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POETRY/ISBN:

0-8112-0797-8

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Ferlinghetti

Lawrence

ENDLESS UFE:,
Selected Poems

.
phrased consis-

L a w r e n c e F e r l i n g h e t t i is s u r e l y (as a r e v i e w e r iv Booklisi i t ) " o n e o f o u r ageless r a d i c i s a n d t r u e b a r d s , " H e h a s

t e n t l y s p o k e n i n poetic t e r m s accessible t o e v e r y t y p e o f r e a d e r a b o u t o u r life a n d t i m e a n d its issues, n o t o n l y t h e political o n e s but those of the interior life. B e h i n d t h e immediacy of w h a t Libraiy Journal c a l l e d h i s " D y n a m i c , v e r b o s e , a l a r m i n g , c h a r m i n g , a n d u n s e t t l i n g " p o e t r y a n d its i r r e s i s t i b l e s p o n t a n e i t y lie s e r i o u s t h o u g h t a n d e r u d i t i o n . H i s m o t i v a t i o n h a s b e e n t o be ( i n h i s w o r d s ) " a n agent provocateursubversive, anarchistic, and prophetic." Endiess Ufe: Selected Poems is t h e p o e t ' s o w n c h o l e e , t h e p o e m s t h a t still excite h i m , f r o m eight previous books of p o e t r y . T h e s e start w i t h Pictures Mind of ihe Gotie World (1955), t h e f i r s t b o o k he p u b l i s h e d u n d e r h i s o w n C i t y L i g h t s i m p r i n t , f o l l o w e d b y A Coney Island of the (1958), a l i t e r a r y l a n d m a r k w i t h a l m o s t a m i l l i o n copies i n from San francisco (1961), Who print the w o r l d over and the first of Ferlinghetti's t h i r t e e n books b r o u g h t o u t b y N e w D i r e c t i o n s . Starting The Secret Meaning Are of Things We Now? ( 1 9 7 6 ) , Northwest ( 1 9 6 9 ) , Open Eye, Open Heart ( 1 9 7 3 ) ,

ENDLESS
Selected Poems

Ecolog ( C i t y L i g h t s , 1 9 7 8 ) , a n d Lnnd-

scapes of Living & Dying ( 1 9 7 9 ) a r e e a c h g e n e r o u s l y r e p r e s e n t a d . T h e final section of the book includes the long title p o e m , "Endiess Life/' taken f r o m w o r k - i n - p r o g r e s s . [ A l s o b y L a w r e n c e F e r l i n g h e t t i : A Coney Island of the Mind, $ 2 . 2 5 ; Her RouUnes (novel), N D P 8 8 , Night NDP187, $ 1 . 5 0 ; Landscapes $1.00; The Secret of Living Meaning N D P 4 9 1 , $ 2 . 9 5 ; Mexican (plays), NDP74, r of Dying, $1.50; T/iiry, Tyrannus Existenct

(travel journal), NDP300, N D P 2 2 0 , $1.00;

N D P 2 8 , $ 1 . 0 0 ; Starting from San Francisco, ( p l a y s ) , N D P 1 4 3 , $ 1 . 0 0 ; Who Are Cover drawing

Nix? ( p o l i t i c a l s a t i r e ) , N D P 2 8 8 , $ 1 . 2 5 ; Unfair Argumentswith We Now?,

N D P 4 2 5 , $1.95.1

by Lawrence

Ferlinghetti NDP516 $'-95

A NEW DIRECTIONS PAPERBOOK

IT'.TO

LAWRENCE F E R L I N G H E T T # ;
'ti-

R o o k s by L a w r e n c ' F e r l i n j i h e l l i

ANGi/J AM::ht!.:A!^!'''' eiBLiTEGA

rOFTRY Pictures of thv Gone World A Coney Island of the Mind Startinf from San Francisco The Sfcret Meaninf! of Things Back Roads to Far Places Open Eye, Open Heart W ho Are IVcNoic? Northwest Ecolof^ Landscapes of Living & Dying PROSE fler Tyrannus The Mexican
PLAYS

ENDLESS LIFE
S E L E C T E D POEMS

Nix? Night

linfair
I

Arguments with Routines


TRANSLATION

Existence

Paroles

b y Jarques P r e v e n

[aDQ;

P S l S u

N E W

D I R E C T I O N S

B O O K

Copyright 1955, 1958,1959, 1960, 1961,1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

' '

To Presley E . Bislaud

All rights reserved. Excppl for brief passages quoted in a newspapcr, magazjne, radio, or televisin review, no part of this book may be reprodiiced in nny form or liy any means, olectronir or mechaniral, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, wilhout permission in wriling from the Publisher. Manufa<'tured in the United States of America. Firfil published rlothboiind in 1981 and as New Directions Paperbook 516 Published simultaneously in Canad hy George J . McLeod Ltd., Toronto The poems included in this book havp been selected from the fnllowing: Picturpx of thp. Gone W^orld City Lights, 1955) ; A Coney slnnd of ike. Mind 'New Directions, 1958) ; Starting from San Francisco ( N D , 1961) ; The Secret Meaning of Things { N D , 1968) ; Open Eye, Open Heari I N D . 1973) ; Who Are We Now? ( N D , 1976) ; Northwest Ecolog (City Lights, 1<)78) ; Landscapes of Living & Dying ( N D , 1979), Also included are "Modern Poetry Is Prose Ulut It Is Saying P l e n t y ) " as published in The Populist Mnnifestos liy Grey Fox Press, 1981; "Retired Ballerinas, Central Park West" which appeared on the O p e d page of the N.Y. Times, February 9. 1980; and "Endiess L i f e " from European Poems, a work-inprogress. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publiration Data Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. Endiess l i f e : selected poems (A New Directions Book) Includes ndex. I . Title. PS3511.E557E5 1981 811'.54 80-29127 I S B N 0-8112-(l796-X I S B N 0-8112-0797-8 (pbk.) New Directions Books are published for James Laughlin by New Directions Publisbing Corporation 80 Eigbth Av^nue, New York 10011

& una Luwrenee Bi^Iaiid

i.

C O N T E N T S

I . from Pictures of the Gone W o r l d


AWAY ABOVE A HARBORFUL . . . IN H I N T E R T I M E P R A X I T E L E S . . . AND T H E A R A B S A S K E D T E R R I B L E QUESTIONS . . . S A R O L L A ' S W O M E N IN T H E I R P I C T U R E H A T S . . . FOR A L L I KNOW M A Y B E S H E WAS H A P P I E R FORTUNE . . . A N D S H E ' L I K E A Y O U N G Y E A R . . .' I T WAS A F A C E W H I C H D A R K N E S S C O U L D K I L L . . . WITH B E L L S FOR HOOVES IN SOUNDING STREETS . . . T H A T F E L L O W ON T H E B O A T T R A I N W H O I N S I S T E D . . . HEAVEN . . . T H E W O R L D IS A B E A U T I F U L P L A C E . . . R E A D I N G Y E A T S I DO N O T T H I N K . . . SWEET AND VARIOUS T H E WOODLARK . . . ... 3 4 5 7 9 10 12 13 14 16 17 Ig I 23

' I I . from A Coney Island of the M i n d


IN G O Y A S G R E A T E S T SCENES WE SEEM T O SEE . . . T H E POET'S E Y E OBSCENELY SEEING . . . SOMETIME DURING E T E R N I T Y . . . 27 29 31

75w

i-rr

T H E Y W E R E P U T T I N G UP T H E S T A T U E . . . W H A T C O U L D SHE SAY TO FANTASTIC FOOLYBEAR THE ...

t--'

V . from Open E y e , Open Heart


T R U E CONFESSIONAL IN A T I M E OF R E V O L U T I O N FOR INSTANCE STONE R E A L I T Y MEDITATION 97 100 10,3 X04 JOS X07 110 113 H4 116 117 119 KHABAROVSY 120 121 123 125 128 I30

IN GOLDEN G A T E PARK THAT DAY . . . S E E I T WAS L I K E T H I S W H E N . . . I H A V E NOT L A I N W I T H B E A U T Y A L L MY L I F E . . . NOT L I K E D A N T E ... ...

SUNRISE, BOLINAS A PHOENIX AT FIFTY T H E MAN WHO R O D E AWAY AN E L E G Y ON T H E D E A T H O F K E N N E T H P A T C H E N AN IMAGINARY HAPPENING, LONDON THOUGHTS TO A CONCERTO OF TELEMANN TOC T O C : A COUPLE OBSERVED POUND AT SPOLETO ON T H E T R A N S S I B E R I A N

CONSTANTLY RISKING ABSURDITY THE PENNYCANDYSTORE D O V E STA A M O R E . . . AUTOBIOGRAPHY DOG I AM WAITING

BEYOND THE E L . . .

R E C I P E FOR HAPPINESS IN OR A N Y P L A C E SALUTE THIRD WORLD CALLING BASEBALL CANTO LOVE LAUGHING & CRYING NIGHT LIGHT

I I I . from Starting from San Francisco


HIDDEN DOOR UNDERWEAR COME L I E W I T H M E AND B E MY THE GREAT CHINESE DRAGON

I V . from T h e Secret Meaning of Things


ASSASSINATION RAGA

V I . /rom Who Are W e


DIRECTOR OF ALIENATION

Now
133 137

MOSCOW IN T H E W I L D E R N E S S , S E G O V I A I N T H E SNOW viii

WILD DREAMS O F A NEW BEGINNING

LOST PARENTS PEOPLE GETTING DIVORCED S H O R T S T O R Y ON A P A I N T I N G O F G U S T A V K L I M T ALIENATION: TWO BEES OLBER'S PARADOX UPON R E F L E C T I O N DEEP CHESS A MEETING OF EYES IN MEXICO T H E G E N E R A L SONG O F H U M A N I T Y E I G H T P E O P L E ON A G O L F C O U R S E AND O N E B I R D OF F R E E D O M F Y I N G O V E R POPULIST MANIFESTO r

l-^*^ 141 142 144 146 147 148 150 152

A SWEET FLYING

DREAM

182
184

TWO SCAVENGERS IN A T R U C K , TWO B E A U T I F U L P E O P L E IN A M E R C E D E S THE BILLBOARD HOME HOME PAINTERS

186 189 193 194 197 199

HOME RECEPTION

SAN JOSE SYMPHONY W H I T E ON WHITE

AN E L E G Y T O D I S P E L G L O O M ADIEU A CHARLOT

154 156

IX.

Work-in-Progress
207

RETIRED BALLERINAS. CENTRAL PARK WEST M O D E R N P O E T R Y IS P R O S E IBUT IT IS SAYING P L E N T Y )

208

V I L from Northwest Ecolog


T H E OLD SAILORS WILD L I F E CAMEO, E A R Y MORN READING APOLLINAIRE BY T H E ROGUE RIVER HORSES A T DAWN INTO T H E D E E P E R POOLS . . . R O U G H SONG O F ANIMALS D Y I N G ; ' ;: 163 164 165 167 168 170 INDEX OF TITEES & FIRST LINES 219 ENDLESS L I F E 210

V I H . from Landscapes of L i v i n g & D y i n g


THE OLD ITALIANS DYING T H E SEA AND OURSELVES A T CAPE ANN X 175 179 Xl

E N D L E S S

L I F E

fe

from

P i c t u r e s of the G o n e W o r l d
I95S

AWAY

A B O V E

H A R B O R F U L

way above a h a r b o r f u l o f caulklcs houses a i i i o i i g l l i e charley n o b l e f l i i n i n e y p o t s o f a r o o f t o p r i g g e d w i l h clotbeslines a w o i i i a n pastes u p sails u p o n the w i n d h a n g i n g o u t h e r n i o r n i n g sheets w i t h w o o d e n pns O lovely m a m n i a l her n e a r l y naked breacts t h r o w t a u t sbadows w h e n she stretches u p t o h a n g at last t h e last o f h e r so w h i t e washed sins b u t i t ic w e t l v aiiiorous a n d w i n d s itself a b o u t h e r c l i n g i n g to h e r s k i n So c a u g h t w i t h arms upraised she tosses b a c k h e r h e a d i n voiceless l a u g h t e r a n d i n choiceless gesture t h e n shakes o u t g o l d h a i r w h i l c i n t h e reachless seasrape spaces between the b l o w n w h i t e s h r o u d s s t a n d o u t t l i e b r i g l i t steatners to k i n g d o m come

IN

H I N T E R T I M E

P R A X I T E L E S

AND

T H E

A R A B S . . .

A S K E D

T E R R I B L E

Q U E S T I O N S I n h i n t e r t i m e Praxiteles laid about h i m w i t h a golden m a u l s t r i k i n g i n t o stone i: I his alabaster ideis uttering all t h e sculptor's l e x i c n i n v i s i b l e syllables H e cast b r o n z e trees p e t r i f i e d a c h a m e l e o n o n one m a d e stone doves i % , H i s calipers m e a s u r e d b r i d g e s a n d lovers and certain other superhumans w h o m he caught u p o n their dusty way . ;, , ' ;.iy . tO d c a t h ' , ,

^ A _ n d t h e A r a b s asked t e r r i b l e questions and t h e Pope d i d n ' t k n o w w h a t to say a n d t h e p e o p l e r a n a r o u n d i n w o o d e n shoes a s k i n g w h i c h w a y was t h e h e a d o f M i d a s f a c i n g a n d everyone s a i d N o i n s t e a d o f Yes i / .v

W h i l e still forever i n the L u x e m b o u r g gardens i n t h e f o u n t a i n s o f t h e Mediis w e r e t h e fat red goldfish and the fat w h i t e goldfish and the children running around the pool p o i n t i n g and p i p i n g Des poissons Des poissons rouges! rouges!

T h e y never r e a c h e d i t t h e n I Y o u s t i l l can a l m o s t see their breath T h e i r stone eyes s t a r i n g t h r u t h r e e t h o u s a n d years a l l a y o u r fears o f a g i n g although Praxiteles himself at twenty-eight lay dead f o r s c u l p t u r e isn 't f o r young men as C o n s t a n t i n B r a n c u s i at a l a t e r h o u r said

b u t t h e y r a n off and a leaf u n h o o k e d i t s e l f , and f e l l u p o n t h e p o o l a n d l a y l i k e an eye w i n k i n g eircles , ,

and t h e n t h e p o o l was v e r y

am
a n d t h e r e was a d o g just standing there )f,-t?-~

at t h e edge of t h e p o o l looking down at t h e t r a n c e d fish

to.

and not barking o r w a v i n g its f u n n y t a i l o r anything so t h a t for a moment then i n the late November dusk silence h u n g l i k e a lost i d e a a n d a statue t u r n e d its h e a d

S A R O L L A ' S P I C T U R E

W O M E N . . .

IN

T H E I R

H A T S

'aroUa's w o m e n i n t h e i r p i c t u r e hats stretched u j i o n his canvas beaches b e g u i l e d t h e Spanish Impressionists A n d were t h e y f r a u d u l e n t p i c t u r e s of the w o r l d t h e way t h e l i g h t p l a y e d o n t h e m creating illusions of love? I cannot help b u t t h i n k that their 'reahty' was almost as r e a l as m y n i e m o r y of today w h e n t h e last sun h u n g o n t h e h i l l s a n d I h e a r d t h e day f a l l i n g l i k e the gulls t h a t f e l l almost t o l a n d w h i l e t h e last p i c n i c k e r s l a v a n d l o v e d i n the b l o w i n g yellow b r o o m resisted a n d r e s i s t i n g t e a r i n g themselves a p a r t again again

u n t i l t h e last h o t h u n g c l i m a x w h i c h c o u l d at last no l o n g e r he resisted made them mean A n d n i g h t ' s trees stood u p

FOR WAS

A L L

K N O W . . .

M A Y B E

S H E

H A P P I E R

F o r a l l I k n o w m a y b e she was h a p p e r t h a n anyone that lone cronc i n the shawl o n t h e orangecrate t r a i n w i t h the l i t t l e tame b i r d i n her handkerchief croonng to i t a l l the t i m e mia mia mascotta and n o n e o f t h e s u n d a y excursionists w i t h t h e i r bottles a n d t h e i r baskets j i a y i n g any attention a n d t h e coach ,0 creaking o n t h r o u g h cornfields 80 s l o w l y t h a t butterfiies blew i n and out mascotta

F O R T U N E

t h e r e was m a y b e o n l y six o f us kids altogether running around i n our barefeet a n d b i r t h d a y has i t s cookies to give o u t suits aiid T r e m e m b e r M o l l y b u t t h e n the firemen etopped s q u i r t i n g t h e i r hoses a l l o f a s u d d e n and w e n t back i n t h e i r firehouse and started i ) l a y i n g p i n o c h l e a g a i n j u s t as i f n o t h i n g l i a d ever happened while I remetnber M o l l y l o o k e d at m e a n d i ran i n bccanse I guess r e a l l y we were t l i c o n l y ones t h e r e

ortune

w h i c h 18 a good thing since i t ' s been a l o n g t i m e since that sunimer i n B r o o k l y n w h e n t h e y closed off t h e street one h o t day and the FIREMEN t u r n e d o n t h e i r hoses r. a n d a l l t h e k i d s r a n o u t i n i t i n t h e n i i d d i e o f t h e street and there were m a y b e a couple dozen o f us out there w i t h the water squirting up to t h e sky a n d a l l over
US

10

AND

S H E

' L I K E

Y O U N G

Y E A R

. K

IT

W A S

F A C E . .

W H I C H .

D A R K N E S S

C O U L D j ^ n d she * I i k e a y o u n g y e a r walking t h r u the earth' i n t h e B o i s de B o u l o g n e t h a t t i m e or as I r e m e m b e r hlW'''' stepping out of a b a t h t u b i n t h a t ^ o l d flat she h a d crner of Boulevard des Italiens

K I L L

was a face w h i c h darknesa c o u l d k i l l i n an instant a face as eaaily h u r t by laughter or l i g h t ' W e think d i f f e r e n t l y at n i g h t ' she t o i d m e once lying back languidly A n d she w o u l d q u o t e Cocteau . , ' I f e e l t h e r e is an ngel i n m e ' s h e ' d say i ' ; ,, shocking' T h e n she w o u l d s m i l e a n d l o o k away l i g h t a cigarette f o r m e I and stretch h e r sweet a n a t o m y I' ' '' sigh and rise , '' vi.

O h t h e y say she t r i e d e v e r y t h i n g b e f o r e t h e end t o o k u p televisin a n d crosswords even c r o c h e t i n g and things like that a n d carne to have t h e a i r ; before the end

*whoni I am constantly

(as h e r f a v o r i t e poet d e s c r i b e d h e r ) o f 'always c a r r y i n g flowers t o w a r d some f a r abandoned t o m b ' w h i c h doesn't s u r p r i s e m e n o w t h a t I come to t h i n k o f i t I T h e s t r u c k seed was i n h e r

let f a l l a stocking

12

13

W I T H

B E L L S

F O R

H O O V E S . . .

IN

So (she s a i d ) t h i s is h o w i t a l l began

S O U N D I N G

S T R E E T S

Vi^itli b c l l s f o r

liooves i n s o u n d i n g streets

Next time I ' l l know B u t i t was too l a t e a n d t h e y b u r i e d h e r

t h a t t e r r i b l e horse t h e u n i c o r n carne o n a n d c r o p p e d a m e d i a r f r o m a tree a n d w h e r e h e d r o p p e d t h e seed sprang up a v i r g i n '

o h she s p r a n g u p u p o n his b a e k a n d r o d off t i t t e r i n g t o a s t a i r w h e r e pieces o f s t r i n g l a y scaltered everywhere N o w w h e n she saw t h e s t r i n g so w h i t e so l o v e l y a n d so h e a u t i f u l and looking like Innocence itself she got d o w n a n d r e a c h e d f o r a n i c e s t r a i g h t piece b u t i t h a d a head and i t b i t h e r h e a u t i f u l place

15

jjy'ft-

Jt^-. 'vfir

T H A T W H O

F E L L O W I N S I S T E D

O N . .

T H E .

B O A T T R A I N

H E A V E N

T
X h a t f c l l o w on l l i r b o a t t r a i n w h o insisted o n j)layin{ b l a c k j a c k h a d t c c t h t h a t stuck o u t l i k e lighthouses o n a r o c k y eoast but h e h a d no eyes t o see t h e d u s k flash past horses i n orehards noiselessly r u n n i n g bunches o f b i r d s thrown up a n d t h e b u t t e r f i i e s o f yesterday t h a t flittered o n ^ mv mind

eaven was o n l y h a l f as f a r t h a t n i g h t

at t h e p o e t r y r e c i t a l l i s t e n i n g t o t h e b u r n t phrases w h e n I h e a r d t h e poet have a r h y m i n g erection t h e n l o o k away w i t h a ,1 l o s t l o o k ' E v e r y a n i m a l ' h e said at last ' A t e r intercoiurse is s a d ' B u t t h e b a e k - r o w lovers looked oblivious and glad

T H E

W O R L D . . .

IS

B E A U T I F U L

P L A C E

L h e w o r l d is a b e a u t i f u l place to be b o r n i n t o i f y o u d o n ' t m i n d happiness n o t always b e i n g 80 v e r y m u c h f u n i f y o u don't m i n d a touch of h e l l n o w and t h e n j u s t w h e n e v e r y t h i n g is fine because even i n lieaven t h e y d o n ' t sing all the time T h e w o r l d is a h e a u t i f u l place to be b o r n i n t o i f y o u d o n ' t m i n d some p e o p l e d y i n g a l l the t i m e or maybe only starving some o f t h e t i m e w h i c h i s n ' t h a l f so h a d i f i t isn't y o u O h t h e w o r l d is a h e a u t i f u l place t o be b o r n i n t o i f you don't much m i n d a f e w dead m i n d s i n t h e h i g h e r places or a bomb or t w o now and then i n y o u r u p t u r n e d faces

o r such o t h e r i m p r o p r i e t i e s , ;, as o u r a m e B r a n d society ' ;':,'[!, 'i, 18 p r e y to w i t h its m e n o f d i s t i n c t i o n a n d its m e n of extinctionMi,^?! and its priests i; a^nd o t h e r p a t r o l n i e n a n d its v a r i o u s segregations a n d congressional investigations and o t h e r t h a t o u r f o o l flesh is h e i r t o Yes t h e w o r l d is t h e hest place o f a l l f o r a l o t o f such t h i n g s as m a k i n g t h e f u n scene a n d m a k i n g t h e love scene a n d m a k i n g t h e sad scene a n d singng l o w songs and h a v i n g i n s p i r a t i o n s and w a l k i n g around l o o k i n g at e v e r y t h i n g a n d s m e l l i n g flowers a n d gooRng statues . i a n d even t h i n k i n g ' :' i and k i s s i n g p e o p l e a n d m a k i n g babies a n d w e a r i n g ]>ants , > . ;' ! a . 'v n d . dancing a n d w a v i n g hats a n d going s w i m m i n g i n r i v e r s on picnics in the m i d d l e of the summer and j u s t g e n c r a l l y 'living it up' constipations

19

R E A D I N G T H I N K , .

Y E A T S .

D O

N O T

e a d i n g Yeats I do n o t t h i n k of I r e l a n d b u t of midsuninier N e w Y o r k and of myself back then r e a d i n g t i i a t copy I f o u n d o n the T h i r d a v e n u e E l the E l w i t h its lyhung fans a n d its signs r e a d i n g S P I T T I N G IS F O K B I D D E N the E l eareening t h r u its t h i r d s t o r y w o r l d w i t h its t h i r d s t o r y p e o p l e i n t h e i r t h i r d s t o r y doors l o o k i n g as i f they h a d never h e a r d of the ground an od d a m e watering her p l a n t o r a j o k e r n a straw j>ulting a s t i c k p i n i n his p e p p e r m i n t tie a n d l o o k i n g j u s t l i k e he h a d n o w h e r e to go b u t conevisland o r an u n d e r s h i r t e d guy r o c k i n g i n his r o c k e r

21

w a t c h i n g t h e E l pass h y a i f he expected i t to he d i f f e r e n t each t i m e

' ' ' ' ' < .. ,. ,

SWEET

A N D

VARIOUS . . .

T H E

W O O D L A R K

R e a d i n g Yeats I d o n o t t h i n k of A r c a d y and o f its woods w l i i c h Yeats t h o u g h t dead I t h i n k instead o f a l l t h e gone faces g e t t i n g ofT at n i i d t o w n places w i t h t h e i r hats a n d t h e i r j o b s and o f t h a t lost b o o k T h a d w i t h its b l u e cover a n d its w h i t e i n s i d e w h e r e a j>encilhand h a d w r i t t e n H O R S E M A N , PASS B Y !

S w e e t and various the

woodlark

who sings at the unbought gatc and yet how many wild beasts how many mad in the civil thickets
Hlderlin i n his stone t o w e r o r i n t h a t k i n d r a r p e n t e r S house at T b i n g e n or then Rimbaiul his ^nightniare a n d l o g i c ' a sophisni of madness B u t we have o u r o w n m o r e r e c e n t w h o also f a t a l l y assumed t h a t some d i r e c t c o n n e c t i o n does exist b e t w e e n language and r e a l i t y w o r d and w o r l d w h i c h is a l a u g h i f y o u ask m e I t o o have d r u n k and seen the spider

22

23

from

A C o n e y I s l a n d of t h e M i n d 1958

ttt.

IN

G O Y A ' S T O

G R E A T E S T S E E . . .

S C E N E S

W E

S E E M

X n Goya'a greatest scenes w e seeni t o see the people of the w o r l d e x a c t l y at t h e m o m e n t w h e n t h e y first a t t a i n e d t h e t i t l e o f 'suffering h u m a n i t y ' T h e y w r i t h e u p o n t h e page 1 i n a v e r i t a b l e ragc I of a d v e r s i t y H e a p e d U|) ' ' g r o a n i n g w i t h hables a n d bayonets u n d e r c e m e n t skies i n an abstract landscape o f b l a s t e d trees b e n t Rtatues hats wings a n d beaks s l i p p e r y gibbets eadavers a n d c a r n i v o r o u s cocks a n d a l l t h e final h o l l e r i n g monsters of the * i m a g i n a t i o n o f disaster' t h e y a r e so b l o o d y r e a l i t is as i f t h e y r e a l l y s t i l l e x i s t e d A n d they do ; , ' i

O n l y t h e landscape is c h a n g c d They s t i l l are r a n g e d a l o n g t h e roads p l a g u e i l b y legionaires false w i n d m i l l s a n d d e m e n t e d roosters

T h e y are t h e same p e o p l e only further from home o n freeways f i f t y laes w i d e o n u concrete r o n t i n e n t spaced w i t h h l a i i d h i l l b o a r d s i l l u s t r a t i n g i n i h e c i l e i l l u n i o n s o f happiness

T H E

P O E T ' S . . .

