Cocaine

By John Wieners 1934–2002 John Wieners
For I have seen love
and his face is choice Heart of Hearts,
a flesh of pure fire, fusing from the center
where all Motion is one.
 
And I have known
despair that the Face has ceased to stare
at me with the Rose of the world
but lies furled
 
in an artificial paradise it is Hell to get into.
If I knew you were there
I would fall upon my knees and plead to God
to deliver you in my arms once again.
 
But it is senseless to try.
One can only take means to reduce misery,
confuse the sensations so that this Face,
what aches in the heart and makes each new
 
start less close to the source of desire,
fade from the flesh that fires the night,
with dreams and infinite longing.

John Wieners, "Cocaine" from Selected Poems, 1958-1984, published by Black Sparrow Books. Copyright © 1986 by John Wieners.  Reprinted by permission of the John Wieners Literary Trust.

Source: Selected Poems, 1958-1984 (Black Sparrow Books, 1986)

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Poet John Wieners 1934–2002

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, Love, Heartache & Loss, Activities, Indoor Activities

Biography

Born in Boston, poet John Wieners received a BA from Boston College and studied at Black Mountain College with Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, and Robert Duncan. He later followed Olson, his mentor, to SUNY Buffalo. A Beat poet and member of the San Francisco Renaissance, Wieners was also an antiwar and gay rights activist. His poetry combines candid accounts of sexual and drug-related experimentation with jazz-influenced . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Love, Heartache & Loss, Activities, Indoor Activities

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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