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A Letter To My Aunt Discussing The Correct Approach To Modern Poetry
To you, my aunt, who would explore
Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.
Her lips suck forth my soul: see where it flies!
A Life Tragedy
A pistol shot rings round and round the world;
In pitiful defeat a warrior lies.
Don't talk to me of love. I've had an earful
And I get tearful when I've downed a drink or two.
I'm one of your talking wounded.
I'm a hostage. I'm maroonded.
Trois allumettes une à une allumées dans la nuit
La premiére pour voir ton visage tout entier
La seconde pour voir tes yeux
La dernière pour voir ta bouche
Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
The city's all a-shining
Beneath a fickle sun,
A gay young wind's a-blowing,
The little shower is done.
'Tis fine to see the Old World and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumblyh castles and the statues and kings
But now I think I've had enough of antiquated things.
There are sketches on the walls of men and women and ducks,
and outside a large green bus swerves through traffic like
insanity sprung from a waving line; Turgenev, Turgenev,
says the radio, and Jane Austin, Jane Austin, too.
Though nurtured like the sailing moon
In beauty's murderous brood,
She walked awhile and blushed awhile
And on my pathway stood
I shall die in Paris, in a rainstorm,
On a day I already remember.
I shall die in Paris- it does not bother me-
Doubtless on a Thursday, like today, in autumn.
But do not let us quarrel any more,
No, my Lucrezia; bear with me for once:
Sit down and all shall happen as you wish.
You turn your face, but does it bring your heart?
From all of this I am the only one who leaves.
From this bench I go away, from my pants,
from my great situation, from my actions,
from my number split side to side,
Making love in the sun, in the morning sun
in a hotel room
above the alley
where poor men poke for bottles;
The sunshine seeks my little room
To tell me Paris streets are gay;
That children cry the lily bloom
All up and down the leafy way;
I knew that James Whistler was part of the Paris scene,
but I was still surprised when I found the painting
of his mother at the Musée d'Orsay
among all the colored dots and mobile brushstrokes
You can find me in Paris
When you miss me be my guest
Just come and join me in Paris
A poetical travelogue
It has been a whirlwind of a month or two
A time of new experiences, laughter and happiness all the way through
Rome was not built in a day I hear
Paris no doubt either judging now by sight
See Paris and die they say
In peace surely I'd rest finally in view
Music: Sexual misery is wearing you out.
Music: Known as the Philosopher's Stair for the world-weariness which climbing it inspires. One gets nowhere with it.
Paris: St-Sulpice in shrouds.
Paris: You're falling into disrepair, Eiffel Tower this means you! Swathed in gold paint, Enguerrand Quarton whispering come with me under the shadow of this gold leaf.
Music: The unless of a certain series.
Mathematics: Everyone rolling dice and flinging Fibonacci, going to the opera, counting everything.
Fire: The number between four and five.
Gold leaf: Wedding dress of the verb to have,it reminds you of of.
Music: As the sleep of the just. We pass into it and out again without seeming to move. The false motion of the wave, "frei aber einsam."
Steve Evans: I saw your skull! It was between your thought and your face.
Melisse: How I saw her naked in Brooklyn but was not in Brooklyn at the time.
Art: That's the problem with art.
Paris: I was in Paris at the time! St-Sulpice in shrouds "like Katharine Hepburn."
Katharine Hepburn: Oh America! But then, writing from Paris in the thirties, it was to you Benjamin compared Adorno's wife. Ghost citizens of the century, sexual misery is wearing you out.
Misreading: You are entering the City of Praise, population two million three hundred thousand . . .
Hausmann's Paris: The daughter of Midas in the moment just after. The first silence of the century then the king weeping.
Music: As something to be inside of, as inside thinking one feels thought of, fly in the ointment of the mind!
Sign at Jardin des Plantes: games are forbidden in the labyrinth .
Paris: Museum city, gold lettering the windows of the wedding-dress shops in the Jewish Quarter. "Nothing has been changed," sez Michael, "except for the removal of twenty-seven thousand Jews."
Paris 1968: The antimuseum museum.
The Institute for Temporary Design: Scaffolding, traffic jam, barricade, police car on fire, flies in the ointment of the city.
Gilles Ivain: In your tiny room behind the clock, your bent sleep, your Mythomania.
Gilles Ivain: Our hero, our Anti-Hausmann.
To say about Flemish painting: "Money-colored light."
Music: "Boys on the Radio."
Boys of the Marais: In your leather pants and sexual pose, arcaded shadows of the Place des Vosges.
Mathematics: And all that motion you supposed was drift, courtyard with the grotesque head of Apollinaire, Norma on the bridge, proved nothing but a triangle fixed by the museum and the opera and St-Sulpice in shrouds.
The Louvre: A couple necking in an alcove, in their brief bodies entwined near the Super-Radiance Hall visible as speech.
Speech: The bird that bursts from the mouth shall not return.
Pop song: We got your pretty girls they're talking on mobile phones la la la.
Enguerrand Quarton: In your dream gold leaf was the sun, salve on the kingdom of the visible.
Gold leaf: The mind makes itself a Midas, it cannot hold and not have.
Thus: I came to the city of possession.
Sleeping: Behind the clock, in the diagon, in your endless summer night, in the city remaking itself like a wave in which people live or are said to live, it comes down to the same thing, an exaggerated sense of things getting done.
Paris: The train station's a museum, opera in the place of the prison.
Later: The music lacquered with listen.
This is no fiction, but reality. This was God's miracle again for me,
few hours hereafter occurred the bombings in Paris. We? Already at the Orly Airport, awaiting the plane to Home....With love, Sylvia.
When I revisit Paris
I am going to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower
When I revisit Paris
I am going to stay for longer then a weekend
Riding in the train to bid you farewell
I have never felt so sad.
Paris under winter sky
Always brings separation time.
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