Thursday, December 01, 2011

Excavations In a Used Bookstore-- Part III

I have tried to be intelligent, God knows
I have tried very hard
for you to love me, little man
who never knew what you wanted
but asked for a smart kid.
You used to be proud of me
until I faked it too well
and learned too much. My mother
was named "Stupid!" I should
have figured out something
from that.

There was a lost time, a day
when canyons opened in the sidewalk
and heroic bas-reliefs
held up the boarding house walls
while little neon words
flew through and about my head
asked, "Where's my mind?"

I remembered; a groups of friends
had offered me some of their acid
and gone off their own ways
how long ago? In eight hours
I would know what it was
to be normal. How long?
Up the stairs, down the stairs
and no love for me, none
since I'd left the woman who'd loved me--
no place on Earth remaining still--
I found Mary in the kitchen washing dishes--
another man's woman. Please
let it be all right
to put my arm around her, please
come to the living room
let me lie with my head in your lap--
and playfully bit her on the tit
ouch! I'm sorry. I'm so stoned.

Then everybody arrived
talking about the news
(Something terrible has happened)
about the war, I think--
I'm too stoned to understand
or too tender to stand.

I see our large, maternal landlady
(didn't want Drugs in the house)
I might as well confess
I've taken way too much acid--
She thinks I'm wonderfully adventurous
and a giant Scandinavian hug
makes everything right, I hope.

When Mary learned I'd been stoned
she wore her psychy-dillic dress
while I, embarrassed, went upstairs
to lie down alone to insomniac cartoons
twitching and twittering through frizzy nerves

that night, how many nights
courting terror in hopes of understanding?--
While newspaper authorities
blathered about how kids
took drugs to escape reality
I talked to the plants in my loneliness
and wandered with skinned mind
into a tear-gas night,
played chess like a scorpion in a bottle,
fear of death echoing through the skull.

I gambled for the cure of myself
and was caught again in my life
alone again and afraid,
much too high to endure,
begging thorazine again at the medical center

to leave the bright, heavenly pain
for the safe, dirty grey world.
I was a lousy excuse
for a bohemian, after all.
This is a joke
but it is not a joke;
it was my flag, my church, this movement

this symbol the World buried deep
among a thousand greasy ads for fancy jeans,
among some hundreds of slick portrayals
of clay hippies,
this movement lost and ruined by its own confusion,
this children's crusade of the last chance
recaptured and sold to embarrassment.

Those were the best of us, those years,
the children touched by God and delirium
who saw through acceptable reality.
They tried to wash themselves, to touch
history with clean hands

They thought acid was God's own detergent;
and marijuana was God's soap--
well it stung me like lye
burned away my insulation
broke the habit of old certainties;
for holiness was there
with confusion, the painful
prerequisite of learning

but under myself I found fear;
potential or actual I dreaded it;
maintain or run to nowhere,
it would eat me if I ran,
sniff and taste me if I froze-- Still
I was happy; there were always
exhalations and distractions
from eternity.

[will add the rest, & put in order soon...]

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