May 7, 2004

I saw the best mind angel-headed hipster damned

Two poems by Edward Sanders from America: A History in Verse 1940-1960.

Love, Friendship & Eros in the White House

Eleanor Roosevelt's long-time friend Lorena Hickok
moved into a room
on the second floor of the White House
by the Lincoln Bedroom

Lorena's room was across a sitting room
from Eleanor's

She and Eleanor had once shared an intense passion
beginning around 1933
that has used up a forest's worth of paper
on the question of its eroticity

It's clear that Hick & Eleanor were once in love
and she had given up her career
as a big time wire service reporter
to be near Eleanor.

Eleanor was both hugely popular
& hugely hated, say,
by the Dixiecrats & misogynocrats
and so one provable Hick-gasm
would have changed history

but now it doesn't really matter
-- with edited letters &
a dim-lit Time Track --
what really happened.

While living at the White House
(she had a job with the DNC)
Hickok pretended she was staying at the Mayflower
Hotel

She was there till just a few weeks before
FDR's death in 1945.

Dope Thrill '43 (April 16)

In Basel, Switzerland
a man named Albert Hoffman
chomped down on a ergot-derived substance
and caught quick colors

intense plasticity and blob-formation-serges
in the first LSD dope thrill

It was the first instance of what Tim Leary later
would call a Trip -- an avenue to the numinal
swirly-swirlies
of the Cosmos

and the Great Wheel Wheeling Greatly

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