I was hoping to be happy by seventeen.
School was a sharp check mark in the roll book,
An obnoxious tuba playing at noon because our team
Was going to win at night. The teachers were
Too close to dying to understand. The hallways
Stank of poor grades and unwashed hair. Thus,
A friend and I sat watching the water on Saturday,
Neither of us talking much, just warming ourselves
By hurling large rocks at the dusty ground
And feeling awful because San Francisco was a postcard
Seeking to touch infinity.
Beyond all horizons,
In the heart of the city.
To feel the clouds pass by,
In chorus with the stars.
Like an angel in the sky,
Dancing on strings of a guitar.
The Porch was blazoned with geranium bloom;
Myrtle and jasmine meadows lit the lea;
With rose and violet the vale's perfume
Languished to where the hyacinthine sea
Dreamed tenderly . . . "And I must go," said he.
He spoke in that dim, ghostly voice of his:
"I was a singer; then the Was . . . and GAS."
(I had to lean to him, no word to miss.)
"We bought this little café nigh to Grasse;
When I die
I don't care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River
bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
But l want a big funeral
St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in
First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother
96, Aunt Honey from old Newark,
Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sister-
PLACE. -- A small alcove with dark curtains.
The class consists of one member.
SUBJECT. -- Thomson’s Mirror Galvanometer.
The lamp-light falls on blackened walls,
And streams through narrow perforations,
The long beam trails o’er pasteboard scales,
With slow-decaying oscillations.
Flow, current, flow, set the quick light-spot flying,
Sitting on the bench,
Holding a Guitar,
Singing my song,
With my spirit and soul.
Holding curved body,
Taking some pluck,
Hitting the notes,
In a special way.
O TAKE my hand, Walt Whitman!
Such gliding wonders! such sights and sounds!
Such join'd unended links, each hook'd to the next!
Each answering all--each sharing the earth with all.
What widens within you, Walt Whitman?
What waves and soils exuding?
What climes? what persons and lands are here?
Who are the infants? some playing, some slumbering?
Who are the girls? who are the married women?
Some carol of the banjo, to its measure keeping time;
Of viol or of lute some make a song.
My battered old accordion, you're worthy of a rhyme,
You've been my friend and comforter so long.
Round half the world I've trotted you, a dozen years or more;
You've given heaps of people lots of fun;
You've set a host of happy feet a-tapping on the floor . . .
Alas! your dancing days are nearly done.
I've played you from the palm-belt to the suburbs of the Pole;
Oh happy he who cannot see
With scientific eyes;
Who does not know how flowers grow,
And is not planet wise;
Content to find with simple mind
Joys as they are:
To whom a rose is just a rose,
A star--a star.
It is not good, I deem, to brood
My Pa and Ma their honeymoon
Passed in an Andulasian June,
And though produced in Drury Lane,
I must have been conceived in Spain.
Now having lapsed from fair estate,
A coster's is my sorry fate;
Yet on my barrow lo! I wheel
The golden harvest of Saville.
"Sweet Spanish oranges!" I cry.