Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween, Shamalloween

It's not that I don't like the holiday.  It's just that I was never big into dressing up for it anyway, and having a beard just calls for a little more creativity than I care to muster.  Guess I'll be going as a motorcycling poet-type who teaches.  I think I can pull it off....

This right here is one of my favorite Halloween things.  

Speaking of ghosts, It's also John Keat's birthday. Not only is fantastic, but he's the only Romantic who I can picture NOT as an old man.  But I guess that makes sense.  Dude just didn't make it.  Here's my favorite of his 54:

Ode on Melancholy

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
  Wolfs-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
No suffer they pale forehead to be kiss'd
  By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
  Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
    Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
A partner in your sorrow's mysteries;
  For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
    And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

But when the melancholy fit shall fall
  Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
  And hides the green hill an April shroud;
then glut they sorrow on a morning rose,
  Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
    Or on the wealthy of globed peonies;
Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
  Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
    And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

She dwells with Beauty -- Beauty that must die;
  And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
  Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
Ay, in the very temple of Delight
  Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
    Though seen of none save his whose strenuous tongue
Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine;
  His soul shall taste the sadness of her might,
    And be among her cloudy trophies hung.  


And if you can spare a moment, a prayer for the passing of Robert Goulet....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday Morning

I was just having this conversation with Mr. Xiantu last week, and now I find an article about vinyl. It's at Wired over here. Apparently a lot of Djs are just straight digital now, so I don't know how much stock I can put into the report. Whole thing makes me re-visit ideas of car record players, which I know is a horrible idea but could look so cool. It would seem that DJs keep vinyl around same as I keep typewriters around: don't NEED it, but it's fun to use from time to time.

I know have the urge to set up two turntables with a copy of the OED in the middle. Pictures to follow if I make it happen.

Apparently coffee only comes in "small" in Korea. This is a report I trust. For more details, YoYo SoKo! Yes.

Good Morning Everybody!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Real Quick

Chris Dickens is looking into MFA programs. If he pulls on your coat, help a dude out.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Transmission Mounts

Behold, the old ones (goopy things) and the new ones (sharp angles):

These are bolted to the transmission to t cushion the vibrations of the engine. When they get all mushy and squishy, my sense is that the transmission drops a bit, making it easier for the ND-30 oil to leak out the back. It's way easier to replace these things when there's not an overdrive transmission.

Lara thought I looked funny under the car, so she took the last photo before the batteries died in the camera.

It's getting cold on the gravel in the machine shed. I hope this will be done next Saturday. Meanwhile, I'm getting emails from a guy who googled "mg mechanic illinois." I hope I helped him. Assuming the rear main seal is good, the last thing we need to do it change the U-Joints on the propeller shaft. I'm having a hard time with it. Might just cut it in half with a hacksaw. I will totally take photos of that if I resort to it.

In other news, found my thought-lost copy of Janice Harrington's book in the pocket of a jacke that's been hanging the whole time in the closet. Now I'll finish it.

Roy Kesey is reading here on Nov. 5th. Come out for it. If you don't, I'll see you at Winter Wheat later in the week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Lighthouse in my Kitchen

Ain't it pretty? I even gave the whole urn a shine in honor of my first cup of coffee in a week and a day--which is not actually true because you're all kinds of kooky if you think I haven't been brewing the begeezes out of whatever's in the 9L office. But the home cup is my cup. I might order a few of these to have back-ups so that this never happens again. Looks kinda like a halo...the bless'd coffee angel. She knows what I'm saying...

And speaking of Kooky...
Leave it to K-dub and Deb to add a little diversity to the world. Click over to the new YoYo SoKo! and learn all about how South Korea and it's children will never be the same. I haven't seen my dear friend Kelly since March, but now that she's 2/3rds of the country and an ocean away, I feel like I can miss her proper:

I know she looks tiny, but make no mistake: this girl can down an Psycho Chicken like woah. As she says, "It's a feast or famine life style..." and on many a day, we FEAST! Mostly around payday. But this was a long time ago. Back when we used to hold up buildings. Now we teach English.

