Allen Ginsberg |
takes him strolling
by railroad and by river
-he's the son of the absconded
hot rod angel-
and he imagines cars
and rides them in his dreams,
so lonely growing up among
the imaginary automobiles
and dead souls of Tarrytown
out of his own imagination
the beauty of his wild
he cannot inherit.
Will he later hallucinate
his gods? Waking
among mysteries with
an insane gleam
something so rare
in his soul,
met only in dreams
of another life.
A question of the soul.
And the injured
losing their injury
in their innocence
-a cock, a cross,
an excellence of love.
And the father grieves
complexities of memory
a thousand miles
of the unexpected
bumming toward his door.
- New York, April 13, 1952
Henry Van Dyke |
I - STARLIGHT
With two bright eyes, my star, my love,
Thou lookest on the stars above:
Ah, would that I the heaven might be
With a million eyes to look on thee.
II - ROSELEAF
A little while the rose,
And after that the thorn;
An hour of dewy morn,
And then the glamour goes.
Ah, love in beauty born,
A little while the rose!
III - PHOSPHOR -- HESPER
O morning star, farewell!
My love I now must leave;
The hours of day I slowly tell,
And turn to her with the twilight bell, --
O welcome, star of eve!
IV - SEASONS
Sweet in summer, cups of snow,
Cooling thirsty lips aglow;
Sweet to sailors winter-bound,
Spring arrives with garlands crowned;
Sweeter yet the hour that covers
With one cloak a pair of lovers,
Living lost in golden weather,
While they talk of love together.
V - THE VINE AND THE GOAT
Although you eat me to the root,
I yet shall bear enough of fruit
For wine to sprinkle your dim eyes,
When you are made a sacrifice.
VI - THE PROFESSOR
Seven pupils, in the class
Of Professor Callias,
Listen silent while he drawls, --
Three are benches, four are walls.
Erica Jong |
Can you imagine the air filled with smoke?
The city was vanishing before noon
or was it earlier than that? I can't say because
the light came from nowhere and went nowhere.
This was years ago, before you were born, before
your parents met in a bus station downtown.
She'd come on Friday after work all the way
from Toledo, and he'd dressed in his only suit.
Back then we called this a date, some times
a blind date, though they'd written back and forth
What actually took place is now lost.
It's become part of the mythology of a family,
the stories told by children around the dinner table.
No, they aren't dead, they're just treated that way,
as objects turned one way and then another
to catch the light, the light overflowing with smoke.
Go back to the beginning, you insist.
is the air filled with smoke? Simple.
We had work.
Work was something that thrived on fire, that without
fire couldn't catch its breath or hang on for life.
We came out into the morning air, Bernie, Stash,
Williams, and I, it was late March, a new war
was starting up in Asia or closer to home,
one that meant to kill us, but for a moment
the air held still in the gray poplars and elms
undoing their branches.
I understood the moon
for the very first time, why it came and went, why
it wasn't there that day to greet the four of us.
Before the bus came a small black bird settled
on the curb, fearless or hurt, and turned its beak up
as though questioning the day.
"A baby crow,"
Your father knelt down on the wet cement,
his lunchbox balanced on one knee and stared quietly
for a long time.
"A grackle far from home," he said.
One of the four of us mentioned tenderness,
a word I wasn't used to, so it wasn't me.
The bus must have arrived.
I'm not there today.
The windows were soiled.
We swayed this way and that
over the railroad tracks, across Woodward Avenue,
heading west, just like the sun, hidden in smoke.
Philip Levine |
A good man is seized by the police
and spirited away.
someone brags that he shot him once
through the back of the head
with a Walther 7.
65, and his life
ended just there.
Those who loved
him go on searching the cafés
in the Barrio Chino or the bars
near the harbor.
A comrade swears
he saw him at a distance buying
two kilos of oranges in the market
of San José and called out, "Andrés,
Andrés," but instead of turning
to a man he'd known since child-
hood and opening his great arms
wide, he scurried off, the oranges
tumbling out of the damp sack, one
after another, a short bright trail
left on the sidewalk to say,
Farewell! Farewell to what? I ask.
I asked then and I ask now.
heard the story fifty years ago;
it became part of the mythology I
hauled with me from one graveyard
to another, this belief in the power
of my yearning.
The dead are every-
where, crowding the narrow streets
that jut out from the wide boulevard
on which we take our morning walk.
They stand in the cold shadows
of men and women come to sell
themselves to anyone, they stride
along beside me and stop when I
stop to admire the bright garlands
or the little pyramids of fruit,
they reach a hand out to give
money or to take change, they say
"Good morning" or "Thank you," they
turn with me and retrace my steps
back to the bare little room I've
come to call home.
they stand beside me staring out
over the soiled roofs of the world
until the light fades and we are
all one or no one.
They ask for
so little, a prayer now and then,
a toast to their health which is
our health, a few lies no one reads
incised on a dull plaque between
a pharmacy and a sports store,
the least little daily miracle.
Ben Jonson |
? ON SIR VOLUPTUOUS BEAST.
While BEAST instructs his fair and innocent wife,
In the past pleasures of his sensual life,
Telling the motions of each petticoat,
And how his Ganymede mov'd, and how his goat,
And now her hourly her own cucquean makes,
In varied shapes, which for his lust she takes :
What doth he else, but say, Leave to be chaste,
Just wife, and, to change me, make woman's haste.
Ganymede, in Greek mythology, a beautiful shepherd boy
with whom Zeus fell in love.
[Cuckold + queen], a woman whose
husband is unfaithful to her.