October 18, 2006

temper the machine gun sounds


Louise Rosskam, N Street at Union Street S.W., wdc, 1941

Daily Commute
-- by Jessica Goodheart

We ride out of downtown on a river of exhaust,
past a woman, drunk with the fumes,

who clutches a sign in dirty hands:
Very hungry. Please help.

Once I stopped to explain why we dress in steel,
point our chins East.

She shook her head, unwilling
to know a world outside her sorrow,

and I don't stop any more. She doesn't understand
the flow of traffic, the agreement we've made to move in sync.

Sometimes she holds out a bouquet of roses
as if she wanted to jam the freeways with her troubled flowers,

but we keep going, drifting on rafts of glass
toward the freedom of our separate houses,

windows that flicker television blue
along the quieted streets.

Eros
-- by Denise Levertov

The flowerlike
animal perfume
in the god’s curly
hair —

don’t assume
that like a flower
his attributes
are there to tempt

you or
direct the moth’s
hunger —
simply he is
the temple of himself,

hair and hide
a sacrifice of blood and flowers
on his altar

if any worshipper
kneel or not.

Coming Forth by Day
-- by Phillip Whalen

I must get up early in the morning
Let all the insects out to air and feed
They come back nightly, ever faithful
Even this cold weather when I wished
They’d all be dead

For You
-- by Ted Berrigan

to James Schuyler

New York’s lovely weather hurts my forehead
here where clean snow is sitting, wetly
round my ears, as hand-in-glove and
head-to-head with Joe, I go reeling
up First Avenue to Klein’s. Christmas
is sexy there. We feel soft sweaters
and plump rumpled skirts we’d like to try.
It was gloomy being broke today, and baffled
in love: Love, why do you always take my heart away?
But then the soft snow came sweetly falling down
and head in the clouds, feet soaked in mush
I rushed hatless into the white and shining air,
thankful to find release in heaven’s care.

* Pete Townshend on Syd Barrett:

Later, Pete toyed with his guitar effects between songs and announced his recent obsession with a new echo rig. He related how he had been originally introduced to echo when he first saw Syd Barrett with Pink Floyd in London circa 1967: 'Syd came out on the stage and the first thing he did was this:' (Pete played some power chords and and hit the echo by way of demonstration, subjecting the laughing audience to this for a minute.) 'I think Syd was still standing there with that same chord echoing when Pink Floyd ended their set.' (More audience laughter... Pete was playing the Rose Garden Arena in Portland on October 10 when he made these statements)

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