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Kenneth Rexroth

Give me your mouth.Your grace is as beautiful as sleep.You move against me like a waveThat moves in sleep.Your body spreads across my brainLike a bird filled summer;Not like a body, not like a separate thing.But like a nimbus that hoversOver every other thing in all the world — Kenneth Rexroth, from “ When We… Continue reading Kenneth Rexroth

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Jack Spicer

And I think that it is certainly possible that the objective universe can be affected by the poet. I mean, you recall Orpheus made the trees and the stones dance and so forth, and this is something which is in almost all primitive cultures. I think it has some definite basis to it. I’m not… Continue reading Jack Spicer

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American Counterculture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · The Beat Generation · The San Francisco Renaissance

Jack Spicer

This ocean, humiliating in its disguisesTougher than anything.No one listens to poetry. The oceanDoes not mean to be listened to. A dropOr crash of water. It meansNothing.ItIs bread and butterPepper and salt. The deathThat young men hope for. AimlesslyIt pounds the shore. White and aimless signals. NoOne listens to poetry. — Jack Spicer, “This ocean,… Continue reading Jack Spicer

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Kenneth Rexroth

We have slept together inA lonely bed. Now my heartTurns towards you, awake at last,Penitent, lost in the lastLoneliness. Speak to me. TalkTo me. Break the black silence.Speak of a tree full of leaves,Of a flying bird, the newMoon in the sunset, a poem,A book, a person – all theCasual hfrankealing speechOf your resonant, quiet… Continue reading Kenneth Rexroth

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Kenneth Rexroth

[P]otterTreads treads treadsHer wheel shaping a potWith a template cut from your fleshLovers whimper in the duskWe are lost do you hearWe are all lostAs the hundred bells breakAnd the stars speak — Kenneth Rexroth, from “Among the Cypresses at the End of the Way of the Cross,” The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth, eds.… Continue reading Kenneth Rexroth

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Kenneth Rexroth

To think of you surcharged withLoneliness. To hear your voiceOver the recorder say,‘Loneliness.’ The word, the voice,So full of it, and I withYou away, so lost in it— — Kenneth Rexroth, opening lines to poem III “marthe lonely,” from “seven poems for marthe, my wife,” Poetry (vol. LXXXIX, no. 1, October 1956)

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

Kenneth Rexroth

There are sparkles of rain on the brightHair over your forehead;Your eyes are wet and your lipsWet and cold, your cheek rigid with cold.Why have you stayedAway so long, why have you onlyCome to me late at nightAfter walking for hours in wind and rain?Take off your dress and stockings;Sit in the deep chair before… Continue reading Kenneth Rexroth

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American Counterculture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · The Beat Generation · The San Francisco Renaissance

Kenneth Rexroth

Whether or not, it is no question now,Of time or place, or even how,It is not time for questions now,Nor yet the place.”The soft lights of your faceArrange themselves in memoriesOf smiles and frowns. — Kenneth Rexroth, from “The Thin Edge of Your Pride VII,” The Collected Shorter Poems of Kenneth Rexroth (New Directions Publishing… Continue reading Kenneth Rexroth

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American Counterculture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · The Beat Generation · The San Francisco Renaissance

Kenneth Rexroth

Your body spreads across my brainLike a bird filled summer;Not like a body, not like a separate thing,But like a nimbus that hoversOver every other thing in all the world. — Kenneth Rexroth, from “When We with Sappho,” The Complete Poems of Kenneth Rexroth, eds. Sam Hamill & Bradford Morrow (Copper Canyon Press, 2004)

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