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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Javier Zamora - Thoughts on the Anniversary of My Crossing the Sonoran Desert

                  June 10, 1999

 

i.
first day inside a plane I sat by the window
like when I ride the bus
correction when I rode buses
below the border I sat
by the window attention
to dogs under a mango
trash under parked cars
drunk passed out or dead
on the ground

 

I sat by plane window
same afternoon I crossed
desert the third time
was not nervous at white
people at terminal
all those questions this language
did not cry did not stop
looking out the window
watching for Statue
of Liberty Golden
Gate Disneyland
Miami

 

i.
we were lost and didn’t know which star
was north what was east west we all
dropped out of the van too soon to remember
someone said the sun rose east we circled
so much we had no maps and the guide we paid
twisted his ankle was slowing us down

 

we couldn’t leave him why
asked the ones that walked ahead
whispered they’d heard coyotes fake they’re hurt
circle and circle so much they make it seem they tried
but all they did was steal money

 

I don’t know
his ankle was swollen he was feverish
it’s true
the sun’s heat was a reptile but I know
if we didn’t leave him
we’d still be there
run-over toads

 

i.
I was happy when the van picked us up
took me to parents

 

I didn’t recognize Dad
different from pictures

 

he remembers the smell
oh the smell shit piss dust in your hair
he says now
crying

 

Mom had a bag with Nikes
Levi’s Star Wars
Episode One shirt

 

I left my ripped clothes
inside a Ross fitting room

 

I’m tired of writing the desert
that van
thirst     the fence
I’m tired it’s always that

 

even now
outside United Airlines 18F
I see clouds first like quilt
then like cheese
melting in a plastic bag
under that creosote
next to those
empty gallons
of water

 

i.
javier here you go
about same shit
when will your status change

 

when will you stop
rambling about not being there
this is not that June 10

 

let it go man
you’re not inside that Tucson fitting room
this is not Abuelita

 

who you couldn’t call
those eight weeks
she lit a candle every night

 

to light your path wherever you went
Abuelita
who you can’t call

 

every two weeks
you can’t even tell her
la quiero

 

la quiero mucho
it’s only here
in a language she don’t speak

 

i.
I left Grandpa in Guatemala
for eight weeks no one heard my voice
for eight weeks
no one slept

 

twice parents packed the car said
I’m going to the border

 

then at 1 a.m.
someone called said
you the parent of Javier nine years old
from El Salvador
yes

 

órale
it’s gone be fifteen hundred
cash
can you get to Tucson
tomorrow
yes

 

órale
near Phoenix
call this number

 

i.
to write I look for words in books
little ants Abuelita calls words
right now it’s bonsai

 

that makes me think father
he made the one in a black pot in the living room
when I first walked into Mom and Dad’s apartment
first day in this country

 

correction
first furnished living room in this country
if you count the coyote warehouse
aka an empty apartment
in some Tucson suburb
my first dawn here
I spent it dreaming about what furniture should be where
in that living room carpet used as bed

 

the smell of all fifty of us who waited for family
to pay so we could take different vans
to different states

 

in that ceiling’s white bumpy surface
I played a movie I wanted to see
Mi Vida Gringa

 

I was ready to be gringo
speak English
own a pool
white picket fence
Jeep truck convertible

 

I was ready
I was ready
I went to sleep

 

i.
Abuelita won’t leave the house
hasn’t left in years
hasn’t will not
leave
no bullshit
no metaphor

 

she won’t shower
won’t walk to the market
pero they’ll talk
what will they say
she says

 

who is they
and who cares
we say through the phone
on the table
by her door
we’ve all walked out of

 

her hair knots a dread
in the back of her short hair

 

like a microphone
cousin says

 

my little microphone head
won’t shower
won’t sit on a chair
watching people walk by
like she did
when we were there

 

i.
I wasn’t born here
I’ve always known this country wanted me dead

 

do you believe me when I say more than once
a white man wanted me dead

 

a white man passed a bill
that wants me deported

 

wants my family deported
wants us dead

 

a white man a white man a white man
not the song I wanted to hear

 

driving to the airport today
the road the trees the signs the sky the cars the walls the lights

 

told me     we want you dead
out out out out

 

i.
a few hours ago I boarded a plane
tried to cut ahead with Group A
usually I’m not caught I was stopped
the flight attendant told me wait
it’s not your turn I started sweating
I wore white the worst
color for sweat my back drenched
until she let me through I was
in the gate in the plane 18F

 

when I got to SFO
I took Marin Airporter to San Rafael
same bus I took when I first saw
the Golden Gate
how magical
like a mountain
I’d never dreamed then
waiting in that line
at the US embassy
when I tried and tried for a visa
like mom like dad like aunts
and we all got denied

