He toured Kansas, then Greenwich
where he lived as a postulant, later
described as the happiest time of
his life. With a face resembling
Vonnegut, or a plump pumpkin
going flat, he aged quickly along
with American innocence, if ever
there was such a thing. The hippies
thought him a god-like blend of
hemp, haiku and hitchhiking, a
view he never admitted to liking.
Authorities long considered him
a poet in times of war, a lector
at the City Lights Bookstore,
and of that they could not abide.
He went to the camps, went to
shore, and finally went to ground.
His daughter, Mary, changed her
name to Mariana. His third wife
left him for a poet. No record remains
of the man having lived or died, but
for his words, and now this,
and only after tea and peyote.
A pipe plays slow and long. Low
thunder sloshes from the Rockies to
Brooklyn, Chicago to The City, where
streets on the hill tilt toward the sea.
(First published in Poetry Circle.)
Tracy Mitchell is a newly retired native Minnesotan, recently relocated to the splendor of Colorado. His free verse writing is largely inspired by the vagaries of this frail and transitory life. Fair game subject matter includes nature, ourselves, and each other. His best work has been imagined by the campfire in a clearing somewhere near sleep. He is a contributing member of Poetry Society of Colorado, MyWritersCircle, Writers Among Us, Poetry Circle, and PigPen Poetry Forum. His work has appeared in Lake Region Review, and the poetry anthology As the Kettle Wolf-Whistled.
Photograph of Kenneth Rexroth reading, source Foundsf.