Home | About | Donate

Rest In Poetry

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/further/2021/02/23/rest-poetry

4 Likes

The World is a Beautiful Place is my very fav of his. Thanks for posting.

2 Likes

As a teen, he was one of my heroes.

Underwear

BY [LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI

I didn’t get much sleep last night

thinking about underwear

Have you ever stopped to consider

underwear in the abstract

When you really dig into it

some shocking problems are raised

Underwear is something

we all have to deal with

Everyone wears

some kind of underwear

The Pope wears underwear I hope

The Governor of Louisiana

wears underwear

I saw him on TV

He must have had tight underwear

He squirmed a lot

Underwear can really get you in a bind

You have seen the underwear ads

for men and women

so alike but so different

Women’s underwear holds things up

Men’s underwear holds things down

Underwear is one thing

men and women have in common

Underwear is all we have between us

You have seen the three-color pictures

with crotches encircled

to show the areas of extra strength

and three-way stretch

promising full freedom of action

Don’t be deceived

It’s all based on the two-party system

which doesn’t allow much freedom of choice

the way things are set up

America in its Underwear

struggles thru the night

Underwear controls everything in the end

Take foundation garments for instance

They are really fascist forms

of underground government

making people believe

something but the truth

telling you what you can or can’t do

Did you ever try to get around a girdle

Perhaps Non-Violent Action

is the only answer

Did Gandhi wear a girdle?

Did Lady Macbeth wear a girdle?

Was that why Macbeth murdered sleep?

And that spot she was always rubbing—

Was it really in her underwear?

Modern anglosaxon ladies

must have huge guilt complexes

always washing and washing and washing

Out damned spot

Underwear with spots very suspicious

Underwear with bulges very shocking

Underwear on clothesline a great flag of freedom

Someone has escaped his Underwear

May be naked somewhere

Help!

But don’t worry

Everybody’s still hung up in it

There won’t be no real revolution

And poetry still the underwear of the soul

And underwear still covering

a multitude of faults

in the geological sense—

strange sedimentary stones, inscrutable cracks!

If I were you I’d keep aside

an oversize pair of winter underwear

Do not go naked into that good night

And in the meantime

keep calm and warm and dry

No use stirring ourselves up prematurely

‘over Nothing’

Move forward with dignity

hand in vest

Don’t get emotional

And death shall have no dominion

There’s plenty of time my darling

Are we not still young and easy

Don’t shout

4 Likes

Ah, he has passed - first read his “A Coney Island of the Mind” in high school, the first modern poet I liked, saw him read at college in the late 70’s…then, on a circa 1980 road trip to the west coast, have the idea he was actually behind the counter when I and my travel companion visited t City Lights bookstore, in San Francisco, for the first time…

2 Likes

I love his mind and his humor and his telling the word to stuff it. He was the First Poet
Laureate of San Francisco too. I had my first job in San Francisco------and I loved that city—but traveling took over, and Now I have to get that book," Coney Island of the Mind." Words can live forever, but so can humor., and so do Poets : )

3 Likes