by d.a.levy

PART ZERO - Celebration With Rada Drums

only ten blocks away
buildings burned - perhaps burning now
the august night broken by sniper fire
police men bleeding in the streets
a sniper surrenders (perhaps out of ammunition)
Gun Jammed?
someone sed he was framed in a doorway
like a picture - his hands in the air
when they shot him -

only ten blocks away
from my quiet apartment
with its green ceramic buddhas
& science fiction books
unread skin magazines to be cut up
for collages

only ten blocks away
from my total helplessness
from my boredom enforced by the state
they are looting stores
trying to get televisions
so they can watch the riots
on the 11 pm news

the national guard jeeps patrol
the streets again
the army-green trucks with the
giant white star on the side
moving in the summer lightning

i cd tell you partly
why it happened
but you wouldnt believe me

like in Milwaukee
during a reading
just after i said
"this is a paranoid poem - written when i was
experimenting with paranoid states of consciousness,
but im not there anymore"
& a young girl sat writing
"shows paranoid symptoms"
probably for her psychology class
not hearing me at all

i cld try to tell you
about the hopeless despair
ingrained in ghetto walls
& police brutality or police stupidity
or police reality is more than just words
to define situation
by students looking for a cause.
the situations exist & continue
quietly in the dark while the
protest goes on in daylight -
both unheard.

the police try to protect
the banks - and everything else
is secondary

during the riots
i watched the news
& didnt pick sides for a change

i just sat wondering about all
the living room revolutionaries
safe in the suburbs
who cheered everytime someone
was shot or a building went up
in smoke

ten blocks away
it was real
thousands of tourists



"east Cleveland has more history than Cleveland"
she sed as if to pump that additional piece
of information into my de-generating energy
centers like a gas station attendant
i couldnt get it across to anyone
how tired i was
just writing poems for tomorrow
or writing poems for myself
a form of suicide

since it all began in cleveland anyway
& thats where the shit belongs
east cleveland
with its ancient city manager
city commisioners
is not like cleveland, where the
mayor & councilmen suck money from
the federal govt & cosa nostra & syndicates
it doesnt really matter
what you call them
as long as you know
who to pay
& who to take from
& never let the little people know
whats happening
if theres any problems
just blame it on the communists
or the john birchers
or the black militants
or the illiterate hippies
depending on who yr talking to
at the time
"east cleveland doesnt have any problems"
and in the near future

if they ever organize
the fine arts council, even
the poets will be kept in line
like they are in cleveland
its so easy to convince poets
what poetry is
and what it isnt
& everyone knows
sleeping with the muse
is only for young poets
after you've been kept impotent
by style & form & words like "art"
after being published by the RIGHT publishers
and having all the right answers
after youve earned the right to call yrself
a poet      yr dead
& lying on yr back
drinking ceremonial wine, while
the muse, who is always a young girl
with old eyes into the universe
suddenly remembers necrophilia
is an experience shes had before
& shes not interrested
in straddling corpses anymore

You wonder why your kids are wearing
flowers in their hair
& laughing in the park
its the bitch herself
eating spanish fly candy
whispering in their ears
because, even if they cant fully understand
what shes saying - they know how to listen
they know how to read Look magazine
between the lines & they still believe

east clevelands history is NOW
at this moment
suspended in the 4th dimensional cinerama
movie we pretend is living     NOW
when i am wondering if the Indians
traveling along the Lake Trail had as much
trouble getting a good piece of ass
as i do

(excuse me, my internal dakini
you know 1 love you spiritually
write my poems for you, but 1 like to
keep my fingers in something wet to remind
me where i am
                      i dont want to end up like
                      Kenneth Patchen - hiding in
                      California - an exile
                      Pound & Artaud locked up
                      in the past - Poe a lush
                      a paranoid lush!

