H e a r t S o n s & H e a r t D a u g h t e r s of A l l e n G i n s b e r g
N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 1 4 : A r c h i v e s E d i t i o n
Letter to American Poets
A panther is writing you, American poets,
men and women with knives and trees in your heart,
red teeth and violet tongues telling poems
about disemboweled solitude,
smoky days and Saturnian nights,
leaves and peppered harbors.
You are there, in the fountain of ashes,
I am here, in the highway of my brain,
trying to enter your heads through a warm surface,
playing the guitar and singing with my tobacco voice,
taking you near the moon in a game of hide and seek.
You have amnesia, I have amnesia,
we are both old flying through membranes and disasters,
while purple angels play trumpets
and the Apocalypse arrives sweet as a forgotten breeze.
I am pushing you up against the wall of lullabies,
shadowing sorrow, entering the yellow tunnel.
Hah, I am pungent and alone,
you are in the city traffic like no Gods delivering.
I would have liked to feel your touch,
my young-old skin is disappearing in these noisy days,
but I am undamaged and unafraid
of yesterdays coming like beheaded queens.
You are there and I, here,
cyanotic gates are climbing on my bones,
I am writing about your lives and dark sides without knowing them,
only because from thousands of miles away
I smell rains and dreams as they are not.
The lizard of my poem gets you from within,
you are there and I, here,
but all of us tumbled in the big washing machine of the world,
with sunflowers for hearts
and landscapes of eyes as electric skies dancing lost rock and roll.
Hah, I would have liked to bend over America like a whirling dervish,
trembling bridges with my temples,
crossing stars with my hair,
breaking birds with my walls,
hot waves, hot waves in brains
and the ribs where an angel has fallen like a magician’s hat.
You are there and I, here,
half human beings, half animals and another half objects of prey,
talking, scratching, drinking, remembering,
lying, thinking, searching, not finding,
knowing, flying, living and dying in the honor of no God.
A panther is writing you, American poets,
my fears are yellow wings water,
this is why I tell you I’m about to change in the alchemic sunlight,
buying at the supermarket all the things I need for my transformation:
little iron balls, a parrot, gentle darkness, jaws of void,
one scarface, wind veins, chlorine.
I am inside an interval of my life
where there is no shame, only a swollen repentance for nothing
and the abandoned windows of night
where I offer myself as a feverish skin.
I need nobody because I have eleven fingers,
but I am not sorry
for my head is exploding in a hurricane
and my body drowns its little snakes.
You are there and I, here,
sitting in the bedroom of our lives with looking-glasses for bones.
A black-swan gaze in our eyes
and the sound of death as a necklace - this is what I feel.
But there is also the hard transparency of strangers,
the white nails of several ghosts in the very morning
while the silence slowly carries its corpse.
Yes, I would have liked to be a pool of dreams,
catching them like butterflies on the edge,
taming lunacies with my old guitar filled with shells.
You are there and I, here,
wasping and narrowing myself, blinding despair,
(but what is blind despair today?)
vanishing space and time in a cup of coffee,
mourning about lost friendships and deep spiritual touches,
forgetting I’m just a poor human being like everyone else.
Goddamn, once again.
Inside my abdomen are all the obsessions I had
when I was a little girl playing in the mud with toys.
Once upon a time I walked to a tower in the forest
where I found no life.
I learned there about what love isn’t and what I am not,
about death and why flies always buzz around us,
about the color of my brain between morning and midnight,
reminding me I’m just a mouth at dusk,
a failed nun and white flesh.
While the wheel of the world is turning its moods
I can say I am happy and unhappy,
a passenger between limbos,
missing dreams about God or Devil,
both like two ruby rings or two jaws
abandoning men and women and their remains in slow harmony.
You are there and I, here,
soul to soul, but not body to body,
recognizing the neighborhood of the heroine
when all is possible in the end,
understanding freedom as an empty room
where solitude is growing like mass destruction.
