The Genius Of The Crowd
there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day
and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace
those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love
beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect
like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
their finest art
- Favourites: 3
To George Sand: A Recognition
TRUE genius, but true woman ! dost deny
The woman's nature with a manly scorn
And break away the gauds and armlets worn
By weaker women in captivity?
Ah, vain denial ! that revolted cry
Is sobbed in by a woman's voice forlorn, _
Thy woman's hair, my sister, all unshorn
Floats back dishevelled strength in agony
Disproving thy man's name: and while before
The world thou burnest in a poet-fire,
We see thy woman-heart beat evermore
Through the large flame. Beat purer, heart, and higher,
Till God unsex thee on the heavenly shore
Where unincarnate spirits purely aspire !
To The Genius Of Africa
O thou who from the mountain's height
Roll'st down thy clouds with all their weight
Of waters to old Niles majestic tide;
Or o'er the dark sepulchral plain
Recallest thy Palmyra's ancient pride,
Amid whose desolated domes
Secure the savage chacal roams,
Where from the fragments of the hallow'd fane
The Arabs rear their miserable homes!
Hear Genius hear thy children's cry!
Not always should'st thou love to brood
Stern o'er the desert solitude
Where seas of sand toss their hot surges high;
Nor Genius should the midnight song
Detain thee in some milder mood
The palmy plains among
Where Gambia to the torches light
Flows radiant thro' the awaken'd night.
Ah, linger not to hear the song!
Genius avenge thy children's wrong!
The Daemon COMMERCE on your shore
Pours all the horrors of his train,
And hark! where from the field of gore
Howls the hyena o'er the slain!
Lo! where the flaming village fires the skies!
Avenging Power awake--arise!
Arise thy children's wrong redress!
Ah heed the mother's wretchedness
When in the hot infectious air
O'er her sick babe she bows opprest--
Ah hear her when the Christians tear
The drooping infant from her breast!
Whelm'd in the waters he shall rest!
Hear thou the wretched mother's cries,
Avenging Power awake! arise!
By the rank infected air
That taints those dungeons of despair,
By those who there imprison'd die
Where the black herd promiscuous lie,
By the scourges blacken'd o'er
And stiff and hard with human gore,
By every groan of deep distress
By every curse of wretchedness,
By all the train of Crimes that flow
From the hopelessness of Woe,
By every drop of blood bespilt,
By Afric's wrongs and Europe's guilt,
Awake! arise! avenge!
And thou hast heard! and o'er their blood-fed plains
Swept thine avenging hurricanes;
And bade thy storms with whirlwind roar
Dash their proud navies on the shore;
And where their armies claim'd the fight
Wither'd the warrior's might;
And o'er the unholy host with baneful breath
There Genius thou hast breath'd the gales of Death.
So perish still the robbers of mankind!
What tho' from Justice bound and blind
Inhuman Power has snatch'd the sword!
What tho' thro' many an ignominious age
That Fiend with desolating rage
The tide of carnage pour'd!
Justice shall yet unclose her eyes,
Terrific yet in wrath arise,
And trample on the tyrant's breast,
And make Oppresion groan opprest.
To John Keats
Great master! Boyish, sympathetic man!
Whose orbed and ripened genius lightly hung
From life's slim, twisted tendril and there swung
In crimson-sphered completeness; guardian
Of crystal portals through whose openings fan
The spiced winds which blew when earth was young,
Scattering wreaths of stars, as Jove once flung
A golden shower from heights cerulean.
Crumbled before thy majesty we bow.
Forget thy empurpled state, thy panoply
Of greatness, and be merciful and near;
A youth who trudged the highroad we tread now
Singing the miles behind him; so may we
Faint throbbings of thy music overhear.
TO THE GENIUS OF HIS HOUSE
Command the roof, great Genius, and from thence
Into this house pour down thy influence,
That through each room a golden pipe may run
Of living water by thy benizon;
Fulfil the larders, and with strength'ning bread
Be ever-more these bins replenished.
Next, like a bishop consecrate my ground,
That lucky fairies here may dance their round;
And, after that, lay down some silver pence,
The master's charge and care to recompence.
