Thursday, July 21, 2011

REJECTED COVER FOR JULY

OPAL SAYS

they are always starting some war or other
but every year I see this cardinal outside my window
I am eighty one years old and every year he comes back
and every year they are always starting some war or other
somewhere, and far away

Monday, July 18, 2011

I am not a religious man, but I do wonder about what exactly God was thinking when he designed man. We don’t think about it now, because faces seem so obvious, but when there weren’t any, it really wasn’t. If it were me, I think I would have designed something that looks more like a button on a frock coat. Something simpler. Or maybe one of those really beautiful Chinese kites. Something kind of exotic. Or something that means something. Maybe lips. Maybe just lips. I don’t write novels, I write poetry, so I think that if I had come up with lips I would have been very happy with man. I would have felt that he was complete. When I write poetry, sometimes I even lop off a few stanzas of a poem and feel better for having done that. It doesn’t even have to be my poems! Maybe if it had been up to me I would have made a complete face and would have lopped off the ears and hair and eyebrows and nose and stuff. I would have just stayed with the lips. But it wasn’t me. Maybe God is just lips. Maybe that is just where it started. Maybe for a while he was happy as a clam with man. And one day he looked and said, “I think I could use something more.” Of course he had no idea of what he was saying, but that is sort of how things are sometimes with us. And then we smile and sigh and roll up our sleeves and take a deep breath and say, “OK, now then, shall we?” with our lips. And we commence. And then it all gets a little crazy.

I’M GOING TO BED

with Elizabeth Taylor,
Richard Burton said.
And he meant it.
The hair on his chest
was like on fire.

EVERYBODY LOVES TO KILL RICHARD WIDMARK

Boy, that Richard Widmark could act. But man! he could be nasty sometimes. It’s not normal for a blond guy to be nasty. I think he had to put more juice into it than a brown haired guy. You have to wonder if he went bald. He looks like he could go bald. Hard to tell if he was tan, though.

Everybody loves to kill Richard Widmark. I mean everybody. Especially ladies. Richard Widmark really knows how to die, too. Good thing. He did it enough. Good ol’ Richard Widmark.

and then his body fell limp in the chair.
He was dead.
No, not really, he was just sleeping.
He seemed even nicer sleeping in the chair.
Like Richard Widmark only bald,
and nice. At five it would be time for
dinner and a movie.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

OR IS IT STATIONARY?

I bought a pen a long time ago and wanted to show it off but the more I thought about it the more I realized that there are very few opportunities to show off your pen if you want to do that. I guess you could write a check for someone but usually people don’t look at you when you are writing a check because that isn’t polite. You could write a love letter, but you have the same problem there, too. Someone once suggested that a suicide note would be perfect, but I told him that was about the lamest thing I ever heard and he looked really offended and I immediately regretted saying that because it was so impolite and I hurt his feelings. And so I wrote him a letter of apology right there on the spot and handed it to him without saying a word. He read the note and didn’t say a thing and looked at me for a long time, just staring at the note. Then he smiled and he looked like he was no longer going to kill himself and finally he said: “That’s beautiful stationery. Where did you get it?”

RELIEF

My book on surrealism was delivered today in a really large brown box with extra bubble padding inside the box so that the surrealism inside the box would not be hurt in any way.

Monday, July 11, 2011

COMMAND MODULE


I saw
I WALK
ALONE.
And then
the computer
said you really
should see I WAKE
UP SCREAMING.
And then the computer
said CALL NORTHSIDE 777.
And I said, I will do that.
Right after I wake up screaming.

BALFOUR


SCENE ONE:

A guy with the first name “Sir” is shot to death: Balfour.
An inspector inspects him.
Let us jolly well go to Scotland Yard!
And think about this.
Billy the Butler might have done it.
As might perhaps Sir Jimmy.
Or Call-Me-Mr. Hibbs.
But that doesn’t explain the suicide note!
Nothing explains a suicide note!
You might as well ask a donkey to read Kierkegaard.

CASE CLOSED.

Five years later, with scattered pages and hoof prints on the floor, little eithers and ors.
Dead Sir Suicide Note’s estate is occupied, like Ovaltine occupies a tall, cool glass: Balfour
Ovaltine is delicious. Some more!

SCENE TWO:

Beaver Skin Cap man now lives at Dead Sir’s and
He has the requisite beaver-skin cap.
He has the large fangy fangs.
He has the gruesome, sunken eyes.
His assistant is a ghost with breasts.
She has flowing robes.
She has raven black hair.
Could this be Balfour
who opens the door
like a n’er do well n’er more
eating ghostly s’mores?
I think that ...

But this movie has disappeared. Nobody knows where it is. In 1965 I drew pictures of it. I drew big dark circles under Lon Chaney’s eyes even. I probably saw it on TV. It was called LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT. And in 1967 it disappeared. It would have been nice to steal it in 1965 and save it so that now everybody could watch it again. But how would I have known what was going to happen? I was ten years old. Disappearing is the worst thing in the world. Goodbye, London After Midnight.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

SKA!

The first day that I ever heard SKA music I felt as though I had just been born. Everything seemed so new and fresh. I felt as though I had fallen in love for the first time. I felt as though I had run so fast through the woods that I thought my heart was going to burst. I felt as though I had played the piano and had laughed as though there was nothing more delightful in the entire world and I was playing terribly. I felt as though I had stolen apples from the corner store. I felt as though I jumped over a turnstile and jumped onto a train to who knows where. I felt as though I had juggled oranges on the curb and they all fell down and it felt wonderful. It felt so wonderful that I felt as though I had laughed - at strangers, at loved ones, at my family, at celebrities and I felt as though they had all laughed too. Not at first, naturally, but I began to laugh and I felt so new and wonderful and they began to laugh too and they felt the exact same way. And we all stood up and raised our voices to the heavens and sang together to the skies: this has nothing to do with SKA music whatsoever!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

ANCIENT HISTORY

I woke up
early this
morning

and listened
to all of the different
grunts of Wimbledon
champions

I have this
little record

all the grunts
are different
from each other

they’re like
snowflakes

they’re fun

I forget which
is which

it’s an old and
scratchy record

and black

I like the sound
a tennis ball can
makes when you
open it

and the smell, oh
the smell

it’s fun

my goodness

I just fell down

It’s OK

everything seems
fun today
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