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Crisscrossing America several times, I wrote poems.  Fragments.  It was not anything I saw.  It was what I made out of what I might have seen, could have seen, remembered, knew, didn’t know, dreamed here and there, because on journeys the inventions are always more powerful than the landscapes, and if you want to record THAT, you write poems, you look at them, you turn them upside down, you arrange them like postcards, and the pleasure you derive is far greater than the view through windows, or on mountains, or next to rivers, unless you’re selling real estate.

~~~


O little tune,

Little tune,

out of Chicago and Des Moines and the East St. Louis train station at 4 in the morning and Joplin where it was spring in winter and the hills above LA and the dead little cheap nightclubs in the afternoon in Santa Monica on Broadway and in 1961 Paul an old boulevardier cranky con man from New York I played cards with suddenly appeared walking out of a tunnel on the edge of San Francisco one afternoon as I was getting off a bus completely impossible…

We dropped great looping clouds on the gangster sentinels of Chicago and heard their machine guns roar in the empty deserted streets
 



wildcats of Texas dripping sweat into their high hats pulling black blood out of the ground and sending it through tubes of night to porcupine refineries on the shores of Corpus Christi

 

New horizontal towns were multiplying on Long Island, stage flats of perfect symmetry coddled in the breasts of hopeful mothers asking for redemption from pill-addled afternoons and hallucinatory music cooking in shining ovens

budgets laid out neatly on Formica counters below the knives

distant farm fields dead in the snow

blank-eyed children walking in the snow

 


We stood in the blinding sunlight reflected from low slung whitewashed buildings of Pasadena and El Segundo and Long Beach and felt the roar of departing space rockets cutting tunnels through the future and pulling back the future with giant magnets of illuminated dust
 

 

We walked through measureless windows of wheat and corn growing in the middle flatlands under the warm rain of supernatural mansions
 

 

Draped curtains of night in the upper Mulholland hills of Los Angeles where the mountain lion and the coyote and the mythical Greek beast roamed like penniless vagabonds, free of the Wheel, free from selling themselves…
 

 

Under poles of yellow lights, gasping midnight locomotives clamped on to lines of freight cars in the backyards of Chicago/ Plastic lilies grew in the pastures of St. Louis haberdashers and department stores
 

 

In Los Angeles, concrete sunset of three stacked freeways, a carpet of park in Beverly Hills, old poolroom on Broadway downtown, bus to San Francisco, a bum holding out his hand and saying On Venus Jesus will show you machines of love
 

 

Standing up on a hill past Albuquerque on 66, I caught a ride into into a no-name Arizona town, walked in the foggy morning along an empty road to a snow-filled cliff and stared out at a spring valley a thousand feet below

—this was before television—
 

 

In blinding rain I stood on the Indiana Turnpike outside Chicago pointed east and wound up in the Pennsylvania countryside driving the car of a half-crippled man with a Bible I met in a Howard Johnson

our headlights went dead on a curve and a cop pulled in behind us and stopped us

he led us to a fat judge’s house in the middle of the night where we paid thirty bucks

then parked on a quiet lane and slept until dawn

early spring in March

flowering magnolia trees

he dropped two Thorazine and told me to drive

and his babbling about Heaven slowed down and he slept

and when we pulled into Manhattan he had me park in midtown

he looked at me with glazed doe’s eyes and said

I’m crooked, son, I’ve reached the end of the line, this is it, I’ll kill myself within a month
 

 

Wall Street towers in astral cloisters of Fat Zero

rabid missionaries shooting their cuffs

loopholes

Fly through steel walls into the psychotic fandango of the international money Surge
 

 

We walked through fields of cactus east of Tijuana, into caverns of mass graves, sacrificed Aztec skeletons still stank in creek of toothless hobo Ziggurat
 

 

faded blue Florida lagoons

lizards crawled in the sunlight between leaves on rumbling death-grip paragon trees spreading out their brass knuckles
 

 

In Arlington, graves of the missing

who had been torn in the bellows of the blood wind and later their children scattered and beached on winter islands

haggard lighthouse

foothill driftwood

shuttered herds of sheep turned away from the water
 

 

in the prehistoric hills of Western Massachusetts

a woman tiger struggles to her feet and stands

LILITH!  The exiled one!  LILITH! The charmed of the lonely!  LILITH! The warm heart and the cold mind!  She stands and breathes torrents of fragrant heat

she remembers

she remembers she was born without prior cause, without permission

she remembers

that

she redeposited the extracted sluice of language back into the river

and the petrified river ran again

she saw vividly what lay between things

she sprang the active force

she pushed over the tower

she stood the baby up on two legs

she performed acts reserved by the Sky Lunatic for himself

she said anyone could do these things

she sat in gutters with the lowest of men and broke bread

she said “whose blood is in my blood runs the risk of igniting the sun”

she stood on the white field

turned the dials of the sun, brought down the curtain of night, unhinged the canopy of stars, blew the scent of wild apples into the wasteland, held the moon in a cup of sand, tore away the trance

LILITH!
