Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tiger Town

Tiger Town Poems (1963-1968)

The Apartment
Chimes Street
Simple Song
A Dinge Lover
Looking Back
A Dinge Portrait
Tiger Town

The Apartment

“Pain and suffering.
Give me the strength”
—John Wieners
“The Acts of Youth”

she tried to bear it—
to enter those places where
great animals are caged

to live with them—
in bed with them at night
a bride to black burdens

that no god imposes—
but knows only the means
to sustain his dark force

the end of those days—
what she was made for
dark hours in the dark

delirious dinge climaxes—
delta midnight wads
cumly blackness

Chimes Street

“the divine trap”
—John Wieners
“A Young Poet”

so very nelly—
full of lisping and
swishing around…

brashly admiring—
big negro hands all
over her in bed

her first poems—
trashy ecstatic and
full of dinge praise

she be stunned—
caught up freshly
in the divine trap

atlanta burned—
she be dizzy as
butterfly mcqueen

Simple Song

“It is a simple song”
—John Wieners
“The Woman”

it was a simple song—
as quick and simple
as a home run

but it was too long—
and drawn-out there
for just one home run

it lasted a long time—
milking him down to
the last dinge wiggle

lounging there—
in the little apartment
moon in the window

who was he anyway—
that he could mean so
much to me back then?

A Dinge Lover

“O poetry, leave me not alone,
give me a wife and home”
—John Wieners, “Supplication”

poetry visited that dumpy—
little apartment, it wouldn’t
let me alone

it didn’t make any friends—
among my peers, but it did
lend me love, dingeliness

returned me to a young man—
who taught me how to cure
the hurts of wanting it

the impossible yearnings—
that most str8t sex denied me
in a suspended vacuum

Looking Back

“Is this the aftermath?...”
—John Wieners, “Impasse”

is it enough my poor lips—
bruised black and blue from
blind, dumb young dinge love?

my soul blackened—
hands coarsened, trembling?
his lovely boner mine?

streets of tiger town—
knowing no shame like mine
my dinge queen heart his?

was it enough to know—
him and his cute kid brother
all the down-low way?

it seems like ages ago—
i’ve lost sight of them both
why did i come back here?

A Dinge Portrait

“At last. I come to
the last defense.”
—John Wieners
“From A Poem for Painters”

my poems didn’t contain—
wild beasts of the veldt
drums or african chants

the only organ I played—
needed nothing to embellish
betray what was given me

i needed no defense—
only the feel of a man’s
arms around me tight

he struggled to stay—
with what was his own
what lived within him to do

without which is nothing—
and i came to this knowing
not wasting anymore time

the rest was up to love—
and his distended face
my hands all over him

trying to draw back—
from him the strength of his
blood already running there

it came back hard—
the love that he gave me
it was my life he saved

Tiger Town

“you stand as first town”
—John Wieners, “After
Symonds Venice”

tacky little tiger town—
schmaltzy block of memories
on the edge of campus

decaying and rotting—
but still alive with adolescent
murky calls to youth

baton rouge boyfriendz—
sleeping, breathing, dreaming
next to me in bed

mississippi levee love—
slumbering, sluggish river
dinge chants, smutty paeans

in the end you stand as—
first town, first bank of hopes
first envisioned paradise

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