Quotes By The Roominghouse Madrigals: Early Selected Poems, 1946 1966

“I want so much that is not here and do not know
where to go.”


“Beware
Those Who
Are ALWAYS
READING
BOOKS”


“Our disappointment sits between us.”


“and I laugh, I can still laugh, who can't laugh when the whole thing
is so ridiculous
that only the insane, the clowns, the half-wits, the cheaters, the whores, the horseplayers, the bankrobbers, the poets ... are interesting?”


“and love was lightning and remembrance”


“i am with the roots
of flowers
entwined, entombed
sending up my passionate blossoms
as a flight of rockets
and argument;
wine churls my throat,
above me
feet walk upon my brain, monkies fall from the sky
clutching photographs
of the planets,
but i seek only music
and the leisure
of my pain”


“There is no hurry. Time means nothing
to you.”


“That moment - to this ...
may be years in the way they measure,
but it's only one sentence back in my mind -
there are so many days
when living stops and pulls up and sits
and waits like a train on the rails.
I pass the hotel at 8
and at 5; there are cats in the alleys
and bottles and bums,
and I look up at the window and think,
I no longer know where you are,
and I walk on and wonder where
the living goes
when it stops.”


“Angels,
we have grown apart.”


“in the cupboard sits my bottle
like a dwarf waiting to scratch out my prayers.
I drink and cough like some idiot at a symphony,
sunlight and maddened birds are everywhere,
the phone rings gamboling its sound
against the odds of the crooked sea;
I drink deeply and evenly now,
I drink to paradise
and death
and the lie of love.”


“you are
yesterday's
bouquet so sadly
raided”


“Tell him to seek the stars and he will kill himself with climbing.”


“I will put on my shoes and shirt
and get out of here - it'll
be better for
all of us.”


“The dead do not need
aspirin or
sorrow,
I suppose.
but they might need
rain.
not shoes
but a place to
walk.
not cigarettes,
they tell us,
but a place to
burn.
or we're told:
space and a place to
fly
might be the
same.
the dead don't need
me.
nor do the
living.
but the dead might need
each
other.
in fact, the dead might need
everything we
need
and
we need so much
if we only knew
what it
was.
it is
probably
everything
and we will all
probably die
trying to get
it
or die
because we
don't get
it.
I hope
you will understand
when I am dead
I got
as much
as
possible.”


“Those who preach god, need god
Those who preach peace do not have peace
Those who preach love do not have love”


“Love is not a candle burning down. Life is. And love and life are not the same or else Love, having choice, nobody would ever die.”


“I'm only interested in poetry.”


“I'll use the knives for spreading
jam, and the gas to warm
my greying love.”


“the sea is made of blood”


“you are good but you are too emotional
the way to whip life is to quietly frame the agony,study it and put it to sleep in the abstract.


is there anything less abstract
than dying everyday and
on the last day?”


“I no longer know where you are, and I walk on and wonder where the living goes
when it stops.”


“you've got to know when to let a woman go if you want to keep her,and if you don't want to keep her you let her go anyhow so it's always a process of letting go, one way or the other.”


“The Genius Of The Crowd
there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art”


“Voglio così tanto che non è quì e che non so dove cercarlo.”


“Coming in from the factory or warehouse, tired enough, there seemed little use for the night except to eat, sleep and then return to the menial job. But there was the typewriter waiting for me in those many old rooms with torn shades and worn rugs, the tub and toilet down the hall, and the feeling in the air of all the losers who had proceeded me. Sometimes the typewriter was there when the job wasn't and the food wasn't and the rent wasn't. Sometimes the typer was in hock. Sometimes there was only the park bench. But at the best of times there was the small room and the machine and the bottle. The sound of the keys, on and on, and shouts: 'HEY! KNOCK THAT OFF, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! WE'RE WORKING PEOPLE HERE AND WE'VE GOT TO GET UP IN THE MORNING!' With broom sticks knocking on the floor, pounding coming from the ceiling, I would work in a last few lines...”


“Truth changes as men change, and when truth becomes stable men will become dead, and the insect and the fire and the flood will become truth.”


“è sempre un processo di lasciar perdere, in un modo o nell'altro.”


“and you turn over
to your left side
to get the sun
on your back
and out
of your eyes”