Jerome Rothenberg | Autobiography 1977 The First One Hundred



   1  Archipelago of the wandering dream

   2  A castle with two bodies

   3  The figure of Rosa Luxemburg among the animals in cages

   4  Midnight forest

   5  Trains circling below the icy waters

   6  A meeting in the bourse

   7  The men come into the small locker room & order drinks

   8  Picasso wears a hat with roses

   9  He has shoes aglow with little lights

10  Electricity runs along the floor & in between the tables

11  Picasso & Rosa Luxemburg converse

12  Her face is the face of our old friend Hannah Weiner

13  “Time is abolished” someone says “the world is o’er”

14  Letters dance into the infinite

15  She wears the infinite around her neck

16  He keeps another infinite inside one earring

17  They live in a world made up of infinites

18  How small a thought it takes to fill the world

19  When we gut up to dance the java it is 5 o’clock

20  Robert Filliou acts the role of Picasso & doesn’t like it

21  It makes us look too small

22  A crowd of diplomats crosses the first rhine bridge

23  There is a place called holy mountain where the ghost of Goebbels wanders

24  Picasso the tap dancer

25  Rosa Luxemburg the temptress on the hill she holds a faded banner

26  A group of soldiers pokes her from the rear

27  A castle opens up

28  The lady with the playing cards is only half familiar

29  I make a phone call to Lynn Lonidier I have to read her book

30  Twice Rosa Luxemburg shows us her breasts

31  Picasso & Paul Blackburn are throwing a ball back & forth

32  It hits Zukofsky who calls out in pain “they hit the poet”

33  A ladder hangs in space

34  I climb it & look down

35  The soldiers of the revolution block every street

36  A line of cars reaches the Seine

37  Tomorrow when you go shopping bring back some cheese

38  Exchange the news with the Jabèses

39  I want all my friends to live where I live especially the dead

40  A banquet in a factory

41  The statue of a woman standing with spread legs between her legs a fire

42  A table piled with roasted meats & spirits

43  I ravished you

44  They embraced at length

45  The armies of drunk artists spread out through the forests

46  Children with their throats cut open

47  In a room with photographs tacked to the walls

48  The mouths are packed with gravel

49  They run the women down for pleasure

50  When the earth shakes bulbs drop from the chandeliers

51  An artist trembles in his atelier

52  In the cold air fingers burn & stretch

53  A holy sacrament begins

54  He swallows air & spits out fire

55  The gardens drop their leaves the leaves crack under foot

56  The carnival comes rushing by

57  We watch it from a window in the bombed-out town

58  My fist is beating on a stranger’s vest

59  The forest comes alive with sounds of cuckoos

60  Clocks & death our password

61  In the night George Oppen still a soldier guards our house

62  Disney among the metaphysicals

63  Picasso in the Louvre hiding with his loot

64  We are all too human

65  She was not the first victim nor will she be the last

66  Napoleon standing on the altar of the world

67  The battle is engaged

68  The beasts in the fountain cry with pain

69  December is the cruelest month

70  There is an avant-garde that cannot be defeated

71  Robert Duncan rides his elevator up to heaven

72  It drops us back to earth

73  The airplane rushes blindly up the city streets

74  Find me a place to hide and I will love you dearly dearly

75  Here is a beer hall called the Holy Ghost

76  My socks in tatters

77  A geranium

78  The way to rub out wine stains is to pour on salt

79  A soldier with a line of watches on each arm

80  The rat inside the lion’s cage

81  Someone follows someone up the hill & stops

82  “Why shouldn’t we be a live?” he asks & no one answers

83  She has a stone to mark her grave her friend has none

84  Christ in a woman’s dress with hefty boobs

85  I might have known it

86  He pours a black blob on the sheet & blows on it until it dries

87  The circle of their friends draws closer

88  The retrieval of a body in the early dawn

89  It is an accident of weather

90  From too much the process leads into a dearth of themes

91  My country is an amphitheater

92  A peacock bed pharaoh the lord of Egypt

93  A nickel flattened by a trolley spreading lead across the street

94  They slide the body back onto the bed & leave

95  Down in the restaurant a sailor lying on a table sleeping

96  Steps with blue messages are everywhere

97  Blue tambourine blue nails blue poppy seeds blue powdered hair

98  Too tardy & too premature for god

99  Tell Rosa Luxemburg to wait for Monday

100  It is eight a.m. in Paris


From A Paradise of Poets
Jerome Rothenberg
New Directions 1999

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