Wednesday, December 20, 2017

TRACT - By William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams, 1883 - 1963

I will teach you my townspeople
how to perform a funeral--
for you have it over a troop
of artists--
unless one should scour the world--
you have the ground sense necessary.

See! the hearse leads.
I begin with a design for a hearse.
For Christ’s sake not black--
nor white either--and not polished!
Let it be weathered--like a farm wagon--
with gilt wheels (this could be
applied fresh at small expense)
or no wheels at all:
a rough dray to drag over the ground.

Knock the glass out!
My God--glass, my townspeople!
For what purpose? Is it for the dead
to look out or for us to see
how well he is housed or to see
the flowers or the lack of them--
or what?
To keep the rain and snow from him?
He will have a heavier rain soon:
pebbles and dirt and what not.
Let there be no glass--
and no upholstery, phew!
and no little brass rollers
and small easy wheels on the bottom--
my townspeople what are you thinking of?

A rough plain hearse then
with gilt wheels and no top at all.
On this the coffin lies
by its own weight.

   No wreaths please--
especially no hot house flowers.
Some common memento is better,
something he prized and is known by:
his old clothes--a few books perhaps--
God knows what! You realize
how we are about these things
my townspeople--
something will be found--anything
even flowers if he had come to that.
So much for the hearse.

For heaven’s sake though see to the driver!
Take off the silk hat! In fact
that’s no place at all for him--
up there unceremoniously
dragging our friend out to his own dignity!
Bring him down--bring him down!
Low and inconspicuous! I’d not have him ride
on the wagon at all--damn him--
the undertaker’s understrapper!
Let him hold the reins
and walk at the side
and inconspicuously too!

Then briefly as to yourselves:
Walk behind--as they do in France,
seventh class, or if you ride
Hell take curtains! Go with some show
of inconvenience; sit openly--
to the weather as to grief.
Or do you think you can shut grief in?
What--from us? We who have perhaps
nothing to lose? Share with us
share with us--it will be money
in your pockets.

                         Go now
I think you are ready.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Poetry Engineering Critic's Appeal :TCAP

                      Tales from Café Apollinaire
                      The Poetry Engineering Critic's Appeal
                      Gordon Coombes

On hearing Café Apollinaire 
the poetry engineering critic appeals
these stanzas need a bridge
better still a suspension bridge
spanning deep ravines
creating some form of coherence
hiring a construction crew
with all the tools of the trade
working overtime
pouring cement
sculpting small stone islands
supporting colossal columns
welding together steel girders
stringing miles of sturdy cables
hoping to finish the bridge in time
before these stanzas are left stranded
the interconnected themes
complain the engineers
create too much stress

for a bridge such as this
refusing to continue the project
as the suspension bridge is abandoned
as investors and insurance companies 
all begin to pull out
these stanzas are a collage
of juxtaposed images
startling shocking absurd
one adding to the other
the vision unfolds
layer after layer
these stanzas each filled
to over-flowing with enigmas
pitfalls boobey-traps land-mines
paradoxes and contradictions
so be it the poet and the scholar say
Walt Whitman Thoreau and Emerson all agree
it is a labrynth through
which you must find your own way-

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Thanksgiving Prayer William S Burroughs

A warning from the Author : The Surrealist Poet as Art Exhibit

Anyway here is a poem found recently composed about a dozen years ago which the author's publisher refused to sanction . October 7,2017.

                    A warning from the Author
              The Surrealist Poet as Art Exhibit:
              after abandoning poetry and art


At Café Apollinaire the Surrealist Poet
after he and the Café
had become too well known
asked a sculptor to make a statue
to take the poet's place at the café
at intervals of each day
to give him some respite
a life‑size manikin with moving parts
like mechanical over-sized dolls
of ancient Persia
to sit at the corner table
by the window overlooking the street
in the Café Apollinaire
with all the paraphernalia
associated with the Surrealist Poet
resembling the poet in every detail
fooling many newcomers to the café -

The new and improved 
Mechanical Poet of Café Apollinaire  
sitting there with a cup of coffee
a cigarette which one hand lowers
to an ashtray then raises to its lips
takes a puff the head moves looking
out the window turns again
with a pen in the other hand
moving hovering above
the open note book waiting
to be written upon
surrounded by stacks of books
borrowed from the Public Library
just around the corner
of artistic movements
all those 'Isms' born
in such a brief span of time
from Impressionism to Expressionism
to Pointillism Vortexism
to the wild Fauvists to Dada
to Surrealism to Cubism
to Futurists  and Realists
to Photo‑Realists Pop art and Folk Art
all at war with one another
all claiming to be the true voice 
of Modern Art
each a genius of one sort or another -

all these works of art 
music and poetry
words and paint tossed about
biographies and autobiographies
passing the time giving some solace
to the Surrealist Poet soon wears thin
no end to naive idealistic romantic poets
artists soaring above mundane concerns
dipping pens brushes     
in the same well of inspiration‑

til history intrudes upon the pastoral dreams
and fantasies of the romantic surrealist poet
opening those all too real books
opening Pandora’s Box
unleashing the Furies
of the tragedy of humanity’s
pride and folly
of the triumph of tyrants 
despots emperors kings and queens
destroying in the name of God
power and greed
enslaving millions 
to perpetual poverty
as the high and mighty
rule the world
with an iron fist
the boot to the throat -

