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Best Famous New York Poems

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Written by David Lehman | Create an image from this poem

A Little History

 Some people find out they are Jews.
They can't believe it.
Thy had always hated Jews.
As children they had roamed in gangs on winter nights in the old neighborhood, looking for Jews.
They were not Jewish, they were Irish.
They brandished broken bottles, tough guys with blood on their lips, looking for Jews.
They intercepted Jewish boys walking alone and beat them up.
Sometimes they were content to chase a Jew and he could elude them by running away.
They were happy just to see him run away.
The coward! All Jews were yellow.
They spelled Jew with a small j jew.
And now they find out they are Jews themselves.
It happened at the time of the Spanish Inquisition.
To escape persecution, they pretended to convert to Christianity.
They came to this country and settled in the Southwest.
At some point oral tradition failed the family, and their secret faith died.
No one would ever have known if not for the bones that turned up on the dig.
A disaster.
How could it have happened to them? They are in a state of panic--at first.
Then they realize that it is the answer to their prayers.
They hasten to the synagogue or build new ones.
They are Jews at last! They are free to marry other Jews, and divorce them, and intermarry with Gentiles, God forbid.
They are model citizens, clever and thrifty.
They debate the issues.
They fire off earnest letters to the editor.
They vote.
They are resented for being clever and thrifty.
They buy houses in the suburbs and agree not to talk so loud.
They look like everyone else, drive the same cars as everyone else, yet in their hearts they know they're different.
In every minyan there are always two or three, hated by the others, who give life to one ugly stereotype or another: The grasping Jew with the hooked nose or the Ivy League Bolshevik who thinks he is the agent of world history.
But most of them are neither ostentatiously pious nor excessively avaricious.
How I envy them! They believe.
How I envy them their annual family reunion on Passover, anniversary of the Exodus, when all the uncles and aunts and cousins get together.
They wonder about the heritage of Judaism they are passing along to their children.
Have they done as much as they could to keep the old embers burning? Others lead more dramatic lives.
A few go to Israel.
One of them calls Israel "the ultimate concentration camp.
" He tells Jewish jokes.
On the plane he gets tipsy, tries to seduce the stewardess.
People in the Midwest keep telling him reminds them of Woody Allen.
He wonders what that means.
I'm funny? A sort of nervous intellectual type from New York? A Jew? Around this time somebody accuses him of not being Jewish enough.
It is said by resentful colleagues that his parents changed their name from something that sounded more Jewish.
Everything he publishes is scrutinized with reference to "the Jewish question.
" It is no longer clear what is meant by that phrase.
He has already forgotten all the Yiddish he used to know, and the people of that era are dying out one after another.
The number of witnesses keeps diminishing.
Soon there will be no one left to remind the others and their children.
That is why he came to this dry place where the bones have come to life.
To live in a state of perpetual war puts a tremendous burden on the population.
As a visitor he felt he had to share that burden.
With his gift for codes and ciphers, he joined the counter- terrorism unit of army intelligence.
Contrary to what the spook novels say, he found it possible to avoid betraying either his country or his lover.
This was the life: strange bedrooms, the perfume of other men's wives.
As a spy he has a unique mission: to get his name on the front page of the nation's newspaper of record.
Only by doing that would he get the message through to his immediate superior.
If he goes to jail, he will do so proudly; if they're going to hang him anyway, he'll do something worth hanging for.
In time he may get used to being the center of attention, but this was incredible: To talk his way into being the chief suspect in the most flamboyant murder case in years! And he was innocent! He could prove it! And what a book he would write when they free him from this prison: A novel, obliquely autobiographical, set in Vienna in the twilight of the Hapsburg Empire, in the year that his mother was born.


Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

Wild Orphan

Blandly mother 
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 

to create 
out of his own imagination 
the beauty of his wild 
forebears-a mythology 
he cannot inherit.
Will he later hallucinate his gods? Waking among mysteries with an insane gleam of recollection? The recognition- something so rare in his soul, met only in dreams -nostalgias 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 in flophouse complexities of memory a thousand miles away, unknowing of the unexpected youthful stranger bumming toward his door.
- New York, April 13, 1952
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

Haiku (Never Published)

 Drinking my tea
Without sugar-
 No difference.
The sparrow shits upside down --ah! my brain & eggs Mayan head in a Pacific driftwood bole --Someday I'll live in N.
Y.
Looking over my shoulder my behind was covered with cherry blossoms.
Winter Haiku I didn't know the names of the flowers--now my garden is gone.
I slapped the mosquito and missed.
What made me do that? Reading haiku I am unhappy, longing for the Nameless.
A frog floating in the drugstore jar: summer rain on grey pavements.
(after Shiki) On the porch in my shorts; auto lights in the rain.
Another year has past-the world is no different.
The first thing I looked for in my old garden was The Cherry Tree.
My old desk: the first thing I looked for in my house.
My early journal: the first thing I found in my old desk.
My mother's ghost: the first thing I found in the living room.
I quit shaving but the eyes that glanced at me remained in the mirror.
The madman emerges from the movies: the street at lunchtime.
Cities of boys are in their graves, and in this town.
.
.
Lying on my side in the void: the breath in my nose.
On the fifteenth floor the dog chews a bone- Screech of taxicabs.
A hardon in New York, a boy in San Fransisco.
The moon over the roof, worms in the garden.
I rent this house.
[Haiku composed in the backyard cottage at 1624 Milvia Street, Berkeley 1955, while reading R.
H.
Blyth's 4 volumes, "Haiku.
"]
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

Suicide Note

 "You speak to me of narcissism but I reply that it is 
a matter of my life" - Artaud

"At this time let me somehow bequeath all the leftovers 
to my daughters and their daughters" - Anonymous

Better, 
despite the worms talking to 
the mare's hoof in the field; 
better, 
despite the season of young girls 
dropping their blood; 
better somehow 
to drop myself quickly 
into an old room.
Better (someone said) not to be born and far better not to be born twice at thirteen where the boardinghouse, each year a bedroom, caught fire.
Dear friend, I will have to sink with hundreds of others on a dumbwaiter into hell.
I will be a light thing.
I will enter death like someone's lost optical lens.
Life is half enlarged.
The fish and owls are fierce today.
Life tilts backward and forward.
Even the wasps cannot find my eyes.
Yes, eyes that were immediate once.
Eyes that have been truly awake, eyes that told the whole story— poor dumb animals.
Eyes that were pierced, little nail heads, light blue gunshots.
And once with a mouth like a cup, clay colored or blood colored, open like the breakwater for the lost ocean and open like the noose for the first head.
Once upon a time my hunger was for Jesus.
O my hunger! My hunger! Before he grew old he rode calmly into Jerusalem in search of death.
This time I certainly do not ask for understanding and yet I hope everyone else will turn their heads when an unrehearsed fish jumps on the surface of Echo Lake; when moonlight, its bass note turned up loud, hurts some building in Boston, when the truly beautiful lie together.
I think of this, surely, and would think of it far longer if I were not… if I were not at that old fire.
I could admit that I am only a coward crying me me me and not mention the little gnats, the moths, forced by circumstance to suck on the electric bulb.
But surely you know that everyone has a death, his own death, waiting for him.
So I will go now without old age or disease, wildly but accurately, knowing my best route, carried by that toy donkey I rode all these years, never asking, “Where are we going?” We were riding (if I'd only known) to this.
Dear friend, please do not think that I visualize guitars playing or my father arching his bone.
I do not even expect my mother's mouth.
I know that I have died before— once in November, once in June.
How strange to choose June again, so concrete with its green breasts and bellies.
Of course guitars will not play! The snakes will certainly not notice.
New York City will not mind.
At night the bats will beat on the trees, knowing it all, seeing what they sensed all day.
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

September On Jessore Road

 Millions of babies watching the skies
Bellies swollen, with big round eyes
On Jessore Road--long bamboo huts
Noplace to **** but sand channel ruts

