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by Greg Purcell

In the end you are weary of this ancient world
 -Guillaume Apollinaire

In the world you are ancient of this weary end
Hypocrisy in the place of the church etcetera

Hypocrisy at the source of the light
And troubles where the French people laugh-

Now there are bombs exploding over the little houses
where we keep the little pictures of the bombs

And I am waving my arms over the residence of God
And little words are peeping from my throat

And now that I have in a place where I have not
Where the parent-types have made their last incision

Just above the lower thigh
In the region of the human form which is kept on transparent acetate

I can see where the pictures are at
Where they keep the awful hearts

Where the several towers are standing with eyes
And a radioactive audience stares beyond a stage

And into the heart of a troubled player
Who is beating time on an old book

Where the newspapers stare back like a gristmill
And the blood itself will not spread out

Like ink across a pile of burning rags
Or like a telephone pole which has ceased to look inward

Because that inward grayness has a grace
Which is unlike a fist crushing a pear

Or unlike my punchy hand winding a missive
Made of plastic, lurching hard, this long

Novitiate century of the pupil it is not twenty
Years, where mothers are gathering plates

Around a beachhead soft pulse swoon a round
Valve, which a hand surrounds

And the sand is blowing into the city
It would be murder to halt

It would be murder to halt
Those hearts which burr and hump to recite

His favorite form which is a form--favoritism
A flesh colored pot or a flash-in-the-pan

I hate you last little grain of sand
Who sent quality to continue on the deserts

I heard you whispering I wish it would end
I wish that the bargain would just seal itself

Into a vault
Hidden by time

Where the assumption of man is a nail
Teeth are gnashing far beyond the city limits

Where the driest wood splits just in two
And the arm raises stamping out a cigarette

-I dare you club a rubber mallet the smoke
Rises, clearing the sky-

And the fires are a game we could have played
With buildings which are a form of fire

You would have liked it here Apollinaire
The fire is filling up with air-

We will meet with our wet slithered canes
And our two suits we've worn the backs out of

From the hummingbird comes little America
He is mostly in the way

Paris will take a mess hall in the night
And the Parisians will make a mess of it!

Their towers buck and sway in the wind
The hard-hats are tired of setting them straight

And to say the morning bridges or in the morning the bridges
Or in the whole system of moving bridges on mornings

Unassuming the afternoon
We wake up with our silk coats drawn against the cold

With our two top hats which are springing
Like the balls in a game of four-square

"You are getting hit by cadillacs on the oldest street"
A ribbon for your lock of hair

You will braid on the oldest street which is not in Paris
But which is still called the Champs-Elysées

And though I am only five years old
Driving in a five-year old car I made

I kind of like it here short

I can make accidents driving
Down a street I named driving

Right through the center of the avant-garde
Where you can say almost anything you want

And watch the turkey-necks waggle
it is so satisfying

To hear "harrumph" echo
through my tiniest rooms

Which look exactly like the antechamber I am constantly entering-
Women you walk today Paris is blood red

There will be no more on the goodness of them
There will be no more on anyone anywhere this thing

Sears into the faces of gaping crowds
And makes a little flower in the little wound there

Which droops anxiously like a sullen head
The world is everywhere making private gasses

And the televisions are on
Except today the man with two hooks

Standing in for what ought to be his spine
Who jerks and shakes on a line

Which is light, which is moon, which is bright-
Red, as his face is-

Who comes from the dullest parts of the swamp
where the deep bubbles are bursting into song

While the dragonflies shake shimmering
out of their skins

He who violently,

Smiles and takes pictures-
That person is me

And though he is funny
He is dead

Because the people of France are dead
"On the stage of most gracious pirating-

For they have lost a King
And thus fail to entertain-"

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