h1

A Song For, And A Poem by, John Berryman.

September 19, 2008

    John Allyn Smith Sails – Okkervil River

By the second verse, dear friends
My head will burst, my life will end
So, I’d like to start this one off by saying
“Live and love”

I was young and at home in bed
And I was hanging on the words some poem said
I was thirty-one
I was impressionable
I was upsettable

I tried to make my breathing stop, my heart beat slow
So, when my mom and John came in, I would be cold

From a bridge on Washington Avenue, the year of 1972
Broke my bones and skull and it was memorable
It was half a second and I was halfway down
Do you think I wanted to turn back around and teach a class
Where you kiss the ass that I’ve exposed to you

And at the funeral, the University
Cried at three poems they’d present in place of a broken me

I was breaking in a case of suds
At the brass rail, a fall-down drunk with his tongue torn out and his balls removed
And I knew that my last lines were gone while stupidly I lingered on, other wise men know when it’s time to go
And so I should, too

And so I fly into the brightest winter sun
Of this frozen town, I’m stripped down to move on
My friends, I’m gone

Well, I hear my father fall
And I hear my mother call
And I hear the others all whisper, “Come home”
I’m sorry to go
I loved you all so
But this is the worst trip I’ve ever been on

So, hoist up the John B. sail
(Hoist up the John B. sail)
See how the main sail sets
(See how the main sail sets)
I’ve folded my heart in my head and I wanna go home
With a book in my hand
In the way I had planned
Well, this is the worst trip I’ve ever been on

Hoist up the John B. sail
(Hoist up the John B. sail)
See how the main sail sets
(See how the main sail sets)
I’ve folded my heart in my head and I wanna go home
With a book in each hand
(With a book in each hand)
In the way I had planned
(In the way I had planned)
I feel so broke up
I wanna go home

    Dream Song 14

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatedly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,

Who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.

John Berryman

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: