RAY BREMSER MEMORIAL
SECTION EIGHT

sm
COLUMN SEVENTY-FOUR, AUGUST 1, 2002
(Copyright 2002 Al Aronowitz)

EXCERPTS FROM:
POEMS OF MADNESS


(Adapted from Tom Clark's drawing for the cover of the WATER ROW PRESS edition of POEMS OF MADNESS & ANGEL)

[POEMS OF MADNESS was originally published in 1965 by PAPER BOOK GALLERY and reprinted by WATER ROW PRESS, PO Box 438, Sudbury, MA 01776. These excerpts from POEMS OF MADNESS appears here with the permission of Jeffrey Weinberg, publisher of WATER ROW PRESS and literary executor of the poet's estate.]

1. CITY MADNESS

I used to sit often composing the manuscript
never denouncing and therefore not to be written
without preparation for trial.  

I'd sit contemplating unobvious thoughts without poetry,
being the poet of adequate life
on broken brick steps full of contractions
of piles and pimply sores from the stone
and syphilis-eyed hypochondria sleep-thinking germs
bringing flu
and I caught my first cold fifteen histories ago
in the maggoty festering garbage-can alley
back of my mother's rear room.  

I used to sit dreaming the dreams of accomplishment
marching in questionable cadences down to the foot
of the Harborside Terminal
into the emptying carrying cars of Spry and Colgate
Mullers outgoing spaghetti and infinite
meatballs!  

counting the black-balled parolees and broken-backed
spics, Italian laborers, Polacks and sweaty
old terminal boss,
whose unknotted tie and left-wide-agape collar
was motive enough to imagine the noose.  

When I was ten I discovered the poet and quick
circulated great novels of spy and adventure
and killer police, whose murderous face
I didn't at first grasp
until I discovered a cop humping some young
indiscernable girl in the park.  

She addressed him with delicate fits from her lips
which turned ghostly and blue and the dress tore away
and he popped with a joy every cop in New Jersey recalls.  

Since then I have hated what passes as law
and the ten-year-old grew but the poet did not
and the novels fell off into idiot poems
and madness and sight of my city,
the city of squares and the city of Pharisees
all mobbed into a mass of the lewdest advertisement,
tight demin levis - buck shoes for the silent
and cardigan jitterbug jackets with saddle stitched pockets
of rubber ...
I've never been ready for trial.  

But Carole Fugate has!
Sweet youngest ever martyr
City killer high accomplishment "
"in her peaceful, pensive, elemental face
the Virgin Mary ended indecision
and elected to abide
in every sinew's whore-mastered inch
of Charlie's sweet
and favored yards of flesh.  

How did he do it to you?  Whispering 'mother'?
or 'little sister'?  What of your idiot's eyes?
Now it is more than Charlie's, sweet "
now it is every lecherous penis
legality has - every sensuous
prick of old righteousness!  Lord, how they're prodding,
those moot prosecutors!
 

In love with your lips and in love with your belly's
white warmth, 0 human - 0 animal "heavenly
screwed little girl - in love with your crying's pure
succulent salt of the heart - hot heart of the murderess "
heart of the victim, whispering 'love' and whispering
       "please' -
and the minor-thief's heart in my own hunting skin
corresponds to your sexual lips of immaculate
white -  
              I would run my cool tongue
in your mouth, eat your tears, taste your difficult
washmachine beauty!  

My city envisions your breast beneath which
is the heart that addresses itself,
and the answers?
definite
crazy -
and love!  

 

No; it wasn't odd
that night
when I went
alone -
into the streets
and out of my home,
so long out of sorts -
was I out of my mind, too,
with the dread melancholy
stuck edgewise into my brain
and into my guts,
only man-guts, not pig-iron
but twisted and flanged
and eroded with rust?  

So I had to walk
and I walked, way outward
onto the unfamiliar street
where people are not always people -  

And I. took in my hand
in my coat and conjoined
a pistol, in case -
to decide things
                 best
for myself!  

But the dreary, unfluctuables pinioned me
stiff-columned into my shoes.  The trigger-taut
sinewous spindle stood me up clotheslessly still
to suffer the bearable whipping of fingers
over the mutable flesh -  
                                                   the motherless
sonofabitching flac "
the criminal shots, were
pinned, like medals of thievery,
onto my breast;  
                      and my waxworkwings
found Icarus's pool;
and I'm here now,  
                          changelessly dressed!

