Wednesday, September 23, 2020

RE-READING 80 FLOWERS ~






L I L A C



Sere ring a pipe wood

lodging sweet by tempest lodged

nose knows two colors pale

and deep lilac blossom breezed

pruned some red fall-scattered blossom

hesperis purple mother-of-evening gone spring

angels in bustles deep lilac

pales lilac angels for white







Q U E E N   A N N E' S   L A C E



Top-turfy gimp fiery oes eyes

light white flat lacy heads

centrums purple many uneven small

flowers each whorl umbel if

awry ladies songflawed wit pretty 's

well queen unwanted princess throws

horse prize wild carrot autumn

hurdle stands jackdaw-course carried her







S N O W - W R E A T H



From solitary flowerstalk some fingers

fragrance look down ridge-back enamel

leaves snowdrop impetal seagreen unseen

months snowflake unplanted snowdrift sweet

alyssum self-risen snowtrillium new valleys

east snowpoppy snow-in-summer starry grasswort

prairie snow-on-the-mountain wilding seacoast

snowberry-drupe snow-wreath earth-rounds bees' rose



__________________



80 Flowers
only
80 copies printed by
The Stinehour Press
Linen cloth boards
Gilded paper title label to spine
I found my copy in a northern
New England working town with
one used bookstore, bottom shelf
old plank floors, big front windows
Priced to move
Lucky me







Monday, September 21, 2020

POETS WHO SLEEP #17 ~





P O E T S     W H O     S L E E P

______________________



                                           drawn & scribed by Bob Arnold



















all drawings
copyright

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Saturday, September 19, 2020

RE-READING JUNE JORDAN ~

 




Poem about My Rights


Even tonight and I need to take a walk and clear
my head about this poem about why I can’t
go out without changing my clothes my shoes
my body posture my gender identity my age
my status as a woman alone in the evening/
alone on the streets/alone not being the point/
the point being that I can’t do what I want
to do with my own body because I am the wrong
sex the wrong age the wrong skin and
suppose it was not here in the city but down on the beach/
or far into the woods and I wanted to go
there by myself thinking about God/or thinking
about children or thinking about the world/all of it
disclosed by the stars and the silence:
I could not go and I could not think and I could not
stay there
alone
as I need to be
alone because I can’t do what I want to do with my own
body and
who in the hell set things up
like this
and in France they say if the guy penetrates
but does not ejaculate then he did not rape me
and if after stabbing him if after screams if
after begging the bastard and if even after smashing
a hammer to his head if even after that if he
and his buddies fuck me after that
then I consented and there was
no rape because finally you understand finally
they fucked me over because I was wrong I was
wrong again to be me being me where I was/wrong
to be who I am
which is exactly like South Africa
penetrating into Namibia penetrating into
Angola and does that mean I mean how do you know if
Pretoria ejaculates what will the evidence look like the
proof of the monster jackboot ejaculation on Blackland
and if
after Namibia and if after Angola and if after Zimbabwe
and if after all of my kinsmen and women resist even to
self-immolation of the villages and if after that
we lose nevertheless what will the big boys say will they
claim my consent:
Do You Follow Me: We are the wrong people of
the wrong skin on the wrong continent and what
in the hell is everybody being reasonable about
and according to the Times this week
back in 1966 the C.I.A. decided that they had this problem
and the problem was a man named Nkrumah so they
killed him and before that it was Patrice Lumumba
and before that it was my father on the campus
of my Ivy League school and my father afraid
to walk into the cafeteria because he said he
was wrong the wrong age the wrong skin the wrong
gender identity and he was paying my tuition and
before that
it was my father saying I was wrong saying that
I should have been a boy because he wanted one/a
boy and that I should have been lighter skinned and
that I should have had straighter hair and that
I should not be so boy crazy but instead I should
just be one/a boy and before that         
it was my mother pleading plastic surgery for
my nose and braces for my teeth and telling me
to let the books loose to let them loose in other
words
I am very familiar with the problems of the C.I.A.
and the problems of South Africa and the problems
of Exxon Corporation and the problems of white
America in general and the problems of the teachers
and the preachers and the F.B.I. and the social
workers and my particular Mom and Dad/I am very
familiar with the problems because the problems
turn out to be
me
I am the history of rape
I am the history of the rejection of who I am
I am the history of the terrorized incarceration of
myself
I am the history of battery assault and limitless
armies against whatever I want to do with my mind
and my body and my soul and
whether it’s about walking out at night
or whether it’s about the love that I feel or
whether it’s about the sanctity of my vagina or
the sanctity of my national boundaries
or the sanctity of my leaders or the sanctity
of each and every desire
that I know from my personal and idiosyncratic
and indisputably single and singular heart
I have been raped
be-
cause I have been wrong the wrong sex the wrong age
the wrong skin the wrong nose the wrong hair the
wrong need the wrong dream the wrong geographic
the wrong sartorial I
I have been the meaning of rape
I have been the problem everyone seeks to
eliminate by forced
penetration with or without the evidence of slime and/
but let this be unmistakable this poem
is not consent I do not consent
to my mother to my father to the teachers to
the F.B.I. to South Africa to Bedford-Stuy
to Park Avenue to American Airlines to the hardon
idlers on the corners to the sneaky creeps in
cars
I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
My name is my own my own my own
and I can’t tell you who the hell set things up like this
but I can tell you that from now on my resistance
my simple and daily and nightly self-determination
may very well cost you your life


