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Kenneth Fearing

Aphrodite Metropolis

Harry loves Myrtle--He has strong arms, from the warehouse,
And on Sunday when they take the bus to emerald meadows he doesn't say:
"What will your chastity amount to when your flesh withers in a little while?"
No,
On Sunday, when they picnic in emerald meadows they look at the Sunday paper:
GIRL SLAYS BANKER-BETRAYER
They spread it around on the grass
BATH-TUB STIRS JERSEY ROW
And then they sit down on it, nice.
Harry doesn't say "Ziggin's Ointment for withered flesh,
Cures thousands of men and women of motes, warts, red veins,
flabby throat, scalp and hair diseases,
Not expensive, and fully guaranteed."
No,
Harry says nothing at all,
He smiles,
And they kiss in the emerald meadows on the Sunday paper.

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Love 20¢ The First Quarter Mile

All right. I may have lied to you and about you, and made a few
pronouncements a bit too sweeping, perhaps, and possibly forgotten
to tag the bases here or there,
And damned your extravagence, and maligned your tastes, and libeled
your relatives, and slandered a few of your friends,
O.K.,
Nevertheless, come back.

Come home. I will agree to forget the statements that you issued so
copiously to the neighbors and the press,
And you will forget that figment of your imagination, the blonde from Detroit;
I will agree that your lady friend who lives above us is not crazy, bats,
nutty as they come, but on the contrary rather bright,
And you will concede that poor old Steinberg is neither a drunk, nor
a swindler, but simply a guy, on the eccentric side, trying to get along.
(Are you listening, you bitch, and have you got this straight?)

Because I forgive you, yes, for everything.
I forgive you for being beautiful and generous and wise,
I forgive you, to put it simply, for being alive, and pardon you, in short, for being you.

[...] Read more

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Evening Song

Sleep, McKade.
  Fold up the day. It was a bright scarf.
  Put it away.
  Take yourself to pieces like a house of cards.

It is time to be a grey mouse under a tall building.
  Go there. Go there now.
  Look at the huge nails. Run behind the pipes.
  Scamper in the walls.
  Crawl towards the beckoning girl, her breasts are warm.
  But here is a dead man. A murderer?
  Kill him with your pistol. Creep past him to the girl.

Sleep, McKade.
  Throw one arm across the bed. Wind your watch.
  You are a gentleman, and important.
  Yawn. Go to sleep.

The continent turning from the sun is quiet.
  Your ticker waits for tomorrow morning

[...] Read more

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