August 24, 2007

freelance patrol sounds the all clear

Manuel Ocampo

State and 32nd, Cold Morning Blues
-- Kenneth Rexroth

A girl in a torn chemise
Weeps by a dirty window.
Jaws are punched in the street.

A cat is sick in the gutter.
Dogs bark up nightbound alleys.
There’s nothing like the sorrow

Of the jukeboxes at dawn.
Dice girls going home.
Whores eating chop suey.

Pimps eat chile mac.
Drowsy flatfeet, ham and eggs.
Dawn of labor, dawn of life.

The awakening noises
Of the old sacrifices.
The snow blows down the bare street

Ahead of the first streetcar.
The lovers light cigarettes,
And part with burning eyes,

And go off in the daylight.

Rose Colored Glasses
-- Kenneth Rexroth

Ten years, and it’s still on the
Radio. La Vie en rose
Spills out of a dozen windows
Onto the canal. A woman
And her son in a vegetable
Barge sing it. A man polishing
The prow of his gondola
Sings it while his dog wags its tail.
Children playing hopscotch sing it.
Grimy half washed clothes hang overhead.
Garbage floats in the narrow canal.
More radios join in. Across
The canal, beyond the iron windows
Of the Women’s Prison, a hundred
Pure voices of pickpockets
And prostitutes start to sing it.
It is just like being in church.
The next number is Ciao, ciao, bambina.

-- Kenneth Rexroth

Lying here quietly beside you,
My cheek against your firm, quiet thighs,
The calm music of Boccherini
Washing over us in the quiet,
As the sun leaves the housetops and goes
Out over the Pacific, quiet --
So quiet the sun moves beyond us,
So quiet as the sun always goes,
So quiet, our bodies, worn with the
Times and the penances of love, our
Brains curled, quiet in their shells, dormant,
Our hearts slow, quiet, reliable
In their interlocked rhythms, the pulse
In your thigh caressing my cheek. Quiet.

* In DC? Come on out Saturday at 6pm at Lamont Park (corner of Mt. Pleasant and Lamont Street) for sets by the foreign press and the caribbean.


Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Each even better than the one before!

3:33 AM  

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