Meadowlark West

By Philip Lamantia 1927–2005 Philip Lamantia
Choppers in the night husk the brilliants of thought
Beyond the cities of patina grow caves of thought
Coyote Hummingbird Owl are rivers of thought
The lumens the pumpkins dance: pits of correspondence over the land
Birds the dream tongues warble Iroquois Mojavé Ohlone
Market Street of “The Mad Doctor” via the occult centers
A gang of fox spirits at the crossroads
Bandoleros set between the obliteration of grizzly bears painted by an Arcimboldist and the monstrance of bleeding chains
Montezuma’s feathery headdress torn up in the boondocks of the Rosy Cross

Coyote girls in myth-time
At the central dream of edenic treasures
The irrevocable annihilation of christian civilization is taking shape with carnivorous flowers of volcanic thought

Philip Lamantia, “Meadowlark West” from The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia. Copyright © 2013 by Philip Lamantia. Reprinted by permission of University of California Press.

Source: The Collected Poems of Philip Lamantia (University of California Press, 2013)

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Poet Philip Lamantia 1927–2005


Subjects Activities, Travels & Journeys, Nature, Animals, Social Commentaries, History & Politics

Poetic Terms Free Verse


Surrealist poet Philip Lamantia was born in San Francisco in 1927, the son of Sicilian immigrants. Largely self-taught, he started writing in elementary school and became interested in surrealism after seeing the work of Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí at the San Francisco Museum of Art. He dropped out of high school and moved to New York City, where he eventually became assistant editor at View magazine. In New York, Lamantia . . .

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SUBJECT Activities, Travels & Journeys, Nature, Animals, Social Commentaries, History & Politics


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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