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Thursday, October 17, 2002

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  • Jerry Katz
    [Image] Coffee at the Pitchfork - http://www.dondanestudio.com ___________________________________________________________________ Loading mercury with a
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 18, 2002

      Coffee at the Pitchfork - http://www.dondanestudio.com


      Loading mercury with a pitchfork
      your truck is almost full. The neighbors
      take a certain pride in you. They
      stand around watching.

      --Richard Brautigan


      #1230 - Thursday, October 17, 2002 - Edited by Jerry



      A Piece of the Storm

      For Sharon Horvath

      From the shadow of domes in the city of domes,
      A snowflake, a blizzard of one, weightless, entered your room
      And made its way to the arm of the chair where you, looking up
      From your book, saw it the moment it landed.
      That's all There was to it. No more than a solemn waking
      To brevity, to the lifting and falling away of attention, swiftly,
      A time between times, a flowerless funeral. No more than that
      Except for the feeling that this piece of the storm,
      Which turned into nothing before your eyes, would come back,
      That someone years hence, sitting as you are now, might say:
      "It's time. The air is ready. The sky has an opening."


      The Room

      It is an old story, the way it happens
      sometimes in winter, sometimes not.
      The listener falls to sleep,
      the doors to the closets of his unhappiness open

      and into his room the misfortunes come --
      death by daybreak, death by nightfall,
      their wooden wings bruising the air,
      their shadows the spilled milk the world cries over.

      There is a need for surprise endings;
      the green field where cows burn like newsprint,
      where the farmer sits and stares,
      where nothing, when it happens, is never terrible enough.


      The Remains

      I empty myself of the names of others. I empty my pockets.
      I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road.
      At night I turn back the clocks;
      I open the family album and look at myself as a boy.

      What good does it do? The hours have done their job.
      I say my own name. I say goodbye.
      The words follow each other downwind.
      I love my wife but send her away.

      My parents rise out of their thrones
      into the milky rooms of clouds. How can I sing?
      Time tells me what I am. I change and I am the same.
      I empty myself of my life and my life remains.


      Giving Myself Up
      I give up my eyes which are glass eggs.
      I give up my tongue.
      I give up my mouth which is the constant dream of my tongue.
      I give up my throat which is the sleeve of my voice.
      I give up my heart which is a burning apple.
      I give up my lungs which are trees that have never seen the moon.
      I give up my smell which is that of a stone traveling through rain.
      I give up my hands which are ten wishes.
      I give up my arms which have wanted to leave me anyway.
      I give up my legs which are lovers only at night.
      I give up my buttocks which are the moons of childhood.
      I give up my penis which whispers encouragement to my thighs.
      I give up my clothes which are walls that blow in the wind
      and I give up the ghost that lives in them.
      I give up. I give up.
      And you will have none of it because already I am beginning
      again without anything.


      Derek Sheffield
      The Farthest Place

      Growing up, I thought
      I could go there, I could follow
      the trickling curve of river,
      the invitation of thin forest,
      study turnings of branches
      above the burl-studded length
      of the nearest trunk and know
      direction, and someone

      coming in from the kitchen
      with popcorn would see
      my shoulders disappear
      into the canopy-shrouded dim,
      leaves waving back
      to their stillness.

      This place used to hang
      above the couch, the farthest
      I could reach.  Slumped
      across the room, half-warmed
      by the fire, I would look up,
      over the talk of my family,
      surprised at how the water
      seemed only ankle-deep.

      Propped now above our heads
      in darkness filled with boxes,
      clothes too small for anyone,
      a lamp, and a row of glass jars,
      used up things in the trail of living,
      the few sifted strands of light
      waver where they touch water.
      Wind begins to breathe
      in the leaves of the farthest place.



      A Short Study in Gone

      When dreams wake
       life ends.
      Then dreams are gone.
       Life is gone.

        May 26, 1976

      A Study in Roads

      All the possibilities of life,
      all roads led here.

      I was never going anyplace else,
       41 years of life:

       Tacoma, Washington
       Great Falls, Montana
       Oaxaca, Mexico
       London, England
       Bee Caves, Texas
       Victoria, British Columbia
       Key West, Florida
      San Francisco, California
       Boulder, Colorado

       all led here:

      Having a drink by myself
      in a bar in Tokyo before
      wishing there was somebody to talk

        May 28, 1976

      Floating Chandeliers

      Sand is crystal
      like the soul.
      The wind blows
       it away.

        May 28, 1976

      Travelling Toward Osaka on the Freeway from Tokyo

      I look out the car window
      at 100 kilometers an hour
       (62 miles)
      and see a man peddling
      a bicycle very carefully
      down a narrow path between
       rice paddies.
      He’s gone in a few seconds.
      I have only his memory now.
      He has been changed into
      a 100 kilometer-an-hour
      memory ink rubbing.

       June 7, 1976


      I don't care how God-damn smart
      these guys are:  I'm bored.

      It's been raining like hell all day long
      and there's nothing to do.

      Written January 24, 1967
      while poet-in-residence at
      the California Institute of

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