A Poem For Dada Day At The Place April 1, 1958

By Jack Spicer 1925–1965 Jack Spicer
I
The bartender
Has eyes the color of ripe apricots
Easy to please as a cash register he
Enjoys art and good jokes.
Squish
Goes the painting
Squirt
Goes the poem
He
We
Laugh.

II
It is not easy to remember that other people died
          besides Dylan Thomas and Charlie Parker
Died looking for beauty in the world of the
          bartender
This person, that person, this person, that person
          died looking for beauty
Even the bartender died

III   
Dante blew his nose
And his nose came off in his hand
Rimbaud broke his throat
Trying to cough
Dada is not funny
It is a serious assault
On art
Because art
Can be enjoyed by the bartender.

IV
The bartender is not the United States
Or the intellectual
Or the bartender
He is every bastard that does not cry
When he reads this poem.

Source: Poetry (July/August 2008).

 Jack  Spicer

Biography

Although known primarily among a coterie of poets in the San Francisco Bay Area at the time of his death in 1965, Jack Spicer has slowly become a towering figure in American poetry. He was born in Los Angeles in 1925 to midwestern parents and raised in a Calvinist home. While attending college at the University of California-Berkeley, Spicer met fellow poets Robin Blaser and Robert Duncan. The friendship among these three poets . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Painting & Sculpture, Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books, Poetry & Poets, Language & Linguistics

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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