The stars at night are big and bright. I wouldn’t open that in here. Save yourself. Montaigne says you must give yourself to others, not only to yourself. But in “My Life to Live” the distinction between “lend” and “give” is eliminated. I don’t get it. How does that privilege other over self? You need a key keeper to get into your house. Then the bomb goes off. Throw everything away after using it once.
Betty: Is it good luck or bad luck when a black cat crosses your path?
Janitor: That all depends on what happens afterwards.
Now it can be told. The sky touches the forehead. Well, almost. Who said all is ‘partly’? What about death? I’m open to it, but just a crack. Then I was rounded off. I remember now, it was my old art teacher, Mr. Jensen. Stars fell to earth. Things land where they’re meant to land. Never heard of you. You can sleep on the couch. It’s freezing in here. One way to get warm would be to set yourself on fire. Or put on your woolies.
King Rene’s Chimney
I found an old issue of Antaeus on the sidewalk and read Peter Handke’s story, “The Lovers,” translated by Ralph Manheim. It confused me that both the man and the woman in the story are referred to as “he” or “him.” There are certain extrospective situations that put me in direct cognitive contact with people’s minds and states. Still it’s a crap shoot. How do I know they’re not just my own? Walking around in the castle or outside, nothing is sure. But cuddle up a little closer. We could be the lovers, or at least on speaking terms.
On the Air
I wrote a song for my cat. Would you like to hear it? No? There’s no way anyone’s going to live up to that. There’s no truth to it, either. Oh, no—it’s the TRUTH SQUAD. Feets do yr stuff. Yes, the no’s have it. Anyway, you went to the typewriter, right? When’s Qwerty coming? Oh, he’ll be along right after Ma Perkins. No, I’d say death is a good deal, there’s no hindsight. A good deal of time anyway. I mean look at brave Hector, he’s been dead awhile. No you look at him. I need my head examined. By Young Doctor Malone. And if I wear these Kleenex boxes on my feet, you promise to keep it on the QT? And don’t stay too long in paradise. And turn off that fucking radio!
Remembrance of Things Lapsed
While in Hong Kong I accepted gifts of a Patek Philippe watch and custom suits at Sam’s Tailor and Modestos. I came to meetings with Poland Spring water bottles filled with vodka. I wore clerical garb to the opera. I’m sorry for the pain I caused. I’m not sure how much time is left but I never feel anxious. There are so many distractions—art and literature, music, cards, Anna, you, Gayfryd, the cats, collections and recollections. Look at this miniature. Thinking back to Fall 1967, when I took over Reliance Insurance and gave my first reading at the Poetry Project—all gone now. And just what was wrong with “all its dizzy raptures”? Eh? Tell me that. But keep trying. Look at Ashbery over there. He gives it all he’s got.