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This is Jacket 13 - April 2001   |   # 13  Contents   |   Homepage   |

This issue of JACKET is a co-production with New American Writing magazine
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Diane di Prima

Sonnet Sequence


there is something Real
in the world.
acute dementia.          papaya          the usual

“summer cold, with asthma”
Fog gathers, transparent          but not
unreal.          Persistent
fie on it,    ah fie.

That after nine wins,   a loss
(persistent, the laws of Chance)
that even chinese herbs will not quell
the deeper virus.

And sleep —     what is it,    dreamless
for? This sapphire


when it comes down to it I might never use the taboret
or the spun glass pen from Italy.
there are a number of letters I might not answer
certain hair shirts I won’t wear out.

believe me. I might talk soft as any announcer
of golf, and still not get my way.
when it comes down to it a sampan on the China sea
or a kayak under the aurora borealis

are equally unlikely.   Goodbye.     Goodbye.
You see I haven’t shopped at the Banana Republic
cattle-log.     Or left Texas in a huff
under an ironwood sky.

when I comes down to it, I will have broken my vows:
paid taxes, crossed a couple of picket lines

3 (from the desk)

it is possible for the three great inventions
(gunpowder,      roast meat     and
actually     pottery)   not the necessity
of war      —      to typify

the Long March.          I am eager
to comment on the boldness and frustrated
I might toggle beyond dispute.
Digital libraries have left me

without brunch or the evil eye
a leitmotiv invented by Gutenberg long before
the indiscretions of Sant-Simon.     Alas I read
the Cantos cannot be sung.  Lyric having been devastated

by Francis Bacon driving thru history he saw as
a dry creek bed.  No altars outside of the Palace Museum.

4 (for Kenward)

deliberate have unstretched by the blue pool
of anxious suppers in a lace peignoir
coughing like Mimi or Camille, the Giants
losing in Houston,     cough syrup

all gone now, new bird in the back yard
good omen, or just a mistake?
you tell me.     I am fatigued
by all this coming forth by day

or whatever, whenever.     Lights like a tow truck
flashing behind his eyes.        A hunk.
A fucking paradigm.   Vanilla pudding or tapioca
like the old song, repeated,  Bei mir

bist du schoen, sweetie.
Oh yes.


Please join us for a meal.
Casual conversation.     Bring
yr calligraphy brush.
A modicum of misery

and pain.     Felt pad.     Inkstone
and water.     I think we
will be in heaven.     Here is
the deposit.    Or only up a tree

embodying all the tantras.
You sit and wonder.
selenium drums, ribbons, needles
or expendable items

as wonderful as he.  Failure
or fluctuation.   Just my luck.

Early in August 2001, poet David Hadbawnik visited with Diane di Prima to interview her about her new book, Recollections of My Life as a Woman. You can read this interview in Jacket 18.

New American Writing # 19 and Jacket 13   Contents page
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This issue of Jacket is a co-production with New American Writing magazine
published in the northern spring of each year by Maxine Chernoff and Paul Hoover
369 Molino Avenue, Mill Valley CA 94941, USA
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