November 21, 2008

Bicycles have drifted through these leaves

unknown, Dylan and Ginsberg at Kerouac's Grave

Three poems by Weldon Kees:

The Cats

What the cats do
To amuse themselves
When we are gone
I do not know.
They have the yard
And the fences
Of the neighbors,
And, occasionally,
May arrive at the door, miaowing.
With drops of milk
On their chins,
Waving their shining tails
And exhibiting signs of alarm
When the light inside
The refrigerator
Goes on. But what
They do all day
Remains a mystery.
It is a dull neighborhood.
Children scream
From the playground.
The cars go by in a bluish light.
at six o'clock the cats run out
When we come home from work
To greet us, crying, dancing,
After the long day.

To A Noisy Contemporary

Your ego's bad dream drums that vision
Encountered on page one, pages three to eighty-nine.
Count the wound-up places where we went aground.
As an entertainment, zero. Hero horror. Try the line

Of incestuous relations, hearty friendship, or the cult.
Of the ectoplasmic navel and the ravishments of guilt.

Page two was delightful. And the margins were wide;
One was tempted by the imagery of bloody wrists,
Your hysterogetic spasms and italicized reproofs.
You may well supplant the tuba if the music lasts.

The City As Hero

For those whose voice cry from ruins
For those who die in the dark alone
For those who walk in the ruined streets

Here in your evening

The chimneys are empty of smoke
These squares of darkness are windows
The soundless wire stretch across the sky
Stillness of air
Under cold stars
And near the dry river
An old man without shadow walks alone

Upon pillows of darkness
Here is your evening

What words What answers now
What memories What ruined harbors?


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