Thursday, March 1, 2007

SWEENEY’S BARRELS

I

Aye! Free Enterprise
AND SWEENEY’S BARRELS!

Pearl clouded bridge
Descended on Sweeney’s cooperage!

Tin roof a-shambles, (within a fire)
Piled beside it mounds of oaken casks.

Pole Star and North Star, a man and his craft;
A thing with two names, divided, destroyed.

Tourists unmindful of government pickpockets
With holes in their pockets and minds on vacation

Never saw the antique bridge
And underneath it Sweeney’s cooperage!

. . .

AND the great white potlatch is on or will be soon
Will soon be over, again approach
And swamp the boat with waves of presents

Used, abused, returned exchanged and forgotten.
And in their minds the cry of “cheapness!”
The morning after Christ was born.

. . .

One ear warmed is for spite, the other’s
For compliment, the Scots girl warned, emptying bedpans.
She, lifting patients made heavy at The Mansion
(flesh spilling over waistbands, complaining of high prices)
unDid the inner corset and
wore the brace withOUT complaint!

. . .

And the cold, the cold, the
Cold behind the snow-job smile,
‘round fat fingers rings the gold, the gold
blooms planted for the dead or neighbor nose
and So the gift and garden BOTH are starved with SHow!

. . .

And Underhill asked that man at the gate
(Charon, who looked at his watch)
if hell is always a private party
Or is there some other time when all who seek
Might gain admittance?

The dark-eyed houri there
Searched for the golden bough Twisted round the finger
And Heart enCaged by someone Else’s drEAm!

. . .

In Acapulco Towers
(800 a month, EXcluding utilities)
your life will be ONE summer’s holiday
And Æternal youth would be yours, they say
IF you’d be their guest in Villa Shangri-La!

Ah, bright Apollo, as Venus rose from the sea,
HE made LIGHT
HIS golden bough for entry!



II

Contempt is the same en français ou en anglais:
S’il n y a pas l’amour au coeur
Il n y a pas l’amour d’la langue.

Bud Powell’s crushed skull in his sixteenth spring
Came back to haunt him in his forty-third.
On crystal piano from out of the murk
A nightingale sang then fluttered away.

III

And that globe hanging over the ark, within a candle
A little light, a little flame, subsisting in the dark
is Judaic

“Who will copy this palimpsest?”

…Image graven on the ark
Not the form, the globe
Subsisting in the dark

that the proper image to be held. Created
apprehended, maintained is
MENTAL, within its proper FORM!

Who will copy this palimpsest?
ABRAHAM, DAMMIT,
who loved Powell, Pound and Sweeney too!

. . .

(today when Adonis leaves the bus depot
he throws his litter on the sidewalk
and glances at the crowd in contempt…

And that dirty dirty pig got nuthin’ for his troubles,
Got nuthin’ from that old lady’s purse when he knocked her down
and she canna pitch nor putt n’more wi’ a pin in ‘er hip!)

. . .

Ah, Blessed are the weak in spirit
for they inherit all the money:
Hate filled and love filled hearts
Means, the springs, the measure…

How dare ye insult Mulroney!
Hay’s no worse than the rest of ‘is countrymen

We’re all a bunch
a thumb suckin’
arse kissin’
EUNUCHS!

(this pimple’s not ripe. leave it on the vine)

IN spite of it, I can’t help likin’ those
Cheap, GRReedy, Tightwad friends of mine!

And the forst ones killed shd be the ones what say
Oh, everyone’s crippled one way or another
cause it’s not true-

Makin’ gods out of garbage
and lots of used Carrz


…that the fund of love’s underlyin’ the hate
Suppressed, put down, with no way out
Breedeth anger
and

“breedeth” because
it does not breathe anger:
Anger breathes love

And there’s only one thing better than findin’ a new friend
and that’s losin’ an old one
FEEL, DAMMIT, FEEL-it
separates one!

We who are alone
need You to be alone
so that together we can crush the bones
of our dead and clutching parents!


