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                         From Life Poem*

desperate now, i've started to write everything that comes into my head
i just lay it out right here
as if the line paper had become some sort of garbage disposal
accepting and grinding everything i can throw out
if this were a giant baseball game, this paper would be
          Willie Say Hey Mays, great center-fielder, making deliciously slow
          basket catches of every ball hit by every batter
          in either league

somebody asked me today why i wasn't writing more.
i told them my muse is on vacation to the Riviera to get some sun.
'oh,' they said, 'i hope she enjoys it.' 'She will,'
i said 'except she has no breasts to her bikini doesn't work
unless the wind is blowing from behind her, so that the caps
blossom out like little butter cups --'

meanwhile the Uruguay revolution
occupies this section
it is of Luis Cordoles
the 'George Washington of his Country'
and people shout -- 'save us, Luis'
and Luis, he ride on his big horse
and gets the town!
all the children yell & cheer at Luis -- 'Hey! Great! Atta boy!'
and Luis just rides off.
he's very satisfied at night, being the GW of his C

ooh - i see ghosts
i call up the dead!

who is it but some leukemia victim
gasping right beside me -- oh!
some white tight grip blooded thing
she is choked with fear
and she is choked with blood
not very good blood, this blood has
strange cells and these cells
commit willful murder on themselves

'there's a certain throbbing, i mean i can't explain it.
a sort of steady death pain, i dunno, i get poetical
about it and really i just want to get rid of it, it's
worst when my eyes bleed.'
'does that happen often?'
'only when the lids make quick contact.'
'you mean like a blink? you mean your eyes bleed every time you blink?
'yeah. groovy, huh?'

around this place is a thin strip of Austria
the green central figure of the barren plains
that led us to the Great War -- yes, the first
is always the best
and some little Hungarian peasant runs screaming, holding his penis
blood and intestines leaving a filth path behind him
he yells 'i die for you! i die for you!'
then he does,

to wash, the Ibos
ram their clothes through
small holes in wicker baskets which
scrape the dirt off
occasionally a washerwoman
will be so lucky
as to discover
a left-over pearl

Om Mani Padhme Hum
i smell the blood of an Englishmun
sit beside me, lie beside me
Amen, the thunderbolt
Amen, the Dark Void
Amen, you and holy
Amen, me and holy

why do we play such games
can't we realize our bodies
somebody once taught me to wash behind my ears
now, years later, i have washed layer after layer of dirt and skin
from behind my ears
soon i will hit the bone
that's good -- then i will not have to wash -- i can polish...
but sex is different
and our bodies become intrinsically offal things
oh! to hold you is so sweet, yet you resist
not even the wild tongs of bath oil and spray deoderants
make me less the dirty thing.

i confess, i think of your vagina
and your little hair hump
and today i shall slick down my old hair
and wear a suit of morning sun
visit you with daisy arm
and finally take you to bed
'i know your mother never taught you these things'
i will whisper, and then -- off with my morning sun suit
and with only our body toys
commence to love on the quilt that took your grandmother
12 years to sew

the fortune teller insisted i had a baby
i smiled & said, 'i don't know of any.'
o! what if there is this little blonde baby somewhere
and his mother feeds him through her body...
i knew that girl, yes i did
and i left her
now her mother is a grandmother, and she yells at the blonde baby,
'Don't grow up and be like your father, the bum!'...
i sit here looking at a grass field & feeling the wind
not knowing i even have a baby
somewhere is my baby, looking over a dirty back lot
not even knowing he has a father who loves him very much

and me, well,
i'm the last frantic butterfly of the grass waves
and holiness of me is encompassed only by
the space about me, which
is in turn encompassed by others, eventually
and ultimately you, you of the shy smile

and if i keep on truckin' long enough
i'll just truck all my blues away

              Bob Holman__

* From Life Poem, a book-length poem I wrote fifty years ago at age 21. Will be published by YBK/Bowery Books December 3, 2019. Order now from YBK Click Below


                         Night Day
   Another Yawning Morn in the Port of
Good News

Impressive, to say the least One more poem, to
say the most "Good morning. People are boats.
Safe harbor of New York, cling
To the mizzen, the missus and her muezzin
Miss the mezuzah of miscellan...." —It's
A mystery, how sounds become words
And it's a miracle that you still listen
To these scratches somewhere as between
As a head into ears. I am a cat,
Patiently settled at the door to freedom.
I can handle all the freedom, the city
Dishes out anonymity and at day's end
Morning will put on her coat and at
Day's end as she swings open door
I remain sitting. And why not? I am now
With you, no homily. Home. Even The City that
Never Sleeps sometimes Goes to sleep. Good night.

                          Bob Holman__


      In the State of the World of Love

       It's like cards
       There are 52 of them
       One for every week of the year
       And lovers with amazing hair
       And deepsea's pleasure seized
             Tide pasture
       Hello, I live in this house
       Over the store alone with ghosts
       Only are not ghosts they are my life
       The first thing is no rules
       And the first rule is no love

              Bob Holman __

            © William Corner Clarke: timeteeprace

           Gerald Stern Wins the Frost Medal

That party we crashed was not for the weak-hearted or weak-willed—Lordy—it took everything we had in our pouch or seemed to. Our brains were frogs in a lab test and we couldn’t stop giggling at the horror cutting into the music or at least the agency you might call it. Someone called the FBI or DEA and we retched on cue which, as you know, can become contagious—an exploding party, all that music on a summer night with no one conducting. And the paddy wagons all lined up, so we whooped on outta there, not avoiding the heart and began working on our love songs and other collaborations.

                          Bob Holman__


            Poem: Naked Night

Not trying to impose
To set in motion the secret
The way is pretty durn milky
If you know what I'm saying
Cause I don't you may
Sing this one back to me

                        "The Poem that floats
                        Its message across
                        The land recedes

               To the stars themselves
               The recipients"

                                      The Poem curves a line to you
                        Floats a word back
               That's the way we rock the world

To sleep. In the naked night
The ocean wears a hat

                          Bob Holman__

Disappearing Into Vision
         –For Cecilia Vicuña

I am calling you Abuela
And you are answering Silencio
And next I am just kind of blubbering
Something about Unappreciation
In the Circle of Buzz Bees
And you are looking at me laughing crying
I say something, hmm? and
Then you say First appreciate
Yourself and I see
Through your crinkly eyes
Blue green yellow
Brown brown brown
You are gone into the smile
That takes me down
Why I even didn't know I was on mountain!

                           Bob Holman__


Almost Caught Fish in Dream

Did, actually.
On string
Just string No pole.
Could see
The hook
Slide round
Blood oxygen
Gill a rainbow
Trout of considerable appearance
Tugged reeled pulled slid
Then I was called off to do something
And I went there
And it was a while later that I remembered
The fish
Was gone

                           Bob Holman__

* This is from the section "Night and Day" from The Unspoken, a book of poems from the last ten years to be published simultaneously with Life Poem on Dec. 3 by YBK/Bowery Books. Pre-order now: