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Peyote Poem [excerpt]

Michael McClure

Clear — the senses bright — sitting in the black chair — Rocker —
the white walls reflecting the color of clouds
moving over the sun. Intimacies! The rooms

not important — but like divisions of all space
of all hideousness and beauty. I hear
the music of myself and write it down

for no one to read. I pass fantasies as they
sing to me with Circe-Voices. I visit
among the peoples of myself and know all
I need to know.

I KNOW EVERYTHING! I PASS INTO THE ROOM

there is a golden bed radiating all light

the air is full of silver hangings and sheathes

I smile to myself. I know

all that there is to know. I see all there

is to feel. I am friendly with the ache
in my belly. The answer

to love is my voice. There is no Time!
No answers. The answer to feeling is my feeling.

The answer to joy is joy without feeling.
The room is a multicolored cherub
of air and bright colors. The pain in my stomach
is warm and tender. I am smiling. The pain
is many pointed, without anguish.

Light changes the room from yellows to violet!

The dark brown space behind the door is precious
intimate, silent and still. The birthplace
of Brahms. I know

all that I need to know. There is no hurry.

I read the meanings of scratched walls and cracked ceilings.

I am separate. I close my eyes in divinity and pain.

I blink in solemnity and unsolemn joy.

I smile at myself in my movements. Walking
I step higher in carefulness. I fill

space with myself. I see the secret and distinct
patterns of smoke from my mouth

I am without care part of all. Distinct.
I am separate from gloom and beauty. I see all.

From Of Indigo and Saffron: New and Selected Poems, published by University of California. Copyright © 2011 by Michael McClure. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

From Of Indigo and Saffron: New and Selected Poems, published by University of California. Copyright © 2011 by Michael McClure. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Michael McClure

by this poet

poem

WE HAVE GONE
GONE. GONE
in the hole where
soul swells
into
nothing
leaving solid space
where profiles
of gods and fairies
are carved
and
finely
polished
by the clanking of trucks,
thunder-shaking
waves,
and the taste of

poem

Linked part to part, toe to knee, eye to thumb
Motile, feral, a blockhouse of sweat
The smell of the hunt's
A stench,...my foetor.
The eye a bridegroom of torture
Colors are linked by spirit
Euglena, giraffe, frog
Creatures of grace—Rishi
Of their own right.

poem

I wanted to turn to electricity—I needed
a catalyst to turn to pure fire.
We lied
to each other. Promises

are lies. Work is death. Contracts are
filth—the act of keeping them
destroys the desire to hold them.

I forgive you. Free me!