John Wieners

J
John Wieners
Time
Why is it eternity lasts a moment
a moment eternity?

Are you quiet enough to hear horned owls
at dawn?

I hear voices rustle in the leaves
after they are gone.

New mice burst into life. Small raccoons
bear tiny chains around their wrists.
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Children of the Working Class
to Somes

from incarceration, Taunton State Hospital, 1972

gaunt, ugly deformed

broken from the womb, and horribly shriven
at the labor of their forefathers, if you check back

scout around grey before actual time
their sordid brains don’t work right,
pinched men emaciated, piling up railroad ties and highway
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Cocaine
For I have seen love
and his face is choice Heart of Hearts,
a flesh of pure fire, fusing from the center
where all Motion is one.

And I have known
despair that the Face has ceased to stare
at me with the Rose of the world
but lies furled
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A Poem for Painters
Our age bereft of nobility
How can our faces show it?
I look for love.
My lips stand out
dry and cracked with want
of it.
Oh it is well.
My poem shall show the need for it.
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A Poem for Record Players
The scene changes

Five hours later and
I come into a room
where a clock ticks.
I find a pillow to
muffle the sounds I make.
I am engaged in taking away
from God his sound.
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A Poem for the Old Man
God love you
Dana my lover
lost in the horde
on this Friday night,
500 men are moving up
& down from the bath
room to the bar.
Remove this desire
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A poem for vipers
I sit in Lees. At 11:40 PM with
Jimmy the pusher. He teaches me
Ju Ju. Hot on the table before us
shrimp foo yong, rice and mushroom
chow yuke. Up the street under the wheels
of a strange car is his stash—The ritual.
We make it. And have made it.
For months now together after midnight.
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The Suicide
Yes I put her away.
But now life flares up
As safe as China in a cup
You hear the droppings
of her heart.

Leaves rustle on the windowpane.
Three o’clock turns round again.
The man in the moon grows full
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Supplication
O poetry, visit this house often,
imbue my life with success,
leave me not alone,
give me a wife and home.

Take this curse off
of early death and drugs,
make me a friend among peers,
lend me love, and timeliness.
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The Acts of Youth
And with great fear I inhabit the middle of the night
What wrecks of the mind await me, what drugs
to dull the senses, what little I have left,
what more can be taken away?

The fear of travelling, of the future without hope
or buoy. I must get away from this place and see
that there is no fear without me: that it is within
unless it be some sudden act or calamity
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