Poet’s Beat ~ 1959 by Gregory Corso Accompanied by Koto Song by Dave Brubeck

On the Rocks

I liked reading Corso’s poem on 1959 because it is the complete opposite of what I have learned in the sense of a full life.  Folks like Sylvia Boorstein are the hero’s in my life because her book “Happiness is an Inside Job” where Boorstein begins with an anecdote about a day when her writing was interrupted by a call from a friend with a very ill brother; the effort of consoling her made Boorstein forget what she had been about to write. Boorstein uses her moment of resentful impatience at the interruption to illustrate how easily the mind can fall out of caring connection. The whole idea of this book, she writes, is that “restoring caring connection… and maintaining it when it is present, is happiness.”   With my quest to find joy through the pain in the current case of my face malfunction it is dare I say a happiness POV in the midst of major negativity.  Peace Out!  JBC 8-)

Koto Song by Dave Brubeck just puts sound into the whole experience.


BY Gregory Corso

Uncomprising year—I see no meaning to life.

Though this abled self is here nonetheless,

either in trade gold or grammaticness,

I drop the wheelwright’s simple principle—

Why weave the garland? Why ring the bell?

Penurious butchery these notoriously human years,

these confident births these lucid deaths these years.

Dream’s flesh blood reals down life’s mystery—

there is no mystery.

Cold history knows no dynastic Atlantis.

The habitual myth has an eagerness to quit.

No meaning to life can be found in this holy language

nor beyond the lyrical fabricator’s inescapable theme

be found the loathed find—there is nothing to find.

Multitudinous deathplot! O this poor synod—

Hopers and seekers paroling meaning to meaning,

annexing what might be meaningful, what might be meaningless.

Repeated nightmare, lachrymae lachrymae—

a fire behind a grotto, a thick fog, shredded masts,

the nets heaved—and the indescribable monster netted.

Who was it told that red flesh hose be still?

For one with smooth hands did with pincers

snip the snout—It died like a yawn.

And when the liver sack was yanked

I could not follow it to the pan.

I could not follow it to the pan—

I woke to the reality of cars; Oh

the dreadful privilege of that vision!

Not one antique faction remained;

Egypt, Rome, Greece,

and all such pedigree dreams fled.

Cars are real! Eternity is done.

The threat of Nothingness renews.

I touch the untouched.

I rank the rose militant.

Deny, I deny the tastes and habits of the age.

I am its punk debauche …. A fierce lampoon

seeking to inherit what is necessary to forfeit.

Lies! Lies! Lies! I lie, you lie, we all lie!

There is no us, there is no world, there is no universe,

there is no life, no death, no nothing—all is meaningless,

and this too is a lie—O damned 1959!

Must I dry my inspiration in this sad concept?

Delineate my entire stratagem?

Must I settle into phantomness

and not say I understand things better than God?

Gregory Corso, “1959” from The Happy Birthday of Death. Copyright � 1960 by New Directions Publishing Corporation. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Mindfield: New and Selected Poems (1989)

Copyright © 2011-2014 by Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick. All rights Reserved.

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  1. #1 by Carol Balawyder on March 12, 2014 - 4:23 pm

    It is so enjoyable to read your post while listening to the music you provide. Sylvia Boorstein is one of my heros as well:)


    • #2 by Jazzybeatchick on March 12, 2014 - 7:22 pm

      Thank you Carol. I believe the blogging world is chock full of kindred spirits….Synchronicity …a love so supreme. JBC 8-)


  2. #3 by Let's CUT the Crap! on March 12, 2014 - 1:21 pm

    I like this so much, I took the laptop to the sofa, grabbed a book and kept replaying three times now. :-)


    • #4 by Jazzybeatchick on March 12, 2014 - 1:44 pm

      You are such a wonder, I experienced the same feeling when I was crafting this post! I posted it around 9:30 which is later than I am accustomed to. Hashtag Synchronicity my friend! JBC 8-)


  3. #8 by avian101 on March 12, 2014 - 12:39 pm

    Superb! :)


    • #9 by Jazzybeatchick on March 12, 2014 - 1:04 pm

      Thank you for your wonderful comment. JBC 8-)



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