On Reading Yevtushenko

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On reading Yevtushenko & sitting
at my table —
On flipping thru papers (hundreds
of sheets the accumulation of five
years of travelling & hearing &
seeing & finally recording it) —
On looking at my face in the photos
of student days then railway days & some
in a suit & mostly bigbearded —
On smelling my tobacco & weeding it
over & over again between my fingers
before rolling a cigarette —
On thinking well Yevtushenko did all
these things & a thousand other
poets all of them similarly —
On smiling at this thought & feeling
closer to him & them —
On this day KNOWING that poetry is
the topnote (the magic notes) the thing
as Corso said which makes me love &
presents me life —
From this day on let the world know
that one poet (at least) is not going
to be fobbed off from saying It stinks
just because he weighs 13st 6 & has a
belly full enuf for two —
On this day i declare allout war on
the timidity of men (which makes them
blind to the poverty of others & the
cruelty of others & the inhumanity & vileness
done to others) the timidity
of ALL men …

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