“GOD PITY ME WHOM
(GOD DISTINCTLY HAS)” - e. e. cummings


god pity me whom(god distinctly has)
the weightless svelte drifting sexual feather
of your shall I say body?follows
truly through a dribbling moan of jazz

whose arched occasional stepped youth swallows
curvingly the keeness of my hips;
or,your first twitch of crisp boy flesh dips
my height in a firm fragile stinging weather,

(breathless with sharp necessary lips)kid

female cracksman of the nifty,ruffian-rogue,
laughing body with wise breasts half-grown,
lisping flesh quick to thread the fattish drone
of I Want a Doll,
                          wispish-agile feet with slid
steps parting the tousle of saxophonic brogue.

* * *

OL’ BUNK’S BAND - William Carlos Williams


These are men! the gaunt, unfore-
        sold, the vocal,
blatant, Stand up, stand up! the
        slap of a bass-string.
Pick, ping! The horn, the
        hollow horn
long drawn out, a hound deep
        tone—
Choking, choking! while the
        treble reed
races—alone, ripples, screams
        slow to fast—
to second to first! These are men!

Drum, drum, drum, drum, drum
        drum, drum! the
ancient cry, escaping crapulence
        eats through
transcendent—torn, tears, term
        town, tense,
turns and backs off whole, leaps
        up, stomps down,
rips through! These are men
        beneath
whose force the melody limps—
        to
proclaim, proclaims—Run and
        lie down,
in slow measures, to rest and
        not never
need no more! These are men!
        Men!

* * *

CHASING THE BIRD - Robert Creeley


The sun sets unevenly and the people
go to bed.

The night has a thousand eyes.
The clouds are low, overhead.

Every night it is a little bit
more difficult, a little

harder. My mind
to me a mangle is.

* * *

FOR MILES - Gregory Corso


Your sound is faultless
        pure & round
                holy
        almost profound

Your sound is your sound
        true & from within
        a confession
        soulful & lovely

Poet whose sound is played
        lost or recorded
        but heard
        can you recall that 54 night at the Open Door
        when you & bird
        wailed five in the morning some wondrous
        yet unimaginable score?

* * *

From WRITTEN TO MUSIC
EIGHT FOR ORNETTE’s MUSIC - Kenneth Rexroth


if the pain is greater
than the difference
as the bird in the night
or the perfumes in the moon
of witch of question
oh lips of submission
in the flesh of summer
the silver slipper
in the sleeping forest
if hope surpasses the question
by the mossy spring
in the moon of harvest
between the pillars of silk
in the luminous difference
oh tongue of music
oh teacher of splendor
if the meat of the heart
if the fluid of the wing
as love
if birth
or trust as
love as love

*

time turns like tables
the indifferent and blissful Spring
saves all souls and seeds and slaves asleep
dark Spring
in the dark whispering human will
words spoken by two kissing tongues
hissing union
Eve’s snake
stars come on
two naked bodies tremble
through bodiless Christmas tree
blazing like bees and rosebuds
fire turns to falling powder
lips relax and smile asleep
fire sweeps
the hearth of the blood
on far off red double stars
they probate their own tied wills

* * *

EPISTROPHE - Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones)


It’s such a static reference; looking
out the window all the time! the eyes’ limits . . .
On good days, the sun.

& what you see. (here in New York)
Walls and buildings; or in the hidden gardens
of opulent Queens; profusion, endless stretches of leisure.

It’s like being chained to some dead actress;
and she keeps trying to tell you something horribly maudlin.

e. g. (“the leaves are flat and motionless.”)

What I know of the mind
seems to end here;
Just outside my face.

I wish some weird looking animal
would come along.



from the anthology Jazz Poems, selected and edited by Kevin Young, publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

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