Poem Written on a Hollywood Back Street Sunday Morning

by Jack Micheline

The clothesline in the backyard waves in a light rain
Nine birds sing on the telephone wires
I love and I hate
So intertwined in my foggy brain
I have traveled too much
drank too much
dreamt too much
sang too much
loved not enough
I have not been trained to kill
Nor do I kneel to my contemporaries
Nobody owes my anything
Nor can I write love letters
Man will never be big enough
brave enough
humble enough
he is a frightened nerve at the end of a stick
he is forever hungry, lost, frightened soul
love me, he says, the poor bastard
I am Federico Garcia Lorca
Francois Villon
Charles Baudelaire
Vachel Lindsay
Marquis de Sade
I am a boxer in the 9th round
A horse in the stretch
A naked man howling at the sky
A poor poet dreaming of suicide
An anarchist making bombs
My bombs are poems that cut at eye sores
I have been imprisoned by a mad dream
The flowers say hello
So does the dog and sky
Even the rain that comes down on my head blesses my heart
I have been paid off by my gift of poetry
This heat of creation
Hey world I give you
a wild dance
Some poems written on scrap paper
Hey world I got light in my brain
Hey world I want to sell light
Sell light Man!
What are you crazy or something?
Who's gonna buy light?
you're no electrician
you got to write dirty stories about cunt and sex maniacs
about guys who jerk-off and carry shit in paper bags
you got to write about hang ups, losers, touts, nymphomaniacs
I look up at the sky, the birds have gone, flown away
An ambulance races down Vine Street
My pants are ripped
I got a sore ass
I'm gonna write Carl and tell him I love him
And Bob
And Charlie
And Harold
And Sam
Tell 'em all I love them
Fuck the suicide
It's too dramatic
I'm gonna learn to write love poems

February 23, 1969

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