Steven Taylor‘s interpretation of a section of “Continuation of a Long Poem of These States”- “S.F. Southward”
Stage-lit streets/ Downtown Frisco whizzing past, buildings/ ranked by Freeway balconies
Bright Johnnie Walker neon/ sign Christmastrees/ And Christmas and its eves
in the midst of the same deep wood/ as every sad Christmas before, surrounded/
by forests of stars—/ Metal columns, smoke pouring cloudward,/ yellow-lamp horizon
warplants move, tiny/ planes lie in Avionic fields—/ Meanwhile Working Girls sort mail into the red slot/ Rivers of newsprint to soldiers’ Vietnam/ Infantry Journal, Kanackee/ Social Register, Wichita Star/ And Postoffice Christmas the same brown place/ mailhandlers’ black fingers/ dusty mailbags filled/ 1948 N.Y. Eighth Avenue was/ when Peter drove the mailtruck 1955/ from Rincon Annex—/ Bright lights’ windshield flash,/ adrenalin shiver in shoulders
Around the curve/ crawling a long truck/ 3 bright green signals on forehead/ Jeweled Bayshore passing the Coast Range/ one architect’s house light on hill crest/ ……………… negro voices rejoice over radio/ Moonlit sticks of tea/ Moss Landing Power Plant/ shooting its cannon smoke/ across the highway, Red taillight/ speeding the white line and a mile away
Orion’s muzzle/ raised up/ to the center of Heaven – December 18, 1965.
Steven Taylor writes:
“I chose this poem because it’s a good instance of Allen’s compositional method of observing his mind. Fellow Buddhist poet Philip Whalen‘s dictum “This poetry is a picture or graph of a mind moving” is realized here with particular energy because the mind under observation is in a moving vehicle. Buddhist also is the sudden panoramic shot in two places pulling back from worldly detail to the vast starry heavens, which makes us think of Mayakovsky‘s suicide note and cry….”
Allen features in the trailer for the new Velvet Underground movie
& hey, did everyone see that surprising Google doodle last week, celebrating the 107th birthday of the great Nicanor Parra?