Look where we worship.
We all live in the city.
The city forms- often physically, but inevitably
psychically- a circle. A Game. A ring of death
with sex at its center. Drive towards outskirts
of city suburbs. At the edge of discover zones of
sophisticated vice and boredom, child prosti-
tution. But in the grimy ring immediately surround-
ing the daylight business district exists the only
real crowd life of our mound, the only street
life, night life. Diseased specimens in dollar
hotels, low boarding houses, bars, pawn shops,
burlesques and brothels, in dying arcades which
never die, in streets and streets of all-night
When play dies it becomes the Game.
When sex dies it becomes Climax.
All games contain the idea of death.
Baths, bars, the indoor pool. Our injured leader
prone on the sweating tile. Chlorine on his breath
and in his long hair. Lithe, although crippled,
body of a middle-weight contender. Near him
the trusted journalist, confidant. He liked men
near him with a large sense of life. But most
of the press were vultures descending on the
scene for curious America aplomb. Cameras
inside the coffin interviewing worms.
It takes large murder to turn rocks in the shade
and expose strange worms beneath. The lives of
our discontented madmen are revealed.
Camera, as all-seeing god, satisfies our longing
for omniscience. To spy on others from this
height and angle: pedestrians pass in and out of
our lens like rare aquatic insects.
Yoga powers. To make oneself invisible or small.
To become gigantic and reach to the farthest things.
To change the course of nature. To place oneself
anywhere in space or time. To summon the dead.
To exalt senses and perceive inaccessible images,
of events on other worlds, in one's deepest inner
mind, or in the minds of others.
The sniper's rifle is an extension of his eye. He
kills with injurious vision.
The assassin(?), in flight, gravitated with
unconscious, instinctual insect ease, moth-
like, toward a zone of safety, haven from the
swarming streets. Quickly, he was devoured
in the warm, dark, silent maw of the physical
Modern circles of Hell: Oswald(?) kills President.
Oswald enters taxi. Oswald stops at rooming house.
Oswald leaves taxi. Oswald kills Officer Tippitt.
Oswald sheds jacket. Oswald is captured.
He escaped into a movie house.
In the womb we are blind cave fish.
Everything is vague and dizzy. The skin swells and
there is no more distinction between parts of the
body. An encroaching sound of threatening,
mocking, monotonous voices. This is fear and
attraction of being swallowed.
Inside the dream, button sleep around your body
like a glove. Free now of space and time. Free
to dissolve in the streaming summer.
Sleep is an under-ocean dipped into each night
At morning, awake dripping, gasping, eyes
The eye looks vulgar
Inside its ugly shell.
Come out in the open
In all of your Brilliance.
Nothing. The air outside
burns my eyes.
I'll pull them out
and get rid of the burning.
Crisp hot whiteness
Occupants of plague zone
(Santa Ana's are winds off deserts.)
Rip up grating and splash in gutters.
The search for water, moisture,
"wetness" of the actor, lover.
"Players"-the child, the actor, and the gambler.
The idea of chance is absent from the world of the
child and primitive. The gambler also feels in
service of an alien power. Chance is a survival
of religion in the modern city, as is theater,
more often cinema, the religion of possession.
What sacrifice, at what price can the city be born?
There are no longer "dancers", the possessed.
The cleavage of men into actor and spectators
is the central fact of our time. We are obsessed
with heroes who live for us and whom we punish.
If all the radios and televisions were deprived
of their sources of power, all books and paintings
burned tomorrow, all shows and cinemas closed,
all the arts of vicarious existence...
We are content with the "given" in sensation's
quest. We have been metamorphosised from a mad
body dancing on hillsides to a pair of eyes
staring in the dark.
Not one of the prisoners regained sexual balance.
Depressions, impotency, sleeplessness...erotic
dispersion in languages, reading, games, music,
The prisoners built their own theater which
testified to an incredible surfeit of leisure.
A young sailor, forced into female roles, soon
became the "town" darling, for by this time they
called themselves a town, and elected a mayor,
In old Russia, the Czar, each year, granted-
out of the shrewdness of his own soul or one of
his advisors'- a week's freedom for one convict
in each of his prisons. The choice was left to the
prisoners themselves and it was determined in
several ways. Sometimes by vote, sometimes by lot,
often by force. It was apparent that the chosen
must be a man of magic, virility, experience,
perhaps narrative skill, a man of possibility, in
short, a hero. Impossible situation at the
moment of freedom, impossible selection,
defining our world in its percussions.
A room moves over a landscape, uprooting the mind,
astonishing vision. A gray film melts off the
eyes, and runs down the cheeks. Farewell.
Modern life is a journey by car. The Passengers
change terribly in their reeking seats, or roam
from car to car, subject to unceasing transformation.