Let’s sell diplomas for such hidden feelings,
in the name of dead kings whose crowns are in museums and hospitals!
Let’s photograph the size of stars,
deep in their flesh and shining blood.
Through my vision,
I saw a savage horse filled with the events of past and future,
silk dancing in the canyon just like the skin of alien grief,
but now I’m foggy-headed, I see no more,
I touch no more,
I eat no more, I dream no more,
I am banished and murdered as a challenged memory.
Goddamn, for the third time.
Do you think there’s still time to live and write about it?
Do you think there’s still time to watch a yellow-orange sunset,
finding your life deep in the entrails?
I don’t think life is shit, but a railway.
The dark side of my moon is entering the shining side of my heart,
so this is why I’m falling into myself
splitting words, cutting storms, shadowing gentle brains.
When I went to search for that tower I told you about
I saw all the animals in the dining room of the forest,
with sun-glasses as they were masters of the world.
The animals were playing Tarot cards
and in that moment I knew I was inside a dream.
How to escape from there? How to run?
I began to play with the lion, my master of the zodiac.
My lion had blue eyes and the melancholy of a salamander.
My lion overwhelmed me, a liquid form coming from my own body,
my lion was asleep and I touched him amazed,
because he was electric and I was trembling.
I was lucky to have such a master of the zodiac,
such a protector angel creeping in my head.
I knew I lost the innocence I had -
sometimes a rainbow beyond my control reminds me I’m human,
with my way, my life, my death whenever it will be.
This is the reason I like marriage ceremonies,
this is the reason I like imagining past and future centuries
as pink flamingos in a deep green lake.
You are there, paralyzed in your American oblivion,
I am here, crippled in my unfinished Europe.
I am angry with myself,
because I am trapped between limbos:
sisters of fear, men in the daylight of my childhood,
weeping dogs of my night, please come save me.
I don’t want to die unwounded and untouched.
Surrounding hidden fogs, hypnotizing naked hermits,
feeling the silenced power of the eagle,
discovering frozen hearts in the garbage,
I need all these sensors to be alive.
Purple whispering tongues, crowded rooms with nervous ghosts,
a blackbird flying in my head as a breath,
this is what I am.
Until now, all my life, I tasted the void of the elevator to hell,
the deep breaking through,
hundred of hands evaporating in the air like wings,
dark lovers chopping their passion to pieces,
a glimpse of solitude a dozen times revealed.
What more should I do?
I have my mind in a plastic bag.
Strange creatures smash the walls,
bridges and gates of the four elements and their boundaries,
here we are with a great pain in the stomach,
because of the idea of death,
her long teeth and gothic nails. Ha, ha.
Clouds in flesh, devouring veins,
while the carnival is never-ending
and the hair masks are curling for miles and miles.
Anxiety slowly slides in my pocket like a handkerchief,
Anxiety, grief, desolation and so on.
I am playing rainy thoughts on the saxophone,
covering my face as in a prayer and struggling for reality.
We never drank together, we never smoked marijuana together
so as to disappear in dust.
I have windy spaces in my throat
when I write about the small desires of human beings.
But my words are not desperate, as I reject the filthy madness.
I stare at all these waves of warm things:
hands, legs, eyes, sex, bones, tails, etc.
My way is to describe and to feel them,
playing chess with God,
as he is not a bastard anymore, just wise marble to build fate.
I am not guilty to think of things as I do,
and if I am, Goddamn.
I am not losing my mind, I am not tricking myself,
but feeling too much and intense at 40 degrees.
This is the risk of life and writing,
to hit too directly; even we are not fighters.
Holes of nowhere, nobody’s memory, repentance of the void,
suicidal beings, it’s hard to take the traces of all these,
not shaving their sense and goal.
What I want now is to play my guitar like a teenager,
without any consideration for the world,
just I, not awakened from my crazy mood.
Hello mother and father not exposed here,
hello friends staring at me like the crows of a shaman,
hello red love and red death of one dollar,
my internal chemistry is alien, but I like it, hah!
It is said that the Devil is God’s monkey,
but I am sure now that the poet is the Devil’s monkey,
so he is closer to God than to the Devil.
I feel like a schoolgirl writing here
about the many fences and walls I want to break,
about bruises and scars we can see on the windows
when all is impossible to cherish and love.
In this big hotel which is the world
there are cocoons and sailors and octopuses,
business men and drunkards, psychoanalysts and monks,
whores and beggars, wasps and saints.
What I want now is a Russian ice tea
and the music of some gypsies dancing like hell.
Where are our souls?
In what naked desert?
Nests of sand, from where the fuel of angels is sliding in the frightening grass,
I am mourning for you.
I want just to sit in a tavern,
wrapped in tentacles of voices, a flower of absinthe floating inside.
Skin echoes at the borderline of my brain.
Again and again I’m saying that you are there and I, here,
weeds and flames of the unconsciousness,
still melancholy is the chained queen of insomnia.
Long live this bitter insomnia
as another world is knocking at the door.
Enter, I say, enter and sit down.
To devour and to enslave, this is the question.
Wisdom is molded in its coffin
like a mad train that does not stop at any station.
The tongue of reality is so curved
that it can lick only the vibrations of emptiness.
Who wants to live? Who doesn’t?
I would like to meet an emperor for all these feelings and moods and crimes,
to talk with him in a large banquet hall,
chewing our food like wise cows.
There is a constant scream of nothingness,
so it is obvious that only the wind hears the bubbles of despair.
Lace of the end, drowned thunder of the silence,
our vital organs are misty,
we are not sinners, not sinners,
only lanterns in the dark.
I have a bird in my throat, flying nowhere,
it’s raining and the water is shining,
the bird is just an object of a thrilling imagination,
that imagination that we all feared as children.
Scratchy moisture in my mouth, fibers of solitude,
tattoos of a mistaken happiness, corridors of flesh and blood,
here is the church where priests no longer talk to God, but to UnGod.
Vacuum of the edge, lights of ribs dancing over Europe
as monkeys project a movie about how they will disappear.
Let’s throw clothes, let’s switch,
down with the time of frozen surfaces,
now is the time of twisted silk on a bridge near heaven.
What a luxury of the abyss!
Yes, I hear the dolphin’s song.
A panther is writing you, American poets,
I am alive and purple, tricking nobody
with my eroded pain in words and sentences,
but this means filling reality with icebergs.
You are there and I, here,
and there is no emergency room between us.
The inner heart of all is elusive,
beating like a deep moon in the ocean.
The oxygen of self-consciousness is gone,
but I still trust in a kingdom without tears and hollows,
the survival of tumults.
I am a hunter and you are hunters too,
so let’s think about how we can’t be murdered
and let’s endure the blood language.
We are not tamed, this is our link and crash.
Tunnels are always fascinating,
but inside there are strange dry lights, not returning to their home.
Desolation is delivered.
The voice of an animal screams through the mirrors,
struggling for life,
come back, I say, stay with me,
don’t vanish and burn your lips -
nobody has the power to listen to a scream.
But the animal splashes my face,
it is a mad injection of the way to be full of yourself.
Once upon a time, I used to walk in cemeteries with my lover,
it was good there to taste death in the afternoon.
I was like a little stone on a grave,
my lover, a lightning nerve,
and we swam together in the lake of our young dying heart.
I saw the cemetery as our future world,
hanging like a fly in a spider web.
My lover was lying in the grass, speaking to the dead,
his unforgotten friends.
I learned to accept and to caress the void,
to be close to nothingness.
Not to give up.
To have the moon as my guiding shamaness.
To have faith until the end.
To watch my strength fly from the orphanage and become a champion.
To grow sunlight from inside until it explodes tenderly.
I have the skill of an exorcist, I know that.
At carnivals, I’m always playing the Hangman,
because I like to suffer a little bit for the others,
to drink and hide for them,
to be bad and kill.
But this is just a shadow falling.
I would like to ululate, frozen in the night.
Everybody needs camphor for their wounds,
but when the wound is in the thinking skull,
the camphor is just a warning to think deeper.
I invite you to sit down, American poets,
to tell me how is it inside a coma,
how many wonders do you have in your crazy dreams,
how you tie your fate,
how about emptiness?
You are there, I am here with my snake hair,
twirling you around like healing human beings,
praying for a holy fog to come
together with the perspiration of darkness
when nothing survives under the full moon.
I am infected with a yellow fever,
this is the reason I’m deepening the gap between myself and yourself.
But I smile even in the face of catastrophes,
because I know who I am.
Face to the desert, I have the burning shape of a coyote,
face to the ocean, I am a whale without eyes,
face to the sky, I am the secret history of the green grass,
face to myself, I am a violet mouth.
Probably most of this poem is delirious,
but this means only that I cut the surfaces in rays.
My teeth are running in a car race against time
since they lost their childhood and paradise.
Together with my teeth, I have learned to be numb, to be scared, to whisper.
I have never dreamed of wings, but I flew over unknown cities,
sprinkling salt on their icy towers,
understanding the glamour of the invisible.
My cave was at the corner of the sky,
a sort of jellyfish Fifth Avenue for non-abandoned minds
from where it is possible to enter a velvet waterfall.
All this is circus.
I already said I want to heal,
but who needs healing?
Only in despair can we keep and witness reality
without the map of the body.
To bump into other bodies as ghost ships.
Once upon a time we were born.
To fight against things like a lunatic throwing himself out the window.
To be dragged by the machine gun of times.
To dive in brains for love and hate.
To hemorrhage missing feelings about collapsed hearts,
these are waves and hidden hollows about how not to be and not to die.
Under eyelids, a shroud of naked ice.
Can we say we are still alive?
Monks have open mouths for the key of Heaven,
but also the winter skin of blind men.
I am not sure that they have not lost the path.
To survive drowned in black wine,
to see memory as a dog near the house
or as a big fire enslaved by strangers who don’t know what to do.
A sword of water running on the fire
and the rainbow’s mind like a bridge to nowhere.
Clowns we are in the moonlight,
buried by a never-ending fury.
I found beaks in my room,
like knives for twisting eyes.
The path is absent and the spices not good.
I am the taxi driver of my life.
Trainspotting is the method,
entering in the water-closets of shadow.
I try to seduce the bridges to the End,
I try to remember the unknown till death is not here,
I am smiling and distilling fears, but not crying,
never returning to harmony.
The doors of frustration are always open.
I would like to smoke a cigarette with God,
just the two of us, fresh and lacking hypocrisy.
I am a teller and a winner, let’s hope,
Wishes are not bad, but mad,
fingerprints on the moon,
kisses on the skull,
steps in the broken mind.
Who am I? Who are you?
I forgot the lonely song of the she-wolf,
but I know the zigzag of how to run far away from the world.
At dawn, I like to drink coffee with my night-dreams.
I speak to the dream characters,
my daughters moving so fast, dying in speed,
dissolving my head like gasoline pumped on a highway for the explosion.
Change is a cryptic flower with lips and skins.
The fall is a stubborn witness in life,
stubborn as a pendulum in a trance.
The prophets are in the hospital.
I am living and I am not lost.
And I want to change myself.
Speaking about awareness,
whoever listened to the whistle of down
when faith is so lonely, like a chess-game without players?
Whoever climbed darkness until turning into a winged messenger?
Whoever smelled the aroma of dangerous landscapes
that make you need a killer instinct?
Yes, we are predators and for us indifference is just the relic of a forgotten saint.
Frozen clock, wild razors,
a puzzle of hair, the pilgrimage of colors,
these are all signs that astronomers will come to understand,
if paranoia has not conquered the illuminations.
