August 25, 2006

time will break the world


Andrew Miksys, Lipstick, New Orleans, 1997

Music
-- by Frank O'Hara

If I rest for a moment near The Equestrian
pausing for a liver sausage sandwich in the Mayflower Shoppe,
that angel seems to be leading the horse into Bergdorf's
and I am naked as a table cloth, my nerves humming.
Close to the fear of war and the stars which have disappeared.
I have in my hands only 35c, it's so meaningless to eat!
and gusts of water spray over the basins of leaves
like the hammers of a glass pianoforte. If I seem to you
to have lavender lips under the leaves of the world,
I must tighten my belt.
It's like a locomotive on the march, the season
of distress and clarity
and my door is open to the evenings of midwinter's
lightly falling snow over the newspapers.
Clasp me in your handkerchief like a tear, trumpet
of early afternoon! in the foggy autumn.
As they're putting up the Christmas trees on Park Avenue
I shall see my daydreams walking by with dogs in blankets,
put to some use before all those coloured lights come on!
But no more fountains and no more rain,
and the stores stay open terribly late.

Nixon
-- by Ed Sanders (From America A History in Verse, Volume 3)

brought in Henry Kissinger, Nelson Rockefeller's associate
to be his National Securtiy Advisor
Kissinger had offered to work for Humphrey,
but secretly worked for Nixon's election
as we have seen

Kissinger was what they called a power freak
He was vindictive, quick to anger
and he had a Cosmic Ego, as if he'd taken too much acid
with actually taking any
He was a secrecy-batty would-be Metternich
who, the time-track will reveal,
care not many whits
for napalmed civilians
& glazed eyes in the world's ditches

Nixon selected humas named H.R. Haldeman
& John Ehrlichman as his "personal aides."

They were living labs of "power corrupts"
& served as his political knife-men

All three were classic examples of what the historians
Charles & Mary Beard once called
"advisors swollen with infallibility"

To Whom It May Concern
-- by J.V. Cunningham

After so many decades of ... of what?
I have a permanent sabbatical.
I pass my time on actuarial time.
Listen to music, and going to bed
Leave something at the bottom of the glass,
A little wastefulness to end the day.

Rent
-- by Jane Cooper

If you want my apartment, sleep in it
but let's have a clear understanding:
the books are still free agents.

If the rocking chair's arms surround you
they can also let you go,
they can shape the air like a body.

I don't want your rent. I want
a radiance of attention
like the candles's flame when we eat,

I mean a kind of awe
attending the spaces between us --
Not a roof but a field of stars.

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