On Mexico City Blues (44th Chorus – 2)

“To Indicate by Moon Magic/ Constellative Stardom..” (Jack Kerouac)

Allen Ginsberg continues his analysis of Jack Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues  44th Chorus from here

AG:  So,  “Aurorum’s showed his Mountain/Top/ Of Eastern be Western morning” – (“Aurorum” is the dawn – the sun) – ” Aurorum’s showed his Mountain/ Top/ Of Eastern be Western” – (East by West or “Eastern be Western” – East and West the same thing) – ” … morning/To Indicate by Moon Magic/ Constellative Stardom/ of/ Gazers/ in mock Roman/ Arabian Kimonos..” – (So in the old days, Arab astronomers followed by their Roman inheritors, figured out the stars and the heavens and the constellations and the Arabs I think were the modern kings of astronomy – who actually introduced astronomy to the Western world.  And, as I said, they were reading H.G. Wells’ History of the World, and so probably there was some reference to … probably that came into his mind on account of reading that particular piece of history.  But he chunked it altogether.) – “… morning/ To Indicate by Moon Magic/ Constellative Stardom/ of/ Gazers/in mock Roman/Arabian Kimonos,/ the lay of the pack/ in the sky.” – (The position or layout of the pack of bears.  The pack of stars.  The pack crossing the sky.  The astronomic constellations.  What do you call them?  The Zodiac.  The “lay of the pack/in the sky” is the Zodiac. But “the lay of the pack/in the sky” is a very Shakespearean way of saying Zodiac –   “the lay of the pack/in the sky” – “the lay of the pack/in the sky” –  it’s really pretty.  Or do you find that pretty or interested?

Student:  Say it again.

AG:  “(T)he lay of the….”  For the word “Zodiac, or for an image of the Zodiac, or for a visual.. vaster.. slightly vaster visual glimpse of the Zodiac across the sky – “the lay of the pack/in the sky.”  Does that make sense?  It makes sense first of all, doesn’t it?

Student:  Um-hmm.
Student (2):  Would it be….
AG:  The lay-out.
Student:  Would it be a pack…
AG:  No, it’s the pack of constellations.  The pack of bears, scorpions, twins – “the pack”.  “the pack/ in the sky –  The pack of dogs in the sky.  The pack of wolves in the sky.
Peter Orlovsky:  He wouldn’t say “packs” in the sky?
AG:  No.  Just a pack is enough.
Student:  (But he’s talking about a pack..)
AG:  Pardon me?
Student:  (He’s talking about a pack.. he saw the pack..
AG:  Yeah.
Student:  (So..)

AG:  He’s talking moon magic –  he’s talking about all the mysterious, mystical, astrological astronomers with their mock kimonos – a bunch of fakers in their kimonos, gazing, (just a bunch of moon-gazers or stargazers).  He’s making fun of all these serious scientific astronomers and astrologers and fortune-tellers, like himself.

“Till I end up my work/ Which never began and/ Never will end – hah -/  Bespeak thyself not, soft spot..” – (That’s just some little paraphrase of Shakespeare again.  “Hush, the starlight comes, speak no more,” or something like that.  The nurses come, or the crowd is roused in the street, “Bespeak thyself not no more, Romeo, but slip out of the arras into the constellative garden, or something [Allen is making it up here].  From “Romeo and Juliet.”

So, sun has showed –  morning on the mountains, to show or indicate,  to the Roman, Arabian, (and himself, and anybody modern) gazing into the sky to try and read the future and find the ultimate nature of the universe – sunrise.  A simple old sunrise has shown the lay of the pack of the sky – where the stars were and where they were going.

Audio from the above can be found here, beginning at approximately fifty-four-and-three-quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately fifty-eight minutes in

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