Tuesday, 1 July 2008

I wish I could write like Jack Spicer

This was in Harper's this month (which I admit to a tendency to buy every time I have to travel to the U.S., and whilst I'm annoyed I'll be seen as one of those people who reads Harper's, it's still pretty much the best generally available magazine on the rack), and, for want of a more articulate description, it kicks all the ass in the world.

The city of Boston is filled with frogheaded flies and British policeman. The other day I saw the corpse of Emily Dickinson floating up the Charles River.

Sweet God, it is lonely to be dead. Sweet God, is there any god to worship? God stands in Boston like a public statue. Sweet God, is there any God to swear love by? Or love--it is lonely, is lonely, is lonely to be lonely in Boston.

Now Emily Dickinson is floating down the Charles River like an Indian princess. Now naked savages are climbing out of all the graveyards. Now the Holy Ghost drips birdshit on the nose of God. Now the whole thing stops. Sweet God, poetry hates Boston.
(written ~ 1956)


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