Inevitable progress is made toward the beginning
(there is no difference in terminals), as we
slice through cities, whose ripped backsides present
a moving picture of windows, signs, streets,
buildings. Sometimes other vessels, closed
worlds, vacuums, travel along beside to move
ahead or fall utterly behind.
Destroy roofs, walls, see in all the rooms at once.
From the air we trapped gods, with the gods'
omniscient gaze, but without their power to be
inside minds and cities as they fly above.
June 30th. On the sun roof. He woke up suddenly.
At that instant a jet from the air base crawled
in silence overhead. On the beach, children try
to leap into its swift shadow.
The bird or insect that stumbles into a room
and cannot find the window. Because they know
Wasps, poised in the window,
detached, are not inclined
into our chamber.
Room of withering mesh
read love's vocabulary
in the green lamp
of tumescent flesh.
When men conceived buildings,
and closed themselves in chambers,
first trees and caves.
(Windows work two ways,
mirrors one way.)
You never walk through mirrors
or swim through windows.
Cure blindness with a whore's spittle.
In Rome, prostitutes were exhibited on roofs
above the public highways for the dubious
hygiene of loose tides of men whose potential
lust endangered the fragile order of power.
It is even reported that patrician ladies, masked
and naked, sometimes offered themselves up to
these deprived eyes for private excitements of
More or less, we're all afflicted with the psychology
of the voyeur. Not in a strictly clinical or
criminal sense, but in our whole physical and
stance before the world. Whenever we seek to break
this spell of passivity, our actions are cruel and
awkward and generally obscene, like an invalid who
has forgotten how to walk.
The voyeur, the peeper, the Peeping Tom, is a dark
comedian. He is repulsive in his dark anonymity,
in his secret invasion. He is pitifully alone.
But, strangely, he is able through this same silence
and concealment to make unknowing partner of
within his eye's range. This is his threat and
There are no glass houses. The shades are drawn
and "real" life begins. Some activities are impossible
in the open. And these secret events are the voyeur's
game. He seeks them out with his myriad army of
eyes- like the child's notion of a Diety who sees
all. "Everything?" asks the child. "Yes, every-
thing", they answer, and the child is left to cope
with this divine intrusion.
The voyeur is masturbator, the mirror his badge,
the window his prey.
Urge to come to terms with the "Outside", by
absorbing, interiorizing it. I won't come out,
you must come in to me. Into my womb-garden
where I peer out. Where I can construct a universe
within the skull, to rival the real.
She said, "Your eyes are always black". The pupil
opens to seize the object of vision.
Imagery is born of loss. Loss of the"friendly
expanses". The breast is removed and the face
imposes its cold, curious, forceful, and inscrutable
You may enjoy life from afar. You may look at
things but not taste them. You may caress
the mother only with the eyes.
You cannot touch these phantoms.
French Deck. Solitary stroker of cards. He
dealt himself a hand. Turn stills of the past in
unending permutations, shuffle and begin. Sort
the images again. And sort them again. This
game reveals germs of truth, and death.
The world becomes an apparently infinite, yet
possibly finite, card game. Image combinations,
permutations, comprise the world game.
A mild possession, devoid of risk, at bottom
sterile. With an image there is no attendant
Muybridge derived his animal subjects from the
Philadelphia Zoological Garden, male performers
from the University. The women were professional
artists' models, also actrsses and dancers,
parading nude before the 48 cameras.
Films are collections of dead pictures which are
given artificial insemination.
Film spectators are quiet vampires.
Cinema is most totalitarian of the arts. All
energy and sensation is sucked up into the skull,
a cerebral erection, skull bloated with blood.
Caligula wished a single neck for all his subjects
that he could behead a kingdom with one blow.
Cinema is this transforming agent. The body
exists for the sake of the eyes; it becomes a
dry stalk to support these two soft insatiable
Film confers a kind of spurious eternity.
Each film depends upon all the others and drives
you on to others. Cinema was a novelty, a scientific
toy, until a sufficient body of works had been
amassed, enough to create an intermittent other
world, a powerful, infinite mythology to be dipped
into at will.
Films have an illusion of timelessness fostered
by their regular, indomitable appearance.
The appeal of cinema lies in the fear of death.
The modern East creates the greatest body of films.
Cinema is a new form of an ancient tradition- the
shadow play. Even their theater is an imitation
of it. Born in India or China, the shadow show
was aligned with religious ritual, linked with
celebrations which centered around cremation of the
It is wrong to assume, as some have done, that
cinema belongs to women. Cinema is created by
men for the consolation of men.
The shadow plays originally were restricted to
male audiences. Men could view these dream shows
from either side of the screen. When women later
began to be admitted, they were allowed to attend
only to the shadows.
Male genitals are small faces
forming trinities of thieves
Fathers, sons, and ghosts.
A nose hangs over a wall
and two half eyes, sad eyes,
mute and handless, multiply
an endless round of victories.
These dry and secret triumphs, fought
in stalls and stamped in prisons,
glorify our walls
and scorch our vision.
