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

Jack Spicer

Psychoanalysis: An Elegy What are you thinking about? I am thinking of an early summer. I am thinking of wet hills in the rain Pouring water. Shedding it Down empty acres of oak and manzanita Down to the old green brush tangled in the sun, Greasewood, sage, and spring mustard. Or the hot wind coming… Continue reading Jack Spicer

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

Jack Spicer

Whispers– Eurydice’s head is missing Whispers– Get out of hell– Whispers– You big poet We soldiers from hell’s country Here Safe as you are You write poetry For dead persons. — Jack Spicer, “Elegy,” The Heads of the Town up to the Aether. (Auerhahn Society; First edition 1962)

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American Counterculture · American Literature · Classic · Excerpt · Paraphrase · Passage · Poetics · Quote · The Beat Generation · The San Francisco Renaissance · Writing

Jack Spicer

Loneliness is necessary for pure poetry. When someone intrudes into the poet’s life (and any sudden personal contact, whether in the bed or in the heart, is an intrusion) the poet loses his or her balance for a moment, slips into being what he or she is, uses his or her poetry as one would… Continue reading Jack Spicer

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

Jack Spicer

Coming at an end, the lovers Are exhausted like two swimmers. Where Did it end? There is no telling. No love is Like an ocean with the dizzy procession of the waves’ boundaries From which two can emerge exhausted, nor long goodbye Like death. Coming at an end. Rather, I would say, like a length… Continue reading Jack Spicer

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

Jack Spicer

I’m thinking that she is very much like California. When she is still her dress is like a roadmap. Highways Traveling up and down her skin Long empty highways With the moon chasing jackrabbits across them On hot summer nights. I am thinking that her body could be California And I a rich Eastern tourist… Continue reading Jack Spicer

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

Jack Spicer

Hell somehow exists in the distance Between the remembered and the forgotten. Hell somehow exists in the distance Between what happened and what never happened — Jack Spicer, from “Imaginary Elegies,” My Vocabulary Did This to Me (Wesleyan University Press , 2008)

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

Jack Spicer

Like silent little children we embrace, Aching together. And love is emptiness of ear. As cure We put a face against our ear And listen to it as we would a shell, Soothed by its roar. We find the body difficult, and speak Across its wall like strangers. — Jack Spicer, from “We find the… Continue reading Jack Spicer

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