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Carolyn Cassady birthday poem

February 9th, 2008 · 16 Comments · Kerouac and The Beats, Poetry


Happy B Day to The Big C!

A girl so nice you had to C her twice!
It’s the Big Sea at Big Sur!
And finding the sacred rocks to reflect,
and seeing the glistening gems shine thru
the crashing waves of life
with you.

I saw the best minds of my generation get buzzed on wine coolers before breakfast!

The only ones for me are the mother ones, the ones who are heart to live, never mom to talk, but always winking saved, and desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn except when it’s really really really late, and who burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow van Gogh paintings exploding across the sky, and in the middle we see your face and everybody goes, “Awww!”

There she is!
Mother Earth!
Mother Mirth!

Who taught me courtesy
while pushing curiosity;
and how to laugh
while grounding me
in eternity;
and about my own Taurus mother,
and the joys of inter-generational adventure fun,
which I brought home and shared and we thrived and we laughed and I thank you.

Boy, do I miss those living rooms full of time,
and glasses full of wine,
and laughing so loud
we had to turn it down,
and driving and “oh goshing” all around
that San Francisco town
and even being Europe bound!

From the Algonquin’s table,
yet another round;
to loving glances
with clinking glasses
on police station steps
as we stay out of step
with the stomping classes,
dancing in the eternity
of the songs and the stories that echo forever.

Thanks for caring, and thanks for sharing
a life that’s rife with light at night;
You’ve held my hand across more than an ocean,
in a rainbow of color
that seemed to come from above.
But you said,
“It comes from within.”
And that’s why I love you!

Mighty Teacher!
Mighty Mother!

Mighty cool you’re still shining today!

Muchos love from the universe, sweet angel!

Love, Brian


For my tribute to Carolyn on her passing — check out the Carolyn Cassady Tribute.

For a video tribute to Carolyn on the one-year anniversary of her passing — check out Makin’ Movies.

For an excerpt from my book about the ’82 Kerouac Conference in Boulder — check out Meeting Your Heroes.

For more from the Boulder Beat Book — check out Who All Was There.

For a vivid account of being at the historic “On The Road” scroll auction — check out The Scroll Auction.

For a story about Henri Cru’s birthday — check out The Legend Turns 70.

For the London premiere of “On The Road” Adventure in the outdoor courtyard at Somerset House — go here.

For a great story of the world premiere of the new shorter final version of “On The Road” — check out this Meeting Walter Salles Adventure!

For the New York City premiere and afterparty Adventure — go here.

For a complete overview of all the Kerouac / Beat film dramatizations including clips and reviews — check out the Beat Movie Guide.

For an inspiring description of being at a Beat jazz-&-poetry reading in Greenwich Village — check out Be The Invincible Spirit You Are.

For an account of the historic Beat show at the Whitney Museum in New York — check out Wailin’ at the Whitney.

For a fun storytelling Adventure poem with Vincent Van Gogh — check out Visiting Vincent.


Brian Hassett

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16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carolyn Cassady // Apr 29, 2008 at 6:42 AM

    Brian, sweetie–

    You are, as I keep saying, just too much.

    You take the cake as always. It is so comforting to have such a friend who has this outrageous view of me—I’ll take it.

    I do think of you and all your creative energy so often— relive Amsterdam, CA when you brightened my life. Brian gets things DONE. And done beautifully.

    I love you,
    CC xxxxxxxx

  • 2 Jami Cassady // Apr 30, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    Oh, Brian…

    I just read your poem … I sat here crying!! It was just so perfect … and so right on … Thank you so much for that!

    Jami Cassady

  • 3 John Cassady // May 1, 2008 at 11:46 PM

    Brian —
    You did it again!
    Best one yet my brother-from-anuthr-mother!
    Come back and visit us sometime!
    all best,

  • 4 Levi Asher // May 2, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    This is a beautiful poem, Brian. Way to go!

  • 5 Johan Soderlund // Mar 11, 2009 at 1:32 PM

    It was one of the great moments of my life to meet you and be able to hang out with her in Amsterdam. Never forgot that magic. Thanks for making it!

  • 6 Megan Reese // Jun 14, 2009 at 11:04 AM

    Gee, Mr. B! No wonder this family loves you so much! Just beautiful. Big heart to you.

  • 7 Deb Reul // Jun 7, 2010 at 10:58 PM

    This sure sounds like the person you’ve always told me about. It’s so cool that you became so close. Keep the Beat my musical brother.

  • 8 Jules Moore // Nov 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    The Beat poet strikes again!
    And strikes to the heart of it!
    You are living love.

  • 9 Patti Mirabelli // Feb 22, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    “and ‘oh goshing’ all around
    that San Francisco town”

    I love it. I can see it. Thanks for the pictures.

  • 10 Noemie Sornet // Sep 7, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    This is a beautiful and touching poem for Carolyn, Brian. Thanks for sharing it. Now I REALLY hope to meet her when I get back to England.

  • 11 Lewis McDermott // Nov 9, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Her “Off The Road” is one of the best Beat books, period.
    It’s so nice of you to make her this tribute.

  • 12 Debbie Vazquez // Jan 3, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Brian!!! CAROLYN !!!!!!!
    You guys rock!
    That was so SO fun hanging with you in all those crazy joints in Amsterdam!!!!
    I miss her!!!!
    And you too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 13 Brian Humniski // Apr 29, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    Fine poem for the matriarch of a generation. May her light shine and keep us glowing.

  • 14 Juliana Moreira Leite // Sep 20, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Love the poem.

  • 15 Jami Cassady // Sep 21, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Great Tribute! RIP Mommy

  • 16 Sara Shaw // Apr 28, 2018 at 6:23 PM

    Thanks for honoring this classy, talented friend to us all
    Grateful to have known her for a short time. Happened to live next door to John. She guided me to Los Gatos & welcomed me so kindly to her home. She at peace with the Angels in another dimension now, yet can probably feel all that we do . Especially glad you all send her love ❤️ Many blessings to you all

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