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Gregory Corso

Last Night I Drove A Car

Last night I drove a car

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Humanity

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

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Birthplace Revisited

I stand in the dark light in the dark
street
and look up at my window, I was
born there.
The lights are on; other people are
moving about.
I am with raincoat; cigarette in
mouth,
hat over eye, hand on gat.
I cross the street and enter the
building.
The garbage cans haven't stopped
smelling.
I walk up the first flight; Dirty Ears
aims a knife at me…
I pump him full of lost watches.

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The Mad Yak

I am watching them churn the last milk they'll ever get from me.
They are waiting for me to die;
They want to make buttons out of my bones.
Where are my sisters and brothers?
That tall monk there, loading my uncle, he has a new cap.
And that idiot student of his--
I never saw that muffler before.
Poor uncle, he lets them load him.
How sad he is, how tired!
I wonder what they'll do with his bones?
And that beautiful tail!
How many shoelaces will they make of that!

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I Am 25

With a love a madness for Shelley
Chatterton Rimbaud
and the needy-yap of my youth
has gone from ear to ear:
I HATE OLD POETMEN!
Especially old poetmen who retract
who consult other old poetmen
who speak their youth in whispers,
saying:--I did those then
but that was then
that was then--
O I would quiet old men
say to them:--I am your friend
what you once were, thru me
you'll be again--
Then at night in the confidence of their homes
rip out their apology-tongues
and steal their poems.

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I Held A Shelley Manuscript

My hands did numb to beauty
as they reached into Death and tightened!

O sovereign was my touch
upon the tan-inks's fragile page!

Quickly, my eyes moved quickly,
sought for smell for dust for lace
for dry hair!

I would have taken the page
breathing in the crime!
For no evidence have I wrung from dreams--
yet what triumph is there in private credence?

Often, in some steep ancestral book,
when I find myself entangled with leopard-apples
and torched-skin mushrooms,
my cypressean skein outreaches the recorded age
and I, as though tipping a pitcher of milk,

[...] Read more

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Destiny

They deliver the edicts of God

without delay

And are exempt from apprehension

from detention

And with their God-given

Petasus, Caduceus, and Talaria

ferry like bolts of lightning

unhindered between the tribunals

of Space & Time


The Messenger-Spirit

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Writ On The Steps Of Puerto Rican Harlem

There’s a truth limits man
A truth prevents his going any farther
The world is changing
The world knows it’s changing
Heavy is the sorrow of the day
The old have the look of doom
The young mistake their fate in that look
That is truth
But it isn’t all truth


Life has meaning
And I do not know the meaning
Even when I felt it were meaningless
I hoped and prayed and sought a meaning
It wasn’t all frolic poesy
There were dues to pay
Summoning Death and God
I’d a wild dare to tackle Them
Death proved meaningless without Life

[...] Read more

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The Whole Mess... Almost

I ran up six flights of stairs
to my small furnished room
opened the window
and began throwing out
those things most important in life

First to go, Truth, squealing like a fink:
'Don't! I'll tell awful things about you!'
'Oh yeah! Well, I've nothing to hide… OUT!'
Then went God, glowering & whimpering in amazement:
'It's not my fault! I'm not the cause of it all!' 'OUT!'
Then Love, cooing bribes: 'You'll never know impotency!
All the girls on Vogue covers, all yours!'
I pushed her fat ass out and screamed:
'You always end up a bummer!'
I picked up Faith Hope Charity
all three clinging together:
'Without us you'll surely die!'
'With you I'm going nuts! Goodbye!'

[...] Read more

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To a downfallen rose

When I laid aside the verses of Mimnermus,
I lived a life of canned heat and raw hands,
alone, not far from my body did I wander,
walked with a hope of a sudden dreamy forest of gold.
O rose, downfallen, bend your huge vegetic back;
eye down the imposter sun...in winter dream
sulk your rosefamed head into the bile of golden giant,
ah, rose, augment the rose further still!
whence upon that self-created dive in Eden
you blossomed where the Watchmaker of Nothingness
lulled,
your birth did cause bits of smashed night to pop,
causing my dreamy forest to unfold.
Yes, and the Watchmaker, his wheely-flesh
and jewelled-bones spoiled as he awoke,
and in the face of your Somethingness, he fled
waving oblivious monks in his unwinded hands.
The sun cannot see upheaved spatics, the tennis of Venus
and the court of Mars sing the big lie of the sun,
ah, faraway ball of fur, sponge up the elements;

[...] Read more

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