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

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