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Today's Stichomancy for Jack Kerouac

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Heap O' Livin' by Edgar A. Guest:

That father did the same with men; He knew he'd need their help again.

It seems to me he understood That men, as well as iron and wood, May broken be and still be good.

Despite the vices he'd display He never threw a man away, But kept him for another day.

A human junk box is this earth And into it we're tossed at birth, To wait the day we'll be of worth.


A Heap O' Livin'
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Euthyphro by Plato:

gods are agreed in approving of our prosecution of him? And must you not allow that what is hated by one god may be liked by another? Waiving this last, however, Socrates proposes to amend the definition, and say that 'what all the gods love is pious, and what they all hate is impious.' To this Euthyphro agrees.

Socrates proceeds to analyze the new form of the definition. He shows that in other cases the act precedes the state; e.g. the act of being carried, loved, etc. precedes the state of being carried, loved, etc., and therefore that which is dear to the gods is dear to the gods because it is first loved of them, not loved of them because it is dear to them. But the pious or holy is loved by the gods because it is pious or holy, which is

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost:

inspire me with merited contempt for the faithless Manon. I certainly had lost all esteem for her: how could I esteem the most fickle and perfidious of created beings! But her image--those exquisite features, which were engraven on my heart's core, were still uneffaced. I understood my own feelings: `I may die,' said I, `and I ought to die after so much shame and grief; but I might suffer a thousand deaths without being able to forget the ingrate Manon.'

"My father was surprised at my still continuing so powerfully affected. He knew that I was imbued with the principles of honour; and not doubting that her infidelity must make me despise

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Virginian by Owen Wister:

the dugout now, whipping off his overalls; and soon he was excellently clean and ready, except for the tie in his scarf and the part in his hair. "I'd have knowed her in Greenland," he remarked. He held the candle up and down at the looking-glass, and the looking-glass up and down at his head. "It's mighty strange why she ain't mentioned that." He worried the scarf a fold or two further, and at length, a trifle more than satisfied with his appearance, he proceeded most serenely toward the sound of the tuning fiddles. He passed through the store-room behind the kitchen, stepping lightly lest he should rouse the ten or twelve babies that lay on the table or beneath it. On Bear Creek


The Virginian