IV



& little limpoleum stept into the bar
where slept the ooze of blues
wi’ a taxi light fer ‘is trey cornered hat
& sparklers & lights of all kinds
& pumped, jacked himself up
on corrugated legs, metal, like chain link enlarged
to a grand height of six foot.

and if hey was to shout out what hay’s there fer
No one wd hair nor lusten
what wi’ ‘e blues & the rhuthym & the smoke
and the booze of ‘em snoozin’

and when he gets back to ‘is car
‘e takes of ‘m lights as uf ‘t were nuthin’,
lays ‘em on the seat beside ‘imself
& never smiles.

. . .

But she’s come down
from a whirlwind measure
that conquers space

She’s the standard
by which all good is measured

Skip to m’loo
Skip to m’ lee
Skip to m’loo, my darlin’

-Nay-toil not
at thy marriage bed!
toil neither nor slumber!

know thyselves and happy be-
there’s the work, and a life-time of it
to remember virtues every day for which this love’s a sweet reward:

It, this bliss, remindeth me
Of all in mind that ever was good

like the scantling light
in a long forgotten wood
that breaks cover: thrust,
thrush, and glide
and comes up growing.

(tips to the best post haste
never maketh waste)

and the early light of the thrush
makes bird wing bend
to stoop. to slumber
ever maketh lumber clean and well split
oozin’ still wi’ a sweet an’ saplin’ colour.

. . .

How far this is from Sweeney
and what they done to him!
AND that nurse!

DORTY BASSTURDS!

Love life expecting camera inversions-
Sock that has a sole for a shoe!

The lights on the Cambie Street bridge
in antique style, is Hollywood, a lie

To cover up that they asked the citizens
“Wadayawaa nanoo bridge or a OLD one?”

like that. and presented their figures.
and did NOT include Sweeney in those figures

Though the laws concerning
(reprehension
that evil form of circumcision
that goes by name
EXPROPRIATION demanded it!

NOR will they include YOU!

And where’s the room for love in that wasteland?
Work.

At home?
In bed?
To eat?

Which is to say that
whores are the ultimate extension of convention
To jail ‘em’s hypocity where money’s the measure
and Sweeney’s left out of accounting
and Pound sleeps in a hoarfrost tent
and Powell his asylum,
pounding his fingers on the soundless chart.



V



Like a horse standing for the first time
-a little quaky

or as Stonier said

a deer
standing on a hill
trembling with life.

And they took his job for that
for being warm and loving his students.

and put a beer drinkin’ chump in’is place
who worshiped motorcars

. . .

And Vandermay wdnt give Stonier a receipt,
went away angry: “Doan ya trust me?”

and his show? it was CANcelled.

. . .

And in the gall’y of the dyin’ ferrets
the dealer, owner, proprietor said
while talkin’ to high school students
“When I saw the BIG SPLASH
that the GERmans were makin’
in the Ahhrt mahrket/ with big sloppy pitchers
I went to the art skool
& w(h)ipped up some students
to make BIG PAINTINGS
and they come through like tr-
rrrrrrrrrooooooooooooooopers!

and the newspapers called her a HEro!

. . .

…and there was Vandermay, hand outstretched,
askin’ for a breath mint.
An’ I gave ‘im one & he said to me “I’ve
“got a bad taste in my mouth” and
I told him I wasn’t the least bit surprised…



And the Sun printed Newman was led by Molinari
though Newman found his Onement when Guido still a boy

and the Sun wouldn’t print a retraction
and the columnist switched to another department

But the column it hung on the gallery wall
where lurid colors and Bonny Fatso

with German Shepherds on guard for thee-Quick!-

Dig up the four hundred sharpshooters
who put the twenty-two bullets in Benevenuto Mussolini!

. . .

And on the CBC
A nonsense figure
named Doctor Bondoli

. . .

And Bruno Gerusi’s neither here nor there
But the smartest wop hat ever I knew
Was Ambrosini, no Turk, no Jew

Who wasted his time takin’ telephone calls
F’ra black topped yellow bellied taxi company.

And thus the blood rains, thus pours more than sunshine.



And Pollock was always a better reporter
than anyone stationed at the Christian Science Mmmonister,

and unlike them, those nobosons
Never made money by buggering corpses!



And Stonier came to me door one day
Wi’a pile of wood stacked up to ‘is ears
and more down below in ‘is wagon

And ev’ry mitre was cut glass smooth
an’ takin’ the glue wi’out nail nor screw
and was stronger that way both within and without

Than disjointed piles of abandoned WOOD
Collected by press-gang and bolted together
by tortuous twists of ALLEN wrenches.

