Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bamboo grass & stars: A Shakuhachi Lesson with Walt Whitman

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and
measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much
applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

(Thank you my Chicago friends. —cm)


Anonymous said...

great blog!


by the way:

kerouac and cassady DID blow the bamboo, as documented bisexuals they were both.((kerouac blew a mate when in the US navy).

Gary is another story,don't think he was bi

Chris Moran said...

Jeez, I was waiting for a fellow perv to finally comment on that.

Good job!

I'm afraid Gary is a pretty straight shooter, so to speak. Although he was a "Merchant Marine."

Jack & Neal on the other hand ... so to speak.

Chris Moran said...

And then on the Other-other hand, we shakuhachi players should never be so full of ourselves that we can't see the phallic implications of the instrument itself — the prize specimens of which look like long, loping, thickly erect, yet spritely curved penises.

In Japan, as if I had to remind you, the word "shakuhachi" is often used as slang for the act of fellatio (i.e. cocksucking).

So no one should be _too_ proud to acknowledge that.

When I wrote that little intro to the blog I thought of changing that line ("Imagine if ... blew the bamboo?") but I followed the advice of yet another famous cocksucking Beat poet, Allen Ginsberg, who followed the advice of the great crazy wisdom buddhist teacher Chogyam Trungpa when he said "First thought, best thought." So I left the line alone and patiently waited for someone, anyone, to be brave enough or malicious enough to comment on it.

I didn't add or edit the last of the first four paragraphs of the intro either. I realized full well that Yamamoto Hozan had recorded beautiful renditions of Take Five on his Jyosui Hassun but I was going for a distinctly Western and a distinctly Beat prose poem. Too inclusive or too polite language would dilute the intrinsically rude and jazzy spontaneity of the piece.

I realize that this is TMI, but, hey it's a blog with my name on it.