Onomatopoeia of Ocean

“The sea is We—— / Parle, parle, boom the / earth—— /Arree——Shaw, / Sho, Shoosh, flut, / ravad, tapavada pow, / coof, loof, roof, —— / No,no,no,no,no,no——/ Oh ya, ya, ya, yo, yair—— / Shhh——”

Have you ever tried to write down how the sea sounds? I must show you the poem by American writer Jack Kerouac. It was published in his novel The Sea is My Brother. Written in 1942, the book saw the daylight only posthumously in 2011 (69 years later!), because Kerouac was not satisfied enough to show it to someone. Many critics in 2011 shared the same feeling and described it even as “a bad book”, although “a fun bad book”.

I haven’t read The Sea is My Brother yet, but the long poem, which I found online, is full of references, sounds and, yes, fun. I like it.

Sea: Sounds of the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur
by Jack Kerouac

Date: August 21, 1960
Location: Pacific Ocean at Big Sur, California

You aint just whistlin
Dixie, Sea——
Cherson! Cherson !
We calcimine fathers
here below!
Kitchen light on—–
Sea Engines from Russia
seabirding here below—–
When rocks outsea froth
I’ll know Hawaii
cracked up & scramble
up my doublelegged cliff
to the silt of
a million years—–

Go on die salt light
You billion yeared
rock knocker
Sad as wife & hill
Loved as mother & fog
Oh! Oh! Oh!
Sea! Osh!
Where’s yr little Neppytune

These gentle tree pulp pages
which’ve nothing to do
with yr crash roar,
liar sea, ah,
were made for rock
tumble seabird digdown
footstep hollow weed
move bedarvaling
crash? Ah again?
Wine is salt here?
Tidal wave kitchen?
Engines of Russia
in yr soft talk——

Les poissons de la mer
parle Breton——
Mon nom es Lebris
de Keroack
Parle, Poissons, Loti,
Parlning Ocean sanding
crash the billion rocks——

Ker plotsch——
The headland looks like
a longnosed Collie sleeping
with his light on his
nose, as the ocean,
obeying its accomodations
of mind, crashes in
rhythm of sand
——Big frigging shoulders
on that sonofabitch

Parle, O, parle, mer, parle,
Sea speak to me, speak
to me, your silver you light
Where hole opened up in Alaska
Gray——sh——wind in
The canyon wind in the rain
Wind in the rolling rash
Moving and t wedel
Diving sea
O bird——la vengeance
De la roche

Rare, he rammed the gate
rare over by Cherson, Cherson,
we calcify fathers here below
——a watery cross, with weeds
entwined——This grins restoredly,
low sleep——Wave——Oh, no,
shush——Shirk——Boom plop
Neptune now his arms extends
while one millions of souls
sit lit in caves of darkness
——What ols bark? The dog
mountain? Down by the Sea
Engines? God rush——Shore——
Shaw——Shoo——Oh soft sigh
we wait hair twined like
larks——Pissit——Rest not
——Plottit, bisp tesh, cashes,
re tav, plo, aravow,
shirsh,——Who’s whispeing over
there——the silly earthen creek!
The fog thunders——We put
silver light on face——We
took the heroesin——A billion
years aint nothing——

O the cities here below!
The men with a thousand
arms! the stanchions of
their upward gaze! the
coral of their poetry! the
sea dragons tenderized, meat
for fleshy fish——
Navark, navark, the fishes
of the Sea speak Breton——
wash as soft as people’s
dreams——We got peoples
in & out the shore, they call
it shore, sea call it
pish rip plosh——The
5 billion years since
earth we saw substantial
chan——Chinese are
the waves——the woods
are dreaming

No human words bespeak
the token sorrow older
than old this wave
becrashing smarts the
sand with plosh
of twirléd sandy
thought——Ah change
the world? Ah set
the fee? Are rope the
angels in all the sea?
Ah ropery otter
barnacle’d be——
Ah cave, Ah crosh!
A feathery sea

Too much short——Where
Miss Nop tonight?
Wroten Kerarc’h
in the labidalian
aristotelian parl
with slime a middle
——And Ranti forner
who pulled pearls by
rope to throne
the King by
the roll in the
forest of averseas?
Not everseas, be seas
The woman with her body
in the sea——The frog who
never moves & thunders, sharsh
——The snake with his body
under the sand——The dog
with the light on his nose,
supine, with shoulders so
enormous they reach back to
rain crack——These leaves hasten
to the sea——We let them
hasten to be wetted & give
em that old salt change, a
nuder think will make you see
they originate from the We Sea
anyway——No dooming booms
on sunday afternoons——We
run thru the core of cliffs,
blam up caves, disengage no
jelly or jellied pendant

