Anselm Hollo
from Pick Up the House (1986)


In the Mission


for Robert Creeley


started the place but

is not what you think
in the Mission


As the song
goes, "The good
times, the bad

God knows
back there,
in his snug chair
on the favorite floor

of his perishing tower
a flower:

"Reminds me of
all of them"


Be a hundred and ten.
Go to sleep.

"Au revoir."


She used to be angry,
but now she is sleeping:

"Oh let me dwell in
hole in your facial cheek"


See See

Five short yellow
dafs – narcissi –
whatever they are,

flowers of spring
tra-Ia, suddenly
in this lone kitchen sing

a scent sweet, it says,
"Si, si"

*    *    *

Most of life not
that way,
yet one remembers

when it has been, been seen
and heard and felt, and smelled
that way.


C & W

life is complicated
Drains are roaring
Percy B. Shelley
was fond of soaring

In walks a minimalist
He says, "That's boring"
He needs to be kissed
by someone complicated

Another sweet
big head
to remain entertained
and a bit more alive than dead


High Cloud

Populous raft of confusion
drifting across the sky
while fur turns gray



I haven't lost my mind, you know,
although I think, believe, I've found
a woman, most intelligent, most kind,
with whom I then proceed to fight
on what I thought was an auspicious night –
about what, neither of us know.

There is the rain, there is the snow,
the dew, the fog, the mist, the glow,
the atmosphere containing us
and the necessity to catch the bus.
Hers. Mine. Possessive forms of action
giving one little or no traction.

So let it slide, and let's abide and sigh
as dawn is drawing nigh and fires are lit again
throughout the camps of busyness and gain.

I love her eyes: love them when they look at me,
her mouth when it moves, even when not speaking.


In the summer, he said, I write short


Now that people are wearing hats again,
one can tell them "Go shit in your hat" again


Make her laugh: the world
seems like it's staying


"They only made one of these.
Do you deserve it?"


Who's here?

Two powerful Democrats
Many United Beef Workers
Some Undecided Youths


"Just white poet trash"
          – The Decisive Instnunentality


A High Note

leaves one at a loss
for an appropriate quote

and so, remembering, one says, "Hello,"
and says, into dark air, "You're very nice,"

rolls over, hugs
oneself, and wants you back


Back in New York

"My sister, life" – last time I saw her
I begged her not to be as literal as me;
old flames, old blames – none there
that precious funky afternoon: yes,

some lives work: somewhere in here's
this romantic boy, writes letters in his head
and in his heart – which are the faces
he makes, in there, inside himself

And once in a while he jumps up on the shelf
and sits there: looking at you: eyes all one color.


Whitman's Secret

You're not gonna sleep
You're just gonna lay
around and curse

So why not stay up, brother,
and think about everything

And I mean everything


Her face, absolutely
two sides

and sometimes, in motion,
unearthly harmonious


"To bed, to bed,
as Lady Macbeth said"

There was a time
one thought that was funny

An amusing


Ferocious sociopath
rubs ace of hearts
against his crotch, for luck

Un poco buzzed, observing water's descent
upon phenomena, Thursday, also César
Vallejo's "bad day"







A Kind of a Vow

Make me
a pillow
and I'll
sleep on it
as long as it
takes me


Proofreading Discovery





takes it
apart and

puts it
in the ground –

("Aahh-yess, Shee-vah take it apart 'n' . . . ")


Not going to read
any of these
to anyone
over the phone

Tonight is the night
anyone's under the covers
with their lovers
present or not,
present or not.

                           August 1981 – August 1982
                           San Francisco