Eventually we must combine nightmares an angel smoking a cigarette on the steps of the last national bank, said to me. I put her out with my thumb. I don’t need that cheap talk I’ve got my own problems. It was sad, exciting, and horrible. It was exciting, horrible, and sad. It was horrible, sad, and exciting. It was inviting, mad, and deplorable. It was adorable, glad, and enticing. Eventually we must smoke a thumb cheap talk I’ve got my own angel on the steps of the problems the bank said to me I don’t need that. I will take this one window with its sooty maps and scratches so that my dreams will remember one another and so that my eyes will not become blinded by the new world.
The flames don’t dance or slither. They have painted the room green. Beautiful and naked, the wives are sleeping before the fire. Now it is out. The men have returned to the shacks, slaved creatures from the forest floor across their white stationwagons. That just about does it, says the other, dumping her bucket over her head. Well, I guess we got everything, says one, feeling around in the mud, as if for a child. Now they remember they want that mud, who can’t remember what they got up for. They parcel it out: when they are drunk enough they go into town with a bucket of mud, saying we can slice it up into windmills like a bloated cow. Later, they paint the insides of the shack black, and sit sucking eggs all night, they want something real, useful, but there isn’t anything.
I will engineer the sunrise they have disassembled our shadows our echoes are erased from the walls your nipples are the skeletons of olives your nipples are an oriental delight your nipples blow away like cigarette papers your nipples are the mouths of mutes so I am not here any longer skein of lightning memory’s dark ink in your last smile where the stars have swallowed their train schedule where the stars have drowned in their dark petticoats like a sock of hamburger receiving the lightning into his clitoris red on red the prisoner confesses his waltz through the corkscrew lightning nevermind the lightning in your teeth let’s waltz I am the hashish pinball machine that rapes a piano.
I sat at my desk and contemplated all that I had accomplished this year. I had won the hot dog eating contest on Rhode Island. No, I hadn’t. I was just kidding. I was the arm wrestling champion in Portland, Maine. False. I caught the largest boa constrictor in Southern Brazil. In my dreams. I built the largest house out of matchsticks in all the United States. Wow! I caught a wolf by its tail. Yumee. I married the Princess of Monaco. Can you believe it? I fell off of Mount Everest. Ouch! I walked back up again. It was tiring. Snore. I set a record for sitting in my chair and snoring longer than anybody. Awake! I set a record for swimming from one end of my bath to the other in No Count, Nebraska. Blurb. I read a book written by a dove. Great! I slept in my chair all day and all night for thirty days. Whew! I ate a cheeseburger every day for a year. I never want to do that again. A trout bit me when I was washing the dishes. But I couldn’t catch him. I flew over my hometown and didn’t recognize anyone. That’s how long it’s been. A policeman stopped me on the street and said he was sorry. He was looking for someone who looked just like me and had the same name. What are the chances?
*This poem was found in the poet’s typewriter after his death.
I was outside St. Cecelia's Rectory smoking a cigarette when a goat appeared beside me. It was mostly black and white, with a little reddish brown here and there. When I started to walk away, it followed. I was amused and delighted, but wondered what the laws were on this kind of thing. There's a leash law for dogs, but what about goats? People smiled at me and admired the goat. "It's not my goat," I explained. "It's the town's goat. I'm just taking my turn caring for it." "I didn't know we had a goat," one of them said. "I wonder when my turn is." "Soon," I said. "Be patient. Your time is coming." The goat stayed by my side. It stopped when I stopped. It looked up at me and I stared into its eyes. I felt he knew everything essential about me. We walked on. A police- man on his beat looked us over. "That's a mighty fine goat you got there," he said, stopping to admire. "It's the town's goat," I said. "His family goes back three-hundred years with us," I said, "from the beginning." The officer leaned forward to touch him, then stopped and looked up at me. "Mind if I pat him?" he asked. "Touching this goat will change your life," I said. "It's your decision." He thought real hard for a minute, and then stood up and said, "What's his name?" "He's called the Prince of Peace," I said. "God! This town is like a fairy tale. Everywhere you turn there's mystery and wonder. And I'm just a child playing cops and robbers forever. Please forgive me if I cry." "We forgive you, Officer," I said. "And we understand why you, more than anybody, should never touch the Prince." The goat and I walked on. It was getting dark and we were beginning to wonder where we would spend the night.