in retrospect

is how I’m best remembered
present tense often
not easy to bear
especially here
outside my natural element
which is not to say
I won’t have another glass
of whatever they’re pouring
wherever I am
before moving farther
down the line
letting memory
take care of itself

from BOLINAS JOURNAL by Joe Brainard

Last night in the bar a girl Bill and I were talking to especially stands out in my head. A “hippie” type. (Sorry, but that’s what words are for) Very sincere in what she believed in. But what she believed in was totally fucked up. But like I said, very sincere about it all.

It always bothers me, this combination. Of sincere and wrong. It doesn’t seem fair. Sincere should always be right.

Pliant by Chu Shu Chen

Spring flowers, Autumn moons,
Water lilies still carry
Away my heart like a lost
Boat. As long as I am flesh
And bone I will never find
Rest. There will never come a
Time when I will be able
To rest my emotions.

translated by Kenneth Rexroth

Fisherman by Ou Yang Hsiu

The wind blows the line out from his fishing pole.
In a straw hat and grass cape the fisherman
Is invisible in the long reeds.
In the fine spring rain it is impossible to see very far
And the mist rising from the water has hidden the hills.

translated by Kenneth Rexroth

Moon, Flowers, Man by Su Tung P’o

I raise my cup and invite
The moon to come down from the
Sky. I hope she will accept
Me. I raise my cup and ask
The branches, heavy with flowers,
To drink with me. I wish them
Long life and promise never
To pick them. In company
With the moon and the flowers,
I get drunk, and none of us
Ever worries about good
Or bad. How many people
Can comprehend our joy? I
Have wine and moon and flowers.
Who else do I want for drinking companions?

translated by Kenneth Rexroth