The inner noise of the body, string of the veins & fibrous coatings, muscle Light glinting off the shoulder, which glistens white or red or grey the buds having already burst out on the trees lilacs aspens
the yard bright with flowers & the back bent down a piano
(As if, beautiful is this necessary heart strain the bead of water on the skin how it got out
from the inside thru the solid barrier skin density
He had driven half the night From far down San Joaquin Through Mariposa, up the Dangerous Mountain roads, And pulled in at eight a.m. With his big truckload of hay behind the barn. With winch and ropes and hooks We stacked the bales up clean To splintery redwood rafters High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa Whirling through shingle-cracks of light, Itch of haydust in the sweaty shirt and shoes. At lunchtime under Black oak Out in the hot corral, ---The old mare nosing lunchpails, Grasshoppers crackling in the weeds--- "I'm sixty-eight" he said, "I first bucked hay when I was seventeen. I thought, that day I started, I sure would hate to do this all my life. And dammit, that's just what I've gone and done."
An Indian Prayer . My grandfather is the fire My grandmother is the wind The Earth is my mother The Great Spirit is my father The World stopped at my birth and laid itself at my feet And I shall swallow the Earth whole when I die and the Earth and I will be one Hail The Great Spirit, my father without him no one could exist because there would be no will to live Hail The Earth, my mother without which no food could be grown and so cause the will to live to starve Hail the wind, my grandmother for she brings loving, lifegiving rain nourishing us as she nourishes our crops Hail the fire, my grandfather for the light, the warmth, the comfort he brings without which we be animals, not men Hail my parent and grandparents without which not I nor you nor anyone else could have existed Life gives life which gives unto itself a promise of new life Hail the Great Spirit, The Earth, the wind, the fire praise my parents loudly for they are your parents, too Oh, Great Spirit, giver of my life please accept this humble offering of prayer this offering of praise this honest reverence of my love for you
Living In Sin . She had thought the studio would keep itself; no dust upon the furniture of love. Half heresy, to wish the taps less vocal, the panes relieved of grime. A plate of pears, a piano with a Persian shawl, a cat stalking the picturesque amusing mouse had risen at his urging. Not that at five each separate stair would writhe under the milkman's tramp; that morning light so coldly would delineate the scraps of last night's cheese and three sepulchral bottles; that on the kitchen shelf amoong the saucers a pair of beetle-eyes would fix her own-- envoy from some village in the moldings... Meanwhile, he, with a yawn, sounded a dozen notes upon the keyboard, declared it out of tune, shrugged at the mirror, rubbed at his beard, went out for cigarettes; while she, jeered by the minor demons, pulled back the sheets and made the bed and found a towel to dust the table-top, and let the coffee-pot boil over on the stove. By evening she was back in love again, though not so wholly but throughout the night she woke sometimes to feel the daylight coming like a relentless milkman up the stairs.
Coffee & Dolls . It was a storefront for a small-time numbers runner, pretending to be some sort of grocery. Coffeemakers and Bustello cans populated the shelves, sparsely. Who was fooled. The boxes bleached in the sun, the old guys sat inside on summer lawn chairs, watching tv. The applause from the talk shows and game shows washed out the propped-open door like distant rain.
It closed for a few months. The slick sedan disappeared. One spring day, it reopened, this time a sign decorated the window: COFFEE & DOLLS. Yarn-haired, gingham-dressed floppy dolls lolled among the coffee cans. A mastiff puppy, the size and shape of a tipped-over fire hydrant, guarded as the sedan and the old guys returned.
I don't know about you, but I've been looking for a narrative in which suffering makes sense. I mean, the high wail of the woman holding her dead child, the wail that filled the street. I mean the sudden fatal blooms on golden skin. I mean the crack deaths, I mean the ice-cream truck that cruised the alphabets and sold crack to the same deedle-dee-dee tune as fudgesicles. I mean the raw scabs of the beaten mastiff, and many other things.
Story . you can tell me anything believing isn't important what does matter is that the air moves your lips or that your lips move the air that fables your story your body all the time without respite like a flame that looks like nothing but a flame
THE AVIATOR . He flew off and turned out to be right: They praised him, blessed him, bent his neck down. He flew off again, and again turned out to be right: They gave him a reception and didn’t grudge him bread, water and A comb for his wing and plumage. He flew off a third time and this time, too, he turned out to be right: They put up with him, tolerated him. He flew off a fourth time and turned out to be in the wrong: They called him a silly plagiarizer of an angel. But he still flew off a fifth time – They fired at him, They killed him.