E Y E

O B S C E N E L Y

S E E I N G

,j

T h e poet's eye ohscenely seeing sees t h e surface o f t h e r o u n d w o r l d

T h e scene shows f e w e r t u m h r i l s h u t m o r e s t r u t i g - o u t citizens i n p a i n t e d ears a n d t h e y have strange license pate a n d engines that devour America

w i t h its d r u n k r o o f t o p s a n d w o o d e n o s e a u x o n clotheslines a n d its r l a y males a n d feniales w i t h h o t Ipgs a n d r oseh u d hreasts i n r o U a w a y beds a n d its trees f u l l o f mysteries a n d its S u n d a y p a r k s a n d speechless statues a n d its A m e r i c a w i t l i its ghost towiis a n d e m p t y E l l i s Islands a n d its s u r r e a l i s t landscape o f m i n d l e s s |rairies s u p e r m a r k e t suhurhs s t e a m h c a t e d cemeteries and p r o t e s t i n g cathedrals a k i s s p r o o f w o r l d o f (dastic toiletseats t a m p a x a n d t a x i s d r u g g e d store cowboys a n d las vegas v i r g i n s disowncd indians and cinemad matrons u n r o m a n senators a n d r o n s c i e n t i o u s non-ofajectors

28

and a l l the other fatal shorn-up fragments o f t h e i m m i g r a n t ' s d r e a m c o m e t o o t r u e '. ^ndmislaid aniong the sunbathers

S O M E T I M E

U U R I N G

E T E R N I T Y

O ometime during eternity some guys show u p a n d one o f t h e m w h o shows u p r e a l l a t e is a k i n d o f c a r p e n t e r f r o m some square-type place ' and h e starts w a i l i n g l i k e Galilee

a n d c l a i m i n g h e is h i p to w h o m a d e h e a v e n and earth , 1, I , A n d moreover I h e adds It'a a l l w r i t d o w n o n some s c r o l l - t y p e p a r c h m e n t s w h i c h ' sortie h e n c h m e n leave l y i n g a r o u n d t h e D e a d Sea a l o n g t i m e ago somewheres find w h o r e a l l y l a i d it o n US a n d t h a t t h e cat ' i

is his D a d ' ',. ,' '

and w h i c h y o u w o n ' t even f o r a c o u p l a t h o u s a n d years o r so ;'';;!,..',, . or at Icast f o r n i n e t e e n h u n d r e d hd f o r t y s e v e n of t h e m t o be exact and even t h e n n o b o d y r e a l l y believes t h e m or me

for that matter 31

>e^.H XisiGL A M E R I C A N O

You're hot they tell h i m A n d t l i e y cool h i m T h e y stretch h i m o n t h e T r e e to cool A n d everybody after that is always m a k i n g models of this Tree w i t h H i m hung up a n d always c r o o n i n g H i s a m e a n d c a l l i n g H i m t o come d o w n a n d sit i n on their combo as i f h e is the k i n g cat who's got to b l o w o r t h e y can't q u i t e m a k c i t O n l y he d o n ' t come d o w n f r o m His Tree ^

T H E Y

W E R E . .

P U T T I N G ..

U P

T H E

S T A T U E

J. bey were p u t t i n g u p t h e statue o f Saint F r a n c i s i n f r o n t of the church o f Saint F r a n c i s i n t h e c i t y o f San F r a n c i s c o i n a l i t t l e side street j u s t ofT t h e A v e n u e w h e r e no b i r d s sang a n d t h e s u n was c o m i n g u p o n t i m e i n its u s u a l f a s h i o n and j u s t b e g i n n i n g to shine o n t h e statue o f Saint F r a n c i s w h e r e n o b i r d s sang A n d a l o t o f od I t a l i a n s were s t a n d i n g a l l a r o u n d i n t h e l i t t l e side street j u s t off t h e A v e n u e *

H i m just hang there on His Tree l o o k i n g real Petered out and real cool a n d also a e c o r d i n g to a r o u n d u p o f l a t e w o r l d news f r o m t h e u s u a l u n r e l i a b l e sources r e a l dead '

watching the wily workers w h o were h o i s t i n g u p t h e statue w i t h a c h a i n a n d a erane and other implements A n d a l o t of y o u n g reporters i n b u t t o n - d o w n clothes were t a k i n g d o w n the words o f one y o u n g p r i e s t w h o was p r o p p i n g u p t h e statue w i t h a l l his a r g u m e n t s A n d all the while w h i l e n o b i r d s sang any Saint F r a n c i s Passion

33

a n d w h i l e t h e lookers k e p t l o o k i n g I u p at S a i n t F r a n e i s w i t h h i s trms o u l s t r e t r h e d to t h e b i r d s w h i c h w e r e n ' t t h e r e a v e r y t a l l and v e r y p u r e l y n a k e d young virgin w i t h very long and very straight straw h a i r , and wearing only a very sniall , b i r d ' s nest '' i n a very e x i s t e n t i a l place k e p t passing t h r u the c r o w d all the w h i l e a n d u p a n d d o w n t h e steps

W H A T

C O U L D

S H E

SAY

T O . .

T H E .

F A N T A S T I C

F O O L Y B E A R

,,

i, .

at ctitid she say to the f a n t a s l i r f n o l v b e a r a n i l w l i a l c o u l d she .ay to b r o t l i c r a n d w h a t c o u l d she say , " . ' ( , i, . to t h e cat w i t h f t i t u r e feet a n d w h a t c o u l d she say to n i o t b e r a f t e r t h a t t i m e t h a t she l a y l u s h a n i o n g the l o l l y on t h a t h o t r i v c r b a n k w h e r e ferns f e l l away i n the h r o k c n a i r o f the b r e a t h o f her l o v e r aiul birds went ntad ij , !, a n d t h r e w themselves f r o m trees to taste s t i l l h o t u p o n the gr)und the s p i l l c d s p e r m seed flowers

y:''

i n f r o n t of Saint F r a n c i s h e r eyes downcast a l l t l u ; w h i l e (...'I ,,: i'-^'i'*'!'^^''':' a n d s i n g i n g to h e r s e l f

i-m-r-v"',; 17:111

IN DAY

G O L D E N . . .

G A T E

P A R K

T H A T

-lili'''-'

i n a basket w h i c h t h e y seemed t o have b r o u g h t f o r t h a t p u r p o s e w i t h o u t l o o k i n g at each o t h e r A n d then h e t o o k his s h i r t a n d u n d e r s h i r t off but kept his hat on sideways a n d w i t h o u t saying a n y t h i n g f e l l asleep u n d e r i t A n d h i s w i f e j u s t sat t h e r e l o o k i n g at t h e b i r d s w h i c h flew a b o u t e a l l i n g to each o t h e r i n the stilly air as i f t h e y were q u e s t i o n i n g existence o r t r y i n g to r e c a l l s o m e t h i n g f o r g o t t c n But then finally she t o o l a y d o w n flat and just lay there l o o k i n g u p at n o t h i n g yet fingering t h e od flute which nobody played a n d finally l o o k i n g over at h i m for them w i t h o u t any p a r t i c u l a r expression except a c e r t a i n a w f u l l o o k o f t e r r i b l e depression

Iii ( o M e n Gato, P a r k t h a t day a m a n a n d his w i f e w e r e c o m i n g a l o n g t h r u the enornious meadow w h i c h was t h e m e a d o w o f t l i e w o r l d H e was w e a r i n g green sus]ienders and c a r r y i n g an od beat-up flute i n one h a n d w h i l e his w i f e h a d a b u n c l i o f grapes w h i c h she k e p t I i a n d i n g o u t individually to various squirrels . . as i f each 1 were a l i t t l e j o k e A n d t h e n t h e t w o o f t h e m came o n t h r u the enormous meadow w h i c h was t h e m e a d o w o f t h e w o r l d :'<}[ and then at a v e r y s t i l l si>ot w h e r e t h e trees d r e a m e d a n d seemed to h a v e been w a i t i n g t h r u a l l t i m e t h e y sat d o w n t o g e t h e r o n t h e grass w i t h o u t l o o k i n g at each o t h e r a n d ate oranges w i t h o u t l o o k i n g at each o t h e r a n d p u t t h e peis

36

37

ttto.

S E E

I T

WAS

L I K E

T H I S

W H E N

H A V E M Y

N O T L I F E

L A I N . . .

W I T H

B E A U T Y

A L L

See
i t was l i k c t h i s w h e n w e w a l l z i n t o t h i s place a c o u p l e o f P a p i s h cats is d o i n g an A z t e c two-step A n d I says D a d let's c u t b u t then this dame comes u p b e h i n d m e see a n d says Y o u a n d m e c o u l d r e a l l y exist W o w I says O n l y t h e n e x t day she has h a d t e e t h a n d r e a l l y liates

have n o t Jaln w i t h b e a u t y a l l m y l i f e t e l l i n g over to m y s e l f ,, I its m o s t r i f e c h a r m s

I have n o t l a i n w i t i i b e a u t y a l l m y l i f e ! t e l l i n g over t o m y s e l f a n d l i e d w i t h i t as w e l l

h o w b e a u t y never dies b u t lies a p a r t among the aborigines of art a n d f a r above t h e battlefelds oflove I t is above a l l t h a t o h yes I t sits u p o n t h e choicest o f C h u r c h seats u p t h e r e w h e r e a r t d i r e c t o r s nieet to choose t h e t h i n g s f o r i m m o r t a l i t y '

A n d t h e y have l a i n w i t h b e a u t y a l l t h e i r lives A n d t h e y have f e i l o n h o n e y d e w a n d d r u n k t h e wines o f Paradise so t h a t t h e y k n o w e x a c t l y h o w a t h i n g (f beauty is a j o y forever and forever a n d h o w i t never never q u i t e can f a d e i n t o a m o n e y - l o s i n g nothingness 38 39

O h n o I have n o t l a i n o n B e a u t y Hests l i k e t h i s a f r a i d t o rise at n i g h t f o r fear t h a t I m i g h t soinehow miss some n i o v e m e n t b e a u t y m i g h t have m a d e Y e t I have slept w i t h b e a u t y i n my own weird way ind I have m a d e a l i u n g r y seene o r t w o w i t h beauty i n m y b e d a n d so s p i l l e d o u t a n o t h e r p o e m o r t w o a n d so s p i B e d o u t a n o t h e r p o e m o r t w o upon the Bosch-like w o r l d

N O T

L I K E

D A N T E

.N ot like Dante discovering a commedia u p o n t h e slopes o f heaven I would paint a different k i n d o f Par adi so i n w h i c h t h e people w o u l d be n a k e d as t h e y always are i n scenes l i k e t h a t beeause i t is supposed t o be a p a i n t i n g o f t h e i r souls b u t t l i e r e w o u l d be n o a n x i o u s angeis t e l l i n g t h e m h o w h e a v e n is the perfect pieture of a monarehy

41

C O N S T A N T L Y A B S U R D I T Y

R I S K I N G . . .

C o n s t a n t l y risking absiirdity and death whenever he perfornis ahove t h e hcads of hiH audience t h e p o e t like an a c r o b a t elinih.s o n r i m e to a h i g h w i r e o f his o w n m a k i n g a n d h a l a n e i n g o n eyebeanis above a sea of faces paces his way to t h e o t h e r side of day p e r f o r n i i n g entreclials and sleight-of-foot tricks and o t h e r h i g h t h e a t r i c s and a l l without mistaking any t h i n g f o r w l i a t i t m a y n o t he F o r he's t h e super r e a l i s t who nuist perforce perccive taut truth b e f o r e t h e t a k i n g o f eacb stance o r step i n his supposed advance toward that still higher perd w h e r e B e a u t y stands a n d waits with gravity to st ar t her d e a t h - d e f y l n g leap

43

6,

And

he a little charleychaplin man w h o m a y o r m a y n o t catch her f a i r eternal f o r m spreadeagled i n t h e e m p t y a i r o f existence

T H E T H E

P E N N Y C A N D Y S T O R E E L . . .

B E Y O N D

J. he p e n n y c a n d y s t o r e h e y o n d t h e E l is w h e r e I first f e l l i n love with unreality Jellyheans g l o w e d i n t h e s e i n i - g l o o m of t h a t september afternoon A eat u p o n t h e c o u n t e r m o v e d a m o n g t h e l i c o r i c e sticks a n d tootsie r o l l s and O h Boy G u m O u t s i d e t h e leaves w e r e f a l l i n g as t h e y d i e d A w i n d h a d b l o w n away t h e s u n A girl ran i n I l e r h a i r was r a i n y H e r hreasts were breathless n t h e l i t t l e r o o m O u t s i d e t h e leaves w e r e f a l l i n g and t h e y c r i e d T o o s o o n ! too s o o n !

44

D O V E

S T A

A M O R E

A U T O B I O G R A P H Y

^ ) o v e sta a m o r e W h e r e Hes l o v e D o v e Bta a m o r e H e r e lies l o v e T h e r i n g dove l o v e I n lyrical delight H e a r love's h i l l s o n g Love's t r u e w i l l s o n g Lovers l o w p l a i n s o n g T o o sweet p a i n s o n g I n passages o f n i g h t D o v e sta a m o r e ^ H e r e lies l o v e

I am leading a quiet life i n M i k e ' s Place every day w a t c h i n g t h e champs of the Dante BilJiard Parlor a n d t h e Fren<'h p i n b a l l addiets. I am leading a quiet life o n l o w e r East B r o a d w a y . I a m an A m e r i c a n . I was an A m e r i c a n h o y . I read t h e A m e r i c a n B o y M a g a z i n c a n d hecame a b o y scout i n the suburbs. I t h o u g h t I was T o m Sawyer catching rravfish i n the B r o n x River and i m a g i n i n g t h e M i s s i s s i p p i . I h a d a baseball m i t a n d an A m e r i c a n F l y e r b i k e . I delivereil the Woman's H o m e C o m p a n i o n at five i n t h e a f t e r n o o n or the H e r a l d T r i b at five i n t h e n i o r n i n g . I s t i l l r a n hear t h e p a p e r t h u n i p o n lost porches. I h a d an u n h a p p y <-hildhood. I saw L i n d b e r g l a n d . I looked homeward a n d saw no ngel. I g()l caught s t e a l i n g |)encils f r o m t h e F i v e and T e n Cent Store t h e same m o n t h I m a d e Eagle Scout. I e h o p p e d trees f o r t h e CCC a n d sat o n t h e m .

T h e r i n g dove l o v e D o v e sta a m o r e H e r e lies l o v e

I landcH i n N o r m a n d y i n a r o w b o a t t h a t t u r n e d over. , I have seen t h e e d u r a t e d armies o n t l i e b e a t l i at D o v e r . I have seen E g y p t i a n p i l o t s i n p u r p l e clouds sliopkeepers r o l l i n g u p t h e i r h l i n d s at m i d d a y p o t a t o salad and d a n d e l i o n s at a n a r c h i s t p i c n i c s . I ani r e a d i n g ' L o r n a D o o n e ' a n d a l i f e of J o h n M o s t t e r r o r of t h e i n d u s t r i a l i s t a b o m b o n his desk at a l l times. I h a v e seen t h e garbagemen p a r a d e i n the Columbus Day Parade behind the glib farting trumpeters. I have n o t been o u t to t h e Cloisters i n a long time o r to t h e T u i l e r i e a ; , b u t I s t i l l keej> t h i n k i n g of going. I have seen t h e g a r b a g e m e n p a r a d e w h e n i t was s n o w i n g . I have eaten l i o t d o g s i n b a l l p a r k s . I have h e a r d t h e G e t t y s b u r g Address and the (iinsberg Address. I l i k e i t here a n d I w o n ' t go b a c k w h e r e I came f r o m . I too have r i d d e n boxcars boxcars boxcars. I have t r a v e l l e d a m o n g u n k n o w n m e n . I have been i n A s i a w i t h Voah i n t h e A r k . I was i n I n d i a w h e n R o m e was b u i l t .

I h a v e been i n t h e M a n g e r w i t h an Ass. I have seen t h e E t e r n a l D i s t r i b u t o r from a White Hill i n S o u t h San F r a n c i s c o a n d t h e L a u g h i n g W o m a n at L o o n a P a r k outside the F u n House i n a great r a i n s t o r m still laughing. I have h e a r d t h e s o u n d o f r e v e l r y by night. I have w a n d e r e d l o n e l y as a c r o w d . I am leading a ipiiet l i f e o u t s i d e of M i k e ' s Place every day w a t c h i n g t h e w o r l d w a l k by
i n i t s c u r i o u s shoes .! > - '.

I once started o u t to w a l k a r o u n d t h e w o r l d b u t ended u p i n B r o o k l y n . T h a t B r i d g e was t o o m u c l i f o r m e . I have engaged i n silence e x i l e a n d e u n n i n g . , :; \ X flew too near t h e s u n i a n d m y w a x wings f e l l off, I a m l o o k i n g f o r m y Od M a n w h o m I never k n e w . I am l o o k i n g for tlie Lost Leader w i t h w h o m I flew. Y o u n g m e n s h o u l d be e x p l o r e r s . H o m e is w h e r e one starts f r o m . B u t M o l h e r never t o l d m e t h e r e ' d be scenes l i k e t h i s . Womb-weary I rest I have travelled.

49

I have seen <>of e i t y . H I I l l a v e seen i h e nas inetss. I have h e a r d k i d ( t r y i r y . I llave licard a tronihone preach. I h a v e h e a r d Dehussy ,; ^ s t r a i n e d t h n i a sheet. I have slept i n a h u n d r e d islands w h e r e books w e r e trees. ' ; , i I have h e a r d t h e b i r d s t h a t sound l i k e bells. -y T havc ^woriT _grev flaniieHrousers a n d w a l k o d U]on t h e beach o f j j j l l . -Xha-ve-dweltiu a hundred.cities w h e r e trees w e r e books.^.^J;.:- I ,. W h a t subways w h a t taxis w h a t cafes! W h a t w o m e i i w i t l i b l i t i d hreasts l i m b s lost a m o n g s k y s c r a p c r s ! I have seen t h e statues o f h r o e s at e a r r e f o u r s . D a n t o n weeping at a metro entraiice Columbus i n Barcelona p o i n t i n g W e s t w a r d uji t h e R a m b l a s t o w a r d t h e A m e r i c a n Express ; L i n c o l n i n his stony chair A n d a great Stone Face i n N o r t h Dakota. Ji|: ' I k n o w that Columbus d i d n o t nvent A m e r i c a . T h e y should a l l be freed. I t is l o n g since I was a h e r d s m a n . I am leading a quiet l i f e i n M i k e ' s Place every day r e a d i n g t h e Classified c o l u m n s . I have r e a d t h e Reader'a Digest f r o m cover t o cover i,, , S '. i/' .i^iV ' ' t . ' i : ' V'";'i.",!' ^ ;';,/! ,' i '
V,

a n d n o t e d t h e cise i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f t h e U n i t e d States a n d t h e P r o m i s e d L a n d w h e r e every c o i n is m a r k e d I n God W e Trust b u t t h e d o l l a r b i l i s d o n o t have i t b e i n g god u n t o themselves. I read the W a n t Ads daily l o o k i n g f o r a stone a leaf an u n f o u n d door. I hear America singing ', ;, I J| \, ' i ' ' ,,'i/i" ,
^i '^ 'V

i n t h e Y e l l o w Pages. O n e c o u l d never t e l l t h e soul has its rages. I r e a d t h e papers every day a n d h e a r h u m a n i t y amiss i n t h e sad p l e t h o r a o f p r i n t . '

.
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I see w h e r e W a l d e n P o n d has been d r a i n e d to make a n amusement p a r k . I see t h e y ' r e m a k i n g M e l v i l l e eat h i s w h a l e . I see a n o t h e r w a r is c o m i n g b u t I w o n ' t b e t h e r e t o fight i t . I have r e a d t h e w r i t i n g o n the outhouse w a l l . I helped K i l r o y write it. I marched up F i f t h Avenue b l o w i n g on a bugle i n a tight platoon b u t h u r r i e d b a c k t o t h e Casbah looking for m y dog. I see a s i m i l a r i t y b e t w e e n dogs a n d m e . Dogs a r e t h e t r u e observers w a l k i n g up and d o w n the w o r l d t h r u the Molloy eountry. I have w a l k e d d o w n alleys too narrow f o r Cbryslers. '

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I have h e a r d a h u n d r e d h o u s e b r o k e n E z r a P o u n d s .

I h a v e seen a hun(h-ed horseless m i l k w a g o n s i n a vacant l o t i n A s t o r i a . B e n S h a h n never p a i n t e d t h e m hut t h e y ' r e t h e r e T'' i , , ; . askew i n A s t o r i a . '^r/'^' ,: I have h e a r d t h e j u n k m a n ' s o b h l i g a t o . i I have r i d d e n superhighways and b e l i e v e d t h e b i l l b o a r d ' s promises Crossed t h e Jersey F a t s \ . and seen t h e Cities o f t h e P l a i n A n d w a l l o w e d i n t h e w i l d s o f Westehester w i t h its r o v i n g bands o f natives i n stationwagons. I have seen t h e m . : i , I am the man. - i ^ ^ : !. > > I was t h e r e . ^ ..i I suffered somewhat. ' . :i . I am an A m e r i c a n . ' . . , I h a v e a passport. I d i d n o t suflfer i n p u b l i c . A n d I ' n i t o o y o u n g to d i e . ''.':'.-:;*.',,',',!.; i'> i i: i " i: i, ' i ! .i;,.,':! ' i

I am leading a quiet life i n M i k e ' s Place every d a y contemplating m y navel. i I am a part ' f' of t h e body's l o n g madness. I have w a n d e r e d i n v a r i o u s n i g h t w o o d I have l e a n e d i n d r u n k e n d o o r w a y s . I have w r i t t e n w i l d stories without punctuation. I am the m a n . I was t h e r e . I suffered somewhat. I h a v e sat i n an uneasy c h a i r . I am a tear of the sun. I am a h i l l w h e r e poets r u n . ! i ;' I invented the alphabet a f t e r w a t c h i n g t h e flight o f cranes who m a d e letters w i t h t h e i r legs. I am a lake u p o n a plain. , I am a word i n a tree. I am a h i l l of poetry. I am a raid on t h e i n a r t i c u l a t e . ' I have dreamt that all m y teeth f e l l o u t but m y tongue lived ' ' (; i' . : to t e l l t h e t a l e . For I am a still of I I in , < i r > ,

, ;/

I a m a selfmade m a n . i A n d I have plans f o r t h e f u t u r e . I am i n line for a t o p Job. i, ; j ; i I m a y be m o v i n g o n ,, , - i to D e t r o i t . / ;

I am only temporarily l ' i . i. f' . i: ' a t i e salesman. .;! : i i ; I a m a good Joe. ': '.. .:: < i .;f I am an open book to m y boss. I am a complete mystery to m y closest f r i e n d s . ,( . >f i ,. i ,; , ' i ; > ;. /, ,i .. ;.

poetry. , a m a b a n k of song. am a playerpiano a n a b a n d o n e d casino

i,

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o n a seasidc es>lanade i n a dense f o g still playing. I see a s i m i l a r i t y between t h e L a u g h i n g W o m a n and m y s e l f . I have h e a r d t h e s o u n d of s u m m e r i n the rain. I have seen girls o n b o a r d w a l k s have r o n i p l i e a t e d sensations. I u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r hesitations. I a m a gatherer o f f r u i t . I have seen h o w kisses cause e u p h o r i a . I have risked enchantment. I have seen t h e V i r g i n i n an a p p l e t r e e at C l i a r t r e s A n d Saint J o a n b u r n at t h e B e l l a U n i o n . I have seen giraffes i n j u n g l e j i m s t h e i r necks l i k e love w o n n d a r o u n d t h e i r o n circumstanees of the w o r l d . I have seen t h e V e n u s A p h r o d i t e armless i n h e r d r a f t y c o r r i d o r . I have h e a r d a s i r e n sing at One F i f t h A v e n u e . I h a v e seen t h e W h i t e Goddess d a n c i n g i n t h e R u des B e a u x A r t s on the Fourteenth of July and the Beautiful Dame W i t h o u t Mercy p i c k i n g h e r nose i n C h u m l e y ' s . She She and and d i d n o t speak E n g l i s h . had yellow hair a hoarse voice n o b i r d sang.

I am leading a quiet life i n M i k e ' s Place every day w a t c h i n g t h e p o c k e t p o o l players m a k i n g t h e n i i n e s t r o n e scene wolfing the macaronis a n d I have r e a d somewhere the Meaning of Existence y e t have f o r g o t t c n j u s t exactly where. B u t I am the m a n A n d F U be t h e r e . A n d I m a y cause t h e l i p s o f those w h o are asleep t o speak. A n d I may make m y notebooks i n t o sheaves o f grass. A n d I may write my own eponymous epitaph instructing the horsemen t o pass.