Our armies of
anchored seaweed in the
coves give of the smell
of jellied salt——
Reach, reach, some leaves
havent hastened near
enuf——Roll, roll, purl
the sand shark floor
a greeny pali andarva
——Ah back——Ah forth——
A shish——Boom, away,
doom, a day——Vein we
firm——The sea is We——
Parle, parle, boom the
Sho, Shoosh, flut,
ravad, tapavada pow,
coof, loof, roof, ——
Oh ya, ya, ya, yo, yair——

Which one? the one? Which
one? The one ploshed——
The ploshed one? the same,
ah boom——Who’s that ant
that giant golden saltchange
ant magnifying my mountain
of feet? ‘Tis Finder, finding
the change in thought to join
the boomer hangers in the
cave a light——And built a
house above it? Never fear,
naver foir, les bretons qui
parlent la langue de la Mar
sont espanol comme le cul
du Kurd qui dit le maha
prajna paramita du Sud ?
Ah oui ! Ke Vlum !
Glum sea, silent me——

They aint about to try
it them ants who wear
out tunnels in a week
the tunnel a million years
won——no——Down around
the headland slobs for weed,
the chicken of the sea
go yak! they sleep——
Aroar, aroar, arah, aroo——
Otter me otter me daughter me sea
——me last blue lagoon inside of
me, the sea——Divine is the
substance all over the Sea—
Of space we speak &
hasten——Let no mouth
swallow the sea——Gavril——
Gavro——the Cherson chinese
& Old Fingernail sea——Is
ringin yr ear? Dier, dee?
Is Virgin you trying to
fathom me

Tiresome old sea, aint you sick
& tired of all of this merde?
this incessant boom boom
& sand walk——you people
hoary rockies here to Fuegie
& never get sad? Or despair
like a German phoney?
Just gloom booboom & green
on foggy nights——the fog is part
of us——
I know, but tired
as I can be listening to all
this silly majesty——
Who is this fish
sitting unsunk? Run up
a Hawaii typhoon smash him
against his rock——We’ll jelly you,
jellied man, show you essential
jello of the sea——King
of the Sea.

No Monarc’h ever Irish be?
Ju see the Irish sea?
Green winds on tamarack vines——
————mnavash la vache
écriture——the sea dont say
muc’h actually——

Gosh, she,
huzzy, tow, led men
on, Ulysses and all them
fair headed moin——
Terplash, & what difference
make! One little white
spark of light!
Hair woven hands
Penelope seaboat
smeller——Courtiers in
Telemachus ‘sguise
dropedary dropedary
Franc gold rippled
that undersea creek
where fish fish for
fisher men——Salteen
breen the wet Souwesters
of old Portugee Prayers
Tsall tangled, changed,
salt & drop the sand
& weed & water brains
of old Venetian yellers
Ariel Calibanned
to Roma Port——
Speak you parler,
in this my mother’s
parlor, wash your
undershoes when you
come in, say thanks
to foggy moon

Go brash, Topahta
offat, ——we’ll gray
ye rose——Morning
primord creeper sees
the bird of paravision
dying tweet the yellow
mouthroof! How sweet
the earth, yells sand!
Xcept when tumble
O we wait too
for Heaven—— all
in One——
All is there
in fair & sight

I’m going wash now
old Pavia down,
& pack my salt
to Either Town——
Cliffs of Antique
aint got no rose,
the morning’s seen
the ledder pose——
Boom de boom dey
the sea is me——
We are the sea——
It aint all snow

We wash Fujiyama down
soon, & sand
crookbird back——
We hie bash
Long short——
Long and easy——
Wind & many freezing
bottoms an luckrock——
Endymion thou tangled
dreamer love my thigh
——Rose, Of Shelley,
Rose, O Urns!
Ogled urns in fish eye

Cinco sea the Chico sea
the Magellan headland sea
——What hype sideral did he put down
bending beatnik sea goatee
over old goat manuscripts
to find the other side of Flat?
See round, see the end of me?
Rounden huge bedoom?
Awp hole cave & shwrul——
sand & salt & hair eyes
——Strong enuf to make
coffee grow in your hair——
Whose plantation Neptune got?
That of Atlas still down there,
Hesperid’s his feet, Sur his sleet,
Irish Sea fingertip
& Cornwall aye his soul

be dosh——This sigh old learning’s
high beside me——Rough
old hands have played out
pedigree, we’ve sunk more boats
than dreamer’ll ever ever see
——Burning——Burning——The world
is burning & needs waaater
——I’ll have a daughter,
oughter, wait & see——
Churning, Churning, Me——
these ancient fancies are
so girling——You’ve not seen
mermaids in my actual sea
——You’ve not seen sexlss babies
with breasts of Majesty——
My wife——My wife——
Her name is Oh so really
high life

