January 16, 2021

At the Sunrise Café...


... you can talk 'til dawn.


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Lewis said...


Lewis said...


Lewis said...

I've never said a bad thing - I'm just bad - me, horrible.

Lewis said...

Now different.

I see you different, now, flattened by age
Till every feature lines the white of your skin
Like contours on a map. Pale, you luminess
A past of hopes, loves and lands seasons
Have obscured, a moon through thin cloud you show
Nothing I can recognise.

A loss and a feeling
Of a power that was important,
Whose tug still irritates, whose decline
Still saddens, I stare over the walls
Of Europe, see you in this town or that,
Ask meaningless questions, gain meaningless
Replies, each letter ending “Love –“,
The expected lie.

Lewis said...



That postcard, whipped with the wind off the Hudson,
Monosyllabic and exasperated,
Words sped to a staccato breath like a wave bye, bye.
And I lying still, only by chance, tilted to catch
These paper words tumbling through the air.
How much attenuated, the spoken thought,
Its time crushed, instantaneous arrival
Expected and found on an American train
Saying, “Distance does not matter.”
And I believing the lie.


Ill eyes abed smoke the sour jaundice
Of an English room. And that picture
Of New York an agony of ground glass
Stabbing each window the fragmented
Possibility of an absent wave.
The sky the same drab, abstract balm
Its saving, enhanced, artificial grace
I can stare at here. Only you, turning
North or south the Hudson way,
Were missed in person, a shadow cast,
Edging an American infinite.

Lewis said...


“Down that road I went.” He said, pointing somewhere.

I thought you were near, a companion of mine,
The sun hot, softening a brittle floor,
And I here dawdling, walking as if drunk:

White not exactly white, blue which stretched beyond blue.

Lewis said...


Forgotten towers
Broken in my presence.
Or I’m a tramp
Exhausted in travelling,
Beaten by brooms.

Just as I was saying
“Yes, I realise...”
She kicked me from the stair,
Emptied me like a bucket
On the street,
Spilling to the cat flaps,
Simultaneous purr on each door,
Preaching like Jesus
“I’ll heal no one!"

Lewis said...

I just watched 'Farewell to Arms' (1933) with Garry Cooper and something Hayes and it popped glue in my ear - as if Hemingway could end with Tristan and Isolde! Life is a circle and decidance it's center.

Lewis said...

Helen Hayes

Lewis said...

Is this seen, Anne? I know you think I only write for you, but I want to 'right' you and that can only happen 'publicly', surely? But you're ten times tougher than me and I trust you.

Lewis said...


Below the cry of a bat
Foots shadow on frozen faces:

Wan luxuries,
Chilled notes of dawn.

The Street I.

Corners catching
A broken moon:
That and the tumble
Of drunken feet,
Splash of voices.

Thirst among the lamps pools,
Cry from the slashed mouth,
Flutter of lids and the street
Like the stamped pieces
Of a fractured vision.

Lewis said...

 The Apology.


The heat folded in an airless layer.
So you see my seeming arctic heart
How foolish this tearful child and babbling eye
Which is drunk and staggers,
Broken below your stairs.

We never could lift up our waxen wings
Or lifted did not the hateful, burning accident
Dissolve then drown its flesh? You and I
Adrift among the pillared trees,
Charred in our two dreams wary sleep.
We float on the lazy but then unstoppable streams.

So, to be left in the arctic land,
Here, where the bell broods hollow.
Among the clattering ice
Of your eyes dream
Never where we so formed
Nor oned like our lips seal.

Then darling (you permit me thus?)
I have fought the darker things
That instant light extinguished,
That here with fortune rise.
And age but the second tide.
Oh, perhaps sensed beneath the skin
Youths wild but aesthetic bone.

Then how we might laugh, how dream
As the tedium formed stalagmites
Count our mortality.
Blushes for the flesh
And a pointed limestone world.

Yes. But love? Words that patter on the floor:
It will not utter, it will not speak, disclose.
Our memory will blow like dust in the common wind,
Absorbed in a million pores it will forget itself.


