Rainy Day Rag Man
(for Gregory Corso 1930 - 2001)
He's barking at the moon. He's barking up the wrong tree. He's tangled up in blue. He's shoplifting dialects and dangling them with hangman's rope from his crash-pad ceiling. On come the black lights, the strobe lights, the bright lights, the stage lights--let there be light! he cries out, naked as a blue jay and flat-out on the shag rug, throwing darts at the ceiling.
He's seen rumors flying like wounded bats and false evidence stuck like gum to his shoe soles. He's seen dreams go up in smoke, grave conclusions dumped in body bags from hot-air balloons, fist-sized monkeys nailed to fence posts. He's grown gun-shy of false promise, mauled hope, pontifications and the fine-print of love. His soul is like an ironclad Merrimack sending volleys over the bow of a Nantucket schooner. The Lie is self--perpetrating, the dark stain is everywhere.
He's a rainy day rag man with a push-cart mind, a midnight tailor in the attic stitching pockets shut. He's the mutant love child of our unabashed sham.
He's the weather vane that tells how the wind blows, the dimpled vulva of the wicked queen, the death throe of our whacked self-importance as we prance around like wind-up toys with our chests puffed out. He's the last train to Brooklyn, the last prophet before Humpty-Dumpty takes the dive.
He has other names too if you're interested, but of course you're not, this being Sunday, a time for worship and contact sports.
-- John Bennett
What simple profundities
What profound simplicities
To sit down among the trees
and breathe with them
in murmur brool and breeze —
And how can I trust them
who pollute the sky
the below with hells
I’m part of you
and so my son
but neither of us
your big sad lie
Finally Corso reading from Jack Kerouac's Mexico City Blues, the 230th and 19th choruses, from the Salen State Archives:
a thicket mouse
caught by the dog
translated by David G. Lanoue
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