Tuesday, January 17, 2017

IMPROVISATION #34
THE PEOPLE'S CAR

Wolfgang
clear the plank for now
and don't go blank
you have a goal
remember,grandma
as she sang a hymn
told you and you still do
have a willing soul
with grace
in time of trouble
so don't be blinded
by the Devil
or double-minded
beyond a pig or sow
so danke shein
and a mighty thank you,
from a truther
like Martin Luther
now turn on the gas
on the gang plank
for the new year,
relax in the sun
listen to some jazz
like those riffs by
the big black man
with his jlong
who played that song
with the the long sax
on his feet

really turn us on
in the Berlin club
rub a dub dub
clean off the snow
and be a man on the go
the war is over
and you have
a lucky Weimar clover
under the stars
remember, be clear
this car is by
a German engineer
from the Ruhr
in a valley of iron and steel
you have the spare key
to turn on the car wheel
who once built a tank
all spick and span
for the Russian front
you can use it
as a van a sedan
or as a taxi
who cares
who sits in the front seat
the fancy man from Leipsig
was a war criminal
or from the Stasi
or the ex Nazi
you have the pot luck
so play your part
for us in the people's car
or use it for a taxi
or you may have time
in the truck
with your stick shift
you have learnt it
and earned it
like a poet
just lift your big pr...
for a little fu..
with her cu..
put it in that girl
from Stuttgart
in a quick whirl
with a spare tire
and new parts
in your time to fix a tire
after Hitler
with laughter
to make a joke
at the rafters
you remember
when Prussian spoke
others listened
at his end
why pretend
we always survive
a Russian winter
act alive
we have the facts
and artifacts
in the archive
to survive
another  day
so do smile
don't be dismayed
there's no more
is a war crime trial
life is worth more
than shouting out
an hour on a soccer team
or giving out red flower
on a banner on May Day
with a hammer and sickle
a dime or a nickel
with all going to Hell
you will sell under the stars
to a Muslim, Hindu
to Israel
or to the American Jew
this is 1953
everything before
is only a memory
of good and bad
so why be mad
at the few refugees
at Checkpoint Charlie
or at handsome Vlad
you don't mind the K.G.B.
or C.I.A.
you have anti-freeze
if you are cold
undersold or freeze
some day
you may have to pay
you are free to play
and fool around
no judge is found
only Hans Globke
part of the rule of law
don't be a fool
but be shown on T.V.
as you pray
on your way to school.









Monday, January 16, 2017

IMPROVISATION #32
JEAN FAUTRIER'S LEGACY
(1898-1964)

Your language years
are becoming clearer
as an illustrator
painter and sculptor
meeting Malraux,
living in 1939
on the eve of the war
in Bordeaux
arrested by the Gestapo
he found refuge
in Chatenay-Malabry
writing his "Hostages"
about victims
of fascism
worked on "Illuminations"
by Rimbaud
and on Dante's "Inferno."



IMPROVISATION #31
AT HALIBUT POINT
(for T.S. Eliot 1888-1965)

Here in Rockport
down by the spice corner
buying a chocolate candy
now I'm ice fishing
in the early dawn
the sun contributing
to the shade
playing my alto sax
by my orange kayak
trying to relax
lunging along the rocks
at Halibut Point
when watching clowning
children making
fifty cent lemonade
I'm back at the sea docks
with a net of butterflies
my back to the wind
thinking of the poet
T.S. Eliot who visits here
looking at the church clocks
wishing he has not sinned.
IMPROVISATION #30
( in memory of Kenneth Rexroth
1905-1982)

Who understands
a blank page
on canvas or cloth
when that moment
has not stylistically
arrived,
Kenneth Rexroth
running on riffs
of renewed energy
pushing out to jam
on the boundaries
to take out all the spam
in free stops
and span of notes
on sharps and flats
of a Renaissance man
in a shout to survive
at my soprano sax
amid the Beat cats
of expanding
San Francisco's art
in the shield of demands
from playing your part
in the vanguard
of a relaxed actor
and artistic director
connecting or conducting
the avant-garde scene
in devoting your attention
by shielding all your stress
and noting down tension
to your satisfaction
as if drawing out
a color field painting
in a coating of abstraction
waiting and guessing
until the process
will begin.

IMPROVISATION #29
DADA

Something filed way
as dada could be rare
like tokens in poetry
of Apollinaire
or feeling verboten
wanting bitters
or you were hurt
on a barrier
do not linger
turn around
before you have found
Kurt Schwitters,
so why question
complain or carp
dada had given you
the sculpture of a singer
in the pleasure
of Jean Arp,
with fine art's continuum
from a spectrum's span
in an outlined metamorphosis
from a measure
of color and design
in Juan Gris,
by passing his shadow
desiring peace
you know the Guernica
in the Kultur of Picasso.



Sunday, January 15, 2017

IMPROVISATION #28
(In Memory of Yannis Ritsos
1909- 1990)

In residence
of permanent exile
and resistance
of a memorable body
in the poetic vein
he is removed
not as a savant in vain
but in the regiment
of those who escaped
to the isles
from the fascist noose
as a servant who cut loose
barely escaping in a century
without many answers
of subterranean reason
in the penury laugh
of petulant glances
from the colonel's smile
of the general staff
as Yannis Ritsos
had barely written ''Liberty"
on their bloody epitaph
when at a spring landscape
he leaves his initials
by a Mediterranean rainbow
near a garden Evergreen tree
shaped by a geometric design
of an abstract clever Picasso.
IMPROVISATION #27

MANDELSTAM'S BIRTHDAY
(January 15)

Solitude is my strength
into a body of poetry
not forgetful in its length
for a poet sent
to the slag heaps
suffering the ragged wind
upon a heavily
covering snowy earth
we are remembering
how once Josef Stalin bluntly
ordered the Crimean Tartars
to slip out and go there
Mandelstam still keeps
in our memory
from a distant Russian Gulag
but  any Osip do not despair
in a mood of gentleness
for another generation,
we will not weep
for we have your old portfolio
carried from the 14th station
of your Messianic cross
for those who suffer
handling the Word
as nations are troubling us
by coldly double crossing
the nations
and to take away your rations
for the blackbirds
rising over the cloudy sky
yet are still basking
in funereal torment
is what we are learning
as we comment on
to bless you
celebrating what occurred
one hundred twenty five
years ago
with candles burning
like stars above a shroud
asking for
a dramatic language
in a shout out
from our memory
sending a didactic greeting
and message of love
on your birthday.