Anything can be nothing,
because chaos has the skill of a challenged sanctuary.
Madness has no crucifix and no regrets.
I executed Beauty like a torturer beating a tapestry,
seeking for its blood ballet.
There are no oracles today, just asylums with a menthol taste.
I am looking for the undecipherable underground
as a stranger longing for his enigma and orange resurrection.
A panther is writing you, American poets,
cutting ice in brains on fires,
wearing bracelets of midnight hair.
You want to know if you are still alive?
You want to find the truth by volunteering so as to be saved?
Denial is a good answer for deaf mutes.
I move in your entrails like a submarine,
without gloves, without birds in a cage,
just my narrow body and mind,
just the shadow of a thunderstorm
telling the story of the human being and his time.
Rain is a big tear in coma for deeper thoughts,
so don’t look back,
just enter the corridors of the burning house
and find there a blind horse with a crazy diamond.
Flying tattoos and scars and black holes,
surreality is not enough after a hard time in hell.
But reality hangs from the walls like a widow.
Crippled swans bathe in it.
Why are miracles like junkies today?
Why are names not open doors?
Why are cocoons no longer little churches in skirts?
To behead dolls is just a way not to be bored
and it is not a demented mood for aliens.
Whispering flames, waiting for the God of butterflies,
I am here, standing in front of my death opening flesh.
Sand and hallucinations are conquerors running to the breakthrough.
I am not spitting on my fate, but eating and sucking it.
I am very carnivorous with you and with myself,
translucent like a ship with veins.
And I can’t make the sign of the cross anymore,
because I am not a bride, but a woman.
I saw electric corpses far away,
where absence is a powerful law.
I saw the bruises of consciousness ride like nomads.
My heart is a mammoth having his life in fur.
I forgot the sense of sorrow,
I forgot the fluid pains
and the blessed sins of everybody darkened by vows.
Our world is a harmonica,
so, sweet monsters and shining beasts, please sing and dance,
sing for the redemption and the bulimia of today.
Shrinking a palimpsest.
A panther is writing you, American poets.
Cheap night, cheap day, come with me where there are no questions.
Following the fog, licking the windows, falling on sleeping terraces,
I wonder if I have a pool inside my brain
or I was born in a pool with many mothers swimming.
There is no time for such spiritual murders,
so I turn back from outside,
as inside my hair is a stairway to heaven.
I am not rich, but I like to disturb the world.
I have measured so many mornings of my life with a knife
that now I can say I am not at all delivered to a Savior.
Perfumed shrouds at dusk,
silenced serpents coming from the pipes,
how can I not be afraid of the lonely prophets
if they show their fingers with five rings of gold!
I would have liked to come back from the dead
in a sweet sunset of my thirties,
smoking a cigarette, talking to Nobody,
overwhelming the streets with my new body and soul,
hip-hip-hurrah, I came back from the dead,
wish me good luck, my friends!
This is not the moment for such a resurrection, Un-God would have said.
Go back to your death,
you have no human voice, no human blood or nails,
go back to your death,
wintering your entrails,
go back, go back.
It’s midnight and I am alone in a masquerade,
a newspaper on my head,
with my muddy consciousness,
a dozen sordid sins I have never done
are picking my skin.
Once upon a time I was alive like a laughing mouth,
the fuel of my memories is burning the eyes,
the orange eyes of a yellow cat.
I am no longer young, but not entirely old,
just waiting between, in a room without windows or doors.
Does any fool remain to mock the mysteries?
Does any young king remain to live naked in the middle of his people?
Does any body wish to be more than flesh and blood?
Bodies of water, fire, air and earth,
bodies of East, West, South and North.
Guests of silk arising from obscurity with vain desire,
who can say that indifference is not our dearest queen,
the best, the oldest, the loneliest.
I think everyone today could be his own hangman.
Pouring waters on our heads,
cleaning flesh and anti-flesh,
washing our legs with black nails,
does purification still mean anything?