lady you have to be realistic
sending all yr poets to the looney bin
aint helping the profession very much
your blue hair in the wind
& yr eyes full of diamonds
your trembling neon thighs
spread in my mind
while i sat in a quiet apartment
on Savannah Ave waiting for
my teenage wife-mistress to come
home from work after the night shift
waitress on a death ship restaurant

a greek Yorikke with its $1.09 specials
of shishkabob, lambstew, barbequed chicken
porterhouse steak, veal cutlet, spaghetti
etc all tasting the same
i sat at home
while downstairs, the hillbilly dog
barked into the blackness everytime
a piece of newspaper rubbish
or gumwrapper shuttled
across the sidewalk
i sat wondering
if she was getting pulled into some
quiet driveway & getting raped
while i dreamed of love & peace
& dreamed of strange women
in erotic costumes knocking on the door
whispering with wet lips & flaming roses
between their thighs     instead
every young girl     old girl
i ever met wanted me to be her brother
a friend, "fuck that shit"
i'd scream at the shadows
maybe my teenage wife-mistress is
getting raped on the way home from work &
ive got to go make a movie
& i'd leave
the empty apartment
head for the restaurant
down Savannah & Alleghenny & Northfield
to Euclid Ave for a cup of coffee
very disappointed
to find my old lady still there
working late
nothing exciting ever happens
except when the neighbors moved
every 2 or 3 months
without paying the rent
& the landlord would ask us
about them
we never got to know
our neighbors very well

we decided to move
after some young buck
followed my old teenage wife-mistress
home one night (it could have been me
but the wife
still being Christian at that time
i didnt want anyone to get hurt
trying to rape her

no more walking
to meet her
in the sun
or in the snow
or the dark nights
when the street lights
turned everything funny shades
and the sparks from apartment
incinerators leapt into the
polluted air like fireworks

no more back porch
with a window for the siamese
to climb out at night & wander
the streets terrified that
some big tom might
kick the shit
out of him

so many boring nights
quiet halloween parties on Strathmore
smoking the benevolent herb & drinking scotch
experimenting with giant vats full of
home made soup
we made soup
you wouldnt beleive
just soup
nothing to shaft
but the 17 yr old
soon to be my wife
for mutual survival
& then the year & a half on Savannah
finishing off the last of the peyote
gave us both belly-aches
& no pictures in our heads
popping acid or morning glory seeds
until the law sed "fuck yr god in the mouth"
& sealed the door to the universe
with a cross
& the law
the downtown cleveland narks
& the city councilmen
a bunch of transvestites
dancing in the streets
shouting and giggling "We are God, We are God"
I'm a levy & a scorpion
& a poet     i dont need drugs
i just wanted to be like everyone else
& everyone i knew was taking drugs
everyone i knew was reading the P.D.R.
& developing psychosomatic illnesses
just to get pills
any pills

what else was there?
jacking off to the commercials
the old lady nibbling yr fly
during the food commercials
the television nibbling at yr fly
until the old lady returns

the television - just another drug
good old sub-urban life
anyways, i'm glad they passed the laws
too many young kids trying to turn me on
young girls want to come to the house
want to bring grass - write letters
wanting to be my friends
celebrity hunters who want to visit
the local poetry ashram - fuck that shit
i feel like an underground movie
that was burned by Savonarola

im still looking
for a horny white coven queen
who can come in her mind
and let me come with her

last time i took acid
i wanted to get liberated
almost dropped dead
decided i didn't want to get liberated
                    that way
too clinical
sat down & watched the walls melt
& turn into flowing     swaying
throbbing yantras     designs
all visual stuff
bored the piss out of me
everyone else wanted to ball as much
as i did except they were all afraid
so we just watched the pictures
jump out of the walls

im tired of being the instigator
three days later returned to
normal vision 20/30 or 20/60 variable
depending on how bored i am

working out the problems of the universe
thinking weird thoughts
writing paranoid poems about the police
nothing to do except
change the kitty litter, empty the garbage
nothing to do except go to Adeles bar
the last religious frontier
& watch it be destroyed by the
University property-mongers

daytime in east cleveland
the sun breaking thru the
mullberry leaves
                              thru the
                  window of our
new apartment on Wymore

the sun softly thundering
across our new oriental carpets
from the Salvation army
on 55th Street

Everyone Sez,
"write a poem about east cleveland"
yah man, wouldn't that be cute!



