Happy 99th birthday, Lawrence Ferlinghetti!!!

Happy 99th birthday, Lawrence Ferlinghetti!!!

TRUE CONFESSIONAL

I was conceived in the summer of Nineteen Eighteen
when some kind of war was going on
but it didn’t stop two people
from making love in Ossining that year
I like to think on a riverbank in sun
on a picnic by the Hudson
as in a painting of the Hudson River School
or up at Bear Mountain maybe
after taking the old Hudson River Line
paddlewheel excursion steamer
(I may have added the paddlewheel—
the Hudson my Mississippi)
And on the way back she
already carried me
inside of her
I lawrence ferlinghetti
wrought from the dark in my mother long ago
born in a small back bedroom—
In the next room my brother heard
the first cry,
many years later wrote me—
“Poor Mom—No husband—No money—Pop dead—
How she went through it all—”
Someone squeezed my heart
to make it go
I cried and sprang up
Open eye open heart where
do I wander
into the heart of the world
Carried away
by another I knew not
And which of me shall know my brother?
‘I am my son, my mother, my father,
I am born of myself
my own flesh sucked’
And someone squeezed my heart
to make me go
And I began to go
through my number
I was a wind-up toy
someone had dropped wound-up
into a world already
running down
The world had been going on
a long time already
but it made no difference
It was new it was like new
i made it new
i saw it shining
and it shone in the sun
and it spun in the sun
and the skein it spun
was pure light
My life was made of it
made of the skeins of light
The cobwebs of Night
were not on it
were not of it
It was too bright
to see
too luminous too numinous
to cast a shadow
and there was another world
behind the bright screens
I had only to close my eyes
for another world to appear
too near and too dear
to be anything but myself
my inside self
where everything real
was to happen
in this place which still exists
inside myself
and hasn’t changed that much
certainly not as much
as the outside
with its bag of skin
and its ‘aluminum beard’
and its blue blue eyes
which see as one eye
in the middle of the head
where everything happens
except what happens
in the heart
vajra lotus diamond heart
wherein I read
the poem that never ends

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