On Mexico City Blues (First Chorus)

On Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues: 

Allen Ginsberg, 1981, on Jack Kerouac continues from here

Butte Magic of Ignorance
Butte Magic
Is the same as. no-Butte
All one lighr
Old Rough Roads
One High Iron

Denver is the same
“The guy I was with his uncle was
The governor of Wyoming”
“Course he paid me back’
Ten Days
Two Weeks
Stock and Joint

“Was an old crook anyway”

The same voice on the same ship
The Supreme Vehicle
SS Excalibur
Mersion of Missy

AG: So, (the) First Chorus  “Butte Magic of Ignorance/ Butte Magic/ Is the same as no-Butte”  (What is Butte?  Butte, Montana, actually, is what he’s talking about.  From On The Road  there’s lots of cadenzas about Butte, Montana, and buttes – a “butte” is a big cliff out west) –  “Butte Magic of Ignorance/ Butte Magic…” –  ((He) was just interested in the sound, I think.  I think he must have woke up in the morning (thinking) “Butte Magic”- Butte – Butte, Montana – “Butte Magic” – “Butte Magic of Ignorance.”  It’s like the goose.  Ignorance, like not knowing how to get the goose out of the bottle) – “..Butte Magic/ Is the same as no-Butte/All one light/ Old Rough Roads/One High Iron/ Mainway/   Denver is the same/ “The guy I was with his uncle was/the governor of Wyoming”/”Course he paid me back”” – (Those are two quotes from some strange conversation.  So I guess he’s just interested, right up to this point, in American sound.  A Buddhist idea but American sound) – “..Butte Magic/Is the same as no-Butte/All one light/Old Rough Roads/ One High Iron..” – (Still thinking of On The Road, I guess, or American road) – “One High Iron/ Mainway/ Denver is the same/.  “The guy I was with his uncle was/ the governor of Wyoming”/”Course he paid me back”

Ten Days/ Two Weeks/ Stock and Joint..” – (I don’t know what “Stock and Joint” is either.  Stock Market and roll up a joint?, or stock and bonds, stock and joint?) –  “Was an old crook anyway” – (Probably”The guy I was with his uncle was/ the governor of Wyoming”/ “Course he paid me back” – Actually, come to think of it, it sounds like William Maynard Garver we’re talking to, little fragments of Garver’s) -“The guy I was with his uncle was/the governor of Wyoming”/”Course he paid me back”/Ten Days/Two Weeks” – (“Ten Days/Two Weeks” might have been ten days in Riker’s Island on a junk bust) -“Stock and Joint/ Was an old crook anyway” /The same voice on the same ship/ The Supreme Vehicle/ S.S. Excalibur/ Maynard.” – (Maynard Garver, yes, so we have it) –  “Mainline” – (Garver shooting up) – ‘Mountain/ Merudvhaga/Mersion of Missy” – (Mission of Mercy) – “Mersion of Missy”

So, Garver was a mainline junkie living downstairs on Orizaba (Street, Mexico City).  So there’s a little bit of … in San Francisco Blues, an earlier book, an earlier poetry thing, 1954, which began “San Francisco Blues/ Written in a rocking chair..Douglas Hotel, January 24th, 1954,.. On Mission Street in San Francisco” – (The flophouse street, where he was living in a hotel.  It’s a poem which ends “Mercy on Mission.”  “Mercy on Mission”  meaning, “Have mercy on Mission Street,” or “Lord have mercy on Mission.”  Or “Give mercy on Mission,” or “See with mercy on Mission Street.”  It’s like saying “Mercy on Bowery.”  “Mercy on Mission.”  Except Mission means a mission.  So now he’s got here “Mersion of Missy”(picked for the sound).

So the vehicle – “the same ship”.  “The Supreme Vehicle” is Mahayana, Buddhist.  The vehicle is a Mahayana vehicle, Hinayana vehicle, Vajrayana vehicle, or the word “vehicle” here means vehicle – Buddhist vehicle, or boat, or doctrine practice tradition.  S.S. the supreme vehicle.

“The same voice on the same ship/ The Supreme Vehicle..” – (The voice probably being the voice in his mind, or the voice that he’s hearing, or the inner subconscious gossip or blab of interiority that’s the same from poem to poem, a continuous poem talking, one’s own consciousness –  one’s own consciousness)

“The Supreme Vehicle/ S.S. Excalibur” – (Excalibur, the sword)/

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately twenty-four-and-a-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately twenty-eight-and-a-quarter minutes in

Leave a Reply

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