April 20, 2007

Please don't let on that you knew me when


Judy Chicago, The creation, 1985

I Have Two Bars of Soap
-- by Leonard Cohen

I have two bars of soap,
the fragrance of almond,
one for you and one for me.
Draw the bath,
we will wash each other.

I have no money,
I murdered the pharmacist.

And here's a jar of oil,
just like in the Bible.
Lie in my arms,
I'll make your flesh glisten.

I have no money,
I murdered the perfumer.

Look through the window
at the shops and people.
Tell me what you desire,
you'll have it by the hour.

I have no money.
I have no money.

Coffee Corner
-- by Ron Padgett

The large bowls of coffee at breakfast in France,
the heavy porcelain cups in old American diners,
the disposable brown plastic cups in motel lobbies,

the feeling that you ought to drink the entire cup,
the slight resentment you feel at feeling this way,
the wondering why you do it then,

the gratitude for someone’s making the coffee,
the decision not to have a third free refill,
the surprise of a really bad cup of coffee,

the way it used to cost a nickel, then seven cents, then ten,
and now anywhere from sixty cents to three seventy-five,
sometimes a little more for decaffeinated,

the brown print of it drying on the cup’s lip,
the small amount left in the bottom,
the rest of it sloshing inside you,

sending its stimulation through tubes
in your body, hello, let’s go, we’re late, do
you have the keys, oh god I can’t find my wallet

Bargain Hunt
-- by Ron Padgett

for Tessie

Suppose you found a bargain so incredible
you stood there stunned for a moment
unable to believe that this thing could be
for sale at such a low price: that is what happens
when you are born, and as the years go by
the price goes up and up until, near the end
of your life, it is so high that you lie there
stunned forever.

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