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Best Famous Gregory Corso Poems

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by Gregory Corso |

Last Night I Drove A Car

 Last night I drove a car

 not knowing how to drive
 not owning a car

 I drove and knocked down

 people I loved
 ...went 120 through one town.

 I stopped at Hedgeville

 and slept in the back seat

 ...excited about my new life.

by Gregory Corso |


 They deliver the edicts of God

without delay

And are exempt from apprehension

from detention

And with their God-given

Petasus, Caduceus, and Talaria

ferry like bolts of lightning

unhindered between the tribunals

of Space & Time

The Messenger-Spirit

in human flesh

is assigned a dependable,

self-reliant, versatile,

thoroughly poet existence

upon its sojourn in life

It does not knock

or ring the bell

or telephone

When the Messenger-Spirit

comes to your door

though locked

It'll enter like an electric midwife

and deliver the message

There is no tell

throughout the ages

that a Messenger-Spirit

ever stumbled into darkness

by Gregory Corso |

Gregory Corso

 Budger of history Brake of time You Bomb
 Toy of universe Grandest of all snatched sky I cannot hate you
 Do I hate the mischievous thunderbolt the jawbone of an ass
 The bumpy club of One Million B.C. the mace the flail the axe
 Catapult Da Vinci tomahawk Cochise flintlock Kidd dagger Rathbone
 Ah and the sad desparate gun of Verlaine Pushkin Dillinger Bogart
 And hath not St. Michael a burning sword St. George a lance David a sling
 Bomb you are as cruel as man makes you and you're no crueller than cancer
 All Man hates you they'd rather die by car-crash lightning drowning
Falling off a roof electric-chair heart-attack old age old age O Bomb
 They'd rather die by anything but you Death's finger is free-lance
 Not up to man whether you boom or not Death has long since distributed its
 categorical blue I sing thee Bomb Death's extravagance Death's jubilee
 Gem of Death's supremest blue The flyer will crash his death will differ
 with the climbor who'll fall to die by cobra is not to die by bad pork
Some die by swamp some by sea and some by the bushy-haired man in the night
 O there are deaths like witches of Arc Scarey deaths like Boris Karloff
 No-feeling deaths like birth-death sadless deaths like old pain Bowery
 Abandoned deaths like Capital Punishment stately deaths like senators
 And unthinkable deaths like Harpo Marx girls on Vogue covers my own
 I do not know just how horrible Bombdeath is I can only imagine
 Yet no other death I know has so laughable a preview I scope
 a city New York City streaming starkeyed subway shelter 
 Scores and scores A fumble of humanity High heels bend
 Hats whelming away Youth forgetting their combs
 Ladies not knowing what to do with their shopping bags
 Unperturbed gum machines Yet dangerous 3rd rail
 Ritz Brothers from the Bronx caught in the A train
 The smiling Schenley poster will always smile
 Impish death Satyr Bomb Bombdeath
 Turtles exploding over Istanbul
 The jaguar's flying foot
 soon to sink in arctic snow
 Penguins plunged against the Sphinx
 The top of the Empire state
 arrowed in a broccoli field in Sicily
 Eiffel shaped like a C in Magnolia Gardens
 St. Sophia peeling over Sudan
 O athletic Death Sportive Bomb
 the temples of ancient times
 their grand ruin ceased
 Electrons Protons Neutrons 
 gathering Hersperean hair
 walking the dolorous gulf of Arcady
 joining marble helmsmen
 entering the final ampitheater
 with a hymnody feeling of all Troys
 heralding cypressean torches
 racing plumes and banners
 and yet knowing Homer with a step of grace
 Lo the visiting team of Present
 the home team of Past
 Lyre and tube together joined
 Hark the hotdog soda olive grape
 gala galaxy robed and uniformed 
 commissary O the happy stands
 Ethereal root and cheer and boo
 The billioned all-time attendance
 The Zeusian pandemonium
 Hermes racing Owens
 The Spitball of Buddha
 Christ striking out
 Luther stealing third
 Planeterium Death Hosannah Bomb
 Gush the final rose O Spring Bomb
 Come with thy gown of dynamite green
 unmenace Nature's inviolate eye
 Before you the wimpled Past
 behind you the hallooing Future O Bomb
 Bound in the grassy clarion air
 like the fox of the tally-ho
 thy field the universe thy hedge the geo