A horror of empty spaces
propagates this seal on private places.
may not appear
but the odor of her flesh
is never very far.
A drunken crowd knocked over the apparatus,
and Mayhew's showman, exhibiting at Islington
Green, burned up, with his mate, inside.
In 1832, Gropius was astounding Paris with his
Pleorama. The audience was transformed into
the crew aboard a ship engaged in battle. Fire,
screaming, sailors, drowning.
Robert Baker, an Edinburgh artist, while in jail
for debt, was struck by the effect of light shining
through the bars of his cell through a letter he
was reading, and out of this perception he in-
vented the first Panorama, a concave, transparent
picture view of the city.
The invention was soon replace by the Diorama,
which added the illusion of movement by shifting
the room. Also sounds and novel lighting effects.
Daguerre's London Diorama still stands in Regent's
Park, a rare survival, since these shows depended
always on effects of artificial light, produced
by lamps or gas jets, and nearly always ended
Phantasmagoria, magic lantern shows, spectacles
without substance. They achieved complete
sensory experiences through noise, incense,
lightning, water. There may be a time when
we'll attend Weather Theaters to recall the
sensation of rain.
Cinema has evolved in two paths.
One is spectacle. Like the phantasmagoria, its
goal is the creation of a total substitute
The other is peep show, which claims for its
realm both the erotic and the untampered obser-
vance of real life, and imitates the keyhole or
voyeur's window without need of color, noise
Cinema discovers its fondest affinities, not
with painting, literature, or theater, but with
the popular diversions- comics, chess, French,
and Tarot decks, magazines, and tattooing.
Cinema derives not from painting, literature,
sculpture, theater, but from ancient popular
wizardry. It is the contemporary manifestation
of an evolving history of shadows, a delight in
pictures that move, a belief in magic. Its
lineage is entwined from the earliest beginning
with Priests and sorcery, a summoning of phantoms.
With, at first, only slight aid of the mirror and
fire, men called up dark and secret visits from
regions in the buried mind. In these seances,
shades are spirits which ward off evil.
The spectator is a dying animal.
Invoke, palliate, drive away the Dead. Nightly.
Through ventriloquism, gestures, play with objects,
and rare variations of the body in space,
the shaman signaled his "trip" to an audience
which share the journey.
In the seance, the shaman led. A sensuous panic,
deliberately evoked through drugs, chants, dancing,
hurls the shaman into trance. Changed voice,
convulsive movement. He acts like a madman. These
professional hysterics, chosen precisely for their
psychotic leaning, were once esteemed. They
mediated between man and spirit-world. Their mental
travels formed the crux of the religious life of
Principle of seance: to cure illness. A mood
might overtake a people burdened by hisorical
events or dying in a bad landscape. They seek
deliverance from doom, death, dread. Seek possess-
ion, the visit of gods and powers, a rewinning
of the life source from demon possessors. The
cure is culled from ecstasy. Cure illness or
prevent its visit, revive the sick, and regain
It is wrong to assume that art needs the spectator
in order to be. The film runs on without any eyes.
The spectator cannot exist without it. It insures
The happening / the event in which ether is introduced
into a roomful of people through air vents makes
the chemical an actor. Its agent, or injector,
is an artist-showman who creates a performance
to witness himself. The people consider themselves
audience, while they perform for each other,
and the gas acts out poems of its own through
the medium of the human body. This approaches
the psychology of the orgy while remaining in
the realm of the Game and its infinite permu-
The aim of the happening is to cure boredom,
wash the eyes, make childlike reconnections
with the stream of life. Its lowest, widest
aim is for purgation of perception. The happening
attempts to engage all the senses, the total
organism, and achieve total response in the face of
traditional arts which focus on narrower inlets
Multimedias are invariably sad comedies. They
work as a kind of colorful group therapy, a
woeful mating of actors and viewers, a mutual
semimasturbation. The performers seem to need
their audience and the spectators- the spectators
would find these same mild titillations in a freak
show or Fun Fair and fancier, more complete
amusements in a Mexican cathouse.
Novices, we watch the moves of silkworms who excite
their bodies in moist leaves and weave wet nests
of hair and skin.
This is a model of our liquid resting world
dissolving bone and melting marrow
opening pores as wide as windows.
The "stranger" was sensed as greatest menace
in ancient communities.
Metamorphose. An object is cut off fom its name,
habits, associations. Detached, it becomes only
the thing, in and of itself. When this disintegration
into pure existence is at last achieved, the object
is free to become endlessly anything.
The subject says "I see first lots of things
which dance...then everything becomes gradually
Objects as they exist in time the clean eye and
camera give us. Not falsified by "seeing".
When there are as yet no objects.
Early film makers, who- like the alchemists-
delighted in a willful obscurity about their craft,
in order to withhold their skills from profane
Separate, purify, reunite. The formula of
Ars Magna, and its heir, the cinema.
