Invitation to a Dance


I speak the drysob,

I speak the widegrin,

I speak the dance of the poet.


Me, whose soul weeps no more,

Smiles no more

(For all is weep, all is smile), 

Pours pages of frozen words:

My finite eternity.


Always pregnant with myself,

I abort, 

I miscarry, 

I murder, 

I bear!

(Afterbirth and all slide past my fingers,

Touch paper

To live or die.)


With this strange, muffled beat of labor, 

This wild pulse of freedombirth,

I keep time with my life.


Catch me if you can.


                                                                            (San Diego, CA: November 1965)


                                                                       From Selected Poems: Graphic House Press, Oakland, 1965