 Leap Bomb bound Bomb frolic zig and zag
 The stars a swarm of bees in thy binging bag
 Stick angels on your jubilee feet
 wheels of rainlight on your bunky seat
 You are due and behold you are due
 and the heavens are with you
 hosanna incalescent glorious liaison
 BOMB O havoc antiphony molten cleft BOOM
 Bomb mark infinity a sudden furnace
 spread thy multitudinous encompassed Sweep
 set forth awful agenda
 Carrion stars charnel planets carcass elements
 Corpse the universe tee-hee finger-in-the-mouth hop
 over its long long dead Nor
 From thy nimbled matted spastic eye
 exhaust deluges of celestial ghouls
 From thy appellational womb
 spew birth-gusts of of great worms
 Rip open your belly Bomb
 from your belly outflock vulturic salutations
 Battle forth your spangled hyena finger stumps
 along the brink of Paradise
 O Bomb O final Pied Piper
 both sun and firefly behind your shock waltz
 God abandoned mock-nude
 beneath His thin false-talc's apocalypse
 He cannot hear thy flute's
 happy-the-day profanations
 He is spilled deaf into the Silencer's warty ear
 His Kingdom an eternity of crude wax
 Clogged clarions untrumpet Him
 Sealed angels unsing Him
 A thunderless God A dead God
 O Bomb thy BOOM His tomb
 That I lean forward on a desk of science
 an astrologer dabbling in dragon prose
 half-smart about wars bombs especially bombs
 That I am unable to hate what is necessary to love 
 That I can't exist in a world that consents
 a child in a park a man dying in an electric-chair
 That I am able to laugh at all things
 all that I know and do not know thus to conceal my pain
 That I say I am a poet and therefore love all man
 knowing my words to be the acquainted prophecy of all men
 and my unwords no less an acquaintanceship
 That I am manifold
 a man pursuing the big lies of gold
 or a poet roaming in bright ashes
 or that which I imagine myself to be 
 a shark-toothed sleep a man-eater of dreams
 I need not then be all-smart about bombs
 Happily so for if I felt bombs were caterpillars
 I'd doubt not they'd become butterflies
 There is a hell for bombs
 They're there I see them there
 They sit in bits and sing songs
  mostly German songs
 And two very long American songs
 and they wish there were more songs
 especially Russian and Chinese songs
 and some more very long American songs
 Poor little Bomb that'll never be 
 an Eskimo song I love thee 
 I want to put a lollipop
 in thy furcal mouth
 A wig of Goldilocks on thy baldy bean
 and have you skip with me Hansel and Gretel
 along the Hollywoodian screen
 O Bomb in which all lovely things
 moral and physical anxiously participate
  O fairylike plucked from the 
 grandest universe tree 
 O piece of heaven which gives
 both mountain and anthill a sun
 I am standing before your fantastic lily door
 I bring you Midgardian roses Arcadian musk
 Reputed cosmetics from the girls of heaven
 Welcome me fear not thy opened door
 nor thy cold ghost's grey memory
 nor the pimps of indefinite weather
 their cruel terrestial thaw
 Oppenheimer is seated
 in the dark pocket of Light
 Fermi is dry in Death's Mozambique
 Einstein his mythmouth
 a barnacled wreath on the moon-squid's head
 Let me in Bomb rise from that pregnant-rat corner
 nor fear the raised-broom nations of the world
 O Bomb I love you
 I want to kiss your clank eat your boom
 You are a paean an acme of scream
 a lyric hat of Mister Thunder
 O resound thy tanky knees
 BOOM ye skies and BOOM ye suns
 BOOM BOOM ye moons ye stars BOOM
 nights ye BOOM ye days ye BOOM
 BOOM BOOM ye winds ye clouds ye rains
 go BANG ye lakes ye oceans BING
 Barracuda BOOM and cougar BOOM
 Ubangi BOOM orangutang 
 BING BANG BONG BOOM bee bear baboon
 ye BANG ye BONG ye BING
 the tail the fin the wing
 Yes Yes into our midst a bomb will fall
 Flowers will leap in joy their roots aching
 Fields will kneel proud beneath the halleluyahs of the wind
 Pinkbombs will blossom Elkbombs will perk their ears
 Ah many a bomb that day will awe the bird a gentle look
 Yet not enough to say a bomb will fall
 or even contend celestial fire goes out
 Know that the earth will madonna the Bomb
 that in the hearts of men to come more bombs will be born
 magisterial bombs wrapped in ermine all beautiful
 and they'll sit plunk on earth's grumpy empires
 fierce with moustaches of gold