I'm feeling good this morning. So good, I'm gonna share a poem from Dean Young's Embryoyo. It's mostly for K-dub, but you have it too:

Ode to Hangover

Hangover, you drive me into the yard
to dig holes as a way of working through you
as one might work through a sorry childhood
by riding the forbidden amusement park rides
as a grown-up until puking. Alas, I feel like
something spit out by a duck, a duck
other ducks are ashamed of when I only
tried to protect myself by projecting myself
on hilarity's big screen at the party
when one nitwit reminisced about the 39 cents
a pound chicken of his youth and another said,
Don't go to Italy in June, no one goes in June.
Protect myself from boring advice,
from the boring past and boring present
at the expense of an un-nauseating future:
now. But look at these newly socketed lilacs!
Without you, Handover, they would still be
trapped in their buckets and not become
the opposite of vomit just as you, Hangover,
are the opposite of Orgasm. Certainly
you go on to long and in your grip
one thinks, How to have you never again?
whereas Orgasm lasts too short some seconds
and immediately one plots to repeat her.
After her, I could eat a car but here's
a pineapple, clam pizza and Chinese milkshake
yum but Hangover, you make me aspire
to a saltine. both of you need to lie down,
one with a cool rag across the brow, shutters
drawn, the other in a soft jungle gym, yahoo,
this puzzle has 15 thousand solutions!
Here's one called Rocking Horse
and how about Sunshine in the Monkey Tree.
Chug, chug goes the arriving train,
those on the platform toss their hats and scarves
and cheer, the president comes out of the caboose
to declare, The war is over! Corks popping,
people mashing people, knocking over melon stands,
ripping millennia of bodices. Hangover,
rest now, you'll have lots to do later
inspiring abstemious philosophies and menial tasks
that too contribute to the beauty of this world.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

& Knox wants YOU to know:

"Hello there, friend!" she says, and

"Join me and Shanna Compton this Friday
when we read from our brand spanking new books!

DRUNK BY NOON (me) and
FOR GIRLS (& OTHERS) (shanna)

For the Earshot series
at The Lucky Cat
8 p.m.

245 Grand Street
(btw. Driggs & Roebling)
Brooklyn, NY
$5 includes a drink

We'll be reading with John Reid Currie,
Seamus Scanlon, Olivia Kate Cerrone

This will be our first time taking the books
out for a spin in NYC! Who are the people in
your neighborhood? We are! Cracklin' with high
voltage poetry ack-shawn!

Hope to see ya there!


Monday, October 22, 2007

Note from The Burch

Hobart's Aaron Burch just dropped out this email. If you're not on his list, now you'll know what he's whispering in our ears. Perhaps you'll be inspired to send him some scratch so you can read some fiction...if that's your thing.

Here it is:
Lots of HOBARTers out on the road, so we thought we'd send out a
quick note to let everyone know. Go out and support and see some
great events!

HO5 contributor ROY KESEY, HO8 contributor (and upcoming Hobart wall
calendar star) BENJAMIN PERCY, and MICHELLE TEA (also of upcoming
Hobart wall calendar fame) are all out on the road, and all coming
through our midwestern neck of the woods.

This is where we'll be this next week:

Ann Arbor, MI
Tuesday, Oct. 23rd at 7pm.
Shaman Drum

Chicago, IL
Thursday, Oct. 25th at 7:30pm.
Fixx Reading Series

MICHELLE TEA & traveling all-girl Sister Spit roadshow
Ann Arbor, MI
Sunday, Oct. 28th at 6 & 8pm.
Aut Bar

Also, in between Roy's Ann Arbor & Chicago dates, we wish we could
be at this:

New York
Wednesday, Oct. 24th at 8pm.
Happy Ending Reading Series

For more info on Roy's tour (other than MI, NY, and IL, he'll be in
Memphis, TN; Asheville, NC; Greenwood, MS; New Orleans, LA; Iowa
City, IA; Urbana-Champaign, IL; and Davis and Ukiah, CA), go here:

