Revolution

By Anne Waldman b. 1945 Anne Waldman
Spooky summer on the horizon I’m gazing at
from my window into the streets
That’s where it’s going to be where everyone is
walking around, looking around out in the open
suspecting each other’s heart to open fire
all over the streets
                              like streets you read about every day
who are the network we travel through on the way to the center   
which is energy filling life
and bursting with joy all over the screen
                                                             I can’t sit still any longer!

I want to go where I’m not feeling so bad
Get off this little island before the bridges break   
(my heart is a sore thing too)
No I want to sit in the middle watching movies   
then go to bed in my head
Someone is banging on it with a heavy stick like the enemy
who is he going to be turns into a face you can’t recognize
then vanishes behind a window behind a gun   
Like the lonely hero stalking the main street   
cries out Where are you? I just want to know
all the angles of death possible under the American sky!

I can hardly see for all the buildings polluting the sky   
until it changes into a barrage of bottles
then clears up for a second while you breathe
and you realize you’e still as alive as ever and want to be   
but would like to be somewhere else perhaps Africa   
Start all over again as the race gets darker and darker   
and the world goes on the way I always thought it would
For the winner is someone we recognize out of our collective past   
which is turning over again in the grave

                                    It is so important when one dies you replace her   
                                    and never waste a minute

Anne Waldman, “Revolution” from Helping the Dreamer: Selected Poems, 1966-1988. Copyright © 1989 by Anne Waldman. Reprinted with the permission of Coffee House Press, Minneapolis, www.coffeehousepress.com.

Source: Helping the Dreamer: Selected Poems 1966-1988 (Coffee House Press, 1989)

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Poet Anne Waldman b. 1945

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

Subjects War & Conflict, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Anne  Waldman

Biography

The author of more than 40 collections of poetry and poetics, Anne Waldman is an active member of the Outrider experimental poetry movement, and has been connected to the Beat movement and the second generation of the New York School. Her publications include Fast Speaking Woman (1975), Marriage: A Sentence (2000), and the multi-volume Iovis project (1992, 1993, 1997).

Her work as a cultural activist and her practice of Tibetan . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT War & Conflict, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Southwestern

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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