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Revenge of the Rejected Ones

By way of explanation before you read:

Revenge of the Rejected Ones is part of Fucking, a poem I wrote for performance in the 1970s that I pretty much finished in 1976 and continued to perform in both Philadelphia and New York into the early 80s. Revenge of the Rejected Ones has never been published except for what you see below, which I printed in 1984 with some drawings by my friend Rocco DiSipio. Yesterday I was looking for something else and found this in a box under the bed. I had forgotten all about it. Then I remembered the drawings done here by my friend Rocco. In the final version of Fucking I edited out some of the parts that I will let remain below in its 1984 form. I am doing this in part in memory of my talented friend Rocco DiSipio who suffered from schizophrenia and killed himself several decades ago.

Revenge of the Rejected Ones

Voici le temps des Assassins!

I once walked hand in hand with Jehovah.
He didn’t blink an eye. Just don’t try
to rape his angels. Always ask.
Pan means all: he was half-goat.
Priapus is proper in the garden.
Bacchus with his Grapevines entwines the Oars
and sends the Sailors jumping mad into the Sea
to Dolphins changed in Whips of Waves
where Mothers turn upon their Sons
tearing them Limb from Limb
stuffing them in their Wombs again.
Old time orgy’s what I am when I’m in you coming
hissing out the sun. I’m like the sea
torn from the land in waves that come
to lift to fall not on but into sand
as flame will into ash or breath to death
the wood that’s ash never to be the wood again
where I now dip a finger
not penitent
but with a vague regret?
What was it? What is gone?
I can’t recall orgasm.
And you asleep
arms legs round me
like spokes without a rim
I want to shake awake and ask,
“What we began shall we begin?”

But I don’t.
I know sometimes you won’t.
Love, I can’t bear rejection.
Until you ask I’m passive.
I’m waiting
Love, I’m waiting.

Oh well okay
I’ll masturbate
myself my gift.
I too can sleep.


Ultimately I do not give a damn
but dream my mother in a garden
giving head to morning glories.
When every tendril’s entered in
she says, “Now it’s time to load the guns.

We’re like a field in the spring still fallow
full of the husks and broken stalks
of last year’s harvest;
dandelions grow in us and the wild mustard
under whose new pretty useless yellow flowers
freshly whelped rabbits are sucking milk
out of their mothers
while pregnant turtles swim into the earth
with separating claws.

All blossoms now for fertilizer!
All bodies shall be sliced beneath the plow!
Let’s to the final sowing.
We are in need of new things growing
not for now, this moment’s pleasure
but for a future necessary hunger.
There’s always a little slaughter
before we take of nourishment.

Mass murder is a worthy occupation nowadays.
What keeps you, my son? Pave the way.
Dole out the bullets into the hands of those
who’ll come, all of them Rejected Ones:
the criminals, the retarded, the foreign, the strange
ugliness stripped naked dragged behind horses
beaten through the ancient winding streets
where many gather to abuse them
or not lift a finger in protest
gazing a gaze that looks like hate
yet underneath what longs and waits
and wants so bad to congregate
it does so in a mob for lynching
as quickly as a drinking glass will shatter
into invisibly dangerous slivers
slipped irretrievably from your fingers
or drops of rain down a windowpane
zigzag to meet and are the same
ooze that snakes in long flat puddles
certain faces squirm together
to observe in number what separately they’d flee:
man’s inhumanity to man, that scene
where once assured it’s not for me
I can watch comfortably
what makes the adder and the lone wolf
coil and snarl at my hand.

Beasts smell my flower, run and cower
before my bud, my one and only one
on its thorny yearning stem of tender wood
a rose misunderstood blooming with a blood
like a cobra spreads its hood
blossom a skull with skin
but you can’t see in even when it smiles
some horror twists within its eyes
that never blink and always stare you down
unfathomable, impenetrable, most often said
to grow in the garden of your enemy which is
(if you’re of my time born circa 1949
shortly after the Japanese and goosestepping Nazis
with the dust of the Jews on the soles of their shoes) Russia
who made me get under my desk in elementary school
to practice for when it would drop the bomb
and I covered my eyes to keep out the glass
that would fly from the windows
when the mushroom flashed
and I didn’t have time to get home and die
with Mommy and Daddy and Rexy, the dog
but I had to do it all alone


Now from Boston to DC it’s a big hole
the Atlantic’s lapping at Cleveland, Ohio
while my little poisoned particles are floating down
on the grass the cows are munching outside
Lincoln, Nebraska where anybody drinking
a glass of milk from now until forever
can only offspring retarded mutant lizards
much like the Creature from the Black Lagoon
who wants what every other creature does:
to be looked at, met, understood
not killing all it clutches
in its wet slippery algaed clutches
weeping all its laughter
as it walks from the Statue of Liberty to Alaska
up the Saint Lawrence Seaway on the bellies of dead fishes
while those still human live locked in cellars
distilling their piss and eating soda crackers
till they can come out maybe two centuries later
white as pus and very much thinner
to start from scratch in a land of dust
not radioactive but out of which
cockroaches hatch the size of elephants
and they’d like you for dinner.


