On Mexico City Blues (39th Chorus)

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

39th Chorus

AG:  ‘Comfortable Patience – / Talkin about a Hobbyman/ Who draws cartoons for a livin,/ Bangin in tacks carefully/For King Features Syndicate..” – (That is the guy who draws the cartoon has to bang in tacks on the drawing board for King Features Syndicate, which you’ve seen that, King Features Syndicate.  Anybody not know what King Features Syndicate is?
Student:  What is it?
AG:  It’s every day in the Sunday papers..distributed by King Features Syndicate, “Katz(enjammer Kids)”... all the Sunday supplement.
Student:  Comic strips?
AG:  Comic strips, yeah…King Features Syndicate is the big syndicate that does those features.  What they call features in the newspapers.  Still, I think still.

“For King Features Sydicate/ Has got him by the balls/ And Hammerthongs/and Central Goon-yak/Worp Ward/ Orphantail- “ – (That’s “Little Orphan Annie” somewhere in there.  “Goonyak” I don’t know what, but it’s a … there’s a word that we both knew – “paskudnyak” – which is a Yiddish-Polish-Russian word for a jerk, or a thief, or a no-good, no-account family man – a “paskudnyak“. But then, “Goonyak,” I think Kerouac adapted that word for some goon in a cartoon yakety-yakety.  Some “Goonyak.”)

“Aztec Stick – “ – (I think he just liked the sound of “Aztec” here over and over – “Aztec Stick” – they’ll be Aztec coming in and out.  Like “cut my heart at Popacatapetl’s” – [Editorial note cf – the final triplet of the 13th Chorus  “Askin for more/I popped out Popacatapetl’s/Hungry mouth”] – there’s a certain kind of bebop sound in the Aztec language that he was beginning to pick up on.  Or the sound of just the word “Aztec” and the sound of Mexic or Aztec speech.

“Aztec Stick -/ ugly Spew Smoke/Dragon Beoryen..” – (I think Beor is one of the big characters in Winnie the Pooh?  Anyone read that?).

Student:  That’s Eeyore.
AG:  Beor.  B-E-O-R?
Student:  E-Y.  E-Y.
AG:  How do you spell Beor in Winnie the Pooh?
Student:  It’s not in Winnie the Pooh. Eeyore is in Winnie the Pooh.
AG:  Oh.  Okay.  Eeyore.  Eeyore.  Sounds like it.  – “..Dragon Beoryen/ smitherwolf…”  What is Eeyore?
Student:  Donkey …
Student:  (A wise donkey)
Student:  … with his tail tacked on.
AG:  Pardon me?  Eeyore is a donkey with a tail tacked on.
Student:  That’s Winnie the Pooh

Pooh, Eeyore and Christopher Robin – “When Christopher Robin had nailed it on..” – 1926 illustration by E.H.Shepard

AG:  Yeah.  Well, it’s somewhere in between “Beowulf” and Winnie the Pooh. The language here is somewhere between “Beowulf” and Winnie the Pooh. I mean it’s English, in any case.  That is to say, it’s Shakespearean babbling in any case.

“..ugly Spew Smoke/Dragon Beoryen/smitherwolf/Wildstar/Monster Over the Fence/is Frankenstein/   Careful, true, Nirvana,/ Patient in his Comfort,/Humble in his Demands,/Weary of the Fear,/No longer fearing/The fair happy air/Permeated with Cherub/And fingers a pair/In V Victory – meaning One…” – (Well, I don’t know – “No longer fearing/The fair happy air/Permeated with Cherub” – (No longer being afraid of heaven)

“No longer fearing/The fair happy air/Permeated with Cherub/And fingers a pair/In V Victory – meaning One..” – (I guess meaning victory over….  Patience and humility on Garver‘s part, weary of the fear, no longer looking for heaven.  Actually he survived with a victory sign – the old tired gentlemanly junkie –  “meaning One”, I don’t understand.  One dinner? )

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately twenty-one minutes and concluding at approximately twenty-six minutes in  

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