 

 

I see populations surge through golden avenues wrapped around the upper stories of Orphic ships waiting for solar winds

I open books in a shining arboretum, ten-thousand-foot wells pour from the sky down into stratified layers of rock…
 

 

In Elmsford, I watched a sleek black car pull up to a house down the block where an old man who grew apple trees was screaming and three men got out of the car and grabbed his arms and put him on a stretcher and took him away to the Foundation, a place where they kept the insane

he had spent every Sunday morning polishing his red car

he had once been a judge

he retired and built department stores

he kept a dog in his garage and fed it there

his son wore gray suits and drove a foreign car

owned a brewery

 

on the stretcher, the old man looked at his wristwatch and held up one finger

and there was an explosion in the distance

a new war had begun
 

 

In a long, long Los Angeles bar on a slow Tuesday afternoon I counted six Hindu gods sitting on stools drinking rotgut and transmitting sign language to their Boston banker lolling outside the men’s room
 

 

Malibu…in the oceanographic mythic giants all the capillaries have gone dry

the moon is setting on page one

tides of political sing-song are swaying in the intestinal tract of a beached octopus suctioned to a sidewalk
 

 

be of good cheer, son, never fear the end, there is no end  THERE IS NO END

abide by the central directive–

when you’re lying on a slab in the mortuary

STAND UP

 

tell them they’ve made a minor miscalculation

recite a few lines from scripture

and stride quickly to the exit

 

confess to the guards

you’re just a pathetic figure

a minor functionary

in a bureau of functionaries

all the way up

 

tip your hat, grin, drop a few coins in the basket, move on
 

 

(Hermes) the great thief said
 

I have given you
 

Everything you need
 

And so it was
 

Another message
 

A column of fire
 

Rising out of the sea
 

 

midtown Manhattan…my father walks from the haberdasher to the barber shop with a new hat in a box

he sits in the chair and the barber winds it back and shaves him with a straight razor that was lolling in a tall glass of alcohol

the barber wipes off the alcohol with a white linen towel and moves the razor back and forth on his strop

and then he shaves my father

then he cuts his hair
 

 

purple shadows on 7th Avenue, dark pool room, old men playing three-cushion slowly, with long tapered fingers, Daumier Hals faces, and then those faces are ripped away as the floor sweeper lifts the shades and the sun comes streaming through the dust
 

 

San Diego…I am making the same proposal to you, my darling,
 

I pray to prayer

I deliver myself to you

I say the night and I say down the stairs we go again
 

never the garden
 

ever the garden
 

 

we are always in between everything we thought
 

always
 

 

my darling,

I’ll go with you

into the garden

into the bedroom

into the living room

into the kitchen
 

 

on to the rust-colored couch after the storm

when the evening is quiet

the stove is ticking

the cats are roaming the lawns
 

 

it doesn’t   matter    if you…

walking in a park in a city…

in the summer

in the middle of the afternoon    are thinking of

what you want

as long as what you want
 

could be in the park

 

and then you only have to walk with the chance
 

of it happening in the next few minutes

and       if it happens

you’ll be ready   and this is the egg cracking

you’re therefore in a foreign city

A FOREIGN CITY

where you always wanted to be
 

 

of all the sliding cities

New York

there you are

Lilith

you refused to sign a pact with the sky manager and be born as half of the Adamic prince

 

You took the flood and made it into a tree

you walk through buildings on cold nights and turn toward the window and pour logic from a pitcher

I wander out of the bedroom half-asleep and sit down and wait for your call

You’re in Chicago talking to a group of salesmen about time

and a secret television station beyond reproach


South of Los Angeles…dancers arrive early in a giant room above the ocean.

In forest halls, dryads run like crystal.

CON FRER Tito Puente strides into the endless Balboa ballroom.

Timbales, rolling cymbals, chingachcook congas.  Brass section put in harness from the ceiling.  Tito is sitting in a blue mist.  The slow vibraphone turns over and over.

Silver runners flash around corners.
 

 

White Plains…

road among trees

magnolia, oak, maple…

squirrels with great healthy bushy tails run up trunks

jump on to roofs

sniff smoke coming out of chimneys

grab mahogany from horse chestnut trees

 

we walked to the shore

we walked into the ocean

we walked on the ocean floor

we discovered the oceanic mind

we swam on the towering waves

we came back to ourselves

 

we smelled towers of the city

we floated into the city

we rolled out on to the highways of America
 

 

we walked out of the house of melting shadows

 

we saw the invisible bright April open road that runs across morbid rusting highways…


***

Why  not poems reprinted here with permission of the author.


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Why Not Poems


By Jon Rappoport | NoMoreFakeNews.com | OutsideTheRealityMachine

Image by Vassily Kandinsky [Public Domain]


August 28, 2016
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