The low life Kingdom where
we part out tea, is sea
side Me——
Aye ee mo powsh——
Ssst——Cum here read me——
Dirty postcard——Urchin sea——
Karash your name——?
Wanta swim, sink or swim?
Ears ringing again?
Sea vibrate rhythm
crash sets off cave
hanger blowers whistling
dog ear back——to sea——
Gerudge Napoleon nada——

Pluto eats the sea——
Hands folded by the sea——
“On est toutes cachez, mange
le silence,“ dit les poissons de la
mer——Ah Mar——Gott——
de mer——Mu mer——Mak a vash——
The ocean is the mother——
Je ne suis pas mauvaise quand j’sui
tranquil——dans les tempetes
j’cri ! Come une folle !
j’mange, j’arranche toutes!
Mai! mai! mai! ma!
says the wind blowing sand——
Pluto eats the sea——
Ami go————da——che pop
Care——Kee ter da vo
Kataketa pow! Kek kek kek!
Kwakiutl! Kik!
Some of theserather taratasters
trapped hyra tchere thaped
the anadondak ram ma lat
round by Krul to Pat the lat
rat the anaakakalked
romon t o t t e k
Feet cold? wade——Mind sore?
sim——sin——Horny? ——lay the sea?
Corny? try me——
Ussens here hang no more
here we go, ka va ra ta
plowsh, shhh,
and more, again, ke vlook
ke bloom & here comes
big Mister Trosh
——more waves coming,
every sillable windy

Back wash palaver
parle pe Saviour

A troblesome spirit
hanging here cant make it
in the void——The sea’ll
only drown me——These words
are affectations
of sick mortality——
We try to make our way
in self reliance, aid
not ever comes too quick
from whereever & whatever
heaven dear may have
suggested to promise us——

But these waves scare me——
I am going to die
in full despair——
Wake up where?
On second breath in life
the atmosphere is dearer
maybe closer to Heaven
————Oh Paradise————
Is the sea really so bad?
Have you sent men
here for this cold clown
& monstrous eater at the
world? whose sound
I mock?

God I’ve got believe in you
or live in death!
Will you save us——all?
Soon or now?
Send illumination
to our drowning brains
——We’re pitiful, Lord,
we need yr help!
Save us, Dear——
(Save yourself, God man,
ha ha!)
If you were God man
you’d command these waves
to very well Tennyson stop
& even Tennyson
is dear
now dead
Leave it to the light
Concern yourself with supper,
& an eye

somebody’s eye——a wife,
a girl, a friend, an animal
——a blood let drop——
he for his sea,
he for his fire,
thee for thy desire

“The sea drove me away
& yelled ‘Go to your desire!’
——As I hurried up the valley
It added one last yell:-
‘And laugh!”

Even the sea cant stop me from
writing something to read in my old age
——This is the chart of brief forms,
this sea the briefest——Shish yourself——
After scaring me like that, Mar,
I’ll excoriate yr slum——yr
iodine weeds & slime hoops,
even yr dried hollow seaweed
stinks——you stink all over——
Boom——Try that, creep——
The little Monterey fishingboat
glides downward home 15 miles to go,
be home to fried fish & beer b’five——
It guides the sea its bird routes——
——Silver loss forever outward
——From blue sky of human bridges
to the massive mawcloud sea center
heap——to the gray——
Some boys call it gunboat blue,
or gray, but I call it
the Civil War of Rocks
——Rocks ‘come air, rocks ‘come water,
& rocks rocks——
Kara tavira, mnash grand bash
——poosh l’abas——croosh
L’a haut——Plash au pied——
Peeeee——Rolle test boulles——
Manche d’la rache——
The handsome King prevails
over boom sing bird head——
“Crache tes idées,” spit yr ideas
says the sea, to me, quite
appro priate ly——
Pss! pss! pss!
Ps! girl inside!
Red shoes scum, eyes of old
sorceres, toenails hanging down
in the barrel of old firkin cheese
the Dutchman forgot t’eat that
nineteen O
When torpedoed by gunboat
Pedro in the Valley
of a Million Fees?

