Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mexico City Blues - 4


                                                 [Jack Kerouac in a Merchant Marine cap - c.1944]

                            [Dexter Gordon, resting. New York City, 1949 - Photograph by Herman Leonard

       [Charlie Mingus, Roy Haynes, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker at The Open Door, New York City, 1953] 


                                   [Dizzy Gillespie - New York City, 1948 - Photograph by Herman Leonard]

                                                                                  [William Shakespeare]


[Allen Ginsberg's examination of Jack Kerouac's Mexico City Blues continues]

AG:  [Mexico City Blues – 42nd Chorus]:

“POEM WRITTEN ON A SAILBOAT/ It’s a powerful sock powerful/Mock powerful breeze blowin/Across this leeward shirsh/Of fought waters thrashin/Up to spit on the deck/Of Heroing Man,/Ah, as we sail the jibboom/Upon the va va voom.And Saltpeter’s her petter/Again, the Larceny Commission’ll/Hear of this, fight the lawyers,/Upset the silly laws, anger/the/hare/brain/bird/of/wine/in this railroad tam o shanter/Commemorative termagent/Able to dissect such tycoon/Burpers outa their B movies’/investment in Black./’Bop”/ Even on a sailboat/I end up writin bop”

[43rd Chorus]

“Mexico City Bop/I got the buck bop/I got the floogle mock/I got the thiri chiribim/bitchy bitchy/batch batch/ Chippely bop/ Noise like that/ Like fallin off porches/Of Tenement Petersburg/Russia Chicago  O Yay./  Like, when you see,/the trumpet kind, horn/shiny in his hand, raise/it in smoke among heads/he bespeaks, elucidates,/explains and drops out,/end of chorus, staring/at the final wall/where in Africa/the old men petered/out on their own account/using their own immemorial/ Salvation Mind/ SLIPPITY BOP”

Does that make sense to anyone? Actually, it  makes perfect sense to me at this point. He’s just playing – “Mexico City Bop/I got the buck bop/I got the floogle mock/I got the thiri chiribim/bitchy bitchy/batch batch/ Chippely bop/ Noise like that..” – “Noise like that” – That’s a comment – “Noise like that”. Then he says how easy it is – “Like fallin off porches/Of Tenement Petersburg/Russia Chicago  O Yay” – Easy to fall off a log, falling off a porch – or the sound of drunkards “fallin off porches in tenement Chicago, St Petersburg,Russia – Then he explains again that it’s like the bebop, like the black musicians in America in night clubs and that’s just like the mind-thoughts and excellent intelligences of old men in Africa, leaning against the wall, waiting to die, with their own salvation and intelligences. So – “..when you see,/the trumpet kind” – the trumpet player, the kind of trumpet players, the trumpet kind – “..horn/shiny in his hand, raise/it in smoke among heads/he bespeaks, elucidates,/explains and drops out,/end of chorus, staring/at the final wall/where in Africa/the old men petered/out on their own account/using their own immemorial/ Salvation Mind/ SLIPPITY BOP” – Is that perfectly clear? I want to make one thing perfectly clear. Is that clear or (does) that sound like nonsense. It is nonsense. It’s clear nonsense. It’s clearly nonsense, that is, certain elements of it are clearly nonsense, and he’s talking about the nonsense of the mind, or the sub-sense of the mind, or the senses of the mind that make some kind of funny sense, archetypally – certainly make good sound, good rhythm, and actually symbolized the benevolent  indifferent sentience, ease, and leisurely relaxed open-mindedness of old African men dying in a wall, with their own minds, not worried, like Americans.

[44th Chorus]


“Waves of cantos and choruses/And lilypads of anything/Like flying carpets that are/nowhere/And all’s bugged with the scene –‘ Ah I wish I could fight out/Of this net of mistakes/And anxieties among others/Who wait in my silence/Till I end up my work/Which never began and/Never will end – hah -/Bespeak thyself not, soft spot,/ Aurorum’s showed his Mountain/Top/of Eastern be Western morning/To indicate by Moon Magic/Constellative Stardom/of/Gazers/in Mock Roman/Arabian Kimonos,/the lay of the pack/in the sky” – He was reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets probably, and he picked up a little Shakespeare sound there – “Bespeak thyself not, soft spot,/ Aurorum’s showed..” – it’s something from Macbeth, where the dawn is coming, or dawn is flattering the (mountain-tops), the silence, where dawn flatters the mountain-tops – “Aurorum’s showed his Mountain/Top/of Eastern be Western..” – from East(ern) be West(ern) – going towards the West – “of Eastern be Western morning/To indicate by Moon Magic/Constellative Stardom/of/Gazers/in Mock Roman/Arabian Kimonos..” – “Roman/Arabian Kimonos..” – the Arabs were the inventors of astronomy (for modern days, anyway) –.” Gazers/in Mock Roman/Arabian Kimonos,/the lay of the pack/in the sky” – “(M)y work/Which never began and/Never will end” – I suppose he’s comparing (himself) to the vast Arabian astronomers and their kimonos, looking up at the sky, trying to figure out the constellations.

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