Thursday, March 19, 2015

Kerouac's Mexico City Blues cut-ups: bitchy wine

Cut-up from the 42nd and 43rd Choruses of Jack Kerouac's Mexico City Blues
("bitchy wine" caught our attention)

Today the students in my First Year Seminar (focused on Jack Kerouac) read aloud choruses from Mexico City Blues and then applied a Burroughsian cut-up method to their selections. Click here to see the result.

The pages aren't all oriented the same way so you'll have to use your PDF Rotate tool, but I think it's worth the effort. Most students cut-up two choruses into 8 segments with one horizontal and one vertical (navigating between whole words) cut per chorus and randomly pieced them back into two poems. They've identified the source by chorus number in case  you want to see the originals. (We used the 1990 Grove Press edition.)

The checkmarks started out as a "vote for your favorite" activity but I don't think it came to fruition so don't put much stock in them.

If you take the time to read all of these, you may see some mad phrases worthy of "borrowing" for  your own poetic inspiration, giving Jack credit, of course.

P.S. Kudos to my students for being good sports and going along with activities like this even when they are not directly tied to a "grade." 

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