Blosom & 4 more by Johannes Beilharz













Mexico I

For B.

                                                        A white trumpet into the
                                                          Veil Morning
                                                             We two are
Water                                                       Very tired
   Dos, I guess
      The flat saw of morning severs our white bones

                                    Is this the country
                                      That you praised?
                                         How can I tell you
                                            This is the country
I cannot eat                             That I praise             I cannot drink
   I cannot sleep                                                         ¿Joaquín?
     This is my white-skin deer I brought her here            Black wax
                  Is this the country?                                              Bean turds
                     If it is...
                        She sticks her tongue out for thhhhh...
                           Esto es (she looks up)
                              La cárcel                      Dog kennels
The feature of the prosperous family               Friendly lousy dogs
   Is the cat, a rather small and
      Contained animal                     They spit
                                                         On my shoes
                                                             While el autobús
              Let's dunk some stamps              No quiere
                Into our coffee
                   Her first mango reminds her of Enrica Handel-Mazzetti
                       ("Ecstasy, you know")
   But it's
      Sweet and Sour At the same Time! And thus the fruit
         The pit                                             Oh glorious
                                                                       Of a dream
                                                                         A fazanetle
                                                                           From the
                                                                               Right in the
                                                                                 Center of our
A Red Flourish now                                                     Callous bed
  Into the low-flying
     New (I call it New)
        Morning                       Oh God
                                               Oh God
Yarn's fine                                  She merely stretches and yawns
   Plaster Señora
      Your gross missing fingers                          ¡Ya se van!
                                                                          ¡Ya se van!
                      Ça gratouille, ou
                        Ça chatouille?             Diotima
                                                             Of the new world
                                                               I write "Querido
Hölderlinturm                                           Federico..."
      Yes, he knew how to suffer
         And I who don't know but think I do
            (Every wearer of a red and transparent plastic umbrella in London does)

                               "I am now every morning
                                  On the heights of the Corinthian Isthmus, and,
                                     Like the bee among flowers, my soul often flies
                                        To and fro between the seas, which to the right
I am now every morning       And left cool the feet of my glowing mountains."
   Am I him
      At once totally hopeless                           A cold grey creeps
         And soothed                                            Brown sugar in blue plastic
                                                                            Dishes They like green
                                                                                Walls, don't they?

                   Let's dunk ­ ma biche (I do not say)
                      Mi ciervo (swallowing with self-gasp)

(1980, revised 1999)


Mexico II

These things are related

In my mind now: Billy Vaughn playing a glaring Las Golondrinas

Back then -

The rope swing above the Tovara pool,
a round hole at the end of a long, narrow
passage through mangrove

The black & white pictures I took from the boat
of such glaring brightness & black shadow

Tovara - a destination everybody should know about,
a glimpse of lush and simple paradise

Ramada shack, bright-colored refreshments,
wobbly tables

All a result of being accosted at the campground:
You like watch birds? Tomorrow morning 6 o'clock?

In my mind now: Billy Vaughn playing a glaring Las Golondrinas



The Bad Poet

For Ed Dorn and Jennifer Dunbar

The bad poet, above all, has no taste. He would, for example, write a line like this:
   "As my tale trailed towards the tower," and think it quite an invention, continuing with:
   "A black cat hit a fat rat."
   Then he'd sit there for hours, laughing at his two lines, amusing himself so much that soon he would decide to smoke some pot to enhance the feeling. Then he'd give up writing for the day.
   The bad poet is not very ambitious, either. If only one of his poems ever got published, he'd most likely stop writing altogether. But since they never get published, he has to follow the hard path.
   It is well understood, though, that the bad poet does not have any aspirations to become a good poet.
   If you asked Ed Dorn about the bad poet, he might give you a snotty answer, like:
   "There are enough good poets that are bad..."
   This might almost flatter the bad poet - if he ever heard it.
   Jennifer Dorn might be a little more warm-hearted, admitting that the whole world is full of bad good poets, and that therefore a truly bad poet is in fact a better poet.

(1982, revised 1999)


Sonny Bono Dead

My mind works differently

I'm sure there are enough stock market news,
changes in legislation,
labor statistics, local obituaries, but no:

I have to remember that Sonny Bono died,
thinking back to record covers I may have
seen him on, trying to recall rumors about
him and Cher breaking up

Wasn't he a producer of some kind?

Does my mind work so differently?

(Jan. 7, 1998, revised 1999)

All copyright © by Johannes Beilharz

Back to poetry index