I just saw two boys. One of them gets paid for distributing circulars and he throws it down the sewer. I said, Are you a Boy Scout? He said, no. The other one was. I have implicit faith in the Boy Scouts If you talk about it long enough you'll finally write it— If you get by the stage when nothing can make you write— If you don't die first I keep those bests that love has given me Nothing of them escapes— I have proved it proven once more in your eyes Go marry! your son will have blue eyes and still there'll be no answer you have not found a cure No more have I for that enormous wedged flower, my mind miraculously upon the dead stick of night
we drank in the remains
of ruined buildings
and we sat in a cave or
wrecked houses on farms given back to the bank
listening to men who’d been raised
in ways that were lost
and we strained to make out
the use of their news
they were crazy or passed out
speed notched with a cross
they drank from the flask and the mouth
they came in and shook off the rain
inflamed and dismayed
calm and arcane
the least one seethed chanting whitman for hours
then wept at the dregs of the fire
foam formed at the edge of their lips
we drank and waited for something to drop
you and I looking and sifting
for signs written in wax
we were young we knew how to die
but not how to last
a small man who claimed he was blake raged
all night and probably he was
he had god in his sights
white crosses shone in our eyes or acid mandalic
in the ruins the men talked:
seraphic and broken
glowing with gnosis and rubbish
we sorted their mad sacred words
these dog-headed guides to the life after
and the life after that
After reading Ash Wednesday
she looked once at the baked beans
and fled. Luncheonless, poor girl,
she observed a kind of poetic Lent—
and I had thought I liked poetry
better than she did.
I do. But to me its most endearing
quality is its unsuitableness;
and, conversely, the chief wonder in heaven
(whither I also am sometimes transported)
is the kind of baggage I bring with me.
Surely there is no more exquisite jointure
in the anatomy of life than that at which
poetry dovetails with the inevitable meal
and Mrs. B. sits murmuring of avocados.
Here, where you all are,
language is an accessory
to bodies lying in the street,
prone in government rooms,
bloated in the waterways.
Or language is an accessory
to the refutation of bodies
lying etc. This too will pass
as search vessels in the delta
pass for smuggling operations
bringing illicit food to refugees
being autocued for media
appearances. What commerce
would you with us all. What
coverage can you offer for
coastal breach, aid refusal,
for the taut sinews and caught
breath of seated uprisen monks.
Two shall be born the whole world wide apart,
And speak in different tongues, and pay their debts
In different kinds of coin; and give no heed
Each to the other’s being. And know not
That each might suit the other to a T,
If they were but correctly introduced.
And these, unconsciously, shall bend their steps,
Escaping Spaniards and defying war,
Unerringly toward the same trysting-place,
Albeit they know it not. Until at last
They enter the same door, and suddenly
They meet. And ere they’ve seen each other’s face
They fall into each other’s arms, upon
The Broadway cable car — and this is Fate!
Sheaves of wheat in cement relief Supply the beauties of Archer Ave. Past the scaffolded brick church spire We turn on the vacant corner lot Through winds worthy of Hopkins (Gerard M.) New words — Alexus — Everything must go "Include everything in poetry" Even the things you think are nothing Like the way the new white snowflake Decoration waves its wild tentacles against the high blue sky loop and angle Black graffiti palimpsests the yellow official sign of Danger in bus stairwell She stares at me unsmiling with cold Northface Notices me writing but says nothing with her eye The corner lot I used to chart or cheat in its ‘vacancies' Configures new blown trash and walk through paths Subjected to random search Has grown a mouth of gravel Constructed in a cone Surrounded by temporary fence Of blue nailed board Now on Roti Avenue Cutlery & Wang Quai Amalgam of chairs, Jamaica Island Center
Passerby, these are words. But instead of reading
I want you to listen: to this frail
Voice like that of letters eaten by grass.
Lend an ear, hear first of all the happy bee
Foraging in our almost rubbed-out names.
It flits between two sprays of leaves,
Carrying the sound of branches that are real
To those that filigree the unseen gold.
Then know an even fainter sound, and let it be
The endless murmuring of all our shades.
Their whisper rises from beneath the stones
To fuse into a single heat with that blind
Light you are as yet, who can still gaze.
Listen simply, if you will. Silence is a threshold
Where, unfelt, a twig breaks in your hand
As you try to disengage
A name upon a stone:
And so our absent names untangle your alarms.
And for you who move away, pensively,
Here becomes there without ceasing to be.