The camera is androgynous machine, a kind of
In his retort the alchemist repeats the work of
Few would defend a small view of Alchemy as "Mother
of Chemistry", and confuse its true goal with those
external metal arts. Alchemy is an erotic science,
involved in buried aspects of reality, aimed
at purifying and transforming all being and matter.
Not to suggest that material operations are ever
abandoned. The adept holds to both the mystical
and physical work.
The alchemists detect in the sexual activity of
man a correspondence with the world's creation,
with the growth of plants, and with mineral
formations. When they see the union of rain
and earth, they see it in an erotic sense, as
copulation. And this extends to all natural
realms of matter. For they can picture love
affairs of chemicals and stars, a romance
of stones, or the fertility of fire.
Stange, fertile correspondences the alchemists
sensed in unlikely orders of being. Between
men and planets, plants and gestures, words and
weather. These disturbing connections: an in-
fant's cry and the stroke of silk; the whorl
of an ear and an appearance of dogs in the yard;
a woman's head lowered in sleep and the morning
dance of cannibals; these are conjunctions which
transcend the sterile signal of any "willed"
montage. These juxtapositions of objects, sounds,
actions, colors, weapons, wounds, and odors shine
in an unheard-of way, impossible ways.
Film is nothing when not an illumination of
this chain of being which makes a needle poised
in flesh call up explosions in a foreign capitol.
Cinema returns us to anima, religion of matter,
which gives each thing its special divinity and
sees gods in all things and beings.
Cinema, heir of alchemy, last of an erotic science.
Surround Emperor of Body.
Bali Bali dancers
Will not break my temple.
suck eyes into the head.
The rosy body cross
secret in flow
controls its flow.
in body weights dance
and music, mimesis, body.
sweet dangerous thrust flow.
The Lords. Events take place beyond our knowledge
or control. Our lives are lived for us. We can
only try to enslave others. But gradually, special
perceptions are being developed. The idea of the
"Lords" is beginning to form in some minds. We
should enlist them into bands of perceivers to
tour the labyrinth during their mysterious noc-
turnal appearances. The Lords have secret entrances,
and they know disguises. But they give themselves
away in minor ways. Too much glint of light in
the eye. A wrong gesture. Too long and curious a
The Lords appease us with images. They give us
books, concerts, galleries, shows, cinemas. Es-
pecially the cinemas. Through art they confuse
us and blind us to our enslavement. Art adorns
our prison walls, keeps us silent and diverted
Dull lions prone on a watery beach.
The universe kneels at the swamp
to curiously eye its own raw
postures of decay
in the mirror of human consciousness.
Absent and peopled mirror, absorbent,
passive to whatever visits
and retains its interest.
Door of passage to the other side,
the soul frees itself in stride.
Turn mirrors to the wall
in the house of the new dead.
Copyright © 1969-1970 by James Douglas Morrison
The New Creatures
He moves in disturbed
You parade thru the soft summer
We watch your eager rifle decay
Your teeming emptiness
Pale forest on verge of light
More of your miracles
More of your magic arms
Bitter grazing in sick pastures
Animal sadness & the daybed
Iron curtains pried open.
The elaborate sun implies
dust, knives, voices.
Call out of the Wilderness
Call out of fever, receiving
the wet dreams of an Aztec King.
The banks are high and overgrown
rich w/warm green danger.
Unlock the canals.
Punish our sister's sweet playmate distress.
Do you want us that way w/the rest?
Do you adore us?
When you return will you
still want to play w/us?
Strange gods arrive in fast enemy poses.
Their shirts are soft marrying
cloth and hair together.
All along their arms ornaments
conceal veins bluer than blood
Soft lizard eyes connect.
Their soft drained insect cries erect
new fear, where fears reign.
The rustling of sex against their skin.
The wind withdraws all sound.
Stamp your witness on the punished ground.
Wounds, stags, & arrows
Hooded flashing legs plunge
near the tranquil women.
Startling obedience fom the pool people.
Astonishing caves to plunder.
Loose, nerveless ballets of looting.
Boys are running.
Girls are screaming, falling.
The air is thick w/smoke.
Dead crackling wires dance pools
of sea blood.
w/your insect eyes
w/your wild surprise.
Warm daughter of silence.
Turn your back w/a slither of moaning wisdom.
The unblinking blind eyes
behind walls new histories rise
and wake growling & whining
the weird dawn of dreams.
Dogs lie sleeping.
The wolf howls.
A creature lives out the war.
A rustle of cut words, choking
The snake, the lizard, the insect eye
the huntsman's green obedience.
Quick, in raw time, serving
stealth & slumber,
grinding warm forests into restless lumber.
Now for the valley.
Now for the syrup hair.
Stabbing the eyes, widening skies
behind the skull bone.
Swift end of hunting.
Hug round the swollen torn breast
& red-stained throat.
The hounds gloat.
