Lost links & Re-ups

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Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

07 January 2011

San Francisco Blues

UPDATE: This post was re-uploaded 08/22/2013. Enjoy, NØ.






While digging through all my accumulated esoterica, I came across this forgotten tome.

Kerouac typed up the complete text for San Francisco Blues in 1961. There were 79 choruses in all. Those choruses were never published together until 1983. Before that, fragments had appeared in small magazines & some only materialized on records. Fifty four of the choruses were never published at all! Kerouac would have loved for the entire work to be published as a 'beautiful unity' as he saw it. To fill that gap in the Kerouac shelf, San Francisco Blues is here published in its entirety.

"My new book of poems SAN FRANCISCO BLUES...I wrote when I left Neal’s in March & went to live in the Cameo Hotel on Third Street Frisco Skidrow---wrote it in a rockingchair at the window, looking down on winos & bebop winos & whores & cop cars..."
--Jack Kerouac (1954)

"SAN FRANCISCO BLUES was my first book of poems, written back in 1954 & hinting the approach of the final blues poetry form I developed for the MEXICO CITY BLUES.
In my system, the form of blues choruses is limited by a small page of the breastpocket notebook in which they are written, like the form of a set number of bars in a jazz blues chorus, & so sometimes the word-meaning can carry from one chorus into another, or not, just like the phrase meaning can carry harmonically from one chorus to the other, or not, in jazz, so that in these blues as in jazz, the form is determined by time, & by the musician’s spontaneous phrasing & harmonizing with the beat of the time as it waves & waves on by in measured choruses. It’s all gotta be non stop ad-libbing within each chorus, or the gig is shot."
--Jack Kerouac (1961)

Chorus (15)
When whistlers stop scowling
Smokers stop sighing
Watchers stop looking
& women stop wailing
& worrying overcoats
When gray beards grow no more
& pain don’t take you by surprise
& bedposts creak in rhythm
Night & morn
& dry men’s bones
Are not pushed
By angry-meaning
Pelvic propeled legs
Of reason
To a place you hate
Then I’ll go lay my crowned body
On the heads
Of three men
Hurrying & laughing
In the wrong direction
My idol

Chorus (25)
For the World’s an eye
& the Universe is seeing
Liquid,
Rare,
Radiant

Chorus (35)
I also have loud poems:
Broken plastic coverlets
Flapping in the rain
To cover newspapers
All printed up
& plain

Chorus (51)
Little boys are angels
Crying in the street
Wear funny hats
Wait for green lights
Carry bust out tubes
Around their necks
& roam the railyards
Of the great cities
Looking for locomotives
Full of shit

Chorus (52)
Run down to the waterfront
& dream of Cathay
Hook spars with gulls
Of half-a-void thought


Jesse ‘Lone Cat’ Fuller - San Francisco Bay Blues,
Original Blues Classics OBC 537,1992. (re-issue of 1963 release)
decryption code in comments

Side 1-

San Francisco Bay Blues
Jesse's New Midnight Special
Morning Blues
Little Black Train
Midnight Cold
Whoa Mule

Side 2 -

John Henry
I Got a Mind to Ramble
Crazy About a Woman
Where Could I Go But To the Lord
Stealin' Back to My Old Time Used to Be
Brownskin Gal (I've Got My Eye on You)

Enjoy,

4 comments:

  1. Nice post!

    There was an earlier edition of Kerouac's San Francisco Blues:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/29873672@N02/sets/72157623072755639/detail/

    ReplyDelete
  2. to pitoucat,
    thanks for the comment. as stated above, the first attempted publication of SFB was in 1983, the edition of which you speak. mine is the 1991 Pacific Red Car edition. thanks for the link.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Chorus # 35:
    "I also have loud poems:
    Broken plastic coverlets
    Flapping in the rain"

    Well, nice. Haven't read SFB. Haven't sat down and read Kerouac - undivided - for a long, long while.

    ReplyDelete
  4. MEGA decryption code
    T4_CfzlPqZK1aTj5NzJkMF4_V0hfmYHbpWpFFwkV4Jw

    ReplyDelete