I have fought this long hard day to contain you
But you where ever braver than I:
Will I always, thus, fall under your hammer
Auctioned at the obscurest price?

And how, then, do the ages tell
You from your dalliance,
Those ages that could never tell
Old bones from new dust.

And how then, pray, will you find
A companionable skeleton
There for me to commune
Through it’s blown skin ribs?


Our talk has a fungal form
Or metaphysic and directed down
From some ill hell it wiry swells
Like creeping ivy through the gloom.
Sad and distempered a fiery rage
Infects its veins and illuminates
A wistful steam that pales the face.

And, how, across this space,
That when I look stretches dizzy,
As if with ambition coils the Earth,
Can we again drown the cold
In ignorant passion?
Our desires recoil and wrap
In frigid, spiritful fire
Till love is all but a little,
Indistinguishable, sanctuary flame
For how long burning?

If the branches here do touch
Can the steal there then melt?
And, if inflamed, would you despise
The uncontrolled, fast beating heart
Or, then, mourn ices wavering
Or unwished loss of our loved
Stone, statuesque, seeming godhead?


Caught in the webbed distraction of a gaze
Buzzed impossibilities, Utopic dreams.
Your breath dragged at a thousand coattails
Saying seeming unity. I was aware of slurs
Genetic tales drowned in its inaction.

And you said: ”Then this sole point I put there?”
“Our land marks, thus devised in the conscience,
Display an open world, inessential.
Such mortality and such the way its tunes
Out echo as the corpse the body.” So thus I.

Lewis said...

The street II.

Now and then a curtain flits and a stare
At second or third floor windows opposite,
Half inquisitive of hotel happenings,
Half irritated by mock grandeur,
Brute noise this particular Victorian,
Part empty site displays. It’s the habit
Of some drawn up to face, across the nightly peace
Of no mans land, the street, dull combatants
On each side: Perhaps poverty separates you
From the pub downstairs, a certain angst
About the pull of popular haunts,
Getting more than your fair share of inarticulate friends.
A chance modern law decides
Dividing speech and the neighbourhood,
Forming false battles, situating
Between you and it a televisual screen,
Your thought on some Heaven
Where face to face we met,
Your eyes on some dark glass of a window.
You’re seen, the curtains drawn.

It’s something to be remarked upon,
Odd how every night it is done
Not only by you but repeated
Down the street, each side a sentinel,
If not throwing sticks in a fire, then
Looking out to see who’s watching who,
Catching the nightly skirmishes that,
With not uncommon frequency, continue
To punctuate a phoney war. Now and then
That irregular exchange of cigarettes
Or your side strikes the light, mine offers the fag.
Usually, though, askers are causalities
Rejected by us both, mostly ignored,
Often sleeping somewhere out of sight,
Under a bridge or whatever bomb shelter
Accident has devised, they roll in slumber
Tight into a plastic bag or the damp,
Soggy cardboard once used to wrap our guns,
Tanks, communications, surveillance units.

It is to be remarked upon how little
I see of you, how quickly you disappear,
How suspicious of you and I this neutral,
Unneutral status makes us: Together
Manufactured means of war – now we test them out.

But I’m bored of killing, it’s become such a
Common exercise – I wish you’d sign a truce.

Lewis said...


Lewis said...

Strange Meeting.

Not many years after that we realigned,
Catching eye to eye a second sight:
With age had come the clearer thought that sees
And does not like, the in become the out.
Lining the brow with an ignorant script
Intervening chance and all those things not done
As two. And this chance that’s worst of all.

She seemed to say through move of eye and mouth
(Though she asked the usual things one asks)
That, where ever once we’d met, those people
Then had ceased to plague a time unfortunate
And dead: who were these gathered on a chance
It did not matter, an inconsequence
Set up to sting a faded photograph.

Faded, yes, but not gone: we both had kept
The odds and ends of our separate lives
And, this one conjunction amongst them all
Illusion, like the rest: one recovered,
The other not: “The lies that we call soul
I see and yet I cannot dispense with soul
But have kept that wound festeringly bad.”

