I do not leap out of bed eager to do things this day-- mindless enthusiasm--to do something or be 34 with smiling, chattering wellwishers I cannot say "Be silent" to--"Be silent on the day I have outlived Jesus!" because I have not written or spoken well enough to lose speech freedom, be eliminated in America--because I have been a slow-starter--because I have hidden my power--because I have hidden my violence-- because I wish to understand, to forgive, to heal, because that is my work--because I hate everything I would heal and because I know better but will not stop trying--because I wake on my birthday with clenched teeth for the black Things leaping upon one another and clinging, adhesive, mindless, by their hideous nature, choking off space in my head, bulging the brain cells, stretching the skin--not verifiable, but not an image; it is Brain Pressure--Swift's slobbering and ravings at end--Pound's mouth twisted open in Francis Bacon soundless scream when "they" released him with the usual platitudes--Artaud Le Momo's wasted and toothless face after massively uncom- prehending Roez--(etc.)--IF you survive to be old-- where do I end in fierceness?--it is all Energy--for heaven or hell the same--I would be more home locked brain to brain with hated and (though in most evil of mesomorphic way) GREAT Johnson even--never with bland underlings, never!--but they too might be free if ALLOWED to be free... see, this ranting--this sense of Reality thwarted in men while birds sing--that is one of "their" weapons!-- and recent SHOCK to discover my once (sometimes still) beautiful face getting fiercer--strain to LOOK gentle-- natural need for my work to be recognized very soon, or what?--need for a shaman's place to work--need for some pay for my profession, a building where poet- priest may give good what he's been granted to give--need for an ashram of rooms, plural!--one room for writing and teaching--one for Pauline's painting--one for a graceful bread breaking--one for white chapel incense, yoga, nonsymbolic, smoking together--one where guests may have free vision and be delighted--and we are being shown high-priced one-room "flats" with Victorian wallpaper!--not even our place among English, Irish, West Indian, African, Indian, Chinese children of backlands Notting Hill, where it would do our own Spirits most good to live-- and the businessman, clerk, policeman, mechanic has a place to go to do his work (for which he is "respectable") so also the professors also "respectable", as I was when professor-- but I have no place to go to do mine now, far more ancient, and also "respectable"-- Energy backing up--WILL find its outlet-- Pauline crying out yesterday in the Underground (subway) train, "Somebody help me, he's going to hurt me... please help me..." I twisting her arm and neck, threatening to twist her face off--for what?--for the pain in my head, for someone to receive my Energy to relieve me--incredulous faces around us, gaping "average" riders held against any rescue by the Wolf in my eyes, I could have mangled cautious charge of them with strength, coordination and lucidity of madness they subdued me--Pauline breaking away from my explaining..my explaining..running out when the train stopped--I continuing in it to Waterloo--waiting there for the next train-- she on it--approaches me--I am finished, empty-- takes my arm, leads me, near-catatonic, to next train, home, her soft child-mother body in bed-- understand this, my friends who laugh and drink beer with me at poetry readings and afternoons in the streets and so easily say "Love...the world needs Love"...friends who love me, too, then, and whom I have spared this--understand now what is in me and "Love" yes but love is COSTLY before spoken with Power in the poem--the deja vu purer-than-thou "Love Poem" WHO'S self- expression!-- O, forgive me!--so much at stake here--understand Love has put me in danger on my 34th birthday--because THIS Love burns with ambition of Love more than poetry--but by poetry not sainthood given, so chosen... this morning--my birthday--hot bath--immobile still after subway happening--first Purple Heart of my life--from her mother-- now 6:00 pm--on my way to see Paul and Rhiannon Evans, having first baby any day now, maybe today on my birthday--an hour's writing of this in nice Lyon's tea room shelter from rain in Notting Hill Gate Rd., flat hunting--out--into Notting Hill Under- ground--alone and quiet--7:30 sky darkening behind toylike English chimneypot houses seen through Underground skylight--going to Stamford Brook to sit with Paul and Rhiannon, then home to Pauline-- gone out alone to concentrate on this poem that had to be written-- get out at Stamford Brook--blonde girl in red panties only, back to me, posing for somebody in third- floor window on Paul's street--just there in window as I walk by and see--retreat, watch her Beauty from behind parked cars for 5 minutes-- walk on, thankful Paul's father, the Vicar, greets me at door in HIS collar-- beautiful face--church group meeting in sitting room--that's something Rhiannon cheerful and busy--still big with baby--we are all gentle together--they glad I've come--we read poems to each other (not this one to impose on the milk of her baby)--they love me Paul walks me back to the Underground 4 funny little shopgirls in train--"discussing" me-- stealing glances--they like me this poem writ from fierceness to calm now "Headache? This is What Happens..." / "With a Bottle of Sparkling FOLIES BERGERES!"--ads side by side and across from me who have drunk nothing all week we pull into Wimbledon--all doors banging open--dark--10:30- - cold wind running back and forth through the station-- get on train to Surbiton and bus to home--hot milk-- and I'll be in bed again with Pauline, where warmth has its reasons NOTE: this poem must finally be read in sequence with the long RENEW JERUSALEM poem, which was completed a week before it and which in fact determined what had to rise to the surface as rightly here, on my thirty-fourth birthday. Neither this nor the earlier poem makes me, or anyman, "this" or "that"; with the Energy there, the hope is that the best, not the worst, in these poems, in me--also in society--will prevail, till the Work prosper more fully, more simply, more truly and beautifully some day in Light-- after the ever more fearsome dark nights that will come. A third poem, THE MURDER OF CHRIST, must also finally be read in sequence with these two poems.
Continue to I L(o)ve NY by George Dowden
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