________________________
June Jordan
Directed By Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan
Copper Canyon Press, 2005




Friday, September 18, 2020

RE-READING PIERRE REVERDY ~







On Tiptoe



Nothing stays anymore

               between my ten fingers

A vanishing shadow

               At the center

               a footstep

Choke off the voice that rises too high

That moaned and wouldn't die

That went too fast

It was who put a stop to this magnificent ardor

          Hope and my pride

              have passed on the wind

The leaves fell

           while the birds were counting

                             the drops of water

The lamps went out behind the curtains

Not so fast

Be careful you'll break everything with so much noise






Perspective



Did the same

Car carry me away

                             I see where you came from

                             You turn your head

Midnight

On the moon

Just struck

                              At the street corner

                              Everything is turned around

I saw her face

Even her hands

                              The last star

                               Is in the garden

Just like the first

Think of tomorrow

                               Where will they be

                                The thoughtless dead

When the wall vanishes

                                 The sky will fall







The World Before Me



Some time ago

Clear night

New sunrise

Next day

An old man on his knees holds out his hands

Animals ran all along the road



I sat me down

I have dreamed

A window opens on my head

Nobody home

A man goes by behind the hedge



The countryside where a single bird sings

Somebody is afraid

Somebody is amused

Down there between two little children

Joy

You against me

Rain washes away tears



You can't walk the narrow path

You go back the same way

There is a gate

Something just fe;;

Down behind there



His shadow bigger than himself

goes around the earth

And me I just sit there and don't dare look





__________________
Pierre Reverdy
Selected Poems
Translated by Kenneth Rexroth
New Directions, 1969






Around midnight, on hands & knees, I pulled
this old friend up off the bottom shelf and began
to read and instead of reading on and on I put in the
bookmark to save for the next night and the next. . .







Thursday, September 17, 2020

SEARCHING FOR SECRET HEROES ~

 


Ann Charters

Samuel B. Charters

"Searching for Secret Heroes"

Document Records

2020


This is the heralded story behind Sam Charters

lost film "The Blues" from 1962

shown here now for the first time

and in color

with terrific field recordings and photographs

 by Sam and Ann Charters —

this married duo searched into the heart

of great Americana, through Beat routes

(Ann Charters wrote the first biography of Jack Kerouac

shortly after his death) and Blues roots.


[BA]



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

RE-READING LANGSTON HUGHES ~







The Negro Speaks of Rivers

                          ( To W. E. B. DuBois )



I've known rivers:

I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the

        flow of human blood in human beings.



My soul has grown deep like the rivers.



I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln

           went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy

           bosom turn all golden in the sunset.




I've known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.



My soul has grown deep like the rivers.








Cross



My old man's a white old man

And my old mother's black.

If ever I cursed my white old man

I take my curses back.



If ever I cursed my black old mother

And wished she were in hell,

I'm sorry for that evil wish

And now I wish her well.



My old man died in a fine big house.

My ma died in a shack.

I wonder where I'm gonna die,

Being neither white nor black?








Epilogue



I, too, sing America,



I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well

And grow strong.



Tomorrow,

I'll sit at the table

When company comes.

Nobody'll dare

Say to me,

"Eat in the kitchen,"

Then.



Besides,

They'll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed, —



I, too, am America.








Poem



We have tomorrow

Bright before us

Like a flame.



Yesterday

A night-gone thing,

A sun-down name.



And dawn-today

Broad arch above the road we came.






__________________
Langston Hughes
The Weary Blues
Knopf 1926







These poems come from Langston Hughes
100 years ago with his first book of poem
The Weary Blues
published by Knopf, a very young press
then, only ten years old, and recently
re-issued with its original 1926 book design
by Miguel Covarrubias.
Ever since George Floyd was murdered
we have sold out every book from our
little bookshop by Langston Hughes, and James Baldwin
and Toni Morrison and George Jackson and
Martin Luther King, and the Black Panthers,
and Malcom X and Audre Lorde and
Lucille Clifton and even MOVE
from dark burned streets of
Philadelphia rose up. A friend
of ours, who worked poetry in
the prisons back in the 80s-90s
told us then she couldn't find a
bookstore that carried any books 
by James Baldwin, and she searched
high and low. No more.