Millions of fathers in rain
Millions of mothers in pain
Millions of brothers in woe
Millions of sisters nowhere to go

One Million aunts are dying for bread
One Million uncles lamenting the dead
Grandfather millions homeless and sad
Grandmother millions silently mad

Millions of daughters walk in the mud
Millions of children wash in the flood
A Million girls vomit & groan
Millions of families hopeless alone

Millions of souls nineteenseventyone
homeless on Jessore road under grey sun
A million are dead, the million who can
Walk toward Calcutta from East Pakistan

Taxi September along Jessore Road
Oxcart skeletons drag charcoal load
past watery fields thru rain flood ruts
Dung cakes on treetrunks, plastic-roof huts

Wet processions Families walk
Stunted boys big heads don't talk
Look bony skulls & silent round eyes
Starving black angels in human disguise

Mother squats weeping & points to her sons
Standing thin legged like elderly nuns
small bodied hands to their mouths in prayer
Five months small food since they settled there

on one floor mat with small empty pot
Father lifts up his hands at their lot
Tears come to their mother's eye
Pain makes mother Maya cry

Two children together in palmroof shade
Stare at me no word is said
Rice ration, lentils one time a week
Milk powder for warweary infants meek

No vegetable money or work for the man
Rice lasts four days eat while they can
Then children starve three days in a row
and vomit their next food unless they eat slow.
On Jessore road Mother wept at my knees Bengali tongue cried mister Please Identity card torn up on the floor Husband still waits at the camp office door Baby at play I was washing the flood Now they won't give us any more food The pieces are here in my celluloid purse Innocent baby play our death curse Two policemen surrounded by thousands of boys Crowded waiting their daily bread joys Carry big whistles & long bamboo sticks to whack them in line They play hungry tricks Breaking the line and jumping in front Into the circle sneaks one skinny runt Two brothers dance forward on the mud stage Teh gaurds blow their whistles & chase them in rage Why are these infants massed in this place Laughing in play & pushing for space Why do they wait here so cheerful & dread Why this is the House where they give children bread The man in the bread door Cries & comes out Thousands of boys and girls Take up his shout Is it joy? is it prayer? "No more bread today" Thousands of Children at once scream "Hooray!" Run home to tents where elders await Messenger children with bread from the state No bread more today! & and no place to squat Painful baby, sick **** he has got.
Malnutrition skulls thousands for months Dysentery drains bowels all at once Nurse shows disease card Enterostrep Suspension is wanting or else chlorostrep Refugee camps in hospital shacks Newborn lay naked on mother's thin laps Monkeysized week old Rheumatic babe eye Gastoenteritis Blood Poison thousands must die September Jessore Road rickshaw 50,000 souls in one camp I saw Rows of bamboo huts in the flood Open drains, & wet families waiting for food Border trucks flooded, food cant get past, American Angel machine please come fast! Where is Ambassador Bunker today? Are his Helios machinegunning children at play? Where are the helicopters of U.
S.
AID? Smuggling dope in Bangkok's green shade.
Where is America's Air Force of Light? Bombing North Laos all day and all night? Where are the President's Armies of Gold? Billionaire Navies merciful Bold? Bringing us medicine food and relief? Napalming North Viet Nam and causing more grief? Where are our tears? Who weeps for the pain? Where can these families go in the rain? Jessore Road's children close their big eyes Where will we sleep when Our Father dies? Whom shall we pray to for rice and for care? Who can bring bread to this **** flood foul'd lair? Millions of children alone in the rain! Millions of children weeping in pain! Ring O ye tongues of the world for their woe Ring out ye voices for Love we don't know Ring out ye bells of electrical pain Ring in the conscious of America brain How many children are we who are lost Whose are these daughters we see turn to ghost? What are our souls that we have lost care? Ring out ye musics and weep if you dare-- Cries in the mud by the thatch'd house sand drain Sleeps in huge pipes in the wet ****-field rain waits by the pump well, Woe to the world! whose children still starve in their mother's arms curled.
Is this what I did to myself in the past? What shall I do Sunil Poet I asked? Move on and leave them without any coins? What should I care for the love of my loins? What should we care for our cities and cars? What shall we buy with our Food Stamps on Mars? How many millions sit down in New York & sup this night's table on bone & roast pork? How many millions of beer cans are tossed in Oceans of Mother? How much does She cost? Cigar gasolines and asphalt car dreams Stinking the world and dimming star beams-- Finish the war in your breast with a sigh Come tast the tears in your own Human eye Pity us millions of phantoms you see Starved in Samsara on planet TV How many millions of children die more before our Good Mothers perceive the Great Lord? How many good fathers pay tax to rebuild Armed forces that boast the children they've killed? How many souls walk through Maya in pain How many babes in illusory pain? How many families hollow eyed lost? How many grandmothers turning to ghost? How many loves who never get bread? How many Aunts with holes in their head? How many sisters skulls on the ground? How many grandfathers make no more sound? How many fathers in woe How many sons nowhere to go? How many daughters nothing to eat? How many uncles with swollen sick feet? Millions of babies in pain Millions of mothers in rain Millions of brothers in woe Millions of children nowhere to go New York, November 14-16, 1971
Written by Langston Hughes | Create an image from this poem

