Jack Kerouac's Underwear

I wanted to share with you a group of pieces in my personal collection which I acquired from Jack Kerouac's estate. These pieces had been sitting quietly in his St. Petersburg, Florida home since his death in 1969. He took up residence at this home in 1957 to await the release of "On the Road". It is where he would subsequently write "The Dharma Bums" and live out the remainder of his years with his third wife Stella, and his mother. 

The collection includes two undershirts and two pairs of underwear spanning from the 1950s - 1960s. They paint an intimate picture of how he moved about the rituals of daily life, blood and sweat soaked through cotton and preserved by the magic of time.

1960s Penny’s Towncraft Undershirt

Prominent orange sweat stains sprinkle across the chest and upper neck and cascade down the back. Large blocks of orange discoloration along the broad of the back where the shirt was folded against his skin, and especially soaked, perhaps from leaning back in his favorite recliner or sitting on the porch taking in the Florida heat. Two holes along each upper pocket seam, stressed from the weight of a small notebook, pen, and a pack of cigarettes taken in and out several times day. The shadow of a red object, likely one which remained in the pocket when the tee was washed, appears in the form of a pink stain that covers the pocket in its entirety.

1950s Jockey Undershirt 

Brown blood stains dribble from the collar to the chest, appearing to be from a mishap during a shave, smudged in an attempt to be wiped off. Holes dot the shoulders seams and are accompanied by two more along the middle waist, remnants of the shirt being in at the waist many times. A small faded red drip is found on the stomach, with the look of a brightly colored drink or even a popsicle.  

1950s Hanes Briefs

The smaller pair of the two underwear, worn well and likely a favorite pair. Lots of pilling can be found at the crotch and along the leg openings, and the elastic is falling our of the legs - a sign of his active body moving from one place to the next, seeking its next adventure.

1960s B.V.D Brand Briefs

The larger of the two pairs, worn later in his life. Two brown spots are seen on the lap, and are reminiscent of coffee stains. One small bright yellow spot at hip height, perhaps from a mustard splatter while making a sandwich or a speckle of yellow paint. Out of the lot these have the least amount of wear to them, and were likely purchased and worn just prior to his death.


Pull My Daisy

Pull my daisy
tip my cup
all my doors are open
Cut my thoughts
for coconuts
all my eggs are broken
Jack my Arden
gate my shades
woe my road is spoken
Silk my garden
rose my days
now my prayers awaken

Bone my shadow
dove my dream
start my halo bleeding
Milk my mind &
make me cream
drink me when you’re ready
Hop my heart on
harp my height
seraphs hold me steady
Hip my angel
hype my light
lay it on the needy

Heal the raindrop
sow the eye
bust my dust again
Woe the worm
work the wise
dig my spade the same
Stop the hoax
what’s the hex
where’s the wake
how’s the hicks
take my golden beam

Rob my locker
lick my rocks
leap my cock in school
Rack my lacks
lark my looks
jump right up my hole
Whore my door
beat my boor
eat my snake of fool
Craze my hair
bare my poor
asshole shorn of wool

say my oops
ope my shell
Bite my naked nut
Roll my bones
ring my bell
call my worm to sup
Pope my parts
pop my pot
raise my daisy up
Poke my papa
pit my plum
let my gap be shut

- Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg