Post by RVG Post by Will Dockery Post by RVG Post by Will Dockery
Okay, I was closer to Kerouac's "Blues" than "Pops" in the
goblledeegook rhyme poems discussed on Horatio's "Just as Well"
"...Jack Kerouac called them "pops," Western haikus. He didn't
always stick to the correct 17 syllable count but many of his
images did "pop" from his pen.
Missing a kick at the icebox door It closed anyway this one is
Early morning yellow flowers, thinking about the drunkards of
Mexico. Jack spent a lot of time in Mexico. Stayed with
his Mexico City Blues.
The Blues was written as one long poem with different
I want to be considered a jazz poet blowing a long blues in an
afternoon jam session on Sunday. I take 242 choruses; my ideas
vary and sometimess roll from chorus to chorus or from halfway
through a chorus to halfway into the next.
Some time ago I released an album mixing my music with parts of
interviews of Kerouac (in French, for Radio Canada) and ending on
a piano improvisation with recordings of Kerouac reading some of
Thanks, RVG, I've always suspected that Kerouac might be a great
bridge between English and French, as he spoke French from his birth
until about five years old as his main language, and has stated that
he still "thought" in French all his life.
He could read French fluently thanks to his uncle who was an avid reader
of Victor Hugo. Kerouac had read all the great French poets and
novelists from Flaubert to Proust and from Hugo to Rimbaud.
Unfortunately since French was taught as a foreign language at the
public school of Lowell, he never got to acquire enough grammar to be
able to write in French.
Although a manuscript has been found after his death of a novella
written in phonetic "joual" dialect, but it's really terrible.
Post by Will Dockery
I was reading a kind of sad commentary on Jack Kerouac by his old
Dharma Bums comrade Gary Snyder, wondering just what great work, or
His brain and liver were destroyed by alcohol. Unlike John Coltrane
who's been able to create great music until his last moments, Kerouac's
mental abilities had been severely diminished because he never stopped
drinking even after discovering he had cirrhosis.
His last interview on Italian television was awful, reminds me of the
late Serge Gainsbourg a few months before he too passed out of a heart
attack because of too much drinking and smoking.
Post by Will Dockery
From Poets on the Peaks, by John Suiter. Pg. 257-58. From Gary Snyder...
"When I think of Jack now, I remember him as a dear friend and
comrade, and a man from whom I got a new sense of writing, an eye on
prose that was really refreshing," said Snyder at age seventy. "but
also there's the sadness of a somewhat lost and wasted talent-not
that he didn't produce a lot, but if he had had a better physical and
psychological health, it would have been interesting to see what else
he might have done, because there was still obviously more maturing
possible there, and what people do in their maturity can be kind of
interesting. So, there's a certain sadness about Jack's life. But
what he did was certainly remarkable."
Exactly. Maybe Jimi Hendrix would have ended up being a jerk too.
Rimbaud did - a gun and slave-monger in Africa, after spending his youth
fighting for freedom with the Communards (the French rebels, not the
British pop band).
"Shut your eyes and see."
James Joyce, Ulysses
Yes, Kerouac did have a sad, and embarrassing ending... the TV appearance on
William F. Buckley's Firing Line was similarly hard to watch.