And so her to I had not forgot. But,
As usual, I blindly circumscribed
My image there on cast. And though her face
Discouraged all it had not changed for me
But grew inside till it at last cracked out.
Shocked and battered and in retreat she said:
“Well, must be off. Another day, perhaps?”

Lewis said...

Heavy, heavy irony!

Lewis said...

I watched 'Double Indemnity' the other day, he (Chandler) provided the dialog, he (Billy Wilder) provided the drinks. Isn't the actress tough and beautiful? I forget her name but I never found her attractive after - Hendrick? It's arguable that women were only strong when they were bad but that's true of life. Besides, think of Key-a-lago - or African Queen (later).
Besides, we love women (if only would not stop killing us!).

Lewis said...



I'm not a number, I'm a free man. Followed by -


Lewis said...

'Foots shadow on frozen faces' - I was reading Dante, I'd got to the ninth circle of Hell - you know, where they betray you. (Later, I read purgatoria and paridiso)

Lewis said...

foot's shadow over frozen faces - over!

Lewis said...

If 'he' had been a 'lockdown-sceptic' from the beginning, saying, you know, keep your business’s open, keep your schools open etc but instead he was half and half - so much for a 'genius'! -, he should have sacked Fauci, that viscious parasite, immediately - you know his history! - but no, he prevaricated and looked weak. It's not ideoligy people vote for, it's who can get the job done. If it was 20 19it was him. But 2021 and it's him. And the disaster that will slowly unfold is because of 'him', the imbecile ('Genius' 'Four dimensional Chess' get back to your granmas corpse you fat fuck!)!!

Lewis said...

 The Whale And Parrot
For Anna
“All the cod is gone! “
B.B.C. World Service.


A big fish eat me but there are no fish in the sea.
But there are no fish in the sea
And God will tell you who is right and who is wrong.
A big fish eat me but there are no fish in the sea
And the world will tell you who is right and who is wrong.
Jonah died, was born again, lived back to tell
Who was right and who was wrong.
And the world, did it end, did it begin?
A big fish eat me but there are no fish in the sea.


What, in the schematic muddle .of it all,
The stars, the broken galaxies, the effluent
Of no-thing, what began or ended at
This point and at this point, the fallacy
Of forgetting or of being here or there,
Something which said “I love…” and forgot what
It was it loved: and to love! , to begin and
Again! A wish, perhaps, a child’s
Broken Sunday, thinking “Here, alone,
There will be someone that sees.”
Expecting that gladness of recognition
Which, of course, fails -here to there
And only the indecision, the amused surprise
Of a face you’d wish you’d remember.
The earth, the taste played by the mouth
Of a child alone and wanting, wanting
I know not what. Though he fights away
The blasphemy of being ‘one’ , it can only
Be fear, the ‘fiery blush’ , the desire
Not to be only Other.

Lewis said...


What begins, the force before it begins,
Grunt, inhuman human folly
Of taking a moment (and you forget which)
As sacred: and, yes, it belongs (but it will not)
To this Now of nows: beyond that
The clear space, the land seen free,
The ‘wanton abandon’ and the exhaustion:
Only wishing something was or I was or,
Finally, ‘this was’ : it’s not, mother.


Once, there was a thought, beginning with –
So, a summer rescue, coming along
In the car, the fiat 500,
And saying, this way (take a drink)
To what you always wanted:
From a distance, I must see
All the untruth that 'should', for a child,
Be hidden: the joke of inconstancy,
The fallacy of ever wanting a mother –
I saw it all -you forget, loins
That bore, that professed to bare me,
That said I was born: I was not.
But then, even earlier, from the day I exited
Your prison, your device, your despair
I knew it was wrong: that you lied, always
Forgetting (or knowing) I was watching,
Why I was silent? For a hand that caressed,
A thought towards me, a sense of saying
“You’re O.K.” But you’re not.
So, dumb, unheard,
‘Beautiful eyes’, there was only the redemption
Of pathetic resistance: did you see?
Could you see? Could you want to see?
And if you did, what would you have done,
Only have beaten the more?

