Published on Academy of American Poets (

Mexico City Blues [182nd Chorus]

The Essence of Existence
      is Buddhahood—
As a Buddha
      you know
      that all the sounds
      that wave from a tree
      and the sights
      from a sea of fairies
            in Isles of Blest
      and all the tastes
            in Nectar Soup
      and all the odors
            in rose arbour
      —ah rose, July rose—
            bee-dead rose—

and all the feelings
      in the titwillow's
      chuckling throat
and all the thoughts
      in the raggedy mop
      of the brain—
      one dinner


From Mexico City Blues. Copyright © 1959 by Jack Kerouac. Reprinted by permission of SLL/Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc.


Jack Kerouac

Born in 1922, the poet and novelist Jack Kerouac is said to have coined the term "Beat Generation," describing the down-and-out status of himself and his peers during the post-war years.

Date Published: 1959-01-01

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