Friday, January 14, 2011
Time for a Kenneth Patchen Poem
Sometimes, nothing else will do. I have enjoyed sharing Patchen's work with some of my Portland poet friends this week. He remains a profound influence. Now
More than ever,
I think the saying goes...
There Are Not Many Kingdoms Left
I write the lips of the moon upon her shoulders. In a
temple of silvery farawayness I guard her to rest.
For her bed I write a stillness over all the swans of the
world. With the morning breath of the snow leopard I
cover her against any hurt.
Using the pen of rivers and mountaintops I store her
pillow with singing.
Upon her hair I write the looking of the heavens at
-- Away from this kingdom, from this last undefiled
place, I would keep our governments, our civilization, and
all other spirit-forsaken and corrupt institutions.
O cold beautiful blossoms of the moon moving upon
her shoulders . . . the lips of the moon moving there . . .
where the touch of any other lips would be a profanation.