On the Birthday of Ted Berrigan, (1965)

By Sotère Torregian Sotere Torregian
           “Sooner or later we'll all get to speak like Ted Berrigan”
A donkey might consider itself a white stallion
and the ear-phones oft the desert
                                                    tune into us
A hair-breaking pallor
    Nothing to be afraid of

How long has the checker-board been “on the scene”?

                                           It's the miracle she-wolf.

I know I am “too serious”
For “The Daughters of Nothing already for Nothing”
Who will erase my ulcer
See its dry its dry it's got a combination
My friends.
What's left over?

Pagliacci. In the guise of Enrico Caruso bangs his drum with hysteric eyes
His girl-friend's inside he's beating the heart of his bass drum
O that crazy clown Pagliacci!
It seems we stood and talked like this before
Don't Grab from me Baby
I keep my face and open spigot a cry of the winds
Fall all your fresh newspapers

It is the divine stone the white stone with the name
                                                      which no one knows

                                                               New York City
                                                   On Ted's 31st Birthday

Sotere Torregian, "On the Birthday of Ted Berrigan, (1965)" from “I Must Go” (She Said) “Because My Pizza’s Cold”. Copyright © 2002 by Sotere Torregian.  Reprinted by permission of Skanky Possum.

Source: “I Must Go” (She Said) “Because My Pizza’s Cold”. (Skanky Possum, 2002)

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Poet Sotère Torregian


SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

 Sotère  Torregian


Sotère Torregian is an American poet, born in Newark, New Jersey on June 25, 1941. He attended Rutgers University, and taught briefly at the Free University of New York and Stanford University, where he helped establish the Afro-American studies program in 1969. In the mid-1960s he was associated with the New York School of poets. At that time he proposed a kind of American “orthodox Surrealism” (following the dictates of André . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets


SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School (2nd Generation)

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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