The Collected Poems1962Pure? What does it mean?
The tongues of hell
Are dull, dull as the tripleTongues of dull, fat Cerebus
Who wheezes at the gate. Incapable
Of licking cleanThe aguey tendon, the sin, the sin.
The tinder cries.
The indelible smellOf a snuffed candle!
Love, love, the low smokes roll
From me like Isadora's scarves, I'm in a frightOne scarf will catch and anchor in the wheel.
Such yellow sullen smokes
Make their own element. They will not rise,But trundle round the globe
Choking the aged and the meek,
The weakHothouse baby in its crib,
The ghastly orchid
Hanging its hanging garden in the air,Devilish leopard!
Radiation turned it white
And killed it in an hour.Greasing the bodies of adulterers
Like Hiroshima ash and eating in.
The sin. The sin.Darling, all night
I have been flickering, off, on, off, on.
The sheets grow heavy as a lecher's kiss.Three days. Three nights.
Lemon water, chicken
Water, water make me retch.I am too pure for you or anyone.
Hurts me as the world hurts God. I am a lantern ----My head a moon
Of Japanese paper, my gold beaten skin
Infinitely delicate and infinitely expensive.Does not my heat astound you. And my light.
All by myself I am a huge camellia
Glowing and coming and going, flush on flush.I think I am going up,
I think I may rise ----
The beads of hot metal fly, and I, love, IAm a pure acetylene
Attended by roses,By kisses, by cherubim,
By whatever these pink things mean.
Not you, nor him.Not him, nor him
(My selves dissolving, old whore petticoats) ----
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