To catch Ben Percy (in addition to NY, he'll be in St. Paul, MN
tomorrow; WI and OR after that, and back here in Ann Arbor in a few
weeks) go here:

And to catch the Sister Spit tour (they are going to be all over the
place), check out their dates here:

That's it for now. HOBART 8 is approaching and we'll have lots of
info and sneak peeks of that next week, with our November web


PO BOX 1658
Ann Arbor, MI 48106

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It's All Coming Together

Ok. That brass plate of last weeks' fame, I have come to believe, is actually the bearing. If it's not, it's some kind of crazy part that isn't in the manual or parts catalog. that means that the rear main seal that should be there to replace was actually gone, or--more likely, I think--was not installed the last time some jerk was messing with this baby.

We'll, it's all together now:

I gave it a little of the ol' squeeze while Lara held the other socket on the front bolt:

(Doesn't she look all happy, her personal mechanic near by?)

Figured i was done. Thought it would be a quick job to change a Universal-joint or two. Of course not. I pounded away at this think like I was on the chain gang. Lara wanted to head back to town, and I knew the transmission mounts would be waiting at my place in the mail, which means we're going back next week anyway. After the firm beating, I soaked the thing in WD-40. Gonna let it sit to think about what it's done for a while.

Just so you know, I do all this car work in exchange for sandwiches and/or scotch.
Good news will soon follow. Have you been aware of Breast Cancer this month? If not enough, go chill with the Guth.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm Hungry!

And here's what's on the menu:

Of course, I'm not going to read the ENTIRE Princeton Encyclopedia...tonight...but it's absolutely come in handy in the last 24 hours. The third book down happens to be Laurel Snyder's new one, if you haven't eyed that spine yet. I have to manage the stack of student papers before digging into this pile, but dig I will. This I vow

And speaking of digging...

...was slipped a copy of DJ Girl Talk's record. Wins my award for the "Best Use of the Opening Chords to 'Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover" and Chorus of 'Little Lies' by in the Same Mix." Lots of other great cuts on there too.

True. And so that seals it. I'm hocking my vinyl. Sending some to DJ Joemama. What ever's left is going to A.G. along with my turntable. I'm tossing my dreams of being a DJ out with the next bag of recyclables. (did you know I wanted to mix records, if only time and practice and skill weren't an issue?)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Goof of the Morning

The handle on the lid of the percolator broke:

What does one do with a caffeine addiction that requires 24 oz. of ground dark goodness morningly? First, laugh at the piece of plastic in your hand. Then, make tea. Finally, call Farberware and have them send you a new little knob for $7.

Of course, I have to wait a week for it to arrive. Hopefully just their conservative estimate. The next mission is to haul the already-ground beans into the office and brew there ("I keep a spare for just such an emergency," says Foghorn Leghorn.)

Nothing literary. Nothing MG related. See what happens when the coffee chord is cut?

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm Here, but If I Was In San Diego Tonight...

...I'd be here:

If you happen to teach Composition, play the Summer Mix 2007 for your class to help along a lively conversation about the over-lap/fusion of seemingly different genre's, the use of source material (samples) and how the DJ manipulates the work of others for his own purposes, eventually leading to a debate over ownership of ideas (musical and otherwise). (Maybe we can discuss this further in New York in late-January. But I'll have to let you know about that later.)

In an unrelated story, 28 Weeks Later: Not as good as the first one, but worth the rental.

AND there's all sorts of new stuff over on the Ninth Letter blog, and on the site we've got a new podcast with Richard Powers and a new Featured Artist. Not to mention Susan Power reads at the Illini Union Bookstore today at 4:30. See you there.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

If Not One Thing, Another

The giant 1 5/16" bolt of last week has been removed, prompting the flow of the ND-30 from the back of the transmission--Kinda looks like honey.