 

if only there was a well
an opening in the dirt
and we had a bucket to drop
and a rope to pull
if only we could capture
clouds with nets to suck
if only cotton candy grew
on cacti and sodas
and horchata too

 

i.
there must be little pine needles
stuck in my brain to not let me concentrate
on the reason behind the word bonsai

 

I’m writing in public again
at the corner so people can’t see line breaks
so they think I’m essayist

 

maybe I’m ashamed
maybe I don’t want them reading this
that was not part of Mi Vida Gringa

 

Mi Vida Gringa not the movie I paid to see then
on that ceiling
I’m still watching it

 

haven’t exited in protest
haven’t been kicked out
for not having a valid ticket

 

I sneaked in
bought the popcorn drank the Coke
bonsai the word I whisper

 

I was supposed to be lawyer
businessman soccer player
Mom and Dad said

 

someone of value
someone in this world must’ve said
bonsais don’t have as many needles

 

as the real pine they’re cut from
though in their potential beauty
they contain the ideal number of needles

 

if no one has said that
this is not the movie

 

i.
javier can you think of that date
without thirst hunger sweat shit
without almost pissing yourself
in La Migra’s backseat
and in front of you people running
fast as we could

 

now I walk toward dawn
only when I’m fucked up

 

and if I’m blacked out
I want to shut the fuck up
those brown strangers
that didn’t listen and ran
from Migra guns
into the brush to never
be seen and heard of again

 

who I search for
in John Doe directories
not by name
but by days around June 10

 

but now in San Francisco
I’m half-drunk
stuffing shirts pants socks
into my carry-on
as if I had a flight today

 

I’ve carried this since that day

 

I’m talking about the flor de izote in our fence
the one Abuelita plucked
mixed with eggs that dawn she was crying

 

I didn’t know why

 

she’s still crying she’s filled her shadow
with so much water it’s sunk her home

 

come out come out the house Abuelita
please

 

I’m soft I’m soft he says
my grandpa
who to this day goes out with his bad knee

 

to the fields and scrapes the grass
hunching down
raking to blast the leaves on fire

 

what do I do

 

I sit here place my fingers on black keys
type it’s Monday it’s Tuesday it’s Friday
type first day inside a plane I sat by the window

 

everyone’s working

 

Mom Dad Tía Lupe Tía Mali
working under different names

 

I sit here writing my name

 

the TV is on
coffee is on

 

the stereo the couch is soft
my throat is dry
and sick

 

though we haven’t seen the light
of day
in years

Danez Smith - Differences

once, there was a boy
who learned to sing
who then learned not to sing

once, there was a boy
who heard another boy singing
then told him to stop

these are the same boy
this is every boy

another story: once, a boy
loved summer & so moved
to the sun

same story: once, a boy
ran from winter but could
not shake the dead trees

same story: once, a boy
stood in the woods
until he became it

same story: a boy is a tree

same story: my mother cries
whenever she sees a tree
//

Boy 1: We made love.
Boy 2: I was experimenting.

Boy 1: He loves me
Boy 2: He lives close

Boy 1: We have something between us.
Boy 2: He is warmest inside.

Boy 1: He’s clean.
Boy 2: I’m clean.

//

another story: last week a bird
flew into the window. He lived,

but he would not fly hours later
I did with a rock
what the lord would not.

same story: once, I taught
a bird a new flight, with a stone
I made stranger wings.

//

answer: I did not love him
answer: the curve of his shoulder at dusk
answer: It helps to lie
answer: like the iron in your veins gathering into a bullet
answer: the pale yellow of his teeth
answer: it was Thursday
answer: my blues turn red when they hit the air
answer: yes, you’re right

//

a night without questions
is a night where everything is a gun

//

Someone killed a black boy & got away with it
I am the murderer/the victim/the evidence

//

can say i’ve never had my heart broken
can’t say my heart doesn’t pump a broken formula

i have no equations for my new math
no addition for what in me multiplies

           i was negative.
                he was negative.
           we made a positive thing.

Elizabeth Willis - Plot

The second stage is sleeplessness.

At first there was worry.

The third stage is “ordinary people.”

The fourth: what to do.

 

The first stage is chaos.

The second is invention.

The steam engine. The napkin.

The picnic table. Money.

 

First you were walking across a bridge.

Then you were flying.

Then you were sweeping the floor.

 

First comes love.

Then nausea.

 

First pleasure.

Just a little pinch.

 

First the pupa, then the wings.

Wordlessness. Night.

 

The first thing is labor.

The second, we don’t know.

 

First comes water.

Then air.

A hurricane. A sigh.

Abigail. Norma. Laquisha.

Molly. Sylvia. Roxanne.

Temperance. Emma. Delilah.

Daphne. Wilhelmina. Georgette.

Landfall. Rubble.

 

The first stage was childhood.

