The Poetry of
Jack Scott

A New Lecture

Nobody said it wouldn’t hurt.
Nobody said it would hurt so much.

Softly spread your wings;
you wound me with your elbows
attempting flight.

If anybody says love
once more tonight
I’ll scream.

Homeless, naked turtle,
unarmed fortress, vulnerable
perhaps repelling home
like magnet in love at one end only,
allergic at the other
having much in common
with permanent embrace
in which the two are one.

Tantalus bending over draining sleep
touching only wooden pillows
on cast iron sheets
over sleepless mudflat bed.

Home is also where,
when it is time,
when they cannot abide your urgency,
they have to put you out
to fly or fall from aerie nest.

Home is not having to lock your door
or locking it too much.
Home is your skin, your scalp
if you’re lucky enough
to have a hat that fits.

I didn’t lock it tight enough
because it had been locked too much;
I thought it needed air.
So be it, I can live with that,
but I’d like to understand
though not too much.

The mind visits places
that torment body,
make it jealous, left behind
at home sweet home,
ill at ease with saccharine.

Mind can think a place to visit
and go there in one trip.

Postcards hurt.

I am home and home is me.

How do you forgive a lock for locking?

How big is the parlor?
Can it digest a wedding?
Will a funeral give it cramps?
How big’s the bedroom,
and how about the bed?
Bigger than the bedroom?
My gosh, you must be horny.

A glove fits over pleasure,
the other over pain.
It is pain that does the job,
pleasure merely pays for it.
(You can be clapped to death.)

L40 ®Copyright 1972 Jack Scott. All rights reserved.