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The Pornographic But Serious History

ISSUE:  Summer 1970

of myself, begging your pardon, as a young man,
quick to draw arms, quick
to take a fence for daggers toward my
heart, quick to shoot from the hip,
fast to let fly in all directions
as if to injure fatally the unsettled

just recognized in myself, which is why
in the end I take myself for example
though what the new critic says isn’t proof
and the thin line is shifting again
between comic and tragic, body and spirit,
and the wife doesn’t know her husband.

Not to fill up with history but no ideas,
not to merely see life and think it images,
not to think morality a bad medicine
does the husband offer his boyhood to his
wife’s mouth, the words are a white balm,
the self heated to the temper of its time.


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