Sunday, September 29, 2013

29 September 2013

Anne Waldman & Philip Whalen [jacket]

from Philip Whalen's Collected Poems:

Harangue from Newport, to John Wieners, 21:IX:57

What if I never told you
What if I never said what I'm trying
To say now?

A long time ago I thought it would be better
If I hadn't been born
But since I had been it might save trouble
To minimize the same thing:
Play it not only cool but invisible

That doesn't work any more, everybody
Asks:       "What's the matter"       "Are you mad about something?"
                            "What's worrying you now?"

Well, what . . .

        I just saw my landlord go by
                the great carbuncle on his nose
                a sea anemone at low tide, petals retracted
                center full of sand, the circulation
                in his legs is bad so his feet hurt & he has
                dizzy spells because he won't stop eating
                fried fish
                        (athero- or arteriosclerosis,
                        anyway, too much cholesterol)
                being some sort of Swede
Now what?
        My hernia has skidded again
        I found a couple chunks of jasper-agate on the beach
        and one entire family (7 or 8 of them) jumping about
        in the surf with all their clothes on
        being some sort of Dukhobors-in-reverse?
        I should burn the garbage and wash the frying pan
        I should write you something that would
        Scare you, make you laugh
        Or generally turn you on
        I'm doing now: Trying hard to be visible, to be
        Totally conscious of this time and place,
                                  of you
        And every sentient being

        I'm stacking bb's day & night
        Working miracles left & right

        (Log truck poops by in the street while I'm writing — I
changed it into gold: perfect wisdom, perfect compassion,
perfect freedom. . . . Texas-boot red shirt sideburns bodhisattva driver
instantly swung out of the cab to render his bows and performs 
his circumambulations)

        That the landlord still has his carbuncle
        That the family who frolicked in the waves have wet sandy
                clothes which chafe them
        That the frying pan remains unwashed
        That the log truck must go live at Ft. Knox
        And that nobody can see me, I've closed all the blinds
                it being night outside
        But everybody knows I'm here
                the light's turned on
Notice also that you not only see me clearly

                (A MIRACLE)

You understand everything I say.

John Wieners [Poetry Foundation]

No comments:

Post a Comment