From It’ll Never Be Over For Me
after The Nite-Liters
a staircase, yellow,
plastic & full
of air. Something pale
from the automat,
headlong, sidelong into
the wireless future.
The kiss of a suture,
the cinnamon spark
that eats up
the fuse. What results
that one saw
coming, from the vantage
above the food court,
where the fountain reached,
deaf & dumb
toward the lacquered ceiling.
They fill it
with pennies. Pennies
for ice cream, pennies
for the long afterlife.
The mute slot like a weeping
snake-eye. Multiple sixes
to the nines.
It’s not the end
of the world.
Dance dance dance
under the fireflies, under
the seeking planes, crucifixes
UFO pips, the stupid translucence
of the inside
of the dice.
Morning, noon & The Nite-Liters. Nothing light about a band of seventeen whose biggest hit would peak at seventeen, heavy numerology. Brothers & sisters tattooed by trumpets & guitars, some groovy sans-serif. Not the only good thing besides Kentucky Fried Chicken to come out of Kentucky, quipped the Channel 13 DJ on November 1, 1972 as he proceeded to bungle the dudes’ names while they killed it onstage in matching baby blue sailor suits to an all-black crowd, PBS still segregating acts in ’72, the real deal not much like Sesame Street ,but it sounded cooler at any rate. Becoming New Birth to summarily die—they had it & lost it all in the Hollywood Haze, hemorrhaging members across the decade, done by ’79—Nite-Lite(r)s out, enter monsters.
after Bobbi Lynn
Lined up behind the dull chrome of the clouds,
the armies of ruin, prepped to drag premises all along
the neglected ground. Brown dirt the universal principle
of absence, world opened like an orange. We perturb
its thin skin only. What waits for us in the alien core,
geoded bubbles harboring air unblemished by the stain
of our being. What lies below: iguanas the size of dinosaurs,
three-lidded demons or some abhorrent mycelium,
immortal, uninterested in us. No shaker of earth,
this God—so who to curdle & still the shifting plates
that sleep below our folly? Fear always what lies
below, but look always there. You, named to bury
your dead. Conjugal bed of mind & universe, the union
so poisonous to skin—that bower that calls to us in low
frequencies, whips up the puddle of the oceans. This life
a mad dash away from Mother’s arms until we are called
home by the booming voice, inexorable but inexplicable,
but we still too young to answer.
THE ELUSIVE BOBBI LYNN
You know in life, some people try to make it, some don’t. Some keep trying, some give up. I tried to make it & this is my story. Well I was born just around the corner, about half a block from Opportunity Street. I lived 18 years of good memories; I’ve had 27 since, every meal to eat. I met a boy just around the corner about half a block from Opportunity Street. He had charms at 20 nearly drove me mad, but he stole my love, took everything I had on Opportunity Street. It seems to me that I could see there must be another way, but some don’t get another chance & I guess I’ll have to stay. Now a word to all you people, about half a block from Opportunity Street. Listen to me, if you lived the life you planned to be, just make about face & take a look at me: Opportunity Street.
Ghazal For Ginsberg
E. S. Cormac
Tell us this story, goddess daughter of Zeus, beginning at whatever point you will.
I have studied your immense enumerations grey beard
I carefully crafted lines in response to shopping list strophes jazz beard
Thrown away to mind’s inner recesses and 182GB of RAM that’s all I have left either way
It is our pleasure to report neon fruit hydrogen jukeboxes the least of worries, father beard
It started off beautiful lines echoing your madness devoured minds of generation
Poseidon’s blinded children air out intimacies despite song of emperor’s fiddle, vigilant beard
It lead away to Troy’s shores and roster of ship’s crews using exacting turn-o-phrase
They snap fingers in cafe bravo to poetic truths of high school journal keepers now, beat beard
Lines stopped weary of flowing thoughts returned to foreign fiord
Struggle self society is it lost in transliteration mouthings, pariah beard
I am tired of them. I am tired of their flying circus. I don’t want to be a clown. I want to look outside
IWW, CCCP, LBGT, your Spartan Phalluses battled Barbara Billinglsy boulevards kabala beard
I will no longer write of the I, the me, the we, the ours.
It is our pleasure to report, sertraline, fluoxetine, replace cerebellum scars now, committed beard
I will become Clipper of Coupons for Packets of Tea. I, soldier of emperors, swear, grand beard.
I am having a slow epiphany beatnik beard.
The beatnik poets as a whole, and Allen Ginsburg in particular, struggled against the norms of society. Through verse and prose they spoke of taboos, railed against mainstream America, and confessed dark desires in a style that also rebelled against the formal literature of the time. Whether through translation or imitation this style is what is most remembered and copied today. Hidden in the human caricature that has become the Beat Writer’s are the real life struggles of men against their society. A society they felt alienated from somehow.