Issue 43, Summer 1968
Another ribald tale of the good times at Madame Lipsky’s.
Giorgio Finogle bad come in with an imitation of the latest Russian poet,
The one who wrote the great “Complaint About the Peanut Farm” which I read to you last year at Mrs. Riley’s,
Do you remember? and then of course Giorgio bad written this imitation
So be came in with it... .Where was I and what was I saying ?
The big beer parlor was filled with barmaids and men named Stuart
Who were all trying to buy a big red pitcher of beer for an artiste named Alma Stuart
Whom each claimed as bis very own because of the similarity in names—
This in essence was Buddy’s parody—O Giorgio, you idiot, Marian Stuart snapped,
It all has something to do with me! But no, Giorgio replied.
Biting in a melancholy way the edge off a cigar-paper-patterned envelope
In which be bad been keeping the Poem for many days
Waiting to show it to bis friends. And actually it’s not a parody at all,
I just claimed it was, out of embarrassment. It’s a poetic present for you all.
All of whom I love! Is it capable to love more than one—I wonder! Alma cried,
And we went out onto the bicycle-shaped dock where a malicious swarm of mosquitoes
Were parlaying after Having invaded the old beer parlor.
The men named Stuart were now involved in a fight to the death
But the nearer islands lay fair in the white night light.
Shall we embark toward them? I said, placing my band upon one exceedingly gentle
And fine. A picture of hairnets is being projected. Here
Comes someone with Alma Stuart! Is it real, this night? Or have we a gentle fantasy?
The Russian poet appears. He seems to consider it real all right. He’s
Quite angry. Where’s the Capitalist fairy that put me down? he squirts
At our nomadic simplicity. “Complaint About the Peanut Farm” is a terrific poem. Yes,
In a way, yes. The Hairdresser of Night engulfs them all in foam.
“I love your work. The Pleasures of Peace,” the Professor said to me next day;
“I think it adequately encompasses the hysteria of our era
And puts certain people in their rightful place. Chapeau! Bravo!”
“You don’t get it,” I said. “I like all this. I called this poem
Pleasures of Peace because I’m not sure they will be lasting!
I wanted people to be able to see what these pleasures are
That they may come back to them.” “But they are all so hysterical, so—so transitory,”
The critic replied. “I mean. How can you what kind of pleasures are these?
They seem more like pains to me if I may say what I mean.”
“Well, I don’t know. Professor,” I said; “permanent joys