Thursday, February 19, 2009


wake up
smoke pot
see the cat
love my wife
think of Frank

eat lunch
make noises
sing songs
go out
dig the streets

go home for dinner
read the Post
make pee-pee
two kids

read books
see my friends
get pissed off
have a Pepsi

We can all relate to this poem in some way, because Berrigan combines his mundane habits, which any human experiences on a daily basis, with habits specific to himself. Although he lists nothing out of the ordinary, the poem still conveys his unique perspective, that seems to mock daily routine even as it describes it. For instance, most adults don't say they are making pee-pee. The final line "disappear" interests me especially, because he says he does it everyday. Reading this poem, I felt that Berrigan communicated to the reader his daily disposition, however obliquely, even though the list was neither extensive or especially descriptive. To me, this type of list is like a proof that those things occurred and continue to occur. A poem, or any piece of art, is a proof that something happened the day it was made--and that that day itself happened.

Also, I am posting a poem from Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons, because that entire book could be considered a list poem:


A large box is handily made of what is necessary to replace any substance. Suppose an example is necessary, the plainer it is made the more reason there is for some outward recognition that there is a result.

A box is made sometimes and them to see to see to it neatly and to have the holes stopped up makes it necessary to use paper.

A custom which is necessary when a box is used and taken is that a large part of the time there are three which have different connections. The one is on the table. The two are on the table. The three are on the table. The one, one is the same length as is shown by the cover being longer. The other is different there is more cover that shows it. The other is different and that makes the corners have the same shade the eight are in singular arrangement to make four necessary.

Lax, to have corners, to be lighter than some weight, to indicate a wedding journey, to last brown and not curious, to be wealthy, cigarettes are established by length and by doubling.

Left open, to be left pounded, to be left closed, to be circulating in summer and winter, and sick color that is grey that is not dusty and red shows, to be sure cigarettes do measure an empty length sooner than a choice in color.

Winged, to be winged means that white is yellow and pieces pieces that are brown are dust color if dust is washed off, then it is choice that is to say it is fitting cigarettes sooner than paper.

An increase why is an increase idle, why is silver cloister, why is the spark brighter, if it is brighter is there any result, hardly more than ever.

. . .It's a list, of associations and wordplay concerning a box.

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