The second stage was Beatrice.

 

The first stage was Beatrice.

The second stage was hell.

 

First the city, then the forest.

The second stage was Virgil.

The third stage was expurgated.

The fourth went unnoticed.

The last stage was a letter.

A single meaningless hum.

 

What came first the money launderers or the flatterers.

What came first the Catherine wheel or the icebox.

 

In the beginning a voice.

In the beginning paramecia.

 

First carbon.

Then electricity.

Then shoes.

 

In the beginning a tree.

 

Before the house, a cave.

Before the cave, a swamp.

Before the swamp, a desert.

 

The garden was in the middle.

Between the sidewalk and the street.

 

In the beginning soup.

 

Then tables. The stock market.

Things on four legs.

 

In the beginning I was frightened.

Then the darkness told a joke.

 

Which came first the river or the bank.

Which came first the priest or the undertaker.

Which came first crime or punishment.

Which came first the firemen or the cops.

Which came first conquest or discovery.

The fork or the spoon.

The point or the lineup.

The FBI or the CIA.

 

Which came first gravity or grace.

Which came first cotton or wool.

Which came first the slaver or the ship.

Which came first the ankle or the wing.

The hummingbird or the frog.

Puberty or ideology.

 

Which came first memory or forgiveness.

Which came first prohibition or women’s suffrage.

Coffee or tea.

 

What came first yes or no.

What comes first silver or gold.

Porcelain or silk.

Pen or paper.

 

What came first Kyoto or Dresden.

What came first the renaissance or the reformation.

What would you rather be a rabbit or a duck.

Who is more powerful Mephistopheles or Marguerite.

Who’s it going to be me or you.

What would you rather do burn or drown.

 

In the beginning I was invincible.

In the middle I came apart.

 

First there was a library then there was a café.

Then there was a wall of glass.

 

Which came first The Melancholy of Departure or The Double Dream of Spring.

 

Which came first repression or resistance.

Grammar or syntax.

The siren or the gunshot.

Which came first granite or marble.

The army or the drone.

The whistling or the blackbird.

Which came first sugar or rum. Pineapple or bananas.

The senate or the corporation.

 

Was the story half-empty or half-full.

 

What feels better pity or anger.

What scares you more life or death.

What describes you best, the steam in the engine or a penny on the tracks.

What were you thinking, a whimper or a bang.

What would you choose, a sandwich or a phone call.

What did you expect, a question or an answer.

A piano or a clock.

Take all the time you want.

Dara Wier - An Ant in the Mouth of the Furnace

Sorrow likes itself most when it’s
At its best being
A barrier
Impenetrable. An obstacle.
A veil that can’t be torn.
When beyond its deckled edges
sorrow won’t let you see.
As if you were a blue blur on paper
intended to be a child’s image of heaven.
And it takes more bearing
because more of it is always coming.
And it takes up space where space has never been.
Where there is no space.
Where no space has ever been.
And it will not move.
And brings all else to a standstill.
To no longer be in a state of grief is also a state.
To encounter the respite it is
Is to judge
Sometimes one’s self
Other times others.
There must be a name somewhere
For what’s not there
For what doesn’t
By its aggravating presence
Begin to replicate what’s gone.
Goat in the snow.
My life’s work.
Man overboard.
Black & blue overcoat.
Orange eyes. Bleeding wall.
Ring-tailed neck riverbed blanket.
It’s not
As though
After all
Suits every blue circumstance
As if
— what’s that —
— what comes after —
After which is
Is no other
After afterall
No after other
All as if at
Last all that
That grieving
It is over —
So as to make room for another
You are doing something
With someone who isn’t here
How many conversations
With who isn’t
Able to talk back
Is one human allotted?
Things were only
Like they were
Because we were
Having them together.
Having them without you
Is another thing altogether
Before when
You once were
Here we was
A something never failing
We could
Be counted on
We would
Have always been
What we were
No wonder

June Jordan - Towards a City That Sings

Into the topaz the crystalline signals
of Manhattan
the nightplane lowers my body
scintillate with longing to lie positive
beside
the electric waters of your flesh
and
I will never tell you the meaning of this poem:
Just say, "She wrote it and I recognize
the reference." Please
let it go at that. Although
it is all the willingness you lend
the world
as when you picked it up
the garbage scattering the cool
formalities of Madison Avenue
after midnight (where we walked
for miles as though we knew the woods
well enough to ignore the darkness)
although it is all the willingness you lend
the world
that makes me want
to clean up everything
in sight
(myself included)

 

for your possible
discovery

Howl

For Carl Solomon

 

I

 

