St. Louis Poems
God runs a gas station in
East St. Louis, wears
big blue dungarees.
What angels in the gold rest rooms,
what music of the organ pumps tonight? O
Croak not Black Angel, the
truck pulls out to
flame the streets at zero.
Gene showed essentially a square attitude
toward the new myth of mud skinned angels, and when
confronted with the knife in a most
serious "dance of the syllables,"
subtly cooled from exclamation
mark to dash
No Splibbins, No Smacks, No Straights.
When yr supply is
on w / a stick of garbage
or shoot gold dust from the sun.
After the desertion (a)
Streets empty in gray absence of light
their prints swept away by alto winds
the gods have deserted the city
their shoes hang in Good Will Stores
or writhe in incinerators
Lami's silver shoes among them — faster than
new sneakers for a
flight of thieves —
flame blue at last.
Lami was Joe Angel, Johnny the Fag,
Rimbaud, the Road Runner, myself.
The idea of the image is murdered,
debris wins at last.
Mind is free of imagination at last &
shits gaily in the streets, floods
paper buildings &
shines fresh in the garbage sun.
Citizens' bodies turn, bloat
in eddies, &
flow back to sea.
After the desertion (b)
Gray absence of light.
newspapers blow loosely in the streets like
Spanish galleys crumpling against lamp posts or
curb in tiny convulsions; no tragedy — they
billow off in the next breeze.
The gods have deserted.
Their prints erased by alto winds the
gods have deserted the city.
Their shoes hang in Good Will Stores or
writhe in incineraters — one last dance before
debris wins at last.
Mind has conquested imagination &
shits gaily in the streets,
streams from paper buildings, slime
in the ashen sun.
Bodies putrefy in doorways, only the eyes
flicker short-circuited by the
senses, their eyes convict me,
No they cannot see, they have
abstracted the sun & are lost
in me the dreamer,
only I am not dead for I dream,
my spirit-candle electrifying the
Alden Van Buskirk
THE LAST POEMS OF A POET
WHO DIED IN 1961 IN HIS EARLY 20s
collected from his writings by David Rattray
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ALLEN GINSBERG
The Auerhahn Society,
San Francisco, 1965