Francis Scarfe

Here you will find theLong PoemKitchen Poemof poet Francis Scarfe

Kitchen Poem

An Elegy for Tristan Tzara In the hungry kitchen The dog sings for its dinner. The housewife is writing her poem On top of the frigidaire Something like this: 'Hear in the kitchen The crows fly home Into the red-robed trees That walk across the sky. Hear under the floor The three fountains rising and Trickling through the bridge Into the sea of poems.' In the kitchen the housemother Pours soup for her thousand children As her man eats his silence And the dog swallows its poem. In all. the kitchens of Europe The radio shouts good news: 'Millions have had no accident today All wars have come to an end An honest politician In another country Wants to become a plumber All men will be equal, next year Volcano vomits ice-cream A silent poem has been invented.' In my holy kitchen I draw the blinds of night On the homes of sleep. I hold the world in my palms. Now that I am old I can measure life with words. There's a nightingale in my coffee. My bread is buttered with memories. Since the old woman died I have two souls. When I was small we had a lucky black cat. We had a magic horse-shoe on the wall, It was rusty and brought no luck But fetched the fields into the kitchen And made us not forget horses. When you are old you make your own magic. You speak oftener for the dead. You move free in the wonderland of the past. You invent a future on the other shore of death. You must speak for the dead, You are their rusty horse-shoe In all the kitchens of the world, Not the mug on the radio But a thought rescued from the past. (There was love in the thin soup A bone some lentils and great love. My mother's hands were clouds. There was a bluebird in the gasjet When she bathed us by the kitchen fire. There will be no such soup again Nor such transcendent poverty. I have lost the treasure of poverty. The old woman is dead and buried In her wonderland of oblivion, But lives in my kitchen poem In this 'sentimental'aside.) Now that I am an old man, I think in bed. I think nothing. I think poems - The metronome of sleeplessness and death, The art of being deliberately alone and yet A centre in the vortex of the world, Feelings stretched drum-tight on the grid of thought As your decaying flesh taut on its bones, Sensations phantom ideas dreams, pinned bugs On the living conveyor-belt of experience, While in the poem you are everybody else, Each poem merging into another construct, All poems rationally absurd impermanent ------------------DADA------------------ There being no poem ever, no poet ever. An old man in a kitchen, cooking words. I am no poet I am Lived by unfinishable poems, The horse-shoe hammered On the anvil of my brain. I think nothing. The poems think me. I do not often write them down, Being a structuration of the unknowable That dies upon the page, My inward poems whispered for the dead While the living bury the living With foul political slogans. An owl is hooting in my poem Which sleep will end. Good night, poet of life, Be with me always. I give you my kitchen poem, Immortal TRISTAN.