April 10, 2011

I make such good time through sub-space
when I dream all day and ride all night



Gordon Matta-Clark, The Caribbean Orange, 1978

A Vision for the People of America
-- by Kenneth Patchen

The poets with death on their tongues shall come to address you.

The fat nonsense will end.
You will drown in your rot.

The poets with death on their tongues shall come to address you.

The slimy hypocrisy will end.
You will go down in your filth.

O the poets with death on their tongues shall come to address you.


This poem . . .
-- by Elma Mitchell

This poem is dangerous: it should not be left
Within the reach of children, or even of adults
Who might swallow it whole, with possibly
Undesirable side-effects. If you come across
An unattended, unidentified poem
In a public place, do not attempt to tackle it
Yourself. Send it (preferably, in a sealed container)
To the nearest centre of learning, where it will be rendered
Harmless, by experts. Even the simplest poem
May destroy your immunity to human emotions.
All poems must carry a Government warning. Words
Can seriously affect your heart.


White White Collars
-- by Denis Johnson

We work in this building and we are hideous
in the fluorescent light, you know our clothes
woke up this morning and swallowed us like jewels
and ride up and down the elevators, filled with us,
turning and returning like the spray of light that goes
around dance-halls among the dancing fools.
My office smells like a theory, but here one weeps
to see the goodness of the world laid bare
and rising with the government on its lips,
the alphabet congealing in the air
around our heads. But in my belly’s flames
someone is dancing, calling me by many names
that are secret and filled with light and rise
and break, and I see my previous lives.

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