“An angel!"  My hair dresser .

It’s merely individual, the four wings cramped,
A slight burn of candlelight
And we say “He’s O.k.” Arid so he is,
Broken not by any peculiar expulsion,
Cracked, rather, by a room.
And endless, endless those scribbled
Petitions back to God. You say
“Land on your feet!” which, of course,
Were broken before, even, the saints
Began their song. Because this age
Is so new, so endlessly new
And he, ancient, has forgotten, again,
How to say ‘Yes! - to God.

So, ‘across the water’ , he will drown,
And, yet, , ‘the attempt is worthy’,
Or, merely, vanity.
                           How endless the call!
And below him and above him the stair
That could never fail to climb, to descend


For, see, the precipitate stone: up,
Just the barred impossible: a roof,
Those walls, the handle of a door,
Window that cannot open: grubby, entirely?
His closed wings, vicious in a room.
Yes, this is useless. “There is no god.”

Lewis said...


It’s hard, hideous and wrong,
Probably, a vicious joke, a fellow
Who cannot remember (nor right ~is name)
Beginning, perhaps, to listen, ears forced, to God.
“There is no God’ “ and, as Nietzsche
So eloquently put it, ‘God is dead.’
God dead, dead God, I rebel against
All that lies. All’ lies are strong, .
Stronger than truth. I wish I was stronger than lies. ,”


Every hotel from which I was expunged
(But, of course, I did not stay)
Every face that glances backwards
Some kind of lie, all those that lie ,
Into their (or others) pants,
The slight, coarse affair of me even looking,
(Oh, I assure you, a random glance)
Begins and ends with what is least important:
I said (louder still) begins and ends
With what is least important: a dead parrot
Which still will continue to say
The words “I love. ..” or, thus, “I love God.”


And think (think again!) it was beyond us,
It was always (why? you should ask) from this-afar.
We began with those hopes (they last to long),
Taking what were mere words
 As just God could have said them:
If we were older we would have said:
“These are lies!” but they weren’t.
An attempt to bring us forward that failed.

And then, you said, “I am that I am.”
Blasphemy that must almost be true:
I thought I’d found some word, some devil
Saying, quietly, “Here is a man: Bring him close, bring him home,
Make him speak the word this God demands."
God demands nothing and nor do you.


But the death of unhappiness? That peculiar death
Happening only with happiness? No.
And do I mourn it, desire it, bring it
Back, for it, the resurrection
Of a ghost that one has to know must die? .
And we all have to, wish to, want to
When, having seen death, we know the broken face,
The quiet breath (was she breathing?)
The still dust of this - a life
“Well, you know, was really so superb!”
Yes, we know death, we want it or how else
Say “Yes!” to an end that cannot, forget
The equanimity of her leaving,
Be just. Can one be just? Justice?
Where is justice in this death?


That the truth were told
The balance would hold?
Broken beam, fallen satellite,
Star that burnt or began to burn
(We are too old to with stay the fire)
Forget us: there are other planets, other wheres!
They say, too, life exists there. So, do miss us,
But don’t miss us, destroy us
But don’t merely warm us:
Living is dieing - say thus:
“You are , I don’t k now who you are .”

Lewis said...


And to begin -from nothing, again? And why?
There is no beginning, there is no end,
The pity in it, in that century,
The hundred million dead arid the torture
And the murder and the women, the poor men:
Yes, we failed, perhaps, ultimately?
What did we want, ‘only’ to be ‘happy’-?
The worst sin. Or history
Cracked beneath the corps. broken.
Spirit that cannot ask any more questions.


The hooves are running backwards
Over a broken head and “that’s history.” .-
We have grown smaller and, thus, our guilt grows great: .
Magnificent, this pygmy size,
This laughing below our sleeves,
This to large coat turned up at the cuffs. .

