The Third Dimension by Denise Levertov

Who’d believe me if
I said, “They took and

split me open from
scalp to crotch, and

still I’m alive, and
walk around pleased with

the sun and all
the world’s bounty.” Honesty

isn’t so simple:
a simple honesty is

nothing but a lie.
Don’t the trees

hide the wind between
their leaves and

speak in whispers?
The third dimension

hides itself.
If the roadmen

crack stones, the
stones are stones;

but love
cracked me open

and I’m
alive

to tell the tale–but not
honestly:

the words
change it. Let it be–

here in the sweet sun
–a fiction, while I

breathe and
change pace.

The Five Feet by Ed Sanders

You can always fight the foulest grief
with drinks and thrills
You can channelize your septum
with thousand dollar bills

But you better get obsessed again
on the Change Wheel’s rungs
or they’ll let the tumors grow
in the hummingbird’s lungs

You’ve got to have five feet
to skitter down the road

One foot in the grave
One foot in the glitter
One foot in the gutter
One foot in the glory
One foot near the Grail

Lawrence said to build a Boat of Death
upon that main
Well, you’d better patch the leaky Boat of Life
call it Paradise Plain

There’s nothing wrong with writing lines of verse
on a foam-flecked oar
Even if we cannot join Matisse
through Plato’s door

You’ve got to have five feet
to skitter down the road

One foot in the grave
One foot in the glitter
One foot in the gutter
One foot in the glory
One foot near the Grail

Climbing by Tom Clark

My heart in pieces like the bits
Of trains lost in the blue
Rain confused I roar off into
To learn how to build a ladder
With air in my lungs again
To be with you in that region
Of speed and altitude where our bodies
Sail off to be kissed and changed
By light that behaves like a hand
Picking us up in one state and putting
Us down in a different one every time

Complaynt by Anne Waldman

I’m wanton–no I’ve stopped that.
That old place
I’ve changed, I’m Mother
It’s more mysterious.
How odd the past looks
When I reread old notebooks,
See their faces fade
I feel it everywhere
& ordinary too
Am I safer now?
Was other way gayer?
I’m Mother now, O help &
Continue!

Love Poem by Ron Padgett

We have plenty of matches in our house.
We keep them on hand always.
Currently our favorite brand is Ohio Blue Tip,
though we used to prefer Diamond brand.
That was before we discovered Ohio Blue Tip matches.
They are excellently packaged, sturdy
little boxes with dark and light blue and white labels
with words lettered in the shape of a megaphone,
as if to say even louder to the world,
“Here is the most beautiful match in the world,
by its one and a half inch soft pine stem capped
by a grainy dark purple head, so sober and furious
and stubbornly ready to burst into flame,
lighting, perhaps, the cigarette of the woman you love,
for the first time, and it was never really the same
after that. All this will we give you.”
That is what you gave me, I
become the cigarette and you the match, or I
the match and you the cigarette, blazing
with kisses that smoulder toward heaven.