Of course, now there's this giant seal that doesn't wanna come out. I tried a bent screw driver, pliers in various positions, all that stuff. Checked the ol' manual which told me to "use an extractor"--yes, friends, there's a tool that is used ONLY to extract the rear main seal. It's a whole $3--" or prissy it out." "Prissy," like "fussily or excessively respectable" or "overadorned with details such as ruffles and bows."

Alas. I could not "prissy" the seal from the housing. Maybe if I'd brought Christine's knitting needles or a tea set with some biscuits.... Oh well. Will tackle it properly next week, complete with the new transmission mounts.

Meanwhile, yet another use for the disassembled L.C. Smith typewriter from a few weeks ago:

Yes. Crock-pot handle. See, I got it from Davenport without one, and haven't picked up a proper replacement yet. But it looks neat, no? That's a corned beef and some kraut simmering away. Gonna have it for dinner with a fresh loaf of Rye of the bakery down the street. I needed some meat. I was gonna write a poem starring the wonderful foods covered by the word "meat," but Knox beat me to it with her poem "59 Tenets about Meat," which you can read by picking up her book from Bloof, or get over to Forklife, Ohio to check out the original publication.

{and, of course you should order a copy AND go read it in the journal so that you're reading a great book, supporting a kick-ass new press, while also checking out a pretty cool publication; further, the slightly different experiences in reading with the two different margin settings, and small yet interesting differences.}

So, my new poems about meat will have to wait. Maybe the poems I already have about meat will show up somewhere for you to see. But, honestly, when is a poem about meat really about meat?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Back to the Drawing Board (and a poem's up)

I'm back on the Far Side. The complete collection is absolutely worth the investment:

Don't worry...I also ordered a bunch of books today to help prepare for a talk I'm giving next month. More on that as it comes.

Poem just up over at Juked...if you wanna read it....

Writing new stuff is fun (not Far Side-fun, but still). Revising new work is also kinda great. Makes me forget that my fridge is down to a few onions and half a quart of soy-milk again.

You've all seen this, right? This is exactly what I've been waiting for. Turns out, I sing mostly Dylan when I ride my motorcycle. But I can't help but think it's because a)I like the idea of "the free wheeling Adam Deutsch" way too much, and b)he got into a motorcycle accident once. Maybe if I keep him in mind, it helps me ride more mindfully.

Essays about commercialization and social this and that be damned! We're reading Hemingway him my Rhet class today, and that's that.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Bloof is Open

THE BLOOF STORE IS OPEN. Go do like all the cool kids and order your copy of Jennifer "el" Knox's new book, Drunk By Noon. (Cover art is called "Booger" by Charles Browning who's got a link over to the right towards the bottom.)


I think I should get a mechanic's certification along with the MFA.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Missed it by 1 and 5/16 inches

I was really hoping to get Lara's 1975 MGB up and running today. So much work. Here's how it happened:
Once we got the driveshaft out, we've got this bolt:

that's a 1 and 5/16", and no exactly standard in the craftsman kit that's to always be kept in the car. So what do we do? Send Lara to the store to go get one. Only took two adapters to hold it to the 3/8 ratchet:

Funny part is, once you get it on there, slap the transmission in gear, and try to loosen it up, a bolt (exactly the same size) on the front of the engine starts spinning. Can't really stop it, unless of course you have another giant socket. Because the transmission mounts are shot, we'll wait for those to come in, and get back to the rear main seal of the transmission in a week.

Meanwhile, the float bowl at the end of the fuel sending until was fucked:

All full of gas. Kinda useless. So, we replaced that whole thing:

This car also had a Delco-Remy alternator installed at some point:

Also had this lovely little regulator that one needs when putting parts in the car that don't be long there:

Got that out, put the new one in. Took the photo while I had it lashed up to get to the bolts on the bottom:

On the way back to civilization, we tried to race a train to the crossing, but it beat us:

(I wasn't driving...not saying; just saying....)

