Finn Hall

Reading at Finn Hall, 4/28/18

 

 

“San Rafael/Mexico City Blues Poem”

 

Prologue

A superficial reading of one of these poems [in the book of lyrics by Kerouac] led me to believe he was referring to Burroughs — the section where Kerouac is taking down the words of old junkie Bill Garver — I think he calls him Bill Gaines — “Boy if you only knew how good dem bacons and dem eggs is, you’d give up poetry boy and dig in,”etc. — the theme carries through about five choruses [of the book].

 

O magic countless in time this morning, O risen sun late on the horizon,

San Rafael, your office workers with shiny hair and backpacks

a tow in endless motion and still asleep on sleek commuter buses

do not notice the copy of Mexico City Blues beside my bag on the seat cushion

next to me.

This workaday I will play tag with Kerouac,

and I am still in that reverie as the bus pulls into

a transfer stop.

Now workers with grit-worn shirts standing in line at a deli quick stop

smile as they fill

cups of coffee and pay.

In the Canal the street are dim candlelight from the ones holding prayer vigils against the ICE raids

shines in sweet candescence.

Earth kisses the sun through them.

 

Carl Macki

 

ii sing of love’s purity

 

while my anger rises from my

 

chest as my sweat rolls down my

waist

 

unbroken chain of being, how can I hold you? I don’t need to,

the summer signs into my heart and

 

 

the warmth melts my ire as I too am into the reason that sunlight now seems forever

We wanted her to be like a figure in a painting by Botticelli [or a China doll]

instead, we got Jackson Pollock [in all his glory]. Gerry gave me her address before I landed in

L.A. I looked for her apartment in Hollywood. rang the bell and as we talked

spread my writings across her living room floor

The Dodgers won their game in Chavez Ravine that day it was still sunny

when we went to a Moroccan restaurant on Sunset overlooking the hotel where John Belushi died

It felt dizzy and not at all glamorous

[She was] like St. Lucy forced into prostitution And I some unnamed Sicilian jackal

Peddling saline drachmas in a salt-encrusted temple Of timeless interference

then Jan said “Pass the chiaroscuro–

 

my visions don’t work without the beats/

who played with black and white.” when she died, my vision was restored.

 

 

the bourgeois marxist

you say you are with the working people and wish to overthrow the ruling class even as you do not work and live off investments in oil, gas, and war. You say you abhor, but secretly love, the US Government for providing for you when you were down you’re a hybrid-Groucho Marxist rebel clown you support the dead illiterate dead as you consume your mother may Is in

a season of the great unrest where faith in ideologies are supposed to supplant all true faith and people you find insufficient because you disagree with them at all

 

 

I opened my eyes in orthodox beefcake. Genetic hitchhiker, randomly I was there, the

 

torch of careless stumbling through the fog passed down like a useless heirloom,

 

looming ubiquitously overhead.

 

child falters

 

like a feather in winter

 

magnified brilliantly a stamp blowing

the wind

you never washed your hair

you wanted me dead

lying to me after about what you said

 

Baudelaire’s Revenge

 

It was in a smile, he said Freud said it was in a joke

I don’t want to sicken and die because smiles and laughter

 

 

Pictures of death outside my window while joy is framed and sent to solitary religious mutes slicing through the air frozen

 

 

The patient survives

not because the cure works

but because for once he remembers what it is like in heaven

 

 

It is funny how I often

cannot follow a poem when spoken

but can be stunned by its clarity

when I read it.

 

 

Latif Harris was born in Los Angeles in 1940 and came to SF at the age of 19 in 1959, where he fell in with the Beat group of writers, becoming especially close with Philip Lamantia and Howard Hart and also the painter Robert LaVigne. He later studied with Robert Creeley in New Mexico

 

and Ed Dorn in London. He has traveled the world and lived for long periods out of the U.S., including a long stint in Greece. He has published several literary magazines and organized the last Beat reading series in North Beach at the Bannam Place Gallery in

 

the early 1980’s. His poetry crosses many boundaries, Buddhist, surrealist, Beat, Black Mountain. Most recently he edited and published the 50-year GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY ANTHOLOGY of BEATITUDE MAGAZINE.