Take her home.
Carry our sister's body, back
to the boat.
A pair of Wings
High winds of Karma
Laughter & young voices
in the mts.
the Negro, Africa
eyes like time
Build temporary habitations, games
& chambers, play there, hide.
First man stood, shifting stance
while germs of sight
unfurl'd Flags in his skull
and quickening, hair, nails, skin
turned slowly, whirl'd, in
the warm aquarium, warm
Cave fish, eels, & gray salamanders
turn in their night career of sleep.
The idea of vision escapes
the animal worm whose earth
is an ocean, whose eye is its body.
The theory is that birth is prompted
by the child's desire to leave the womb.
But in the photograph an unborn horse's
neck strains inward w/legs scooped out.
From this everything follows:
Swallow milk at the breast
until there's no milk.
Squeeze wealth at the rim
until tile pools claim it.
He swallows seed, his pride
until w/pale mouth legs
she sucks the root, dreading
world to devour child.
Doesn't the ground swallow me
when I die, or the sea
if I die at sea?
The City: Hive, Web, or severed
insect mound. All citizens heirs
of the same royal parent.
The caged beast, the holy center,
a garden in the midst of the city.
"See Naples & die".
Jump ship. Rats, sailors
So many wild pigeons.
Animals ripe w/new diseases.
"There is only one disease
and I am its catalyst",
cried doomed pride of the carrier.
Fighting, dancing, gambling,
bars, cinemas thrive
in the avid summer.
Naked girl, seen from behind,
on a natural road
explore the labyrinth
young woman left on the desert
A city gone mad w/fever
Sisters of the unicorn, dance
Sisters & brothers of Pyramid
Tales of the Old Days
Discovery of the Sacred Pool
Mute-handed stillness baby cry
The wild dog
The sacred beast
He goes to see the girl
of the ghetto.
Dark savage streets.
A hut, lighted by candle.
She is magician
Dressed in the past
She reads the future
in your hand.
The walls are garish red
High discordant screaming
She has the tokens.
Tempted to leap in circle.
A file of young people
going thru a small woods.
They are filming something
in the street, in front of
Walking to the riot
Spreads to the houses
suddenly alive now
I don't dig what they did
to that girl
Wild song they sing
As they chop her hands
Nailed to a ghost
I saw a lynching
Met the strange men
of the southern swamp
Cypress was their talk
Fish-call & bird-song
Roots & signs
out of all knowing
They chanced to be there
Guides, to the white
An armed camp.
burning itself in
Jackal, we sniff after the survivors of caravans.
We reap bloody crops on war fields.
No meat of any corpse deprives our lean bellies.
Hunger drives us on scented winds.
peer into our eyes & translate
the horrible barking of ancient dogs.
Camel caravans bear
witness guns to Caesar.
Hordes crawl & seep inside
the walls. The streets
flow stone. Life goes
on absorbing war. Violence
kills the temple of no sex.
Terrible shouts start
-if they had migrated sooner
-a high wailing keening
piercing animal lament
from a woman
high atop a Mt. tower
-Thin wire fence
in the mind
dividing the heart
Leave!No come here
A creature is nursing
soft arms around
the head & neck
a mouth to connect
leave this child alone
This one is mine
I'm taking her home
Back to the rain
The assassin's bullet
Marries the King
Dissembling miles of air
To kiss the crown.
The Prince rambles in blood.
Ode to the neck
That was groomed
For rape's gown.
The highways of the old town
Ghosts in cars
the dead seal
the dog crucifix
ghosts of the dead car sun.
Stop the car.
To the Chinese caves
Home of the winds
The gods of mourning
The city sleeps
& the unhappy children
roam w/ animal gangs.
They seem to speak
to their friends
who teach them trails.
Who can catch them?
Who can make them come
The tent girl
stole to the well
& met her lover there
They talked a while
& then he left
She put an orange pillow
on her breast
In the morning
Chief w/drew his troops
& planned a map
The horsemen rose on up
The women fixed the ropes
The tents are folded now
We march toward the sea.
Catalog of horrors
Descriptions of Natural disaster
Lists of miracles in the divine corridor
Catalog of objects in the room
List of things in the sacred river
The soft parade has now begun
Cars come thundering down
Now is the time & the place.
The cars come rumbling.
"You got a cool machine".
These engine beasts
muttering their soft
talk. A delight
to hear their quiet voices
after 2 years.
Now the soft parade
has soon begun.
from a tired land
in the peace of evening.
The sun, an orange skull,
whispers quietly, becomes an
island, & is gone.
There they are
will be dark.
The light changed.
We were aware
knee-deep in the fluttering air
as the ships move on
trains in their wake.
again in the camps.
Tell the girl to go home
We need a witness
to the killing.
