:: Article

Three Poems

By Alexander Trocchi.

In the White Bowl of Yr Thighs

In the white bowl of yr thighs
a dead man lies
minutely quivering, my dear
as does an oar’s
blade water.
The seething mice
that nested there
as he did core thee!
In the white bowl of yr thighs
my red cherry lies
my needles knit
small birds atwit
in yr groin’s great grab
and shuddering tomtit?
Ding dong dell
pussy’s in the well
yr white thighs’ bowl
Val de Grâcec
halk marks on a wall.

A Little Geography Lesson for my Sons and Daughters

The east is onion-domes,
a bowl of plague, gossamer nets.
in black distance, out of rising dust,
it is black and white, and many shades
of brown, a camel, a fakir’s hand,
moon-pale skin of a Turkish butt,
caravans, endless sand.

The east is a green crescent
or a round red ball;
it is always elliptical.
tiled mosques, music, mystic fires,
dark-blooded breasts of women
who are princesses or pariahs.

The wise men came from the east.
its wisdom is dried up,
a fig with its many seeds;
its sayings (deeds)
inscribed on tablets
endures as stone endures,
but they are not precisely statements;
they are elliptical as the thighs of its women.
consult the sufis, the masters of zen.
remember Li Po, Saladin.

The east is a great beast at bay
in the desert, a mongol caravan.
distances are far.
there is snow in China.
there is whiskey at Kandahar.

The west is electric trains
a brass figure on a cross and
supply & demand
profit & loss. there is no prevailing
colour in the west
unless we speak of that dictated by Schiaparelli
and that is for spring or autumn only.

The west is neither sun nor moon.
it is an eagle or a lion
and it is orientated upwards
like the cathedral at Chartres
or the Empire State Building.
no one came from the west
because it wasn’t invented
until Columbus sailed to India.
Here bee dragons, roote of mandrake…
some ever since have regarded
the whole damn thing as a mistake.

The west is trapezium or parallelogram
and meets at many points.
the wisdom of the west is geometrical;
at its best, precisely statement;
largely a question of semantics
since the metaphysical abatement.
in Rome, even Naples, they eat with knife and fork;
year round there is hashish & heroin in New York.

The east is ghettos,
narrow streets & a high birthrate.
it is the colour of semen and murder,
of love & hate;
the colour of hunger and industrial strikes,
& slow, over all, vultures tilt like kites.
it goes on and on,
women pounding clothes on stone,
old ways in old bitches;
it is act, cataract,
rags to rags, riches to riches.

It is a black cross and three brass balls;
it is diastole, intumescence,
like a tropical fungus,
the well-sucked teats of its women
who grow old bearing children.
the wisdom of the east
is contained in Sunday newspapers;
always sensational, never new.
sayings inscribed in the hard arteries
of a news editor, and will endure
as long as it pays to have hard arteries.

It is exclamatory as lovers pricked
out of the dark by a policeman’s torch.
it is the spawn of a fish,
a queue for the dole, diastole.
there are diamonds in Limehouse
fine lingerie in Harlem.

The west is boudoirs and actresses
and a dwindling aristocracy.
there is no prevailing colour in the west
unless it’s the colour of yr money.
that, being largely a question of semen & silk,
it is sometimes necessary to resort to murder,
but it is called manslaughter.
it is a well-known trademark or a school blazer.

The west is systole, attenuation,
a properly modulated voice,
too much flesh drawn (by choice)
tight in a corset.
the wisdom of the west is a book of rules
not quite indispensable
for those who travel by Pullman.
Fortunately the women of the west
pivot on a more vital fulcrum,
take off their rules with their clothes,
are fond of orchids, imaginative in their discretion.

The west is a Daimler sports
driven by a negro in a white uniform.
it is Hamlet, King Lear.
there is prostitution in Boston,
abomination in Saint Cyr.

The east is a dark uterus,
darker than the waters of the Nile or the Euphrates.
she is female & her spawn
is a seeping alluvial silt, waiting
for the dredgers of the west, who is male,
an iron plough
for the soft black earth of the east.

If you will turn to page 11 of yr geography books
you will see that where east meets west
there is a spiney ridge of high mountains
which runs north and south
like a Great Wall of China.
according to geologists, this formidable barrier
(bigger than an aircraft carrier)
came into being fortuitously
by fission or eruption in prehistoric times.
that is not true, children, it was erected
by yr grandfather’s father (an evil old man),
a device to get that same old sod elected
on a platform that undertook to prevent
our western races from being “infected”
by the smelly rabble
which collected near the Tower of Babel
to pray to other gods.

If there is anything that isn’t clear
I refer you to the chronicles of Zarathustra
or to the chieh-hein of the Llama Swingitup.
if you can’t get hold of these,
see me, please.
in N. Y., Shanghai
Paris or either of the Venices
London, Moscow, or Kabul
For years I had few appendices
as the empire the emperor
the court, the fool,
I am normally to be found
on unhallowed ground
where they last buried me,
or, if I am still quick,
not walking the deadman’s halls,
you’ll find me in the red light district
engraving koans on lavatory walls.

Understand, children, I am not preaching peace.
I am not preaching moderation.
goodnight sweet children, goodnight, goodnight!


Breast culture
Land of mothers’ sons
For cunt
Use deodorunt
For pricks

Alexander Trocchi left Glasgow University with the honours of a brilliant philosophy scholar. In Paris, he founded Merlin – the outstanding literary magazine, wrote novels for Olympia Press, experimented with heroin and became hooked. He is best known for Cain’s Book and Young Adam.

A volume of poetry, Man at Leisure, was published by Calder & Boyars in 1972 and reissued in 2009 on the Calder list of Oneworld Classics with the original introduction by William Burroughs and a new afterword by Stewart Home. Trocchi’s literary assistant Denis Browne’s Lord Junk Himself, recounting the book and its significance to the author, was published at 3:AM in 2006.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, May 10th, 2011.