Road of Straw
It has been too little judged how much Ed Marshall’s poetry has determined the verse of the last decade. He directly influenced the composition by subject matter of Allen Ginsberg’s work, Kaddish and his line was carried over in “Aunt Rose” and some of the Gloucester poems by Charles Olson, namely “The Librarian” ? and Maximus, vol II.
In Leave the Word Alone, Ed Marshall has created the only long spontaneous continuous poem of the 20th century. And he was directly influenced by Steve Jonas, under orders of myself, to a minor degree. But lesser degrees are not interesting.
And were first given to us in 1955
by Steve Jonas and others, through
the work of Charles Olson, and
Corman produced his program
over the air waves that reached
Robert Creeley’s ears in 1949. And
produced Origin, the only little
magazine of the century.
It was Steve Jonas who first presented
to me, and Steve Jonas himself who
first presented to Ed Marshall the
world of Steve Jonas; mental
hospitals, jails gothe words
of William Carlos Williams, the
technique and rhythms of Ezra
Pound and of the Renaissance Lyrics, The Troubadors, the
Provencal, Confucius, Thomas Jefferson and Mussolini
the blast, the vituperative
temper are here carried through to
an emotion of the highest
lyrical intensity. It is here
that the orders are given to us. And
we must respond to the orders of others or be damned
forever to the streets of Boston. It is here where Steve Jonas failed it
the streets of Boston
are damned to us, forever. It is here where Steve Jonas lived*.
* he left the streets of Boston forever by his poetry. “Who does he think he is, this time, President Kennedy”. He killed them, and who must know it, but ourselves?
* And don’t try to diddle-daddle with the past, The Stranger
Fruit, as it is.
And it is here in the order of Steve Jonas’ poems
that the orders are given.
And not in the poems, alone. But
by the life also. And life flows
through them and leaves the gutter. Rhode of Straw. And fills us up to New Hampshire.
And returns us to our life orders of the And throttles
highest degree; decree. The Tree. The Hanged Man our guts. And we love it.
is one of his favorite images and one he has tried to pin
on me. It was he who first gave me Tarot Deck. a bad one at that.
But leave it at that
** And failed us. By blowing the leaves in the gutter. And not leaving them where they fall. In the leaves of the gutter are found the lines of this book.
Steve Jonas first presented
orders to us in the early years of the decade
preceding, the 1950’s. And it was
here on the streets of Boston
we first heard Charles Olson, Marshall
received his stimulus, Steve reached
his maturity, and I reamed them
Steve reached out and found his
maturity there, forever. Gave Marshall
the orders that resulted in the first
magnificent long poem of the century;
and by long poem I do not mean
Maximus, or the Cantos or the Wasteland,
or Venice Poem or From Gloucester
Our of From Idaho Out; but Leave
The Word Alone. Not Kaddish or
Howl; but Leave the World Alone. Nor Anathemate
or In Parenthesis but Leave the Word Alone.
It should be reprinted again, whole
to show the world as it existed in verse
since 1955. For there was nothing
in verse like it before. And there
has been plenty since. Much of it
ignored but still plenty evident.
Ed Marshall remains totally
ignored since. Steve Jonas seems
totally unrecognized, and I
remain terribly alone, totally ignorant. But it does
not matter. The work has been done.
The poems remain to me total
evidence of that time. Not that it
is enough to say so.
* Marshall replaced by others under
different guise, but still the object of desire
and hatred, bitterness against life and
the times that produced it.
Part of the time was Steve Jonas’. We
owe it to him to recognize him as such.
He was the direct influence on Ed
Marshall’s life, poetry wise, vide Ed’s long
poem Tug of War
unpublished and long since lost. Vide their time together* Wherein their
battle is outlined.* We three of * Are there any poems of 1946. Or are
us all spent time in mental asylums. there any of them at all?
along with Joe Dunn, the fourth
unrecognized partner of one. Dudes Hombres.
The three of them totally
ignored since. And totally ignorant of it.
Totally unrecognized, since. We live on roads of straw,
and look at it burn. We lived on
streets of dream Boston was then 1949, and still is
totally ignorant of, in our imaginations, since, alone and
It is here in these poems that we
are welded joined together, indissoluable.
For it is here that we are given orders, are vainly ignorant of them
the plight of our lives, souls, the plait of it so that the poem reveals them to us.
And these 1500 words,*
*these poems show that despite all our ignorance
wisdom lives. In our lives. Despite “Against
Wisdom As Such”
(2) For a wisdom is posited there, as such.
flattery, ignorance. These are the conditions of our lives. It is here that
We are judged and found wanting. meet each other
again on the street of dreams, no regret, totally
ignorant of our lives. And ignorant too. (2) And
a tree, out of which the fourth one blooms,
Joe Dunn or Charles Olson. Who
can say, our father or son. But enough
of this meandering. Meadow We wandered in
Boston Common together then.
See A Series in Ace of Pentacles.
Or Ed Marshall’s temple wood. I met you
in the Garden, a zoo at
times. Lord, help us. The
curse is lifted, and we are together
again the moonlight summer in Gloucester, Rockport ferries, Chichester apple orchards
That madness. enters
cries out again
into our lives, anew – through
these poems, inviting you
to join them in
our madness. And explore these
meadows as new, these poems anew. Like Louis Zukovsky called
his book and we do too. To
explore their work is an objectivist’s
anthology. And to explore these
poems, these streets and this city
is subjective madness. But to
leave them is even worse. But
enough of sloppy madness. Let
us go on to the utter madness of these
poems. And the city that produced
them. Dictated to against its will.
by Steve Jonas, again in 1952 and onwards. Love, John.