When the sirens ended I uncovered my head
no longer pretended, but sat at my desk
fearing someone I’d never met, a communist
something that hadn’t been, Apocalypse.
while my teacher pointed a safe distance back
to Simon Legree whipping his blacks
Cortez mowing down hospitable Aztecs
mad Ivan boiling a dwarf for a joke
Nero fucking his mother while the Christians smoked.
And all the bad things others did and do
they never hide from you
but when the time comes to view yourself
which is in part the land you walk
a few volumes are taken from the shelf.

America, let your school children know
how you stole the Old West from Mexico.
All you tell them’s the Alamo.
You can’t defend the truth; it defends you.
Didn’t you think we’d love you
if you opened your closet for our view
to show us your skeletons piled onto piles
the sins of our fathers, this karma of empires
where to be number one means you step on someone
until someone comes and then you’re stepped on?
Even whores for war can’t take that much:
fuck a bucket of guts, it’ll make you a little nuts.
What did you think your little boys would do
though you fed them on Little League and Walt Disney too
when you stuck them in a rice paddy far from you?

Six million Jews once dug a ditch
then they were shot and thrown in it.
Garcia Lorca in a ditch.
In My Lai there was a ditch.
See the baby in that ditch
flying from its mother’s tit
in the moment it’s blown to bits
shards for freedom peace no where
but piece of eye, piece of hair
over here, over there.

When the truth hurts feel the pain;
truth’s pain soon eases then you can start again.
America, tell me I want to know
why the saddle horns of my proud nation bore
the hacked off sex of Apache squaws
why making love is making war
and pull with me a flower by the roots
out of the swamp of the human heart
where pity is the kindest cruelty, pettiness a seed
man’s low opinion of himself the loam where it breeds.
See where these roots feed.
Follow the roots’ tendrils through the pebbles
till they come to the end of themselves
to take into themselves what’s not themselves
but you’ll never see it
because all moves there and obscures it
clings, clutches there and covers it
but you can almost hear it, sounds
like a mouth drawing all in
through a hole so small it’s infinite
bottomless eternal hungering.

The nourishment is where we are not
and there we go to meet it
tear with our teeth and eat it
with hands reached out complete it.
Need bleeds, blood breathes
and you and I are we
at that point where groin on groin
Love’s purest expression’s born
when out of us a third is torn.

Cut the umbilical cord! Let it alone
a new creation formed into time
not of us now, it has its own mind
so new we haven’t named it
all bloody yet with still sealed eyes
but look! the eyelids flutter
and are rising to bare the eyes
but still our infant’s blind
because the light’s too bright
and this the Light knows
so wanting to be helpful
draws the line, absences itself.

There is no light where we draw the line
over the paper pulling a pencil
to make up pictures or curlicue our words
putting lines around ideas in our minds
the way lines put objects in our eyes.
First to disappear into the night
first to appear in the morning’s the line
Light’s gift of sight to us
but also its paradox
the way it makes us desperate
thinking we’re all separate
so even Jesus cursed a fig and fell
asking the thief on Calvary Hill
“Do you believe in me?”

Said the thief, “As far as I can see.”

To which Jesus replied matter of factly
“You sniveling piece of human profanity
I’m going to take all the flames of Nagasaki
and shove them up your ass eternally!”
which he did, the son of Love
when he gave that thief a shove
and dolly ding dong dell cast him into hell.

O little pink babe, encompass all
accept, don’t reject, make all possible
because Love’s cruel in minds kept small
casting things down that will not mirror it
then risen there it smiles on a landscape
smouldering, napalmed as Vietnam’s
severed heads and splintered mouths.

We are so full of Love.
Why do we beat it with a thousand sticks?
Why do we make it furious?
It stays, it cowers in us
waiting for another’s hand
not to abuse but bloom us.
And we are like a crayfish
swimming backward through our souls
with tail curled into belly
and our claws outstretched
so ready and so full of fear
of what we never see
what stirs as sticks the surface of our minds
that muddy stirring when we spit
on those who have no choosing what they are.

What wretch have we hung from the gallows pole?
Who’s still hanging there after we go
back to our houses to sleep and to snore
in snugly warm beds behind bolted doors?
Corpse hard and cold without its soul
like earth in the winter when sowers can’t sow
in fields that are hidden under the snow
where streams that were flowing no longer flow.
Try as you might you can’t look at the face:
twa corbies now fly there and Time’s had its way.
Love, wipe off your spit gobbed full of stars
shining like diamonds and one lacy flower
then wipe off the skin under your spit
down passed the bruises blue from your kick
pull out each maggot, get passed the stink
swim through the blood where the jackals drink
inside of marrow inside of bone
to wipe and to wipe till all’s finally gone
but a little bit of grace when you come face to face
with the face that you hate: it’s your own.


“Happy sowing,” Mother said
then they put a bullet though our heads
Rejected Ones
turning to their lone directions
out of the garden down from the mountain
across the river into the city
of all you waiting who are sleeping
but get up when you hear the knocking
with your hand come open to the knob
thinking it’s a lover
unaware no kiss has come
or even that you wait
for what you haven’t asked
to put your blood upon the final stair.

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