Lew Welch


Leo's Poet-Plight



Perfectly reasonable demands kill the voice, I'm
irritated beyond all usefulness
                          ( neither here nor there )
totally immune to Miracle: Union with

Or say: "One is possessed with Poetry."
"A gift!"
And suddenly we're stuck with another possession,

the voice is gone.



No use blaming it on clocks to be repaired,
the nuisances of taxes, tickets, money or
the need she has RIGHT NOW for
"the tale that she told of a harsh reproof" –
though they find him, always, caught in
subtlest passages or simply
trying to tune up.

The family learns to get out of the way,
why can't I learn that?
             ( or maybe they don't learn it, just
                recognize it, put up with it -
                he's not there anyway & probably
                nowhere else )

                You came to me from out of nowhere


( song to the Buddha? )



William Blake was called to dinner and
sat down to a table perfectly set with
empty plates. "These plates are empty!"
"I told you, Mr. Blake, we have no money."

Several humiliating days, all over London,
begging, haggling, no doubt screaming in his heart:

                             THE VISION!

                             THE VISION!

Perfectly reasonable demands kill his voice . . .
. . stuck with another possession . . .


                                                       the Steig cartoon: a man
                                                       wrapped in rope from ankle to
                                                       throat, the end of the rope
                                                       in his teeth . . .

or the question only a German could ask:


                   How can you try not to try?



Commentary by the Red Monk:

                    Who ever wanted to get out of his way?