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,

who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,

who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,

who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,

who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,

who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night

with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,

incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,

Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,

who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,

who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi’s, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,

who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,

a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon,

yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,

whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on the pavement,

who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,

suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings and migraines of China under junk-withdrawal in Newark’s bleak furnished room,   

who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,

who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,

who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,   

who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels,

who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,

who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight streetlight smalltown rain,

who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,

who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,

who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the FBI in beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,

who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,

who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also wailed,

who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,

who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,

who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,

who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,

who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,

who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may,

who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,

who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads of the craftsman’s loom,

who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a candle and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,

who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the lake,

who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver—joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses’ rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,

who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up out of basements hung-over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,

who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open to a room full of steam-heat and opium,

who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,

who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery,

who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,

who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts,

who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,

who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,

who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,

who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,

who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,

who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to open antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,

who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,

who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,

who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the filthy Passaic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans in their ears and the blast of colossal steamwhistles,

who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to each other’s hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,

who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had a vision to find out Eternity,

who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,

who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other’s salvation and light and breasts, until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,

who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden heads and the charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,

who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave,

who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung jury,

who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,

and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia,

who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,

returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible madman doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,

Pilgrim State’s Rockland’s and Greystone’s foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rocking and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a nightmare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon,

with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and the last door closed at 4 A.M. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination—

ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you’re really in the total animal soup of time—

and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipsis catalogue a variable measure and the vibrating plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus

to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,

the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death,

and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America’s naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio

with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.

 

 

II

 

What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?

Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!

Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!

Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!

Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!

Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose smoke-stacks and antennae crown the cities!

Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!

Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream Angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!

Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!

Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!

They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!

Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!

Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!

Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years’ animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!

Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!

 

 

III

 

Carl Solomon! I’m with you in Rockland

   where you’re madder than I am

I’m with you in Rockland

   where you must feel very strange

I’m with you in Rockland

   where you imitate the shade of my mother

I’m with you in Rockland

   where you’ve murdered your twelve secretaries

I’m with you in Rockland

   where you laugh at this invisible humor

I’m with you in Rockland

   where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter

I’m with you in Rockland

   where your condition has become serious and is reported on the radio

I’m with you in Rockland

   where the faculties of the skull no longer admit the worms of the senses

I'm with you in Rockland

   where you drink the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica

I’m with you in Rockland

   where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the harpies of the Bronx

I’m with you in Rockland

   where you scream in a straightjacket that you’re losing the game of the actual pingpong of the abyss

I’m with you in Rockland

   where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is innocent and immortal it should never die ungodly in an armed madhouse

I’m with you in Rockland

   where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a cross in the void

I’m with you in Rockland

   where you accuse your doctors of insanity and plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the fascist national Golgotha

I’m with you in Rockland

   where you will split the heavens of Long Island and resurrect your living human Jesus from the superhuman tomb

I’m with you in Rockland

   where there are twentyfive thousand mad comrades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale

I’m with you in Rockland

   where we hug and kiss the United States under our bedsheets the United States that coughs all night and won’t let us sleep

I’m with you in Rockland

   where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls’ airplanes roaring over the roof they’ve come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself    imaginary walls collapse    O skinny legions run outside    O starry-spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is here    O victory forget your underwear we’re free

I’m with you in Rockland

   in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night

 

San Francisco, 1955—1956

Dylan Thomas - I Have Longed To Move Away

I have longed to move away
From the hissing of the spent lie
And the old terrors' continual cry
Growing more terrible as the day
Goes over the hill into the deep sea;
I have longed to move away
From the repetition of salutes,
For there are ghosts in the air
And ghostly echoes on paper,
And the thunder of calls and notes.

 

I have longed to move away but am afraid;
Some life, yet unspent, might explode
Out of the old lie burning on the ground,
And, crackling into the air, leave me half-blind.
Neither by night's ancient fear,
The parting of hat from hair,
Pursed lips at the receiver,
Shall I fall to death's feather.
By these I would not care to die,
Half convention and half lie.

Mark Strand - Provisional Eternity

A man and a woman lay in bed. “Just one more time,” said the man, “just one more time.” “Why do you keep saying that?” said the woman. “Because I never want it to end,” said the man. “What don’t you want to end?” said the woman. “This,” said the man, “this never wanting it to end.”

Emily Skillings - Girls Online

The first line is a row of girls,

twenty-five of them, almost

a painting, shoulders overlapping,

angled slightly toward you.

One says: I’m myself here.

The others shudder and laugh

through the ribbon core that strings

them. They make a tone tighter

by drumming on their thighs and

opening their mouths. The girls

are cells. The girls are a fence,

a fibrous network. One by one

they describe their grievances.

Large hot malfunctioning

machines lie obediently at their sides.

Their shirts are various shades

of ease in the surrounding air,

which is littered with small cuts.

One will choose you, press you

into the ground. You may never

recover. The second-to-last line

has a fold in it. The last line is

the steady pour of their names.