Monday, October 31, 2011

Chimes Street Journal

Chimes Street Journal XIII-XVIII

“book of love poems

to spanish Johnny”
—John Wieners,
July 20, The Journal of
John Wieners Is to Be
Called 707 Scott Street
For Billie Holiday

what a rush when she—
wrote his name, willa cather
lonely prairie queen

a book opens up to—
the sky like a roof over
the plains, stone-writing

other writers locked—
outta the world writing
only for themselves

she’s down by the—
river, the kid and her
on a dark levee night

in a dumpy cadillac—
convertible she bought
second-hand cheap

nothing like style—
even tho it’s tacky and
cheap, especially so

what can she write about—
that other queens haven’t
already said and done?

muses are demons—
poems come outta pain
the heart beats faster

it’s an unnatural thing—
it can’t be produced like
gold from alchemy

it’s got ten toes—
shadows on the wall
that look like snakes

there’s no scheme—
only fragments coming
and going around her

her delta diary—
her fingers moving
across it, across him

Chimes Street Journal XIV

“language taut as a rope”
—John Wieners,
July 28, The Journal of
John Wieners Is to Be
Called 707 Scott Street
For Billie Holiday

doing without prepositions—
ditching the definite article
connecting without them

it grows even outgrows—
it picks queens who live it
renewing and pursuing

inconceivable ways—
down thru str8t history
only drag queens know

this ratty mansion—
rotting on chimes street
on the edge of abyss

propped up with smirks—
trojans and a pink scarf
staying indoors all day

servants of the night—
a crummy wall around her
and down below her

the mississippi rolls by—
it has its own cane fields and
a muscular guy she knows

years later the breeders—
spawn themselves down past
river road along the river

pissing and shitting—
their lovely flowering
existence day by day

baby boomer spawn—
then x-generation they
soon hog delta views

but in the sixties—
it was still naked and
primitive levee prepuce

west of nicholson drive—
between midnight & dawn
it was hot dog palace

then returning home—
to the chimes street dive
practicing contentment

coming and going—
something for nothing
dying in her arms

Chimes Street Journal XV

“the demonic horses”
—John Wieners,
July 30, The Journal of
John Wieners Is to Be
Called 707 Scott Street
For Billie Holiday

resigning herself—
like goethe’s egmont
steering the chariot

driving the cadillac—
the junk-heap of her life
avoiding the void, dears

“the speech of boyz”—
especially the bad ones
language of angels

not that she believed it—
it was only a souvenir or
fetish of the recent past

needy and lonely—
no poems could be made
outta memories so bad

nothing fresh or new—
no evocative images of
faces, only guilty hands

the old wide delta—
had always been alone
now it was her turn

she wrapped herself—
inside her writing and
the river’s sliding sludge

all over the page—
without any plan or will
no reconstruction design

other than billie holiday—
singing the southern blues
a conquered countryside

reminiscence, decadence—
degeneration, dope, hip
struggle, dreary drag

southern surrealism—
delta bourbon baroque
flesh, love, mardi gras

Chimes Street Journal XVI

“playing at little games”
—John Wieners,
August 6, The Journal of
John Wieners Is to Be
Called 707 Scott Street
For Billie Holiday

playing little games—
with herself like pretending
she’s quentin compson

one of the children—
of the dark house who’s
re-enacting the delta rites

taking herself too seriously—
returning to the grave too soon
seancing with henry and bon

what a paltry queen she is—
losing herself in absalom that
way, she’ll never get out

she’ll remain in there—
trapped in allen hall, dead
and declining like the south

plantation karma takes—
a long time to work its way
coming back thru tomorrow

miss faulkner’s novels hang—
there in the pawnshop windows
words come & go that way

sometimes that’s all she did—
using old storytelling ways for
a newer form of prose

what did its new form do—
what did it break thru, what
shape did it have, its contours?

if a writer isn’t engaged—
totally in creating a new form
what is she engaging herself with?

she dies every day—
it’s the limbo of contemporary
dixie, deadly speed & ease

and who was she—
nothing but a lonely queen
setting up outworn creeds

the needs of delta bourbon—
ever-avaricious ever-greedy
precious plantation secrets

shadow-families lurking—
in the philoprogenitive dark
haunting dixie bad boyz

Chimes Street Journal XVII

“and if I cannot
speak in poetry”
—John Wieners,
August 6, The Journal of
John Wieners Is to Be
Called 707 Scott Street
For Billie Holiday

poetry was too real for her—
it wasn’t the kind of poetry
one reads in books

it was found spontaneously—
in states of being around her
mundane queer flashes

she was totally ignorant—
of any true mysteries around
her chimes street existence

she was dumbed down—
a mumbling, meandering, stupid
brain-dead vegetable queen

maybe it was the dope—
the hippie weed & hookah nights
the mangy obsessions with guyz

she felt hunted by something—
she didn’t yearn for it like some
sad hypocritical closet-case

it was just there that’s all—
there was no use thinking about it
it just came & went like lovers

but it stalked her down—
it wanted every inch of her life
it moved thru her, doing her

she knew it was friday—
she knew what was happening
down on the street, so what?

Chimes Street Journal XVIII

“no need to
recount actions?”
—John Wieners,
August 11, The Journal of
John Wieners Is to Be
Called 707 Scott Street
For Billie Holiday

one thinks it’s a full moon—
with werewolf tides of prowling
the night for hippie tricks

but there was something else—
it worked to create even more
confusion around her each day

what a difference a lay makes—
but that wasn’t it either even
with velvet tides & sweet rides

undergoing trials of desire—
seemed to create strange voices
and hideous forms appeared

faces outta the past—
forgetting wasn’t natural
love didn’t occur in a vacuum

in the center of the angst—
jefferson davis sat on a rotting
dixie throne of red satin

cushioned under his elbow—
the everyday decay of the
deep south confederacy

the rot that ought to—
have stopped but didn’t
stinking bed of slavery

it wasn’t temporal—
the way dinge karma kept
passing thru antebellum past

mandingo manifestations—
lurked in the groin down
there where cum trembles

it springs from erections—
mulatto mouths and octoroon
loins, the colored cosmos

she felt it & knew it—
both desired high & low
men of both dixie & dinge

it kept her mind running—
over the edge of the levee
flooding her campus dump

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