t built in a day.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I am always thinking ‘What am I doing here? Is this the way I am supposed to feel?’” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Nothing ever happened – Not even this.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“At night in this part of the West the stars, as I had seen them in Wyoming, were as big as Roman Candles and as lonely as the Prince who’s lost his ancestral home and journeys across the spaces trying to find it again, and knows he never will.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I want a blaze of light to flame in me forever in a timeless, dear love of everything. And why should I pretend to want anything else?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Man, wow, there’s so many things to do, so many things to write! How to even begin to get it all down and without modified restraints and all hung-up on like literary inhibitions and grammatical fears…” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Holding up my purring cat to the moon. I sighed.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I’m right there, swimming the river of hardships but I know how to swim…” ~ Jack Kerouac

“It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“And the story of love is a long sad tale ending in graves.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Better to sleep in an uncomfortable bed free, than sleep in a comfortable bed unfree.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“What’s your road, man? – holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, guppy road, any road. It’s an anywhere road for anybody anyhow. Where body how?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Something great is about to happen to me: I’m about to love somebody very much.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“In my madness I was actually in love with her for the few hours it all lasted; it was the same unmistakable ache and stab across the mind, the same sighs, the same pain, and above all the same reluctance and fear to approach.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I didn’t know what to say. I felt like crying, Goddammit everybody in the world wants an explanation for your acts and for your very being.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The only truth is music.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Things are so hard to figure out when you live from day to day in this feverish and silly world. ” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I am young now and can look upon my body and soul with pride. But it will be mangled soon, and later it will begin to disintegrate, and then I shall die, and die conclusively. How can we face such a fact, and not live in fear?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“No time for poetry but exactly what is.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Write in recollection and amazement for yourself.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I don’t wanta hear all your word descriptions of words words words you made up all winter, man I wanta be enlightened by actions.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Everything is perfect on the street again, the world is permeated with roses of happiness all the time, but none of us know it. The happiness consists in realizing that it is all a great strange dream.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“If you tell a true story, you can’t be wrong.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“It no longer makes me cry and die and tear myself to see her go because everything goes away from me like that now – girls, visions, anything, just in the same way and forever and I accept lostness forever.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Happy. Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running – that’s the way to live. All alone and free in the soft sands of the beach…” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The beauty of things must be that they end.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Holy flowers floating in the air, were all these tired faces in the dawn of Jazz America.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“There are worse things than being mad.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Will you love me in December as you do in May?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Avoid the world, it’s just a lot of dust and drag and means nothing in the end.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Never mistake talking about writing for actual writing.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Who can leap the world’s ties and sit with me among white clouds?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“So therefore I dedicate myself, to my art, my sleep, my dreams, my labors, my suffrances, my loneliness, my unique madness, my endless absorption and hunger because I cannot dedicate myself to any fellow being.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“And when the fog’s over and the stars and the moon come out at night it’ll be a beautiful sight.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Let nature do the freezing and frightening and isolating in this world. Let men work and love and fight it off.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“One man practicing kindness in the wilderness is worth all the temples this world pulls.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“A pain stabbed my heart as it did every time I saw a girl I loved who was going the opposite direction in this too-big world.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Accept loss forever. Be submissive to everything, open, listening. No fear or shame in the dignity of your experience, language, and knowledge. Be in love with your life.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“But why think about that when all the golden lands ahead of you and all kinds of unforseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you’re alive to see?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“We tiptoed around each other like heartbreaking new friends.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Houses are full of things that gather dust.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Sweet life continues in the breeze, in the golden fields.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I was surprised, as always, be how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Let the mind beware, that though the flesh be bugged, the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Something good will come of all things yet.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“It all ends in tears anyway.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“We fumed and screamed in our mountain nook, mad drunken Americans in the mighty land. We were on the roof of America and all we could do was yell, I guess – across the night…” ~ Jack Kerouac

“You boys going to get somewhere, or just going?” We didn’t understand his question, and it was a damned good question.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“You guys are going somewhere or just going?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Who knows, my God, but that the universe is not one vast sea of compassion actually, the veritable holy honey, beneath all this show of personality and cruelty?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“On soft Spring nights I’ll stand in the yard under the stars – Something good will come out of all things yet – And it will be golden and eternal just like that – There’s no need to say another word.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Pain or love or danger makes you real again…” ~ Jack Kerouac

“And you have been forever, and will be forever, and all the worrisome smashings of your foot on innocent cupboard doors it was only the Void pretending to be a man pretending not to know the Void.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“You can’t fight City Hall. It keeps changing its name.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“And I realize that no matter where I am, whether in a little room full of thought, or in this endless universe of stars and mountains, it’s all in my mind.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“And I will die, and you will die, and we all will die, and even the stars will fade out one after another in time.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“My witness is the empty sky.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“No matter how you travel, how ‘successful’ your tour, or foreshortened, you always learn something and learn to change your thoughts.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I promise I shall never give up, and that I’ll die yelling and laughing, and that until then I’ll rush around this world I insist is holy and pull at everyone’s lapel and make them confess to me and to all.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Finding Nirvana is like locating silence.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Writing at least is a silent meditation even though you’re going a hundred miles an hour.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“It always makes me proud to love the world somehow- hate’s so easy compared.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“We lay on our backs looking at the ceiling and wondering what God had wrought when he made life so sad and disinclined.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Somewhere along the line I knew there’d be girls, visions, everything; somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Believe in the holy contour of life.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“All he needed was a wheel in his hand and four on the road.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I have fallen in love with you, God. Take care of us all, one way or the other.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Life must be rich and full of loving – it’s no good otherwise, no good at all, for anyone.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I don’t know, I don’t care, and it doesn’t make any difference.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“We turned at a dozen paces, for love is a duel, and looked at each other for the last time.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“A sociable smile is nothing but a mouth full of teeth.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk – real straight talk about souls, for life is holy and every moment is precious.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The whole mad swirl of everything that was to come began then.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The taste of rain – Why kneel?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great, that I thought I was in a dream.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“You seek identity in the midst of indistinguishab le chaos, in sprawling nameless reality.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Be in love with your life, every detail of it.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“So I rushed past the pretty girls, and the prettiest girls in the world live in Des Moines.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“But then they danced down the street like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…” ~ Jack Kerouac

“It’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Don’t touch me, I’m full of snakes.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“You are the equal of the idol who has given you your inspiration.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“For the first time in my life the weather was not something that touched me, that caressed me, froze or sweated me, but became me.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Happiness consists in realizing it is all a great strange dream.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“They were like the man with the dungeon stone and gloom, rising from the underground, the sordid hipsters of America, a new beat generation that I was slowly joining.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The page is long, blank, and full of truth. When I am through with it, it shall probably be long, full, and empty with words.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“All of life is a foreign country.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Cats yawn because they realize that there’s nothing to do.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“It was the work of the quiet mountains, this torrent of purity at my feet.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Rest and be kind, you don’t have to prove anything.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Something that you feel will find its own form.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“My whole wretched life swam before my weary eyes, and I realized no matter what you do it’s bound to be a waste of time in the end so you might as well go mad.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“We agreed to love each other madly.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I’m writing this book because we’re all going to die.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The closer you get to real matter, rock, air, fire and wood, boy, the more spiritual the world is.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“It’s all too much and not enough at the same time.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Pretty girls make graves.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“All is well, practice kindness, heaven is nigh.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Down in Denver, all I did was die.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Put down the pen someone else gave you. No one ever drafted a life worth living on borrowed ink.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Don’t tell them too much about your soul. They’re waiting for just that.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“It is possible for the human spirit to win after all.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“What’s in store for me in the direction I don’t take?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“All our best men are laughed at in this nightmare land.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The bus roared on. I was going home in October. Everybody goes home in October.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Why did I allow myself to be bored ever in the past and to compensate for it got high or drunk or rages or all the tricks people have because they want anything but serene understanding of just what there is, which is after all so much.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“The tree looks like a dog, barking at heaven.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Roaring dreams take place in a perfectly silent mind. Now that we know this, throw the raft away.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I’m Catholic and I can’t commit suicide, but I plan to drink myself to death.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Ah Japhy you taught me the final lesson of them all, you can’t fall off a mountain.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I realized either I was crazy or the world was crazy; and I picked on the world. And of course I was right.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“You can’t live in this world but there’s nowhere else to go.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“As I grew older I became a drunk. Why? Because I like ecstasy of the mind.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“In my medicine cabinet, the winter fly has died of old age.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“There was nothing to talk about anymore. The only thing to do was go.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I’d sleep and forget it; I had my own life, my own sad and ragged life forever.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“My life is a vast inconsequential epic.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“For life is holy and every moment is precious.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“It’s not that I can’t fall in love. It’s really that I can’t help falling in love with too many things all at once. So, you must understand why I can’t distinguish between what’s platonic and what isn’t, because it’s all too much and not enough at the same time.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“So long and take it easy, because if you start taking things seriously, it is the end of you.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“I’m going to marry my novels and have little short stories for children.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Are we fallen angels who didn’t want to believe that nothing is nothing and so were born to lose our loved ones and dear friends one by one and finally our own life, to see it proved?” ~ Jack Kerouac

“It is not my fault that certain so-called bohemian elements have found in my writings something to hang their peculiar beatnik theories on.” ~ Jack Kerouac

“Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.” ~ Jack Kerouac

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