Thursday, August 13, 2015

Towards a Permanent Hold on the Resurrection or: Inverse/Adverse April May 1977

All poets die.
You'd better know this
As you, if you, search their ways;
Their labyrinthine passages
Might not seem worthwhile for following
Into darkness you would rather doubt
And death.

All poets die,
If they're real, I mean, of course.
There is a kind of verse
- Fifty cents a card, in the drugstore -
Written by someone who never was alive.
But that's not poetry,
And what was not alive can never die.

Real poetry is death.
Sister, angel, brother
To all ambition
To all haste
To all error
To all waste
To all but All and Nothing,
An every day funeral
Of something in the heart / Of something in the eyes
That blinds the eyes / That blinds the heart
And you can bet your sweet oblivion,
And all the ways you have of getting it,
That poetry will kill that too.

Eve, you know, sprung out
From Adam's ribs,
Is just the symbol;
The poet comes bone grey
From the ribs collapsed on Calvary
Do not come to poetry for comfort.

All poets die;
Do not come to poetry for ecstasy.
Do not rob the rights of fishing streams,
Or baseball fields,
Or churches still as stone.
Don't banquet, damn you,
Where dry bread and lashes
Leaping in the night
Might help you in your blindness
Find the missing dawn.

All poets die,
Especially on the eve of discovery,
Assassinated by the grim realization
That nothing, especially their intuitions,
Is really new.
If the poet finds anything new
He has to throw it away,
Because of all old things
Poetry is oldest.
Whatever is new, therefore, and so on,
Is not in any way poetry.
It might be physics, or even psychology,
But it is not poetry.

All poets die,
And kiss the grave that swallows them.
Oh lovely grave, oh welcome earth
Wherein the poet, discovering the point of worms
Knows a needed rest from men.

All poets die.
Their bodies sink like water to the rock.
Their bodies flow like rivers to the sea.
Their minds dissolve and all their words
Are honoured, like the fish they might have been,
Had God not ordered otherwise.

All poets die:
That is the lesson.
Poetry is death.
Poetry is death.
Poetry is death.
Death is poetry.

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