John Wieners
from The Journal of John Wieners is to be called 707 Scott Street for Billie Holiday, 1959


Journals - July 1959

                                                                                                                 July 27

What can I write about
to set my heart afire
as the wood cut and burning
in the stone place on my left.
Here are no demons, only friends.
Does the poem proceed out of pain
does the heart have to beat at a super
and unnatural speed for the word
          to be produced, like the gold
             of alchemy,
                There are no dreams
I have not lived except for

Out the window West and
the set sun.
In the window a kerosene lamp
whose light I write by.
To my left the fire in the stone place
and 4 people before it,
the woman, her daughter and 2 men,
sit on the stone floor, talking of sun
worship and fire worship,
the cricket
in the roof where the bats live,
Still shows a lighter blue than the black
corners of this room,
stone house with wooden
on the side of a ridge that rises behind
the house to a hill

Out the West Window

Out the window West and
the set sun.
In the window an oil lamp

                                                                                                                 July 27

There is the flute
                             that sings
in the dead of the night.
The word that writes itself
      only in the dark.
There is the woman that sleeps
      now and rises in the dawn
                                   the note
that dances in the air
                         on ten toes.
   Then silence.

    And shadows on the wall
            that look like snakes.

No scheme. Only acts
     fragments of the act
          that is my life and
that of the fellows around me.

      My book is before me
      why don't my fingers move over it

                                                                                                                July 27

         A cricket sings in the morning

What to do with the definite article. And
              prepositions. How to
without them. I want language to be taut
                       as the rope