Revisiting Jack Kerouac’s Poems – 2

Allen Ginsberg on Mexico City Blues continues from here

AG: And… more on death… was..(224th Chorus, Mexico City Blues) – “Great God Almighty/, What’s to be done?/O what’s to be done?/ Sings the majestical keener/and moaner/At the Mexican Funeral home -/And from a clap in the up clouds/Comes a clap of clouts,/”All has been done”/As Theravada say “Nothing”/Nada moonshine number, whats been done?/All been done – all singly blessed – /All has been done? The mansion’s/been built and Damema/grown old & died/in burning house within?…” (Damema is Milarepa‘s teacher, Marpa‘s, mother…er wife! – so, odd,  he knew Damema. I think his knowledge of Damema  came from sections of The Buddhist Bible by Dwight Godard) -…”All has been done? The mansion’s/been built and Damema/grown old & died/in burning house within?/And the Seventeen Sutras & Lotuses/Transmitted by Perfumed Hand/From Jingle to Jiggle/The Hip Hou Parade/of Togas & Mowrdogrogas/Of Maharajah India -/ “All’s been done”/”so rest”/Repose yourself”

[Allen continues] – “Merde and misery/ I’m completely in pain/ Waiting without mercy/ For the worst to happen/I’m completely at a loss,/There is no hope/Though I know the arbitrary conception/of suffering is racking/my metaphysical/handicapped ribs,/and I don’t even exist less sing,/and I been paid/for work I done/when I was young/and work was fun/and I don’t know name from mercy,/aint got no blues/no shoes no eyes/ no shoe tongues, lungs,/no happiness, no art/nothing to do, nothin’ to part,/no hairs to split/sidewalks to spit/words to make flit/in the fun-of make-it,/ horror & makeshift poetry/covering the fact I’m afraid/to work at a steady job/jungles of hair on my wrists/magnified 1000 times/in Hells of Eternity” – (“jungles of hair on my wrists/ magnified 1000 times/ in Hells of Eternity” -jungles of hair on my wrists/ magnified 1000 times/ in Hells of Eternity”)

Student: What number is that?

AG: That’s number 227 –  “Merde and misery” – 224 was “Great God Almighty/, What’s to be done”. And (231st Chorus) – “Dead and don’t know it,/Living and do/ The living have a dead idea ./ A person is a living ice;/after dear, a dead idea./ The idea of living is the same/as the idea of death./ The dead have a living idea – Dead, it aint my fault/I was only an idea – / Respected penitence in a shack/dedicated to the study of Origin -/ The good Buddha-material/is not a sin-cloth -/Cloth of Light -/ Beings alive indicatte death/by their jaunty work/Just as the dead indicate the living/by their silence/ When rock becomes air/ I will be there.” –

(Well, that’s presumably him being friendly about it – (and) I was trying to find something where he was being miserable..about death..well, misery enough).

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately fifty-seven-and-three-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately sixty-one minutes in]

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