Before all that action, got a few fresh submissions out. Came hope to a few things from applications. Glad to know my stuff gets there. Hope someone hires me.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

It Don't Smell Like October

Maybe because it's going to be close to 90 today. But by Thursday, all obligations for the week are done--Teaching is not an obligation. My students are sharp. Like a bed of switchblades.

Check out the latest Issue of
The Scrambler. I got me a poem over there.

The October Hobart is up over here. The Burch says that the next paper issue is coming soon. Not right this minute, but soon enough that telling you now is a tease.

And speaking of teases, Shanna has posted photos of what is hopefully the finished and fresh Drunk by Noon by Jennifer Knox.

I'm getting all sorts of emails and little postcards with perforated edges from school's I've sent notes to saying "Hi. I have a couple of masters degrees. Can I have a job?" (Not my actual cover letter, but was, indeed, an early draft of it.) It's kinda like horse racing, only I've put my money down on nothing but win-tickets and can't see the odds; it's also possible that to win, I'm gonna have to jump the rail, smack a jockey, and drive the beast over the line myself.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

SGM Benefit, 10/3

I'd be there myself if I could hop a plane. As it stands, just rode for my first time in the rain. Not as bad as I suspected. Turns out the bike doesn't melt in water. Good to know.

Sky's Looking Pretty Serious

Does the sun rising in a orangy-pink mean anything? A storm coming? A sign that I shouldn't eat eggs this morning?

Regardless of the fact that not too many folks in San Diego are reading this (I'm pretty sure) I'm telling you about it anyway. Because DJ Joemama is a good guy who keeps a lovely home.

Happy Birthday, Groucho.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Babies are Dead

(old photo from Vannoy)

Heavy revision this weekend with the help of one of my incredible readers. One of the first lessons I learned is one of the easiest ones to allow myself to forget: Gotta be ready to kill the babies. Some are lines, some are whole poems. In my case, there was also the word "baby," and now they're just about all gone. Except two, and one is an actual baby. Some poems I've been kicking around for a few years needed to be kicked out. Maybe they'll get better. Maybe they'll be parts-poems that I can use to get another one up and running.

Today's priorities: print and re-order it; send out 3 more job applications; send out a few poems.

Meanwhile, Guth's gone pink for October. Go find out why.
We've also got a little bit of her over at 9L--dig!

Shanna's got 4 cover options.

A long poem I found with the Poetry Tool searching under Gratitude as the occasion:

Thou Shalt Not Kill

by Kenneth Rexroth

A Memorial for Dylan Thomas

They are murdering all the young men.
For half a century now, every day,
They have hunted them down and killed them.
They are killing them now.
At this minute, all over the world,
They are killing the young men.
They know ten thousand ways to kill them.
Every year they invent new ones.
In the jungles of Africa,
In the marshes of Asia,
In the deserts of Asia,
In the slave pens of Siberia,
In the slums of Europe,
In the nightclubs of America,
The murderers are at work.

They are stoning Stephen,
They are casting him forth from every city in the world.
Under the Welcome sign,
Under the Rotary emblem,
On the highway in the suburbs,
His body lies under the hurling stones.
He was full of faith and power.
He did great wonders among the people.
They could not stand against his wisdom.
They could not bear the spirit with which he spoke.
He cried out in the name
Of the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness.
They were cut to the heart.
They gnashed against him with their teeth.
They cried out with a loud voice.
They stopped their ears.
They ran on him with one accord.
They cast him out of the city and stoned him.
The witnesses laid down their clothes
At the feet of a man whose name was your name—

You are the murderer.
You are killing the young men.
You are broiling Lawrence on his gridiron.
When you demanded he divulge
The hidden treasures of the spirit,
He showed you the poor.
You set your heart against him.
You seized him and bound him with rage.
You roasted him on a slow fire.
His fat dripped and spurted in the flame.
The smell was sweet to your nose.
He cried out,
“I am cooked on this side,
Turn me over and eat,
Eat of my flesh.”