High Time Lyrics By: Robert Hunter Music By: Jerry Garcia . You told me goodbye How was I to know You didn't mean goodbye You meant please don't let me go I was having a high time Living the good life Well I know
The wheels are muddy Got a ton of hay Now listen here baby 'Cause I mean what I say I'm having a hard time Living the good life Well I know
I was losing time, I had nothing to do No-one to fight, I came to you Wheels broke down, the leader won't draw The line is busted, the last one I saw
Tomorrow comes trouble (note 1) Tomorrow comes pain Now don't think too hard, baby 'Cause you know what I'm saying I could show you a high time Living the good life Don't be that way
Nothing's for certain It could always go wrong Come in when it's raining Go on out when it's gone We could have us a high time Living the good life Well I know
Ten Thousand . It is dusk. The birds sweep low to the lake and then dive up. The wind picks a few leaves off the ground and turns them into wheels that roll a little way and then collapse. There's nothing like branches planted against the sky to remind you of the feel of your feet on the earth, the way your hands sometimes touch each other. All those memories, you wouldn't want them over again, there's no point. What's next, you ask yourself. You ask it ten thousand times.
BLOSSOMS OF URANIUM The three of them arrived at the same spot They ordered foaming drinks They greeted the courteous multitude
All three went up to the same table They drank smoking potions They knew nobody They were not uncomfortable
And lo and behold, When all three jumped together Over the cornice Over the window Over the hole The woman at the bar said there was no reason to be afraid Since they were a new flower brought from the East
But when they came down again and killed the whole multitude She said before dying that there was nothing to fear That she had come upon the wrong garden That she was mistaken about the flower And that instead of blossoms from Buddha She had brought blossoms of Uranium
Black Poplars . Towering, green height on blue, scraping, climbing the air. Each one makes its own ascent, hair to the wind, its own prayer. They emerge from the greenest mass, articulating themselves, wilful filaments in air. Calm, proud, centred on their crowns, flickering, almost immaterial. They tremble with fear, each leaf, each branch a silken mane, vertical. God's legions, poets of discipline or of exhaustion, brushstrokes of blue, green jaguars, Cut-outs of water, virtual reflections, totems of glass.
Requiem for the Croppies . The pockets of our greatcoats full of barley... No kitchens on the run, no striking camp... We moved quick and sudden in our own country. The priest lay behind ditches with the tramp. A people hardly marching... on the hike... We found new tactics happening each day: We'd cut through reins and rider with the pike And stampede cattle into infantry, Then retreat through hedges where cavalry must be thrown. Until... on Vinegar Hill... the final conclave. Terraced thousands died, shaking scythes at cannon. The hillside blushed, soaked in our broken wave. They buried us without shroud or coffin And in August... the barley grew up out of our grave.
i am a tall white thing that birds fly out of that is why you see me in the morning so open-mouthed and foolish the doctor said "you are upside down you have a large wounded thing in your mouth i would advise you to cry" but i said "no doctor you are wrong i am tremulous and exultant—a green strand drawn from the throat of a flower i am the magnet the wind arrives at finally those are songs you see lodged in me if i cry there will be no passion in it i have tried again and again to throw off these robes of water but wherever i have whirled them— there the drunken—the inexhaustible flowers have followed and come groping up to me with praises why should i cry?" "you're upside down" he said "no" i replied, and i began to revolve in the air in front of him "you think it must be somewhere near here that the ground is the suicides have told you the rain and snow have told you it's down below somewhere under the houses but they are wrong and you are wrong i am that dancing man who kicks over the jug of the stars those are my tracks across the moon
wherever i put my feet that is where the ground is
DEW . Dew is a name under which Love works: When that Fire has burned up all in its violence, The dew falls, imparting moisture everywhere Like a strong wind of unheard-of sweetness. It calls forth the kiss of noble natures And gives them constancy in the midst of changes. Love's zeal engulfs her gifts to such an extent That the dew's gentle action must always be present. Then are appeased all the storms That previously arose in the soul; Calm reigns at last, When the loved one receives from her Beloved The kisses that truly pertain to love. When he takes possession of the loved soul in every way, Love drinks in these kisses and tastes them to the end. As soon as Love thus touches the soul, She eats its flesh and drinks its blood. Love that thus dissolves the loved soul Sweetly leads them both To the indivisible kiss -- That same kiss which fully unites The Three Persons in one sole Being. Thus the noble dew appeases the conflagration That had been raging in the land of Love.