Each one of [these poems] is a mirror, dedicated to the person that I particularly want to look into it. But mirrors can be arranged. The frightening hall of mirrors in a fun house is universal beyond each particular reflection.
… Mirror makers know the secret—one does not make a mirror to resemble a person, one brings a person to the mirror.
Hell is this:
The lack of anything but the eternal to look at
Jack Spicer, “Orfeo”
It’s getting to the point where each time I write something substantial for my dissertation, and spend pages and pages talking about it, I subsequently discover that Jack Spicer has said the same thing in, like, two lines. So I’m just going to turn in a copy of his collected poems instead of my dissertation and shrug and say goodnight.
One thing you’d better get out of your mind at the start is all this nonsense about the Trojan horse and the fall of Troy. The Trojan war has been going on for the last three thousand years and it hasn’t stopped yet. All the stories you’ve heard about the destruction of Troy are just daydreams Ulysses invented to keep himself sane. You’ve probably dreamed like that yourselves, waiting for a war to come to an end. [Slightly embarrassed.] One thing, though—the people in the play don’t seem to know how long the war has lasted. They have the idea that it’s only been going on for nine years or so. I don’t know why. Human beings don’t have a very good time-sense.
From “Dignity is part of a man …” by Jack Spicer
I miss you, I said. The dead flowers,
The poets who wanted to kiss me, the naked
That wanted to kiss me. I miss their flowers
I miss the hatred of not being asked.
But Jack …
Shut up, I said. Nothing but love could have
eaten the roses.