Oaks And Roses

I've bought myself a timetable in Ferlinghetti's
Store and I sit in the Pullman car
And ride along the coast day and night and the poet
Mirrors his cowhead in the window we ride
Endlessly into Wyoming line by line man
Oh man what a pace and I see him with an
Astrakhan cap in a tinplate village the tottering
Telegraph poles are just about toppling and the highway
Cruisers howl like wolves, on a crossing.
The world is a farmstead in winter we can't
Get in fog flies when I go to the window
And the magnificent trees in Germany
Hike by fiery as American oaks
Roses rot in Presbyterian graveyards
And his poem keeps cracking track-jolts
Wicked wicked talk abstruse rooks
And when it has gotten extremely dark and we find ourselves
Unbounded steppe in our view white heather
On the Transcyrillian Railway, come
Into the open friend and we spell live backwards
Ask what can have become of the wild boys Yevgeny Andrei
In the meantime and we fly
Through the boundless untappable birchwoods of the Czar
Lev Koplev waves to us a track-layer
With a bag of black earth from home his giant head
White beard accompany us long can't be
Wiped off the pane before the beautiful wagon
Drives up in autumnal fiery flames.

POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
Translated by Marina Roscher and Charles Fishman, 1990
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