Tapati (tapati) wrote,

angel of death

This was posted at my forum in our favorite verses and quotes topic and I just want to share it.

From Songs of the Revolution
Julian Beck


invisible he shot up before me
the electric chair angel of death
as the mallet of the doctor clapped down on my hand
"mais c'est sure, c'est le cancer'

i had thought myself impervious
a vigorous vegetarian for thirty five years
a breather filling my lungs with living
in love with my work my tribe and the unleaded
luminosity of the human planet
despite its maladies cancer wars oppression
dilapidation of the bird-high spirit

i raised my shield of joy against the strontian rain
i danced the courting of alabaster wisdom
against the plutonium drowned in the water and the mind
i yodeled with comedy before the radioactive climate
with the laughter of affection i thought to outwit the poison in the well
the little daggers of atomic death walking up and down 6th avenue and
the via nazionale

but the electric angel of death awaits the moment of sadness
the scoop of discouragement the pernicious grief that arrives
when a lover says, "so long"
and a mother dies
and the passion for work no longer enlarges the muscles but eats away
the colon

those are the signals that beckon the sandy angel of death to flip the
hourglass and raise the aegis and come out of hiding

i bowed low and smiled
i am not in love with you i said
i do not give you leave to put me in parenthesis
we will make life into an unpunctuated sentence
an epic exceeding the mahabharata in depth in truth and in length
and this gay sky will tent us
when we have come to abhor war as we now abhor cannibalism
when the sorrows of unrequited devotion
no longer flooding with homelessness famine and panic
and when the loss of a lover comes to mean only a fork in the road

new york new york to locarno new york
august 1985
Tags: death, loss, love, poetry, quotes

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