Happiness is Poetry: Harold Norse
The fiery force is nothing more than the life force as we know it. It is the flame of desire and love, of sex and beauty, of pleasure and joy as we consume and are consumed, as we burn with pleasure and burn out in time. ― Harold Norse
I am not a man
I am not a man. I can’t earn a living, buy new things for my family. I have acne and a small peter.
I am not a man. I don’t like football, boxing and cars. I like to express my feelings. I even like to put my arm around my friend’s shoulder.
I am not a man. I won’t play the role assigned to me – the role created by Madison Avenue, Playboy, Hollywood and Oliver Cromwell. Television does not dictate my behavior.
I am not a man. Once when I shot a squirrel I swore that I would never kill again. I gave up meat. The sight of blood makes me sick. I like flowers.
I am not a man. I went to prison for resisting the draft. I do not fight when real men beat me up and call me queer. I dislike violence
I am not a man. I have never raped a woman. I don’t hate blacks. I don’t get emotional when the flag is waved. I do not think I should love America or leave it. I think I should laugh at it.
I am not a man. I have never had the clap.
I am not a man. Playboy is not my favorite magazine.
I am not a man. I cry when I’m unhappy.
I am not a man. I do not feel superior to women.
I am not a man. I don’t wear a jockstrap.
I am not a man. I write poetry.
I am not a man. I meditate on Peace and Love.
I am not a man. I don’t want to destroy you.
we dig up ancient shards
among the dying cypresses
choked by Athenian smog.
yet cats continue basking
in the hazy sun
the chained goat sways in ecstasy
the Parthenon looks down from creamy heights
lichen and rust nibble the pediments
and tourist feet break the spell
of antiquity’s vibrations
the grass hits
as I look at rusty orangeade caps
thinking Who needs nuclear Apollo?
Nike crashing to grand finale?
we need the anti-Christ
who is probably playing football around the corner
the sweet boy who used to be called Eros
and wants us to be happy.
bring back the carnivorous saint
whose mother is no virgin
she’s Our Lady of Peace Movements
to ban the bomb and clean up the air
she’ll wave her umbrella and change the world.
ah yes, when the grass hits
old worlds burn down and new worlds form
in clouds of brown monoxide morning.
Athens, Jan. 1964
To Mohammed on our Journeys
I was the tourist
and your brother offered you
and almost himself
I forgot about your brother
and we took a flat in the Marshan
with reed mats and one water tap
about a foot from the floor
an we smoked hasheesh
and ate well and loved well
and left for the south
Essaouira, Fez, Marrakech
and got to Taroudant
thru the mountains
and bought alabaster kif bowls
for a few dirharms and watched
the dancing boys in desert cafés
kissing old Arabs and sitting on their
laps, dancing with kohl eyes
and heard the music in Jejouka
in the hills under the stars
the ancient ceremony, Pan pipes
fierce in the white moonlight
by white walls
with hooded figures
stoned on kif
for eight nights
and the goat boy in a floppy hat
scared us,beating the air
with a stick, beating whoever came close,
Father of Skins, goat god,
and the flutes maddened us
and we slept together in huts
San Francisco, 7.xi.72