Paul Blackburn


Journals: Nov/Dec . 1970 : Hibernation


                                                                  "He stuffed bear in a cave all winter.
                                                                                       Now we know."

                               The darkness wins
here . We miss those early birds, the worms
are silent as always under the slow turf . the
spruce and hemlock move their branches against the window .


        Our sense of strangeness
                                              uneasiness             is soothed
(by the way) by the way
our bodies curl into each other              the early light
wrenches thru,  that freshness,  then

                                  the busy sound of the pot flushing, the
                                  child waking up, cheerful for a change .
                                  the branches moan a bit in the cold wind.
                                  Day's begun.


                                   The darkness wins
here      .       a car on the street outside
soon disappears, the sound of birds
                                  loud at dusk, subsides   .   We live
in this near-winter dark, live near each
other in the darkness, the boy's pre-sleep
whimper-and-moan from the next room grows also
into silence as he goes
down into sleep     .     We
warm one another finally           .        The next sound you hear
will be the radiator .


What the hours are,

lines on top of the mountain in November,

a word I 'ad never noticed but in sembral terms, I

            quote an ancient allibone, an

             alley of bones now turned into


semblance      .        My friend Bolles stays tight with young clits, and

                                                              thinks he'll commit suicide by

hanging a show of his drawings on the reinforced steel

plates of a freighter headed for England,

                                  see what survives a 14-day trip      .         An

other friend has an earache which her friend will soften by

being close enuf to be by      .      But the

                                                        question, what is the question? It is

                                                        another wipeshed now   .   The child sleeps,


Young wife, my love, climbs sleepily to the floor and sits in my lap, I ex­

plore hell, only the certainties may wed death, let all that go, I want to

K  N  O  W    when I'll be there again, when

you will .

                                 zelda, granite moth, mary jane      .       the other

                                                          chances were 50%     .     chances

are   .

                                The anchor swings like a camel-quirt these days,

                                                the best stays, ma belle, not

                                                mirabelle, nor kitsch, no kirsch,

what we eliminate,

not picayunes or gauloises,   but

where the N sits at the        n     of nite, not

out of sight    .     profane       .      prefound      .commit, climb

into it altogether,   o candle,    o end of,


framboise, the eau de vie of    ..    How that mountaintop

looks like the plane of    .      the spotted trees, the lake we all saw from

                                                                               some angle the

                                                                               pilots differed, no matter, we

                                                                               kept the difference / even

                                                                               we did not know the difference

                               kept the anger & the love

                               equal    .    there's a sequel?             no, there

is no sequel     .    Read the trib tomorrow morning, there's

no sequel     .     wimmins lib

has take she all, Mr. Hall .


                                                            keep your prick up    .       it won't last .

                                                                                               (Witches passed)

The magic stays     .      the boat leaves    .     arrives S'thhampton .

Cramped in the lifeboat,  still she twitch her ass,  an


movement, left to right      .      Whatsit


            that hand around my right tit?

                    The hand is steady   .    Are you ready? Present

                                   passports, please.




                                                                                             "Take it easy, but take it."

Sittin by the farmhouse,

waitin for my friend to come

barks in the distance
boats on the bay as well, it's
a long time, David,
we ain't had no right to some
other girl, some other time of our own, hell,
I don't know what you think of when I think of struggle, but
bit off more than he could   .   it was apple-blossom time in old
hat and walkin down to the farmhouse by the bay, he stood
                                                       for a time, listenin to dogs bark


I think of mountainsides, slickery mud between the rocks
and tree-holds under light rain, my ass full of mud in full camera,
                                                           mist across the eyelashes .
I think of driving     72     hours to find
they've already left    .    Fieldful of snow, 7 feet deep
you gotta walk thru  .


                                                           What'll we do before lunch?

Brush the sweat off our arms, eyebrows, forehead, nose itches .

How we do not walk or climb or wait, but stand        :      scan     "take it

easy, but take it"

any way you can .


                                                                                       (for Tobe & David : 28.XL70)



S.XIL70  :             morning conversation


I sit in the kitchen
          from the first light
                    on, look at the light snow
drifted to the edge of garage roof, snuggled
                            into the leaf drift.

                            Carlos eats

                       the coffee heats

                                                  sky lightens to yellow

pale sunlight on

the white walls of white houses


                                             He talks

                                             wanting a refill on the applejuice



                                             coffeegrinder sits

                                                                              full of

                                             new-ground coffee


                                             The coffeepot coming to boil

                                              talks to me .


Mint grows higher .
cigarette smokes itself in the ashtray .
Carlos lifts the cereal bowl to finish the milk

            He talks to me         .        His own words .



(the news at 5° below: for Ron & Michelle)


Wind out of the West at
          10 mph, and snow
drifts down across this hill
slowly and fine      .      Branches
with a ragged leaf or two       move
lightly in the wind outside the window
wisps of white blow from drifted and plowed
piles    .     Blue
is a color I remember
yesterday from further south     .    The sun
is California Dreamin'     .    This is the news


Mouth pressed to another mouth
the sprit of semen, a massive unload­ing of selves and seed   .   Food
for our tongues, o very nice indeed .


           Fish lie quiet beneath the frozen streams
           Ragged leaves move in the wind while
           we smile at one another in the dark .
           move near sleep .



                                                        (after hearing sonia sanchez down at corey)

All that sweet, warm

blackness going down

                            what do be more dream

                            than real, sometime, it

                            bein this grey boy talkin, after

all that hard, sweet

blackness solfening up his heart, seems I

trudge uphill thru the snowfall

thru the trees and lights and havto

spend the next two hours shovelin

sidewalk and driveway clear

of all this white shit .



                                                                                    ". . . temperature's rising
                                                                                      it isn't surprising,
                                                                                      she certainly can. . . "


The roofs are high

and the gutters deep .

                         The sound of

water falling


                         our sleep . we are bound

to wrap the sky around us, while

we try to become that tree

                                       our bodies

                          wave around

while the rain falls and the gutters run full and

the seed leaps .


                                                           18.XII.70    :      wings

Rain water this thaw, snow

water    .    water drops

on the needles of spruce    .      the wind

blows in from west southwest     .     Water

drips from icicles along the gutters, gutters

loosing a piss-stream of water that the wind

controls, wavers the stream.              The birds dream
                                                              too soon of seeds.

                                       The top of the hemlock

cracked under the snowload last storm,

tender branches flutter and scratch the west window.

A pattern of sounds and wind     .


                                                        What's the matter?

Driveway's clear    .     why worry, friend?

Words come or do not come    .   The thaw persists

in all our minds     .      A single crow far off

talks to himself.

                                      CAW  .   CAW   /

                                      be well, crow .

                                      Find yr brothers

                                      someplace south of here .