Happiness is Poetry: Jack Micheline

Happiness is Poetry: Jack Micheline

A young outlaw poet stretching her wings

A young outlaw poet stretching her wings

I never wanted to be a poet. I still don’t want to be a poet. I just want to live my life. The thing is that the working class, given the chance, would relate to poetry, but they have all this football, baseball, and television. They’ve never had a chance to see a real poet that relates to their own way of life. In America, everything is profit motivation. It’s the spirit that I relate to. ~ Jack Micheline

Jack Micheline

Jack Micheline

I make no secret that I have no great love for establishment or government.  What is important to me is individual people and this idea is at the heart of all outlaw poetry and why I like those writers who have are called outlaw poets.  One of the best poetry books I’ve ever read is the American Bible of Outlaw Poetry and Jack Micheline is featured in it.  So take a look at a few pieces, have a read and a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane


By Jack Micheline

A child walks in a dream
her eyes dance in the night of stars
someday when the moon is full
the gypsies come home and they will dance forever
and all the ships that never sailed will sail forever
and all the flowers that have not bloomed will bloom forever
A child walks in a dream
and all the stars that have not shown will shine forever
and all the children that could not dance will dance forever
A child walks in a dream

(Amsterdam, Nov. 19, 1982)


Blues Poem

I got no smile cause I’m down
I carry a horn to blow in all these streets
A solo riff out of my head
How could your ever know I feel
So high on life and feet and ass and legs and thighs
That I can rise and dance with all the stars
And I can eat the moon and laugh an I can cry
The dark caves of cities hungry streets
The tired faces dark and dreary bent
and all the death it dies
I let it die
I lift my horn and blow some sounds
some sound for kids to come
Some unborn sun
in darker streets than mine
Magicians carry wings so they can fly
Let’s blow a horn and love
Let’s get on it and ride
and laugh and dance and jive
Let’s shake the dead and let the downers die
The magic of the singers warms the earth
A song
A poem
Some paradise of mind
I got to smile now
I’m feeling good
The city street
The palace of my mind


By Jack Micheline

I walk east of Bleecker
the sky is blue
on this Sunday evening

there is something deeper than the earth
there is something deeper than the stone cities
there is something deeper than our existence
than all the robes of power

power and the night bleeding gutters with crutches
power and the night and the neon vibrating
the night and thirty moons and sharpies
the night and the railroad yards gleaming
the night and the sky
the night and billboards and darkness

across a nation skeletons and machinery
jaundice, joints and lips of connivers
burnt Christmass trees
jazz horns and drummers

above concrete
above whimpering voices
above calculators
riders with tokens in their hands
riders to the sea

a nation of cowards
cowards wrapped in academic cloth

over all in darkness
over all who live in deserts
over all shells covering
over all that are wasted

burying all in nothingness
burying all that is soul
burying all with layers of armour
burying herds with still voices
burying all in the nowhere of silence

herring and fish in cans
turkey and chicken in cans
humans in cells of unknowing
there is more to life than the lights of savage civilizations
there is more to life than all the words spoken
there is more to life than the eye can see

I see the sun of angels
hemp and sugar and wheat
blood and sinew within the flesh
ticker tapes, grey hair, jowls on faces
dollars and gods and people sold and traded

people dying for nothing
people selling their minds and bodies
people without courage
people with no teeth in drug stores

death loaded with goods
givers of death and more death
cranes and deep hookers
cutting shears for the young
newspapers stunting the mind
dollars the spoiler of ships of bananas

I see your faces as I stroll through the cities
the wind touching the faces of whores
the vision of poets encompassing all
song of children outside the brick houses

there is nothing deeper than life and the livers of life
mankind raped in the bank vaults of steel
dead soldiers, battlefields surrounded by iron and ironies

a million lost sunsets
a poet unconquered with the legacy of Whitman and Lorca
a poet unconquered by stone, by glass, by greed, by madness

the lights blaze on in the night
lights and the cold wind
visions above all death
cows milked dry, golden crosses
the sky blazing with miracles

a poet walks in the cold wind
his head raised humble and unafraid
death around him filled with waste and banners
death all around him
walking alone with birds above the canoe shaped moons
sounds are heard and the sky glows in darkness.

January 31, 1960, East Bleecker
This poem turned the tide of my death,
written on First Avenue off the Bowery
In an alley of great souls.    




About Michael Kane

Michael Kane is a writer, photographer, educator, speaker, adventurer and a general sampler of life. His books on hiking and poetry are available in soft cover and Kindle on Amazon.
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