. . .

And Stonier said, “Dan,
“ideas are like vegetables.”

and I said, “D’ya mean
“ya gotta cook ’em first?”

and he said: “Cook ‘em, hell!
You’ve gotta wash ‘em!”



Stonier who drew a map through hell
and stood at the vistas admirin’ the view

& Norris wished the teachers…

In spite of the dollar signs

…trembling



…an’ I was that deer
wi’ all me fathers passin’

And they would dare to make the claim?

What? In the nyooozpapers?
Printing lies and slime,
perversions on a two-bit screen?

Ha! I’d rather be fathered by a goat or a wolf
or BULL
and come out roamin’
the catacombs and eatin’ virgins.



VI



& When the stranger went up to the little boy
enthralled in his orange and asked him
“What are you eating?”
the boy replied “A Appo!”

And when his father attempted
to correct him by saying, “No,
“You’re eating an orange.”

The boy to his dad defiantly said:
I’m eating a appo AND a orange!”
and he was right

for the first fruits of the mynd are enthralled
with one another and know
an intimacy beyond anything
the grocer counts in his weekly receipts.



and that neighbour of mine has a happy face
but a miserable soul.



Aye, as this half-eaten pear
satisfies the senses
but not the heart.

. . .

Standing by the garbage can-the big blue one,
wondering where to get a match
for my burnt out cigarette
I sang Noel to my absent neighbors
and added as a codicil
“No grove of Eucalyptus”
and burst out crying

thinking

“What’s the point without Jerusalem?”

and turned to the wall to hide my tears,
Homeless as I am, as I’ve ever been, and
though pained
laughed at myself, thinking

Oh no, you’re no Jew
Standing there with your half eaten pear
wondering there
to get a match for your burnt-out cigarette
and cryin’ for Yerushalaim! and

after returning to my pear with relish
I walked to the store, thinking
I’d like to see my mother again, but can’t
for the first time conscious of the fact
after twenty-five years…



and Jerusalem is not
as Disney said (insipid mind
“Disney against the metaphysicals”
“A dot on the map, a place
om the middle of nowhere”

Being here it is everywhere within the heart.
And the Moslems call it Mecca
And the Christians call it Christ
And it is all the same place within the heart.

. . .

And the candy canes they give in stores
come broken
And when we were children we handled ‘em gently
so’s not to break ‘em
but now they give ‘em out that way
a crook without a cane

And he has come to you a broken man
All men are broken who take to wife
Your career’s established: you’re a doctor

because the horse is saddled before it runs free
because the brain is addled by twelve years of schooling
whose many subjects have only one object: acquiescence
followed by five days of mind-numbing work
followed by two days of mind-numbing fun
and never a moment to seek heaven

Never a moment in the garden
invaded by thump
of the fact’ry’s demand.
But where’s their factum within,
humming, glowing,
burning with ‘lectricity?



VII



Like a brilliant shower of roses
on the grand piano of thought
thou movest me
From plant to plant, pollen,
From image to image, thought.

Knowledge of other and knowledge of self
are absolutely
interdependent.

. . .

Thou little spark
Separate by glass
from larger compartments
of combustible experience

take thou this candle in the dark
and open thy mynde.

. . .

The heart’s model’s concentric
The brain’s synaptic
The world is thy inverted mynde.

Mon stylo petit
Ton chapeau est perdu
Maintenant tu est
bald,
standing on his head,
his thoughts pour out.

. . .

And the beautiful wife of a snob once said
to the brother of a former lover
“You look like… “ Oh-I forget-some
swashbuckling Ozzie or another

And he said to her “No, you look like her-
“You have her eyes”
(referrin’ to his perversions)

And he used the lull to tell of her beauty
In front of her husband and former lover
And further took use of the silence to ask her
Why had she married such a schlemiel

Which brought forth a protest that he cut short
By tellin’ the story how he, and he
Had turned up their noses at his hospitality.

Admitted it was only wieners and beans but
There was a time he said, pointin’at his brother
When he’d roll his eyes heavenward eatin’ the stuff

But now he likes what others praise
And he thinks what others think
And he, said he, pointin’ at her husband
‘s been spoiled from the cradle.

