And what of this world?
What will it become when you leave it?
Nothing, nothing at all like its present appearance.
- Arthur Rimbaud, from-‘Youth’, trans. Paul Schmidt
|Joseph Cornell, Soap Bubble Set, 1936.|
In my exile here, I have a stage where I can play
The sweeping tragedies of all literatures.
I will show you unheard of riches. I watch the history
Of the treasures you have found. I can see what will follow!
But my wisdom is as much ignored as chaos.
What is my nonbeing, compared with the stupor which awaits you?
-Arthur Rimbaud, from - ‘Lives’, trans. Paul Schmidt
and to think, after I’m gone,
there will be more days for others, other days,
dogs walking, trees shaking in
I won’t be leaving much.
Something to read, maybe.
A wild onion in the gutted
Paris in the dark.
- Charles Bukowski, ‘A New War’
|Francis Bacon, three studies for a self portrait (1967)|
|Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Crucifixion|
What is the poet for, if not to scream
himself into a hernia of admiration for all
paradoxical integuments: the kiss, the
bomb, cathedrals and the zeppelin anchored
to the hill of dreams? Oh be not silent
on this distressing holiday whose week
has been a chute of sand down which no
factories or castles tumbled: only my
petulant two-fisted heart. You, dear poet,
who addressed yourself to flowers, Electra,
and photographs on less painful occasions,
must save me from the void's eternal noise.
- Frank O’Hara, from - ‘Ashes On Saturday Afternoon’
For what as easy
For what though small
For what is well
To you simply
From me I mean.
Who goes with who
The bedclothes say
And I and you
Go kissed away
The data gives
The senses even.
Fate is not late
Nor the ghost houseless
Nor the speech re-written
Nor the tongue listless
Nor the word forgotten
Said at the start
By heart, for heart.
- W. H. Auden, dated October 1931.
|Max Ernst, La Femme de 100 Tetes (collage)|