Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (John Wieners Feature—Issue 60, December 2015)

From “Blaauwildebeestefontein” (1965)

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.

Ranch Types.

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

separate, together.

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.

No 5.

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.