But before they can protest his head’s in her lap
His eyes turned upward sayin’
“Come live with me and be my love”

And he turned to her belly and blew
Like a parent will do to its offspring’s skin,
Naked, to make a rude sound, and she said
After he’d crossed ‘is eyes and beamed again: “Oh!

Can’t we take ‘im home,” laughin’
“We can find room for him somwhere!”

And her husband, not laughin’, said: “Oh, yes!
“I’m sure you’ll find room for him somewhere!”

But by now the man at her feet is waggin’ ‘is tail
Tongue stickin’ out, eyes bright
An’ scratchin’ ‘is ears for fleas til she can’t stop laughin’

An’ when she can laff n’more
He grabs at ‘er legs an’ ‘e plays at frottage,
Eyes fixed in space, an’ she doubles up,
Falls on the floor, holdin’ ‘er guts, laughin’.

. . .

And like Abraham destroying the idols to say God’s within,
Moses on the mountain,
Dashin’ the tablets as if to say
It’s not words but spirit.

. . .

And when the immigrant told me how the judge backed the cop
But wouldn’t show law when he challenged
I told him to call an M.P.
For which he thanked me, and shook my hand, unlike
The former Crown Prosec, who,
Responding to my allegation of extortion said:
Big deal!
Can ya PROOve it?

. . .

Snakes crawl between the words of our tablets
Lyin’ in bits in the garden
Obscured by moss and lichen.

. . .

And that carpenter sits with a beer in his hand
And a tear in his eye, defeated,
Sits there all day in the sun by his camper
Brings out his tools, the crown jewels
Brings out his tools and unfolds ‘em,
Useless since winning the lotto
And they turned away from their craft
And says:
How can I take another’s job?
I don’t need the money.
And it rings in my ear…




X



It’s as though a mansion were discovered
with rare jewels hid, the mynd is

and in the corner of an empty pocket
is a precious nothing:
something within which to build

Aye-“no wind is the kings”
nor work of art
“caught in gauze curtains”

Spirit of nature,
product of mind
except to possess it.

So saith Supreme Court of Ontarion
Michael Snow versus Eatons

But after he beat ’em
They still took that sculpture by Norris to Surrey
Using the place for a goddamned gazebo

and that after they knew the law,
had no respect for a man or his product

And the first product was grain
& the market was raised to distribute
not to produce its own

and the banks still sell shares
& take out the profits
to pay the investors

AND WHAT THE HELL’S A DEPOSIT
IF NOT AN INVESTMENT?

(Let’s see… how can I sell him
a share of… your money?)

Hey meester?
You wanna buy your seester?



…and they paid him enough (Norris, that is)
only just
to finish his sculpture
but not mirror-smooth as he’d wanted,
and not a penny in profit for him or his wife
not even crusts for his children.

And after all that they just moved it to Surrey
to erect a gazebo for tourist instruction
(Let the natives wear pants with bugger flaps)
after they’d lost their court case to Portia.

No one may own a work of art
but only possess it:
The law made clear viz-a-viz
intellectual property.

NOT to subvert, distort, pervert the work
owned by the artist alone….

God Dammit, doesn’t anyone else understand
that these are the works of the spirit?
That the corn grows from a single kernel
within which an ear listens for its call to spring
Which srings an ear containing a multitude of kernels?
God Dammit, doesn’t anyone understand INCREASE anymore?

Or as a girl I knew once said to me:
“Eat, eat, eat: Doesn’t anyone FUCK anymore?”

and she was my lonely oasis.
I’d only to gaze at her back and she’d come
to me-Aye-Free Enterprise-
There never was an enterprise so free
If it were eyes
and if it were black-
thousands of eyes in each pore
and the sense of it like madness but not-

…in the streets the cattle prod
day after day, the cattle prod… but not
Vision. A crystal. Oh, How can I say it?
“Do you see the Magnolia?”
“Lavender chasing the timeless moon?”
“A bed of petals from every pore?”
“Organs not only of sight but of infinite compassion?”

The pendulous breasts, swinging…
The pendulum of history…
Heaven and hell but means to measure,
Guard thee well my only treasure!


© Dan Goorevitch, 1986

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