Excerpt from 'Jubilant Thicket'


New & Selected Poems


Copyright © 2005 Jonathan Williams
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-55659-202-7


A GREETING TO THE READER..................................IX
I. Meta-fours.............................................3
II. Mahler................................................47
III. Apple-pie Order......................................99
IV. Scumbags from Parnassus...............................121
V. Bugtussle..............................................133
VI. Nude Driver Threw Lard!...............................205
VII. The Flower-Hunter in the Fields......................235
VIII. Homages, Elegies & Valedictions.....................257
ABOUT THE AUTHOR..........................................303


Chapter One

I. META-FOURS The poet's fascination with his dotty invention, the meta-four, continues. Its only "rule" is that each line have four words. All capitals and punctuation are eliminated, except for hyphens and apostrophes. The result (when it works) turns sense into nonsense and gets the mind so off-stride that you don't know whether you're coming or going. And you don't distinguish "prose" from "poetry." There is the ancient local limerick: There was a young bugger from Dent, whose cock was so long that it bent. To save himself trouble, he put it in double- and instead of coming, he went!!! That's the idea. Today's huckster now has about fifteen seconds in which to sell soap-thirty, seconds strain the attention of the couch potato. The wastrel poet (a no-goodnik with nothing to sell to any appalled American mall-rat) may not have five seconds. He therefore alerts his words: You guys better creep in, crap, and creep out, like starting now: DO IT! Judith Thurman gives good advice: "Start as near the end of a poem as you can." The lines in a meta-four make sure that you do as much work as the writer did-maybe even more. Few will be willing who don't read poetry, perhaps, but the poet aspires to reach no one else-no one but willing readers, that is. "Cromwell, I do charge thee, Flench from ambition. By that sin fell the angel," etc. The meta-four, like the limerick, is a form that seems to provoke a certain lubricity. There's nowt wrong with that, luv. You'll find plenty of lyricism and visionary concern later on in the book. META-FOURS ("Voces Intimae") courtesy of raoul middleman so what did the zen monk say to the hotdog vendor make me one with everything a play by jardiel pordela is titled carlo monte in monte carlo le artie shaw artichaut that's it game's over zip up your fly estimated acres of forest henry david thoreau burned down in 1844 trying to cook fish he'd caught for dinner 300 i intended on celebrating the supreme court sodomy ruling by going out and sodomizing someone last night but my plans fell through tra la from nowhere a crow came with me as i left the city vat 69 is not the pope's private phoneline ben katchor's cheap novelties the pleasures of urban decay featuring mr julius knipl real estate photographer i still remember the classic yiddish joke ferdinand ruge my english master at st albans used to tell it went like this so what is the difference between the stoic and the cynic schools of philosophy vell de stoic is vut brings de babies and de cynic's vere you vash de dishes but egg bread is what your mama's generation used to call it East Village Blues had it in my mouth twice no dice We're Experiencing Audio Irregularities you do jack it don't you peter as big as that you don't just sit around and look at it bowflex like having an entire jim at home most people over eighty don't buy green bananas paulus spongopeus gistebnicenus arguably the most prolific bohemian composer of his time the auvergnats do rather elaborate things with eggs ecballium elaterium squirting cucumber discharges explosively when ripe J.B. what did you call that lad who pumped petrol at the garage i called him angelpups what else dumb ass i called him angelpups hey travis fimmel do you still wear calvins i wear what's clean Dylan pink i likes blue i likes but puce i bloody hates mate the money talks and absolutely everybody else listens fytp fytp fytp fytp fuck you too pal nc bone & joint with all the dna in the cum on my stomach i could clone myself three times the viagra i took with dinner stayed with me all the way to memphis which gave me something to do Pedophile TV Ads Are Here why do i have aflac insurance on top of my regular health insurance did i say it is because he has his mother's thighs yonat wiryamoso that's my name in linear b according to guy davenport who should bloody know Rebus i'm dealing with slime to catch a slug a psychic and a celebrity a camera and a murder all come together in this riveting page-turner by tata bosboom The John Murray Archive it includes the pubic hair of byron's lover balthus smiles that on park avenue women laugh when they are coming miss charlene mason sang i will not pass this way again giving pleasure to the congregation very considerable pleasure indeed rita was