Kenneth Patchen

Kenneth Patchen

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Kenneth Patchen (December 13, 1911 – January 8, 1972) was an American poet and novelist. He experimented with different forms of writing and incorporated painting, drawing, and jazz music into his works, which have been compared with those of William Blake and Walt Whitman.
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The Deer And The Snake

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The deer is humble, lovely as God made her I watch her eyes and think of wonder owned These strange priests enter the cathedral of woods And seven Marys clean their hands to woo her Foot lifted, dagger-sharp—her ears Poised to their points like a ...
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The Naked Land

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A beast stands at my eye
I cook my senses in a dark fire
The old wombs rot and the new
Approaches with the footsteps of a world
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In Order To

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Apply for the position (I've forgotten now for what) I had to marry the Second Mayor's daughter by twelve noon
The order arrived three minutes of
I already had a wife; the Second Mayor was childless: but I did it
Next they told me t...
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The Hangmans Great Hands

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And all that is this day


The boy with cap slung over what had been a face
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Let Us Have Madness

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Let us have madness openly
O men Of my generation
Let us follow The footsteps of this slaughtered age: See it trail across Time's dim land Into the closed house of eternity With the noise that dying has, With the face that dead things we...
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Do the Dead Know what Time It Is

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The old guy put down his beer
Son, he said,      (and a girl came over to the table where we were:      asked us by Jack Christ to buy her a drink
)  Son,
I am going to tell you something  The like of which nobody was ever told
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The Slums

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That should be
Of course it
Any fool knows that
Even in the winter
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The Temple

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To leave the earth was my wish, and no will stayed my rising
Early, before sun had filled the roads with
Conveying folk to weddings and to murders;
Before men left their selves of sleep, to
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In the footsteps of the walking air

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In the footsteps of the walking
Sky's prophetic chickens weave their cloth of
And hillsides lift green wings in somber journeying
Night in his soft haste bumps on the shoulders of the
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Irkallas White Caves

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I believe that a young
Is standing in a circle of
In the other side of the sky
In a little while I must carry her the
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Be Music Night

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Be music, night,
That her sleep may go Where angels have their pale tall choirs Be a hand, sea,
That her dreams may watch Thy guidesman touching the green flesh of the world Be a voice, sky,
That her beauties may be counted And the ...
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Saturday Night in the Parthenon

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Tiny green birds skate over the surface of the room
A naked girl prepares a basin with steaming water,
And in the corner away from the hearth, the red
Of an up-ended chariot slowly turn
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Creation

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Wherever the dead are there they are
Nothing more
But you and I can
To see angels in the meadowgrass that
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My Generation Reading The Newspapers

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We must be slow and delicate; return the policeman's stare with some esteem, remember this is not a shadow play of doves and geese but this is now the time to write it down, record the words— I mean we should have left some pride of youth and not ...
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The Cloth Of The Tempest

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These of living emanate a formidable light,
Which is equal to death, and when used Gives increase eternally
What fortifies in separate thought Is not drawn by wind or by man defiled
So whispers the parable of doubleness
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We Go Out Together In the Staring Town

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We go out together into the staring
And buy cheese and bread and little jugs withflowered
Everywhere is a tent where we put on our whirling showA great deal has been said of the handless
Which war has set loose in the gay milk of
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