55

D O G

T h e dog t r o t s f r e e l y i n t h e Street ; i : a n d sees reality"'^'*'"*'* and t h e t h i n g s h e sees , . > . > are bigger t h a n h i m s e l f , i,. ; . ' > . ,, a n d t h e t h i n g s h e sees are h i s r e a l i t y /, ! D r i m k s i n doorways ' , ; Moons o n trees ! ;.'.>;' T h e dog t r o t s f r e e l y t h r u t h e street and t h e t h i n g s h e sees are s n i a l l e r t h a n h i m s e l f F i s h o n news|)rint ' A n t s i n holes Chickens n C h i n a t o w n w i n d o w s t h e i r heads a b l o c k away T h e dog t r o t s f r e e l y i n t h e street and t h e t h i n g s h e smells smell something l i k e himself T h e dog t r o t s f r e e l y i n t h e street p a s l p u d d l e s a n d hables eats a n d cigars i poolrooms and policemen H e doesn't h a t e cops H e m e r e l y has n o use f o r t h e m a n d h e goes past t h e m a n d jiast t h e dead cows h u n g u p w h o l e i n f r o n t o f t h e San Francisco M e a t M a r k e t H e w o u l d r a t h e r eat a tender cow than a tough policeman though either m i g h t do r ' ;, i : , , ! , ' ,! , ;! , .1 j ,. , i i > : ./,: : 1 j v: .
V.,',' ; , ' ; , ; ;

He's a f r a i d o f Coit's T o w e r b u t he's n o t a f r a i d o f Congressman D o y l e a l t h o u g h w h a t h e hears is v e r y d i s c o u r a g i n g v e r y depressing very absurd ' to a sad y o u n g dog l i k e h i m s e l f t o a s e r i o m dog l i k e h i m s e l f B u t h e has h i s o w n free w o r l d t o l i v e i n H i s own fleas t o eat H e w i l l n o t be muzzled Congressman D o y l e is j u s t a n o t h e r fire h y d r a n t to h i m The and and and d o g trots f r e e l y i n t h e street has h i s o w n dog's l i f e t o l i v e to t h i n k about t o reflect u p o n '

'

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t o u c h i n g and t a s t i n g and testing e v e r y t h i n g investigating everything w i t h o u t benefit of p e r j u r y a r e a l realist w i t h a r e a l tale t o t e l l and a real t a i l to tell i t w i t h a real live barking I deraocratie dog engaged i n r e a l free enterprise w i t h s o m e t h i n g t o say

A n d h e goes past t h e R o m e o R a v i o l i F a c t o r y a n d past Coit's T o w e r a n d past Congressman D o y l e o f t h e U n a m e r i c a n C o m m i t t e e 56

about ontology s o m e t h i n g t o say ' about reality and h o w t o see i t ' and how to hear i t w i t h h i s h e a d eoeked sideways , at streetcorners

as i f h e is j u s t a b o u t to have his picture taken f o r V i c t o r Records listening for H i s Master's V o i c e and l o o k i n g like a living questionmark into the great g r a m o p h o n e o f p u z z l i n g existence w i t h its w o n d r o u s h o l l o w b o r n w h i c h always seems j u s t a b o u t to s p o u t f o r t h some V i c t o r i o u s answer to e v e r y t h i n g

AM

W A I T I N G

a m w a i t i n g f o r m y case to eome u p and I am w a i t i n g f o r a r e b i r t h of wonder and I am w a i t i n g f o r someone to r e a l l y discover A m e r i c a and w a i l

and I am waiting for the discovery of a new s y m b o l i c western f r o n t i e r and I am w a i t i n g f o r t h e A m e r i c a n Eagle to r e a l l y spread its wings a n d s t r a i g h t e n u p a n d fly r i g h t and I am waiting f o r the Age^gf A n x i e t y to drop dead a n d I am w a i t i n g f o r the w a r to be f o u g h t i

.jL3J>'--^ ^

w h i c h w i l l m a k e t h e w o r l d safe for anarchy e^''"'^_ / and I am w a i t i n g f o r t h e final w i t h e r i n g away of a l l g o v e r n m e n t s and I am [ l e r p e t u a l l y a r e b i r t h of wonder I a m w a i t i n g f o r the Second C o m i n g and I am w a i t i n g for a religious revival to sweep t h r u the state o f A r i z o n a a n d I am w a i t i n g 58 awaiting

j "

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f o r t h e Grapes o f W r a t h to be stored and I a m w a i t i n g f o r t h e m to p r o v e t h a t G o d is r e a l l y A m e r i r a n and I im w a i t i n g t o see G o d o n televisin p i p e d o n t o c h u r c h altara i f o n l y t h e y can find the r i g h t channel to t u n e i n o n and I am waiting f o r t h e Last S u p p e r to he served again w i t h a strange n e w appetizer and I am perpetually awaiting a r e b i r t h of wonder I a m w a i t i n g f o r m y nund>cr to he called and I am waiting f o r t h e S a l v a t i o n A r m y to t a k e over and I a m w a i t i n g f o r t h e m e e k to be blessed and i n h e r i t t h e e a r t h w i t h o u t taxes and I am w a i t i n g f o r forests a n d animis to r e c l a i m t h e e a r t h as t h e i r s and I am waiting f o r a w a y to be devised to destroy a l l n a t i o n a l i s m s without k i l l i n g anybody and I am waiting f o r l i n n e t s a n d planets to f a l l l i k e r a i n and I a m w a i t i n g f o r lovers a n d weepers to l i e d o w n together again i n a new r e b i r t h of wonder ' '

I a m w a i t i n g f o r t h e G r e a t D i v i d e to be crossed and I am anxiously w a i t i n g f o r t h e secret o f e t e r n a l l i f e t o be discovered b y an obseure general p r a c t i t i o n e r and I am waiting ' , f o r t h e storms o f l i f e to be over and I am w a i t i n g ' i!; . to set sail f o r happiness and I am w a i t i n g ; f o r a reconstructed Mayflower to r e a c h A m e r i c a w i t h its p i c t u r e story a n d t v r i g h t s sold i n advance to t h e natives and I am waiting f o r t h e lost music to sound again i n the Lost Continent i n a n e w r e b i r t h of w o n d e r I a m w a i t i n g f o r t h e day t h a t m a k e t h a l l t h i n g s clear and I am awaiting r e t r i b u t i o n for what America d i d to T o m Sawyer and I am w a i t i n g for the American Boy to t a k e off Beauty's clothes a n d get o n t o p o f h e r and I am waiting for Alice in Wonderland to r e t r a n s m i t to m e her t o t a l dream of innocence and I am w a i t i n g f o r C h i l d e R o l a n d to come t o t h e final d a r k e s t t o w e r : i ! , i . i , ) , : '

/(

and I am w a i t i n g for Aphrodite _ t o g r o w l i v e arms

, *:Sf:4t^ Ok

O AVWMI'

at a fnal d i s a r m a m e n t conference i n a new r e b i r t h of wonder I am waiting to get some i n t i m a t i o n s % ^ of i m m o r t a l i t y \ by recollecting m y early c h i l d h o o d and I am w a i t i n g f o r the green m o r n i n g s to come again y o u t h ' s d u m b green fields come b a c k again and I am w a i t i n g f o r some strains o f u n p r e m e d i t a t e d a r t to shake m y t y p e w r i t e r a n d I a m w a i t i n g to w r i t e t h e great i n d e l i b l e p o e m and I am w a i t i n g f o r t h e last l o n g careless r a p t u r e and I am perpetually w a i t i n g f o r t h e fleeing lovers o n the C r e c a n U r n to c a t c h each o t h e r u p at last a n d embrace and I am awaiting perpetually and forever a renaissanee o f w o n d e r *

62

H I D D E N
( H y m n t o

D O O R
M a c h a P i c c h u , a f t e r I S e r u d a )

dden d o o r dead secret

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w h i c h is M o t h e r H i d d e n d o o r dead secret w h i c h is F a t h e r H i d d e n d o o r dead secret o f o u r h u r i e d Hfe H i d d e n d o o r b e h i n d w h i c h m a n carries

his f o o t p r i n t s a l o n g t h e streets H i d d e n d o o r o f clay hands k n o c k i n g H i d d e n d o o r w i t h o u t handles wliose l i f e is made o f knocks b y h a n d and f o o t Poor hand poor foot poor l i f e ! w i t h h a i r f o r hinges w i t h l i p s f o r latches , w i t h skeletons f o r keys autobiography of h u m a n i t y dictionary of the universe jialimpsest of myself I ' m made of

Hidden Hidden Hidden Hidden Hidden Hidden Hidden

door door door door door door door

w i t h m y stieks o f l i m b s H i d d e n door pathetic fallacy o f t h e evidence o f t h e senses as t o t h e n a t u r e o f r e a l i t y H i d d e n d o o r i n b l i n d eyes o f t e r m i t e s that knock knock H i d d e n d o o r b l i n d m a n w i t h t i n cup o n a stone c r n e r deaf a n d d u m b H i d d e n d o o r t r a i n - w h i s t l e lost i n book of n i g h t H i d d e n d o o r o n n i g h t ' s wheels I b l u n d e r i n g f o l l o w l i k e a r h i n o c e r o s d r i n k i n g t h r o u g h cities

tu

H i d d e n door of carrier-jiigeons'wings w h i c h have l i a l f - f o r g o t t e n their destination H i d d e n d o o r jilane's w i n g t h a t skids i n space casting stone shadow on sundial of earth H i d d e n d o o r f i y i n g boxear o f h i s t o r y H i d d e n d o o r o f Sunday w i t h o u t c h u r c h H i d d e n d o o r o f a n i m a l faces a n i m a l l a u g h t e r a n i m a l dreams and h i d d e n door Cro-Magnon M a n among machines H i d d e n d o o r d a r k forest o f A m e r i c a knock knock i n N o r t h Dakota H i d d e n d o o r t h a t w i n g s over A m e r i c a a n d slants over San F r a n c i s c o a n d slams i n t o t h e Pacific d r i f t i n g eternally southward to T i e r r a d e l Fuego w i t h a k n o c k k n o c k undersea at lost d o o r o f L o t a coal m i n e s H i d d e n d o o r s u r f b o a r d to lost shore o f l i g h t a n d h i d d e n d o o r floated u p o n tides l i k e a shipwrecked coffinlid b e a r i n g b l i n d m o u t h s b l i n d hreasts b l i n d t h o u g h t h r o u g h t h e centuries H i d d e n d o o r sea-angel cast-up A l b a t r o s s s p o u t i n g seasperm o f l o v e i n t h i r t y languages a n d t h e love-ship o f l i f e sunk by the poison-squid of hate H i d d e n d o o r d o u b l e - w i n g e d s t i c k y - b i r d p l u m e d serpent s t u c k t o m o o n afire f o r e v e r d r u n k i n t i m e flapping lose i n e t e r n i t y H i d d e n d o o r of t h e f u t u r e m y s t i c l i f e among Magellan's nebulae and h i d d e n door of m y m i s l a i d v i s i o n a r y self 66

H i d d e n d o o r San L u i s r o p e - b r i d g e w h i c h is m a n h u n g between nature and s p i r i t H i d d e n d o o r o f t h e s p i r i t seen as a fleshy t h i n g a n d h i d d e n d o o r o f eyes a n d vulvas t h a t still open only w i t h a key o f c a r t i l a g e and flesh and h i d d e n door frozen Inea m u m m y P r i n c e of t h e P l o m o f u c k e d to d e a t h i n sun-god sacrifice H i d d e n d o o r t i n cup o f b l i n d b r o t h e r mutes c r o u c h e d o n a Cuzco c r n e r b l o w i n g b a m b o o flutes at coca m i d n i g h t H i d d e n d o o r o f t h e Andes at t e n t h o u s a n d feet i n a ragged m i s t of r u i n s and r e d h o r i z o n s w i t h seacoast h u n g b e l o w s t i l l lost a m o n g conquistadors horses dogs and i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e laws H i d d e n d o o r w i l d r i v e r of t h e U r u b a m b a u p o n w h i c h s t i l l floats s o m e w h e r e t h e lost h e r b t h a t separates soul f r o m b o d y a n d h i d d e n d o o r w h i c h is i t s e l f t h a t h e r b a n d h i d d e n d o o r w h i c h is t h a t s e p a r a t i o n and h i d d e n d o o r m a d e o f m i r r o r s o n t h e waters o f t h i s r i v e r i n w h i c h I c a n n o t see b e y o n d m y s e l f because m y body's i n t h e w a y H i d d e n d o o r at last I see t h r o u g h b e y o n d dear b o d y bag o f bones w h i c h I leave n a k e d o n a r o e k H i d d e n d o o r I wigless c l i m b to beyond that river H i d d e n d o o r at last I f a l l t h r o u g h i n t h e lost end of day I t is d u s k b y t h e t i m e w e get t o

Machu Picchu Some I n d i a n s go b y d a n c i n g daying t l i e i r flutes and beating drums

U N D E R W E A R

I Peru-Chile, January-February, 1960

d i d n ' t get m u c h sleep last n i g h t ^

t h i n k i n g about underwear H a v e y o u ever stopped t o consider u n d e r w e a r i n t h e abstract ' W h e n you really dig into i t some s h o c k i n g p r o b l e m s are raised U n d e r w e a r is s o m e t h i n g we a l l have to deal w i t h E v e r y o n e wears some k i n d o f u n d e r w e a r Even Indians wear underwear i E v e n Cubans wear underwear

j , ; '

T h e P o p e wears u n d e r w e a r I h o p e The Governor of Lonisiana wears u n d e r w e a r , , I saw h i m o n T V H e m u s t have h a d t i g h t u n d e r w e a r He squirmed a lot

U n d e r w e a r can r e a l l y get y o u i n a b i n d Y o u have seen t h e u n d e r w e a r ads f o r men and women so a l i k e b u t so d i f f e r e n t Women's underwear holds things u p Men's u n d e r w e a r h o l d s t h i n g s d o w n U n d e r w e a r is one t h i n g m e n a n d w o m e n have i n c o m m o n U n d e r w e a r is a l l w e have b e t w e e n us Y o u have seen t h e t h r e e - c o l o r p i c t u r e s w i t h crotches e n e i r c l e d t o s h o w t h e reas o f e x t r a s t r e n g t h 68

a n d three-way stretch promising f u l l freedom of action D o n ' t he deceived It's a l l based o n t h e t w o - p a r t y system w h i c h doesn't a l l o w m u c h f r e e d o m o f ehoice t h e way i h i n g s are set u p A m e r i c a i n its U n d e r w e a r struggles t h r u t h e n i g h t Underwear rontrols everything i n the end T a k e f o u n d a t i o n garments f o r instance T h e y are r e a l l y fascist f o r m s of underground government m a k i n g peoj>le b e l i e v e something but the t r u t h t e l l i n g y o u w h a t y o u can o r can't do D i d y o u ever t r y to get a r o u n d a g i r d l e Perhaiis N o n - V i o l e n t A c t i o n is t h e o n l y answer D i d G a n d h i wear a g i r d l e ? D i d L a d y M a c h e t h wear a g i r d l e ? Was t h a t w h y M a c h e t h m u r d e r e d sleep? A n d t h a t spot she was always r u b b i n g Was i t r e a l l y i n h e r u n d e r w e a r ? M o d e r n anglosaxon ladies m u s t have h u g e g u i l t complexes always w a s h i n g a n d w a s h i n g a n d w a s h i n g O u t d a m n e d spot U n d e r w e a r w i t h spots v e r y suspicious U n d e r w e a r w i t h bulges v e r y s h o c k i n g U n d e r w e a r o n d o t h e s l i n e a great flag o f f r e e d o m Someone has escaped h i s U n d e r w e a r M a y be n a k e d somewhere Help! But don't worry Everybody's still hung up i n i t

T h e r e w o n ' t be no r e a l r e v o l u t i o n A n d |)oetry s t i l l t h e u n d e r w e a r o f t h e soul A n d underwear still covering a m u l t i t u d e of faults i n t h e geological sense strange s e d i n i e n t a r y stones, i n s c r u t a b l e c r a c k s ! I f I were y o u I ' d keep aside an oversize p a i r o f w i n t e r u n d e r w e a r Do not go n a k e d i n t o t h a t g o o d n i g h t A n d i n the meantime keep c a l n i a n d w a r m a n d d r y N o use s t i r r i n g ourselves u p p r e m a t u r e l y 'over N o t h i n g ' Move forward with dignity h a n d i n vest D o n ' t get e m o t i o n a l A n d death shall have no dominin T h e r c ' s p l e n t y of t i m e m y d a r l i n g A r e we n o t s t i l l y o u n g a n d easy Don't sliout i .1

70

71

COME BE MY

L I E WITH LOVE

ME AND

THE

GREAT

CHINESE

DRAGON

orne lie witli me and be my love Love lie with me ; Lie down with me Under the cypress tree In the sweet grasses , / Where the wind lieth ; Where the wind dieth ' [

/ ^ ,)

As night passes Come lie with me All night with me

;,yi,! ., ( '

And have enough of kissing me And have enough of making love And let our two selves speak All night under the cypress tree Without making love

T^he great Chinese dragn which is the greatest dragn in all the world and which once upon a time was towed across the Pacific by a crew , ,' , of coolies rowing in an open boatwas I I the first real live dragn ever actually to reach these shores And the great Chinese dragn passing thru the Golden Gate , ,, sprouting streams of water like a string ,, . 1 of fireboats then broke lose somewhere near China Camp gulped down a hundred Chinese seamen and forthwith ate up all the shrimp in San Francisco Hay And the great Chinese dragn was therefore forever after I eonfined in a Chinatown basement and , ,; ever since allowed out only for Chinese ;,, New Year's parades and other Un,;;,, I i; american demonstrations paternally 1, / , watehed-over by those benevolent men , I, in blue who represent our more advanced civilization which has reached such a high state of democracy as to allow even a few barbarians to carry on 1. their quaint native customs in our midst And thus the great Chinese dragn which is the greatest dragn in all the world now can only .1 be seen creeping out of an Adler AUey I, cellar like a worm out of a hole some, ! , time during the second week in Feb,, ; ; ,,,(, i ) ruary every year when it sorties out of , , hibernation in its Chinese storeroom : pushed from behind by a hand of forty-

72

73

t h r e e Chinese electriciana a n d t e c h n i cians w h o stuff its i >er8taltic a c c o r d i o n hody up t h r u a sidewalk delivery entrance A n d first t h e s w a y i n g s n o u t appears a n d t h e n t h e eyes at g r o u n d level feelng a l o n g t h e e u r h and t h e n t h e head i t s e l f casting a h o u t a n d s w a y i n g a n d h e a v i n g finally u p to t h e crner of Grant Avenue itself where a h u g e p a p e r sign p r o c l a i n i s t h e WorlrTs Largest Chinatown A n d t h e great Chinese dragon's j a w s w i r e d p e r m a n e n t l y gape as i f b y a d e m e n t e d d e n t i s t t o d i s p l a y t h e C a d m i u m t e e t h as t h e h u n g r y h e a d heaves o u t i n t o G r a n t A v e n u e r i g h t u n d e r t h e sign a n d r a i s i n g i t s e l f w i t h a great s n o r t o f fire s u d d e n l y p r o c l a i n i a t h e official firecracker start o f t h e Chinese N e w Y e a r A n d t h e l i g h t b u l b eyes l i g h t i n g u p and p o p p i n g o u t o n c o i l e d w i r e springs a n d t h e b o d y s t r e t c h i n g and r o c k i n g f u r t h e r a n d f u r t h e r a r o u n d the crner and down Grant Avenue l i k e a eater|)illar r o l l e r coaster w i t h t h e eyes s p r u n g o u t and w a v i n g i n t h e a i r l i k e t h e b l i n d feelcrs o f some m e c h a n i cal p r e y i n g n i a n t i s a n d t h e eyes b l i n k i n g o n and off w i t h Chinese r e d p u p i l s a n d t i n y b a m b o o - b l i n d eyelids g o i n g u p and d o w n A n d s t i l l t h e t a i l o f t h e dragn i n t h e A d l e r A l l e y cellar u n c o i l i n g a n d unwindng o u t i n t o t h e street w i t h t h e f o r t y t h r e e Chinese techn i c i a n s s t i l l stuffing t h e dragn o u t t h e hole i n the sidewalk and the head of t h e dragn n o w t h r e e b l o c k s a w a y i n

t h e m i d d l e o f t h e p a r a d e o f f a n c y floats p r e s i d e d over b y Chinese v i r g i n s A n d h e r e comes t h e St. M a r y V Chinese G i r l s ' D r u m Corps a n d h e r e come sixteen w h i t e m e n i n p i t h helmets b e a t i n g b i g bass d r u m s r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e O r d e r o f t h e Moose a n d h e r e comes a gang o f h a p p y car salesmen disguised as I s l a m S h r i n e r s a n d h e r e comes a c h a p t e r o f t h e O r d e r o f I m p r o v e d Red M e n and h e r e comes a cordn o f m o t o r c y c l e eops i n crash helmets w i t h r a d i o s g o i n g f o l l o w e d b y a small papier-meh l i o n fed w i t h Neceo wafers and r u n b y t w o guys l e f t over f r o m a T e n - T e n f e s t i v a l w h i c h i n t u r n is f o l l o w e d b y t h e great Chinese dragn i t s e l f g o o k i n g over balconies as i t comes A n d t h e great Chinese dragn has eaten a h u n d r e d h u m a n s a n d t h e i r legs p o p o u t o f h i s i m d e r s i d e a n d are his w a l k i n g legs w h i c h are n o t mentioned i n the official p r i n t e d prog r a m i n w h i c h h e is w r i t t e n u p as t h e Great G o l d e n Dragn m a d e i n H o n g K o n g to t h e specifications o f t h e C h i nese C h a m b e r o f C o m m e r c e and he represents t h e f o r c a n d m y s t e r y o f l i f e a n d his head swaya i n t h e sky b e t w e e n t h e balconies as he comes f o l l o w e d b y six Chinese b o y scouts w e a r i n g Keds a n d c a r r y i n g strings o f batteries t h a t l i g h t u p t h e dragn l i k e a n i g h t t i m e freeway A n d h e has l a i n a l l w i n t e r a m o n g a heap o f collapsed paper l a n t e r n s and green r u b b e r l i z a r d s a n d i v o r y backscratchers w i t h t h e i r o n side75

74

m^

w a l k doors closed over h i s h e a d b u t h e has n o w s p r u n g u p w i t h t h e first sign of Spring l i k e t h e forc o f l i f e itself , ( a n d h i s head sways i n t h e s k y a n d gooks i n green w i n d o w s as h e comes A n d h e is a m o n s t e r w i t h t h e h e a d o f a d o g a n d t h e b o d y o f a serpent r i s e n y e a r l y o u t o f t h e sea i to devour a v i r g i n t h r o w n f r o m a eliff ,| ~ ;, ' ' V :i ; , I ' I!; ' : ,) 'i ' ''..;''( ' , I, ' > ;:, L ' i I ; ' \ ,'' ' i ' ' I " ' j ; ' > ! ; / ;! : , i,: ','1.,) j i i f ^. ^ ) C i, t o appease h i m a n d h e is a y o u n g m a n handsonie and d r u n k ogling t h e girls a n d h e has h i g h ideis a n d a h u n d r e d s p o r t shoes a n d l i e says N o t o M o t h e r a n d h e is a b i g r e d t a b l e t h e w o r l d w i l l never t i l t a n d h e has b i g eyes everyw h e r e t h r u w h i c h h e sees a l l w o m a n k i n d m i l k w h i t e a n d dove-breasted a n d h e w i l l eat t h e i r w a t e r f l o w e r s f o r h e is t h e cat w i t h f u t u r e feet w e a r i n g K e d s a n d h e eats cake o u t o f p a s t r y w i n d o w s a n d is h u n g r i e r a n d m o r e p o t e n t a n d more powerful and more omniverous t h a n the papier-mch l i o n r u n b y two guys a n d h e is t h e great e a r t h w o r m o f l u c k y l i f e filled w i t h flowing Chinese semen a n d h e considers b i s o w n a n d o u r existence i n i t s m o s t p r o f o u n d sense as h e comes a n d h e has n o C h r i s t i a n answer t o t h e e x i s t e n t i a l q u e s t i o n even as h e sees t h e s p i r i t u a l e v e r y w h e r e translucent i n the m a t e r i a l w o r l d and h e does n o t w a n t t o escape t h e responsib i l i t y o f b e i n g a dragn o r t h e eonsequences o f h i s l o n g h o r n y t a i l s t i l l b u r i e d i n t h e basement b u t t h e b l u e citizens o n t h e i r t a l k i n g eycles t h i n k t h a t h e w an t s t o escape a n d at a l l costs

, ' '- '

, , 1 , ,, i: I , ' i ! '

: '' ii; I . ;i( i; ,' , I:, >,.',',',:

h e m u s t n o t b e a l l o w e d t o escape because t h e great Chinese dragn is t h e greatest p o t e n t i a l dragn i n a l l t h e w o r l d a n d i f a l l o w e d t o escape f r o m C h i n a t o w n m i g h t g a l l o p away u p t h e i r n e w f r e e w a y at t h e B r o a d w a y entrance ' m i s t a k i n g i t f o r a G r e a t W a l l of C h i n a o r eome o t h e r b a r b a r a n b a r r i e r a n d so go e a r e e n i n g a l o n g i t c h e w i n g u p stanchions a n d signposts a n d b e l e h i n g f o r t h some strange d i s i n t e g r a t i n g m d i u m w h i c h m i g h t m e l t d o w n t h e great concrete w a l l s o f A m e r i c a a n d t h e y are a f r a i d o f h o w f a r t h e great Chinese dragn m i g h t r e a l l y go s t a r t i n g f r o m : San Francisco a n d so t h e y have secretly a n d securely t i e d d o w n t h e v e r y e n d o f his t a i l i n i t s h o l e 80 t h a t t h i s great p u l s i n g p h a l l u s of l i f e at t h e v e r y e n d o f i t s p a r a d e at t h e v e r y e n d o f C h i n a t o w n gives o n e w i l d o r g a s m o f a s l i u d d e r a n d rolls over f a i n t i n g i n t h e b r i g h t n i g h t street since even f o r a dragn

' ,

1 i;
''r. I ,i.

": 7 [I-':..

