Saturday, March 31, 2012

John Bennett: Rainy Day Rag Man (for Gregory Corso)

Rainy Day Rag Man
John Bennett

(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
with heavens
the below with hells

Well, humankind,
I’m part of you
and so my son

but neither of us
will believe
your big sad lie
Gregory Corso

Finally Corso reading from Jack Kerouac's Mexico City Blues, the 230th and 19th choruses, from the Salen State Archives:

spring breeze--
a thicket mouse
caught by the dog
     translated by David G. Lanoue


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Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 129 songs


Charles Gramlich said...

Pretty cool. I like that a lot

Ed Baker said...

I don't know much about John Bennett
not knowing never has stopped me :
JB sure did "nail" Gregory Corso here

what our KULCHUR needs right now ? More
Ranters and Ravers

just like Corso and his 'pals' were...

Jessica Fenlon said...

love that corso poem - it touches something that's been on my mind lately

aditya said...

One helluva post. Thanks for this Don.

Theresa Williams said...


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Thanks, Charles. Glad you liked.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Here's to the ranters and ravers, Ed, all of 'em ...

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Perfect. Glad it struck a chord.


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Cheers, Aditya and Theresa!