a nympho my father knew stuff Thomas Wolfe editing his work was likened to putting a corset on an elephant the name's volpo drought another image i embed my mind's eve into After Ovid jackin' the bean stalk where will you be when your diarrhea comes back answer me that Jack Morton christ john the day you give up smoking is the day i change my underwear and that's a genuine promise thomas jeckyll's sunflower firedogs Scenes of Childhood: Last Day of Gene Ramey's School, Cornelia, Georgia, 1943 hurray hurray hurray hurray the first of May outdoor fucking starts today father sebastian kneipp's waters In the Public's Book at R.B. Kitaj's Exhibition at the Met i hate this kind of exhibit specially when it comes from a faget ps like him and likewise Hockney Sam Some Chards from Over at the Neugents' Place well that's coon holdin' that black snake and back behind him that's either frog or hell it might be turtle ridin' that goddamned chopper one move you're chutney home sweet sweaty home O.J. in South Florida i met this girl once and she tells me she only dates guys with ten inches i said baby i ain't cuttin' off two inches not for nobody hegel once said the owl of minerva flies at dusk i think i can top that the bowel of minerva moves at dusk so what do you think openly gay high school football player visits hickory Bruce Boycik, San Diego Padres Manager plays by his pants wins with his gut and on one climb had his hair set on fire by lightning cher maitre we brits are an odd lot some of my colleagues have taken to pronouncing your name morris ravel to rhyme with gravel the english are like dogs they go round pissing on everything salut A Fifeshire Prayer a shower a shave a shit a shag his father used to say if shit was gold you'd have a wee tyke at yer erse screamin' faster more Jimmy at Sixteen i'm not too strong on love i just love to do it oh boy a hard-to-find piece of freckleton stoneware one edinburgh publican has a sign over the bar that says if assholes could fly this would be an airport Buddy Hackett they told him to behave as though he were an egg he lay down on the floor they asked him what he was doing i'm a fried egg holy cow i said are you ever huge sirius listens to dumbledore even if he doesn't like what he hears Dizzy o john birks you really were the works as the french say may the flames of islam consume your degenerate lifestyle you depraved crab-louse drives like a man with a paper asshole a celadon-colored velvet armchair Thelma's Kitchen black-eyed peas simmer all day as god intended we all start plucking turkeys this next tuesday tall can of corn A Richard C Poem the dinah shore dinosaur bucket of blue smoke by the way did you know that massachusetts is passamaquoddy for asshole in swim meat 2 the return of humpy a peter hunter production here's young jeremy the classic california blond ditz so young so dumb so full of cum so jeremy intrudes into a small orgy yelling better watch out boys i'ma pig for hole words for the ages simon spent most of the day in the phone box down there by the duck pond had seen that someday the summer sun would not throw his shadow save your bones for henry jones cause henry don't eat no meat Apollo and Hyacinthus i trust you heeded your mother's admonition to wear clean knickers in case you happened to meet a god in the course of your sultry travels so when we come to you bosky dell i am likely to rip those knickers right off you kid i really am the rolling stone interview asked dolly parton if she was a virgin in the cheerleader photo when she was sweet 16 listen here boys my cherry was so far up inside me i used it for a taillight bless jesus the irish working class is uniquely literate in the western world for example two englishmen on a london building site one says to the other fucking hell stewart why are you still hiring these fucking paddies after all the bombings and all i'll tell you why mate they're very very intelligent he calls over paddy paddy tell my friend the difference between a joist and a girder sure mid begorra dead easy boss joist wrote ulysses and girder wrote faust my daughter can spot a cute boy at 150 yards what she can't find is a tomato in the refrigerator i just had sex on the coney island ferris wheel it was not a dream and boy am i glad Das Lied Von Der Kinderspielplatz if i give you a nickel you can suck my pickel if you give me a dime you can suck it all the time Stan Getz (1927-1991) i've never played a note i didn't mean and i'd like that written on my tombstone it was just yesterday afternoon wizard whateley said ygnaiih ygnaiih thflthkhh'ngha yog-sothoth Lou Donaldson pickin' coleslaw in arkansas but by the end of lunch uncle norman was enthusing about the smell of children's armpits C.S.L. if you ordered a trainload of assholes and all you got was him you would still think you got a lot for your money Old 6th-Century-b.c.


Excerpted from JUBILANT THICKET by JONATHAN WILLIAMS Copyright © 2005 by Jonathan Williams. Excerpted by permission.
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