1 . . 1 ' , I

every orgasm is a l i t t l e d e a t h A n d t h e n t h e great Chinese dragn starts s i l e n t l y s h r i n k i n g a n d s h r i v e l i n g u p a n d d r a w i n g b ack a n d b a c k a n d b a c k t o i t s first cave a n d t h e soft s i l k s k i n w r i n k l e s u p a n d s h r i n k s a n d s h r i n k s o n its s p r u n g b a m boo bones a n d t h e h a n d s o m e dejected h e a d hangs d o w n l i k e a defeated p r i z e figliter's and so is st u f f ed d o w n a g a i n at last i n t o i t s pr v at e place a n d t h e c e l l a r s i d e w a l k doors press d o w n a g a i n o v e r 77

t h e great w i l t e d h e a d w i t h one s m a l l h o l e o f a n eye h l i n k i n g s t i l l t h r u t h e gratings o f t h e m e t a l doors as t h e great Cliinese dragn gives one last eonv u l s i v e e a r t h q u a k e shake a n d r o l l s over dead-dog to w a i t a n o t h e r w h i t e year f o r t h e final c o m i n g a n d t h e final s o w i n g o f his oats a n d t e e t h

from

T h e Secret M e a n i n g o f T h i n g s 1968

A S S A S S I N A T I O N

R A G A

T
X u n e i n t o a raga o n t h e stereo and t u r n o n Death T V w i t h o u t its s o u n d O u t s i d e t h e p l u m s are g r o w i n g i n a t r e e ' T h e f o r c t h a t t h r o u g h t h e green fuse drives the flower' drives D e a t h T V ' A g r i e f ago' T h e y l o w e r t h e b o d y soundlessly into a huge plae i n Dallas i n t o a h u g e p l a e i n Los Angeles m a r k e d ' U n i t e d States o f A m e r i c a ' a n d soundlessly t h e ' U n i t e d States of A m e r i c a ' takes off & w i n g s away w i t h t h a t B o d y T u n e o u t the T V sound & l i s t e n soundlessly to t h e b l i n d m o u t h s o f its m o t o r s & a s i t a r speaking o n t h e stereo a raga i n a rage at a l l t h a t b l a c k d e a t h

and all that bad karma La illaha el lili Allah

d r i v e s everj'one as t h e ' U n i t e d States o f A m r i c a ' flies o n sightlessly t h r o u g h t h e s w i f t fierce years w i t h t h e dead w e i g h t of its Body w h i c h t h e y keep flying f r o m Dallas w h i c h t h e y keep f l y i n g f r o m Los A n g e l A n d the plae lands w i t h o u t f o l d i n g its w i n g s its shadow i n n i o u r n i n g f o r i t s e l f w i t h d r a w s into itself i n death's d r a g g y d o m i n i n La illaha el lili Allah ., ii

T h e r e is n o g o d b u t G o d T h e forc that t h r o u g h the red fuze drives t h e b u l l e t drives t h e needle i n its d h a r m a groove and m a n t h e needle drives t h a t p l a e o f t h e ' U n i t e d States o f A m e r i c a ' t h r o u g h its s k y f u l l o f s h i t & d e a t h a n d t h e sky never ends as i t w i n g s soundlessly f r o m those f u e k e d - u p cities whose a m e s w e ' d r a t h e r n o t r e m e m b e r Inside the plae inside the plae a wife lies soundlessly against t h e cofn E n g i n e w h i n e s as sitar sings o u t r a g e o u s l y La illaha el lili Allah

T h e r e is n o g o d b u t D e a t h ? T h e f o r c t h a t t h r o u g h t h e green f u z e drove his life drives everyone La illaha el lili Allah i' i

A n d t h e y are d r i v i n g t h e B o d y t h e y are d r i v i n g t h e B o d y up F i f t h Avenue past a m i l l i o n p e o p l e i n l i n e ' W e are g o i n g to be h e r e a l o n g t i m e ' says D e a t h T V ' s s p i e l m a n T h e c o r t g e passes soundlessly f,

T h e r e is n o g o d b u t G o d ? T h e r e is no g o d b u t D e a t h ? T h e p l u m s are f a l H n g t h r o u g h t h e t r e e T h e f o r c t h a t drives t h e b u l l e t t h r o u g h the gun

82

' G o o d b y e ! G o o d b y e ! ' some p e o p l e ery T h e traffic flows a r o u n d & o n T h e f o r c t h a t drivea t h e cars combusts o u r k a r m a La illaha el lili Allah

against od d u n g & d e a t h La illaha La illaha el lili el lili Allah Allah

T h e f o r c t h a t s t r i k e s its strings strikes us A n d the funeral t r a i n t h e silver t r a i n starts u p soundlessly at a dead speed

T h e r e is n o god b u t U e a t h ? T h e f o r c t h a t drives o u r l i f e to d e a t h drives sitar too so soundlessly La illaha el lili Allah

over t h e h o t l a n d an a r m e d h e l i c o p t e r over i t T h e y are e l e a r i n g t h e t r a c k s ahead o f assassins T h e t r a c k s are l i n e d w i t h h a r faces A highschool band i n N e w B r u n s w i c k plays T h e Batlle H y m n of the Republic T h e y have s h o t i t d o w n a g a i n T h e y have shot h i m d o w n a g a i n & w i l l shoot h i m d o w n a g a i n & take h i m on a t r a i n & l o w e r h i m again i n t o a grave i n W a s h i n g t o n La illaha el lili Allah

A n d they l i f t the Body They l i f t the Body o f t h e U n i t e d States o f A m e r i c a and e a r r y i t i n t o a c a t h e d r a l singing H a l l e l u j a h He Shall Live F o r ever & ever A n d t h e n t h e B o d y moves a g a i n down Fifth Avenue F i f t y - s e v e n b l a c k sedans a f t e r i t T h e r e are p e o p l e w i t h roses b e h i n d the barricades i n bargain-basement dresses A n d s i t a r sings & sings n o n v i o l e n c e sitar sounds i n us its images o f ecstasy its d e p t h o f ecstasy

Day & n i g h t j o u r n e y s t h e coffin through the dark land too d a r k n o w to see t h e d a r k faces

84

La illaha

el lili

Allah

Pluni; & planes are f a l l i n g t h r o u g h t h e a i r La illaha el lili Allah . i r ,


I

as sitar sings t h e o n l y answer sitar sings its o n l y answer sitar sounds t h e o n l y s o u n d t h a t s t i l l can s t i l l a l l v o l e n c e La illaha el lili Allah ' , ,^

, ;

',;

"The forc that through the green fuse drives the flower" & **A grief ago": from Dylan Thomas. "La illaha el lili Allah": variation of a Snfi ecstatic chant. A corruption of the Koran. "The sivift fierce years": from a phrase in Eldridge Cleavers "Soul On Ice." Atman: breath, soul, life principie. assentthe "ideal, inaudi-

Om: originally a syllahle denoting ble sound" of the universe. . . .

, ;

^ ,,. ., ,

T h e e is n o g o d h u t L i f e S i t a r says i t S i t a r sounds i t

' i , , ', . >;

. ' ^, ' i ,, . ' ', ,, ,

S i t a r sounds o n us to l()ve love & hate h a t e S i t a r hreathes its A t i n a n h r e a t h i n us sounds & sounds i n us its l o v e l y om om La illaha el lili Allah i' . , , i,:,

A t cverv step t h e p u r w i n d rises La illaha el lili Allah

, ^ i '^ /;, , | ',

People w i t h roses hehind the harricades!

.; . , ',, 'i. ' |./|, 'i'-'.

First

read, to a loud Noitrse Robert

evening was

raga, at "The San buried.

Incredible June 8,

Poetry 1968,

Reading," the day

Anditorium,

Francisco,

Kennedy

"Death TV": the phrase romes from "So TV" by William Burroughs, Claude Plieu

Who Owns Death & Cari Weissner.

86

M O S C O W S E G O V I A

IN IN

T H E T H E

W I L D E R N E S S , S N O W

i d n i g h t Moscow A i r p o r t sucks m e i n f r o m S i b e r i a A n d blowR m e o u t alone i n a b l a c k bus d o w n d a r k s t r a i g h t n i g h t roads s t a r k snow p l a i n s e t e r n a l taiga i n t o monster Moscow stands o f w h i t e b i r c h e s

Tracery of the A l h a m b r a i n a b i l l i o n w l i i t c birches b o r n i n t h e snow trills of blackbirds i n t h e m Segovia w a r m s his h a n d s and m e l t s M o s c o w moves his h a n d with a circular motion over a n i v o r y b r i d g e to gutted Stalingrads Segovia k n o w s no answer He's no G o y a & he's no Picasso b u t also he's n o Sleeping G y p s y W i t h G u i t a r Guarded by a Lion a n d w h o k n o w s i f h e slept w i t h Franco H e k n o w s b l a c k condora fly H e k n o w s a f r e e w o r l d w h e n h e hears one H i s s t r u m s are r u n s u p o n i t H e does n o t f r e t H e p l u c k s his guts a n d listens t o h i m s e l f as h e p l a y s a n d speaks to h i m s e l f a n d echoes h i m s e l f A n d h e keepa d r i v i n g & d r i v i n g his i n s t r u m e n t d o w n t h e w i d e d a r k ways i n t o great M o s c o w d o w n the black boulevards past K r e m l i n l i t & l o c k e d i n its h a r d d r e a m i n t h e great Russian n i g h t I>ast B o l s h o i B a l l e t & G o r k y I n s t i t u t e J o h n Reed at t h e D r a m a T h e a t r e S t a l y a g i & h e r o i n at T a g a n k a

ghosted i n t h e g l o a m i n g W h e r e of a sudden Segovia bursts t h r u over t h e airwaves They've let h i m i n to d r i v e t h e d a r k bus Segovia's h a n d s grasp t h e steering w h e e l Yokels i n housing projeets d r o p t h e i r balalaikas & b i r c h banjos Segovia comes o n l i k e t h e pulse o f l i f e i t s e l f Segovia comes o n t h r u t h e s n o w d r i f t s and p l a i n s o f L a M a n c h a fields & fields & fields of frozen musie m e l t e d o n bus r a d i o s Segovia at t h e i n s t r u m e n t driving t h r u the night land of Antiquera Granada Seville 88

Stone M a y a k o v a k y stares t h r u a h h z z a r d o f w h i t e notes i n Russian w i n t e r l i g h t Segovia hears his stoned ery a n d he hears t h e pulse n t h e b l o o d as he listens to l i f e as he ]>lay8 a n d he keeps c o m i n g & c o m i n g '' t h r u t h e Russian w i n t e r n i g h t He's i n Moscow h u t doesn't k n o w i t , | , , H e p l a y e d s o m e w h e r e else i a n d i t comes o u t h e r e i n a t h a w o n an a i r w a v e over Gogol's D a r k P e o p l e s t a r k figures '.'i r'X v i n t h e w h i t e n i g h t streets
VV'.M'

H e leaves t h e m h u m m i n g & goes o n ; Segovia plays i n t h e lose snow 'i a n d digs a b i t alone '. > : u n d e r t h e f r e e surface r w i t h his f r e e h a n d ' H e strikes s o f t l y as h e listens H e hears a d u l l t h u d ' i , ; ' i w h e r e s o m e t h i n g is b u r i e d ; ,. ' a familiar thud such as he sometimes hears back home H e t u r n s away & goes o n d o w n V o r o v s k y Street H i s music has a l o n g i n g s o u n d H e yearns & y e t does n o t y e a r n H e exists & is t r a n q u i l i n spite o f a l l y \
i'"'''

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such as h e h a r d l y hears i , ' , , :', back home :.'i:''r r\' .' Is L e n i n l i s t e n i n g a f t e r fifty Octobers Segovia w a l k s t h r u t h e snow j; } l i s t e n i n g as he goes d o w n V o r o v s k y Street '; ':

H e has n o message i . .: ' ' ' ' ' ' ' H e is his o w n message bis o w n i d e a l s o u n d ; ; ,v^i\. A n d he sounds so l o n e l y to h i m s e l f ' '' i, ' i i as he goes o n p l a y i n g > i( , ''i r.i i n t h e i r o n - w h i t e streets ,i - <IM > * ' i ^ ' , " ' ' ' ' > * ' !, v A n d h e is s a y i n g : I say a l l I k n o w & I k n o w no meaning H e is saying T h i s is t h e song o f e v e n i n g w h e n t h e s p h i n x lies d o w n T h i s is t h e song o f t h e day t h a t begins & begins The night lifts T h e ash of l i f e dries m y song i

to t h e W r i t e r s ' U n i o n H e meets t h e od h a i r s t h a t r u n i t They dig h i m & t h e y k n o w w h a t i t means t o d i g i n m a h o g a n y cities , Segovia teaches t h e m o p e n - t u n i n g . i' w i t h w h i c h they can p l a y a n y t h i n g freely & simply , i^l , ' ;i T h i s is n o t h i s Master Class i

its w h i t e n i g h t - s t i e k

90

91

If you only knew H e is saying M y love m y love w h e r e are y o u U n d e r the pomegranate tree H e is s a y i n g W h e r e is j o y w h e r e is ecstasy s t r e t c h e d o u t i n t h e snow w h e r e o n l y t h e h i r d s are at h o m e H e is saying T h e r e ' s a h u g e emptiness h e r e t h a t stares f r o m a l l t h e faces A l l t h a t is lost m u s t h e l o o k e d f o r once m o r e H e is saying Far f r o m me far f r o m me * y o u are t h e h o u r & t h e g e n e r a t i o n they m a r k e d f o r result H e is s a y i n g I am your r u i n unique & immortal I a m y o u r happiness u n k n o w n I am l i g h t w h e r e y o u are d a r k w h e r e y o u are heavy H e is saying I a m a n od m a n a n d l i f e flowers i n t h e w i n d o w s o f t h e sun B u t w h e r e is t h e sun t h e s u n , ;^ Soleares . . . O n t h e steps o f a j a i l that looks l i k e a church h e finds a w h i t e b i r d

W h a t is i m p o r t a n t i n l i f e ? says t h e b i r d Segovia says N a d a b u t keeps o n p l a y i n g his Answer A n d h e cries o u t n o w w h e n h e sees a strange w o m a n o r sees a strange t h i n g A n d h e hears m a n y strange w o m e n ' & m a n y Strange t h i n g s . ,^' a f t e r f i f t y Octobers & fifty strange springs A n d Segovia f o l l o w s thrii""""""^"*-'---. d o w n t h e i r streets a n d i n t o t h e i r houses and i n t o their rooms a n d i n t o t h e n i g h t o f t h e i r beds A n d w a i t s f o r t h e m t o m a k e love A n d w a i t s f o r t h e m t o speak A n d w a i t s & w a i t s f o r t h e m t o speak A n d h e cries o u t n o w w h e n h e hears t l i e n i speak at last i n t h e i r last r e t r e a t N o h e doesn't ery o u t H e n e v e r cries o u t H e is t a c i t u r n & never sings O n l y h i s i n s t r u m e n t speaks & sings B u t w h e n i t does sing w h e n i t does e r y o u t at w h a t i t hears an a n c i e n t a r m a d i l l o asleep f o r centuries i n t h e cellar o f t h e K r e m l i n raises i t s h o r n y h e a d opens its square t h i r d eye a n d looks a r o u n d h l i n k i n g

i J /

92

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1967 & Yevgeni Yevtushenko

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J. was conceived i n t h e s u m m e r o f N i n e t e e n E i g h t e e n ( o r was i t T h i r t y E i g h t ) w h e n some k i n d of w a r was g o i n g o n b u t i t d i d n ' t stop t w o people f r o m m a k i n g love i n Osaining t h a t year I l i k e t o t h i n k o n a r i v e r b a n k i n sun on a picnic by the Hudson as i n a p a i n t i n g of t h e H u d s o n R i v e r School o r u p at B e a r M o u n t a i n m a y b e a f t e r t a k i n g t h e od H u d s o n R i v e r L i n e p a d d l e w h e e l excursin steamer ( I m a y have a d d e d t h e p a d d l e w h e e l the Hudson my Mississippi) A n d o n t h e w a y b a c k she already c u r r i e d m e inside of her I lawrence f e r l i n g h e t t i w r o u g h t f r o m t h e d a r k i n m y m o t h e r l o n g ago b o r n i n a small back bedroom I n the next r o o m m y brother heard t h e f i r s t ery, m a n y years l a t e r w r o t e m e H o w she w e n t t h r o u g h i t a l l " Someone stpieezed m y h e a r t to m a k e i t go I c r i e d a n d sprang u p O p e n eye open h e a r t w h e r e do I wander I c r i e d a n d r a n off i n t o t h e h e a r t of the w o r l d C a r r i e d away .V^ " P o o r M o m - N o h u s b a n d N o m o n e y P o p dead ' i

by another I k n e w not A n d w h i c h of me s h a l l k n o w m y b r o t h e r ? ' I a m m y son, m y m o l h e r , m y f a t h e r , I a m b o r n of myself m y o w n flesh s u c k e d ' A n d someone squeezed m y h e a r t t o m a k e m e go A n d I began to go through my number ' i i ;<

f o r a n o t h e r w o r l d t o appear t o o n ear a n d too dear t o be a n y t h i n g b u t m y s e l f m y i n s i d e self where everything real ' ' was t o h a p p e n i n t h i s place w h i c h s t i l l exists inside m y s e l f a n d hasn't changed t h a t m u c h c e r t a i n l y n o t as m u c h as t h e o u t s i d e

I was a w i n d - u p t o y someone h a d d r o p p e d w o u n d - u p i n t o a w o r l d already V > > ' ' ' '*! :''''''',) ' : ; ' ^'^^iio'of..' i ii 'O.-' ' > ' ' ^' '\ . ' ^ ' ' ''.'f.vi' "i ^ ' ; i i;',' , , v'- ' . ' i' "i ,' .;, ' V ' < ' running down T h e w o r l d h a d been g o i n g o n a l o n g t i m e a lr e a dy b u t i t made no difference I t was new i t was l i k e n e w i made i t new i saw i t s h i n n g a n d i t shone i n t h e s u n and i t spun i n the sun and the skein i t spun waspurehght M y l i f e was m a d e o f i t m a d e of t h e skeins o f l i g h t T h e cobwebs o f N i g h t were not on i t were n o t of i t I t was t o o b r i g h t

w i t h its bag of s k i n a n d its ' a l u m i n u m h e a r d ' a n d its b l u e b l u e eyes w h i c h see as one eye i n t h e m i d d l e of t h e h e a d w h e r e e v e r y t h i n g happens except w h a t happens i n the heart v a j r u lotus d i a m o n d h e a r t wherein I read t h e p o e m t h a t never ends

' '

to see too luniinous to cast a shadow a n d t h e r e was a n o t h e r w o r l d b e h i n d t h e b r i g h t screens I h a d o n l y to cise m y eyes

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h a d j u s t o r d e r e d a fishplate at t h e c o u n t e r w h e n < . ,

three very h e a u t i f u l f u c k e d - u p people e n t e r e d 1 d o n ' t k n o w h o w or w h y I t h o u g h t t h e y m u s t be f u c k e d - u p except t h e y were v e r y b e a u t i f u l t w o m e n a n d one v e r y beautiful goldenhaired young w o m a n very well groomed and w e a r i n g sports clothes l i k e as i f t h e y must have j u s t g o t t e n o u t of an o l d - f a s h i o n e d Stutz roadster w i t h t o p " ' ' d o w n a n d tennis rackets a n d the w o m a n strode t o t h e b a c k of t h e r e s t a u r a n t f o u n d a vacant table a n d strode b a c k a n d got the o t h e r t w o b e c k o n i n g w i t h elegant gestures a n d s m i l i n g s l i g h t i y at t h e m a n d the t h r e e of t h e m w a l k e d b a c k slowly t o t h e table as i f t h e y were n o t a f r a i d of a n y t h i n g or anyone i n t h a t place a n d t o o k possession of i t w i t h 100 , . '

_ ANQLOAMfilUCANO l o v e l y expressions a n d the very lovely young lady settled h e r s e l f so easily on the settee beside t h e y o u n g e r o f the t w o m e n b o t h of w h o m h a d l i g h t b r o w n w a v y h a i r n o t too l o n g and cut like H o l l y w o o d tennis stars o r a n y w a y l i k e visitors f r o m some o t h e r t o w n m o r e elegant t h a n o u r o w n a n d they were o b v i o u s l y so m u c h b e t t e r l o o k i n g a n d so m u c h b e t t e r b r o u g h t up t h a n anyone else i n the place they l o o k e d l i k e thev m i g h t be r e l a t e d to t h e K e n n e d y s a n d they o b v i o u s l y h a d n o I n d i a n or E y e t a l i a n blood i n them a n d she o b v i o u s l y w i t h so m a n y avenues o p e n t o her w i t h her two men one of w h o m c o u l d have b e e n her b r o t h e r I could not imagine her a carbina a n d carrying

she k e p t tossing h e r h a i r ever so g e n t l y o u t o f her eyes a n d s m i l i n g at b o t h of t h e m a n d at n o t h i n g i n p a r t i c u l a r t h a t I could imagine and h e r lips were m o v i n g gently w i t h h e r gentle smile and I k e p t t r y i n g to i m a g i n e w h a t she c o u l d possibly be saying w i t h 101

those perfect Hps over those perfect t e e t h so w h i t e w i t h h e r eyes n o w a n d t h e n sHding over a n d d o w n t h e c o u n t e r w h e r e a l o t o f Httle people sat quietly eating their quite ordinary lunches w h i l e t h e t h r e e b e a u t i f u l people w h o c o u l d have been a n y w h e r e i seemed j u s t a b o u t to o r d e r ' > : s o m e t h i n g special a n d eat i t w i t h ice c r e a m a n d cigarettes a n d m y sh fnally a r r i v e d l o o k i n g not quite unfrozen and q u i t e plstic b u t I decided to eat i t a n y w a y she was a b e a u t i f u l c r e a t u r e a n d I f e l t l i k e C h a r l i e C h a p l i n e a t i n g his shoe w h e n h e r eyes s l i d over me t h e M o d e r n Jass Q u a r t e t came over t h e M u z a k speakers a n d u n d e r o t h e r circumstanees in a time of rt'volution for instance w e m i g h t have m a d e i t

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I { i i n u i n k i n < t can i n d e e d hear very m u c h reality T h a t 'husy l i t t l e monster manimkind' can bear i t too So m a y w o m a n k i n d So can every k i n d o f clay a n d creature Trees t o o can bear i t a f t e r t h e leaves have flown away a f t e r the h i r d s have h l o w n away *bare r u i n e d c h o i r s ' bear i t as stones do T h e y too bear t h e 'heavy w e i g h t of creation' as we d o cast i n clay a n d stoned i n e a r t h Masters o f ecstasy ,

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X h i s little heart that rememhers every l i t t l e t h i n g begins t h e day most o f t h e t i m e b y a n a t t e m p t at s i n g i n g some s u n n y r h y m e Such e f f r o n t e r y , such a u d a c i t y i n t h e face of e v e r y t h i n g ! S t i l l F U sing at t h e sun for a beginning Such p r e s u m p t i o n , such p e r v e r s i t y to m i s t a k e b i r d - c r i e s f o r song w h e n t h e y m a y r e a l l y be cries of d e s p a i r ! As i f o u r l i f e as i f a l l l i f e were n o t a t r a g e d y t h o u g h a l l is passing f a i r As i f o u r l i f e were n o t so v e r y v a r i o u s as to t u r n i t a l l t o l i t a n y O d r u n k flute O Golden M o u t h sing a m a d song to save U S

. A - t new age fifty ,*,turn i n w a r d o n od self a n d r o c k o n m y b a c k i n a t o r n green h a m m o c k deep i n a r u i n e d g a r d e n w h e r e first t h e sweet b i r d s sang b e h i n d a w h i t e w o o d cottage at M o n t e c i t o Santa B a r b a r a s u n k i n sea-vine succulents i m d e r huge od eucalyptrees w i n d blows w h i t e sunlight t h r u A m u t e r u i n e d statue of a n y m p h d a n c i n g t u r n s i n sun as i f l o sing ' W h e n day is d o n e ' I t is n o t A h e l i c o p t e r flies o u t o f an angle of t h e sun its w i n d m i l l choppers w a v i n g t h r u t h e w a v i n g treetops t h r u w h i c h the hot w i n d blows & blows pur desire m a d e o f l i g h t I float o n m y b a c k i n t h e sea of i t a n d gaze s t r a i g h t u p i n t o eye-white sky as i n t o eyes o f one h e l o v e d w h i s p e r i n g 'Let me in' Too bright too b r i g h t ! I cise m y eyes lest sun t h r u such lenses set m e afire

104

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- A . h o v e Tao8 n o w I peer t h r o u g h t h e c r a c l of y o u r l o c k e d d o o r Dead Lawrence a n d t h e r e i n d e e d I see t h e y ' v e got y o u n o w at last safely stashed away l o c k e d away f r o m t h e l i g h t o f y o u r dear sun i n t h e w e i r d great d a r k of y o u r l i t t l e shuttered shrine w i t h t h e d a r k b r o w n cover o f y o u r od p o r t a b l e clenched l i k e a j a w u p o n d u m b keys t e e t h sans t o n g u e as i n a m u t e mask of a G r e e k m e g a p h o n e A l l here's real p r o o f the soul has its rages dampered! in darkness! shrine locked booby-trapped for burglars p l u m e d serpent stoned into a gargoyle!

106

Lawrence Lawrence bearded D a v i d Phoenix o u t of a m i n e - h e a d ash t o ash S o w n i n Vence a n d resown i n A m e r i c a (del Norte) Where now here now y o u r p o r t a b l e seed has b l o w n away O t h e r seeds are g r o w i n g N o t yours Lawrence i n t h e w h i t e sands proving grounds! L a w r e n c e n o w I see y o n come alone f r o m your cribbed cabin a l l fenced i n t h e b a c k y a r d c o m p o u n d of t h a t b i g caretaker's house Y o u stand still a m o m e n t i n the still air. Y o u r eyes have a M e x i c a n l o o k turned South over t h e a r r o y o s ahora y siempre flamed

Y o u have y o n r b l u e d e n i m j a e k e t Y o u have y o u r crazy Stetson Y o u r t i n p h o e n i x t a c k e d t o a tree drops i n a giftshop w i n d o w A mistral wind rattles t h e p i n e needles o f y o u r bones

l i n t e r is c o m i n g Y o u have y o u r t i c k e t

108

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A n d w h e n such a one dies even t h e agents o f D e a t h s h o u l d take note a n d shake t h e s h i t f r o m t h e i r w i n g s i n A i r Forc One B u t t h e y do n o t i A n d t h e s h i t s t i l l flies A n d t h e poet n o w is disconnected a n d w o n ' t c a l i back t h o u g h he spoke m u c h o f love , .
, ' i ' '

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isUS 'iyiit; and the w o r l d

A n d t h e w o r l d lies a b o u t i t m a k i n g us i f i t h u d got h i s message even t h o u g h i t is p o e t r y b u t most of t h e w o r l d w i s h i n g i t could just forget about h i m and his a w f i d strange p r o p h e c i e s A l o n g w i t h a l l t h e o t h e r strange t h i n g s he said a b o u t t h e w o r l d w h i c h were a l l too t r u e a n d w h i c h m a d e t h e m fear h i m more than they loved h i m t h o u g h he spoke m u c h o f love A l o n g w i t h a l l t h e a l a r m s he sounded w h i c h t u r n e d o u t to be false i f only for the m o m e n t a l l of w h i c h m a d e t h e m f e a r h i s t o n g u e more than they loved h i m T h o u g h he spoke m u c h o f love and never l i v e d b y 'silence e x i l e & e u n n i n g ' a n d was a l o u d conscientious o b j e e t o r to t h e deaths we d u i l y give each o t h e r t h o u g h we speak m u c h o f l o v e ! ,< '

A n d s t i l l we hear h i m say >;!'! ' D o not deal w i t h angeis when her lips I touch' A n d s t i l l we hear h i m say 'O m y d a r l i n g t r o u b l e s heaven w i t h h e r loveliness' A n d s t i l l w e love to hear h i m say ' ' 'As we are so w o n d e r f u l l y done w i t h each o t h e r W e can w a l k i n t o o u r seprate sleep O n loors of music w h e r e t h e m i l k w h i t e eloak of c h i l d h o o d lies' ' A n d s t i l l we hear h i m saying ' T h e r e f o r e t h e constant powers do n o t lessen. or is t h e p r o p e r t y of t h e s p i r i t scattered on t h e c o l d h i l l s of these events' A n d s t i l l we hear h i m a s k i n g ' D o t h e dead k n o w w h a t t i m e i t is?' H e is gone u n d e r H e is scattered undersea and knows what time b u t w o n ' t be back t o t e l l i t H e w o u h l he l o o [ ) r o u d to c u l i back a n y w a y A n d t o o f u l l of strange l a u g h t e r to speak to us a n y m o r e a n y w a y

' ' , .

110

A n d t h e w e i g h t o f h u m a n experience lies u p o n t h e w o r l d l i k e t h e chains o f t h e sea i n w h i c h he singa A n d he awings i n t h e tides o f t h e sea A n d his ashes are washed i n t h e ides of t h e sea A n d *an astonished eye l o o ks o n t of t h e a i r ' l o see t h e poet s i n g i n g t h e r e A n d dusk f a l l s d o w n a coast somewhere w h e r e a w h i t e horse w i t h o u t a r i d e r turns its head to t h e sea

AN

I M A G I N A R Y

H A P P E N I N G ,

L O N D O N

In t h e l o w e r l e f t - h a n d c r n e r o f a n l b u m landscape I am walking thru a dark park w i t h a noted nymphomaniac t r y i n g t o discover f o r w h a t she is n o t e d W e are t a l k i n g as w e w a l k of v a r i o u s v i l l a i n i e s o f c h u r c h & state a n d of t h e t y r a n n i e s of love & hate T h e m o o n makes hairless nudes

First read at the City Lights Memorial Reading, February

Poets Theatre 3, 1972, San

Kenneth Francisco

Patchen A n alabaster g i r l u p o n h e r b ack becomes a b o d y m a d e of soap b e n e a t h a w e t gypsy Suddenly we rush t h r u a b e n t gate i n t o t h e h o t grass O n e m o r e tree f a l l s i n t h e forest

112

y""" [f' " i " f '

T H O U G H T S OF

T O

C O N C E R T O

T E L E M A N N

A he c u r i o u s u p w a r d s t u m b l i n g m o t i o n of t h e oboe d ' a m o r e ' " ; m u s t be love i t s e l f a m o n g t h e strands of e m o t i o n . I t is as i f i t s m o t i o n w e r e n o t its o w n at a l l , as i f these hands h a d never s t r u c k those strings w e sing t o , swing lo (as p u p p e t s d o , u n b r o k e n ) as i f we never r e a l l y m e a n t to be so s t r u n g to those sweet p i l c h e s l o v e so frets US to so t a u t l y so n i u t e l y (love's bodies l a i d l i k e h a r p s ! ) a n d t h e n as i f t h e r e never were s t i l l m o r e unspoken, as i f d u m b m i n d d i d never grieve among the woodwinds, as i f its chords d i d never q u i v e r a n y m o r e as i n a b u r i e d m a n d o l n , as i f t h a t love were h a r d l y i n t anymore, or sounded i n i t . ' ' i' : ' , ,i ' ' . , I .' ' ^' ' ' . . : ' ' ' ' r

anymore, or heart hear i t o r l i f e bear i t anymore. Y e t i t does, i t d o e s !

114

116

T O C (After

T O C : A Apollinaire)

C O U P L E

O B S E R V E D

P O U N D

AT

S P O L E T O

I w a l k e d i n t o a loge i n t h e T e a t r o Melisso, t h e l o v e l y Renaissanee salle w h e r e t h e p o e t r y readings a n d t h e c h a m b e r concerts T V i t h o u t closing its w i n g s t h e plae lands its shadow i n m o u r n i n g for itself come d o w n to i t s e l f o n e a r t h Toe toe t h e cloek i n t h e t o w e r c o n t i n e s to cast its shadow onto the airfield Toe toe a n o t h e r s t r o k e of the f e a t h e r strikes a n o t h e r l i n e i n m y face M y shadow i n m o u r n i n g f o r m y self t i e d t o m y feet f a l l s o u t of t h e p l a e h e a d rst ahead of m y fate Toe toe t h e shadows i n t h e gardens of P r e Lachaise d r a w over A p o U i n a i r e ' s t o m h e a u Toe toe t h e flowers o f t h e g a r d e n are f a d e d lose leaves & aeroplanes b l o w away Toe toe a n o t h e r s t r o k e o f t h e f e a t h e r a n o t h e r l i n e i n a face a w o m a n w i t h d r a w s a m a n goes off w i t h his shadow withdrawn into himself Toe toe they both t u r n too late! too late! were h e l d every day of the Spoleto F e s t i v a l , a n d s u d d e n l y saw E z r a P o u n d f o r t h e first t i m e , s t i l l as a m a n d a r i n statue i n a box i n a b a l c o n y at t h e back of t h e t h e a t r e , one t i e r u p f r o m t h e stalls. I t was a shock, seeing o n l y a s t r i k i n g od m a n i n a c u r i o u s pose, t h i n a n d l o n g h a i r c d , a q u i l i n e at 80, h e a d t i l t e d strangely t o one side, lost i n p e r m a n e n t a b s t r a c t i o n . . . . A f t e r t h r e e y o u n g e r poets o n stage, he was seheduled to r e a d f r o m his b o x , a n d t h e r e he sat w i t h an od f r i e n d ( w h o h e l d his p a p e r s ) w a i t i n g . H e r e g a r d e d t h e k n u c k l e s of his hands, m o v i n g t h e m a v e r y l i t t l e , expressionless. O n l y once, w h e n everyone else i n t h e f i i l l t h e a t r e a p p l a t u l e d someone o n stage, d i d he rouse h i m self to c l a p , w i t h o u t l o o k i n g u p , as i f s t i m u l a t e d b y s o u n d i n a v o i d . . . . A f t e r almost an h o u r , his t u r n came. O r a f t e r a l i f e . . . . E v e r y o n e i n t h e h a l l rose, t u r n e d a n d l o o k e d back a n d u p at P o i m d i n his b o o t h , u p p l a u d i n g . T h e applause was p r o l o n g e d a n d P o u n d t r i e d t o rise f r o m his a r m c h a i r . A m i c r o p h o n e was p a r t l y i n t h e w a y . H e grasped t h e arms o f t h e c h a i r w i t h h i s b o n e y h a n d s a n d t r i e d to rise. H e c o u l d n o t a n d he t r i e d a g a i n and could not. His olil friend d i d not t r y to help h i m . F i n a l l y she p u t a p o e m i n his h a n d , a n d a f t e r at least a m i n u t e h i s voice carne o u t . F i r s t the j a w m o v e d a n d t h e n t h e voice came o u t , i n a u d i b l e . A y o i m g I t u l i a n p u l l e d t h e m i k e u p v e r y cise to his face a n d h e l d i t i h e r e and t h e voice came over, f r a i l b u t s t u b b o r n , h i g h e r t h a n 1 h a d expected, a t h i n , soft m o n o t o n e . T h e h a l l h a d gone silent at a stroke. T h e voice k n o c k e d m e d o w n , so soft, so t h i n , so f r a i l , so s t u b b o r n s t i l l . I p u t m y h e a d o n m v arms o n t h e velvet s i l l of t h e box. I was s u r p r i s e d to see a single tear d r o p on m y knee. T h e t h i n , i n d o m i t a b l e voice w e n t o n . I w e n t b l i n d f r o m t h e b o x , t h r o u g h t h e back d o o r o f i t , i n t o t h e e m p t v c o r r i d o r of the t h e a t r e w h e r e t h e y s t i l l sat 116 117

! '

t u r n e d t o h i m , w e n t d o w n a n d o u t , i n t o t h e s u n h g h t , weeping U p ahove t h e t o w n b y t h e ancient a q u e d u c t i ' ' : i t h e chestnut trees ' i were s t i l l i n b l o o m '! :> : ' Mute birds r' ^ ' flew i n t h e v a l l e y far below I ' I . I "I'll ' ; I T h e s u n shone : ' o n t h e chestnut trees a n d t h e leaves t u r n e d i n the sun ' ^ . '! ' and t u r n e d a n d t u r n e d a n d t u r n e d A n d w o i d d continu t u r n i n g H i s voice ;i'
, 1 .ii',.)/, I ,

ON

T H E

T R A N S S I B E R I A N

''>

, '

' '

went on

a n d on

'

, i '. ';

K(.nock. knock on wooden Russia! I a m a w h i t e b i r d d r i l l i n g boles i n t h e w h i t e w o o d o f y o u r snow. ,. T o the w h i t e birches . t h a t s t r e t c h across Siberia . '7.,, f r o m Vladivostok to Blok ' : I give one m o r e k n o c k . W h o w i l l answer t h i s t i m e ? A r e y o u s t i l l t h e r e , poet. A r e y o u s t i l l t h e r e , b r o t h e r , anarchist, A r e you still there, under the plow? These are n o t Chekhov's c h e r i s h e d c h e r r y t h a t f e l l d o w n l o n g ago. T h i s is t h e e t e r n a l aiga n o w t h a t s t i l l stands u p against a l l w i n d s d a r k sears u p o n t h e b a r k .

. ' . s ' . j , - ;

t h r o u g h t h e leaves.

Knock! Knock! Let the r a i l s p l i t t e r t r i i l y awake.

118

R E C I P E

F O R

H A P P I N E S S O R

IN

S A L U T E

K H A B A R O V S Y

A N Y P L A C E X o every a n i m a l w h o eats o r shoots his owQ_.kud-_._ A n d every h u n t e r w i t l i rHes m o u n t e d i n p i c k u p t r u c k s A n d every prvate m a r k s m a n o r m i n u t e m a n ^ w i t h telescopic sight A n d every r e d n e c k n boots w i t h dogs & sawed-off shotguns A n d every Peace Officer w i t h dogs t r a i n e d to t r a c k & J k i l l , ^ A n d every p l a i n c l o t h e s n i a n or i n i d e r c o v e r agent w i t h s h o u l d e r h o l s t e r f u l l of d e a t h ^^'C A n d every servant of t h e people g u n n i n g d o w n people or shootng-to-kll fleeing^felons A n d every G u a r d i a C i v i l i n any c < u n i t ^ y ( ^ l a r d i n ^ c ^ ^ w i t h handcuflt^o^earbines '' A n d every b o r d e r g u a r d at n o m a t t e r w h a t Check P o i n t C h a r l e y o n n o m a t t e r w h i c h side of w h i c h B e r l n W a l l B a m b o o or T o r t i l l a c u r t a i n ; ,/ A n d every e l i t e ) s t a t e t r o o p e r h i g h w a y p a t r o l m a n i n custom* t & i l o r e d riflingpants'/S plstic crash h e l m e t ^ s h o e s t r i n g necktie[^ sixshooter i n silverstudded holster ^ A . t\ A n d every p r o w i c a r w i t h r 0 t g u n s 4 ^ r e n s a n d every r i o t - t a n J f r - C ^ w i t h niace& leargas A n d every crackpot wth r o c k e t s f & j n a p a l m u n d e r w i n g A n d every s k y p i l o t blesh^ngjyuubers t l a k e o f f ^ f'V^Tid~aKy~HateDepartment o f any snperstate s e l l i n g guns T T b o t h sides A n d every N a t i o n a l i s t o f n o m a t t e r w h a t N a t i o n i n n o m a t t e r w h a t w o r h l B l a c k B r o w n or W h i l e w h o klls f o r h i s N a t i o n

One

g r a n d b o u l e v a r d w i t h trees

w i t h one g r a n d eaf i n s u n w i t h s t r o n g b l a c k coffee i n v e r y s m a l l cups O n e n o t necessarily v e r y b e a u t i f u l m a n o r w o m a n w h o loves y o u One fine day

120

121

A n d every p r o p h e t or poet w i t h g u n o r shiv a n d any e n f o r c e r o f s p i r i t u a l e n l i g h t e n m e n t ^ w i t h foree a n d any e n f o r c e F r t K e p o w e r of a n y state w i t h P o w e r _ A n d t o any a n d a l l w h o k i l l & k i l l & k i l l & k i l l f o r Peaee I raise m y m i d d l e finger^ i n t h e o n l y p r o p e r salute

T H I R D

W O R L D

C A L L I N G ! i:

! '

Santa Rita

Prison,

1968

Xhis loud m o r n i n g i . I,"'!.':' ', | > ,1 sensed a s m a l l ery i n ::{ . ' . . i ' . ! ; , . t h e news ' i ' ,,. paper | , c a u g h t somewhere o n ' .,')' ..' a n i n n e r page : ^ - v . . . ' ;v . . ' i 1 I > decide to t r a v e l f o r l u n c h & '! i I , : ' e n d u p i n an a u t o m a l \ W h i t e House C a f e t e r a I looking thru a little window : I I p u t a n i c k l e i n t h e slot I (t i " ; , ' ' a n d o u t comes .','.V;' \; 't ! '' / f r i e d rice Taking a tour i of t h e rest of t h a t h i i i l d i n g .'V'V'J, 1 h e a r a s m a l l ery ' ^ , b e y o n d t h e r i c e paddies . 1.'.' ' between floors whre ' ' ' ' ' t h e escalator sticks I i; a n d r e m e m b e r last n i g h t ' s d r e a m o f ' attending my own funeral at a d r i v e - i n m o r t u a r y ' ):',.'.'. n o t r e a l l y b e l i e v i n g I wus t h a t dead Someone t h r o w i n g rice A l l the windows d r y T i p p e d t h e coffin o p e n & l a u g h e d into it a n d o u t falls od f u n n y f a c e mvseif

the bargain tragedian w i t h a s m a l l ery f o l l o w e d b y s o u n d o f Che Guevara s i n g i n g i n t h e voice o f F i d e l F a r over t h e P e r f u m e R i v e r t h e clouds pass c a r r y i n g s m a l l eries T h e m o n s o o n has set i n t h e w i n d o w s weep I I- ' ' back u p t o the Pentagon o n a flathed t r u c k a n d u n l o a d t h e s m a l l b r o w n bodies fresh f r o m the blasted fields! i' *-.

B A S E B A L L

C A N T O

W a t c l l i n g baseball s i t t i n g i n t h e sun eating popcorn reading Ezra Pound and wishing Juan M a r i c h a l w o u l d h i t a hole right t h r o u g h the Anglo-Saxon t r a d i t i o n i n t h e F i r s t Canto and demolish the h a r b a r i a n invaders W h e n t h e San Francisco G i a n t s take t h e w i t h some I r i s h tenor's voice p i p e d over t h e loudspeakers w i t h a l l t h e players s t r u c k d e a d i n t h e i r places a n d t h e w h i t e u m p i r e s l i k e I r i s h eops i n t h e i r b l a c k suits a n d l i t t l e b l a e k caps pressed over t h e i r hearts standing straight and still l i k e at some f u n e r a l o f a b l a r n e y b a r t e n d e r a n d a l l f a c i n g East as i f e x p e c t i n g some G r e a t W h i t e H o p e or the F o u n d i n g Fathers to appear o n t h e h o r i z o n l i k e 1066 or 1776 or a l l t h a t B u t W i l l i e M a y s appears i n s t e a d i n t h e b o t t o m of t h e a n d a r o a r goes u p as he clouts t h e first one i n t o t h e sun a n d takes off l i k e a f o o t r u n n e r f r o m Thebes first * > ^ ' field '

a n d e v e r y b o d y stands u p t o t h e N a t i o n a l A n t h e m

125

T h e b a l l is lost i n t h e sun a n d niaidens w a i l u f l e r h i m h n t he keeps r i m n i n g t h r o u g h the Anglo-Saxon epie A n d T i t o Fuentes eomes u p looking like a bullfighter i n his t i g h t pants a n d s m a l l p o i n t e d shoes A n d the r i g h t f i e l d bleachers go m a d w i t h chicanos & hlacks & B r o o k l y n h e e r d r i n k e r s "Sweet T i t o ! Sock i t to h e e m , Sweet T i t o ! " A n d Sweet T i t o pnts his f o o t i n the b n c k e t a n d smacks one that d o n ' t come h a c k at a l l a n d flees a r o u n d the bases l i k e he's escaping f r o m the U n i t e d F r u i t C o m p a n y as the g r i n g o d o l l a r beats out the P o i m d a n d Sweet T i t o heats i t o u t l i k e he's b e a t i n g o u t u s u r y n o t to m e n t i o n fascism a n d a n t i - s e m i t i s m A n d J u a n M a r i c h a l comes u p as J u a n helts the frst fast b a l l o u t o f sight and r o u n d s first a n d keeps going a n d r o u n d s second a n d r o u n d s t h i r d a n d keeps g o i n g and hits pay-dirt t o the roars of the g r i n i g v populace As some n u t presses the hackstage panic b u t t o n f o r the lape-recorded N a t i o n a l A n t h e m again to save the s i t u a t i o n ' 'i ' i, f;: ' ; .r ' i ' , " .

b u t i t d o n ' t stop n o b o d y t h i s t i m e i n t h e i r r e v o l u t i o n r o u n d the loaded w h i t e b i n t h i s last o f the great A n g l o - S a x o n epics i n the Territorio Libre of baseball

a n d the c h i c a n o bleachers go loco again

126

L A U G H I N G

&

C R Y I N G

I l a u g h a n d ery w i t h mask o f tears a n d l a u g h i n g face I l a u g h a n d ery t o h e a r m e say w h a t I a m saying M y l a u g h i n g face a n d mask of tears

I l a u g h t o h e a r m e say w h a t I a m s a y i n g W a l k i n g i n m y cave o f flesh T h e r e m u s t be a place T h e r e m u s t be a place W h e r e a l l is l i g h t

makes m e l a u g h a n d ery t o h e a r me sing w h a t I a m saying I l a u g h to hear me say w h a t I a m saying F o r t h e r e n u i s l be a place O Rama m u s t be a place Audiart O Audiart w h e r e a l l is l i g h t d a n c i n g Shiva dear o n e Y o u r face flies t h r o u g h t h e sky 1 l a u g h t o say w h a t I a m saying E a c h of us a l a m p a spirit-lamp a luntern burning a l a m p a place b e y o n d a t u r n i n g w h e r e a l l is l i g h t

128

129

1^

,.

N I G H T

L I G H T from ght, night Death's t r u e self, Death's second self B l a c k is n i y t r u e love's h a i r Y e t a l l , a l l is d e s p a i r Black night, black light Death's t r u e self B l a c k , b l a e k , b l a c k is n i y t r u e love's h a i r A n d a l l , a l l is d e s p a i r
i', ,

Who Are We Now 1976

Night, night Death's second self w h e r e a l l is e m p t y , a l l is despair I, A l l gone, a l l d o w n A l l , a l l despair A n d grey is m y t r u e love's h a i r Y e t sun bursts f o r t h u p o n t h e l a n d A n d a butterfly lights i n i t upon my hand A n d l i g h t s these songs a n d l i g h t s these songs i n air

130

D I R E C T O R

O F

A L I E N A T I O N

i j o o k i n g i n t h e m i r r o r s at Macy's and t h i n k i n g it's a subterranean plot to make me feel l i k e C h a p l i n snuek i n w i t h his b e n t shoes & b e a t b o w l e r l o o k i n g f o r a f a i r - h a i r e d ngel Who's this burn c r e p t i n o f f t h e streets h l i n k i n g i n the nen a n anarchist among the a strike-breaker even r i g h t past t h e p i c k e t a > a n d t h e p i c k e t l i n e is t h e People y e t ? I t h i n k n i book a new derby w i t h my cae and p u t a sign on i t reading Director of AJienation or T h e Real R e v o l u t i o n So it's M i s t e r A l i e u a t i o n is i t like he don't like nobody? I t ' s n o t m e I t ' s T h e m o u t o f step I came i n l o o k i n g f o r a n ngel male or female d a r k or f a i r b u t w h y does everyone l o o k so serious o r u n h a p p y l i k e as i f everyone's a l i e n a t e d f r o m s o m e t h i n g o r someone f r o m t h e w h o l e e a r t h even and t h e green l a n d among ihe loud indignant birds M y l a n d is y o u r l a n d b u t ' a l l is c h a n g e d , changed u t t e r l y ' floorwaikers

L o o k at t h i s a l i e n face i n t h i s elevator m i r r o r T h e Tele-teetor scans m e H e looks p a r a n o i d B e t t e r get h i m o u t h e f o r e he starts t r y i n g o n t h e u n d e r w e a r K e e p y o u r filthy m i t t s offa I b e t t e r s t i c k t o the escalators T o o m a n y n y l o n ladies i n t h e l i f t s too m a n y t w o - w a y m i r r o r s I came i n l o o k i n g f o r a n ngel a m o n g the a l i e n c o r n I m i g h t get c a u g h t fingering the lingerie f e e l i n g u p the m a n i k i n s House dicks a f t e r m e W h e r e ' s y o u r c r e d i t cards " T l i e y ' l l find the hole i n m y sock i n the Shoe D e p a r t m e n t T h e f u U - l e n g t h m i r r o r s a l l designed to make you look y o u r worst so y o u ' l l get r e a l depressed a n d t h r o w off y o u r od clothes a n d b u y n e w duds o n the spot W e l l I ' l l take t h e m at t h e i r w o r d T h e y asked f o r i t O f f w i l h these g r i m g y threads a n d slide d o w n t h e escalators bare-asa S l i p b e t w e e n the on-sale sheets i n t o the on-sale b e d f e e l i n g f o r a n ngel i n i t T r y t h i s n e w flush t o i l e t a n d the p o r t a b l e s h o w e r e m e r g i n g f r o m t h e b a t h i n s o m e t h i n g sexy i n t o a store w i n d o w a m o n g the C o q u e t t e W i g s b y Eva G a b o r

a n d freeze i n one of t h e wigs w h e n the K e y s t o n e Cops come r u n n i n g I came i n l o o k i n g f o r a n ngel > . passion eyes a n d l o n g i n g h a i r i n m i r r o r s made of water B u t what's this wrack of c i v i l i z a t i o n IVe fallen into T h i s m u s t be t i i e e n d o f s o m e t h i n g t h e last days of somebody's e m p i r e Seven floors o f i t f r o m W o m e n ' s W e a r to Men's F u r n i s h i n g s Lost souls descending t h r u Dante's seven eircles Ladies l i k e bees avarieious clustered at counters I d o n ' t w a n t to j o i n t h e m e i t h e r Always the Outsider What a drag W h y d o n ' t y o u get w i t h i t It's your eountry W h a t a clich this Outsider a real bore B u t is t h e r e a n y o n e l e f t i n s i d e i n t h i s year o f the b o r i n g B i c e n t e n n i a l Indians alienated Artists alienated A l l these poets a l i e n a t e d Parents husbands wives a l i e n a t e d K i d s alienated Even billionaires alienated h i d i n g o u t i n f o r e i g n countries D o n ' t let t h e m t e l l y o u d i f f e r e n t w i t h t h e i r flags and t h e i r grants So B u y B u y B u y a n d get I n s i d e Get a l o a d a t h i s j u n k

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w i t h t h e C r e d i t D e p a r t m e n t o n t h e t o p floor w h e r e s u r e l y some r e v e l a t i o n is at h a n d Consume y o u r w a y u p u n t i l you're consumed by i t at the very t o p ' ' w h e r e s u r e l y a t e r r i b l e b e a u t y is b o r n T h e n j u m p off the r o o f o d a r k of h a i r o R u t h among the alien corn w a v i n g plstic j e w e l s a n d genitals >' i ' ' - ;

a n d bass p l a y e r s float away o n t h e i r i n s t r u m e n t a e h i t e h i n g t h e m hlc lovers h o r i z o n t a l Chicago's L o o p becomes a r o l l e r e o a s t e r Sky scrapei's i i l l e t l l i k e w a t e r glasses Great Lakes m i x e d w i t h B u d d h i s t b r i n e Great Books w a t e r e d d o w n i n K v a n s t o n M i l w a u k e e beer t o p p e d w i t h sea f o a m B e a u F l e u v e o f BuiTalo s u d d e n l y beeome salt M a n h a t t a n I s l a n d swept clean i n sixteen seconds b u r i e d masts o f N e w A m s t e r d a m arise as t h e great wave sweeps o n E a s t w a r d l o wash away over-agc C a m e m b e r t E u r o p e M a n n a h a t l a s t e a m i n g i n sea-vines t h e washed l a n d awakes again to wilderness t h e o n l y sound a vast t h r u m m i n g o f c r i c k e t s a ery o f seabirds h i g h over i n empty eternity as t h e H u d s o n retakes its t h i c k e t s a n d i n d i a n s r e c l a i m t h e i r eanoes

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as i f to h i s c o m r a d e o r l o v e r who crawled a quarter-inch toward h i m and t h e n hunehed u p into a very small f u r r y ball a n d was s t i l l and w o u l d n o t m o v e again As a l l at once o u t s i d e the hive h u m m e d louder w i t h a m i l l i o n m i l d conformists w i t h w i l d antennas b e n t N o t one flew o u t to w a k e t h e dead N o measenger was sent , i ^

I didn't mean to k i l l t h e m b u t t h e one i n t h e w i n d o w w o u l d n ' t be w a v e d b a c k to his h i v e T h e d o o r was o p e n a n d h e k n e w i t a n d flew i n i t f o r a m o m e n t !; i;' j a n d t h e n flew b a c k away f r o m bis c o m m u n i t y a n d h e w o u l d n o t go b a c k o r was i t p e r h a p s i t h e w o u n d e d one o n t h e b e d who kept h i m I t r i e d t o get h i m t o f a s t e n o n t o , I , a c r u m p l e d page of t h e l o c a l news b u t he w o u l d n o t A n d I m u s t have h u r t h i m d o i n g t h a t for he f e l l on the bed a n d d i e d i n an i n s t a n t s t r e t c h i n g o u t his legs o r arms v ' > . .,

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A - n d I heard the learned astronomer whose a m e was H e i n r i c h O l b e r s s p e a k i n g to us across t l i e centuries a b o u t h o w he observed w i t h n a k e d eye h o w i n t h e sky t h e r e were some f e w stars cise u p a n d t h e f u r t h e r away he l o o k e d the m o r e of t h e m t i i e r e w e r e w i t h i n f i n i t e n u n i b e r s of clusters of stars i n m y r i a d M i l k y Ways & m y r i a d nebulae So t h a t f r o m t h i s w e m a y deduce t h a t i n t h e i n f i n i t e distances t h e r e m u s t be a place t h e r e must be a place w l i e r e a l l is l i g h t and t h a t t h e l i g h t f r o m t h a t h i g h place w h e r e a l l is l i g h t s i m p l y hasn't got here y e t w h i c h is w h y we s t i l l have n i g h t B u l w h e n at last t l i a t Hght a r r i v e s w h e n at last i t does get here t h e p a r t of day w e n o w c a l i N i g h t w i l l have a w l i i t e sky w i t h l i t t l e b l a c k dots i n i t l i t t l e b l a c k holes w l i e r e once were stars A n d then i n that symbolic so p o e t i c place w h i c h w i l l be ours w e ' l l be o u r o w n t r u e shadows and our o w n i l l u m i n a t i o n o n a sunset e a r t h 146

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L i f e itself l i k e c h a m p i o n s h i p chess d a r k players j o u s t i n g o n a c l i e c k e r e d field where y o u have only so m u c h t i m e ; , to c o m p l e t e y o u r moves all the time and i f y o u take i ', .i > ! ; , too m u c h t i m e for one m o v e y o u have t h a t m u c h less f o r t h e rest : of y o u r l i f e ^ i>, , , dark or f a i r ( w h i c h m a y o r m a y n o t be ' l i f e itself) b u g g i n g y o u w i t h his deep eyes o r ohscenely w i g g l i n g his crazy eyebrows o r b l o w i n g snioke i n y o u r face o r crossing a n d recrossing his legs o r h e r legs or otherwise screwing around a n d a c t i n g l i k e some i n s o l e n t i n v u l n e r a b l e u n b e a t a b l e god w h o can r e a d y o u r m i n d & h e a r t A n d one hasty m o v e may r u i n you . ' for you must play deep chess ( l i k e t h e one deep game Spassky w o n f r o m F i s h e r ) 148 : '.[ ' ' ' . , ,

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B u t w h e n t l i e y stole a w a y w i t h N e r u d a ' s o w n letters o u t o f his m a i l b o x at I s l a N e g r a t h e y were i n fact stealing b a c k their o w n Canto General w h i c h he h a d o r i g i n a l l y g a t h e r e d from them w i t h t h e i r o m n i v e r o u s & ecstatic sweeping visin B u t n o w t h a t N e r u d a is dead n o m o r e such letters are w r i t t e n a n d t h e y m u s t p l a y i t h y ear a g a i n t h e h i g h great song i n t h e h e a r t o f o u r b l o o d & silence

letters o u t o f m a i l b o x e s w h i c h t h e y w o u l d l i k e t o sean f o r v a r i o u s reasons S h a l l I e n u m r a t e t h e reasons? T h e y are q u i t e clear even g i v e n t h e silence o f b i r d s o n t h e sub j e c t (except w h e n t h e y speak o f i t a m o n g themselves b e t w e e n cries) First of a l l t h e y steal t h e letters because t h e y sense t h a t t h e G e n e r a l Song o f t h e w o r d s of everyone h i d d e n i n these l e t t e r s m u s t c e r t a i n l y bear t h e keys t o t h e h e a r t i t s e l f of h u m a n i t y w h i c h t h e b i r d s themselves have never b e e n able t o f a t h o m ( i n fact e n t e r t a i n i n g m u c h d o u b t t h a t t h e r e a c t u a l l y are hearts i n h u m a n s ) A n d t h e n these b i r d s have a f u r t h e r f e e l i n g ( , t h a t t h e i r o w n general song m i g h t s o m e h o w be e n r i c h e d b y these strange cries of h u m a n s f W h a t a w e i r d b i r d - b r a i n idea that our titterings might enlighten them)

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1 w o r k on margins. Yours. A w o m a n raises h e r head h i g h e r t h a n anyone. I am the Little W o m a n . I ' m the Tender W a r r i o r w h o votes l i k e h e r h u s b a n d . W h o t o o k m y hreasts. A final figure rises, c a r r y i n g a l l t h e clubs. Stop o r I ' l l shoot a h o l e - i n - o n e . I ' m t h e C h i e f o f A l l P l i c e . I eat meat. W e k n o w the enemy, Y o u better believe i t , W e ' r e w a t c h i n g a l l y o u p a r a n o i d s . G o ahead & l a u g h . Y o u ' r e a l l i n t h e c o m p u t e r . W e ' v e got a l l y o u r n u m b e r s . E x c e p t one i m i d e n t i f i e d flying asshole. O n t h e r a d a r sereen. Some d u m b b i r d , E v e r y t i m e I shoot i t d o w n i t rises.