Most of my thirst
was quenched by answers
i brought myself
still, i suppose
i never could have found them
without that spot of light
on Euclid Ave.

you could not get
a good cup of coffee
at The Well
no matter
how hard you tried
or how long
you waited

i wasted a full three years
thru mediocre tea bags
dishwater coffee & hot chocolate
that stuck to the roof of yr mouth
just like climbing a mountain
          a Christian mountain
the Well was there to be conquered
except no one could find out
exactly what was happening there
or what its purpose was -

First the establishment tried to close
The Well because of the Beatniks - later
to be called Hippies & an ordinance was
passed saying you couldnt wear sandals
in east cleveland

Second it was the spades, as if those
young chicks were all going to drop
their pants at the sight of brown
skin - man, nobody was going to get into
those teenybops - and them teenybops
werent letting anyone in -
and rape is for kids
so nothing was happening

so Third it was the motorcycle outlaws
causing all the trouble - except it
never saw the trouble, i never saw a
goddamn pubic hair, i never had a cup of
decent coffee, but 1 did a lot of waiting
& heard a lot of guitars crying in pain -

i dont know why they wanted the Well closed
but I'm glad they did it
i may have spent my whole life
waiting for something to happen

it died an ordinary death
when the Press Bar decided to EXPAND
& the nebulous coffeehouse
never did turn into a nova
it just got replaced by a couple
of pool tables & now no one worrys
whos getting laid by who
just so long as those long haired kids
dont sing anymore of pete seegers old songs
or songs of Joan Baez or smoke parsley
or take fake amphetamine made out of flour

happening on Sat.Night - goddamn
i feel like I'm stuck in the middle
of a hick town - this is supposed
to be one of the countries biggest
Grade D movies on witchcraft & only three
known covens in the county
most of the ohio covens supposed
to be in Cinncinnati
experimental college movies
acid-flicks to non-acid audiences
Still - a unique experience
sometimes a good movie
allen ginsbergs smiling face
continually appearing
Is that hip?
Kuchar Brothers, Peter Bergman labyrinths
no movies by Clevelanders who stayed in
Cleveland, no movies about the
Cleveland Underground . . .

the continental theatre
where i pass out copies of the Buddhist Oracle
to paranoid right-wingers who are convinced
it is a commy publication
no one understands what the paper is all about
i dont understand what its all about

lot of nice looking women tho
i never laid any of them
every Sat. night     waiting
looking into eyes
trying to find someone i lost
More than 5,000 years ago
was it Assryia? Babylon? Atlantis?
the Lady with blue hair
& eyes full of stars
running across the sand -
in my mind while every Sat. night
i was passing out papers.

Running back to the Well
the narcotics dept is watching
they are convinced there is
underground drug traffic operated
by the french syndicate going on
between the coffeehouse & the theatre
A Communist plot - Camels packing
opium & hash & owsleys unlimited
underneath the bar -
in little girls snatches
Interpol aint going to talk
they'll blame in on the Mafia
if anyone gets caught
i keep looking
for that drug traffic
for my own purposes
while 1 was waiting
for a decent cup of coffee
as a cover up - it never happened!
just that puke faced suburban living

William Burroughs - rescue me!
forget that!
Michele Ray - Yael Dayan - rescue me!

