Easter Monday [excerpt] – Poem by Ted Berrigan

Chicago Morning

To Philip Guston

Under a red face, black velvet shyness
Milking an emaciated gaffer. God lies down
Here. Rattling of a shot, heard
From the first row. The president of the United States
And the Director of the FBI stand over
a dead mule. ‘Yes, it is nice to hear the fountain
With the green trees around it, as well as
People who need me.’ Quote Lovers of speech unquote. It’s
a nice thought
& typical of a rat. And, it is far more elaborate
Than expected. And the thing is, we don’t need
that much money.
Sunday morning; blues, blacks, red & yellow wander
In the soup. Gray in the windows’ frames. The angular
Explosion in the hips. A huge camel rests
in a massive hand
Casts clouds a smoggish white out & up over the Loop, while
Two factories (bricks) & a fortress of an oven (kiln)
Rise, barely visible inside a grey metallic gust.
‘The Fop’s Tunic.’
She gets down, off of the table, breaking a few more plates.
Natives paint their insides crystal white here (rooms)
Outside is more bricks, off-white. Europe at Night.

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