Monday, June 30, 2008
have you paid homage to?
What crumbled dreaming is worth your pause?
Ginsberg is wistful in Mexico, the second America.
I heard Rilke visited ruins, too, only to pine for them upon returning home.
Where would you stand and hope, pine? Where in your world?
Let us begin on our back stoops, where the view of the scrap pile will soon be replaced by comfortable lofts. Benchmarks for the elimination of pining.
Build our cities first on the inside.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
A strange distillation well within reincarnation.
Each time we come around again we're more civilized. Try as we might, to the generation unto which we are born, we are less feral. Look at your grandfather (look at his). Look at their words. Look at the portrait on the wall.
Ferlinghetti knew this too, while having this picture taken. Hence the dog as feral familiar.
But it backfired. Today dogs are as coiffed as we are.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Gregory Corso, Lowell, MA 1986
Visiting the religious grotto described by Jack Kerouac in his book, Doctor Sax
My view of Corso is forever tainted by a scene in the film The Source, wherein he throws a fit during a discussion of Kerouac, saying "...my stuff puts most of his [or their, referring to the other known Beats] to shame."
So this picture is classic to me. Gregory stands beneath the savior, not revering but planning.
"Savior, huh? Sounds good."
He stood there for an hour and a half trying to figure out who you have to blow to get yourself nailed to a cross.
If you have to ask, maybe it just ain't to be.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
By this time Mr. Bowles had lived so long in this strange and succulent
culture that he had almost forgotten his native tongue. He knew this,
and it pleased him. The way he saw it, if it didn't stick around, he wasn't
supposed to have it.
"If your tongue abandons you," he used to say, "learn to speak tongueless.
No mouth? Learn to dance."
His buddies liked this idea in theory, but were too attached to the tangoes
and sambas they created with said tongues.
Mr. Bowles prepared mint tea.
They took wine.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
It has been very kind,
but my jig is up.
It outruns me without even trying,
some natural engine of atoms
and waltzes I am left to enjoy from behind.
Deciding I was too much work,
even my dreams have taken up with other men.
And you have the nerve to ask me if I still love you.
You are the least of my worries.
Monday, June 23, 2008
and talking like travelers of the world.
I’ve seen them make themselves dirty,
desperate like Mad Max
or Rimbaud in the alley.
But Eliot didn’t work any less
at his passion,
and he held down a bank job,
wrote The Waste Land.
But in this spoiled little town
so much depends on
looking like you live on the edge
everyone else has forgotten.
It’s an easy fashion when you’re 19. I’m not,
and when was the last time
you heard someone mention Eliot?
Friday, June 20, 2008
from your new, far off life
And when they never came
my love began to grow
As DeSade praised his wife
the more he was alone
The way hunger only grows
When left unfed
So was my sun merely a spark
Until you closed your eyes
Thursday, June 19, 2008
for William Stafford
If I stir in the night, my love,
To write what I see on the horizon,
Please do not be upset with me.
I know it is just another dawn,
That I, too, need more sleep before it arrives.
And, yes, that not everything is waiting to become my poetry.
But in those tranquil hours
When the universe itself seems to doze
I promise you it becomes something else
The secret of the world
Observed like you
Through a lover’s grateful prism.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Perhaps such a display can be forgiven if it yields something beyond the self. Those plans on the table, the ones I spoke of earlier. Those responsibilities never mentioned, yet counterbalanced with instances of more. What Gadda does in translation. What intent does to complascence. How it all seems connected to the last inch of cigar on which I draw, attempting to enjoy the taste and not the heat. Not yet old enough to glean flavor from the full range of the spectrum of heat.
This, the part that will stay mine. I speed up to leave skid marks on the moment, only to realize the lack of track upon which to run...etc. etc.
I need a week of abandon. Italy, Germany, England. Some realm far enough away that I can call it aether. Time there. Carved out of long, unadulterated stretches of the soul's hologram. Steps down strange streets taken slowly. Everything slowly. Drawing on a fine cigar. A sip. Even writing, slowly, with a fine instrument, opting speed for the aesthetic enjoyment of languid unfolding.
Italy, with my anglophile tendencies winking amorously at England. A bit off, I see, as more and more enter the bar. Local poetic champions adding a bit of charismatic dirt to their noble vitae. For some of us, the dirt is all we have. We learn to build castles that don't last the night.
Italy. It hits me like the bathroom grafitti. "Dead Carp" writting in the shape of a fish. "Screw you" which just makes me feel wanted. I have never imagined Italy beyond my reverie, yet now I plot to work there for a summer, real friends with real family who might make it happen.
What do I believe could happen? A timeless moment to carry with me like a fob back into my routine life? Something to fondle as I wince through days? A split second snatch of melody that alters the cells of the heart? Yes, I expect as much. I am still that young. To research a city's gunning legacy, and respect it with response. A fine point put to the country who puts itself forward - its major meccas at least - in a way that illustrates the Parisian Left Bank in ways itself can no longer.
For this meantime, then, I will sprint within my confines. The way I draw slowly on the final quarter inch of this 5 Vegas, Limited Edition. A smile of thanks to local liquor starburst Jay Johnson for his generosity....