Montreal reading continues – Blake and Kerouac

Allen’s 1969 Montreal reading continues  (see here and here) with a harmonium-accompanied rendition of William Blake’s “Piping Down the valleys wild…”- the Intro to “The Songs of Innocence“)

[Editorial note – the harmonium is much much too strong and overwhelms the voice in this mix]

This is followed (approximately three minutes in) by a rendition of Blake’s The Shepherd” – (“How sweet the shepherd’s sweet lot!/From the morn to the evening he strays/He shall follow his sheep all the day…”….”He is watchful while they are at peace/For they know when their shepherd is nigh”), and then, “The Nurses Song” – “The Nurses Song” from “Innocence and Experience” –

(Can you hear the singing in a low voice?, can you hear the words if I mic this up close?) –
(“When the voices of children are heard on the green…”…..”And all the hills echo-ed”)

[At approximately ten minutes in, Allen turns to Kerouac]

AG: This time what I would like to do is read a couple of short poems by Jack Kerouac
from Mexico City Blues (since these texts are not known to you, mostly, nor do you probably remember any echo of his living voice talking them. So the book is written in 1953, talking about his Canuck French family in Lowell, Massachusetts, talking about his childhood

[“96th Chorus”] – (“I tumbled down the street/ On a tricycle, very fast/I coulda kept going/And wound up in the river…”….”In a coffin./But I raced my bike safely.”)

[“97th Chorus”] – ( “Meanwhile, there’s my Pa., alone in street,/Coming for supper, under heaven bleak/The trees of March black twigs/Against the red & gory sundown…”….”Doomed to mortal destiny/”And my poor lil Ti Pousse”, /he thinks of me, “He’ll get it too”.)

[“98th Chorus”] – (“My father loves me/,my mother too,/I am all safe,/and so are you.”….”…I got to watch my dollars/Pretty soon the poorhouse” -/ (“Wish I was God”, he adds to think)”)

[“99th Chorus”] – (“My father, Leo Alcide Kerouac/Comes in the door of the porch/On the way out to downtown red,/ (where Neons Redly Brownly Flash/An aura over the city center….”…..”My father shoots 2quick glances/ Into all hearts of the box/No mail, you see the flash of his anxious/Head looking in the void for nothing”)

I’m going to read about five of these… [he reads, actually, four more]

[“217th Chorus“] – (“Sooladat smarty pines prappin down/My line of least Prapoopooty/And whattaya think Old Father Time..”…”Perss o
monnix/twab/twab/twabble/all day”)

[“230th Chorus”](Love’s multitiudinous boneyard/ of decay,/The spilled milk of heroes/Destruction of silk kerchiefs/by dust storm..”….”Like kissing my kitten in the belly/The softness of our reward.”)

[“211th Chorus”] -( “The wheel of the quivering meat/conception/Turns in the void expelling human beings….”…”…I wish I was free/ of that slaving meat wheel/and safe in heaven dead”)

The last Chorus of 242 Choruses, written high on grass [“242nd Chorus”] …which is the method of his poetry and the method of my composition also – (“The sound in your mind/is the first sound/that you could sing…”….”Stop the murder and the suicide!/All’s well!/I am the Guard”

Audio for the above can be heard here (approximately one-and-a-quarter minutes in in segment three), continuing until approximately eighteen-and-a-half minutes in

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