You are murdering the young men.
You are shooting Sebastian with arrows.
He kept the faithful steadfast under persecution.
First you shot him with arrows.
Then you beat him with rods.
Then you threw him in a sewer.
You fear nothing more than courage.
You who turn away your eyes
At the bravery of the young men.

The hyena with polished face and bow tie,
In the office of a billion dollar
Corporation devoted to service;
The vulture dripping with carrion,
Carefully and carelessly robed in imported tweeds,
Lecturing on the Age of Abundance;
The jackal in double-breasted gabardine,
Barking by remote control,
In the United Nations;
The vampire bat seated at the couch head,
Notebook in hand, toying with his decerebrator;
The autonomous, ambulatory cancer,
The Superego in a thousand uniforms;
You, the finger man of behemoth,
The murderer of the young men.

What happened to Robinson,
Who used to stagger down Eighth Street,
Dizzy with solitary gin?
Where is Masters, who crouched in
His law office for ruinous decades?
Where is Leonard who thought he was
A locomotive? And Lindsay,
Wise as a dove, innocent
As a serpent, where is he?
Timor mortis conturbat me.

What became of Jim Oppenheim?
Lola Ridge alone in an
Icy furnished room? Orrick Johns,
Hopping into the surf on his
One leg? Elinor Wylie
Who leaped like Kierkegaard?
Sara Teasdale, where is she?
Timor mortis conturbat me.

Where is George Sterling, that tame fawn?
Phelps Putnam who stole away?
Jack Wheelwright who couldn’t cross the bridge?
Donald Evans with his cane and
Monocle, where is he?
Timor mortis conturbat me.

John Gould Fletcher who could not
Unbreak his powerful heart?
Bodenheim butchered in stinking
Squalor? Edna Millav who took
Her last straight whiskey? Genevieve
Who loved so much; where is she?
Timor mortis conturbat me.

Harry who didn’t care at all?
Hart who went back to the sea?
Timor mortis conturbat me.

Where is Sol Funaroff?
What happened to Potamkin?
Isidor Schneider? Claude McKay?
Countee Cullen? Clarence Weinstock?
Who animates their corpses today?
Timor mortis conturbat me.

Where is Ezra, that noisy man?
Where is Larsson whose poems were prayers?
Where is Charles Snider, that gentle
Bitter boy? Carnevali,
What became of him?
Carol who was so beautiful, where is she?
Timor mortis conturbat me.

Was their end noble and tragic,
Like the mask of a tyrant?
Like Agamemnon’s secret golden face?
Indeed it was not. Up all night
In the fo’c’sle, bemused and beaten,
Bleeding at the rectum, in his
Pocket a review by the one
Colleague he respected, “If he
Really means what these poems
Pretend to say, he has only
One way out—.” Into the
Hot acrid Caribbean sun,
Into the acrid, transparent,
Smoky sea. Or another, lice in his
Armpits and crotch, garbage littered
On the floor, gray greasy rags on
The bed. “I killed them because they
Were dirty, stinking Communists.
I should get a medal.” Again,
Another, Simenon foretold,
His end at a glance. “I dare you
To pull the trigger.” She shut her eyes
And spilled gin over her dress.
The pistol wobbled in his hand.
It took them hours to die.
Another threw herself downstairs,
And broke her back. It took her years.
Two put their heads under water
In the bath and filled their lungs.
Another threw himself under
The traffic of a crowded bridge.
Another, drunk, jumped from a
Balcony and broke her neck.
Another soaked herself in
Gasoline and ran blazing
Into the street and lived on
In custody. One made love
Only once with a beggar woman.
He died years later of syphilis
Of the brain and spine. Fifteen
Years of pain and poverty,
While his mind leaked away.
One tried three times in twenty years
To drown himself. The last time
He succeeded. One turned on the gas
When she had no more food, no more
Money, and only half a lung.
One went up to Harlem, took on
Thirty men, came home and
Cut her throat. One sat up all night
Talking to H. L. Mencken and
Drowned himself in the morning.
How many stopped writing at thirty?
How many went to work for Time?
How many died of prefrontal
Lobotomies in the Communist Party?
How many arc lost in the back wards
Of provincial madhouses?
How many on the advice of
Their psychoanalysts, decided
A business career was best after all?
How many are hopeless alcoholics?
René Crevel!
Jacques Rigaud!
Antonin Artaud!
Robert Desnos!
Saint Pol Roux!
Max Jacob!
All over the world
The same disembodied hand
Strikes us down.
Here is a mountain of death.
A hill of heads like the Khans piled up.
The first-born of a century
Slaughtered by Herod.
Three generations of infants
Stuffed down the maw of Moloch.

