Charles Olson

C
Charles Olson
As the Dead Prey Upon Us
As the dead prey upon us,
they are the dead in ourselves,
awake, my sleeping ones, I cry out to you,
disentangle the nets of being!

I pushed my car, it had been sitting so long unused.
I thought the tires looked as though they only needed air.
But suddenly the huge underbody was above me, and the rear tires
were masses of rubber and thread variously clinging together
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The Kingfishers
1

What does not change / is the will to change

He woke, fully clothed, in his bed. He
remembered only one thing, the birds, how
when he came in, he had gone around the rooms
and got them back in their cage, the green one first,
she with the bad leg, and then the blue,
the one they had hoped was a male
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The Librarian
The landscape (the landscape!) again: Gloucester,
the shore one of me is (duplicates), and from which
(from offshore, I, Maximus) am removed, observe.

In this night I moved on the territory with combinations
(new mixtures) of old and known personages: the leader,
my father, in an old guise, here selling books and manuscripts.

My thought was, as I looked in the window of his shop,
there should be materials here for Maximus, when, then,
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Variations Done for Gerald Van De Wiele
I. Le Bonheur

dogwood flakes
what is green

the petals
from the apple
blow on the road

mourning doves
mark the sway
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I, Maximus of Gloucester, to You
Off-shore, by islands hidden in the blood
jewels & miracles, I, Maximus
a metal hot from boiling water, tell you
what is a lance, who obeys the figures of
the present dance

1
the thing you’re after
may lie around the bend
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Maximus, to Gloucester: Letter 2
. . . . . tell you? ha! who
can tell another how
to manage the swimming?

he was right: people

don’t change. They only stand more
revealed. I,
likewise

1
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Maximus, to himself
I have had to learn the simplest things
last. Which made for difficulties.
Even at sea I was slow, to get the hand out, or to cross
a wet deck.
The sea was not, finally, my trade.
But even my trade, at it, I stood estranged
from that which was most familiar. Was delayed,
and not content with the man’s argument
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The Songs of Maximus: SONG 1

colored pictures
of all things to eat: dirty
postcards
And words, words, words
all over everything
No eyes or ears left
to do their own doings (all
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The Songs of Maximus: SONG 2
all
wrong
And I am asked—ask myself (I, too, covered
with the gurry of it) where
shall we go from here, what can we do
when even the public conveyances
sing?
how can we go anywhere,
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