Charm then the chambers; make the beds for ease,
More than for peevish pining sicknesses;
Fix the foundation fast, and let the roof
Grow old with time, but yet keep weather-proof.
The Republican Genius of Europe
Emporers and kings! in vain you strive
Your torments to conceal--
The age is come that shakes your thrones,
Tramples in dust despotic crowns,
And bids the sceptre fail.
In western worlds the flame began:
From thence to France it flew--
Through Europe, now, it takes its way,
Beams an insufferable day,
And lays all tyrants low.
Genius fo France! pursue the chace
Till Reason's laws restore
Man to be Man, in every clime;--
That Being, active, great, sublime
Debas'd in dust no more.
In dreadful pomp he takes his way
O'er ruin'd crowns, demolish'd thrones--
Pale tyrants shrink before his blaze--
Round him terrific lightenings play--
With eyes of fire, he looks then through,
Crushes the vile despotic crew,
And Pride in ruin lays.
The poet wishes well to the divine genius of Purcell
and praises him that, whereas other musicians have
given utterance to the moods of man's mind, he has,
beyond that, uttered in notes the very make and
species of man as created both in him and in all men
Have, fair fallen, O fair, fair have fallen, so dear
To me, so arch-especial a spirit as heaves in Henry Purcell,
An age is now since passed, since parted; with the reversal
Of the outward sentence low lays him, listed to a heresy, here.
Not mood in him nor meaning, proud fire or sacred fear,
Or love or pity or all that sweet notes not his might nursle:
It is the forgèd feature finds me; it is the rehearsal
Of own, of abrupt self there so thrusts on, so throngs the ear.
Let him Oh! with his air of angels then lift me, lay me! only I'll
Have an eye to the sakes of him, quaint moonmarks, to his pelted plumage under
Wings: so some great stormfowl, whenever he has walked his while
The thunder-purple seabeach plumèd purple-of-thunder,
If a wuthering of his palmy snow-pinions scatter a colossal smile
Off him, but meaning motion fans fresh our wits with wonder.
Governors On Sominex
It had been four days of no weather
as if nature had conceded its genius to the indoors.
They'd closed down the Bureau of Sad Endings
and my wife sat on the couch and read the paper out loud.
The evening edition carried the magic death of a child
backlit by a construction site sunrise on its front page.
I kept my back to her and fingered the items on the mantle.
Souvenirs only reminded you of buying them.
* * *
The moon hung solid over the boarded-up Hobby Shop.
P.K. was in the precinct house, using his one phone call
to dedicate a song to Tammy, for she was the light
by which he traveled into this and that
And out in the city, out in the wide readership,
his younger brother was kicking an ice bucket
in the woods behind the Marriott,
his younger brother who was missing that part of the brain
that allows you to make out with your pillow.
It was the light in things that made them last.
* * *
Tammy called her caseworker from a closed gas station
to relay ideas unaligned with the world we loved.
The tall grass bent in the wind like tachometer needles
and he told her to hang in there, slowly repeating
the number of the Job Info Line.
She hung up and glared at the Killbuck Sweet Shoppe.
The words that had been running through her head,
"employees must wash hands before returning to work,"
kept repeating and the sky looked dead.
* * *
Hedges formed the long limousine a Tampa sky could die behind.
A sailor stood on the wharf with a clipper ship
reflected on the skin of the bell pepper he held.
He'd had mouthwash at the inn and could still feel
the ice blue carbon pinwheels spinning in his mouth.
There were no new ways to understand the world,
only new days to set our understandings against.
Through the lanes came virgins in tennis shoes,
their hair shining like videotape,
singing us into a kind of sleep we hadn't tried yet.
Each page was a new chance to understand the last.
And somehow the sea was always there to make you feel stupid.
A hundred generations have gone into its making,
With all their love and tenderness, with all their dreams and tears;
Their vanished joy and pleasure, their pain and their heart-breaking,
Have colored this rare blossom of the long-unfruitful years.