by Gregory Corso |

The Mad Yak

 I am watching them churn the last milk they'll ever get
from me.
They are waiting for me to die;
They want to make buttons out of my bones.
Where are my sisters and brothers?
That tall monk there, loading my uncle, he has a new cap.
And that idiot student of his--
I never saw that muffler before.
Poor uncle, he lets them load him.
How sad he is, how tired!
I wonder what they'll do with his bones?
And that beautiful tail!
How many shoelaces will they make of that!

by Gregory Corso |

I Am 25

 With a love a madness for Shelley
Chatterton Rimbaud
and the needy-yap of my youth
 has gone from ear to ear:
Especially old poetmen who retract
who consult other old poetmen
who speak their youth in whispers,
saying:--I did those then
 but that was then
 that was then--
O I would quiet old men
say to them:--I am your friend
 what you once were, thru me
 you'll be again--
Then at night in the confidence of their homes
rip out their apology-tongues
 and steal their poems.

by Gregory Corso |

I Held A Shelley Manuscript

 My hands did numb to beauty
as they reached into Death and tightened!

O sovereign was my touch
upon the tan-inks's fragile page!

Quickly, my eyes moved quickly,
sought for smell for dust for lace
for dry hair!

I would have taken the page
breathing in the crime!
For no evidence have I wrung from dreams--
yet what triumph is there in private credence?

Often, in some steep ancestral book,
when I find myself entangled with leopard-apples
and torched-skin mushrooms,
my cypressean skein outreaches the recorded age
and I, as though tipping a pitcher of milk,
pour secrecy upon the dying page.

by Gregory Corso |


 LIKE winds or waters were her ways:
The flowing tides, the airy streams,
Are troubled not by any dreams;
They know the circle of their days.

Like winds or waters were her ways:
They heed not immemorial cries;
They move to their high destinies
Beyond the little voice that prays.

She passed into her secret goal,
And left behind a soul that trod
In darkness, knowing not of God,
But craving for its sister soul.

by Gregory Corso |



Paris, from throats of iron, silver, brass, 
Joy-thundering cannon, blent with chiming bells, 
And martial strains, the full-voiced pæan swells. 
The air is starred with flags, the chanted mass 
Throngs all the churches, yet the broad streets swarm 
With glad-eyed groups who chatter, laugh, and pass, 
In holiday confusion, class with class. 
And over all the spring, the sun-floods warm! 
In the Imperial palace that March morn, 
The beautiful young mother lay and smiled; 
For by her side just breathed the Prince, her child, 
Heir to an empire, to the purple born, 
Crowned with the Titan's name that stirs the heart 
Like a blown clarion--one more Bonaparte. 


Born to the purple, lying stark and dead, 
Transfixed with poisoned spears, beneath the sun 
Of brazen Africa! Thy grave is one, 
Fore-fated youth (on whom were visited 
Follies and sins not thine), whereat the world, 
Heartless howe'er it be, will pause to sing 
A dirge, to breathe a sigh, a wreath to fling 
Of rosemary and rue with bay-leaves curled. 
Enmeshed in toils ambitious, not thine own, 
Immortal, loved boy-Prince, thou tak'st thy stand 
With early doomed Don Carlos, hand in hand 
With mild-browed Arthur, Geoffrey's murdered son. 
Louis the Dauphin lifts his thorn-ringed head, 
And welcomes thee, his brother, 'mongst the dead.