Visions of the horrors
of social histories and aesthetics
the admixture of politics and history
centuries dripping blood
idealists and romantics dying for some cause
failed revolutions
and the horrors of war
religion and science run amok
our dreams turned into a world of ashes
under ten thousand mushroom clouds
while thousands are tortured murdered
beheaded blown to pieces
strapped to the mouth of cannons
in the name of this country or that
in the name of one God or another
while the Angels look down and weep
as all these lost souls strike the drums
sound their trumpets of war
leading the Big Parade of millions
into the slaughter houses
and other persistent visions of madness
til poets and sages take refuge in the wilderness-
Now the Surrealist Poet
having abandoned poetry and art
having abandoned cooking word stews
for the Beggars' Banquets
is able to roam
about the City's streets
no longer chained to that Chair
that Table holding court
pestered by would be poets
taken in by his self‑manufactured mystique
forced to dredge the sea floor
reliving his life for their distraction
edification & inspiration fulfilling his role
of poet laureate of the oh so cool crowd
at Café Apollinaire‑

Friday, October 6, 2017

Persian Arabesques and Wounds that never Heal

Persian Arabesques and Wounds that never Heal
Verses of the ancient Sage 

(Gordon Coombes edited Oct. 5, 2017)

like Persian arabesques
like a sea of sand across ancient arabia
like ornate oriental rugs-

like an old cliche love gives you wings
like love at first sight
like souls intertwined-

as if every breath was sacred
as if every breath came from God
the world breathes as God breathes-

every breath blessed by the beloved
the beloved provides grace
if it seems God takes no notice-

the death of the beloved is also my death
my body is just in denial
when her warm breath ended
my body turned cold
always walking on razor-blades-

like fish swimming along the city streets
spending a year inside a surrealistic vision-

like the wound that never heals
the death of a friend
the lover lost forever
some missed chance
the doors unopened
the loss of a child
the loss of a parent-

days lost in a drug induced stupor
nights lost wandering the streets
of some fog bound city
years lost in some dead end mind deadening job-

lost days become the lost years
friendless for a few years here & there-

like fearing streets too familiar
like fearing streets too strange-

like looking in a rear-view mirror
your life whizzing by-

everywhere there are muggers & madmen
drunks looking for a fight some old lover
just around the next corner waiting reopening old wounds -

like dreaming of the beloved asleep at home
while roaming around the campus at 3am
in a polyester uniform with a clip-on tie
so dull I could scream keeping the place safe
from bicycle thieves & purse snatchers
we never caught any
making sure all the doors & windows were secure
that the buildings wouldn’t take a walk
living the life of a zombie
like some character in a Kafka story
waiting to wake up a big bug
trapped in one of Sam Beckett’s plays
no one comes no one goes
each day another burden
tossed about on the waves of life
like the poor simpleton Candide
like Peer Gynt or Ulysses or Gulliver
following the script scene by scene
of a surreal Bunel film
unable to shake the void -

each minute each step into oblivion
each night dying each morning rising from the dead
each day an eternity unable to just be
like the world cracking open beneath my feet-

years lost in obsessions
in books in music in movies
in some religious cult
in love & other fantasies
in dreams of how it could have been-

all those careless words
like knives & razorblades
like losing your mind for a little while
crossing over so many lines
like setting lose some beast
gnawing on the bones of others   
like tossing rocks at their fragile shattered souls-

your world can be shattered
with just a few words
some words have power
so said the beloved as she walked away -

like chewing on bits of time
chewing on memories
like chewing on glass-

like having been a cipher
having been a third rater
exposing my soul for such an audience as this
or having no audience at all -

having been an innocent
having been brain-dead-

like dancing in the moonlight
like being set free-

like shoveling a thousand feet of snow
after a thousand snowstorms-

like becoming more obscure
even to ourselves-

like blaming your Guru
like blaming fate
like excusing the inexcusable
like blaming your personal angel
needing always to be right-

like dreaming of being a Guru
a prophet for our time
not son of god or the messiah
another messenger
like a physician for this ailing world
lurching toward chaos
so the Ancient Sage once told me- 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Need To Save Puerto Rico :Bruce Springsteen - My City Of Ruins (With Lyrics)

For Puerto Rico and Free Speech Michael Jackson - They Don't Care About Us (Prison Version) (Official Vi...

Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised National Poetry day


#BlackLivesmatter music video 41 shots by Bruce Springsteen

Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth 1967

Cream - White Room- A Song For Trump Very Sad Indeed???

- a song for Trump 

Ringing of Revolution- America Still Needs A REVOLUTION

Phil Ochs - The Power and The Glory [with controversial verse] (1963)

Allen Ginsberg and Paul McCartney playing "A Ballad of American Skeletons"

Allen Ginsberg reads America

Jack Kerouac- American Haiku

"The Fish" Elizabeth Bishop reads her own poem GREAT

In the Waiting Room by Elizabeth Bishop

In the Waiting Room by Elizabeth Bishop

Victor Jara Manifiesto- Long Live Allende

Poetry and Politics : Victor Jara - Chile Stadium (his last song) English translation-

El pueblo unido jamás será vencido - Chile 11. september 1973

GREAT AMERICAN POETS: Allen Ginsberg reads America