 

 

Upon hearing Scott Pruitt has become Director of the EPA Hell’s purposes

found in turning back, the tide of guilt that soiled

the ground of understanding upon our soiled earth and this ensued from our own doing,

even said that this is how the formless luxury of forgiveness comes to bless and brighten our mind from the worries

Leviathan and its gyres would seem to hasten.

 

 

my father died of a sad heart my mother of cancer

my brother went from a blood clot in the brain. I have not gone on like some of my family

I remain as certain as salt in a liquid

that is not afraid of dissolving for anything else here

in this park between amidst love and joy

 

going to meet with a Friend in

Alameda/maybe I’ll pass too little to do

too much sun and rain are coming soon

free and in advance of the moon

 

 

I wanted to say that

your body is a river

 

 

for it flows into a sea we do not see

 

yet

we stand off

 

the imaginary, a prisoner

in our dream of death

 

so, endow us, love, for the sake of those

 

Sixty years into this gift Still wearing this body or is it wearing me

we will see our host: divinity

 

 

that have been pressed down and shaken

by the meaningless

 

now

as waves in the sea, where water and light

 

compound the elements and nothing remains apart.

 

we watch the world floats by us

 

& behol

d

the flickering beauty in contradiction

 

if not for the screams our heart makes

then for the love of God

 

and its remembrance comes a beauty that tears

 

and fingertips

 

tears at the

chambers of the

spirit

 

in this Universe

a prayer away

 

I am a nobody

that has risen through the ranks of ineptitude

to those

who have come before or after me

you have

my gratitude in this season of joy

I recognize the ken of right attitude

so, peace be upon us and may light shine upon all that you do.

 

 

 

a sad cosmos is about

to make good at last

 

Sixty years into this gift Still wearing this body or is it wearing me

we will see our host: divinity

 

 

— The Halo is Forever

–For Latif Harris (1940-2017)

 

perseverance in our practice. of  
attaining everlasting bliss we will
let death stop us  
         

 

 

Padma Sam bhava, we have obtained

 

 

 

 

continuation

not for it only marks

 

and the nothingness of all things for we have glimpsed

and gone through the process of aging through the body

and reached its end in futility yet have enjoyed the play

 

of substance dissolving in the clouds

like sunlight

now the mind is unfurled

unburdened by time embraced by eternity exquisite and absolute

our gratitude is expressed in the
succulent, intimate innocence of
     

unborn perfection.

Anubis walked with a limp–Jan Kerouac

 

We wanted her to be like a figure in a painting by Botticelli [or a China doll]

instead, we got Jackson Pollock [in all his glory]. Gerry gave me her address before I landed in L.A. I looked for her apartment in Hollywood.

rang the bell and as we talked

spread my writings across her living room floor

The Dodgers won their game in Chavez Ravine that day it was still sunny

when we went to a Moroccan restaurant on Sunset overlooking the hotel where John Belushi died

It felt dizzy and not at all glamorous

[She was] like St. Lucy forced into prostitution And I some unnamed Sicilian jackal

Peddling saline drachmas in a salt-encrusted temple Of timeless interference

when she died, my vision was restored.

Dear God, I am aching right now, and want you to heal me. I want to serve you to be one with You all the time and always. I want to lighten up, not take myself so seriously, to not take anything seriously. I want to have fun. To really enjoy myself. I

 

don’t want to work. I don’t want to play, or sleep either. I don’t want to die. Just rest in perfect love.

 

 

San Francisco

by Eugene Ruggles

I give you back your bridge. I have driven her too long without feeding the tides in her steel, her robes.

I give you back your hills and parks that rise together into islands of green cloth that line my one coat.

I give you back the full pockets of that one coat.

Where the wind is drinking

from the waters around your ankles I give you back this small room

I breathe from,

beneath the cathedral of your voice.

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