Friday, 28 January 2011

poem for Henry Miller

O glorious world now chewed to a frazzle - 'Black Spring'

After 30 years

the cop in the street
the ugly dirty street
with soot-covered walls
and factory chimneys
and good for nothing air
full of sun and shit and oaths
as when the priest
walked down the street
and the street was purged of sin
as in reflections in wet pavements
the liquid mirrors of the street
where you were never whole
but lived in fragments knows
what human being really means


  1. I completely misread this the first time. I thought it was a poem for O Henry and you were referencing his story 'After Twenty Years' which, incidentally, was the first story by him I ever read.

  2. Good post, Gwilym...a relook often aids to see where we are...somehow i've always felt our detachment philosophy much needed for a rounded and grounded existence,


  3. Jim,
    I can understand that. I wrote the poem 'The Haircut' after reading an O. Henry story about a barber for it reminded me of my own barber and his penchant for what I can only call 'street-philosophy' which is perhaps a universal barber-thing. Like Henry Miller, O Henry was a great observer of the street.

  4. Devika, thanks I think 'street-philosophy' can often teach the philosophy of academia a thing or two. See my remarks to Jim re the short storywriter O Henry.

  5. Don't know much about street philosophy...O Henry, I have read; Detachment philosophy comes from Bhagavad Gita...a part of Mahabharata; and the epic war....stories we heard since our childhood :)


  6. Thank you Devika - the "epic war" seems to be going on in Egypt even as we email. The noble struggle for freedom goes on.

  7. Yes, Gwilym the headline in our newspaper today, too...

    Freedom is an ongoing struggle; yet, absolute freedom can man to barbarianism...but Dictatorial oppression/exploitation needs to be fought, at all costs,



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