The Sunday Poem: Latif Harris . . . Another Moment to Ache To

        For All Angels Who Know
Gravity is forcing me to
         my orgasms  are seldom
                but powerful as
                      Edgar Poe’s marginalia
Aging has filled my mind
with wonderful ideas
my brain is shrinking
via x-rays
        if they are reliable
No one remembers 
the things I do
Robert La Vigne or Nick Nicholds
two master artists
Gordon Wagner
                        of the Echo Park group
they ride in the currents of my memory
Gordon was one of eight who survived
the wreck of the old Roller Coaster
on the pier at Long Beach
I encounter kids who have connections
to the Ponzi schemes of poetry
paying to submit their work to corporations
or publisher who had original views
and now publish books with hooks
there were only 108 living poets in 1962
now there are nameless thousands
write your poems with joy
publication is the business end of everything in Art
                  these days 
Robert LaVigne my Master in all arts
just died in a Hospice
after months in a bed full of bed bugs
alone at 85
The young hustler he invited in
was a grifter and drifter
I knew about this for years
There are a half a million dollars
worth of art locked up by the D.A.
in Seattle
Like Kerouac's "family"
who sold off his boots, typewriter, belt buckles
under a forged signature Will (not his)
Where were the powerful
poets and artists of Bob's generation
for the last years of long demise
after numerous strokes
poverty and madness
Ginsbergian world it was and is
No nobility in this younger generation
who never meet my eyes
ears with various buds shutting out
the train of time roaring down on them
We had such hope in my generation
and as a Buddhist I know it all to be
my run away mind doting on itself
as I lay dying
every moment
as we are
          all of us
each bug and termite
every sentient being on this earth
carry the seed of Buddhahood
                                            Ah men
Latif Harris 

Note: See Robert LaVigne L.A.Times Obituary. Mr. Harris & Neeli Cherkovski's Beatitude Golden Anniversary (about 600 pages) is an essential for any contemporary poet's library with a good chunk of the original Beatitude from City Lights included. It is a refreshing honor to bring this reflective, honest poem to light here for this week's Sunday Poem. Latif lived wrote and edited during his years in New Mexico and it was a blessing for me that he edited my first book Cycles from duende press back in 1966. Submissions for The Sunday Poem are encouraged. Send to or Larry Goodell

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Comment by larry goodell on April 13, 2014 at 9:02am

I was surprised to get this poem from Latif, a bit longer than usual for The Sunday Poem, but it evokes so much in so many ways, and it's wonderful to get a full blown poem from the North Beach/San Francisco/L.A. nexus . . .

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on June 15, 2014 at 9:17am

wow--score.  Latif is fab.  I have to go fix waffles or I'd say more--the younger gen ain't so bad--no worries xoxox


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