If I Were In Charge Of The World
If I were in charge of the world
I'd cancel oatmeal,
Allergy shots, and also Sara Steinberg.
If I were in charge of the world
There'd be brighter nights lights,
Healthier hamsters, and
Basketball baskets forty eight inches lower.
Let It Enfold You
Either peace or happiness,
let it enfold you
when I was a young man
I felt these things were
I had bad blood, a twisted
mind, a precarious
The young maricones and the horny muchachas,
The big fat widows delirious from insomnia,
The young wives thirty hours' pregnant,
And the hoarse tomcats that cross my garden at night,
Like a collar of palpitating sexual oysters
Surround my solitary home,
Enemies of my soul,
Conspirators in pajamas
Who exchange deep kisses for passwords.
Radiant summer brings out the lovers
25 Minutes To Go
They're buildin' the gallows outside my cell.
I got 25 minutes to go.
And in 25 minutes I'll be in Hell.
I got 24 minutes to go.
Well, they give me some beans for my last meal.
23 minutes to go.
And you know... nobody asked me how I feel.
Haiku (Never Published)
Drinking my tea
The sparrow shits
--ah! my brain & eggs
Mayan head in a
Pacific driftwood bole
Daffy Duck In Hollywood
Something strange is creeping across me.
La Celestina has only to warble the first few bars
Of "I Thought about You" or something mellow from
Amadigi di Gaula for everything--a mint-condition can
Of Rumford's Baking Powder, a celluloid earring, Speedy
Gonzales, the latest from Helen Topping Miller's fertile
Escritoire, a sheaf of suggestive pix on greige, deckle-edged
Stock--to come clattering through the rainbow trellis
Where Pistachio Avenue rams the 2300 block of Highland
Fling Terrace. He promised he'd get me out of this one,
Remembrance Of Christmas Past
They let the children out of school too early.
I left the Christmas shopping till too late.
Each day we had a holiday excursion,
Which gave us the entire week to wait in line for
Movies by Disney,
Gift-wrapping by Lord & Taylor,
And everyone's restrooms.
On Christmas Eve we started to assemble
The easy-to-assemble telescope
Kaddish, Part I
Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on
the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village.
downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've been up all night, talking,
talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues
shout blind on the phonograph
the rhythm the rhythm--and your memory in my head three years after--
And read Adonais' last triumphant stanzas aloud--wept, realizing
how we suffer--
And how Death is that remedy all singers dream of, sing, remember,
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-
My First Love
It was a fine sunny day when I first met him,
Tall, dark and handsome, dimples on his cheeks;
I truly admired this man,
The wholeness in him brought thrill to my heart.
He was my first crush, my first love,
I loved his eyes glued on my eyes;
I could hear his heartbeat as mine,
His actions truly brought me pure delight.
When the swordsman fell in Kurosawa's Seven Samurai
in the gray rain,
in Cinemascope and the Tokugawa dynasty,
he fell straight as a pine, he fell
as Ajax fell in Homer
in chanted dactyls and the tree was so huge
the woodsman returned for two days
to that lucky place before he was done with the sawing
and on the third day he brought his uncle.
To A Sad Daughter
All night long the hockey pictures
gaze down at you
sleeping in your tracksuit.
Belligerent goalies are your ideal.
Threats of being traded
cuts and wounds
--all this pleases you.
O my god! you say at breakfast
reading the sports page over the Alpen
as another player breaks his ankle
Invitation To Miss Marianne Moore
From Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, on this fine morning,
please come flying.
In a cloud of fiery pale chemicals,
please come flying,
to the rapid rolling of thousands of small blue drums
descending out of the mackerel sky
over the glittering grandstand of harbor-water,
please come flying.
Whistles, pennants and smoke are blowing. The ships
** Megalomania **
Bird perched, Branch fell
Bird thought, “I did”.
Hen cackled, Sun Rose
Hen thought, “I did”.
Frog croaked, Cloud rained
Frog thought, “I did”
Firefly flashed, Bushfire razed
Firefly thought, “I did”.
Fish peed, river flooded
Fish thought, “I did”
I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the color green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
Mothers of America
let your kids go to the movies
get them out of the house so they won't
know what you're up to
it's true that fresh air is good for the body
but what about the soul
that grows in darkness, embossed by
and when you grow old as grow old you
The Pieces Of My Heart
I was walking this lonely wilderness
And then I met you
I had no intention of falling
‘Cause my heart's pieces, were but a few.
My stomach filled with butterflies
My cheeks painted with blush
Nerves shake my knees
And I feel my warm blood rush.
Channel 1's no fun.
Channel 2's just news.
Channel 3's hard to see.
Channel 4 is just a bore.
Channel 5 is all jive.
Channel 6 needs to be fixed.
Channel 7 and Channel 8-
Just old movies, not so great.
Channel 9's a waste of time.
Channel 10 is off, my child.
Tomb of a millionaire,
A multi-millionaire, ladies and gentlemen,
Place of the dead where they spend every year
The usury of twenty-five thousand dollars
For upkeep and flowers
To keep fresh the memory of the dead.
The merchant prince gone to dust
Commanded in his written will
Over the signed name of his last testament
Twenty-five thousand dollars be set aside
I Only Am Escaped Alone To Tell Thee
I tell you that I see her still
At the dark entrance of the hall.
One gas lamp burning near her shoulder
Shone also from her other side
Where hung the long inaccurate glass
Whose pictures were as troubled water.
An immense shadow had its hand
Between us on the floor, and seemed
To hump the knuckles nervously,
A giant crab readying to walk,