American Counterculture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Poetry · The Beat Generation · The San Francisco Renaissance

Jack Spicer

Sharp as an arrow Orpheus
Points his music downward.
Hell is there
At the bottom of the seacliff.
Heal
Nothing by this music.
Eurydice
Is a frigate bird or a rock or some seaweed.
Hail nothing
The infernal
Is a slippering wetness out at the horizon.
Hell is this:
The lack of anything but the eternal to look at
The expansiveness of salt
The lack of any bed but one’s
Music to sleep in.

— Jack Spicer, “Orfeo.” The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan University Press, 2008)

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