Tuesday, April 4, 2017

William S. Burroughs (1914-1997)

Cold Lost Marbles

A Poem by William S. Burroughs

my ice skates on a wall
lustre of stumps washes his lavander horizon
he’s got a handsome face of a lousy kid
rooming-houses dirty fingers
whistled in the shadow
“Wait for me at the detour.”
river… snow… some one vague faded in a mirror
filigree of trade winds
clouds white as lace circling the pepper trees
the film is finished
memory died when their photos weather-worn points of
polluted water under the trees in the mist shadow of
boys by the daybreak in the peony fields cold lost
marbles in the room carnations three ampoules of
morphine little blue-eyes-twilight grins between his
legs yellow fingers blue stars erect boys of sleep
have frozen dreams for I am a teenager pass it on
flesh and bones withheld too long yes sir oui oui
Crapps’ last map… lake… a canoe… rose tornado in
the harvest brass echo tropical jeers from Panama
City night fences dead fingers you are in your own body
around and maybe a boy skin spreads to something
else on Long Island the dogs are quiet.

William Burroughs (1914-1997)

Dead Whistle Stop Already End

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A Poem by William S. Burroughs

    Ahab to his companion      falling over there in any         out from the dawn
      skin              staring          stirring unbelief                               he strode towards a long
drink and looked into the            the actors ourselves become
      muzzle of Spain and 42 St.                    old banner illustrating
I was standing by the wax           before                       dead whistle stop already
cross the red moon                       terminal time scarred                     end.
        scanning patterns           on my face                 me in your back, pal”
dawn words falling      will say it all         consists in irradiating
this dead whistle stop                 in the language before creation
         he strode towards           the actors in the      city                 “Here he is now”
       obsidian morning      sniffing quivering need              masturbating afternoons
spitting blood               dead rainbow flesh          he moved as sharp as
    on the iron streets            fish smell and    dead eyes         water reeds
    scarred metal faces                  running into the mines             liquid typewriter
flickered on field            where flesh circulates                 red fish talk falling
     he strode towards             pant smell                language like muttering
     Spain and 42 st.              running in the gutter             where is he now?
  the actors dead             dawn word falling                  he was caught in the zoo
         whistle stop already              scanning patterns              jissom webs drifting
  slow ferris wheel      running rainbow flesh             over the White Subway 
. William S. Burroughs

Dorothy Parker (1843-1967)

On Cheating The Fiddler

"Then we will have tonight!" we said.
"Tomorrow- may we not be dead?"
The morrow touched our eyes, and found
Us walking firm above the ground,
Our pulses quick, our blood alight.
Tomorrow's gone- we'll have tonight!
Dorothy Parker :

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Gary Snyder (b.1930)

For a Stone Girl at Sanchi
half asleep on the cold grass night rain flicking the maples under a black bowl upside-down on a flat land on a wobbling speck smaller than stars, space, the size of a seed, hollow as bird skulls. light flies across it –never is seen. a big rock weathered funny, old tree trunks turned stone, split rocks and find clams. all that time loving; two flesh persons changing, clung to, doorframes notions, spear-hafts in a rubble of years. touching, this dream pops. it was real: and it lasted forever. Gary Snyder

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

The Old Women Of The Ocean

To the solemn sea the old women come
With their shawls knotted around their necks
With their fragile feet cracking.

They sit down alone on the shore
Without moving their eyes or their hands
Without changing the clouds or the silence.

The obscene sea breaks and claws
Rushes downhill trumpeting
Shakes its bull's beard.

The gentle old ladies seated
As if in a transparent boat
They look at the terrorist waves.

Where will they go and where have they been?
They come from every corner
They come from our own lives.

Now they have the ocean
The cold and burning emptiness
The solitude full of flames.

They come from all the pasts
From houses which were fragrant
From burnt-up evenings.

They look, or don't look, at the sea
With their walking sticks they draw signs in the sand
And the sea erases their calligraphy.

The old women get up and go away
With their fragile bird feet
While the waves flood in
Traveling naked in the wind.
Pablo Neruda :

Barack Obama (b.1961)

Sitting in his seat, a seat broad and broken
In, sprinkled with ashes,
Pop switches channels, takes another
Shot of Seagrams, neat, and asks
What to do with me, a green young man
Who fails to consider the
Flim and flam of the world, since
Things have been easy for me;
I stare hard at his face, a stare
That deflects off his brow;
I'm sure he's unaware of his
Dark, watery eyes, that
Glance in different directions,
And his slow, unwelcome twitches,
Fail to pass.
I listen, nod,
Listen, open, till I cling to his pale,
Beige T-shirt, yelling,
Yelling in his ears, that hang
With heavy lobes, but he's still telling
His joke, so I ask why
He's so unhappy, to which he replies . . .
But I don't care anymore, cause
He took too damn long, and from
Under my seat, I pull out the
Mirror I've been saving; I'm laughing,
Laughing loud, the blood rushing from his face
To mine, as he grows small,
A spot in my brain, something
That may be squeezed out, like a
Watermelon seed between
Two fingers.
Pop takes another shot, neat,
Points out the same amber
Stain on his shorts that I've got on mine and
Makes me smell his smell, coming
From me; he switches channels, recites an old poem
He wrote before his mother died,
Stands, shouts, and asks
For a hug, as I shink, my
Arms barely reaching around
His thick, oily neck, and his broad back; 'cause
I see my face, framed within
Pop's black-framed glasses
And know he's laughing too.

-- Barack Obama

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994)

Are You Drinking?

washed-up, on shore, the old yellow notebook
out again
I write from the bed
as I did last
will see the doctor,
"yes, doctor, weak legs, vertigo, head-
aches and my back
"are you drinking?" he will ask.
"are you getting your
exercise, your
I think that I am just ill
with life, the same stale yet
even at the track
I watch the horses run by
and it seems
I leave early after buying tickets on the
remaining races.
"taking off?" asks the motel
"yes, it's boring,"
I tell him.
"If you think it's boring
out there," he tells me, "you oughta be
back here."
so here I am
propped up against my pillows
just an old guy
just an old writer
with a yellow
something is
walking across the
oh, it's just
my cat
Charles Bukowski :