 

It is sometimes the way our necessity balks
at a curve, to be tried.
To be taken in dubious custody, chained
to a chair in the precinct called lst
and allowed the due processes up to the neck
of the fist and the shattering bludgeoning hard?-
rubber hose of an arm's length.  

question and answer and hate
for the acne-nervousness paused on the face
and the please-leave-me-alone in the watery eyes
that were blue turning black from the law's
dark insensible glare "
whose brute badges of courage and bravery stare,
because Hart Crane might have had one of the heads
that was cracked by the graces
of nightstick and sailor Bayonne!  

How their foolish pomposity walks in the streets!
At the Hoboken wharves and the West New York Hills,
over Palisade plumage of rock and the Fort Lee
nest of the eagle - Washington Bridge Riviera "?
doubtful escape on the harlotted Hudson Expressways!  

One thing I found in the handcuffs was this:
Great fear of the law!  
                                        and a dread
of my own Jersey Cityite's farce
gone beyond the impossible truss
of a sentence too large
to impress any boy with its complex
of God!  

     I will sign the confession of monsterous crime
I    will sign
I    will sign
I    will sign

I    WILL SIGN!  ##

* * *

BLUES FOR BONNIE - TAKE 1, JANUARY 1960

"these blues broke out in a gallery,
on 9th street..."  

"no.  "

"9th avenue ... 43rd street."
"hell - it's hell's kitchen again."  

funny blues ...  
                              bonnie in Washington
                              waiting for march and
                              cummings coming
                              bringing glad tidings.

                    "of 9th avenue?"

ZOO.

a dam-giraff.

               whallop, a
               lalapalooza floozie
               on via flamina piazza
               masticating a ruddy pizza
                                   pie -
                                   pie-pie.

bye-bye, baby.  

off to Riker a foodery...
(i dig food - soup.)

(if i dont get straight quick
the fuzz ll bust me sure
as i reek o reefer.
Rio Rita - that's as far as i'm
taking it.)

... i would eat the food
instead, oney this stud
along side me pounces eyeball
gawks as if to say,
"high as rat-shit."
and  2 fried eggs in my plate
the  same thing.

          how  do you eat
          the  accuser?
               and  which one first?

Rio  Rita

peter out, slip away, do a go "
politely tip my hat and split is
oney thing - likewise.

                i'm sure

                that is what you might call
                scat.

  but
  a hubbalubba drum, hellofa biff-bam hallabaloo
 
(fontainebleu in the
  background.)

dribble sinbah,
tic.

"you gotta drink yo drink
and get yo that thunk..."

"wumphead ...
the girl wanneda get waid,
not weighed."

chuckles. yoks
i know a chick collects em,
oney the greatest tho ...

(RIFF HERE)

   ie:   herry sucton. yiddish eactor.
out of work 4 months ...
agent calls, "herry?"
"yo ..."
"wanna work?"
'shee."

                    ... and so on, or             
ie:   daddy moody, baptist,
       little abraham, age 5, getting
       baptized in the muddy Mississippi. 

     daddy moody get the lil boy
     by the belt ... sticks him in
     the river - pulls him out and
     looks brimstone and fire on his face...

     "does yo believe?"

     "i believes..."  
                     and so on till

whut - and I BELIEVES YO
                            
TRYIN TA DROWN ME...

hyar hyar yok, i said,
and split that scene also - 

some idea when i'm stoned
people trying to make me
laugh myself dead ... this
works with my wife also, too...
                                               fer
instance: a game
             phenomenoes ...
             they played high and by and
             large by
                     phenomenophobes. On
                     phenomenamphetamines!
phenomenablute.
phenomenaquate.
phenomenammonia.
phenomenomnipotent.
phenomenanonymous ... and
                       phenomenamamma...
                       phenomenapoppa...
                       phenomena who? phenomenayou.
                       phenomename ...
                                     phenomenallusion
                       to a common phenominator,
                       thank you,
                       james fenomenimore cooper.                        