The artists of Hell
set up easels in parks
the terrible landscape,
where citizens find anxious pleasure
preyed upon by savage bands of youths
I can't believe this is happening
I can't believe all these people
are sniffing each other
& backing away
hair raised, growling, here in
the slaughtered wind
I am ghost killer.
witnessing to all
my blessed sanction
This is it
no more fun
the death of all joy
Do you dare
you will fry
like the rest
And not for a
will I spare
in the frightening world
You are alone
& have no need of other
you & the child mother
who bore you
who weaned you
who made you man
straight from ambush
Kill the child who made
Kill the thought-provoking
senator of lust
who brought you to this state.
Kill photo mother murder tree
Kill the little blind elf.
The beautiful monster
vomits a stream of watches
clocks jewels knives silver
coins & copper blood
The well of time & trouble
whiskey bottles perfume
razor blades beads
liquid insects hammers
& thin nails the feet of
birds eagle feathers & claws
machine parts chrome
teeth hair shards of
pottery & skulls the ruins
of our time the debris by
a lake the gleaming
beer cans & rust & sable
Dance naked on broken
bones feet bleed & stain
glass cuts cover your mind
& the dry end of vacuum
boat while the people
drop lines in still pools
& pull ancient trout
from the deep home. Scales
crusted & gleaming green
A knife was stolen. A
valuable hunting knife
By some strange boys
from the other camp across
Are these our friends
racing & shuddering
thru the calm vales of parliament
My son will not die in the war
He will return
numbed peasant voice of Orient
Last time you said
this was the only way
voice of tender young girl
Running & speaking
consult the oracle
they exist on rainwater
maker of brandy
The poison isles
Take this thin granule
of evil snakeroot
from the southern
way out miracle
will find thee
The chopper blazed over
inward click & sure
blasted matter, made
the time bombs free
of leprous lands
spotted w/ hunger
& clinging to law
show us your ragged head
& silted smiling eyes
calm in fire
a silky flowered shirt
edging the eyes, alive
come, calm one
into the life-try
latent, leathery, loose
lawless, large & languid
She was a kindom-cry
legion of lewd marching
Where are your manners
out there on the sunlit
boundless glaxies of dust
cactus spines, beads
bleach stones, bottles
& rust cars, stored for shaping
The new man, time-soldier
picked his way narrowly
thru the crowded ruins
of once grave city, gone
comic now w/ rats
& insects of refuge
He lives in cars
goes fruitless thru
the frozen schools
& finds no space
in shades of
the monitors are silenced
the great graveled guard-towers
sicken on the westward beach
so tired of watching
if only one horse were left
to ride thru the waste
a dog at his side
to sniff meat-maids
chained on the public poles
there is no more argument
in beds, at night
blackness is burned
Stare into the parlors of town
where a woman dances
in her European gown
to the great waltzes
this could be fun
to rule a wasteland
& many more
This we know
that all are free
in the school-made
text of the unforgiven
incredible hardships are suffered
by those barely able
but all will pass
lie down in green grass
& smile, & muse, & gaze
upon her smooth
to the mating-Queen
who it seems
is in love
now, isn't that fragrant
Sir, isn't that knowing
w/a wayward careless
Copyright © 1969-1970 by James Douglas Morrison
here is one entitled:
The velvet fur of religion
The polish of knife handle & coin
The universe of organic gears
or microscope mechanical
embryo metal doll
The night is a steel machine
grinding its slow stained wheels
The brain is filled w/ clocks, & drills
& water down drains
Knife-handle, thick blood
like the coin & cloth
they rub & the skin they love
the graveyard, the tombstone,
the gloomstone & runestone
The sand & the moon, mating
deep in the Western night
waiting for the escape
of one of our gang
The hangman's noose is a
silver sluice bait
your meat is hanging
on the wing of the raven
man's bird, poet's soul
the thin rustle of weeds
the voice comes from faraway
inside, awaiting its birth
in a cool room, on tendril bone
The insane free chummy cackle
of infants in a ballroom, of a
family of friends around
a table, laden w/ feast-food
soft guilty female laughter
the bar-room, the men's room
people assemble to establish
armies & find their foe
Clustered in watchful terror
by vine-growth, the hollow bush
dry cancerous wells
We awoke before dawn, slipped
into the canyon
Noon schoolyard screamed
w/ play, the lunch hour ending
ropes & balls slapped hard at
cement sand, the female land
was bright, all swelling to degree
most comfortless & guarding
A record noise shot out
& stunned the earth. The music
had been bolted w/ new sound.
Run, run the end of repose
an anthem has churned
the bad guys are winning.
