THE DRUNKEN BOAT

by Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine


as I was flowing down the spoon
I picked flowers from the bank
I wove them in my hair and sang
as birds tore the sky
and a leopard raised its paw

I stared so gravely at my socks
so brilliant green and silken
I heard strange bells
nay forks and knives
falling in some empty tank

I fled before the dirty clouds
who would have had my socks for meat
I was no boy of muddy wilderness
I had my new t.v. to eat

as I was glowing in the wood
like a u.f.o. so wan and blonde
no doity dish would betray
my bloody dinner so chewy sweet

I held the woodcock in my palm
and spoke the words that no one heard
because I understood the pain
of being just a stupid bird

o little bird so humorous
I'll take you downtown and have you booked
in stanza upon stanza
for murder in the first degree

I passed thru upright paper panels
portraying scenes of life sublime:
a little old lady with her miniature dog
talking to a policeman

no one laughed they broke their necks
to view the ghosts on the telephone
asking Mother what was for dinner
Mother laughed gruesomely

I held beauty on my knees
then they got cancer and I died
except for the tips of my fingers
where all my fingers lay
in waiting for the electric typewriter

hark o hark what yonder bush
floats by here--it's General McBoing Boing
twisting a bike around his eyes
a game called monopoly

oh what valve broke what link
of toilet bowl to kitchen sink
to make my brain to think such stink
across the red of her big tits

I wondered as I lay relaxed
beside the beast who gave me milk
and described the Virgin Mary
and others of their timely ilk

with whom we shared our daily bread
on our tight and friendly little spoon
though the Virgin never ate the yolks
the little bees were buzzing round

from the morgue inside my tongue
I removed a joking ballpoint pen
anticipating future wealth
I wrote my tongue an anonymous note

promising to pay for the pen
as soon as possible
then I threw away the pen
and laughed at its little joke

the clock in the tower
like the rug on the floor
possess no nobler art than I
who dost not weep at break of plate
but merely pushes it away
like Frank Sinatra

dew falls on land and sea
from my vessel I observe
it set aquiver little blades of grass
that I get down on my knees
and worship

the falling of October's trees
are heard from Jupiter to Mars
like the tearing of my shirt
buy Milky Way candy bars

purple yellow pink and red
each a droplet on my hand
except the thumb
flesh colored which began

attempting to squash and disperse
all the other colors
in the midst of his incoherent yells of rage
he coined the phrase "creases under my nail"

I fished with mercy from the deck
in hopes that God would bite
I must have done it for six straight weeks
before I found out he didn't know how to spell

I looked at books of ancient art
as you can probably tell
the pyramids of Michelangelo
and others of their timely ilk

with whom we shared our daily bread
of Johnny Walker Red

I watched the glorious fucks of the bluejays
rhapsody in blue
their balls covered with shit
not making any grownups laugh

but beautiful like the wet
and hairless head
of a little baby emerging from the flesh
that his shoulders made so big

dripping! soaking!
they circled in the lunar rump
waiting for the stork to come
with the little baby blue jay

tho to them it was not a bluejay
but an offspring
tho to them it was not a bluejay
but an anti-climax

[ca. 1971]         


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