On Mexico City Blues – (15th Chorus)

Sacred Heart of Jesus – Pompeo Batoni,  1767 – Church of the Gesù., Rome

Allen Ginsberg on Jack Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues continues from here

AG:    15th Chorus.  Now he’s got to explain himself at this point a little bit, so he starts to –  15th Chorus.

“Meaning-/ I’m just an old calvert/cross/ dead of die pork” – (“die pork” – Buddha died at the age of eighty two when he was given some bad pork, incidentally.  And Jack was a big goy who ate a lot of pork anyway – “I’m just an old calvert/cross” – (Calvert whiskey –  Calvert also is a martyr in… one of the Irish martyrs?  Cross, anyways, is a cross.  That is Christian.

Student:  How about Calvary?  [alleged location of Jesus’ crucifixion]?

Student:  Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

AG:  Yeah, yes, probably – “calvert/cross”, “Calvary cross”,  “calvert”.  But he died of drink, remember.  And he was drinking Calvert at the time.

“I’m just an old calvert/cross/dead of die pork/I believe in the sweetness/of Jesus/AndBuddha.I believe/In St.Francis,/Avaloki/Tesvara,/the Saints/Of First Century/India A D/And Scholars/Santivedan/And Otherwise/Santayanan/Everywhere”

Shantideva was the author of what?  Does anybody … who’s the Buddhist here?  Shantideva wrote … he’s on one of the reading lists for the Buddhist courses. He’s a 2nd Century A.D. Buddhist philosopher who…  probably “The Path to Enlightenment,” or something like that,  describing different stages of (the) Mahayana path. [Editorial note – actually 8th Century A.D. (C.E) – Allen is presumably referring to the Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra. The Dalai Lama’s lecture on his “Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Lifemay be accessed here )

Shantideva c.685 – c.763

So what does he believe in? –  He believes in “the sweetness/of Jesus..” Remember he had over here, (the 14th Chorus), when they  “…arrested me/For the size/Of my heart” – So the tone is the Sacred Heart all through the book, and suffering.  And the heart suffering which is the basic theme of all of Kerouac – suffering heart.

“… arrested me/For the size/Of my heart” – “… tore my heart out/At the top of the pyramid”

So, “I believe in the sweetness/of Jesus/And Buddha/I believe/In St.Francis,/Avaloki/Tesvara” – (“Avalokitesvara” you know?  Anybody?  Avalokitesvara is the statue of Buddha which has got a thousand arms – four, or six, or eight, or twelve, or a thousand, arms – meaning a thousand-handed compassion – that is, endless compassion.  Avalokitesvara means down-glancing Lord – Lord looking down on suffering and trying to help out –  The Bodhisattva path, (which is to help other people rather than help yourself.)

St.Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)

“In St.Francis,/Avaloki/Tesvara,/the Saints/ Of First Century/India A D/And Scholars/ Santivedan/And Otherwise/Santayanan/ Everywhere” – (George Santayana -sort of a sweet Catholic philosopher, 19th-20th century – Actually, he’s just making a declaration of sacred heart and literary scholarship (in) art and philosophy – (a) very idealistic little brief statement).

Audio for the above can heard here beginning at approximately thirty-three-and-a-quarter minutes in and continuing until thirty-six-and-a-quarter minutes in

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