                        Phenomenamamma mia.
or to, now want
to, explain what is
funk.
                                  (the first funk we're familiar with
                                  is our own, provided for us by glands
                                  thru the olfactory nerves
                                  enveloped by that precipitous lump
                                  of the face called proboscus.)

                       otherwise, what is funk?

"well now, dad, " the
goatee on the wall sd, "it
rhymes w-Monk."...the
goatee was, of course, a-
breviated. weird Boo!

anyway, funk is when
thelonious monk peeps
above the bamboo shades
to see the piana setting there,
bald and bold ... monk looks at it,
while the bass run and the drummer
bugs him with the cymbal ... 6 days sleepless ...
monk looks ... perfectly zonked and
loafing on the stool ... he looks
and looks
and the bass and drummer meet
like flys making it on the mid-air,
attracting, (at least,) the ears
of monk, who lifts his hands
and lets them fall on the keys in
commentary; with whut's funk. 

or:
the intellectual explains for an hour
the asymmetrical underlying connotations
and multimillion minor philosophical edicts and
principles involved in Sartre's considerable
system of phenomenological ontology to
the big colored-feller, high on pot
on the nod, listening - who con-
siders ... thinks a bit,
concluding
slowly
            SHHIIIT.

and that's a funk.

or funk is easily personified immemorially in
                              Coltrane
                              Cecil Taylor,
                              Ray Charles,
                              Ornette,
                              see Charlie Haydn,
                              sometime Gillespie,
                              rarely Miles and
                              never the Boston
                              Pops ... hardly
                                                              rebops.

funk is exemplified in speech.
ie: let's eat.
    let's split. (when you're bugged.)
    let's cop. (when you're just high enuf to want more.)
    let's score. (when you're not high.)
    let's ball. (when you're not bugged.) 

KEROUAC: on funk.
                "you jus don know."
                "what don i know?"
                "how good them bacon
                and them eggs is..."  

                or,
                "DARLING."
                that kind of camping
                i dont object to
                unless it's kept within reason.  

ROI JONES: on funk
                ...but them colored guys
                with the big dicks ...  

                or,

                those wicker-baskets would make
                wild-ass trees.

or
PETER ORLOVSKY:
                pissed your pants again, huh,
                morris?  

GREGORY CORSO:
                radiator soup.
                kangaroonian weep.  

PHILIP WHALEN:
                (2 lines, canceled...)  

MICHAEL McCLURE:
                whap whap
                whap whap whap whap whap
                whap
                whap ... do you believe me
                now?
 

funk is;

a.b. blowing mouth and roi
snickering, white yakkin, yakkity
glee - me too - me high.
grasshoppers - cummings
driving us to Maryland or
the grave, and it makes me no mind
as long as there's beer ...
(here ... here ... )  

cummings sd-does
it
   mean    you're
  high
when your thots
are,
        like...
slow...
          man?  O/

course not." i spat
and we took off, jus like that.
a dam near dozzen stoned
maniacs and rode the island
on the Baltimore Thruway
80 miles per hour... slow.  

that was the last time
we were all together in Washington.
and the first ... heralded in behind
Prokoffiev and herded out by
daughter's mothers, drags and the police.

      (i later returned and married bonnie
      frazer, angel of God and witching
      devil to the core ...

but
to hell with Zarathustra,
cecil taylor says - skiddy - WHAM,
going thelonius a better.  

"knocked me out."
the marijuana eater,
blind, crawling on the floor,
catching fibrous vibrations and
acoustics off the wood and
thinking he's slick, digging
my wife's full-lotus, sitting
in panties - thighs like you
never seen them before, or ever
will see since ...
                                we fall
in the blues ...
caught up.
toned down.
the blue,
connieving blue and
conical blues.  

these blues,
for bonnie.
GOD GAVE ME TO BONNIE
                                                      AND
THAT'S COOL ENUF FOR ME...  ##

CLICK HERE TO GET TO INDEX OF COLUMN SEVENTY-FOUR


CLICK HERE TO GET TO INDEX OF COLUMNS

The Blacklisted Journalist can be contacted at P.O.Box 964, Elizabeth, NJ 07208-0964
The Blacklisted Journalist's E-Mail Address:
info@blacklistedjournalist.com
 
 

THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST IS A SERVICE MARK OF AL ARONOWITZ