Thursday, June 11, 2015
Mexico City Blues - 3
AG: The most amazing weird formulations are in (Jack Kerouac's Mexico City Blues) in the 32nd Chorus:
"Newton's theory of relativity/and grave gravity/is that rocks'll fall on your head/ Pluto is the Latest Star/ Astrononical facts/ from under the bar./ Little cottages of hills receive/the Constellation of/the Sourthern Hemisphere./ Where rosy doves're seen flying/ Past Pis Cacuaqaheuro/Monte Visto de Santo/De Gassa - healing helium/gas - from the substance/on the sunstar - / gas discovered on the sun/ by spectral gazing/ Sorcerers hoppity skip/with the same familiarity /In my Buddhaland dreams -/ Monotonous monotony/ of endless grape dirigible stars."
(Then) - 41st Chorus - He went back and forth between pure sound and making little Buddhist sutra remarks. There was a lady that we knew, Luba (Petrova), in New York, (in mid-town New York, she was a girlfriend [wife] of the writer-novelist Alan Harrington, who was pretty well-known, but Luba was a sort of very funny Bohemian-Russian mid-town sophisticate, who entertained Kerouac with a long story about a circus she went to as a child where they had balloons, and after a while she realized that the entire world was nothing but big empty balloons, balloons everywhere - her mother, balloon, her father, balloon, her grandmother, balloon, the Russian, balloon, the earth, balloon, the whole universe, balloon!
"That other part of your mind/Where everything's refined/To thin hair screamers/Must be in the cavern/Somewhere/ But was is its self-nature/ of location?.." - I guess, "but what is it's self-nature/ of location"? - "But "Was ist" (it's self-nature of location) ? - "But Was ist it's self-nature/ of location - "But was is its self-nature of location?/ Nada, nadir, naparinirvana/ ni parinirvana/But Most Excellent & Wise,/The Glorious Servant/of Sentient Needs/ Tathagata Akshobya,/Brother of Merudhvhaga/Kin to Sariputra/Holy & Wise/Like John in the Wood/ No location to thin hare screamers/ in the min d's central comedy/ (ute/and/long/ago/lament)/ Nothing/ of mind's central/ comedy BALLOONS." - the "thin hare screamers" are anxiety-ridden heavy discriminators to translate it into the language (we've) just been using - the "thin hare screamers" - "That other part of your mind/Where everything's refined/To thin hair screamers/Must be in the cavern/Somewhere"
When I saw that "endless grape dirigible stars" [ in the 32nd Chorus], I said, "What is that? - "Endless grape dirigible stars"? - And I still don't understand it but it's one of the best lines of poetry I've ever heard. But it's also, notice, composed of "grape","dirigible".. "grape dirigible stars". It's sort of an abstraction composed of fact words. So the whole point is that once you're grounded with some sense of fact words, you can combine them any way you want with some humor, but it requires the humor of grounding in order to be able to make funny magic out of actual fact, or to mix up fact in such a way, fact words, in such a way as they form weird combinations that somewhere hit the back of the mind (like "endless grape dirigible stars"). He's got another line in here - "mosquitoes of straw" - which I always found really mysterious and interesting - like some dream-phrase.
36th Chorus - "No direction/No direction to go/ Burroughs says…" - He's talking history as well as literature - "Burroughs says it's a time-space/travel ship/Connected with mystiques/and mysteries/Of he claims transcendental/majesties,/Pulque green crabapples/of hypnotic dream/In hanging Ecuad vine./Burroughs says, We have destiny/Last of the Faustian Men./ No direction in the void/Is the news from the void/In touch with the void/Everywhere void/ No direction to go/ (but)/ (in) ward/ Hm/ (ripping of paper indicates/helplessness anyway)"
"But was is its self-nature/ of location?" - In other words, "Where is the ego?" Where is the "thin hare screaming" ego? - Nowhere - "BALLOONS" (he's got a whole bunch of poems about balloons at some point).