Dream Song 89

File the Berryman poetry reading at Smuda’s under “Dork, off the.” Incredible crowd–poets, rappers, rockers, filmmakers, journalists, painters and assholes. For me, the most powerful moment was when Kate Donahue, Berryman’s widow, read Dream Song 89. The most awkward moment was sitting next to Kate when somebody else read Dream Song 69.

Anyway, thanks to everybody who read or just showed up and bought a beer. We’re planning on doing another poetry reading, this time stuff inspired by Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, probably in late February. We will let you know.

Here’s Berryman’s Dream Song 89 (Op. Posthumous 12)

In a blue series towards his sleepy eyes
they slid like wonder, women tall & small,
of every shape & size,
in many languages to lisp ‘We do’
to Henry almost waking. What is the night at all,
his closed eyes beckon you.

In the Marriage of the Dead, a new routine,
he gasped his crowded vows past lids shut tight
and a-many rings fumbled on.
His coffin like Grand Central to the brim
filled up & emptied with the lapse of light.
Which one will waken him?

O she must startle like a fallen gown,
content with speech like an old sacrament
in deaf ears lying down,
blazing through darkness till he feels the cold
& blindness of his hopeless tenement
while his black arms unfold.

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