Silver shaken in the gloom
I left her
Trees waste & sway forever
Marble porch & sylvan frieze
Down on her knees
She begs the spider-king to wed her
Slides into bed
He turns her over
There is a leather pouch
that's full of silver
It spills like water
And took the coins I gave her
As to the drowning man
invokes, on the edge,
Sangre de Christo
Violence in a time of plenty
There is one deaf witness
on the bank, the shore
leaning in finery against
a ruined wall
as Jesus did. Red livid lips,
pale flesh withdrawn from
ragged dress, pit of the past
& screens unveiled in the
scarred chalk wall
When, often, one is not deluged
by rain, 3 drops suffice
The war is over there
I am neither doctor nor saint
Christ or soldier
Now, friends, don't look at me
sadly ranting like some
I know by my breath of what
I speak, & what I've seen
A message has started its path
to the heart of the brain
A thin signal is on its way
An arrow of hope, predicting rain
A death-rod bearing pain
I will not come again
I will not come again
into the swirl
The bitter wine-soaked
stallion eats the seed,
all labor is a lie;
no vice is kindled in
these loins to melt
or vie w/ any strong
Leave sundry stones alive.
Now that you have gone
the desert to explore
& left me here alone
the calmness of the town
where a girl in black
gets in a car
& searches numbly
for her keys;
Now that you have gone
or strayed away-
I sit, & listen to the hiss
of traffic & invoke
into this burned & gutted
room some ghost, some
vague resemblance of a time
Off-on, on and off,
like one long sick
This state is confused
state. Out there her life
like warm connectors,
plug into her soul
From every side & melt
her form for me.
But I deserve this,
Greatest cannibal of all.
Some tired future.
Let me sleep.
Get on w/ the disease.
These poems are called:
THE VILLAGE TAPES
- POEMS RECORDED DECEMBER 7, 1970 -
for all the world lies
hushed & fallen
green ships dangle
on the surface of
Ocean, & sky-birds
glide smugly among
Gaunt crippled houses
Strangle the cliffs
In the East, in the cities
a hum of life
begins, now come
Of the Great Insane
sending our gift
to its vast promise
Pilots are a problem
The rain & hungry sea
greedy for steel
Say a soft American Prayer
A quiet animal sigh
for the strong plane
We rode on opium tires
from the colossal
airport chess game
at dawn, new from glass
in the broken night
landed then in quiet
fog, beside the times
out of this strange river
Then gladly thru
a wasted morning
happy to be alive to
signs of life
a school girl
are we in Harlem?
accept this ancient
which has travelled
far to greet
From the East
w/ the sun
Call out to him
From the mountain
high, from high
as the mind
& wends its way
grant us one more day
the hero of this dream
who heals & guides us
Forgive me, Blacks
you who unite
as I fear & gently
fall on darkness
SCIENCE OF NIGHT
Earth Air Fire Water
Mother Father Sons & Daughters
Airplane in the starry night
Forest follow free
I love thee
watch how I love thee
The Politics of ecstasy are real
Can't you feel them working
Turning night into day
Mixing sun w/ the sea.
cruel swimming ambience
sweet swimming fish hook smile
I love you all the while
even w/ the little child
by the hand
Keep off the walk
listen to the children talk
Cobra sun / Fever smile
-No man kill me
"Who is this insane messenger?"
In times like these we need
men around us who can
see clearly & speak the truth.
Out of breath
CASSANDRA AT THE WELL
Help! Help! Save us!
We're dying, fella, do something.
Get us out of this!
What have we done now!
We've done it, fella, we've committed the
This is the end of us, fella.
I love you fella.
I love you fells.
I love you cause you're you.
But you've got to help us.
What have we done, fella,
What have we done now?
Where are my dreamers
Today & tonight
Where are my dancers
whirling & screaming
Where are my women
caught like angels
on the dark porch
of a velvet ranch
dance dance dance dance
dance dance dance
It was the greatest night of my life
Although I still had not found a wife
I had my friends right there beside me
Indians scattered on dawn's highway bleeding
Ghosts crown the young child's fragile eggshell mind
We scaled the wall
We tripped thru the graveyard
Ancient shapes were all around us
No music but the wet grass
felt fresh beside the fog
Two made love in a silent spot
one chased a rabbit into the dark
A girl got drunk & made the dead
And I gave empty sermons to my head
Cemetery cool & quiet
Hate to leave
your sacred lay
Dread the milky coming of the day
In this full-throated
we must try again
to speak of the ununited
miles of sleep around
Bumbling thru slumber
In a tiled room
We sit & brood
Refuse to move
The guards refuse
and in the last place
and in the last sweet breath
& in smoke of sine-wise crab
and in stars of plenty, stars of greed
in the written book & majesties
in fulfillment on a cliff
on the inside of butter
on smooth backs & camels
in the open vessel
in the vein
in lives untold
who witnessed everything
For those people who died
for the heavenly creed
for you, for me
These lines are written
to convey the message
To ignore the warning
To spree upward into
To visit under-seas
Things more horrible
Things out of the tales
All these monsters
Words forsaken, falling
by all Hell
loose walls, forgotten
tumbling down into
Night / Fast friends
fellows of the one true cross
earthly lovers crash
sweet sorrow blackness
on the spilled roadside
down, into fire
Argue w/ breath
while I cry
it must come
from the center
it must come
like the dawn
We create the dawn
I fell on the earth
& raped the snow
I got married to life
& breathed w/ my marrow
I saw young dancers
I am meat & need fuel
Need the whorey glimmer of tears
in women, all ages
Laughter sandwich, fuel
for the lunch of meat minds
Now damn you, dance
or die sleek & fat in your
reeking seats, still
buckled for flight
If the writer can write, &
the farmer can sow
Then all miracles concur,
appear, & start happening
If the children eat, if there
time of crying was Mid-
The earth needs them
soft dogs on the snow
Nestled in Spring
When sun makes wine
& blood dances dangerous
in the veins or vine
To have just come wondering
if the world is real is
sick to see the shape she's
made of. What wandering
lunacy have we soft created?
