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How I Spent Walt’s Birthday

June 1, 2011

Yesterday (May 31) was the 192nd birthday of Walt Whitman, one of my favorite poets.  He never made it to this coast, but I walked around yesterday in the rain, along Pebble Beach Drive, ducking into a coffee shop now & then to read in, around & through his poems.  I know that this is what I am too, whether on Brooklyn Ferry or in this Western harbor, & just as he felt everything, so I feel everything, & so here we are clasping hands, Walt & me with the universe & dancing in our souls.

Like Walt, I itch for the swiftly passing, for casual encounters, for what I merely observe, going straight to Death by leaps & bounds, roaring, screaming, hollering greetings to God, with an abstract, slant erection in the depths of my soul.  Reading his poems sometimes I can’t tell if I’m reading them or living them, going through the lines like a teeming crowd brushing past me, girls smelling of sweat, cheap perfume, sex, or perhaps hanging upside down in a poetry workshop.

I put these emotions away in a drawer.  But then I want to dance the Fury, take off my tie, unbutton my collar.  Of course, a hundred thousand poets are dreaming they’re geniuses like me.  At least the 17 in this pathetic coastal town.  My poems look nothing like his, for which I should be grateful.  Each soul, each talent has its own gears, wheels, pistons.  After computers grass & sun have become boring.

From → Ponderings

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