To Write like Cendrars

(For Blaise Cendrars (1887-1961)

By Marcus D. Niski

To write like Cendrars

is to write
with pure clarity
and vision

to write straight and true

with the heart of an arrow

to write like Cendrars
is to be:

burnt alive
by the fire
of writing

[MN] 15 February 2003

ODE TO TZARA

By Marcus D. Niski

The flies buzzed over
the rotting belly
from which an eye came
watching for a moment.

While little resistance was shown
towards these excesses,
the shapes suddenly vanished
and were no more than a dream
published in the press.

Now our countries united
filled with a desire to gobble
down one another without kid gloves.

Majestic mushroom, Keep on!

The victories of the Red Army
have had results and consequently
the fall of the navy into the sugary milk
will end the depravities of this majestic
Hitlerite coalition.

Yes! this will be you,
O queen of graces, after the final
centrally determined stimulus seeking apparatus
preys upon itself.

Eloquent evidence of this
is also imbedded in the historic wellsprings
caught in an enormous glass bowl
that runs skillfully across a plain of mirrors.

But what arguments can be advanced against this fact?

To which we may say with an added mixture of sadness,
the dream unwinds with an angelic indolence,
and ceaselessly, the hair undulates obedient to our
caress…

Behind so many flowers,
the azure Adonis discreetly hides itself.
The last tree impotently blazes.

Drinking, cigarettes and wild living on the horizon
harnessed by desired eclipses,
weeping over accelerated throbbing,
that solemn hiding place of nothingness
which was my body.

Probed, the patient ibis
presses its beak into a rim of fire
paying no heed to the passers by in life.

Through the great hawthorn of rain
I hear the human linen tearing
like a great dolphin heads under ice

Under the claw of sense, all looms
are withering. Sitting, the spinner drowns
morning thirst muscles and fruits
crack asunder

But the sleeping lady spins
lovely threads
the furniture giving way
to animals of the same stature
who gaze fraternally at the Lions.

Meanwhile, in this hour of love and blue eyelids
I see myself burning.

[MN] 24 August 1996

In memoriam, Tristan Tzara (1896-1963) leading surrealist poet.

Into the Pantheon

By Marcus D. Niski

How is it possible

to make it into the Pantheon?

Must the Gods

be pleased?

Infinitely so

I jest

But how are we to judge?

You must be the best and the worst I say

Lest you fail

the ultimate test:

For once you have

made it into the pantheon

there is surely no return.

[MN] 20 February 2003

PLACES OF WORSHIP

By Marcus D. Niski

The inner clothes

we put on each morning

unbuttoned by night

adorned with useless circular landscapes

purified

in cities prepared

near vast expanses

[MN] 22 July 1998

INTO THAT RADIANT SILENCE

By Marcus D. Niski

The bronze houses without

windows or doors

become obelisks.

The butterfly hunter

with his hat

strode across the foyer

at a moment which anything

seemed possible…

[MN] n.d. November 1997

In Cocteau’s apartment

By Marcus D. Niski

In Cocteau’s apartment
There exists

An antique clock

A pile of notebooks
A picture of Picasso

A leopard skin drape

A clutch of pencils and ink wells
A pile of books letters and mementos

A faded blackboard

A bust of an unknown composer
Memorials to Colette

A strange engraving.

Above all, there is hope.

[MN] 29 December 1999

Roaming Around

By Marcus D. Niski

As a child
I would roam
around

Roaming around consisted of freedom

An essence of pleasure

I roamed around the streets
the creeks and gullies
the back blocks

through unfinished houses
through suburbia
through time and space

through mind and body
through disinhibition

through freedom of expression
through permission

to be free

[MN] 8 January 2019

Gas Station

By Marcus D. Niski

A slice of dying America

Immortalized in poems
by Bishop

paintings by Hopper

And the memories of
Millions of Americans

The allure of gas stations

Grease pits
Oil stands
Bowsers

Grease monkeys
Driveways
Tools and tool draws
Parts and carburetors

The dreams of youth
And the machinery of movement

Gone the Golden Fleece
Of my childhood

ESSO CALTEX MOBIL
BP SHELL LIBERTY

Dead and dying

Like the generations
Basking in the dreams of
nevermore

[MN] 9 January 2019