Certain no one meant it
sure someone started
Where is he?
Where is he or it when
we need her?
Where are you?
In a flower?
To have just been born
for beauty & see sadness
What is this frail sickness?
Round-up, Roundolay, Rhonda,
Red Rich roll ruse rune
rake roan ran regard
if you know what I mean.
This is concrete imagery Vermont
The mouth leads this way
I that way
No good faster the hand too slow
To exist in time we die construct
prisms in a void
The truth faster These hang-ups
hold-ups shooting the republic
The president's dream behind
four-score fast fever the clinic
the wisdom syphilis doctor nurse
Indians americans Atlantis
Save us guide us in time of need
prayer to the mind cell body
prayer to center of man prayer
to evening's last whisper as the
hand silently glides into peaceful
thorns stones storms
I await your coming
w/ negligence Speak to me!
don't leave me here alone Torture
clinic chamber The stale bars his mother
who will help a match a cigarette
I'm going. God? What is your name
There must be some way to define
stop happening space shades
postures poses snapshots The
World behind the word & all
utterance Can't now
coming for us soon leave all over
The Republic is a big cross in a
big cross the nation The world on fire
Taxi from Africa The Grand Hotel
He was drunk a big party last
night there. Pastures fields
skunks snake invisible night birds
night hawks summer disasters
out of doors listen to the lions
roar in the empty fields
These are forgotten
lands Speak confidently of
the forest the end the joke
is on me most certainly
There must be someone today who
knows they do but they can't
Tell you like feeding a child
Wine like sniffing cortex
blue babies lists real estate
cleaning offices word-vomit
mind soup crawling lice book bonds.
Feeling streams lead to losers
back going back in all directions
sleeping these insane hours
I'll never wake up in a good mood
again. I'm sick of these
stinking boots. Stories of animals
in the woods not stupid but
like indians peeping out there
little eyes in the night I know
the forest & the evil moon tide.
"we sure look funny don't we fella?"
Plu-perfect. Forgotten. Songs
are good streams for a laugh.
The mind bird was a good fella
Who minded labyrinths & lived
in a well He knew Jesus
Knew Newman Knew me &
Morganfield I hope you can
understand these last parables
were hope (less) sure if you can
regard them as anything beyond
matter Surely not more than
Twice-fold folk follow & loose-
tree Now here's the run rune
Rib-bait squalor the women of the
quarter yawned & meandered
swimming dust tide for food
scraps to child feed No noon
for misses The Church called bells
inhabitants of the well come to hell
come to the bell funeral jive
Negroes plenty, fluttering their
dark smiles. Mindless lepers -
con-men The movie is popular
This season in all the hotels
rich tourists from the continent
shore up & hold a story seance
nightly The birds tell & they
Know all Telephones crooks
& castanets The lines are wired
Listen hear those voices & all
This long distance from the other half
I love to hear ya ramble boy
missionary stallion One day
The devil arrived only no one tell
or you'll ruin the outcome. He
walked to the pulpit & saved
The city while certainly scoring
Someone's female daughter.
When his cloak was hoisted
The snake was seen & we all
slipped back to lethargy.
Buildings glided no interruptions.
Constructions everywhere. Our
own house was solid astrology
Tiny flutes won their starlings
sunrise. And in the estuary
side-traps stopped our dinner
He came home w/ bags of meat
& sacks of flour & the bread
rose & the family flourished.
Those who Race toward Death
Those who wait
Those who worry
The Endless quest a vigil
of watchtowers and fortresses
against the sea and time.
Have they won? Perhaps.
They still stand and in
their silent rooms still wander
the souls of the dead.
who keep their watch on the living.
Soon enough we shall join them.
Soon enough we shall walk
the walls of time. We shall
except each other.
Fence my sacred fire
I want. To be simple, black & clean
A dim nothingness
The sea is green
like the child's version of a
Why the desire for death.
A clean paper or pure
white wall. One false
line, a scratch, a mistake.
Unerasable. So obscure
by adding million other
tracings, blend it,
But the original scratch
remains, written in
gold blood, shining.
Desire for a Perfect Life