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El Habib Louai reads in Seattle Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Details here: We invite you to attend and spread the word. (Download poster here.)

El Habib Louai with AG


Kerouacian Epiphanies in Portland Greyhound Bus Station
August 4, 2013 at 10:57pm

It seems that the inception of sentimental states is unchangeably similar
Dear clients, I shall seize the opportunity to canalize these feelings!
Especially to those sitting somewhere on bus station benches
Unexpectedly, waiting for trains or buses bound to nowhere
I would love to desperately inform you:
I reckon I have never visited Finland.
Actually, I probably never should visit Finland,
Since it is a place I love so much on paperbacks
I bought from Powell’s Books with my working class dimes
It turned out I am visiting 21st century American dream

Now that I am sitting in this greyhound bus station
Not because I am expecting a girlfriend’s heart to revisit
Not because I am picking up my grandmother’s leather suitcases
Not because I am bound to meet a Rockefeller businessman
Not because I am solitarily taking 8.30 train to Eugene
It is because I whimsically remembered Jack in his French Beret
It is because 50s style Cadillac car smoke gets into my myopic eyes
It is because my ears picked “Born to Be Wild” on the entrance to Portland Central Station
It is because I imagined again Jack’s mother weeping in front of Madonna icons
It is because I ventured into the epiphanies of the varieties of religious experience

It is In Portland where everybody leisurely rode their fanciful organic bikes,
In Portland where the deer leap and traipse through when you plant roses,
In Portland where blond girls walk in their vegan underwear late in the evening,
In Portland where Gays and Lesbians read their battered copies of “Gender Trouble”,
In Portland where Columbia and Willamette rivers erotically confluence,
In Portland where nouveau riche American couples have two types of tap waters,
I walked in distress when I saw old and young homeless pass out on hard floors

What would Kerouac say in this postmodern greyhound bus station?
Shall he say again “the floors of bus stations are the same all over the country, “
Shall he say again “they are always covered with butts and spit”
Shall he say again “they give a feeling of sadness that only bus stations have.”
Shall he say again the trip “was an ordinary bus trip with crying babies and hot sun”

I shall not dwell in memoriam of anything celebrating funhouse mirror reflection of Portlandia
I shall not join Portlandia’s cage-free, organic and fresh satires on Mississippi Avenue
I shall let the Road unfold in a series of joyful epiphanies, in truck stops, Greyhound bus station
I shall stare through the early evening windows of jazz bars
This shall be my love letter to the great American landscapes I left in Iowa, Ohio and Indiana
I shall be too busy for failing love relationship scruples
I shall just allow my muscles a space to twitch, to live the ragged joy and go
I shall just sit in the greyhound bus station and think everything over.

El Habib Louai received his B.A in English literature and linguistics from the University Of Ibn Zohr in Agadir, Morocco, in 2007. A number of his poems have been published in various online magazines and journals, such as Indigo Rising Magazine, troubadour21, Eunoia Review, Danse Macabre du Jour, Palestine Chronicle, Istanbul Literary Review, Sagarana and Camel Saloon. He was the representative and organizer of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change cultural event in Agadir, Morocco in 2011, and is currently translating the poetry of Allen Ginsberg and other U.S. poets into Arabic.


About The Subud International Cultural Association (SICA)
SICA is a global nonprofit organization based in Austin, Texas that provides programs and services to individuals and organizations working in the fields of art, culture, and creativity for the development of human values across all fields of human endeavor. SICA believes the development of individual talent is critical to building love and respect among people everywhere. SICA was begun by members of the World Subud Association in 1983.