Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Mexico City Blues [113th Chorus]

Got up and dressed up
      and went out & got laid
Then died and got buried
      in a coffin in the grave, 
Man—
      Yet everything is perfect,
Because it is empty, 
Because it is perfect
      with emptiness, 
Because it's not even happening.

Everything
Is Ignorant of its own emptiness—
Anger
Doesn't like to be reminded of fits—

You start with the Teaching
      Inscrutable of the Diamond
And end with it, your goal
      is your startingplace, 
No race was run, no walk
      of prophetic toenails
Across Arabies of hot
      meaning—you just
      numbly don't get there

Credit


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

Author


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

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/mexico-city-blues-113th-chorus