Everybody has a hermit-shadow,
a sort of endless brother in the Unreal.
A violet twin or a lighted wing in the horizon,
making signs about strange times and rains.
A chapel of monk bones
surrendering the battle for glory.
Things are blessed if it’s possible to be blessed.
Things are powerful only if power has renounced its kingdom.
No mercy for the infirm eagles:
if you eat their liver you will live forever.
Is this what you want?
Shining. Frosting. Not agonizing.
I inherited the long way to forgetfulness.
Despair is my beloved mother and father,
like the toothed mouth of a shark,
as I don’t trust in the unspoken Redemption.
Cursing the years, the deep days melted with darkness,
grumbling the journeys outside,
sitting in a tavern and drinking the liquor of an alien death in ecstasy.
Cutting wonders and whispers and ghosts
in a house with drunkards,
caressing the forgiveness of passengers with fearing eyes,
I think we need only a big confusion to live anymore,
to want to live and believe in something.
Corridors inside the moon are like a human brain,
I am walking on these corridors with some little passion,
some little courage (but very little) and a strong weakness.
No devils on my back, but also no angels,
just Me and Myself,
an endless delirium excited and shrilled by its taste,
a fornication of nothingness on a spring day
when green received its coronation once again.
I don’t know what it is to be dishonored.
Lilac feeding my heart,
bones drinking the blackest coffee I ever knew,
feeling my freedom like a stone,
I am the ivory daughter of man.
I remember I played Tarot cards with some shadows last night
and my horoscope was not wise.
But I liked seeing my death and the Unreal.
Speaking about the Unreal,
it is a burned house, with wings of desire,
where I feel myself a panther!
But it could be also a forest
where a bloody blind nightingale is singing:
what is life? what is death? stop.
what is lifedeath? stop.
who are you? who am I? who we are? stop.
I want to speak not to the desert,
but to someone alive, to touch his or her mouth,
thinking that nothing is unforgiving.
But it is really nothing unforgiven?
Nothing, nobody, nowhere.
Where is the Death we have lost in dying?
Where is the Birth we have lost in being born?
Where is the God we have lost in God?
Or the UnGod?
I am a stranger. I do not understand.
I do not know. But I feel.
Pietàs petrifying more and more their liquids,
this is my memory.
We can say a lot of things.
I have the power to say.
The womb is large and lonely.
This is a landscape in rainbow.
This is a landscape with wombs.
I am a surgeon of beasts.
Is fornication still a sulphurous sickness?
Are the hollows wise paths in themselves?
Tabula Rasa and bubbles.
Cliffs and cages.
Amputation of absence.
Whistling for love with mercury on the tongue.
Skulls and money. This is our world.
The widows of the puppets shut the doors
and nobody can enter or leave.
My hair is schizophrenic.
I like mausoleums.
Breaking hieroglyphs and eternity.
Disinfecting the agony which murders.
I lost all miracles.
Horses in pain killed by pity.
I am working inside the blackness.
I am in the schoolroom of my soul.
I gave up the failure of grief.
I am a corpse. I know how to contain my death.
Will I ever find life once again?
My wounds have their earrings and bracelets.
Skin is everything, a hard skin.
I am on my side. I am inside.
Tattoos and desires.
Who can say that I lost purity and beauty?
Who can say I am a slaughterhouse lightning?
My illumination is cold.
Ashes are singing.
What is the smell of a prayer?
I can do acupuncture on scars and stars.
My world, I hurt you because you hurt me.
It is like jumping into a mirror.
Opacity is cut by a sleeping axe,
I want to swallow every surrender on this earth.
To dance for a battle and for repentance
is not so easy at the beginning of the millennium.
Fetuses are lying near the broken walls.
I do not hate anybody, but life after death has strange coins and edges.
Maybe I have to go on a pilgrimage.
[Originally published in NHS 2007, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs07/Ruxandra_Cesereanu.htm.]