May 14, 2008

making false hopes rhyme


Mel Bochner, Criticize, 2007–2008

The Just
-- by Jorge Luis Borges

~ trans. by Alastair Reid

A man who cultivates his garden, as Voltaire wished.
He who is grateful for the existence of music.
He who takes pleasure in tracing an etymology.
Two workmen playing, in a cafe in the South, a silent game of chess.
The potter, contemplating a color and a form.
The typographer who sets this page well, though it may not please him.
A woman and a man, who read the last tercets of a certain canto.
He who strokes a sleeping animal.
He who justifies, or wishes to, a wrong done to him.
He who is grateful for the existence of Stevenson.
He who prefers others to be right.
These people, unaware, are saving the world.


Poem in the Manner of Paul Blackburn
-- by Gerard Malanga

Hitching up trousers
from just having gone to the can,
leaving the door purposely ajar --
beautiful young girl
suddenly rushes in without knocking --
whataya 'spect -- shocked at her surprise to find me there,
excuses herself "That's all right" I say --
in one lifetime of separate realities,
an erotic aftertaste.

In another phantasy,
she wd've stayed,
got on her knees and sucked me off.
Her head held in my hands,
My hands running through her hair

.............shows what a cup of coffee can do in the morning.


Tough Cookies
-- by Ted Berrigan

You took a wrong turn in
1938. Don't worry about it.

The sun shines brightest when
the others are sleeping.

There is a Briss in your
immediate future.

Take heart. Shakespeare was
probably an asshole too.

Your life is rare and precious
& it has no mud. Stay with it.

You have strange friends, but
they are going to be strangers.

Everything is Maya, but you
will never know it.

Your gaiety is not cowardice,
but it may be hepatitis.

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