Theme For English B

 The instructor said,

 Go home and write
 a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you-- Then, it will be true.
I wonder if it's that simple? I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem, through a park, then I cross St.
Nicholas, Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y, the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator up to my room, sit down, and write this page: It's not easy to know what is true for you or me at twenty-two, my age.
But I guess I'm what I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you: hear you, hear me--we two--you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.
) Me--who? Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present, or records--Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn't make me not like the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write? Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be a part of you, instructor.
You are white-- yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That's American.
Sometimes perhaps you don't want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that's true! As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me-- although you're older--and white-- and somewhat more free.
This is my page for English B.
Written by Philip Levine | Create an image from this poem

Call It Music

 Some days I catch a rhythm, almost a song
in my own breath.
I'm alone here in Brooklyn Heights, late morning, the sky above the St.
George Hotel clear, clear for New York, that is.
The radio playing "Bird Flight," Parker in his California tragic voice fifty years ago, his faltering "Lover Man" just before he crashed into chaos.
I would guess that outside the recording studio in Burbank the sun was high above the jacarandas, it was late March, the worst of yesterday's rain had come and gone, the sky washed blue.
Bird could have seen for miles if he'd looked, but what he saw was so foreign he clenched his eyes, shook his head, and barked like a dog--just once-- and then Howard McGhee took his arm and assured him he'd be OK.
I know this because Howard told me years later that he thought Bird could lie down in the hotel room they shared, sleep for an hour or more, and waken as himself.
The perfect sunlight angles into my little room above Willow Street.
I listen to my breath come and go and try to catch its curious taste, part milk, part iron, part blood, as it passes from me into the world.
This is not me, this is automatic, this entering and exiting, my body's essential occupation without which I am a thing.
The whole process has a name, a word I don't know, an elegant word not in English or Yiddish or Spanish, a word that means nothing to me.
Howard truly believed what he said that day when he steered Parker into a cab and drove the silent miles beside him while the bright world unfurled around them: filling stations, stands of fruits and vegetables, a kiosk selling trinkets from Mexico and the Philippines.
It was all so actual and Western, it was a new creation coming into being, like the music of Charlie Parker someone later called "glad," though that day I would have said silent, "the silent music of Charlie Parker.
" Howard said nothing.
He paid the driver and helped Bird up two flights to their room, got his boots off, and went out to let him sleep as the afternoon entered the history of darkness.
I'm not judging Howard, he did better than I could have now or then.
Then I was 19, working on the loading docks at Railway Express coming day by day into the damaged body of a man while I sang into the filthy air the Yiddish drinking songs my Zadie taught me before his breath failed.
Now Howard is gone, eleven long years gone, the sweet voice silenced.
"The subtle bridge between Eldridge and Navarro," they later wrote, all that rising passion a footnote to others.
I remember in '85 walking the halls of Cass Tech, the high school where he taught after his performing days, when suddenly he took my left hand in his two hands to tell me it all worked out for the best.
Maybe he'd gotten religion, maybe he knew how little time was left, maybe that day he was just worn down by my questions about Parker.
To him Bird was truly Charlie Parker, a man, a silent note going out forever on the breath of genius which now I hear soaring above my own breath as this bright morning fades into afternoon.
Music, I'll call it music.
It's what we need as the sun staggers behind the low gray clouds blowing relentlessly in from that nameless ocean, the calm and endless one I've still to cross.


Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem

Lesbos

 Viciousness in the kitchen!
The potatoes hiss.
It is all Hollywood, windowless, The fluorescent light wincing on and off like a terrible migraine, Coy paper strips for doors -- Stage curtains, a widow's frizz.
And I, love, am a pathological liar, And my child -- look at her, face down on the floor, Little unstrung puppet, kicking to disappear -- Why she is schizophrenic, Her face is red and white, a panic, You have stuck her kittens outside your window In a sort of cement well Where they crap and puke and cry and she can't hear.
You say you can't stand her, The bastard's a girl.
You who have blown your tubes like a bad radio Clear of voices and history, the staticky Noise of the new.
You say I should drown the kittens.
Their smell! You say I should drown my girl.
She'll cut her throat at ten if she's mad at two.
The baby smiles, fat snail, From the polished lozenges of orange linoleum.
You could eat him.
He's a boy.
You say your husband is just no good to you.
His Jew-Mama guards his sweet sex like a pearl.
You have one baby, I have two.
I should sit on a rock off Cornwall and comb my hair.
I should wear tiger pants, I should have an affair.
We should meet in another life, we should meet in air, Me and you.
Meanwhile there's a stink of fat and baby crap.
I'm doped and thick from my last sleeping pill.
The smog of cooking, the smog of hell Floats our heads, two venemous opposites, Our bones, our hair.
I call you Orphan, orphan.
You are ill.
The sun gives you ulcers, the wind gives you T.
B.
Once you were beautiful.
In New York, in Hollywood, the men said: 'Through? Gee baby, you are rare.
' You acted, acted for the thrill.
The impotent husband slumps out for a coffee.
I try to keep him in, An old pole for the lightning, The acid baths, the skyfuls off of you.
He lumps it down the plastic cobbled hill, Flogged trolley.
The sparks are blue.
The blue sparks spill, Splitting like quartz into a million bits.
O jewel! O valuable! That night the moon Dragged its blood bag, sick Animal Up over the harbor lights.
And then grew normal, Hard and apart and white.
The scale-sheen on the sand scared me to death.
We kept picking up handfuls, loving it, Working it like dough, a mulatto body, The silk grits.
A dog picked up your doggy husband.
He went on.
Now I am silent, hate Up to my neck, Thick, thick.
I do not speak.
I am packing the hard potatoes like good clothes, I am packing the babies, I am packing the sick cats.
O vase of acid, It is love you are full of.
You know who you hate.
He is hugging his ball and chain down by the gate That opens to the sea Where it drives in, white and black, Then spews it back.
Every day you fill him with soul-stuff, like a pitcher.
You are so exhausted.
Your voice my ear-ring, Flapping and sucking, blood-loving bat.
That is that.
That is that.
You peer from the door, Sad hag.
'Every woman's a whore.
I can't communicate.
' I see your cute décor Close on you like the fist of a baby Or an anemone, that sea Sweetheart, that kleptomaniac.
I am still raw.
I say I may be back.
You know what lies are for.
Even in your Zen heaven we shan't meet.
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

