John Wieners





It is Friday night, a lone bird hollers
in the sky. And there is desire here
in my heart to go to town and mingle
with the crowds.

Sailors in white suits, barflies
and B-girls at the lower end
of Washington Street. I remember
Wednesday afternoon when we walked

in the sun and heard the girl sing
Stormy Weather. Mere description
but spirit of the night, teach us
to bear despair.

               As the dark spreads out
its blot against the sky, or day
becomes night, the lassitude and
apathy increase

until at last there is left only
the moon in the devil's eye, and key
his crotch to divinity. Divulge
the secret whereby we may become

stars and glow in the night
with a brightness of our own.
In his left hand he holds
a cone of flame in a saucer.

In his right a torch.
Two devils pay him homage
at the foot of his pedestal.
One touches a gold hoof.

Bare breasts, the breasts of a woman
Bat wings, but more like the wings of a griffin
Goat's face with beard and cow ears.
He is Lucifer, supreme.

And to him I implore the light
to transmit the flame he holds
and lighten my days, not with drugs
but a divine halo to show his eyes.

And if to die is to move
from the ugliness of this world
then let it be; should I
welcome spring; turn summer down, and fall

from my hands; the serpent's slow unwinding,
agate eyes, and blue bushes now
in flower; spice smells undo the lament
of tree leaves on the cement.

But if this cannot be
then let it die with the singing
of one brown bird, at twilight
crook the hand, crawl over, cover us with leaves.