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Sun #1 1961

I'VE FOUGHT THEM FROM THE MOMENT
I SAW LIGHT FROM THE WOMB

well, let us die then, let us fall into dark corners
and demise; I, for one, am tired of fighting--
for soul or grail or banner; damn you all,
it's neat but not complete--and when either of us
hears a man hammering upon a board or Chopin
or his wife's head
the sound to us is the same
(I do not mean the 3 are the same, get this straight;
 but Chopin does not nec. top the list)
but the meaning is different
and you
make a cause out of it
while I get a headache
(though I drink too much
 and there is a similarity here.)

(for a moment I thought I was bleeding
 but it was the stub of my girl friend's
 cigarette)

Anyhow, I have mounted a machine gun
in the center of my room
(and tho I was 4-f and damn glad of it
 I have seen plenty of war pictures--
 that's the best way to do it--and most
 of the time you check your ammo belt)
and I have surrounded myself with cold beer
and the memories of hot women,
and also good symphonies I have heard
(none by Chopin)
when I had the guts to climb mountains;
my beard is gray now
and I cackle through broken teeth
like an old hen with a worm.

the phone has rung several times, a tremendous
shower of meaningless sound
and my boss has asked, "Where the hell
are you?  what's happening?"

I've put the phone down like the handle of a hot frying pan
rechecked the ammo belt and stared North at the purple
                                                  mountains
over Hollywood, estimated their fall in metric feet,
and then figured how many m.feet I'd be buried near them
if anybody bothered to bury me at all.

"It is understood," says a voice on the phone,
"that under the terms of the divorce,
 if you fail to make the payments on the car,
 the car goes to me."

I've failed to make payments on anything
because anything has failed to make payments
on me, and I am more important than the whole pro-
cedure
      because
             I think I am without straining to make it so;
this makes for poetry and pain and confusion
and a 4-f kind of life
because a man is pretty damn well
                                outnumbered.

(I've re-check the ammo. belt; there is a knock
upon the door:   "rent's due!    cough up,
you bastard!"

I touch the trigger lightly, quite lightly
like Chopin in a dulcet moment
and spin a lovely pattern in the wood--
through the holes I can see moths and blackbirds
flying through the halls
but the voice has stopped.

I can hear the sirens now, and people,
1-A people are gathering in the streets; well,
I have plenty of good bullets and a record player
and I hear if you piss in a hanky it's as good as
a gas mask. I only hope you get this
because after you read about it
in the Times or Mirror or Examiner
I'll be dead;... I was just beginning to write some
good poetry too--
                 and now I think
                                maybe I should have
learned to pray, and the preachers will say
(they always crp. on the fallen)
I only got what was coming to me,
but they'd better stay out of the way
or get a gut-full too
like Chopin drunk, clutching his Pollack soil
while all around him
the whores were selling their bodies
like beautiful things the bees like,
like beautiful things that bloom.

    
Slouching Toward Nirvana - 2005

I fought them from the moment I saw light

I, for one, was willing to fight
for soul or grail or banner.
I mounted a machine gun
in the center of my room
and though I was 4-f and damn glad of it
I have seen plenty of war pictures
(that's the best way to do it).
I surrounded myself with cold beer,
with the memories of warm women
and also with some good symphonies I had heard
back during the time
when I had the guts to climb mountains
(but my beard is gray now
and I cackle through broken teeth
like an old hen with a worm).

the phone has now rung several times, a
shower of meaningless sound,
and my boss asks, "where the hell
are you? what's happening? when are you
coming in?"

I put the phone down like the handle of a hot frying pan,
re-check my ammo belt and stare north at the
purple mountains
over Hollywood, estimating their distance in metric feet
and wondering if I might be buried near them
if anybody bothers to bury me at all?

"it is understood," says another voice on the phone,
"that under the terms of the divorce,
if you fail to make the payments on the car,
the car goes to me."

"I've always failed to make payments on everything
because everything has always failed to make payments
to me," I reply.

but I think I must be a happy man and
this makes for poetry and pain and confusion
and a 4-f kind of life
because a man is pretty damn well out-gunned
from day one.

but as I re-check my ammo belt there is a knock
upon the door: "rent's due! cough up,
you bastard!"

I touch the trigger lightly, quite lightly
like Chopin at the piano
and spin a lovely pattern in the wood—
through the holes I can see moths and blackbirds
dying in the hall
and the voice stops.

now I can hear sirens, and people,
people are gathering outside in the street; well,
I have plenty of good bullets left and a record player
and I hear if you piss in a hanky it's as good as
a gas mask. I only hope you read this sooner rather than later
because if you read it later
in the Times or Mirror or Examiner
I'll be dead, and I was just beginning to write some
real good poetry—
                 and now I think
                                maybe I should have
learned to pray, because the preacher will say
(they always crap on the newly fallen) that
I got what was coming to me,
but he'd better stay out of the way now
or get a gut-full too.

I'm Chopin, drunk, clutching my Polack soul,
the last bad man,
while all around me
the whores are selling their bodies
like beautiful things
like beautiful things that bloom.