 If you danced from midnight
to six A.
M.
who would understand? The runaway boy who chucks it all to live on the Boston Common on speed and saltines, pissing in the duck pond, rapping with the street priest, trading talk like blows, another missing person, would understand.
The paralytic's wife who takes her love to town, sitting on the bar stool, downing stingers and peanuts, singing "That ole Ace down in the hole," would understand.
The passengers from Boston to Paris watching the movie with dawn coming up like statues of honey, having partaken of champagne and steak while the world turned like a toy globe, those murderers of the nightgown would understand.
The amnesiac who tunes into a new neighborhood, having misplaced the past, having thrown out someone else's credit cards and monogrammed watch, would understand.
The drunken poet (a genius by daylight) who places long-distance calls at three A.
M.
and then lets you sit holding the phone while he vomits (he calls it "The Night of the Long Knives") getting his kicks out of the death call, would understand.
The insomniac listening to his heart thumping like a June bug, listening on his transistor to Long John Nebel arguing from New York, lying on his bed like a stone table, would understand.
The night nurse with her eyes slit like Venetian blinds, she of the tubes and the plasma, listening to the heart monitor, the death cricket bleeping, she who calls you "we" and keeps vigil like a ballistic missile, would understand.
Once this king had twelve daughters, each more beautiful than the other.
They slept together, bed by bed in a kind of girls' dormitory.
At night the king locked and bolted the door .
How could they possibly escape? Yet each morning their shoes were danced to pieces.
Each was as worn as an old jockstrap.
The king sent out a proclamation that anyone who could discover where the princesses did their dancing could take his pick of the litter.
However there was a catch.
If he failed, he would pay with his life.
Well, so it goes.
Many princes tried, each sitting outside the dormitory, the door ajar so he could observe what enchantment came over the shoes.
But each time the twelve dancing princesses gave the snoopy man a Mickey Finn and so he was beheaded.
Poof! Like a basketball.
It so happened that a poor soldier heard about these strange goings on and decided to give it a try.
On his way to the castle he met an old old woman.
Age, for a change, was of some use.
She wasn't stuffed in a nursing home.
She told him not to drink a drop of wine and gave him a cloak that would make him invisible when the right time came.
And thus he sat outside the dorm.
The oldest princess brought him some wine but he fastened a sponge beneath his chin, looking the opposite of Andy Gump.
The sponge soaked up the wine, and thus he stayed awake.
He feigned sleep however and the princesses sprang out of their beds and fussed around like a Miss America Contest.
Then the eldest went to her bed and knocked upon it and it sank into the earth.
They descended down the opening one after the other.
They crafty soldier put on his invisisble cloak and followed.
Yikes, said the youngest daughter, something just stepped on my dress.
But the oldest thought it just a nail.
Next stood an avenue of trees, each leaf make of sterling silver.
The soldier took a leaf for proof.
The youngest heard the branch break and said, Oof! Who goes there? But the oldest said, Those are the royal trumpets playing triumphantly.
The next trees were made of diamonds.
He took one that flickered like Tinkerbell and the youngest said: Wait up! He is here! But the oldest said: Trumpets, my dear.
Next they came to a lake where lay twelve boats with twelve enchanted princes waiting to row them to the underground castle.
The soldier sat in the youngest's boat and the boat was as heavy as if an icebox had been added but the prince did not suspect.
Next came the ball where the shoes did duty.
The princesses danced like taxi girls at Roseland as if those tickets would run right out.
They were painted in kisses with their secret hair and though the soldier drank from their cups they drank down their youth with nary a thought.
Cruets of champagne and cups full of rubies.
They danced until morning and the sun came up naked and angry and so they returned by the same strange route.
The soldier went forward through the dormitory and into his waiting chair to feign his druggy sleep.
That morning the soldier, his eyes fiery like blood in a wound, his purpose brutal as if facing a battle, hurried with his answer as if to the Sphinx.
The shoes! The shoes! The soldier told.
He brought forth the silver leaf, the diamond the size of a plum.
He had won.
The dancing shoes would dance no more.
The princesses were torn from their night life like a baby from its pacifier.
Because he was old he picked the eldest.
At the wedding the princesses averted their eyes and sagged like old sweatshirts.
Now the runaways would run no more and never again would their hair be tangled into diamonds, never again their shoes worn down to a laugh, never the bed falling down into purgatory to let them climb in after with their Lucifer kicking.
Written by Gregory Corso | Create an image from this poem

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 ***
 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 BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM 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
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