Hear my prayer, O Lord, and
give ear unto my cry:
Keep not silence at my tears
For I am a stranger with Thee,
A sojourner, as all my fathers
Book Of Psalms, XXXIX, l.13
"Stop, Pilgrim, your journey has ended!"
A cup of instant coffee mid-afternoon when
the chalice ain't so inviting. . .
Joy, relief from spiritual pain
"Be careful for what you ask, you might get it"
Semi-conscious going round and round
tilting at windmills
lance dragging a circular path
on violet ground
coming upon my shadow
"Hurry, there's a city to cross
I'm going to meet the poet on Hartford St.
Look over his works
Compile them into a book of how many hours
I don't know, but patience leads
I follow. . .
trials and pains without complaint
(refraining from enforcement of
something that is due)
she lives with hidden desires
Pots and pans make a racket
on kitchen tiles
on shower stall door and teak furniture
Bath time, sleep time, work time
Vodka to keep ghosts
"Joy and high finance. The police ran out
gross philosophical denial"
"It glows in the dark
Like the willow tree hangs
NIRVANA = "bathing"
Specifically the bathing of elephants" <Ingalls>
The symbol of the state
Elephant fording a river"<Legge>
Buddhist abbott cloistered in hospice
Let's drink tea
watch barbecue in garden
smouldering with carcinogens
listen to the poet hum Bach
despise Schumann and Schubert
with an irrascible kindness
Don't strain, there's time
twenty four years of breathing
patience, boy, or leave
We'll work two days a week
When you're stoned
of stepping on inspiration
posting bills, metered parking, speeding
handguns & condoms
A slice of Mexican sugar-coated guava
Manuscript on clumsy card table
Fat man in t-shirt and loose trousers
Red, purple and blue scrolls hang on walls
Jasper found at beach
Letter from Donald Allen about Kerouac
"Do you mind if I tape this?" I ask
"Yes, I would not be comfortable"
He began recollections with "Three Satires"
Stopped in 1960 where these poems begin
Some published in "The Kindness Of Strangers"
Some in broadsides, little mags, ignored
Todd says boycott Taiwan
trafficking in lion's bones
"Save The Turtles"
Two marine biologists raped
for blowing whistle on poachers
A song comes in the mail from New York
"Good work Mike. Talk to you soon!"
"Give me all of your love
Give me all of your soul
Tell me all there is to know
Tell me ohhhhh
Give me all of your soul"
Dripolator, Silex, Percolator
relics of New York
Foolishness, guidelines, instructions
Divisiveness in Politics
Voice mail jail
Back door to system
"rain & wind so nasty"
How to take bath in Japan
one's breathing manipulates a group
Enter voice mail jail
choose course in labyrinth
You are my Icarus!
But never get to fly
deep sigh, deep breath, eyes closed
look up at heaven, ohhh
there you go, just ease out of your body
ease out of flabby body
float up above floating through garden
Over purple flowers horning up
And the man who looks like William Burroughs
And the man in black leather and sunglasses
San Francisco, Chinatown
Me and Michael McClure
at tow-yard bailing out my car
in moment of mutual generosity
A toast to the ascending spirit!
Melodies, nucleic acids, genetically altered
takes an honored seat
I hear noises
they are what I think they are
I don't need to record them
I'm sitting and writing, it's the same sound
except for the wind, and a few
this room a maze of ideas
Nabokov's translations of Onegin
ribbon-flash flap and whip
Visit #3, Zenshin's Garden
echium, or tower of jewels, agapanthus
roses, bamboo escaping, ginko tree
Look back at amethyst crystal cluster as I go out
"I shouldn't go without my cane"
on uneven brickpath to plum harvest
Orange, ripe, sweet, ready, we go out
Sunny walk to lunch
Eggplant and ground pork
Long beans and chicken in black bean sauce
"It has nothing to do with poetry" McClure says
"Fuck you! Fuck you!"
(because I called to ask what he thought about my new book)
"You should have told me it was a big, huge
piece of work, massive work!"
(as if I didn't ask first)
"You just call out of nowhere, want to know what I think!"
(maybe I should've sent a letter telling you I was going to call)
Poetry, sacred art of Fox Turds
worm around like they own
They own nothing
IT'S IN THE WORK!
Neither shaman nor guru
can save me from this
crud out of whack in dismay
I'll find myself in ashes
Save your patience for the head man
lost half the time, worrying
about his mother's furniture, his inheritance
the right, fair play, freezers
on front and back porch
full of frozen foods, pointless waste
She gave him $150 sportscoat
when he'd rather have the money
insane disappearance in the woods
loaded and mythic
. . .it's the way they saw
the poem, a mythic entity with
word-sculpture in great galleries of
Greece, Russia, Paris
and New York
Why do they tell me stories about you, Lewie?
Were you the child they wept for when the world burned?
So I learn their approach
sit with them, read their syntax
write my own poems
What's my syntax?
What's the perfect Michael Rothenberg poem
look like, taste like
smell like, feel like?
when you don't use your senses
you just know
His poems don't have an ending
just take you somewhere, give you
TABLE OF CONTENTS NEXT