When Magellan crosseyed
ate the Amazonian feet——
And, Ah, when Colombo cross’t!
When Drake sir francised the waves
with feeding of the blue jay
dark——pounded his aleward
tank before the boom,
housed up all thoughts of Erik
the Red the Greenland caperer
& builder of rockdungs in New
Oldport Indian Fishhead——
Oldport Tattoo Kwakiutl Headpost
taboo potash Coyotl potlatch?
Old Primitive Columbia.——
Named for Colom bus?
Name for Aruggio Vesmarica——
What about Verrazano?
he sailed!——
He Verrazano zailed & we
statened his Island in on deep

in on dashun——
Rotted the Wallower?
Sinners liars goodmen all
sink waterswim drink Neptune’s
nectar the zal sotat————
Zal sotate name for crota?
Crota ta crotte, you aint
‘bout to find (Jesus Christian!)
any dry turds here below——
Why fo no?
Go crash yonder rock
of bleak with yr filet mignon teeth
& see——For you, the hearth,
the heart, the lock of hair——
For me, for us, the Sea,
the murdering of time by eating
lusty cracks of lip feed wave
at aeons of sandy artistry
till nothing’s left but old age
newmorning primordial pain
of sitters by
the unborn
of roses yet undone——

With weeds your roses,
sand crabs your hummers?
With buzzers in the sea!
With runners in the deep!
This Sceptred Osh, this wide leg
spanning rock U.S. to rock
Ja Pan, this onstable
roller roaming all,
this ploosher at yr gory
dry dung door, this mouth
of silverwhite arring to hold thee,
this purger of conscience
arra for thee——
No mouse in here but’s got
a little glee——and
aft, or oft, the osprey
in his glee’s agley——
Oh purty purty ocean
Sop! bring the Scepter down
Again you’ve accepted me!

Breathe our iodine, filthy yr drink,
faint at feet wet, drop
yr profile move it in the sea,
float weeded watery Adonais
longs for thee——& Shelley three,
that’s three——burn in salt
with slow most change——
We’ve had no crack at eternity
in a billion years of trying——
one grain of sand possesses
3 thousand worlds of glee——
not to mention me——
Ah sea

Ah si——Ah so——
ha roll——tara——ta ta——
Pearls pearls in the yellow West
——Yellow sky to China——
Pacific we named here
water as always meeting
water——Pacific Pacific
Pacific tapfic——geroom——
What sails used old bhikkus?
Dhikkus? Dhikkus!
What raft mailed Mose
to the hoven dovepost?
What saved Blackswirl
from the Kidd plank?
What Go-Bug here?
Seet! Seeeeeeeeeee
Pounders out yar——

Big Sur they call this sand
these rocks this creek?
Raton Canyon by name pours
Coyote leaves & old Pomo bones
& old dust of Tomahawks
into your angler’d maw——
My salt maw shall salvage
Taylors——sewing in the room
Sewing weed shrat for hikers
in the milky silt——
Sewing crosswards
for certainty——Sartan
are we of Price Victory
in this salt War with thee
& thine thee jellied yink!
Look O the sea here called
Pacific Sea!
T a k i !

My golden empty soul’ll
outlast yr salty sill
——the Windows of my jelly eye
& fish head muck look out on thee,
slit, with cigar-a-mouth,
some contempt——
Yet I hie me to see you
——you hie thee to eat
me——Fair in sight
and worn, aright——
Arra! Aroo!
Ger der va——
Silly silent cities in the sea
have children playing cardboard
mush with eignyard old Englander
beeplates slickered oer with scum
of histories below——
No tempest as still & awful
as the tempest within——
Sorcerer hip! Buddhalands
& Buddhaseas!
What sails Maudgalyayana used
he only knows to tell
but got kilt by yellers
sreaming down the cliff
“Let’s go home!
——leave marge smashed djamas
Maudgalyayana was murdered by the sea——
But the sea dont tell——
The sea dont murder——
The seadrang scholars
oughter know that
go back to School

Hear over there the ocean motor?
Feel the splawrsh of it?
Six silly centepedes here, Machree——
Ah Ratatatatatat——
the machinegun sea, rhythmic
balls of your pouring in
with smooth eglantinee
in yr pedigreed milkpup
Tinder marsh aright arrooo——
Kerarc’h Jevac’h——

Farewell, Sur——

Didja ever tell him
about water meeting water——?
O go back to otter——
Clock——Gomeat sea need
be deep I see you
soon anarf
in Old Brittany

Thank you, Wolfman, for introducing this poem. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: