Poem – K O Arvidson

Hello Allen

Against the bright beaches lamenting
the best minds of my generation destroyed,
Ginsberg lugubrious and fat among

decaying frangipani hogged the scene,
paying the perfect tribute of imitation,
out of his own head. A paradox, that hoon’s

fancy footwork dodging the drunken taxicabs 
of Absolute Reality, choreographed among
the tropical white towers, the crowds, the breeze.

That was his style, to put it crudely,
letting it all hang out in Jefferson
Hall at No. 1776 (the date

a suggestive number) East-West Center,
Manoa Valley, Hon. Hi., USA.
The audience roared applause, adoring and appalled.

Bull-voiced, obese, a scrofulum, a turd,
a pock-souled poet, he wavered, waved,
and waving went with his acolytes away,
to the tee-hee-hee house of the August moon.


Hello Janet

Crystalline as the korimako
calling in the clear air of the day,
Frame, jet-setting as Clutha, vowelled up

on schnitzels of her Daughter Buffalo,
in pure light tones declared the knotted dogs
had found the best sticking place in each other,

while over the street a linesman clove convulsed
in embrace of death to adhesive electric wires.
(Not one of Turnlung’s better New York days.)

Girlish, and touched with a smidgeon of Lady Macbeth,
she held all eyes, all ears, and allowed not any trespass
on her vocality, so bell-clear and exotic,

cool as a fall of snow in that humid valley.
Under what dark changes went night’s damp
on allamanda, on poinciana? What smoke

did the flame-tree utter? She from the railway-track
and the shock of electric knowledge wasn’t saying,
just twisting the knife a little,
just being angelic-demonic, like a Star.

Honolulu 1977:1996


K O Arvidson

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