I am a poet – what do I care
for the art of poetry as such?
Once risen up in the sky, the star
of the night river’s not worth much.
I’ve done with the milk of story books;
time’s slow seeping will never stop.
I quaff great draughts of reality,
neat world with foaming sky on top.
Pure and sweet is the source – bathe in it!
Calm and tremulousness embrace
each other; from the foam wise chatter
rises with elegance and grace.
Other poets – what concern of mine?
Wallowing in fake imagery
belly – high and fired with bogus wine
let them ape out their ecstasy.
I step past the revels of today
to understanding and beyond.
With a free mind I shall never play
the vile role of the servile fool.
Be free to eat, drink, make love and sleep!
Weigh yourself with the universe!
I shan’t hiss my inward curse to creep
and serve the base bone-crushing powers.
The bargain’s off – let me be happy!
Or else all men will insult me;
growing spots of red will mark me out,
fever will suck my fluids dry.
I’ll not hold my disputatious tongue.
I cry to knowledge and to truth.
The century, watching me, approves;
the peasant thinks of me, and ploughs.
The worker’s body feels my presence
between two of his stiff movements;
for me the shabby youth is waiting
by the cinema at evening.
Where scheming villains are encamped to
attack my poems’ battle-lines,
regiments of brotherly tanks go
out and rumble abroad the rhymes.
I say that man is not grown-up yet
but, fancying he is, runs wild.
May his parents, love and intellect
watch over their unruly child.