March 31, 2010

I'd be safe and warm if I was in L.A.

Jessica Dunegan, Courtney, 2008

A Poem For Dada Day at The Place, April 1, 1958
- by Jack Spicer

The bartender
Has eyes the color of ripe apricots
Easy to please as a cash register he
Enjoys art and good jokes.
Goes the painting
Goes the poem

It is not easy to remember that other people died
besides Dylan Thomas and Charlie Parker

Died looking for beauty in the world of the

This person, that person, this person
died looking for beauty

Even the bartender died

Dante blew his nose
And his nose came off in his hand
Rimbaud broke his throat
Trying to cough
Dada is not funny
It is a serious assault
On art
Because art
Can be enjoyed by the bartender.

The bartender is not the United States
Or the intellectual
Or the bartender
He is every bastard that does not cry
When he reads this poem.

A Poem For Dada Day At the Place, April 1, 1955
-- by Jack Spicer

The difference between Dada and barbarism
Is the difference between an abortion and a wet dream
An abortion
Is a conscious sacrifice of the past, the painting of a mustache
On Mona Lisa, the surrender
Of real children
The other, darling, is a sacrifice
Of nobody's children, is barbarism, is an Eskimo
Running amok in a museum, is Bohemia
Renouncing cities it had never conquered.
An ugly Vandal pissing on a statue is not Phidias
Pissing on a statue. Barbarism
Is something less than a gesture.
Destroy your own gods is you want Dada:
Give up your vices, burn your jukebox,
Draw mustaches on music, paint a real mother
On every non-objective canvas. Befoul only
Those things that belong to you.
"Beauty is so rare a thing," Pound said,
"So few drink at my fountain."
You only have the right to piss in the fountain
If you are beautiful.


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