Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mr. Wurster

What could I say? I hadn't
Thought of him that much,
But at the head of the table
He was an ornament
Or an imposing gothic gray
Winged gargoyle.

A real dark knight poet
Surrounded by panhandlers
And betrayers. Judases
And jackals, and where
Did I fit? The Jester?

A sacrament of flesh around
The table from ear to ear.
It was dusty, the room that is,
His eyes were too,
Or maybe it is only the memory,
But either way he was a beast

Among lambs, a real Lucifer,
So kind.  You know the type,
Charming, intelligent, etc. and
Sophisticated in a blazer and comic-
Book T-shirt. He was Pittsburgh classy
Poet laureate of steel bridges,

He was frozen art. A bloated
Tomato ready to burst,
All pink and red. He brought
Us the news of Li Po and Rumi
A man of the world!

It is almost grotesque to think
About you now.
You were so magnificent then.
You could have worn a cape
And enchanted us all,
Turned us to toads.

But instead you sung to us
Quoting, "who am I born in
Dark times to ask a
Kind turn from fate?"

Pjcjr 62812

Monday, June 25, 2012

Diane DiPrima

Revolutionary Letters


the vortex of creation is the vortex of destruction
the vortex of artistic creation is the vortex of self destruction
the vortex of political creation is the vortex of flesh destruction
flesh is in the fire, it curls and terribly warps
fat is in the fire, it drips and sizzling sings
bones are in the fire
they crack tellingly in
subtle hierglyphs of oracle
charcoal singed
the smell of your burning hair
for every revolutionary must at last will his own destruction
rooted as he is in the past he sets out to destroy

-Diane DiPrima, Revolutionary Letters #12

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I followed a group of Japanese
school children through the fish market
In the middle of Florence
While watching the writhing eels squirm
and the countless jellyfish give
slimy kisses to their neighbor's gray skin.

At the Uffizi I still smelled
the fish perfume on my skin
and felt the lips of the jelly
fish on my cheek. I was behind two groups
of Japanese students in navy
blue jackets ironed kahkis and plaid skirts.
Red Sketchers with untied shoelaces traced
down the floors like eels piled up in
long lines into narrow bottomless bins.

Then there was the primordal long wavy
hair of Venus. Venus born of the sea.
Venus bursting nude from the palm of her
island shell. The students, divided in groups
of boys and girls, shuffled in silent reverence
past the annointed feet of Venus.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


"It teases eternally, then suddenly fades and dies."

The old motif. The skull king with the laural crown.
The eternal thrill of supplication and ill.
Braun set out to slay his dragon on top his knoll
Abandoned by his fiddlers,
Assaulted by his butler,
Robbed by his cook and heir.

The hunger fields where the jackal lays listening.
The white horse mounted by cancer
And starvation. The globe rolls,
The violins play on, the actors act,
The good thief has come again.

Braun bows low at old god's alter.
Weighs memories on an ivory scale.

A candle and lavender to end his stolid day.


Monday, June 11, 2012

John Berryman, poem 175

Old King Cole was a merry old soul and a merry old soul was Henry
He called for his butts & he called for his bowl
& he called for his fiddlers three
in vain. Blank prose took hold of Henry's soul
considering all the deaths & considering.
There is a little life upstairs

playing her nursery rhymes to be considered
also. And there is a tall life in the car
to be considered.
And there is the life of Henry's characters
to be thought on, established from afar.
Henry has much to do.

Take a deep breath then, sigh, relax, continue.
This world is a solemn place, with room for tennis.
Everybody's mouth
is somewhere else, I know, somebody's anus.
I speak a mystery, only to you.
Here's all my blood in pawn.

-John Berryman, poem 175, The Dream Songs

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June Metamorphoses

When these pebbles become flesh
When they reach, lust, and bless
The foaming waters at their knees
When these veins with their agony
Become tributes only to a lost story
The height of being ends at heaven
The flute and violin praise our passion
The ears are blocked in pride's fashion
This is to not know the origins of our waters
The man made of marble and straw
Whose face and hands feel time's gnaw
Wades to his waist in blackened seas
His wife in the garden makes paper dolls
To dance and stand in their waiting halls
They will fight for breath in love's trepid channels

Were they denied were they crippled and silent
Did they move with their dry tongues impotent
To the recesses and curves of the shy and strong

I swear by all the rivers
Of deepest Hell my best is done to conquer
Human ill; the best is not enough; taint
Must be cut from flesh as with a cleansing
Knife the body cured. I am protector
Of nymphs, fauns, satyrs, and small gods who wander
The village street, down lanes, up shaded hills;
Since we have found no home for them in heaven,
The lands they live in must be cleared of evil,
Where Lycaon, known for his will against me,
Walks like a beast and hides his traps in forests.

~ Ovid, the Metamorphoses

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Secret Admirer

On Lungarno Acciaioli

I see
A woman sits with both legs dangling
Over the wall, her back
To the street. It is obvious
That she is either more brave or
Has more faith in humanity
Than I do.

I glance up to see her taking
A picture of me with my
Book of Bukowski open

I look back down to the street.
What I had thought earlier
Was a lizard turns out to be
A feather blown by the traffic.

Again, I look up and she is gone
I realize my eyes wont stay open,
and the wine's
Effect is passing.

My vision is lost down the street

P. Conners Jr.
Florence. May 22, 2012