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Gregory Corso: Online Poems

Last Night I Drove a Car 

Last night I drove a car
not knowing how to drive
not owning a car
I drove and knocked down
people I loved
...went 120 through one town.

I stopped at Hedgeville
and slept in the back seat
...excited about my new life.

Online Source


They deliver the edicts of God
without delay
And are exempt from apprehension
from detention
And with their God-given
Petasus, Caduceus, and Talaria
ferry like bolts of lightning
unhindered between the tribunals
of Space and Time

The Messenger-Spirit
in human flesh
is assigned a dependable,
self-reliant, versatile,
thoroughly poet existence
upon its sojourn in life

It does not knock
or ring the bell
or telephone
When the Messenger-Spirit
comes to your door
though locked
It'll enter like an electric midwife
and deliver the message

There is no tell
throughout the ages
that a Messenger-Spirit
ever stumbled into darkness

Online Source

The Mad Yak

I am watching them churn the last milk they'll ever get from me.
They are waiting for me to die;
They want to make buttons out of my bones.
Where are my sisters and brothers?
That tall monk there, loading my uncle, he has a new cap.
And that idiot student of his -- I never saw that muffler before.
Poor uncle, he lets them load him.
How sad he is, how tired!
I wonder what they'll do with his bones?
And that beautiful tail!
How many shoelaces will they make of that!

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Should I get married? Should I be Good? 
Astound the girl next door with my velvet suit and faustaus hood? 
Don't take her to movies but to cemeteries 
tell all about werewolf bathtubs and forked clarinets 
then desire her and kiss her and all the preliminaries 
and she going just so far and I understanding why 
not getting angry saying You must feel! It's beautiful to feel! 
Instead take her in my arms lean against an old crooked tombstone 
and woo her the entire night the constellations in the sky--

When she introduces me to her parents 
back straightened, hair finally combed, strangled by a tie, 
should I sit knees together on their 3rd degree sofa 
and not ask Where's the bathroom? 
How else to feel other than I am, 
often thinking Flash Gordon soap-- 
O how terrible it must be for a young man 
seated before a family and the family thinking 
We never saw him before! He wants our Mary Lou! 
After tea and homemade cookies they ask What do you do for a living? 
Should I tell them? Would they like me then? 
Say All right get married, we're losing a daughter 
but we're gaining a son-- 
And should I then ask Where's the bathroom?

O God, and the wedding! All her family and her friends 
and only a handful of mine all scroungy and bearded 
just waiting to get at the drinks and food-- 
And the priest! He looking at me if I masturbated 
asking me Do you take this woman for your lawful wedded wife? 
And I trembling what to say say Pie Glue! 
I kiss the bride all those corny men slapping me on the back 
She's all yours, boy! Ha-ha-ha! 
And in their eyes you could see some obscene honeymoon going on--

then all that absurd rice and clanky cans and shoes 
Niagara Falls! Hordes of us! Husbands! Wives! Flowers! Chocolates! 
All streaming into cozy hotels 
All going to do the same thing tonight 
The indifferent clerk he knowing what was going to happen 
The lobby zombies they knowing what 
The whistling elevator man he knowing 
The winking bellboy knowing 
Everybody knowing! I'd be almost inclined not to do anything! 
Stay up all night! Stare that hotel clerk in the eye! 
Screaming: I deny honeymoon! I deny honeymoon! 
running rampant into those almost climatic suites 
yelling Radio belly! Cat shovel! 
O I'd live in Niagara forever! in a dark cave beneath the Falls 
I'd sit there the Mad Honeymooner devising ways to break marriages, a scourge of
bigamy a saint of divorce--

But I should get married I should be good 
How nice it'd be to come home to her 
and sit by the fireplace and she in the kitchen 
aproned young and lovely wanting by baby 
and so happy about me she burns the roast beef 
and comes crying to me and I get up from my big papa chair 
saying Christmas teeth! Radiant brains! Apple deaf! 
God what a husband I'd make! Yes, I should get married! 
So much to do! like sneaking into Mr Jones' house late at night 
and cover his golf clubs with 1920 Norwegian books 
Like hanging a picture of Rimbaud on the lawnmower 
like pasting Tannu Tuva postage stamps all over the picket fence 
like when Mrs Kindhead comes to collect for the Community Chest 
grab her and tell her There are unfavorable omens in the sky! 
And when the mayor comes to get my vote tell him 
When are you going to stop people killing whales! 
And when the milkman comes leave him a note in the bottle 
Penguin dust, bring me penguin dust, I want penguin dust--

Yet if I should get married and it's Connecticut and snow 
and she gives birth to a child and I am sleepless, worn, 
up for nights, head bowed against a quiet window, the past behind me, 
finding myself in the most common of situations a trembling man 
knowledged with responsibility not twig-smear not Roman coin soup-- 
O what would that be like! 
Surely I'd give it for a nipple a rubber Tacitus 
For a rattle bag of broken Bach records 
Tack Della Francesca all over its crib 
Sew the Greek alphabet on its bib 
And build for its playpen a roofless Parthenon

No, I doubt I'd be that kind of father 
not rural not snow no quiet window 
but hot smelly New York City 
seven flights up, roaches and rats in the walls 
a fat Reichian wife screeching over potatoes Get a job! 
And five nose running brats in love with Batman 
And the neighbors all toothless and dry haired 
like those hag masses of the 18th century 
all wanting to come in and watch TV 
The landlord wants his rent 
Grocery store Blue Cross Gas & Electric Knights of Columbus 
Impossible to lie back and dream Telephone snow, ghost parking-- 
No! I should not get married and I should never get married! 
But--imagine if I were to marry a beautiful sophisticated woman 
tall and pale wearing an elegant black dress and long black gloves 
holding a cigarette holder in one hand and highball in the other 
and we lived high up a penthouse with a huge window 
from which we could see all of New York and even farther on clearer days 
No I can't imagine myself married to that pleasant prison dream--

O but what about love? I forget love 
not that I am incapable of love 
it's just that I see love as odd as wearing shoes-- 
I never wanted to marry a girl who was like my mother 
And Ingrid Bergman was always impossible 
And there maybe a girl now but she's already married 
And I don't like men and-- 
but there's got to be somebody! 
Because what if I'm 60 years old and not married, 
all alone in furnished room with pee stains on my underwear 
and everybody else is married! All in the universe married but me!

Ah, yet well I know that were a woman possible as I am possible 
then marriage would be possible-- 
Like SHE in her lonely alien gaud waiting her Egyptian lover 
so I wait--bereft of 2,000 years and the bath of life.

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