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#in 19693 мин. чтенияСлушать

In 1969


Some called it the Summer of Love, & although the clustered,

Motionless leaves that overhung the streets looked the

As ever, the same as they did every summer, in 1967,

Anybody with three dollars could have a vision.

And who wouldn’t want to know what it felt like to beA cedar waxwing landing with a flutter of gray

In a spruce tree, & then disappearing into it,

For only three dollars?

And now I know; its flight is ecstasy.

No matter how I look at it,

I also now know

The short life of a cedar waxwing is more pure

Than anyone alive can still be sane, & bear.

And remember, a cedar waxwing doesn’t mean a thing,

Qua cedar or qua waxwing, nor could it have

That kind of pleasure by working to become a

Cedar waxwing.

They’re all the same.

Show me a bad cedar waxwing, for example, & I meanA really morally corrupted cedar waxwing, & you’ll

The cage they have reserved for you, resembling heaven.

Some people spent their lives then, having visions.

But in my case, the morning after I dropped mescalineI had to spray Johnson grass in a vineyard of Thompson

My father owned—& so, still feeling the holiness of all

Living, holding the spray gun in one hand & driving with the other,

The tractor pulling the spray rig & its sputtering motor—Row after row,

I sprayed each weed I

That looked enough like Johnson grass, a thing alive that’s

For nothing at all, with a mixture of malathion & diesel fuel,

And said to each tall weed, as I coated it with a lethal mist,

Dominus vobiscum, &, sometimes, mea culpa,

It seemed boring to apologize to weeds, & insincere as well.

For in a day or so, no more than that, the weeds would

Disgusting hues of yellowish orange & wither away.

I still

The bird’s flight in my body when I thought about it, the wing ache,

Lifting heaven, locating itself somewhere just above my

Shoulders, & part of me taking wind.

I’d feel it at odd

After that on those long days I spent shoveling vines, driving

And tractors, helping swamp fruit out of one

Or another, but as the summer went on,

I felt it less and less.

As the summer went on, some were drafted, some

In a generation that would not stop falling, a

Of leaves sticking to body bags, & when they turned

Over, they floated back to us on television, even then,

In the Summer of Love, in 1967,

When riot police waited beyond the doors of perception,

And the best thing one could do was get arrested.

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Larry Patrick Levis (September 30, 1946 – May 8, 1996) was an American poet.
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