He is dead.
The bird of Rhiannon.
He is dead.
In the winter of the heart.
He is Dead.
In the canyons of death,
They found him dumb at last,
In the blizzard of lies.
He never spoke again.
He died.
He is dead.
In their antiseptic hands,
He is dead.
The little spellbinder of Cader Idris.
He is dead.
The sparrow of Cardiff.
He is dead.
The canary of Swansea.
Who killed him?
Who killed the bright-headed bird?
You did, you son of a bitch.
You drowned him in your cocktail brain.
He fell down and died in your synthetic heart.
You killed him,
Oppenheimer the Million-Killer,
You killed him,
Einstein the Gray Eminence.
You killed him,
Havanahavana, with your Nobel Prize.
You killed him, General,
Through the proper channels.
You strangled him, Le Mouton,
With your mains étendues.
He confessed in open court to a pince-nezed skull.
You shot him in the back of the head
As he stumbled in the last cellar.
You killed him,
Benign Lady on the postage stamp.
He was found dead at a Liberal Weekly luncheon.
He was found dead on the cutting room floor.
He was found dead at a Time policy conference.
Henry Luce killed him with a telegram to the Pope.
Mademoiselle strangled him with a padded brassiere.
Old Possum sprinkled him with a tea ball.
After the wolves were done, the vaticides
Crawled off with his bowels to their classrooms and quarterlies.
When the news came over the radio
You personally rose up shouting, “Give us Barabbas!”
In your lonely crowd you swept over him.
Your custom-built brogans and your ballet slippers
Pummeled him to death in the gritty street.
You hit him with an album of Hindemith.
You stabbed him with stainless steel by Isamu Noguchi,
He is dead.
He is Dead.
Like Ignacio the bullfighter,
At four o’clock in the afternoon.
At precisely four o’clock.
I too do not want to hear it.
I too do not want to know it.
I want to run into the street,
Shouting, “Remember Vanzetti!”
I want to pour gasoline down your chimneys.
I want to blow up your galleries.
I want to burn down your editorial offices.
I want to slit the bellies of your frigid women.
I want to sink your sailboats and launches.
I want to strangle your children at their finger paintings.
I want to poison your Afghans and poodles.
He is dead, the little drunken cherub.
He is dead,
The effulgent tub thumper.
He is Dead.
The ever living birds are not singing
To the head of Bran.
The sea birds are still
Over Bardsey of Ten Thousand Saints.
The underground men are not singing
On their way to work.
There is a smell of blood
In the smell of the turf smoke.
They have struck him down,
The son of David ap Gwilym.
They have murdered him,
The Baby of Taliessin.
There he lies dead,
By the Iceberg of the United Nations.
There he lies sandbagged,
At the foot of the Statue of Liberty.
The Gulf Stream smells of blood
As it breaks on the sand of Iona
And the blue rocks of Canarvon.
And all the birds of the deep sea rise up
Over the luxury liners and scream,
“You killed him! You killed him.
In your God damned Brooks Brothers suit,
You son of a bitch.”

Kenneth Rexroth, “Thou Shalt Not Kill” from The Collected Shorter Poems. Copyright © 1966 by Kenneth Rexroth. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation,

Source: The Collected Shorter Poems (1966).

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