BEYOND THE ADVANCED PSYCHIATRIC SOCIETY- A COLLECTIVE RESEARCH/ OLTRE LA SOCIETA' PSICHIATRICA AVANZATA- UNA RICERCA COLLETTIVA


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sabato 12 maggio 2012

'HE', by Lawrence Ferlinghetti [for Allen Ginsberg, 1959]




HE
(To Allen Ginsberg)

He is one of the prophets come back
He is one of the wiggy prophets come back
He had a beard in the Old Testament
       but shaved in off in Paterson
He has a microphone arround his neck
       at a poetry reading
       and he is more than one poet
       and he is an old man perpetually writing a poem
       about an old man
       whose every third thought is Death
       and who is writting a poem
       about an old man
       whose every third thought is Death
       and who is writing a poem
       Like the picture on a Quaker Oats box
       that shows a figure holding up a box
       upon which is a picture of a figure
       holding up a box
       and the figure smaller and smaller
       and further away each time
       a picture of shrinking reality itself
He is one of the prophets come back
       to see to hear to file a revised report
       on the present state
       of the shrinking world
He has buttonhooks in his eyes
       with which he fastens on
       to every shoestring rumor
       of the nature of reality
       And his eye fixes intself
       on every stray person or thing
       and waits form it to move
       like a car with a dead white mouse
       suspecting it of hiding
       some small clew to existence
       and he waits gently
       for it to reveal itself
       or herself or himself
       and he is gentle as the lamb of God
       made into mad cutlets
       And he picks up every suspicious object
       and he picks up evey persons or thing
       examining it and shaking it
       like a white mouse with a piece of string
       who thinks the thing is alive
       and shakes it to speak
       and shakes it alive
       and shakes it to speak
He is a cat who creeps at night
        and sleeps his buddhahood in the violet hour
        and listens for the sound of three hands about to clap
        and reads the script of his brainpan
        his hieroglyph of existence
He is a talking asshole on a stick
       he is a walkie-talkie on two legs
       and he holds his phone to his ear
       and he holds his phone to his mouth
       and hears death death
He has one head with one tongue hung
         in the back of his mouth
         and he speaks with an animal tongue
         and man has devised a language
         that no other animal understands
         and his tongue sees and his tongue speaks
         and his own ear hears what is said
         and clings to his head
         and hears death death
         and he has a tongue to say it
         that not other animal understands
He is a forked root walking
         with a knot-hole eye in the middle of his head
         and his eye turns outward and inward
         and sees and is mad
         and is mad and sees
And he is mad eye of the fourth person singular
        of which nobody speaks
        and he is the voice of the fourth person singular
        in which nobody speaks
        and which yet exists
        with a long head and a foolscap face
        and the long mad hair of death
        of which nobody speaks
And he speaks of himself and he speaks of the dead
        of his dead mother and his Aunt Rose
        with their long hair and their long nails
        that grow and grow
        and they come back in his speech without a manicure
And he has come back with his black hair
        and his black eye and his black shoes
        and the big black book of his report
And he is a big black bird with one foot raised
        to hear the sound of life reveal itself
        on the shell of his sensorium
        and he speaks to sing to get out his skin 
        and he pecks with his tongue on the shell of it 
        and he knocks with his eye on the shell 
        and sees light light and hears death death
        of which nobody speaks
For he is a head with a head's vision 
        and his is the lizard's look 
        And his unbuttoned visions is the door 
        in which he stands and waits and hears
        the hand that knocks and claps and claps and knocks 
        his Death Death
For he is his own ecstatic illumination
        and he is his own hallucination 
        and he is his own shrinker
        and his eye turns in the shrinking head of the world 
        and hears his organ speak Death Death 
        a deaf music
For he has come at the end of the world 
        and he his the flippy flesh made word 
        and he speaks the word he hears in his flesh
        and the word is Death
                                                  Death Death
                                                                           Death Death
                    Death Death
                                                 Death Death          
                                                                          Death
                                  Death Death
                                                          Death Death
             Death Death
                                            Death Death
                                                                         Death Death
Death Death
                          Death Death
                                                   Death Death
                                                                            Death Death
                         Death 



                                                 San Francisco, 1959



from 'Starting from San Francisco', Lawrence Ferlinghetti, New Directions 1961.
pp. 134-137 in 'THE NEW AMERICAN POETRY, 1945-1960' by Donald Allen, Grove Press, 1960.



http://books.google.it/books?id=MxSkbKqCUrkC&pg=PA134&lpg=PA134&dq=%22he+is+one+of+the+wiggy+prophets+come+back%22&source=bl&ots=Rq-gMlebWF&sig=mlorxVWjuZF8GQ4OJbM8NfnkoOY&hl=en&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22he%20is%20one%20of%20the%20wiggy%20prophets%20come%20back%22&f=false

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