___________________________________________________________________________ DAYS & NIGHT'S ___________________________________________________________________________ This is certainly not a painting by Ni Tsan a fourteenth century master whose obsession was cleanliness his sparse landscapes practically all brush & hardly any inkwash But more in the style of Shen Shih-ch'ung his milky monochrome The Pavilion of the Luxuriant Trees where two figures discussing on a balcony seem to be immersed in a pile of Necco wafers & you & I go out of the house & scream "Fuck you!" at each other in an open field hurling a bottle of Rolling Rock (two good sips still left!) into the dark all because of a paragraph in the New York Times magazine section describing a serious young woman machinist as "loving the arc of the welding torch and the flow of the molten steel" & I said "sexist" over your shoulder & we left the lake early. Water and a preparation of pine soot & the pines so thinly arranged the painter gazes out of a wicker window into rectangular fog Obviously no one has ever told him he lacks depth perception! Below his spongy jowls his palms must be sleeping on his knees crushed in the folds of blue bamboo leaves. Often the simplest words! only take you to the edge of the sea where to the artist you are merely a tall dot who has run out of land or as Frank O'Hara once said to me as we were strolling in the tide "Baby, this is weather! ........ ___________________________________________________________________________ SARAN WRAP ___________________________________________________________________________ the other night at dinner when you said "I've never known a famous writer & I probably never will" I experienced "Future Shrink" a wool sweater trounced in hot suds or cotton too long under water like Thomas Hardy who found out he had fallen in love with his own niece not knowing she was the illegitimate child of the illegitimate daughter of his own mother or saran wrap in steam ___________________________________________________________________________ WE CAN'T FIND THE TRAITOR BUT OF COURSE HE'S STAYING RIGHT HERE IN LONDON AT THE WINDSOR HOTEL ___________________________________________________________________________ Calmly & with an air of detachment she folded the great ship in two & sank it ... no I must have imagined that I must have imagined the french fries the wind aching over the hot rods night's crushed geography where all the wrong people went off with the wrong people I must have imagined the air off the steeple's dark point where in telling her story she seemed not to notice that one by one all the men who left her became novelists I must have imagined someone sent me her ring in a small box they said this is her ring we thought you'd want to have it but it wasn't her ring I was dreaming again I must have imagined the motif of confronting birds or pigs who like sharks & children will put anything into their mouths the world considered in terms of chewable & non-chewable & then two days later the cartoonist's spouse committed suicide. I must have imagined the paper flew up from your hands! the milk exploded on the stove! I must have imagined love was out of fashion the spectators came to be shocked! the knobs resembled elephant's eyes you always loved this weather. Unlike the horse who relies on the assumption that no one is there as to the sound of hay drifting on a thought of hay dreamed up & sent ceiling I must have imagined that we would go on calling it what it was meant to be when we said it & I would never need to measure the chairs to make my point! I who pounded on your dreams & walked backwards in snow to confuse you I must have imagined you were calling just to rub it in! ___________________________________________________________________________ Novembers or straight life ___________________________________________________________________________ It's guys like Emerson that always fuck it up Who from his journals -marked for later use in Social Aims under "Manners" wrote My prayer to women would be, when the bell rings, when visitors arrive, sit like statues. Impossible! to give passionate head after reading that! Impossible to blow you under propelling tables! our beers whitecapping on the nap Oblivious! of swizzle sticks & Cinzano ashtrays embedding in our backs! While the Pope hits a new low & the Professor who is so brief as to be left with nothing more to say has rectified this once again by repeating everything three times . . . . . even a tree surgeon will bend over the fence asking "Is your husband home? Is your husband home? Is your husband home?" as though you didn't hear him instead of simply choosing not to answer. How To Talk To Assholes was a possible title I was considering in honor of the doctor studied my severely swollen thumb & inquired as to whether any strenuous exercise had been taken of late "perhaps yanking a fitted bedsheet over a mattress?" he postulated. . . . . . "Is this a town?" I asked "Yes," said Uncle Alfred, "this is Raven Brook, and here is Jake waiting for us." ___________________________________________________________________________ A PIECE ___________________________________________________________________________ Well. . . . . . . . . I suppose I was talking about how he said to me "They called Jack Kerouac a sexist!" So I said I said the thing is I said you have to decide whether you're going to overlook any sexism because you think he's such a great writer So you put the question the whole question of sexism aside when you read him and concentrate on the value of the writing itself . . . . I mean it doesn't alter the fact of his being sexist that he was holocaustically sexist. He wouldn't deny it I'm sure I said. In VISIONS OF CODY he talks about how the woman takes the "melted marble of man's sperm" and transforms it into "a large bulky piece of decayable meat" and that as far as young women were concerned he couldn't look at them unless he tore off their clothes one by one and that that was about all all he could say about all girls . . . . "and only further refinement is their cunts and will do" he said. Well . . . . . . . . . . . But then this guy said to me he said "Yeah, but you don't think he's sexist do you?" ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ Winter is so punk. It's Steel shades shaded tin &these strung-out Ash trees their anorexic limbs dovetailing with the light. I often go walking with a second figure we laugh about how we both should have taken up painting instead. Once from an opposite crosswalk We saluted a man with Fuchsia for hair A thatch the hue of Modern Magazine Pussy! We chortled. Winter is so punk the sunlight's raw & all the bushes Seem to be in poor health sometimes you wish you still knew the people you used to know better I was still stirring the noodles when he threw the broccoli back into the frying pan & the fight was on! It must be a sign that the disappointments of life are setting in. We lolled in the hay til noon intellectually discussing passion You can't blame short hair for everything! Remember when the word moonlight meant romance & now it just means holding down two jobs My uncle Trap got layed-off the track for five years for doping horses As a kid I used to hold them for him Shank in hand I'd ask "How come you give them a shot before they run?" to make a constellation he'd say into which or upon which other constellations fit or are placed unfitted & are cut by circumstance to fit other times he'd just say "Vitamins." ___________________________________________________________________________ for Edwin Denby ___________________________________________________________________________ He said see That building that isn't there that's where de Kooning used to live ___________________________________________________________________________ for Ulysses on his high school graduation ___________________________________________________________________________ Just come home when you need to or how does light get between the stars if there's no electro magnetic forces in space A small roaring in the foliage of poplar & reed heat throbbing upward over the damp gravel the last clump of tulips falls apart Grey Tropical. . . . . Yes it's true! Basically you have to learn what life is about from the vertebrae pattern of a frog! all that remains is to be mentioned or don't put cast iron in a sink full of suds overnight & if you can't speak to them in real language always use code. Suppose this mist centered on stage left & demanded our attention because when everything was finally settled one of the dates got switched & it all had to be rearranged again But O you are so beautiful staring out the train window Saying "I hate Liza Minnelli!" ___________________________________________________________________________ from "Letters to the Letters S and F" ___________________________________________________________________________ Tuesday the first letter ___________________________________________________________________________ Dear S Today I didn't agree with what I said yesterday to you about having children or not having children Except that I love these three Even as she will always sing the praises of every tiny horrible aspect of being a mother that I hate Sometimes I think I've learned everything I know Kyran explained at breakfast how if you have a diaper on you don't need to wear underwear & WCBS New York told about a man completely on fire who was rescued by his wife She put out the flames with a garden hose Now & then a spouse comes in handy The air is full of light & today I received mail from The Blinded Veterans Association, The American Lung Association, Connecticut Light & Power, Bob Holman, DISCOVER (the news magazine of science) sub titled "Can A Heart Attack Be Stopped," Katharine Hepburn, The Abortion Fund, Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company, Ronald Reagan, National Women's Health Network, The Print Center, Manuscripts from Albany, Lynn, MA, Columbia, & Atlanta, a card from Helen Adam just back from Germany en route to Arizona & another graced package from Tom Weigel w/a note Bob's card is a Winter Sunrise in the Grand Tetons tho it is August here . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . She taught herself how to draw in this garden that summer. ___________________________________________________________________________ Wednesday November I I ___________________________________________________________________________ Dear F Tonight missing John Cage at the Poetry Project. There is something very John Cage about missing John Cage but I regret I am not there to see his wisdom and hear him chuckle at himself for appearing as himself. Just now you called sounding depressed. I'm no puff ball myself these days what with looking for a job and all. I want to feel like Patrick who just came through the room saying he should study for his Spanish final, but he'd end up watching the hockey game instead. "I have no control over what I do," he tells me. "I like taking life as a big joke because it is." Myself I have always been too serious I boycotted the royal wedding Refusing to even watch the interviews with Prince C and Lady D on the telly For Lynch & Doherty! in British prison for Bernadette McDonnell beside her starved father 's coffin For the desperate rioting poor in the streets of London! I boycotted the royal wedding! I wanted to call attention to my cause by flying the Irish flag from the roof, but I couldn't get hold of a flag I thought of posting an announcement "WEDDING BOYCOTT HERE!" but who would see it jetting by in their Subarus & pickups So my boycott went on without notice. . . . . . . . . . .Except for those unlucky few who had to listen to me berate them for their obvious bedazzlement with royalty as they sat all ears to hear prince C nasal his secret on how he has managed to just not go "mad" living with the eyes of the world on his every move! Life's Tough all over Baby I thought some people can't even get noticed dying of hunger in an English prison But it was over with a bang wasn't it & now Thanksgiving is for certain We will bring all delicious side effects & wear our Halloween costumes I am a huge parrot w/wild red-orange & yellow head in my long black w/red velvet inside cape or as someone suggested as we were T or t ing a volcano . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ___________________________________________________________________________ Monday November 23 ___________________________________________________________________________ Dear F The yellow pigments of the marsh were becoming blue with the tide the air was like the corners of a large transparent box those leggy reeds she told me were called Johnson Grass in the south Blazed palomino but despite the fierceness of the caption "Cold" under the picture I am still unable to find a place for Vladimir's line: "His eyes burned like a pair of angry assholes in the snow." If Arthur Conan Doyle had written like that do you think Sherlock Holmes would have been changed appreciably? Patrick & I have just finished The Speckled Band a grizzly tale of murder & are now reading one that involves a young hydraulic engineer whose thumb has been completely hacked away not much different than the morning news on WCBS Except that Holmes is often emotional & acts like he 's just snorted enough coke for 4 normal people Then coming by Cox School I saw the gangster woman with her face from the Dick Tracy comic strip the same 3 deep lateral grooves on each side &the same yellow hair intense as today's light Cadmium___________________________________________________________________________
Copyright 1985 by Maureen Owen. Published by Sun Books.
Although Sun is no longer in operation, copies are still available from Light and Dust. $7.00 + $1.00 shipping and handling. Order along with other books from the Light and Dust Publishing section, or send check to:
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