Columbus

Once upon a time there was an Italian,
And some people thought he was a rapscallion,
But he wasn't offended,
Because other people thought he was splendid,
And he said the world was round,
And everybody made an uncomplimentary sound,
But he went and tried to borrow some money from Ferdinand
But Ferdinand said America was a bird in the bush and he'd rather have a berdinand,
But Columbus' brain was fertile, it wasn't arid,
And he remembered that Ferdinand was married,

Look What You Did, Christopher!

In fourteen hundred and ninety-two,
Someone sailed the ocean blue.
Somebody borrowed the fare in Spain
For a business trip on the bounding main,
And to prove to the people, by actual test,
You could get to the East by sailing West.
Somebody said, Sail on! Sail on!
And studied China and China's lingo,
And cried from the bow, There's China now!
And promptly bumped into San Domingo.

Marriage

This institution,
perhaps one should say enterprise
out of respect for which
one says one need not change one's mind
about a thing one has believed in,
requiring public promises
of one's intention
to fulfill a private obligation:
I wonder what Adam and Eve
think of it by this time,

Marriage

Should I get married? Should I be Good?
Astound the girl next door with my velvet suit and faustaus hood?
Don't take her to movies but to cemeteries
tell all about werewolf bathtubs and forked clarinets
then desire her and kiss her and all the preliminaries
and she going just so far and I understanding why
not getting angry saying You must feel! It's beautiful to feel!
Instead take her in my arms lean against an old crooked tombstone
and woo her the entire night the constellations in the sky-

Discovery

The petals of the vagina unfold
like Christofer Columbus
taking off his shoes.

Is there anything more beautiful
than the bow of a ship
touching a new world?

Food For Thought

Is it really so depraving
I like to eat a lot?
The thought of food I’m craving
Just ties me in a knot

THAT’S FOOD FOR THOUGHT

In time gone by, not in my day
Scholars taught the world was flat
For this they earned their scholars pay

Paradise Lost: Book 09

No more of talk where God or Angel guest
With Man, as with his friend, familiar us'd,
To sit indulgent, and with him partake
Rural repast; permitting him the while
Venial discourse unblam'd. I now must change
Those notes to tragick; foul distrust, and breach
Disloyal on the part of Man, revolt,
And disobedience: on the part of Heaven
Now alienated, distance and distaste,
Anger and just rebuke, and judgement given,

Autobiography

I am leading a quiet life
in Mike’s Place every day
watching the champs
of the Dante Billiard Parlor
and the French pinball addicts.
I am leading a quiet life
on lower East Broadway.
I am an American.
I was an American boy.
I read the American Boy Magazine

Prayer Of Columbus

IT was near the close of his indomitable and pious life--on his last voyage
when nearly 70 years of age--that Columbus, to save his two remaining ships
from foundering in the Caribbean Sea in a terrible storm, had to run them
ashore on the Island of Jamaica--where, laid up for a long and miserable
year--1503--he was taken very sick, had several relapses, his men revolted,
and death seem'd daily imminent; though he was eventually rescued, and sent
home to Spain to die, unrecognized, neglected and in want......It is only

Sonnet Iii

O world, thou choosest not the better part!
It is not wisdom to be only wise,
And on the inward vision close the eyes,
But it is wisdom to believe the heart.
Columbus found a world, and had no chart,
Save one that faith deciphered in the skies;
To trust the soul's invincible surmise
Was all his science and his only art.

Our knowledge is a torch of smoky pine

Preamble (A Rough Draft For An Ars Poetica)

...Preamble

A rough draft
for an ars poetica

. . . . . . .

Let's get our dreams unstuck

The grain of rye

The Greatest Thing In North America

This is the greatest thing in North America:
Europe is the greatest thing in North America!
High in the sky, dark in the heart, and always there
Among the natural powers of sunlight and of air,
Changing, second by second, shifting and changing the
light,
Bring fresh rain to the stone of the library steps.

Under the famous names upon the pediment:
Thales, Aristotle,

Once Below A Time

I

Once below a time,
When my pinned-around-the-spirit
Cut-to-measure flesh bit,
Suit for a serial sum
On the first of each hardship,
My paid-for slaved-for own too late
In love torn breeches and blistered jacket
On the snapping rims of the ashpit,

The Four Seasons : Summer

From brightening fields of ether fair disclosed,
Child of the Sun, refulgent Summer comes,
In pride of youth, and felt through Nature's depth:
He comes attended by the sultry Hours,
And ever fanning breezes, on his way;
While, from his ardent look, the turning Spring
Averts her blushful face; and earth, and skies,
All-smiling, to his hot dominion leaves.
Hence, let me haste into the mid-wood shade,
Where scarce a sunbeam wanders through the gloom;

Custer

BOOK FIRST.

I.

ALL valor died not on the plains of Troy.
Awake, my Muse, awake! be thine the joy
To sing of deeds as dauntless and as brave
As e'er lent luster to a warrior's grave.
Sing of that noble soldier, nobler man,
Dear to the heart of each American.

Columbus

Steer on, bold sailor--Wit may mock thy soul that sees the land,
And hopeless at the helm may droop the weak and weary hand,
Yet ever--ever to the West, for there the coast must lie,
And dim it dawns, and glimmering dawns before thy reason's eye;
Yea, trust the guiding God--and go along the floating grave,
Though hid till now--yet now behold the New World o'er the wave!
With genius Nature ever stands in solemn union still,
And ever what the one foretells the other shall fulfil.

Trust In The Unexpected

555

Trust in the Unexpected—
By this—was William Kidd
Persuaded of the Buried Gold—
As One had testified—

Through this—the old Philosopher—
His Talismanic Stone
Discernéd—still withholden

The Santa-Fe Trail (A Humoresque)

I asked the old Negro, "What is that bird that sings so well?" He answered: "That is the Rachel-Jane." "Hasn't it another name, lark, or thrush, or the like?" "No. Jus' Rachel-Jane."


I. IN WHICH A RACING AUTO COMES FROM THE EAST

This is the order of the music of the morning: —
First, from the far East comes but a crooning.
The crooning turns to a sunrise singing.
Hark to the calm -horn, balm -horn, psalm -horn.
Hark to the faint -horn, quaint -horn, saint -horn. . . .

Columbus. (A Translation From Schiller)

Steer, bold mariner, on! albeit witlings deride thee,
And the steersman drop idly his hand at the helm;
Ever, ever to westward! There must the coast be discovered,
If it but lie distinct, luminous lie in thy mind.

Trust to the God that leads thee, and follow the sea that is silent;
Did it not yet exist, now would it rise from the flood.
Nature with Genius stands united in league everlasting;
What is promised to one, surely the other performs.

Dora Williams

When Reuben Pantier ran away and threw me
I went to Springfield. There I met a lush,
Whose father just deceased left him a fortune.
He married me when drunk. My life was wretched.
A year passed and one day they found him dead.
That made me rich. I moved on to Chicago.
After a time met Tyler Rountree, villain.
I moved on to New York. A gray-haired magnate
Went mad about me -- so another fortune.
He died one night right in my arms, you know.