Pastoral Photocopier 1 I look at that picture of Gary Snyder Bent down on some trail, in some forest, in some outdoors And I think I wonder if Gary Snyder worried about health insurance Had it Or if the words were even part of his vocabulary 2 JAM Worried about death JAM Worried about injuries JAM Worried about babies JAM Worried about a clean house JAM Worried about getting a job JAM Worried about all the junk JAM Worried about what to be worried about 3 This is a meta-wasteland without faith Numbers chart and shift Meaningless Meaning Practically Zen A fractal of calm Up the down the over Eating pie That sure tastes nice. 4 The man in the sweat pants Chants theyâ€™ll need a committee Lest the great institution crumbles. 5 Faith in photocopiers That none can fathom Yet everyone uses From the bourgeois staff To the great men of books All babble at its mystery and bottomless depths The chairs flounder when they discover charges Of $16.80 for 112 copies (The price of pride of all great men) Call the committee Bring in the man in sweat pants. 6 I spend 5 days, send various memos back and forth $16.80 is less than 2 hours wages for me For picking up a phone Stamping paper and Shepherding the oracle 7 It amazes me to think that Kerouacâ€™s Japhy Ryde Uses email. I wrote him. He said he was busy, but he was very polite. Westminster Choir College Wednesday, 10/3/07
3 thoughts on “Pastoral Photocopier”
I can’t bring myself to think too clearly about the deeper issues this thing is dealing with right now. But something about the meter, word choice, and allusions at least make me feel like there are deeper issues involved.
I think it somehow reminds me of some poem you showed me once. Maybe called “The Mower Against The Grass” or something similar?
Andrew Marvell wrote a poem called The Mower Against the Gardens. I didn’t have that poem in mind… but it is certainly a piece which has affected my thinking as a whole where the ordered universe is concerned.
The poem was inspired by my interactions here with the photocopier, an email to Gary Snyder (of Smokey the Bear Sutra fame) and weirdly enough a Timothy G. Gray who is not my brother. Gray wrote an essay called “Semiotic Shepperds: Gary Snyder, Frank O’Hara and the Embodiment of the Urban Pastoral”. I can’t provide a link to it, but you can get it off JSTOR if you feel so inclined. For the latter though, it was the imagery and not necessarily the argument that I lifted.
Against the Gardens. That’s the one I was thinking of. Although now that you point it out and I actually read it I guess it doesn’t have much to do with your own above.
Before I worked at my current job I worried alot about health insurance.
We all need incidents here and there to keep us humble I feel. $16.80 seems like a reasonable surcharge for the privilege.
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