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X l i e p h o e n i x flies h i g h e r & h i g h e r ahove e i g h t elegant p e o p l e o n a g o l f eourse w h o have t h e i r heads s t u c k i n t h e sands of a b i g t r a p O n e m a n raises his h e a d a n d shouts I a m President of E a r t h . I rule. Y o u elected m e , h e h - h e h . F o r e ! .' A second m a n raises his h e a d . I a m K i n g o f t h e Car. T h e car is m y w e a p o n . 1 d r i v e a l l b e f o r e m e . Y e s h a l l have n o o t h e r gods. Watch out. I ' m coming through. A t h i r d raises his h e a d o u t o f t h e sand. I r u n a religin. I am your s p i r i t u a l head. Never m i n d w h i c h religin. I drive a long ball. Bow down and putt. A f o u r t h raises his h e a d i n t h e b u n k e r . I a m t h e G e n e r a l . I have t a n k s t o c o n q u e r deserts. A n d m y t a n k shall not want, I ' m thirsty. W e play RoUerball. I love Arabs. A ffth raises his h e a d a n d opens his m o u t h , 1 a m Y o u r Master's V o i c e , I r u l e n e w s p r i n t . I r u l e a irwa v e s , l o n g & s h o r t , W e b e n d minds. W e make reality to order, M i n d Fuek Incorporated. A s i x t h m a n raises his g o l d b a l d h e a d . I ' m your friendly multinational banker. I c h e w cigars r o l l e d w i t h p e t r o - d o l l a r s . W e ' r e above n a t i o n s . W e c o n t r o l t h e c o n t r o l . I ' l l eat y o u a l l i n t h e e n d . 154

155

P O P U L I S T

M A N I F E S T O

x o e t s , come o u t o f y o u r closets, Open y o u r w i n d o w s , open y o u r doors, Y o u have been h o l e d - u p t o o l o n g ,> i n y o u r closed w o r l d s . C o m e d o w n , come d o w n w i ' M : f r o m y o u r Russian Hls and T e l e g r a p h H i l l s , y o u r Beacon H i l l s a n d y o u r C h a p e l H i l l s , y o u r M o u n t A n a l o g u e s a n d Montparnasses, d o w n f r o m y o u r f o o t h i l l s and m o u n t a i n s , o u t o f y o u r tepees and domes. T h e trees are s t i l l f a l l i n g a n d w e ' l l to t h e woods n o m o r e . N o time now for sitting i n them A s m a n b u r n s d o w n his o w n house to roast his p i g . N o more chanting Har Krishna while Rome burns. San Francisco's b u r n i n g , M a y a k o v s k y ' s Moscow's b u r n i n g t h e fossil-fuels o f l i f e . N i g h t & t h e H o r s e approaehes e a t i n g l i g h t , lieat & p o w e r , and t h e clouds have trousers. N o t i m e now f o r the artist to h i d e above, b e y o n d , b e h i n d t h e seenes, n d i f e r e n t , p a r i n g his fngernals, refning h i m s e l f o u t o f existence. N o t i m e n o w f o r o u r l i t t l e l i t e r a r y games, n o t i m e n o w f o r o u r paranoias & h y p o c h o n d r i a s , no t i m e now for fear & l o a t h i n g , time now only for l i g h t & love. ; ' , . , ': -sw ,i

W e have seen the hest m i n d s o f o u r g e n e r a t i o n destroyed b y b o r e d o n i at p o e t r y readings. P o e t r y i s n ' t a secret society, I t isn't a t e m p l e e i t h e r . Secret w o r d s & chants w o n ' t d o any l o n g e r . T h e h o u r of o m i n g is over, t h e t i m e f o r k e e n i n g come, time for keening & rejoicing over t h e c o m i n g e n d of i n d u s t r i a l c i v i l i z a t i o n ' w h i c h is b a d f o r e a r t h & M a n . T i m e n o w t o face o u t w a r d i n the f u l l lotus position w i t h eyes w i d e o p e n . T i m e now to open y o u r mouths w i t h a n e w o p e n speech, ' , , ' ' ' '

t i m e n o w t o c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h a l l sentient beings, A l l y o u *Poet8 of t h e C i t i e s ' h u n g i n museums, i n e l u d i n g m y s e l f , A l l y o u poet's poets w r i t i n g p o e t r y about poetry, A l l y o u p o e t r y w o r k s h o p poets i n t h e b o o n d o c k h e a r t of A m e r i c a , A l l y o u l i o u s e - b r o k e n E z r a Pounds, A l l y o u f a r - o u t f r e a k e d - o u t c u t - u p poets, A l l y o u pre-stressed Concrete poets, A l l y o u c u n n i l i n g u a l poets, A l l y o u p a y - t o i l e t poets g r o a n i n g w i t h grafRtti, A l l y o u A - t r a i n swingers w h o never s w i n g o n b i r c h e s , A l l y o u masters o f t h e s a w m i l l h a i k u i n t h e Siberias o f A m e r i c a , A l l y o u eyeless u n r e a l i s t s , A l l y o u s e l f - o c c u l t i n g supersurrealists, A l l y o u b e d r o o m visionaries a n d closet a g i t p r o p a g a t o r s , ' . " ' . " f ' r '

156

A l l y o u G r o u c h o M a r x i s t poets a n d leisure-class C o m r a d e s w h o l i e a r o u n d a l l day and t a l k ahout the workingclass proletariat, A l l y o u C a t h o l i c anarchists o f p o e t r y , A l l y o u B l a c k M o u n t a i n e e r s of p o e t r y , A l l y o u B o s t o n B r a h m i n s and B o l i n a s b u c o l i c e , A l l y o u den mothers of poetry, A l l y o u zen b r o t h e r s of p o e t r y , A l l y o u s u i c i d e lovers o f p o e t r y , A I I y o u h a i r y professors of poesie, A l l y o u p o e t r y reviewers d r i n k i n g t h e b l o o d of t h e p o e t , A l l y o u Poetry Plice W h e r e are W h i t m a n ' s w i l d c h i l d r e n , w h e r e t h e great voices s p e a k i n g o u t w i t h a sense o f sweetness a n d s u b l i m i t y , w h e r e t h e great n e w visin, t h e great w o r l d - v i e w , t h e h i g h p r o p h e t i c song of the immense earth a n d a l l t h a t sings i n i t A n d o u r r e l a t i o n to i t Poets, descend t o t h e street of t h e w o r l d once m o r e A n d o p e n y o u r m i n d s & eyes w i t h t h e od v i s u a l d e l i g h t , C l e a r y o u r t l i r o a t a n d speak u p , P o e t r y is d e a d , l o n g l i v e p o e t r y w i t h t e r r i b l e eyes a n d b u f f a l o s t r e n g t h . Don't wait f o r the Revolution or i t ' l l happen w i t h o u t y o u . Stop m u m b l i n g a n d speak o u t w i t h a new wide-open poetry w i t h a new commousensual ' p u b l i e surface' 158

w i t h o t h e r s u b j e c t i v e levis o r o t h e r subversive levis, a t u n i n g f o r k i n t h e i n n e r ear to s t r i k e b e l o w t h e surface. O f y o u r o w n sweet Self s t i l l s i n g yet u t t e r ' t h e w o r d en-masse' Poetry the common carrier f o r t h e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n of t h e p u b l i e to h i g h e r places t h a n o t h e r wheels can c a r r y i t . P o e t r y s t i l l f a l l s f r o m t h e skies i n t o o u r streets s t i l l o p e n . T h e y haven't p u t u p the barricades, yet, t h e streets s t i l l a l i v e w i t h faces, lovely men & women still w a l k i n g there, s t i l l l o v e l y creatures e v e r y w h e r e , i n t h e eyes o f a l l t h e secret of a l l still b u r i e d there, W h i t m a n ' s w i l d c h i l d r e n s t i l l sleeping t h e r e , A w a k e and w a l k i n the open air.

from

Northwest Ecolog 1978

V-, '.1
^

T H E

O L D SAILORS

O n the green r i v e r b a n k age late fifties 1 a m beginning to remind myself o f my great Unele Dsir in the V i r g i n Islands O n a Saint T h o m a s baek beach he lived w h e n I last saw h i m i n a sm al l shack ,,, ; under the palms E i g h t y years od s t r a i g h t as a V i k i n g (where the D a n s once landed) he stood l o o k i n g o u t over t h e flat sea blue eyes or grey w i t h t h e sea i n t h e m salt u p o n his lashes were always sea wanderers N o salt here n o w by t h e great r i v e r i n t h e h i g h desert range Od sailors stranded ; t h e steelhead |i I ; t h e y t o o lost w i t h o u t i t leap u p a n d die

jL63

te

WILD

LIFE

CAMEO,

EARLY

MORN

^ '^

READING T H E

APOLLINAIRE RIVER

BY

B y t h e great r i v e r Deschutes o n t h e m e a d o w b a n k greenaward Bun j u s t h i t t i n g the h i g h bluffs stone ehffs sculpted high away across t h e r i v e r A t t h e f o o t o f a steep b r o w n slope a mile away six w h i t e - t a i l deer f o u r y o u n g bucks w i t h branehed antlers and t w o s m a l l does mute in eternity drinking the river t h e n i n real t i m e raising heads a n d c l i m b i n g u p a n d up a steep f a i n t switchback i n t o f u l l sun I b r i n g t h e m cise i n t h e binoculars as i n a r o u n d carneo T h e r e is a hollow bole i n a tree one looks i n t o One b y one t h e y d r i n k silence (the t w o does last) one b y one c l i m b up so c a l m over the r i m o f the c a n y o n a n d w i t h o u t l o o k i n g back disa])pear forever L i k e c e r t a i n people 164 i n m v life

ROGUE

Reading A p o l l i n a i r e here s i t t i n g crosslegged on sleepingbag & poncho i n the shadow o f a huge h i l l before t h e sun clears i t W o k e u p early o n t h e shore and heard the r i v e r shushing (like the sound a snake m i g h t m a k e slidingover riprap i f y o u m a g n i f i e d the sound) M v head s t i l l d o w n u p o n the g r o u n d one eye w i t h o u t perspective sees the stream sliding by t h r o u g h the sand as i n a desert landscape L i k e a huge green watersnake w i t h w h i t e water m a r k i n g s the r i v e r slithers b v and where the c a n y o n turns and t h e r i v e r drops f r o m sight seems like a snake about to disappear d o w n a deep hole I n d i a n s made t h e i r m y t h s o f this great watersnake slid d o w n f r o m m o u n t a i n s far a w a y A n d I see the Roguc for real as the I n d i a n s saw h i m the Rogue a l l w i l d w h i t e w a t e r a cold-blouded creature d r o w n i n g and dousing the Rogue ruler o f the l a n d transforming i t at will w i t h a w i l l o f its o w n

a creature t o be feared a n d respected p i l l a g i n g its w a y to the sea w i t h great g r a v i t y s l i l l r u l e d by that g r a v i t y w h i c h s t i l l rules a l l so t h a t we m i g h t almost say G r a v i t y is G o d . , -.^^ , , , /i

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m a n i f e s t i n g H i m s e l f , , ;; as G r e a t G o d Sun w h o w i l l one day m a k e H i m s e l f uto a b l a c k hole i n space w h o w i l l one day i m p l o d e H i m s e l f into Nothing A l l o f w h i c h the s l i t h e r i n g Rogue knows n o t h i n g o f . i in its hcadlong '
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T h e horses the horses the w i l d horses at d a w n ; ^^->^s i n a watercolor b y B e n Shahn ' ' t h e y are alive i n the h i g h meadow ^ i n the h i g h e o u n t r y o n the far^mesaV v" y o u can see t h e m galloping ^ ^ , O you can see t h e m s n o r t i n g you can hear t h e i r t h u n d e r d i s t a n t l y y o u can hear the s m a l l t h u n d e r o f t h e i r small hooves nsistently

. ' , ;,'..[

b l i n d rush t o the sea ; ,^ ,';, , vil ,, A n d t h o u g h its head ; ,,. , ^ , , ^ is already being eaten , , b y t h a t m o s t cruel and c h u r n i n g ,,, monsterOcean i , i i V. the t a i l o f the snake ' , ; , ,'. ,',^' knowsitnot v ,,;!., and contines t u r n i n g & t u r n i n g . i., ^ t o w a r d its final hole , < , . and t o w a r d t h a t final black hole i n t o w h i c h all somQ da\' w i l l be sucked b u r n i n g ;, , i,,! v , i , ^

As i sit reading a F r e n c h p o e t '| whose most famous poem is a b o u t the r i v e r t h a t runs t h r o u g h the c i t y I , t a k i n g t i m e & life & lovers w i t h i t A n d none r e t u r n i n g ': . ! ; ^ none r e t u r n i n g

ttlu

I N T O

T H E

D E E P E R

P O O L S

I p u t o n t h e d i v i n g mask a n d w e n t d o w n / A f e w feet h e l o w t h e surface a f e w m i n n o w s r i r c l e d m e / A l i t t l e f u r t h e r d o w n a few s m a l l t r o u t no m o r e t h a n t h r e e inches / 1 l i e motionless j u s t b e l o w t h e surface a n d search t h e deepest p a r t o f t h e p o o l / T h e r e at t h e v e r y b o t t o m b e t w e e n b o u l d e r s / i n t h e v e r y deepest h o l e / 1 s u d d e n l y spy h i m / a h u g e f a t grey speckled t r o u t / perhaps e i g h t p o u n d s / p e r f e c t l y s t i l l against t h e grey roeks / H e w o u l d have b e e n i n v i s i b l e f r o m t h e surface / a n d i n v i s i b l e w i t h o u t t h e mask / T h e n s u d d e n l y I see a n o t h e r f a t speckled t r o u t / n o t q u i t e as b i g / q u i t e cise t o t h e first / almost l i k e h i s shadow / o r h e r shadow / t h i s one t o o p e r f e c t l y motionless / as i f n o t even b r e a t h i n g / t h o u g h t h e s w i f t s t r e a m p o u r e d b y above i t / S u m m e r of t h e great d r o u g h t / and t h i s t h e o n l y deep p o o l l e f t / t h e stream i t s e l f s h r u n k to a w i d t l i of t w e n t y feet / T h e p o o l i s o l a t e d b y r a p i d s at each end / Last season t h e t w o fish m u s t have m a d e i t u p t h i s f a r / t h e n t h e stream s h r u n k s t i l l m o r e / a n d h e r e t h e y were caught / i n t h e s h r i n k i n g h o l e / w h e r e t h e y l a y m o t i o n less / w a i t i n g / t r a p p e d / t h e i r w o r l d s h r i n k i n g a n d s h r i n k i n g / S t i l l t h e y l i e at t h e b o t t o m / v e r y s t i l l / conserving w h a t t h e y ' v e got / F i s h e r m e n d o n ' t have d i v i n g m a s k s a n d never see t h e m d o w n t h e r e and pasa o n q u i c k l y / aa w e d i v e d o w n again & again / and see t h e fish i n t h e i r steady-state o f m e d i t a t i o n / a final yoga d i s c i p l i n e / w h i c h c o u l d go o n u n t i l t h e r e is n o w a t e r at a l l l e f t i n t h e stream / T h e n w e m i g h t find t h e m / s t i l l i n s w i m m i n g p o a i t i o n / fins e x t e n d e d / m o u t h s l i g h t i y oj)en / eyes h a l f closed / O r s t i l l l a t e r we m i g h t find t h e i r skeletons i n t a c t / i n t h e same p o s i t i o n s / b a k e d i n t h e firey sun / l i k e B u d d h i s t m o n k s b u r n e d a l i v e i n l o t u s p o s i tions / O r s t i l l m u c h l a t e r a n o t h e r age m i g h t discover / t w o fossil skeletons / i m p r i n t e d o n t h e b o u l d e r s / at t h e v e r y b o t t o m o f t h e c r y p t / as evidence o f some f o r m e r strange 168

f o r m / o f a t h i n g called L i f e / A n d i f w e stayed o n h e r e w i t h t h e m / w a i t i n g & w a i t i n g / t h a t l a t e r age / m i g h t also n o t b e able to i m a g i n e one b o y and his f a t h e r fishing / b y t h i s stream /' t h o u g h o u r t w o r o u n d s k u l l s be f o u n d / w i t h t h e fishes / Y e t seeing n o w t h e b e a u t y o f those fish / d o w n t h e r e b e l o w t h e surface / so s t i l l a n d l o v e l y / i n t h e i r deep d r e a m / d a p p l e d i n t h e i r last deep p o o l / W e fish n o l o n g e r / t u r n / a n d go o n / i n t o t h e deeper pools / o f o u r o w n l i v e s .

169

ROUGH

SONG

OF

ANIMALS

DYING

I n a dream w i t h i n a dream I dreamt a dream o f the r e a l i t y o f existenee inside t h e u l t i m a t e c o m p u t e r ,,',' ' ^ r w h i c h is the universe J 'v, V''i',\.;''!'.'i':'\ii i n w h i c h the A r r o w of T i m e , ;i : > ;' j 'y^'i^. i,' flies b o t h ways ':';> '('/'' v :).''/ ''I t h r o u g h bent space I n a dream w i t h i n a dream I dreamt a dream of a l l t h e animis d y i n g ^ ' ' all animal everywhere ' ' ^ ' dying & dying ' ' t h e w i l d animis t h e longhaired animis winged animis feathered animis clawed & scaled & f u r r y animis rutting & dying & dying T:' ' I n a d r e a m w i t h i n a d r e a m I d r e a m t a dream o f creatures everywhere d y i n g o u t i n s h r i n k i n g rainforests i' ,! i n p i n e y woods & h i g h sierras | on s h r i n k i n g prairies & t u m b l e w e e d mesas c a p t u r e d beaten s t r a p p e d starved & stunned cornered & t r a d e d , species n o t m e a n t t o be nomadic '; w a n d e r i n g rootless as m a n I n a dream w i t h i n a dream I dreamt a dream o f a l l t h e animis c r y i n g o u t i n t h e i r h i d d e n places > '< ; '. K;' i i; i n the s t i l l silent places l e f t to t h e m slinking away & crawling about t h r o u g h the last w i l d places t h r o u g h the dense u n d e r b r u s h t h e last Great T h i c k e t s beyond the mountains ^j-, ,' , ,' ; ' ,/ , ' ' ' , ' ; ' ' ' '

erisscrossed w i t h switchbacks b e y o n d t h e marshes i, b e y o n d t h e plains & fences (the West w o n w i t h b a r b e d - w i r e machines) in the high eountry ; : in the low eountry ,' ;,r . i'.'^i'; ;,.. , crisscrossed w i t h h i g h w a y s I n a dream w i t h i n a dream I dreamt a dream o f h o w t h e y feed & r u t & r u n & hide I n a d r e a m w i t h i n a d r e a m I saw how t h e seis are beaten on the ice-fields i * / , j

the soft w h i t e f u r r y seis w i t h eggshell skulls t h e Great Green t u r t i e s beaten & eaten exotic birds n e t t e d & caged & tethered K , ^ ;i rare w i l d beasts & strange reptiles & w e i r d woozoos h u n t e d d o w n for zoos by bearded blackmarketeers who afterwards ride a r o u n d Singapore i n G e r m n limousines I n a d r e a m w i t h i n a d r e a m I d r e a m t a dream o f the e a r t h beating u p & d r y i n g o u t i n the famous Greenhouse Effect under its canopy o f carbn dioxide breathed o u t b v a b i l l i o n infernal combustin engines m i x e d w i t h the sweet smell o f b u r n i n g flesh I n a dream w i t h i n a dream I dreamt a dream o f animis c a l l i n g t o each other i n codes we never u n d e r s t a n d T h e seal and steer ery o u t i n the same voice ' i -'

as t h e y are clubbed i n Chicago stockyards & N e w f o u n d l a n d snowfields I t is t h e same ery T h e wounds never heal

170

171

; r : 'W '

t e

i n t h e c o m m o n w e a l o f animis W e steal t h e i r lives i t o feed our o w n a n d w i t h t h e i r lives our dreams are sown I n a dream w i t h i n a dream I dreamt a dream OI t h e d a i l y scrimmage for existence i n t h e w i n d - u p m o d e l o f t h e universe t h e s p i n n i n g meat-wheel w o r l d i n w h i c h I was a fish w h o eats his t a i l i n w h i c h I was a claw u p o n a beach i n w h i c h 1 was a snake u p o n a tree i n w h i c h T was a serpent's egg a y i n - y a n g y o l k o f good and e v i l a b o u t t o consume itself '

f r o m .