I'm sitting in the shadows of the Well
old memories left in my head from the
days when it was born & i took the Rapid
from W. 25th & Lorain to Superior or
Windermere & walked in the slush of late
autumn to wait in the coffeehouse shadows
watching it grow - inhale & exhale
listening to Miles Davis music inside my head

Now i sit at home & fly with the Jefferson Airplanes
earphones taped to my head - listening to Judy Collins
Country Joe & the Fish - Buddhist Chants - Pink Floyd -
Richard Farina's ghost - classical spanish music
my skull cracking wide open
& the last of my brains & collected words
floating up to the ceiling

it was much simpler when i walked
in the summer to the North Branch Library
& couldnt find books on Tantracism, Dadaism,
Buddhism, Egypt, contemporary poetry -
there was a lot of Americana Propaganda
i was very disappointed - 1 really wanted
to study - instead i sat away the summers
trying to become as soft as the trees
trying to understand where they
got their faith in life
growing - growing patiently
leaping toward the sun

There was a time when everyone
wanted to be The leader & get something
going - but then it was decided,
it was more christian to serve
rather than lead     so the place was full
of lieutenants waiting for a captain
to present a plan of action
he never appeared
or maybe we missed him
thats a cleveland neurosis
i dont understand what
its doing in this
changing suburb
maybe its contagious
maybe the spades
moving up Hayden Ave
will bring a leader
with them

the john birchers visited The Well
one night waving their curious
form of patriotism - the 16 yr old
kids laughed them out -
the young trots also talking at
The Well, the 16 yr olds either went
to sleep or got nervous & left
to wander the streets

THE WELL a real liberal coffeehouse
died a quiet death - june first 1968
    Recklessly In Naive Peace

Lenore Kandel, J.D. Kuch, save me!

PART THREE - i guess it was her sister

Dream one: ground zero 2 - defined as
      traveling thru conscious space -
      when you reach an extremely dense
      area of consciousness - the mind
      (a mobile zero) visualizes the
      conscious mass as light patterns
      or as light ....

Dream Two: a thought is matter -
      what form of energy is used to
      create a Thought?
                Thinking is the organ-
      izing of thoughts or thought
      patterns - thing in not energy.
      Thinking uses a form of energy.
      What form of energy is used to
      create the original thoughts?
      Try to become THAT!

Dream Three: chaos of pictures
      living the giant painless movie
      waiting for wisdom that is
      supposed to arrive with age -
      some senile motherfucker told
      me that - i didnt believe him
      for a moment
      but decided to wait
      until i could find some way
      to not wait without becoming
      an instant nova

hello astronaut
no     im not a firefly
no im not a flying saucer
in the distance
I'm a self contained unit
of consciousness waiting
to be reborn - can you
hear me? can you
hear me?

At The East Cleveland Congregational Church Dance
doing a benefit for the murdered coffeehouse on
115th - & the outlaws showing up with most of the
money at the door & getting very bored -
God's Children - The Gringos - Slave Makers etc
a liberal church - i was very bored - watching
for those eyes --- & found her sister
                    "the empty / handed magi
                    breaking the snow / for words"
to d------

you dance (barely moving)
in the basement of the church
someone wearing colors
picks you up & carrys you
around in his arms
          & for a moment
lines of flesh are exposed

for (a poets small) eternity
my eyes captured & photographed
your moving figure

(that picture - still moving
hangs in the sacred galleries
of my mind)

(that picture of you moving like
a tantric angel - secured in the
cathedral of my skull)

i ask myself if it is only with
a poets eye & for reasons of
aesthetics that i single you out
from the shadows

later you stand at my side
like a holy spirit radiating
light & we exchange words
we do not want - pretend a
game we dont like

and ask each other
"What do i want?"

"What do i want?"

lady, what do you want?
when you are offered even
the unknown boundaries of the skull
you dance away & pretend you did
not hear
you disappear like a swallow
on the wind - dress in pale blue
and fade into the sky as if you
never existed
            it almost seems
as if you refuse to share the
things you ask for

    "the young woman who went to play
    with the dogteeth of summer"
              george seferis

no one even noticed
you slipped into the anemic church
even more dangerous than the
angel of death -
i looked for you
wrote magical poems
that didnt work
found you for a few moments
outside the unitarian church
weeks later
sat in the car with you
bottle of beer held between
your thighs
wanting our spirits to touch
our fingers & our lips to melt together
on 82nd street stoned on amphetamine
i let you slip away again

what did you want?

your blond hair for a moment in adeles
the heavy golden light around you
lady you were beautiful & i didnt
know why!

a month later
you crept into my head
while i was sleeping
i tried to throw you out
& you just sed it was
a nice place to be"
funny no one ever noticed before

my first non-paranoid telepath
experience - left me hysterical
for weeks. . . . im still hysterical
dont have the answers
i just write these
prose? poems? & tell myself
like i told her when i was
in Milwaukee & our minds
touched again
maybe it will be better
for the next generation lady
your son
can read the poems & find out
how we were murdered
for 5,000 years
let him know
there was no place for us
except moving or becoming

you can watch the ones who
didnt move fast enough
they are dying
& they are called     Poets
people used to be afraid of poets
now they dont listen anymore
so everything is all right (?)
lady - you were
beautiful the night
you sat in the theatre
very tired & disappeared
when 1 wanted you
so badly
& didnt know why

everyone sez
"write a poem about east cleveland"

east cleveland
i want to leave you
i am tired of being one of
the local bearded noveltys
i am tried of being lost
in your boredom
i wont even let the
television nibble at my fly
no more TV Trances
you sons of bitches
trying to sell the light
hologram miracles

"its a cheaper brand of light
it doesnt last as long as the
real thing, but the people
will never know the difference"

with its unseen altar of skulls
    you people who laughed
    watching us die
& pretending it was because
we were young . . . .

east cleveland EXPAND
your internal environment
let in the sun
i am too young to commit
suicide for yr amusement

you open the doors
to let me get lost
in yr bureaucratic maze
you freeze my mind
with yr peasant intuition
your intellectual superstitions

in the background i sense
clannish emasculated
masonic mafia rites

worse than chicken
sacrificing voodoo cults

worse than all the ego-inflated
occult masters of white & black

your misdirected psychopathic
concepts of brotherhood

worse than all the sick murders
of children thruout history

east Cleveland, 1 am not even
talking to you - or about you
perhaps thru you

"one hand washes the other"
thats what a white racist sed
after giving a friend
of mine a ride

every time i washed hands
with the county
i walked away
feeling a little dirtier


CHILDRENS SONG for Patrick O'Malley

in east Cleveland the police say hello to me
in Cleveland they ask for my I.D.
on the west side, even if the police have
known me for years, they still ask for my I.D.
as if there were two of me
both with the same face
but one without his
fucking draft card

the aliens are stealing
our forms,     i guess
i think the east cleveland police
are nice guys
but i still cant ask them for directions,
not certain where im going . . . .


PART FOUR - Forest Hills Park

The mailman tells me he was a writer
but he decided he liked to eat
so much for how America keeps her
writers in line
if i have any courage
next week i'll kill myself
every week i tell myself that
& find something new to write about
or find a new way to say what I sed
last week

the last medieval frontier
gothic ohio
a catholic whorehouse -
guardians of the light - BULLSHIT!
Nicene copyright - Bullshit!

secret ouspenskian groups
hidden in the suburbs - scientology Level 9
Cayce Atlantians - BULLSHIT
everyone using the groups
to escape their response-ability
for Reality Now
poetry - the last round with
mental dysentery before
confronting the Reality of Oneself
in relation to the reality of the
poetry - the greatest bullshit of all!

Reality Is,

Mister Donut - Luxemburg Motel
Tujaques Bar - Scotts Hardware
Glass & mirror Co. (My friend
still in jail - i dont know how
to get him out - thats called
"poets power" - thats how
America keeps her poets in line)
Sinclair, Atlantic, Sunoco Gas Stations
more gas stations than restaurants
a friendly town
if you are just passing thru
yes, $20,000 is a fair fine for
a jaywalking ticket, sorry, i
was thinking about fucking &
i didnt see the light
you can have my drivers license too
i cant afford to park in this city

i remember old wine & pot & methedrine
parties up the Superior Ave Hill
stoned - staring at Forest Hills Towers
billions of dollars for apartments
they let one negro move in & they think
they are integrated - reading john updike &
look magazine & ladies home journal
three blocks away - people on welfare

you stand up on top of the Apartment
Building & pretend you can see the city
then you dont have to see, the young
colored kids in rags or the high school
greasers robbing stores so they can
dress decently
you smoke pot & look at the stars
until the police throw you out
so you dont get beat up by somebody
who doesnt smoke pot
the good citizens are all watching TV
for years & years       while
jungian mass subconscious traditions
& sub-cultures are transmitted telepathically
all the young heads
running around the park stoned
convinced no one has ever done it hefore

its all been done before

i know people who take dope
and watch TV - no morals!
mixing mass media & dope
fuck that shit
i cant get out of ohio
Ingrid Swanberg, Aileen Goodson, HELP!

FOREST HILLS PARK full of stoned poets
who couldnt write their hideous visions
of medieval Ohio,
folksingers strangling on their unheard
protest songs, joining hands in the
darkness of the mind to forget the
poverty & lack of co-operation &
pretend for a while
looking at the stars
just like the people in The Towers
remembering past lives
because this lifetime offered so little
getting stoned rather than step on their
invisible brothers
smoking the peaceful weed
in the afternoon & giggling
at children on swings
cosmic love - so much easier
cleaner than accepting any responsibility
-in the old days
people got stoned
to forget for a few moments

today being stoned
is a way of life
as crippling as television
& christianity or newspaper worship
and the 9 to 5 assembly line
its 1968 & the assembly line pot smokers
are here     I'M AFRAID of the beautiful people
they are crazy with their long hair - they are
crazy and they are irresponsible assholes just
like their parents - they dont want to make guns
they dont want to kill - woe to the american

McDonalds has done more for integration
than the Federal Govt... someone should give
them a grant. negroes caucasions mongolians
hippies (a different race) economic integration
cultural integration, everyone after those
16 ¢ent hamburgers & 20¢ milkshakes

the Superior Ave Shopping Center
          A BIG NOTHING
the Outpost surrounded by funeral homes

people living 4 in a room while those
old mansions flash neon signs
safe passage to the other shore
give undertakers acid & the funeral
parlors will all close down - give
the mansions back to the people

Rockefeller Train Depot or something
a local landmark, traditional piece
to give one that sense of historical
perspective necessary to survive &
grow - to insure stability
it was torn down & replaced by a car lot

in east Cleveland
i have been accepted
by people who do not
know how to accept me
by people who do not know
who i am

i am now a full-fledged
initiate to the secret cult
The Sub-Urban Society of Death
human sacrifices before
the altars of the tube

i am hungry
altho i have visited the
refrigerator 176 times today
i want to eat the television
becoming the tube
doesnt satisfy the
hungry animals inside me
i cant communicate with
the damn thing - it just
sez "little dot patterns
as described by mcluhan"

ive seen old people
talking to the machine
it never answered me
i am still hungry

collecting stamps
doesnt satisfy my hunger
i dont want to eat the
stamps though
(i like to smoke grass & look at them)
if i try to become the
stamp books, all they respond
with is more mcluhan shit & also
some crap about einsteinian relativity

i am still hungry!
theres nothing to do
except change the kitty litter
empty the garbage ---

The death ship restaurant now only
a block away - i go & have coffee
maybe 3,4,10 times a day
there is a strange sense of border
freedom there - a clean feeling like
when you leave the U.S.
i watch the young greek cashiers tits
a beautiful set of jugs
full round ass     watch
the gold cross dangling over
the tits - listen to Zorba The Greek
played by a Mexican Band on the
juke box - knowing, she never read
i sit at the table sometimes holding
hands with my tantric grandmother
more sex energy in her fingers
than all the cunts in east cleveland
the palm of her hand
an orange flower of warm energy
(if people knew what went on
between our hands on the tabletop!)

i drink coffee
rap with friends
dream of fucking all the waitresses
not because i want to
theres just nothing else to do
it isnt safe to think in this country
just write poems
read books
no place to grow
just sit back - drink coffee
damage chromosomes
watch tho old world die
& wonder what tomorrow
will be like already knowing
ill be an outlaw there too

they are waiting for me in the future
but then, ill be someone else
screaming in the darkness
sitting staring
thru the paintings on the walls
lost in the maze of mirror reflections
not certain where i am
or who i am
i quietly ask myself who i am
& the voice in my head reminds me
"one of the sons of light, reborn"
fuck that shit - i mean
what does that mean
dreaming of past lives
the great teacher murdered
for teaching about the sun
just like Rev. King
murdered - The Kennedys - murdered!
symbols of the light - turned off

& the telepath
who rested in my head once
& disappeared

Vajra Yogini Help!
Papa Legba - open the gates
i dont want to die in Ohio anymore!

I am tired of watching my brothers
waste their lives fighting the draft
to die in illegal wars
i am tired of being torn-up inside
each time i see one of my brothers
replaced by a gold star in a window

i am tired of writing & speaking
to television vegetables
immune to multiple-reality systems
innoculated via mass media propaganda vaccines

i am tired of reading about people
starving in china, india, the ozarks
in the inner city slums

i dont understand theoretical economics
my world is full of people & spirits
i want to go where there are still
some flashes of light
my world is full of imaginary women
with neon - electric flowers of love

i want to go where i dont have to
pretend 1 am not alone


PART FIVE - talking to the wind

someone sed i should write
something constructive
about east cleveland

get me a passport - that's constructive!
send me to a free country
deport me to Milwaukee
send me to the city of light
or tell me how to get there
& then - lets go!
im afraid to go alone --

i dont see any other way
this city within me can survive
and I am already too old to be yr future
you are always too safe
you are always too late
everyone wants to be jesus
everyone wants to be martyred
everyone wants to be a bodhisattva
without getting their hands dirty
it doesnt seem to matter anymore
if the cause is just

you do not know how to gamble and win

you spend all yr time
engaged in "meaningful dialogue"
that never materializes into
anything meaningful

you waste all my time
waiting for you to clarify
things for me - you dont give
me a choice - you dont give me
a chance to decide

you call yrself adults
yet when you finally act
it is out of frustration
you feel yr imaginary power slipping

you will not confront yrself
so you leap to the aid of others
very clumsy     like children
eating the sun or poets torn apart
by internal frustrations
like madmen & outlaws
lashing out to destroy what they
do not understand
you put on yr creepy 12 year old
naive armour and bring me yr
cliches of wisdom that even
you do not understand

how many people have asked me
"What do you want?"
& then when i told them
they walked away
not understanding or afraid
to understand
"meaningful dialogue?"

like "unarmed confrontation"
i want to see the day when
the city confronts me openly
or sincerely for something other
than information
          "I can open the doors for you"
the voice sez & forgets to tell you
the magic words, the words of power
that stop you from having the door
slam you in the face

i can open my own doors
and get them slammed in my face
who needs help!

i cant even read most of my poems
in this country - i dont want to read them!
you ask what i want
and you are afraid to hear
what i am afraid to say

i wanted to say
something about love
but i dont think 1 could take
any of yr paternal hogshit

i really wanted to say
something about love
& the chance to grow into
the adult you never had the
courage to become
but i dont think i have the
time to hear all your freudian
and jungian psychology defining
what an adult is

so 1 wanted to say something
about love & instead     ill
just say, id just Iike you
to quit putting my friends
in jail
& pay me for a poem
once in a while & quit offering me
so many non-paying opportunities
ive given you so much free
information i feel like the
welfare dept

(in Cleveland we got busted
for giving away poems like
the welfare dept
the city officials were
gagging on soybean & peanut
butter poems - very strange!)

i wanted to say something
about east cleveland
but it just walked away -


PART SIX - a small funeral
                    "the only difference
                    between matadors & poets
                    is that one flirts with death
                    and the other with insanity"
                                  rik davis
theyve almost all lied to you
including me 1 suppose
"the poet gambles with insanity"
thats ridiculous - we are all insane
it is up to you to wake up the poets
lost in their eriee pasts
the poet just eats & sleeps & pisses
          & farts & shits & writes
          poems - is that insanity
thats a zen master on phenobarbital!

its the businessman, the salesman
who gambles with insanity - the
doctor playing medicine - the printer
the bomb-maker & the man
who makes donuts & bagels from 9 to 5
          awake at 6 AM
          driving a truck
          across the city
to put in day after day
in the same meaningless
dance routine
          without even time
          to ask why
          poets lost in the luxury of being
able to question       being
able to beat their head against the wall
& say "well its my job"
& they already know - they dont want the answers

ah but that rapid transit matador
being gored each day with invisible
horns - internally
& business transactions that didnt come
& the CTS cowboy sitting silently
trying to get a job - any job
knowing he'll die of TB at 65
or cancer and unable to find a shred of
meaning in the whole game
ah the sweet insanity of being
able to put away each hopelessly identical day
while the matador gets a rose
from a fat little greasy teenybopper
in the crowd
he gives her the bulls ears later in bed
& a horny poet with poor vision
cleans the picture up for you
to help you dream
but now you have television
& you dream too much

the garbage man in the morning
knows     his own reality
garbagemen never get shot during riots
perhaps they are the real holymen
with an aura of protection
their reality - the shit in yr
bedroom wastebasket

you have to be a zen master
to be a garbageman
& poets lie when they manage to find
some object of beauty in the garbage heap

garbage is garbage
poetry is emotional garbage - leftovers
and beautiful things are just dreams
but now you have television
to help you dream

the soulless men
bullfighters of insignificant stockrooms
mindless phantoms who never possessed a spirit
to gamble with
men with high school television dreams
who cross themselves in rituals of death
who whisper "jesus" before dueling
with their competitors each day
playing war games - becoming policemen
gambling with insanity
          they drive their autos
laugh at hippies drink on fridays
go bowling shit on God each day & they die
& they die & they die alone
wrapped in flags
proud of their insanity
& the academic poets
write their cleaned-up dreams for you
pretend it is all beautiful
sitting in a bar
the alcohol confessional

& everyday i sit here
trying to become one of you
after another
trying on those high school dreams
for size
it doesnt work
you dont fit me

as a poet i try to learn
how to remain human
despite technology
& there is no one to learn from
i am still too young to
be quiet & contemplative

i dont want to become a golden ager
cowering before the tube in religious awe

businessmen on amphetamine ego trips
telling me about their latest coup
i visit churches & temples & ask questions
& i am handed some meaningless book
or pamphlet
it seems as if there is no
one to answer my questions but me

a hideous responsibility
with worse implications

my peer group?

goodby television
im going back inside my head

my wife & i
take an evening walk
around the block
          (are we that old)
there is something beautiful
about her     something
some dream thing in the cloudless sky

i know my dreams are unreal
but they are my dreams

on hot summer nights
we hate each other
& it is beautiful . . .

                                                  august 1968
                                                  e.cleveland ohio



                    peace & awareness are
                    like two small birds
                    trying to leave the planet
                    because they are tired of dying

                    im not advocating anything

Go to d.a.levy home page

Return to Light and Dust Poets | Return to Kaldron On-Line

Copyright © 1991 by Ghost Pony Press

This is a cooperative presentation of
Ghost Pony Press
Kaldron On-Line and
Light and Dust Mobile Anthology of Poetry