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Role Model: Constantly Risking Absurdity

In several places on this site I mention how much language means to me, the marvelous, textural, passionate subtleties of English…and Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

Here’s a favorite from my writing role model, beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. It still has the power to shower me with goose bumps and make my muse sit up and pay very close attention! Enjoy…

Constantly risking absurdity
and death
whenever he performslet-go-and-move-on dandelions
above the heads
of his audience
the poet like an acrobat
climbs on rime
to a high wire of his own making
and balancing on eyebeams
above a sea of faces
paces his way
to the other side of the day
performing entrachats
and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
and all without mistaking
any thing
for what it may not be
For he’s the super realist
who must perforce perceive
taut truth
before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance
toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
with gravity
to start her death-defying leap
And he
a little charleychaplin man
who may or may not catch
her fair eternal form
spreadeagled in the empty air
of existence

Go here to hear this read aloud, as well as several of his other poems, including Don’t Let that Horse. In all the site has 32 of his poems.
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