Landscapes of L i v i n g & D y i n g 1979

172

T H E

O L D

I T A L I A N S

D Y I N G

years the od I t a l i a n s have been d y i n g a l l over A m e r i c a F o r years the od I t a l i a n a i n faded felt hats have been s u n n i n g themselves a n d d y i n g Y o u have seen t h e m o n the benehes i n the p a r k i n W a s h i n g t o n Square the od I t a l i a n s i n t h e i r blaek h i g h b u t t o n shoes the od m e n i n t h e i r od felt fedoras w i t h stalned hatbands have been d y i n g a n d d y i n g day b y day Y o u have seen t h e m | every d a y i n W a s h i n g t o n Square San P'rancisco theslowbell tolls i n the m o r n i n g i n the C h u r e h of Peter & Paul i n the m a r z i p a n c h u r c h o n the plaza t o w a r d ten i n the m o r n i n g the slow bell tolls i n the towers o f Peter S Paul a n d the od men w h o are s t i l l alive sit s u n n i n g themselves i n a r o w , , o n the w o o d benehes i n the p a r k a n d w a t c h the processions i n an o u t . funerais i n the m o r n i n g weddings i n the a f t e r n o o n slow bell i n the m o r n i n g Fast bell at noon Tn one door o u t the other the od m e n sit there i n their hats a n d w a t c h the c o m i n g & going Y o u have seen t h e m . the ones w h o feed the pigeons , c u t t i n g the stale bread w i t h their thumbs & phtnives

the ones w i t h od pocketwatches t h e od ones w i t h gnarled hands and w i l d eyebrows the ones w i t h the baggy pants w i t h b o t h bett & suspenders the grappa d r i n k e r s w i t h t e e t h like c o r n the Piemontesi t h e Genovesi the Sicilianos smelling o f garlic & pepperonia t h e ones w h o loved M u s s o l i n i the od fascists t h e ones w h o loved G a r i b a l d i t h e od anarchists r e a d i n g UVmanita Nova t h e ones w h o loved Sacco 8L V a n z e t t i T h e y are almost all gone now T h e y are s i t t i n g a n d w a i t i n g t h e i r t u r n and s u n n i n g themselves i n f r o n t o f the c h u r c h over t h e doors o f w h i c h is inscribed a phrase w h i c h w o u l d seem t o be unfinished f r o m D a n t e ' s Paradiso about the glory o f t h e One w h o moves e v e r y t h i n g . . . T h e od men are w a i t i n g for i t t o be finished for t h e i r glorious sentence o n e a r t h t o be finished the slow bell tolls & tolls t h e pigeons s t r u t a b o u t not even t h i n k i n g o f flying the air t o o heavy w i t h heavy t o l l i n g T h e black h i r e d bearses d r a w u p the black limousines w i t h black windowshades shielding the widows the widows w i t h the long black veils who w i l l o u t l i v e t h e m a l l Y o u have seen t h e m

madre di trra, madre di mare T h e w i d o w s c l i m b o u t of t h e limousines T h e f a m i l y m o u r n e r s step o u t i n stiff suits T h e widows w a l k so s l o w l y u p the steps o f the c a t h e d r a l fishnet veils d r a w n d o w n leaning h a r d o n d a r k c l o t h arms T h e i r faces do n o t fall a p a r t T h e y are m e r e l y d r a w n a p a r t T h e y are still the m a t r i a r c h s o u t l i v i n g everyone t h e od dagos d y i n g o u t i n L i t t l e I t a i v s a l l over A m e r i c a t h e od dead dagos hauled o u t i n the m o r n i n g sun t h a t does n o t m o u r n for anyone One b y one Y e a r b y year they are carried o u t T h e bell never stops t o l l i n g T h e od I t a l i a n s w i t h lapstrake faces are hauled o u t o f the hcarses by the p a i d pallbearcrs in mafioso m o u r n i n g coats & d a r k glasses T h e od dead m e n are hauled o u t in their black coflins like small skiffs T h e y enter the t r u c c h u r c h for the first t i m e i n m a n y years in these carved black boats readv to be ferried over T h e priests scurry about as i f t o cast off the lines T h e other od m e n still alive on the benehes w a t c h i t a l l w i t h their hats on

t e

Y o u have seen t h e m s i t t i n g there '^ ,,,;,iWaiting for the bocei h a l l to stop roHing '''*t w a i t i n g for the bell to stop t o l l i n g & t o l l i n g for the slow bell
' : . . . i ' ,

T H E AT

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AND ANN

O U R S E L V E S ' '

y^'^

t o be finished t o l l i n g t e l l i n g the unfnished Paradiso s t o r y as seen n an unfnished phrase r .v .' on the faee o f a c h u r c h as seen i n a fsherman's face , J; i n a b l a c k b o a t w i t h o u t sails '*v'i.:'' ^ i ' - ' ' m a k i n g his final h a u l , ^ , /(i ; ' ;> :

VjawCawCaw on a far shingle l o n g ago w h e n as a boy I came here p u t ear t o shell

> ; , . ,' , ! - "

of the t h u n d e r i n g sea Bunderingsea seagulls h i g h over I calling & calling back t h e n , i; ' ! at Cape A n n Gloucester W h e r e Olson saw himself I s h m a e l and w r o t e his o w n e p i t a p h : ,i > * I set o u t n o w in a box u p o n the sea' A n d Creeley f o u n d his crec y e t w o u l d n o t / ed. n o t speak o f the sea A n d F e r r i n i took the w i n d ' s clothes a n d became the conscience o f Gloucester Y e t none c o u l d breathe '. V , a soul i n t o the sea A n d I saw the t i d e pools gasping the Bca's m o u t h r o a r i n g I (, polyphoboistrous b e y o n d the T e n Pound L i g h t ',..,,'; roistering off f a r i s l a n d s

Where E l i o t heard i the sea's stark m e d i t a t i o n i , i ' ' off fceaupor Gloucester

178

W h e r e I as a m a n m u c h later made a l a n d f a l l i n t h e g l o a m i n g s i g h t i n g f r o m seaward i n c o n v o y h e y o n d t h e gulls' far off t a t t e r e d cries cats'cries lost reached t o us ' i n shredded enatches T h e n as n o w Eliot must have been a seaman in his c i t y - s o u l t o have heard so deeply the sea's voice sounding then i n ' T h e D r y Salvages' Here now where n o w is the sea's urge s t i l l sea's surge a n d t h u n d e r except w i t h i n us folded under b y the beach r o a d now r a p t i n darkness T h e sea still a great door never opened great ships asunder clinker-built bottoms nets h u n g w i t h c o r k hulls heavy w i t h c a u i k i n g W h i l e s t i l l t h e Nor'easter blows still t h e h i g h tides ! seethe & sweep shorcward b a t t e r t h e breakwaters t h e granite harbors rock villages L a n d ' s E n d lashed again i n ' t h e sudden f u r y '

A n d s t i l l t h e stoned gulls soaring over crying & calling & crying blissed-out u p there i n t h e d a r k e n i n g air over t h e r u n n i n g sea theruningsea over d a r k stone beach under stars Where n o w we s i t 'distracted f r o m d i s t r a c t i o n ' s t i l l Odyssey t u r n e d t o Iliad i n p a r k e d cars

'

y'
A S W E E T F L Y I N G D R E A M A f t e r a long w a y a n d a long while We were t w o naked light-headed dandelions w i t h n a t u r a l hair b l o w n o u t floating h i g h over the landscape b l o w n b y zephyr winds our l o n g legs d a n g l i n g straight d o w n translucent dandelion stems i n a n a r c h e t y p a l p r i m o r d i a l dream of Sweet hills & waters flowed below us as we floated h i g h over lakes & rivers & w i n d b l o w n peaks We drifted w a f t e d easily We flew wingless F u l l o f air our hair j buoyed us , : ; We t r a i l e d our s l i m legs in streams o f silver air There was n o t h i n g blowing US down oraway f r o m each other 182 And ' we landed so q u i e t l y sank so gently t o the b r i g h t soft ground A n d lay i n the l i g h t flowerless fields j;'. .;,,,, As we d r i f t e d lower & lower the earth came u p to us so softly ! i flying we glided d o w n I lower & lower in great swinging eircles , ; T h e sea the l a p p i n g sea roseup and we were o v e r d r y gold l a n d , , cise u p a n d 11 I was a f r a i d y o u w o u l d come against the ground too h a r d a n d I reached d o w n and took y o u r t w o extended hands in mine and held y o u below me like t h a t floating

TWO TWO

S C A V E N G E R S B E A U T I F U L

IN

T R U C K , IN A

as i f they were w a t c h i n g some odorless T V ad i n w h i c h e v e r y t h i n g is always possible A n d the v e r y red l i g h t for a n i n s t a n t h o l d i n g a l l f o u r cise together as i f a n y t h i n g a t a l l were possible between t h e m across t h a t grcat gulf in t h e h i g h seas of thisdeniorracv

P E O P L E

M E R C E D E S

. A . t t h e stopHght w a i t i n g f o r t h e Hght N i n e A . M . d o w n t o w n San Franeisco a b r i g h t yellow garba ge t r u c k w i t h t w o garbagemen i n red plstic blazers s t a n d i n g o n the back stoop one on each side h a n g i n g o n and l o o k i n g d o w n i n t o an elegant open Mercedes w i t h an elegant couple i n i t The man i n a h i p three-piece l i n e n s u i t w i t h shoulder-length b l o n d hair & sunglasses T h e v o u n g b l o n d w o m a n so casuallv coifed w i t h a short s k i r t a n d colored stockings on the w a y to his architcct's office A n d t h e t w o seavengers u p since F o u r A . M . g r u n g y f r o m their r o u t e on t h e w a y home T h e oider o f t h e t w o w i t h grey i r o n hair and hunehed back l o o k i n g d o w n like some gargoyle Quasimodo A n d the younger o f the t w o also w i t h simglasses & l o n g h a i r a b o u t the same age as the Mercedes d r i v e r A n d b o t h seavengers gazing d o w n as f r o m a great distance at the cool couple 184

185

THE

B I L L B O A R D

P A I N T E R S

i ;

the left h a l f still blank w h i t e o n w h i t e as i f , , t h e other h a l f o f t h e w o r l d h a d s t i l l t o be p r o v i d e d f o r ;"' or as i f God s l i g h t i y less o m n i p o t e n t ii . ' , even he or she was I ;, ; .! I,' .' 1 , ' !; :: i n o t so c e r t a i n a n y m o r e i t was such a good idea after 1 , "('' all t o have these t w o so-white A l l A m e r i c a n
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white-overalled white-capped , signpainters high Hcaffold suspended o n the huge blboard '"'.';; beside t h e eievated freeway p a i n t i n g a snapshot landseape o f a S o u t h Sea island beach
i

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w i t h a jet strip and hotels l o o k i n g l i k e t h e v*' ; ^, . ' ' , ' i ; ii; ' ' , , : i, ' "' ' ', .I.' American, ,'""^W^^'^'"''' romn e m p i r e where t h e y had l o advertise n o w i n order t o fill those f a n c y ^ ' "'i wateringplaces w i t h retired billboard painterswho

over t h e m y r i a d flashing cars i n ' ,' ' ' !ii '. , I t h e m i d d l e o f San Francisco Justiceand next t o t h e H a l l o f q u e s t i o n m a r k
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a l l - w h i t e painters s t r u c k motionless w i t h arms a n d paintbrushes raised , , '''' h a l f w a y t h r u the with ^ '"landscape

belonged t o t h e unin a n d got themselves a n d t h e i r wives a l l these beneftslike 187

the r i g h t h a l f p a i n t e d a n d

te.

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S o u t h Sea island t r i p s after w o r k i n g a l l their lives i n u n t r o p i c a l plaees like San Francisco which Sir Francis D r a k e f o u n d a n d w r o t e back t o the head o f kis empire saying he had j u s t discovered a real unspoiled n a t i v e paradise a n d if they hurried and p u t u p b i l l b o a r d s back home t h e y m i g h t j u s t be able t o set u p a colony o u t here w i t h ...

H O M E

H O M E

H O M E

s w i m m i n g pools a n d even m a y b e m a k e a p o t o f gold or a killing and die h a p p y i n < a beachchair ' ; '; r very far \m home

h ere are t h e y going all these b r a v e i n t r e p i d animis F u r a n d flesh i n Steel cabinets o n wheels high-tailing i t F o u r P M F r i d a y freeway over t h e h i d d e n l a n d San Francisco's b u r n i n g w i t h t h e late sun i n a million windows T h e four-wheeled animis are l e a v i n g i t t o b u r n T h e y ' r e escaping almost flying h o m e t o the nest h o m e t o t h e w a r m caves i n t h e h i d d e n hills & valleys home t o d a d d y home to m a m a home t o the l i t t l e wonders home t o the p o t p l a n t s b e h i n d the garage T h e cars the p a i n t e d cabinets streak for home home home THRU TRAFFIC MERGE LEFT home to the h i d d e n t u r n i n g the h i d d e n y e a r n i n g home t o San J o s home t o Santa Cruz & M o n t e r e y home t o H a m i l t o n A v e n u e home to the Safeway t h e safest w a y YIELD LEFT LAE MUST T U R N LEFT

188

T^

n-

h o m e t o t h e h t t l e grey home i n t h e West home t o C r a n d d a d d y on the golfcourse home t o Unele IVed p u t t e r i n g i n the toolshed , ,, i h a v i n g lost his pants , ; i o n t h e stock exehange . ,, h o m e to b i g sister w h o lost her w a y n encounter groups h o m e l o the 9 7 - l b housewife d r i v i n g t w o tons o f e h r o m e & Steel ' three blocks t o the s u p e r m a r k e t t o b u y a package o f baby pins home to l i t t l e sister blusbing w i t h boyfriends i i n the l a u n d r y r o o m home to k i d b r o t h e r w i t h skateboards & A d i d a s home t o m a d Unele bulding C B radios i n h i d d e n bunkers home to b a c k y a r d barbecues w i t h aerospace neighbors M r . Wiison's c o m i n g over T h e Hendersons w i l l a l l be there H o m e to H i d d e n V^alley where the w l d o w w a i t s b y t h e Cross o n the m o u n t a i n where hangs the t r u e madness home to Santa's Village / V': 'i i ' j : , fi ; ;,. i. , : , <'. 1 1 \ , ' ,

stooped over artichokes home home over the h o r i z o n where t h e sun s t i l l blows i n t o the sea h o m e t o B i g Sur ^ ! > and the garden o f delights a n d t h e oranges o f H i e r o n y m o u s Bosch the sun still sets ;'. i ( i n lavender skies H o m e sweet home the salesman sighs home safe a t home i n the b a t h r o o m safe w i t h the washingmachine & dishwasher safe w i t h the waterheater safe w i t h the k i t c h e n d o c k tick tick t h e t i m e is n o t yet :i : t h e a l a r m is set .>:' Z^' safe at last in the douhle bed , h i d d e n f r o m each other i n the d a r k bed b y the w i n d i n g stair t h e enchanted place i n the s t i l l air h i d d e n each f r o m each or t h e queensize bed the kingsize bed t h e waterbed w i t h the v i b r a t o r w i t h the n y l o n n y m p h o in i t t h e bed of roses t h e bed w i t h B i g E m m a i n it w i t h the stoncd-out Angel i n i t ( M o u n t a i n s o f flesh H i l l s o f l i i p s A thighs R o l l i n g landscapes o f h e a v i n g m e a t Groans & moans & cries!) " H o m e t o the bed we made a n d m u s t lie in , '!,', i . ,

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WILUDIVIDKTOSUIT GAS F O O D L O D G I N G N E X T R I G H T home to where the food is home to W a t s o n v i l l e home to Salinas ' past the Grapes o f W r a t h past U n i t e d F a r n i w o r k e r a (; ' > ; , ,; ' ', , - ;

I ^ :

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w i t h *whoever' Or home to t h e bed s t i l l t o be made o f ragas & visions t h e bed whose f o r m is pur l i g h t { a n d u n h e a r d melodies d a r k despairs & i nc ho a t e ecstasiea longings o u t o f reaeh) W h o to decipher t h e m w h o answer t h e m singing each t o each? H i d d e n f r o m themselves T h e beds are w a r m w i t h t h e m T h e springs q u a k e o n t h e San Andreas F a u l t T h e dark l a n d broods L o o k i n m y eye, look i n m y eye t h e cvclope t v cries I t b l i n k s and rolls i t s glassy eye a n d shakes its v a c u u m head over t h e shaken bodies i n the bed .

SAN

J O S E

S Y M P H O N Y

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{Flagrante

delicio)

T h e b a l d m a n i n p l a i d p l a y i n g the h a r p s i c h o r d stopped sh or t a n d sidled over t o t h e sideboard a n d copped a piece o f M o k a o n a silver pate and slid back a n d started p l a v i n g again some k i n d of H u n g a r i a n rhapsodate w h i l e t h e l a d v w i t h the green eyeshades leaned over h i m e x u d i n g admiration & lust ITalf notes danced & t u m b l e d o u t of his i n s t r u m e n t e x u d i n g a f a i n t odor of chocolate cake i n t h e crner I was t a k i n g a course i n musical d e s t r u c t i o n f r o m t h e d a r k ladv eellisl w h o b en t over me w i t h her bow unsheathcd and proceeded t o saw me i n h a l f As a consequencc m \s fell r i g h t off revealing a b a d l y bent t r o m b o n e w h i c h even the first flutist w h o h a d perfect e m b o u c h u r e eouldn't straighten out

192

W H I T E

ON

W H I T E

' d u m b pawns in black-and-white kingdoms' A n ngel stands o n a s t a t i o n p l a t f o r m slowly shaking its gossamer wings , ' i , ( , A w h i t e horse comes alone f r o m a t o r n village E v e r y w h e r e a r o u n d the e a r t h on s t a t i o n p l a t f o r m s t h e y are s t i l l p u t t i n g up the placards A'^f i.', ' , '.r-, , : i, i , ^J^\1 ,' , , If'! .iin pasaran Go back W r o n g w a y W h i t e search lights search the sky T h e gun turrets t u r n on the od W a l l s , T h e ngel slowly moves its wings b r e a t h i n g the l i g h t w h i t e air T h e e a r t h hreathes a n d tremblee w i t h i t T h e governed w i l l be governed L i b e r t y is n o t freedom Eros versus c i v i l i z a t i o n
f,:;,

T
X o d a y I ' l ! write white on white wear n o t h i n g b u t w h i t e drink nothing but white eat n o t h i n g b u t w h i t e A n d I w o u l d be t h a t eea-ereature .:':>',; w h o eats l i g h t s t r a i n i n g the ocean f o r its phosphorous F o r present t i m e is a ' w h i t e d o t ' i n space a n d w h i t e is the sand i n the hourglass runningout W h i t e dunes of A f r i c a running through it Snows o f Siberia sifting through i t T h e seas w h i t e w i t h sperm under the w h i t e m o o n where a l u m i n u m stars wheel a b o u t noiselessly
i ^ ^ v . ^/,l:v^^
w,,.

i ;

'

No Way w i t h o u t a pass I t is snowing w h i t e documents The very rich get richer s t i l l A w h i t e gloved hand s t i l l reaches o u t the w i n d o w for the money i n the cup L i b e r t y is n o t free T h e ngel stands on the edge o f the s t a t i o n p l a t f o r m

over q u i v e r i n g e a r t h w i t h its w h i t e whales w h i t e phagocytes w h i t e bleached skulls and albino animis (Blacks bleached o u t i n t o w h i t e men?)

. ;,'[,,,,, ;,:,;' 1 ,

i1 / y,./ ' ':['

' v ' 'i ^

, , . '

A n d to dream of w h i t e s t r i n g , a s y m b o l of innocence T h o u g h the color o f d e a t h be w h i t e A n d the w o r l d eheekered w i t h d e a t h while-on-biack & black-on-white 194

slowly m o v i n g i t s large w h i t e wings w h i c h look t o o frage t o l i f t the b o d y o f being w h i c h s t i l l hreathes anarchist a i r A n d the t r a i n t h e t r a i n made o f n o t h i n g b u t boxcars j a m m e d w i t h three b i l l i o n people s t i l l stands i n the s t a t i o n t r e m b l i n g A n d w h i t e phoenixes arise o u t o f pin smoke A n d the ' w h i t e sphinx of chance' s t i l l holds its tongue o n t h e desert roads o f the f u t u r e

AN

E L E G Y

TO

D I S P E L

G L O O M

.0' and Supervisor

(After the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone Harvey Milk in San francisco, November, 1978)

L e ?t U S n o t sit u p o n t h e g r o u n d
and tell sad stories o f the deat h of s a n i t y . T w o h u m a n s m a d e o f flesh are meshed i n deat h and n o more need be said. \ I t is pur v a n i t y t o t h i n k t h a t all h u m a n i t y be b a t h e d i n r e d , ^ because one y o u n g m a d m a n one so b ad m a n lost his head. > T h e forc t h a t t h r o u g h t h e red fuze drove t h e b u l l e t does n o t d r i v e everyone t h r o u g h the C i t v o f Saint Francis where there's a breathless hush i n the a i r t o d a y ' a hush a t C i t y H a l l and a hush a t the H a l l o f Justiee a hush i n Saint Francis W o o d where no b i r d tries t o s i n g a hush o n the Great H i g h w a y and i n the great harbor u p o n the great ships and on t h e E m b a r c a d e r o f r o m the M i s s i o n Rock Resort t o the Eagle Cafe

197

a hush o n the great red bridge a n d o n the great grey bridge a hush i n the Outer M i s s i o n and at I l u n t e r ' s Point a hush at a h o t p o t a t o stand on Pier 39 and a hush at the People's T e m p l e where no b i r d tries its wings a hush and a weeping at the C o n v e n t of the Sacred H e a r t on Upper B r o a d w a y a hush u p o n the fleshpots of Lower Broadway '

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So.tWhHa.sfPe sons o f Lorca & R i m b a u d or t h e i r d a r k daughters poets o f another b r e a t h poets o f another visin W h o a m o n g y o u still speaks o f r e v o l u t i o n W h o a m o n g v o u s t i l l unscrews the iocks f r o m the doors i n this revisionist deeade? ' Y o n are President o f y o u r o w n b o d y , A m e r i c a ' T h u s spoke K u s h i n T e p o t z l a n youngblood w i l d h a i r e d ngel poet one o f a spa w n o f w i l d poets i n the image o f Alien Ginsberg w a n d e r i n g the wilds of A m e r i c a * Y o u R i m b a u d s o f another b r e a t h ' sang K u s h a n d wandered off w i t h his o w n p a r t i c u l a r paranoias maddened like most poets for one m a d reason or another i n the unmade bed of the w o r l d Sons o f W h i t m a n in your 'public solitude' b o u n d b y blood-duende 'President o f y o u r o w n body A m e r i c a ' T a k e i t back f r o m those w h o have maddened y o u back f r o m those w h o stole i t and steal i t d a i l y T h e subjective m u s t take back the w o r l d f r o m the ohjcctive gorillas & guerrillas of the w o r l d We m u s t r e j o i n somehow

a pall u p o n the p u n k roek at M a b u h a y Gardens a n d u p o n the cafes a n d bookstores o f od N o r t h Beach a hush u p o n the landscape o f the s t i l l w i l d West where t w o sweet dudes are dead and no more need be said. D o n o t sit u p o n the g r o u n d and speak o f other senseless murderings or worse disasters w a i t i n g i n the wings D o n o t sit u p o n the g r o u n d and l a l k o f the death o f things beyond these sad sad happcnings. Such m e n as these do rise above our worst iniaginings.

t h e animis i n the fields i n t h e i r steady-state m e d i t a t i o n ' Y o u r life is i n y o u r o w n hands s t i l l M a k e i t flower m a k e i t sing' (so sang m a d K u s h i n T e p o t z l a n ) < , 'a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l congress o f t h e b o d y ' s t i l l t o be convened t o seizecontrol of the State . ; ' ' the subjective state r, ' i from those w h o have subverted i t ' T h e arab telephone o f t h e avant-garde S has b r o k e n d o w n ,ii . A n d I speak t o y o u now f r o m another e o u n t r y 1 D o n o t t u r n away i n your p u b l i c solitudes y o u poets o f other visions of t h e seprate lonesome visions u n t a m e d uncornered visions i '' ;' ! ^ ,i 11 > ' '

i n M i d d l e A m e r i c a or San Francisco the death o f the d r e a m i n y o u r b i r t h 0 m e l t i n g p o t America 1 speak to y o u f r o m another e o u n t r y another k i n d of h l o o d - l e t t i n g l a n d f r o m T e p o t z l a n the poets' l a n ' L a n d o f the L o r d o f t h e D a w n L a n d o f the P l u m e d Serpent I signal t o y o u as A r t a u d signaled t h r o u g h the ames 'v .' : .

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fierce recalcitrant visions. i'... . ., y o u W h i t m a n s of another b r e a t h w h i c h is n o t the too-cool b r e a t h of m o d e r n p o e t r y w h i c h is n o t the halitosis o f i n d u s t r i a l c i v i l i z a t i o n L i s t e n now Listen again to the song i n the b l o o d the d a r k duende a d a r k sin between the tickings of c i v i l i z a t i o n : - ,' ' between the lines of its headlines i n t h e silences between cars //H: 'I d r i v e n l i k e weapons -'h ' I n t w o h u n d r e d years o f freedom
r'i;iV"'.

the stars retake t h e i r sky T h e sea thunders s t i l l t o r e m i n d v o u o f the t h u n d e r i n the blood t o r e m i n d y o u o f v o u r selves ; T h i n k now o f v o u r self as o f a difitant ship ' ' i ' .

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we have i n v e n t e d the p e r m a n e n t a l i e n a t i o n o f the subjective almost every t r u l y Creative being , alienated & e x p a t r i a t e d i n his o w n e o u n t r y

T h i n k now of vour beloved o f t h e eyes o f y o u r beloved 201

whoever s most beloved he w h o held y o u h a r d i n the d a r k or she w h o washed her h a i r b y t h e w a t e r f a l l whoever makes the heart p o u n d the b l o o d p o u n d L i s t e n saya the r i v e r L i s t e n says the sea W i t h i n y o u y o u w i t h y o u r prvate visions o f another r e a l i t y a seprate r e a l i t y L i s t e n a n d s t u d y the eharts of l i m e Read the sanskrit o f ants i n the sand Y o u W h i t m a n s of another b r e a t h there is no one else to tell how the alienated generations have l i v e d o u t their expatrate visions here a n d evervwhere T h e od generations have l i v e d t h e m o u t L i v e d o u t the bobemian m y t h i n Greenwieh Villages L i v e d o u t the l l e m i n g w a y m y t h in The Sun Also Rises at the D o m e i n Paris or w i t h the bulls a t P a m p l o n a L i v e d o u t the l l e n r y M i l l e r m y t h in the Tropics of Paris a n d the great Greek dream o f The Cotossus of Maroussi and the t r o p i c dream of (auguin I_,ived out the D . I I . Lawrence m y t h i n The Plumed Serpent in M x i c o Lake Chpala A n d the M a l c o l m L o w r y m \h Under the Volcano a t Cuernavaca A n d then the saga of On the Road and the l o b D v l a n m \h B l o w i n g i n the H o w m a n y roads m u s t a m a n w a l k d o w n ind

H o w m a n y N e a l Cassadys o n lost r a i l r o a d tracks H o w m a n y replicas o f W o o d y G u t h r i e w i t h cracked g u i t a r s H o w m a n v photocopies o f longhaired Joan H o w m a n y Ginsberg facsimiles a n d carbon-copy Keseys s t i l l w a n d e r i n g the streets o f A m e r i c a in od tennis shoes a n d backpacks or d r i v i n g beat-up school buses w i t h destination-signs r e a d i n g ' F u r t h e r ' H o w m a n y B u d d h i s t Catholics h o w m a n y cantors c h a n t i n g the Great I ' a r a m i t a Sutra o n the L o w e r East Side H o w m a n y W h o l e E a r t h Catalogs lost i n out-houses on N e w Mxico communes H o w m a n y P u n k Rockers w a v i n g swastikas Franco is dead b u t so is Picasso C h a p l i n is dead b u l I ' d wear his bowler h a v i n g o u t l i v e d a l l our m y t h s b u t his the m y t h o f the purc subjective the collective subjective t h e L i t t l e M a n i n each o f us w a i t i n g w i t h C h a r l o t or Pozzo O n every crner I see t h e m h i d d e n inside t h e i r t i g h t clean clothes T h e i r hats are n o t derbys t h e y have no canes b u t we k n o w t h e m we have always waited w i t h them T h e y t u r n and l u t c h their pants and walk away f r o m us d o w n the d a r k e n i n g road i n the great A m e r i r a n n i g h t

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207

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I a m t h i m i b i n g t h r o i i f i h a great a n t h o l o g y o f c o n t e m p o r a r y p o e t r y , and i t w o u l d seem t h a t " t h e voice t h a t is great w i t h i n U8" sounds w i t h i n us m o s t l y i n a prose voice, a l b e i t i n t h e t y p o g r a p h y o f p o e t r y . W h i c h is n o t to say i t is prosaie or has no depths, w h i c h is n o t to say i t is dead o r d y i n g , or n o t lovely or not b e a u t i f u l or not w e l l w r i t t e n or not w i t t y and brave. I t is v e r y m u c h a l i v e , v e r y w e l l w r i t t e n , l o v e l y , l i v e l y proseprose t h a t stands w i t h o u t the crutches o f p i m c t u a t i o n , prose whose syntax is so clear i t can be w r i t t e n a l l over t h e page, i n open f o r m s and o p e n fields, a n d s t i l l be v e r y clear, v e r y dear prose. A n d i n the t y p o g r a p h y o f p o e t r y , the poetic and t h e prosaie i n t e l l e c t m a s q u e r a d e i n each other's clothes. W a l k i n g t h r o u g h o u r prose b u i l d i n g s i n t h e 21st c e n t u r y , one m a y l o o k baek a n d w o n d e r at t h i s strange age w h i c h a l l o w e d p o e t r y to w a l k i n ])rose r h y t h m s a n d s t i l l ealled i t p o e t r y . M o d e r n p o e t r y is prose because i t sounds as s u b d u e d as any c i t y m a n o r w o m a n whose l i f e f o r c is s u b m e r g e d i n u r b a n l i f e . M o d e r n p o e t r y is prose because i t has no duende, d a r k s p i r i t o f e a r t h and b l o o d , n o soul o f d a r k song, no passion m u s i e k . L i k e m o d e r n s c u l p t u r e , i t loves t h e concrete. L i k e m i n i m a l art, i t minimizes emotion i n favor of understated i r o n y and i n q j l i e d i n t e n s i t y . As such i t is t h e p e r f e c t p o e t r y f o r t e c h n o c r a t i e m a n . B u t h o w o f t e n does t h i s p o e t r y rise above the m e a n sea l e v e l o f his s p a r k l i n g p l a i n ? E z r a P o u n d once decanted his o p i n i n t h a t o n l y i n t i m e s o f decadence does p o e t r y seprate i t s e l f f r o m n m s i c . A n d t h i s is t h e w a y t h e w o r l d ends, n o t w i t h a song b u t a w h i m p e r . Eighty or ninety to h u m , almost (as c e r t a i n l y began t o machines. A n d c i t y 208 years ago, w h e n a l l the machines began i t seemed) i n unisn, the speech o f m a n be affected b y the absolute staccato o f j>oetry c e r t a i n l y eehoed i t . W h i t m a n was

a h o l d o v e r , s i n g i n g the song o f h i m s e l f . A n d S a n d b u r g a h o l d o v e r , s i n g i n g his sagas. A n d V a c h e l L i n d s a y a h o l d o v e r , d r u m m i n g his chants. A n d l a t e r t h e r e was W a l l a c e Stevens w i t h his h a r m o n i o u s " f i c t i v e m u s i c . " A n d t h e r e was L a n g s t o n H u g h e s . A n d A l i e n G i n s b e r g , c h a n t i n g his m a n t r a s , s i n g i n g B l a k e . T h e r e s t i l l are otliers e v e r y w h e r e , jazz i>oets a n d poetic s t r u m m e r s a n d wailers i n t h e streets of t h e w o r l d , m a k i n g poetry out of the urgent insurgent N o w , of the i m m e d i a t e i n s t a n t self, t h e i n c a r n a t e c a r n a l self {as D . H . L a w r e n c e called i t l . B u t m u c h p o e t r y was caught u p i n t h e l i n o l y p e ' s h o t slug a n d n o w i n the so cold t y p e o f I B M . N o song a m o n g t h e typists, no song i n o u r concrete a r c h i t e c t u r e , o u r concrete music. A n d t h e n i g h t i n g a l e s m a y s t i l l be s i n g i n g near t h e C o n v e n t o f t h e Sacred H e a r t , b u t we can h a r d l y h e a r t h e m i n t h e c i t y waste lands of T . S. E l i o t , o r i n bis Four Quartets ( w h i c h can't be p l a y e d o n any i n s t r u m e n t a n d yet is t h e most b e a u t i f u l prose o f o u r t i m e ) . o r i n t h e prose wastes o f E z r a Pound's Cantos w h i c h aren't canti because t h e y c a n ' t b e sung b y anyone. o r i n t h e p a n g o l i n prose o f M a r i a n n e M o o r e ( w h o ealled h e r w r i t i n g p o e t r y f o r l a c k of a n y t h i n g b e t t e r to c a l i i t ) . o r i n t h e great prose b l a n k verse o f K a r l Shapiro's Essay on Rime, or i n t h e i n n e r c i t y speech o f W i l l i a m Carlos W i l l i a m s , i n the fat-out speech o f his Paterson. A l l o f w h i c h is a p p l a u d e d b y p o e t r y professors a n d p o e t r y reviewers i n a l l t h e best places, n o n e of w h o m w i l l c o m m i t t h e o r i g i n a l s i n o f saying some poet's p o e t r y is prose i n the t y p o g r a p h y of p o e t r y j u s t as t h e poet's f r i e n d s w i l l n e v e r t e l l h i m , j u s t as t h e poet's editors w i l l never say i t t h e d u m h e s t conspiracy o f silence i n t h e h i s t o r y o f letters. M o s t m o d e r n p o e t r y is poetic prose b u t i t is saying p l e n t y , b y its o w n e x a m p l e , about w h a t d e a t h o f t h e s p i r i t o u r techn o c r a t i e c i v i l i z a t i o n m a y be d e a l i n g us, enmeshed i n m a c h i n e s and m a c h o n a t i o n a l i s m s , w h i l e we c o n t i n u l o n g i n g f o r t h e n i g h t i n g a l e a m o n g t h e pines o f R e s p i g h i . I t is t h e b i r d singi n g t h a t makes us h a p p y .

209

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L I F E

E n d i e s s the splendid l i f e of the w o r l d Endiess its l o v e l y l i v i n g a n d b r e a t h i n g its l o v e l y sentient beings seeing a n d b e a r i n g f e e l i n g a n d t h i n k i n g l a u g h i n g and d a n c i n g s i g h i n g a n d c r y i n g t h r o u g h endiess afternoons endiess n i g h t s o f l o v e and ecstasy j o y a n d despair d r i n k i n g and d o p i n g t a l k i n g a n d s i n g i n g i n endiess A m s t e r d a m s o f existence w i t h endiess l i v e l y conversations over endiess cups o f coffee i n l i t e r a r y cafes o n r a i n y m o r n i n g s Endiess street movies passing i n cars a n d t r a m s of desire o n t h e endiess tracks of l i g h t A n d endiess l o n g h a i r d a n c i n g to airless p u n k r o c k and a i r h e a d disco through M i l k y Way midnights t o t h e Paradisos o f d a w n t a l k i n g a n d s m o k i n g and t h i n k i n g o f e v e r y t h i n g endiess at n i g h t i n t h e w h i t e of n i g h t t h e l i g h t o f n i g h t A h yes o h yes t h e endiess l i v i n g a n d l o v i n g h a t i n g a n d l o v i n g k i s s i n g and k i l l i n g Endiess t h e t i c k i n g b r e a t h i n g b r e e d i n g meat-wheel of l i f e t u r n i n g on and on t h r o u g h t i m e ; Endiess l i f e and endiess d e a t h endiess a i r a n d endiess b r e a t h Endiess w o r l d s w i t h o u t end o f days i n a u t u m n capitals t h e i r avenues o f leaves ablaze 210

Endiess dreams a n d sleep u n r a v e l l i n g t h e k n i t t e d sleeves o f care the labyrinths of t h o u g h t t h e labyrves o f l o v e t h e coils o f desire a n d l o n g i n g m y r i a d endgames of t h e u n n a m e a b l e Endiess t h e heavens o n fire endiess universe s p u n o u t W o r l d upon a musliroom pyre Endiess t h e fire t h a t hreathes i n us t a t t o o d fire-eaters d a n c i n g i n plazas s w a l l o w i n g flaming gasoline a i r Brave the beating heart of flaming l i f e its b e a t i n g a n d pulsings a n d flame-outs Endiess t h e o p e n fields o f t h e senses t h e s m e l l of lust a n d love t h e c a l l i n g a n d c a l l i n g o f cats i n h e a t t h e i r scent o f m u s t o f m u s k N o end to t h e sound o f t h e m a k i n g o f l o v e to t h e sound o f b e d springs c r e a k i n g to t h e m o a n o f lovers m a k i n g i t h e a r d t h r o u g h t h e w a l l at n i g h t N o e n d to t h e i r groans o f ecstasy moans o f t h e last lost c l i m a x the sound of j u k e b o x j u m p i n g t h e flow o f jass and g y z m j i v e d i n Paradiso A n d t h e n t h e endiess a t t e m p t s to escape t h e nausee o f Sartre t h e b a l d h i l l s of b u r n e d o u t sensation joie de vivre i n despair boatloada o f e n l i g h t e n m e n t ships of merde afloat by Charon's m o a t greeds hysterias paranoias p o l l u t i o n s a n d perversions Endiess Vhomme revolt

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i n t h e a n o n y m o u s face o f d e a t h i n t h e tracks o f t h e m o n s t e r state Endiess his a n a r c h i s t visions endiess his a l i e n a t i o n endiess his a l i e n a t e d p o e t r y gadfly of t h e state B e a r e r o f Eros Endiess t h e sound o f t h i s l i f e o f m a n o n e a r t h his endiess r a d i o broadcasts a n d t v transmissions newspajiers r o l l i n g off endiess r o l l s o n r o t a r y presses t h e flow o f his w o r d s and images o n endiess t y p e w r i t e r r i b b o n s a n d tapes , :, ' > a u t o m a t i r w r i t i n g s and scrawlings endiess poe/ncs /i'ct b y t h e u n k n o w n Endiess t h e c a l l i n g o n telephones to ends o f e a r t h t h e w a i t i n g o f lovers o n s t a t i o n p l a t f o r m s t h e c r y i n g o f b i r d s o n h i l l s and r o o f t o p s t h e c a w i n g a n d c a w i n g o f crows i n t h e sky , t h e m y r i a d c h u r m i n g o f crickets :i t h e r u n n i n g seas t h e c r y i n g waters j v V r i s i n g and f a l l i n g o n f a r shingles > , t h e l a p p i n g of tides i n t h e Ides o f a u t u m n ./ i : . > ' , . , ;-i ' ' , < , ii

m i l l i o n s o f w i n d o w s aflame i n sunset the City burns w i t h leftover l i g h t t h e r e d l i g h t distriets r o c k a n d g l o w w i t h endiess p o r n and nen cocks a n d v i b r a t o r s v i b r a t i n g endlessly n l o n e l y t o p f l o o r r o o m s o f l e a n i n g houses Endiess t h e m u n c h i n g o n t h e meat-sandwiches o f l u s t ' t h e j u i e y steaks o f l o v e ' < endiess dreams and orgasms f e r t i l i t y rites a n d rites o f passage and flights o f f c r t i l e b i r d s over r o o f t o p s a n d t h e d r o p j i i n g of eggs i n nests and w o m b s t h e t e m j i t s and attempts o f t h e flesh i n f u r n i s h e d rooms o f l o v e w h e r e sings t h e s t r i c k e n dove N o e n d to t h e b i r t h i n g o f babies w h e r e l o v e o r lust has l a i n n o end to t h e sweet b i r t h o f consciousness n o end to t h e b i t t e r deaths o f i t i n v a i n N o e n d no end to t h e w i t h e r i n g o f f u r and f r u i t and flesh so passing f a i r and the nen mermaids s i n g i n g each to each s o m e w h e r e : ' ' ; Endiess t h e s l i g h t v a r i a t i o n s of the u t t e r l y f a m i l i a r t h e fires o f y o u t h t h e embers o f age t h e rage o f t h e poet b o r n a g a i n N o end no e n d to any a n d a l l c r e a t i o n i n t h e m u t e dance o f molecules A l l is t r a n s m u t e d A l l is m u t e d a n d a l l cries o u t again again Endiess t h e w a i t i n g f o r G o d a n d G o d o t t h e a b s u r d aetions a b s u r d plans a n d plays d i l e m m a s a n d delays '

salt kiss o f c r e a t i o n - ; ! ' i N o end to t h e sea bells t o l l i n g A ,, ' b e y o n d t h e danis a n d dykes o f h f e , and t h e c a l l i n g and c a l l i n g o f bdls i n e m p t y churclies a n d towers o f t i m e N o end to t h e c a l a m i t o u s e n u n c i a t i o n of h a i r y h o l y m a n :, i ' Endiess t h e e v e r - u n w i n d i n g w a t c h s p r i n g h e a r t of t h e w o r l d shimmering i n time s h i n i n g t h r o u g h space Endiess t h e tourist-boats t h r o u g h i t bateaux mouches i n endiess canals 212 ' i ' ,.,. '

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213

A b s u r d and w a i t i n g w i t h o u t action f o r t h e w i t h e r i n g away o f w a r a n d t h e w i t h e r i n g away of t h e state Insane t h e w a i t i n g w i t h o u t a c t i o n f o r t h e insane e n d i n g ! Endiess t h e wars o f good a n d e v i l t h e fips o f f a t e t h e t r i p s o f h a t e endiess nukes a n d f a u l t s a l l f a i l i n g - s a f e i n endiess c h a i n reactions o f t h e f i n a l flash w h i l c t h e W h i t e Bicycles of protest still slowly circle r o u n d i t F o r t h e r e w i l l be a n end to t h e dogfaced gods i n w i n g t i p shoes i n G u c c i slippers i n Texas boots a n d t i n hats i n b u n k e r s pressing b u t t o n s F o r t h e r e is n o end to t h e h o p e f u l choices s t i l l to be chosen the d a r k m i n d s l i g h t e d t h e paths o f g l o r y t h e green giants of chance t h e fish-hooks o f h o p e i n t h e sloughs of despor t h e h i l l s i n t h e distance t h e h i r d s i n t h e h u s h h i d d e n streams of l i g h t a n d u n h e a r d m e l o d i e s sessions o f sweet s i l e n t t h o u g h t stately pleasure domes decreed a n d t h e h a p p y deaths o f t h e h e a r t every day t h e cocks o f clay t h e feet i n r u n n i n g shoes upon the quai A n d t h e r e is n o end to t h e doors o f p e r c e p t i o n s t i l l t o be o p e n e d a n d t h e jet-streams o f l i g h t i n t h e u p p e r a i r of t h e s p i r i t o f m a n i n t h e o u t e r space i n s i d e us i n the Amsterdams of y i n & yang 214

Endiess r u b a i y a t s a n d endiess b e a t i t u d endiess shangri-las endiess n i r v a n a s sutras a n d m a n t r a s satoris a n d scnsaras B o d h i r a m a s and Boddhisatvas k a r m a s arui k a r m a p a s ! Endiess s i n g i n g Shivas d a n c i n g o n t h e s m o k i n g w o m b s o f ecstasy! Shining! Transcendent! i n t o the crystal n i g h t of t i m e i n t h e endiess silence o f t h e s o u l i n i h e l o n g l o u d tale of m a n i n h i s endiess sound a n d f u r y signifying everything w i t h his endiess h a l l u c i n a t i o n s a d o r a t i o n s unnihilatons i l l i u n i n a t i o n s erections a n d e x h i b i t i o n s fascismo and m a c h i s i n o circuses o f t h e s o u l astray nierrygorounds of the iniagination coney i s l a n d of t h e mindless endiess p o c n i dic'tated b y t h e u n c o l l e c t e d voice o f t h e colle<'tive unconscious blear u p o n the tracks of t i m e ! I n t h e last days of A l e x a n d r i a T h e day b e f o r e W a t e r l o o T h e d a n c i n g contines T h e r e is a s o i m d of r e v e l r y b y n i g h t Amsterdam, July 1980

[ndex of Tilles and First Lines

. :

fe,

I N D E X

A Meeting of Eyes in Mxico, 150 A Phoenix at Fifty, 105 A poet is born, 110 A Sweet Flying Dream, 182 Above Taos now, 107 Adieu Charlot, 199 Alienation: Two Bees, 144 An Elegy on the Death of Kenneth Patchen, 110 An Elegy to Dispel Gloom, 197 An Imaginary Happening, London, 113 And I heard the learned astronomer, 146 And She 'Like a Young Year . . .', 12 And she 'like a young year . . 12 And the Arabs Asked Terrible Questions . . , , 5 And the Arabs asked terrible questions, 5 Assassination Raga, 81 At new age fifty, 105 At the stoplight waiting for the light, 184 Autobiography, 47 Away above a Harborjul . . . , 3 Away above a harborful, 3 Baseball Canto, 125 By the greal river Deschutes, 164 Caw Caw Caw, 179 Come Lie with Me and Be My Love, 72 Come lie wilh me and be my love, 72 Constantly Risking Absurdity . . . , 43

Constantly risking absurdity and death, 43 Deep Chess. 148 Director of Alienation, 133 Dog, 56 Dove sta amore . . . , 46 Dove sta amore, 46 Eight People on a Golf Course and One Bird of Freedom Flying over, 154 Endiess Life, 210 Endiess the splendid life of the world, 210 For All I Know Maybe She Was llappier, 9 For all I know maybe she was happer, 9 For years the od Italians have been dying, 175 Fortune . . . , 10 Fortune has its cookies to give out, 10 Heaven . . . , 17 Heaven was only half as far ihat night, 17 Hidden Door, 65 Iliddrn door iliuid secret, 65 Home Home Home, 189 Horses at Down, 167 Ilumankintl ran indeed bear, 103 I am leading a quiet life, 47 / Am Waiting. 59 1 am waiting for my case to come up, 59

I came upon them in the cabin, 144 I didn*t get much sleep last night, 69 I had just ordered a fshplate at the counter when, 100 / Have Not Lain tvilh Beauty All My Life . . . . 39 I have not lain wilh beauty all my life, 39 I laugh to hear me say what I am saying, 128 I put on the diving mask and went down, 168 I walked into a logo in the Teatro Melisso, 117 I was conceived in the summer of Nineteen Eighteen, 97 In a dream wilhin a dream I dreamt a dream, 170 In a Time of Revolution For Inmanee, 100 In Golden Gate Park that Day . . . . 36 In Golden Gate Park that day, 36 In Goya's Greatest Scenes We Seem to See . . . , 27 In Goya's greatest scenes we seem to see, 27 In Hintertime Praxiteles . . . , 4 In Hintertime Praxiteles, 4 In lili" lower lefi-hand crner, 113 Into the Deeper Pools . . . , 168 It takes a fast car, 139 !t Was a Face which Darkness Could Kill . . . , 13 It was a face which darkness could k i l l , 13 Knock knock on wooden Hu;sia!, 119 Laughing and Crying, 127 Let U S not sit upon the ground, 197 Life itself like championship chess, 148 Looking in the mirrors at Macy's, 133 Lost Parents, 139

Midnight Moscow Airport, 88 Modern Poetry Is Prose iBut It is Saying Plenty), 208 Moscow in the Wilderness, Segovia n the Snntv, 88 Night Light, 130 Night, night, 130 Night's black mirror is broken, 147 Not Like Dante . . . . 41 Not like Dante, 41 ' Olbers Paradox, 146 On the coast of Chile where Neruda lived, 152 On the green riverbank, 163 On the Transsiberian, 119 One grand boulevard with trees, 120 People Getting Divoreed, 141 People getting divoreed, 141 Poets. come out of your closets, 156 Populist Manifest, 156 Pound at Spoleto, 117 Reading Apollinaire hy the Rogue River, 165 Reading Apollinaire here, 165 Reading Yeats I Do Not Think . . . , 21 Reading Yeats I do not think of Ireland, 21 Recipe for Happiness in Khabarovsy or Anypluce, 120 Retired Ballerinas, Central Park W^est, 207 Retired ballerinas on winter afternoons, 207 Rough Song of Animis Dying, 170 Salute, 121 San Jos Symphony Reception, 193 Sarolla's Women in their Picture Hats . . . , 7 Sarolla's women in their Picture hats, 7 See It Was Like This When . . . , 38

See it was like this when, 38 Short Story on a Painting of Gustan Klimt, 142 Sometime During Eternity . . . , 31 Sometime during eternity some guys show up, 31 Sons of Whilnian. sons of Poe, 199 Stone Reality Meditation, 103 Suddenly, 150 Siinrise. Bolinas, 104 Sweet and Various the Woodlark . . . . 23 Sweet and various the woodlark, 23 Thal Fellow on the Boattrain Who Insisted . . . , 16 That fellow on the boattrain who insisted, 16 The bald man in plaid playing ihc harpsichord. 193 The Billboard Painters, 184 'The curious upward stumbting motion . . 114 The dog trots freely in the street, 56 The General Song of Humanity, 152 The Greal Chinese Dragn, 73 The great Chinese dragn which is the greatest dragn . . . , 73 The horses the horses the wild horses at dawn, 167 The Man Who Rod Away, 107 The Od Italians Dying, 175 The Od Sailors, 163 The Pennycandyatore beyond the 45 The pennycandystore beyond the E l , 45 The phoenix flies higher & higher, 154 The Poet's Eye Ohscenely Seeing . . . , 29 The poet's eye ohscenely seeing, 29 The Sea and Ourselves at Cape Ann, 179

The two white-overalled whitecapped, 184 The Worid Is a Beautiful Place . . . . 18 The world ii- a licauliful place, 18 Tlicre's a breathless hush on the freeway tonight, 137 They are kneeling upright on a flowered hed, 142 They Were Putling up the Statue . . . . 33 They were putling up the statue, 33 Thiid Worhl Calling. 123 This little heart that rememhers, 104 This loud mnrning, 123 Thoughts to a Concert of Telemana, 114 Tn rvery animal who eats or shoots his own kind, 121 Toe Toe: A Couple Observed, 116 Today T i l write white on while, 194 True C.onfessional, 97 Tune in lo a raga, 81 Tiro Seavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes, 184 Underwear, 69 Upon Reflection,

147

Watching baseball, 124 We were two naked, 182 What Could She Say to the Fantastic Foolybear . . . . 35 What could she say to the fanlastic foolybear, 35 Where are they going, 189 White on White, 194 Wild Dreams of a New Beginning, 137 Wild Life Cameo, Early Morn, 164 With Bells for Hooves in Sounding Streets . . . . 14 W i l h bells for hooves in sounding streets, 14 Without closing its wings, 116

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Nathaniel Tarn,

Free

Verse.
of

NDP35I.
God.

NDP209. NDP39I

Lyrics

. . . Bride

l y l a n T h o m a s , Adveniures

in ihe Wales.

Skin

Traite.

NDPI83.

A Child's

Christmas

in

Collecied
The Doctor

Poems
and

1934-1952.
ihe Devils.

Poriraii

of ihe

Ariisi

as a Young

NDP297,

NI)P3I6,

NDPISI,

Dog.

J A P o r t e r . Eelgra.s. NDP438 E T P o u n d . ABC of Reading NDP89

Classic \oh Jheaire of Japan. NDP79. Confucius NDP2S5. Confuciu.y lo Cummings. (Anlh.) NDPI26, Gaudier Brzeska. NDP372. Cuide to Kulchur. NDP257. Liierary Ejsays. NDP2S0.

L i o n e l TrLiling. E M Fonter. M a r t i n T u r n e l l . An of French

Quile Earli One Morning. NDP90. nder Milk Wood NDP73,


Baudelaire. NDP3.16.

NDPSI

NDPI89. Fiction. NDP2SI,

1.1? ofthe
NI)P4I1,

French

Novel. of

ive

Poems of Ancieni Cantos.


Uiiers Poems.

Pound/Jovce

Selected
Selected Selected

NDP29fi.

Egvpl.

NDPI78.

P. V a n O s t a i j e n , Feasis
Ello Viitorini. A

P a u l V a l r y , Selected

NI)P474. Fear &

Writings.*

NDPI84.

Agony.

NDP304.
NDP.1I7,

i'iitorini

Omnibus. Poems

Women

of

Messina.

The

Spirit

of Romance.

1907-1941 NDP66.

NnP26*

Translaiions.* (Enlarged Ediiion) N D P I 4 5 . J a m e s P u r d y . Children Is All NDP327. R a y m o n d Q u e n c a u . The Bark Tree NDP.1I4.

N a t h a n a e l W e s l . Miss Umehheans & Doy ofthe Uicusi. NDP12S. J . W i l l i a m s , .An Ear in Banram's Tree
Tenncssee

V e r n o n W a t k i n s , Selecied

NDP365.

NDP366, NDP22I.

Etercises m Slve. NDP5I3. The Sunday of Ufe. NDP433.

We Always

Treal

Women

Ton

Well

NDP515.

M a r y de R a c h e w i U / . E:ra Pound. NI>P45. M. R a n d a l l . Pan of ihe Soiuiion. NDP3S0. J o h n C r o w c R a n s o m . Beating the Bushes. NDP324. R a j a R a o , Kanihapura. NDP224. H e t b e n R e a d , TTif Green Child. NDP20g.

A [jively

C o i on a Mol Tin Roof NDP398. Dragn Couniry. NDP287 The Gla.ss Menagerie. NDP2I8. Hard Candv. N D P 2 2 5 . In Ihe Winter of Cities. NDPI4.

W i l l i a m s , Camino

Real,

NDP30I.

NDP335.

Sunday for

Creve

Coeur.

One Arm & Other Stories. A Sireetcar Named Desire.

P R e v e r d y . Selected Poems.' NDP346. K e n n e t h R e x r o t h . Collecied Longer Poems.


NI)PJ09

Sweet Birdof TwenivSe^-en

m IIIO mi 100

CoUected Shorier Poems. NDP243. The Morning Siar. N D P 4 9 0 . New Poems. N D P 3 8 3 .

William Carlos

Tno-Characler Play. N D P 4 g 3 , Vieuf Carre. N D P 4 8 2 , Where I Live. SDP468


Williams. TTif Auiobiographv. NDP223.

Youlh. N D P 4 0 9 . Wagons Full of Colln.

NDP237. NDPSOl.

NDP497.

NDP2I7.

More More Poems Poems

Poems Poems from from

R a i n c r M a r i a R i l k e . Poems

from the Chinese. NDP308. from ihe Japanese. NDP420. ihe Chinese. NDP192. ihe Japanese* NDPI47.
from

The The

Build^up. Farmers'

NDP223. Daughiers.

/ Wanied

A r t h u r R i m b a u d , llluminations.'

The Book of Hours. NDP40B Possihilitv of Being. ( P o e m s ) . N D P 4 3 6 . H'here Silence Reigns. ( P r o s e ) . N D P 4 M

Imaginaiions. NDP329. In the American Grain. NDP53. In the .Money. N U P 2 4 0 , ifany lji\-e.v N P I 9 1 ,
Paterson.

lo

Wriie a Poem.

N[)PI06.

NDP469.

Sea.u'n m Hell & Drunken


of NDP373.

Boai *

NI)P56

S e l d e n R o d m a n , Tongues

E d o u a r d R o d i t i . Delights

M)P97.

Turkey.

NDP445.

of

fallen

Angeis.
NDP379.

J c r o m c R o t h e n b e r g , Foland/1931.

Pre-Faies. NDP5II, Sneca Journal. NDP448. Vienna Blood. NDP498. S a i g y o , * Mirror for ihe Moon.
S a i k a k u I h a r a . The Ufe of an

Y v o r W i n i e r s , , A. Rohinson Nr)P326. W i s d o m B o o k s : Ancieni Egvpt\ans, NDP467,

The Selected Estays. NDP273. Selected Poems. D P I 3 1 . A Voyage to Pagany. N D P 3 0 7 . White Mul. N D P 2 2 6 . W C. Williams Reader. NDP282.

Pictures

form

Complete.

Brueghel.

NDPI52.

N D P I 18.

iir/i' Buddhists. NIJP46S.


Amorous

Woman.

St, J o h n of the C r o s s . P o m i . ' N D P 3 4 I . J e a t i - P a u l S a r t r e . Baudelaire. NDP233.

NDP270.

Mysiicy N D P 4 2 3 ; Spanish Mysiics. NDP442; Si. Francis. N D P 4 7 7 ; Sufi. N ) P 4 2 4 ; Taoisis. N D P S 0 9 ; Wisdom ofthe Deseri. N D P 2 9 5 ; en Master.:/. N D P 4 1 5 ,

N n P 4 6 6 ; Eore.ii

(Hind). N D P 4 I 4 ;

N D P 4 4 4 ; English

Mv.stics.
Jewish

For complete listing requesl complete catalog from New Directions, 80 Eighth Avenue, New Y o r k lOOll

* Billnguil