“A Fish With Frog’s Eyes”:  Bob Kaufman, George Romero and the Power of Radioactivity
Apr23

“A Fish With Frog’s Eyes”: Bob Kaufman, George Romero and the Power of Radioactivity

By Kurt Kline   In the poetry of Bob Kaufman, the poet is the healer, journeying down into the underworld of the American psyche in order to heal the wounds of racism, capitalist exploitation, and war. If Kaufman is, as many critics have suggested, a shaman, it is perhaps most properly in the tradition of Hoodoo, which employs music as a mode of otherworldly transport or to facilitate trance states. If Kaufman recuperates the...

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Doctor William S. Sax and Bird of Paradise
Apr09

Doctor William S. Sax and Bird of Paradise

Doctor William S. Sax and Bird of Paradise Faust Part Three Sad Catholic childhood as dark nuns weep in rain i And Saint Thérèse turns her head Vanilla pudding and snow swirls dust Milk Street ii Brown banks of Merrimac muck And child ghosts and fantasy Sax hides in darkness (Round Midnight) The Shadow Under porches Count Condu below evil Castle Castle Hill, Snake Hill Fury river roars white horses of the apocalypse Nightmares and...

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Young Charlie Parker
Apr01

Young Charlie Parker

“All you need is one person in your whole life to really be listening.” i Young Charlie Parker Lester Young, Charlie Parker Chu Berry, berry, young Charlie Parker Charlie Parker from Kansas City The swingiest, stompingest this land’s city Shoot’em up cowboy city Gangster city Nighttime city Charlie original Charlie natural And they once laughed him off the bandstand And that broke his heart But he hoboed out In the last years of the...

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The Sea Is My Sister
Mar19

The Sea Is My Sister

The sea is my sister Perth saint is my brother Brothers are uncles Uncles and nuncles Philip, James, Frank, and Joe Joseph sailor did go The sisters Kulchicovsky One, two, three, me The house is my home Car and trees are the key To life in the suburbs Bored malls alien me Sea far away green-and-gray sea foaming sea All sorrows get drowned in my dry cup of tea Aunts, yes, three Marys and crosses a’plenty (Believe that there will be...

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Letters: Allen and Louis
Feb05

Letters: Allen and Louis

“There are many mansions in the house of poetry,” i writes Louis “Paterson’s principal poet” ii to Allen, many times. Allen, maintain your posture when you meet Edith, sit well with Sitwell. Don’t be maudlin when you chat with Auden . . . at Oxford. Spring has sprung; the thaw has come to Robert Frost (at Paterson State Teachers’ College). iii What’s a father to do? “I keep pounding my typewriter, not wishing to rust on my laurels,...

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I am so afraid of sleep
Jan27

I am so afraid of sleep

I am so afraid of sleep then I remember a hiking trip alone and sheltering below a ledge of stars. So much dust must constitute, I thought, a honeycomb for the lips of yeshiva boys or an interior of ascending steps to the “Himalayas of the soul”. My night watch was met by a band of Perseids straddling roofs and trees. Science thinks particles are scurrying from universe to universe and when caught in traps and released,...

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Propositioned By Ginsberg
Dec16

Propositioned By Ginsberg

August, 1968, Chicago. It was the Summer of long hair, and long hot nights. Small wonder America would soon be in flames, when all the South Side was sleeping on the beach by Lake Michigan. Like London in the Underground, during war. And there was war. Guerrilla fighting on the streets, from the top of city monuments. War against the war, war against the shadows on the walls after dropping acid. War against the staid, complacent,...

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Early Summer Mourn
Aug15

Early Summer Mourn

It feels so safe in this soft summer bed With the sheets smelling sweetly And the light warmth of the cotton blanket And the early morning birds chirping After the cicadas have stopped Why can’t it always be peaceful? Like this moment “All things hang like a drop of dew upon a blade of grass” i wrote the poet In the blink of an eye I have truly seen Best minds destroyed By sorrowful disease Neurologists never give good news And I lie...

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