Speaking of People
Speaking of people is difficult
Most of this talk is more vague than appears at first glance.
Nice- or peevish- what is it that you actually remember?
Maybe she was only trying to be an interesting guest.
Who is to say?
And speaking of people is difficult.
To me it is very drab and gray.
This one is so accomplished
And that one is so vain-
As a matter of fact
Who isn't vain?
You just didn't happen toa make a career of it
But I did.
(notebook: circa 1986)
What can be compared to this double life?
Or should I say triple? Kill romanticism
And live, he said, plunge a knife into every
Sentimental feeling. I say
Coin a new word and keep all the others,
including the jasmine and the horsewhip and the king
And he says, what is death anyway except your
personal problem- we're not interested in that
& I say But I like New Jersey
And he says we'll then live there,
And I say I'd rather rip my dictionary
and he says don't even bother
you'll never run out of too many words.
We'd had plenty to drink by this time,
that is, we were quite fired up. No,
I don't like your tricks,
That kind of negativity is zero,
pull your pants up, squirt,
and nobody says nothing can't change anything.
And it depends on how much and how long,
And did you know the Mayan culture is 10,800 years
old and Edgar Cayce knew it many years before
Scientific American (you can check that).
So, by this definition there was no way to argue back.
I lit his pipe again and said:
Melody is memory
and he answered memory is too permanent
and I said the first revolution is still not over
and he says I never saw you at the first one
and I said don't put me into a box
and he said I know more about containers than you can think
and he said your poor old tired self is your box
and I said at some scale anything can be included
and he said by now I know everybody in any way important
and I said I think you take words too literally
and he said yo think too much about a single word
and I said there has to be room for the many
and he said there has to be room fo the one
and I said you don't think there is any one
and he said yes I do