Montreal reading continues – Fall of America & Mantra

The 1969 Montreal reading continues today (with more poems from The Fall of America and, as conclusion, the chanting of a Buddhist mantra )

Allen continues his reading, first, with a poem entitled “Violence” “Mexcity drugstore table giant/ sexfiend in black spats/Sticks knife in a plump faggot’s sportscoat seam..”….”chic fairy gangsters with bloody hands/hustle after midnight to cut my throat from/ its beard”)

Next, Flying to Chicago – oh this August, 1968 on the way to the Convention (“Going To Chicago” – “(“22,000 feet over Hazed square Vegetable planet Floor/Approaching Chicago to Die or flying over earth another/40 years…”…”Fire_Heaven Descending 22,000 Years End th’ Atomic Aeon..” – [Allen is distracted – “Can you get settled, sir, I wonder” – continues..] – “The Lake’s blue again, Sky’s the same, baby..”.. …”Scream in despair over Meat and Metal Microphone”)

This is followed by “Grant Park, August 28, 1968”] – Grant Park, after about the third day at the Convention Center, Humphrey had been nominated – ( “Green air, children sat under trees with the old,/bodies bare, eyes open to eyes under the hotel wall..”…” Who wants to be President of the/ Garden of Eden?”)

(Then), Aug 2 1969 – I’ll try and bring it up to this week [October, 1969] – (“Rain-wet asphalt heat, garbage curbed, cans overflowing” (“I hauled down lifeless mattresses to sidewalk refuse-piles/old rugs stept on from Paterson to Lower East Side filled with/bed-bugs…”… “…a glance behind/and sudden farewell to the bedbug-ridden mattresses piled/ soggy in dark rain”)

and (approximately twenty-six and-half minutes in (in the third segment) – “Death on All Fronts” “Half the blue globe’s germ population more than enough to keep the cloudy lung from stinking pneumonia” (“A new moon looks down on our sick sweet planet/Orion’s chased the Immovable Bear halfway across the sky”….”Mind fragmented – and still abstract – Pain in/left temple living death.”)

(Finally), October 24th to 26th ..Returning from Kerouac’s funeral – (from “Memory Gardens” – cemetery (“covered with yellow leaves/in morning rain….”…”artificial trees, robots sofas,/Ignorant cars -/One Way Street to Heaven/Dark institutes Redbrick facades” – (and) – (October 29th flying New York into Maine) – “Flying into a trail of black smoke/Kerouac’s obituary conserves Time‘s/Front Paragraphs” …”…Well, while I’m here I’ll/do the work -/and what’s the Work?/ To ease the pain of living/Everything else, drunken/ dumbshow.”)

(At approximately thirty-three-and-a-quarter minutes in (third segment), Allen continues)

AG: (You can) stay and talk if you want after… but I’d like to finish with a Buddhist mantra. Both songs we have sung so far have been Gnostic – (William) Blake, Western Christian Gnostic, and Hindu – Sri Krishna and Shiva. So, for.. for finishing the with (Jack) Kerouac – the first mantra I ever heard was from Kerouac, who did bring a consciousness of Oriental bliss to the West, recently in Pop form. First mantra I ever heard was a thing called the Three Vows of Buddhism (the Three Jewels) – “In Buddha I take my refuge , in dharma (the nature or law of cause-and-effect or karma), I take my refuge (in the nature of maya , or relation to an illusion, that we are void), and in sangha , the company of fellow Buddhists, I take my refuge – Buddhaṃ śaraṇaṃ gacchāmi/ Dharmaṃ śaraṇaṃ gacchami,/ Sanghaṃ śaraṇaṃ gacchāmi – and that’s repeated three times –Dutiyam-pi buddhaṃ (the second time) and Tatiyam-pi (third time)

Allen proceeds (from thirty-three-and-three-quarter minutes in to forty-one-and-three-quarter minutes in) to chant with harmonium accompaniment

[Audio for the above begins here, beginning at approximately eighteen-and-a-half minutes in (third segment) and comtinuing until approximately forty-one-and-three-quarter minutes in]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *