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Drunken Bee Poems by Philip Good

I first held Drunken Bee Poems in my hands in 1987 when Philip Good gave them to me, shortly after he moved to New York to live with Bernadette Mayer and her children a few blocks away on Avenue A and 4th Street, and it has been a favorite book of mine since then. At three and half inches by four, it’s a small book, more a rectangle than a square, as large as it is small, opening up to an adventure of engaging images and sounds, beatific quips, wisdom smiled, an easy read flowing down stream a la Blake or Orlovsky or Rimbaud on an intoxicating voyage or flight, drunken bees, after all, not boats.

If you want some fun, click on each page below to enlarge and read the words. I do not steer you wrong.

A cause to
In the hot summer

Over a flower?
Over a dram?
Over a bottle?
Over a power man?
Over a lover?
Over a gram?
Over a sour man?
No answer just
noise in the street

Landing on my
Flipping though my
Letting egos err
Remembering a
Grand time

Beauty achieved
By naked thoughts
Of restless youth
In ageless summer

To travel down
For meaningful
Measures of sublime.

We don’t write about
flowers anymore.
“Leave me out of this
We business.”

Leave the emotions in if
Say hello to the Blue Jays
Who say, “I love you.”
And there’s no way
To let go.

In a song freshly
Cut flowers are
Closed by landlords.
But that doesn’t
Stop Emily D.
From drinking
The more.

Nobody said, “Some more.”
When all the inventions
And constructions are
Extentions of the
Human form
Read Buckminster Fuller.

Did Little Bear
Get stung by a
Drunken Bee or
A lover of horses?

It’s not just an
Unpaved path
It’s not just sounds
Of construction and grass
Not to mention the gas
It’s not just a little
Orange cloud.
It’s the pounding of
My heart.

See the sun rise over
The city
See the back of Liberty
See a heron fly
See baby white tails
All on the account of little

Which street does
She rise above
Those empty taverns
Those empty hearts
Another day of money
Another day of progress
Another day to get a

Now hungry for peace
Hungry for no wars
Hungry not to have
Needs outweigh means
Decrease the needs
Decrease the ways
No to feel joy
Not to forget the

Freedom from pain
Freedom to think
Something in my pocket
Tells me
To observe
Orange bars and triangles
Falling on the largest
Rectangles on the block.

Herbs can cure
Many are poisonous
They are used for the

Kept in a body seeking vision
Discovered nothingness as solution
Besides outside distraction
Collective energy
Produces reflected images
Repeated through replacement

And there’s an herb on the ice
And one rose in the milk bottle
And more in the bowls he brought
Finally there’s a pull from behind
Come let’s enter the empty river

Paved walking on escape
Faces grinning uptightness
Spare change Mister?
Past the welfare hotel —
Dream reality transports miles away
to isolated hills with city view

It’s not easy
To be a flower
Doing nothing all day
But waiting
Waiting to be tasted
Waiting to be another

Travelling peril fluttered
No longer flapping
Floating about
No longer trembling

Reality brought forth
Through noise
Recorded in silent nights
Turning slowing
Seemingly hopeless

Nothing but blue
Here over the ocean
Here in the heart
Missing a heart
Time to start
With travel.

Meanwhile many snakes sang
At the garden party
Hitting the open trail
They drank screwdrivers
Eating a cardboard cactus
The snake called Lucy
Went for a swim

Dream reality transports
Miles away to isolated hills
With city view in mind
And there’s
An Herb On The Ice
And one rose is in
The milk bottle

Ship blow that horn
Wind blow those palms
Bridge open those gates
Poet celebrate

She spent her life secluded
Wit and sentiment
Concerned with
Immortality and nature

The fire within
Competes with
A reflection from
Below the water

Philip Good

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