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I appeared in the breath of a river and reached out for the edges of the universe
I rattled the dry shoulders of America
I swept oceanic hands through luminescent waters
I fell drunk over major veins unstoppable
I toked on floors and backseats in hollows circled and seen
I called out for William Butters but he was gone

William Butters where are you?
We climbed ten thousand feet!
Lama Drimed’ said stop taking drugs
One Feather said the end times are near
You were captured by his illustrious van
Left gasping amid toxic dead hyenas

I was lost in America and Americans. I swallowed landscapes and lives and sought transformation without end. But I found little that was new - nothing changed but the size of trees and buildings. A billion young men bolt from home seeking enlightenment; a billion more lay their plans to unearth miracles and mishaps, stumble upon something grand, touch a mystery, make acquaintance with the spectrum of human circumstance, find his angels and invisible icons.

I met my own. Our lives mingled for a week or a month or maybe two. Lenny, the New Jersey dockworker who went to Amsterdam and lost (or found) his balance, ran naked through alleys to a tall cathedral where he received clothing and salvation. I met him wandering Arizona in search of Rainbow Tribe communion and ecstatic visions. We ate wild mushrooms, climbed to ancient petroglyphs, and I puked from the door of his car. And Victor Joshua With No Last Name. I knew a corner of his Missoula kitchen floor beside the faded fridge, under a table where I slept. Victor, star of the west, the true Beat cowboy, a storybook life completely unknown. And Jacob Israel, heir to a hotel fortune, hiked ten miles naked daily through dripping woods to a hot spring in Blue River, Oregon shouting songs and poems and epitaphs...


Wow. Thank you, Vicarious, for sharing this piece.


Really liked this. Thanks.

Do you have other writing of yours on the web? Would like to invite you to be a part of this lit project:


Drop me a line.

Hey Jack Kerouac.

Nice stuff, Vic.

thanks y'all

I was there!! I lived it...I knew William Patrick Butters in the belly of Arizona...We have the world at our fingertips..Much love!!


It is amazing that you knew William. I knew that he went to Arizona after leaving Eugene, but I never thought I'd hear of or from him again. We spent some interesting and powerful times together - I'd love to hear more. Please email me [email protected]


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