By Jack Kerouac
Top identified for his "Legend of Duluoz" novels, together with On the Road and The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac can also be a tremendous poet. In those 8 prolonged poems, Kerouac writes from the center of expertise within the song of language, using an identical instrumental blues shape that he used to fullest impression in Mexico urban Blues, his mostly unheralded vintage of postmodern literature. Edited by way of Kerouac himself, Book of Blues is an exuberant foray into language and awareness, wealthy with imagery, propelled by means of rythm, and dependent in a reverent attentiveness to the moment.
"In my procedure, the shape of blues choruses is restricted by way of the small web page of the breastpocket workstation during which they're written, just like the kind of a collection variety of bars in a jazz blues refrain, and so occasionally the word-meaning can hold from one refrain into one other, or now not, like the phrase-meaning can hold harmonically from one refrain to the opposite, or no longer, in jazz, in order that, in those blues as in jazz, the shape relies on time, and through the musicians spontaneous phraseology & harmonizing with the beat of time because it waves & waves on via in measured choruses." —Jack Kerouac
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Extra resources for Book of Blues (Poets, Penguin)
Little boys are angels Crying in the street Wear funny hats Wait for green lights Carry bust out tubes Around their necks And roam the railyards Of the great cities Looking for locomotives Full of shit Run down to the waterfront And dream of Cathay Hook spars with Gulls Of athavoid thought. 43RD CHORUS Little Cody Deaver A San Francisco boy Hung by hair of heroes Growing green & thin And soft as sin From the tie piles Of the railer road Track where Tokay Bottles rust in dust Waiting for the term Of partiality To end up there In heaven high So's loco can Come home Con poco coco.
46 45TH CHORUS Inquisitive plaidshirt Pops look at trucks In the afternoon While Mulligan's Stewing on the stove And Calico spreads Her milk &c creamy legs For advertising salesman Passing thru from Largo Oregon where water Runs the Willamette down By blasted to-the-North Volcanic ashes seft. 47 46TH CHORUS Babies born screaming in this town Are miserable examples of what happens Everywhere. Bein Crazy is The least of my worries. Now the sun's goin down In old San Fran The hills are in a haze Of Shroudy afternoon— Bent withered Burroughsian Greeks pass In gray felt hats Expensively pearly On bony suffer heads 48 47TH CHORUS And old Indian bo's With no stockings on Just Chinese Shuffle Opium shoes Take the snaily constitutional Down 3rd St gray & lost &c Hard to see.
I also have loud poems: Broken plastic coverlets Flapping in the rain To cover newspapers All printed up And plain. 29TH CHORUS Guys with big pockets In heavy topcoats And slit scar Head bands down The middle of their hair All Bruce Barton combed Stand surveying Harrison Folsom & the Ramp And the redbrick clock Wishin they had a woman Or some money, honey Westinghouse Elevators Are full of pretty girls With classy cans And cute pans And long slim legs And eyes for the boss At quarter of four. 30TH CHORUS Old Age is an Indian With gray hair And a cane In an old coat Tapping along The rainy street To see the pretty oranges And the stores On his big day When the dog's let out.