So, there we were, laughing on the ramparts,
Broken, of course, a castle whose name,
Even, is unrecallable (could we pronounce it?)
Spouting a name that we’d also forgotten:
Is that possible? Come (but, please, don’t)
Meet my contemporaries: the list of casualties
Is endless, the reason (we are to small) unknown.
That’s us, liars, and not the guts to say
The size of this life no longer suits.
Faded the cotton, the colour, the moment.
Don’t stop to see, my dead ones. I’m small, too.


But we still live: this dead breath, this whisper
Of Godlessness, this violence to our name,
This dishonour, the cynical wanting
Of a nothing that will, O I promise, come.
O yes, you dare to live? You live,
You don’t live, you desecrate my dead.
Think of it! Think of it. O God, think.


I ask, and only I ask “Do I deserve to live?”
No, not only my mother, that vast, broken candle,
Because I asked at birth, ‘a stilled, stunned thing’ ,
Being born, not only not knowing why the silence,
But who, behind the silence, who, not person,
Could not speak. Could not speak! I could not speak. A poet.
Here was, not, was, not. Nothing. Nothing?

Lewis said...


She began: again and again, she began:
Yes, she died, curse her, .but she began,
Again and again. And where the strength?
And I a coward- listen to me!
Angels that lie and mock me,
God that smiles in His cruelty,
Shits that bathe in oblivion, listen!
 Is it a lie, this end, this mortuary,
This charnel, this final breath:
God, my God, help me to know\y’ (‘to know’?)
To know a grave. You (I hate you, God) please bring me
The peace that’s promised. No? No.

Yet- it is my only duty -I the only last?
Only my duty?
Yet these trees still stand
Green and silver and oblivious.


Want, then, the smile, thinking beyond,
Merely, the possibility: guide
Yourself towards the quite legendary path
That, ‘as yet’, does not exist:
The mantrap, the green, the profuse flowers,
The red, the blue, the joke
And, yes, a parrot, the parrot
Speaking those words
You thought would come from God.

Lewis said...

The only thing I have left from my mother is a 'slate' ashtray. I was offered more but after all the screaming and shouting over her corpse I thought, No. So my inheritance was a corkscrew and an ashtray (Ironic because she never smoked - but her 'men-friends' did). Of course, I got my bit, financially. And I spent as soon as I could. Loneliness creeps into your soul like disease.

Lewis said...

You know how I spent mine 'inheritance'? Rhetorical. I bought a 'datcha' for my gal, which she didn't appreciate, especially after we conceived. I remember her dad (Jiri - Gorge ) coming round and turning his nose up - he was a Professor - at every appliance, saying "This is no place to bring up a child". What could I do? I loved her, Anne, still do, I thought I was doing the right thing but I must have been wrong?

Lewis said...


Lewis said...

She knows she is beautiful - not classicaly beautiful - more like a mumm beautiful - not Marlena or Greta or even Bettie Davis with a real personality - none of the former three I found attractive - wide hips and a pair of glasses - Sylvia Plath.

Lewis said...


Lewis said...

That was what I obsessed about, when I was breaking up with Martina, I wanted to marry her, to make my kid ledgitmate, that was what she objected to, a possession, I suppose, as he were property - no, there were reasons, one practical, one superstitious - practical, he could claim British Citizenship and go to Cambridge or Oxford. Superstitious, I believe in the sanctity of marriage. So did she - hence her no.

Lewis said...

On MTV in the hotel, if I remember. Cheap hotel, trying to stay away from her. Her violence, like my mum.

Lewis said...

I'm a stubborn bastard - I don't give up - I still believe in humanity - - I know it's there, what is good, free and strong about you - it will out. I know it. I know it.

Lewis said...


Lewis said...

This is me


Lewis said...


Lewis said...

And guess how he defended her? By throwing cue-balls and then with a cue stick. What a scene. Apparently, my stupid mum had knocked over a drink. But she didn't like him, so she did it on purpose. How's that look to a 7 year old child?

Lewis said...


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