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Grab Bag

(written 1979, first published 1984)

* * *

Is this garbage?


from Volume 1, Number 4, The James White Review:

Is this garbage?
Is this poetry? a journal?
May I ask why do I write differently?
Do I write differently?
Why?
May I ask?

___This book's empty pages won't last the summer while I have decisions of die or try or will I return to fool school any year, one more to make it legit-teach.
___Or worry me ugly the image after warts selected╣ and grafted, a karass▓ of cohorts eye each weary other vibrantly like gay men do speechless metaphor filling in the gaps.
___A king will come while sheets are white shrouds of thought of, always thought of

Am I destiny's loser and want
to make pure
art about it, but a symbol
and I have
no capability?│

___

╣selected: Arthur Rimbaud, letter: "The task of the man who wants to be a poet is to study his own awareness of himself, in its entirety; he seeks out his soul, he inspects it. As soon as he knows it, he must cultivate it. That seems simple: every brain experiences a certain natural development; hundreds of 'egoists' call themselves authors; there are many more who attribute their intellectual progress to themselves! - But the problem is to make the soul into a monster, like the compachios, you know? Think of a man grafting warts onto his face and growing them there."

▓karass: a group of persons unknowingly revolving around a "whampeter" (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Cat's Cradle)

│no capability: John Keats, letter: "I mean Negative Capability, that is when one is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.... This pursued through Volumes would perhaps take us no further than this, that with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration."