Poetry


Maney, David Mr

Pickup Expiry:  20/01/2012

Title: Basquiat
Item: 30021001548841

  • cowboy
  • overflow
  • tongeu
  • cycling
  • craze
  • wrap
  • brassy
  • soup
  • lopsideways
  • 12/ 80
  • taffy
  • lick
  • cavity
  • ciao ciao ciao
  • pocket

13/01/2012  9:56am

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

Stevie Smith

Before deciding what is wrong and what is right

first we must find out what we are

I

do not know myself

No sooner have I discovered something

than I begin to doubt it

and I have to destroy it again

What we do is just a shadow of what we want

to do

and the only truths we can point to

are the ever-changing truths of our own

existence

I do not know if I am hangman or victim

for I imagine the most horrible tortures

and as I describe them I suffer them myself

There is nothing that I could not do and every-

thing fills me with horror

And I see that other people also

suddenly change themselves into strangers

and are driven to unpredictable acts

A little while ago I saw my tailor

a gentle cultured man who liked to talk philo-

sophy

I saw him foam at the mouth

and raging and screaming attack with a cudgel

a man from Switzerland

a large man heavily armed

and destroy him utterly

and then I saw him

tear open the breast of the defeated man

saw him take out the still beating heart

and swallow it

Marat, Peter Weiss

I break open my sealed-off flesh. I want to live in my veins, in the marrow of my bones, in the labyrinth of my skull. I withdraw into my intestines. I take refuge in my shit, my blood. Somewhere bodies are being broken, so that I can live in my shit. Somewhere bodies are being carved open, so that I can be alone with my blood. My thoughts are wounds in my brain. My brain is a wound. I want to be a machine. Arms to grasp legs to walk no pain no thoughts.

Hamletmachine, Heiner Müller

In the stable that stands almost within the shadow of the new stone church, a gray-eyed, gray-bearded man, stretched out amid the odors of the animals, humbly seeks death as one seeks for sleep. The day, faithful to vast secret laws, little by little shifts and mingles the shadows in the humble nook. Outside are the plowed fields and a deep ditch clogged with dead leaves and an occasional wolf track in the black earth at the edge of the forest. The man sleeps and dreams, forgotten. The angelus awakens him.  By now the sound of bells is one of the habits of evening in the kingdoms of England. But this man, as a child, saw the face of Woden, the holy dread an exhultation, the rude wooden idol weighed down with Roman coins and heavy vestments, the sacrifice of horses, dogs, and prisoners. Before dawn he will die, and in him will die, never to return, the last eye-witness of those pagan rites; the world will be a little poorer when the Saxon dies.

Events far-reaching enough to people of all space, whose end is nonethless tolled when one man dies, may cause us wonder. But something, or an infinite number of things, dies in every death, unless the universe is possessed of a memory, as the theosophists have supposed.

In the course of time there was a day that closed the last eyes to see Christ. The battle of Junin and the and the love of Helen each died with the death of some one man. What will die with me when I die, what pitiful or perishable form will the world lose? The voice of Macio Fernandez? The image of a roan horse on the vacant lot at Serrano or Charcas? A bar of sulpher in the drawer of a mahogany desk?

The Witness from El Hacedor, Jorge Luis Borges

Jimmy Hardcastle falls asleep smoking. Within minutes the flames are upon him. A crowd gathers on the sidewalk, watching Jimmy burn down. Jimmy is yelling for someone to bring him an ax. He thinks if he had an ax he could hack off his legs, cut the fire off at the knees, but there is no ax and soon the flames are waist high. The fire department says there is nothing they can do for Jimmy. They say Jimmy wants to burn, they are almost certain of it, and besides, Jimmy is highly flammable. The firemen wear long flame-retardent coats the colors of fire: deep reds and yellows. Jimmy is not flame-retardent and pretty soon there is less and less of Jimmy and more and more of the fire.  It is a pitiful thing to watch, Jimmy’s dying, and the crowd shuffles their feet as the certainty of his fate becomes apparent. Finally around ten the hot dog vendors show up, a testament to Jimmy’s staying power. Jimmy can barely be seen now as the flames lick at the curls above his ears and leap up to singe his eyebrows. Echoes of “jump” rise from the crowd as the firemen unfurl a parachute but it is a faint-hearted display: there will be no leap to safety. Jimmy is going all the way. Jimmy is paralyzed, peering over his nose at the crowd below, then retreats deep within himself. In the morning all that will be left is a charred spot on the corner where Jimmy stood.

Watching Jimmy Die from The Bible of Lost Pets, Jamey Dunham

In a deserted place in Iran there is a not very tall stone tower that has neither door nor window. In the only room (with a dirt floor and shaped like a circle) there is a wooden table and a bench. In that circular cell, a man who looks like me is writing in letters I cannot understand a long poem about a man who in another circular cell is writing a poem about a man who in another circular cell . . . The process never ends and no one will be able to read what the prisoners write.

A DreamJorge Luis Borges

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