On Mexico City Blues (21st Chorus)

“Mechanics go mad/ In Nirvanas of hair/ and black oil/ and rags of dust..”

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

AG: Then he said, 21st Chorus:

“Not very musical, the Western ear/ – No lyres in the pines/compare with the palms” – (No lyres in the western pines of the Sierra Mountains or the Rockies compare with the Palms of Jerusalem)

“Not very musical, the Western ear/ – No lyres in the pines/compare with the palms/     Western Sorcery is Sad Science -/ Mechanics go mad/ In Nirvanas of hair/ and black oil/and rags of dust/ and lint of flint/  Hard iron fools raging in the gloom..” – (which is a good description of the Spenglerian, Faustian, iron-hard, mechanic man)

“Mechanics go mad/ In Nirvanas of hair/ and black oil/ and rags of dust..” – (Perfect picture of a garage.  Frantic mechanic in an oily garage)

“But here’s East” – (the alternative) – “But here’s East, Cambodian/ Saloons of Air/ Blakean Angel Town/ Grove of Beardy Trees/ & Bearded Emptily -/ Expressing Patriarchal/ Authority/ To us listeners/ Of the Holy See” – (S-E-E) – “Saw,/ said,/ Saved/   Saved my Bhikkucitas”)

Ferries arrived in the last poem.  “Saved my Bhikkucitas” in this poem.  Ferry would be the great ferry vehicle –  the vehicle ferry man,  the Tathagata or Buddha that ferries you across the ocean of Samsara or existence to the shore of enlightenment.  “Bhikkucitas” – the Mexican is “papa”  or “daddy”-  “papacito“, little daddy.  Or Peter.. Petercita, little Peter.  Or perro, perrocito.  You have a little perrocito, you have a little doggie. [Editorial note – actually a small dog would be perito] – Perrocito.  Like doggie instead of dog.

Student:  Sounds like dysentery!
AG:  Huh?
Student:  Sounds like dysentery!
AG:  Pardon me?  Pardon me?
Peter Orlovsky:  He thought you had dysentery if you had perrocita.

AG:  No, those are parasititas.  There’s a double diminutive.  Diminutive-cita.  Diminutive would be like Allen-y,  or Joey instead of Joe.  Joey is the diminutive or the familiar name.

And then in Mexican Spanish they also have “I speak poco Mexicano“,  a little Mexican.
I speak pocito, just a little, little bit.  I speak pocotito, a little, little, little bit.  A little little bit.

So he’s saying Bhikkhu.  A bhikkhu is a Buddhist monk –  “Saved my Bhikkucitas”
– ( “Saved my little Bhikkus”.  “I saved.”  or, “They are saved, my little Bhikkucitas”)

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately fifty-eight-and-a-half minutes in and concluding at approximately sixty-one minutes in

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.