Their victory and their laughter for this have strong men given,
For this have sweet, dead women paid in patience which survives
That a great soul might bring the world, as from the gate of heaven,
All that was rich and beautiful in those forgotten lives.
Dark HORROR, hear my call!
Stern Genius hear from thy retreat
On some old sepulchre's moss-cankered seat,
Beneath the Abbey's ivied wall
That trembles o'er its shade;
Where wrapt in midnight gloom, alone,
Thou lovest to lie and hear
The roar of waters near,
And listen to the deep dull groan
Of some perturbed sprite
Borne fitful on the heavy gales of night.
Or whether o'er some wide waste hill
Thou mark'st the traveller stray,
Bewilder'd on his lonely way,
When, loud and keen and chill,
The evening winds of winter blow
Drifting deep the dismal snow.
Or if thou followest now on Greenland's shore,
With all thy terrors, on the lonely way
Of some wrecked mariner, when to the roar
Of herded bears the floating ice-hills round
Pour their deep echoing sound,
And by the dim drear Boreal light
Givest half his dangers to the wretches sight.
Or if thy fury form,
When o'er the midnight deep
The dark-wing'd tempests sweep
Watches from some high cliff the encreasing storm,
Listening with strange delight
As the black billows to the thunder rave
When by the lightnings light
Thou seest the tall ship sink beneath the wave.
Dark HORROR! bear me where the field of fight
Scatters contagion on the tainted gale,
When to the Moon's faint beam,
On many a carcase shine the dews of night
And a dead silence stills the vale
Save when at times is heard the glutted Raven's scream.
Where some wreck'd army from the Conquerors might
Speed their disastrous flight,
With thee fierce Genius! let me trace their way,
And hear at times the deep heart-groan
Of some poor sufferer left to die alone,
His sore wounds smarting with the winds of night;
And we will pause, where, on the wild,
The Mother to her frozen breast,
On the heap'd snows reclining clasps her child
And with him sleeps, chill'd to eternal rest!
Black HORROR! speed we to the bed of Death,
Where he whose murderous power afar
Blasts with the myriad plagues of war,
Struggles with his last breath,
Then to his wildly-starting eyes
The phantoms of the murder'd rise,
Then on his frenzied ear
Their groans for vengeance and the Demon's yell
In one heart-maddening chorus swell.
Cold on his brow convulsing stands the dew,
And night eternal darkens on his view.
HORROR! I call thee yet once more!
Bear me to that accursed shore
Where round the stake the impaled Negro writhes.
Assume thy sacred terrors then! dispense
The blasting gales of Pestilence!
Arouse the race of Afric! holy Power,
Lead them to vengeance! and in that dread hour
When Ruin rages wide
I will behold and smile by MERCY'S side.
Genius, like gold and precious stones,
is chiefly prized because of its rarity.
Geniuses are people who dash of weird, wild,
incomprehensible poems with astonishing facility,
and get booming drunk and sleep in the gutter.
Genius elevates its possessor to ineffable spheres
far above the vulgar world and fills his soul
with regal contempt for the gross and sordid things of earth.
It is probably on account of this
that people who have genius
do not pay their board, as a general thing.
Geniuses are very singular.
If you see a young man who has frowsy hair
and distraught look, and affects eccentricity in dress,
you may set him down for a genius.
If he sings about the degeneracy of a world
which courts vulgar opulence
and neglects brains,
he is undoubtedly a genius.
If he is too proud to accept assistance,
and spurns it with a lordly air
at the very same time
that he knows he can't make a living to save his life,
he is most certainly a genius.
If he hangs on and sticks to poetry,
notwithstanding sawing wood comes handier to him,
he is a true genius.
If he throws away every opportunity in life
and crushes the affection and the patience of his friends
and then protests in sickly rhymes of his hard lot,
and finally persists,
in spite of the sound advice of persons who have got sense
but not any genius,
persists in going up some infamous back alley
dying in rags and dirt,
he is beyond all question a genius.
But above all things,
to deftly throw the incoherent ravings of insanity into verse
and then rush off and get booming drunk,
is the surest of all the different signs