Saturday, January 17, 2015

Etched in Stone: Remembering Gregory Corso

Pyramid at Campo Cestio, Rome, Italy.

Gregory Corso died today

Not today
but on this date

From New York streets
to a resting place in Rome
and the poems between those beats

I'm looking for a Corso poem
that I didn't write
From that one afternoon in June
when we went to the cemetery in Rome

The one with the pyramid
What do the Italians call it?
The Protestant Cemetery?
I was expecting something...
...more romantic in a name

Where we found Keats and his lament
whose name was writ in water
Where we found Corso
resting at the feet of Shelley
because that is where
he wanted to spend eternity

I'm looking for that poem
and I can't find it anywhere
It's not in my doc files
Nor the notebooks from
that European summer
filled with all those poems
from all the stops of all the trains

What did Corso have inscribed
on his simple slab of stone?
The poem after the particulars
His date of birth
His date of death
His name in caps
Who he was in this world.
In a word: Poeta

Spirit
is life
it flows thru
the death of me
endlessly
like a river
unafraid
of becoming
the sea



— Mark Butkus