And before hell mouth; dry plain
and two mountains;
On the one mountain, a running form,
In the turn of the hill; in hard steel
The road like a slow screw’ s thread,
The angle almost imperceptible,
so that the circuit seemed hardly to rise;
And the running form, naked, Blake,
Shouting, whirling his arms, the swift limbs,
Howling against the evil,
his eyes rolling,
And before hell mouth; dry plain
While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead
I played about the front gate, pulling flowers.
You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse,
You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums.
And we went on living in the village of Chōkan:
Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.
At fourteen I married My Lord you.
I never laughed, being bashful.
Lowering my head, I looked at the wall.
Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.
Inamoratas, with an approbation,
Bestowed his title. Blessed his inclination.
He wakes, unwinds, elaborately: a cat
Tawny, reluctant, royal. He is fat
And fine this morning. Definite. Reimbursed.
He waits a moment, he designs his reign,
That no performance may be plain or vain.
Then rises in a clear delirium.
A strong song tows
us, long earsick.
Blind, we follow
rain slant, spray flick
to fields we do not know.
Night, float us.
Offshore wind, shout,
ask the sea
what’ s lost, what’ s left,
what horn sunk,
what crown adrift.
Four white heifers with sprawling hooves
trundle the waggon.
Its ill-roped crates heavy with fruit sway.
The chisel point of the goad, blue and white,
a flame to follow lance-high in a man’ s hand
who does not shave. His linen trousers
like him want washing.
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 silvery images
and when you grow old as grow old you must
I am the people — the mob — the crowd — the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’ s food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
They made a myth of you, professor,
you of the gentle voice,
the books, the specs,
the furitive rabbit manners
in the mortar-board cap
and the medieval gown.
They didn’ t think it, eh professor?
On account of you’ re so absent-minded,
you bumping into the tree and saying,
“Excuse me, I thought you were a tree,”
passing on again blank and absent-minded.
The abracadabra boys — have they been in the stacks and cloisters? Have they picked up languages for throwing into chow mein poems?
Have they been to a sea of jargons and brought back jargons? Their salutations go: Who cometh? and, It ith I cometh.
They know postures from impostures, pistils from pustules, to hear them tell it. They foregather and make pitty pat with each other in Latin and in their private pig Latin, very ofay.
Today there has been so much talk of things exploding
into other things, so much that we all become curious, that we
all run outside into the hot streets
and hug. Romance is a grotto of eager stones
anticipating light, or a girl whose teeth
you can always see. With more sparkle and pop
is the only way to live. Your confetti tongue explodes
into acid jazz. Small typewriters
that other people keep in their eyes
click away at all our farewell parties. It is hard
to pack for the rest of your life. Someone is always