‘For Christ’s sake take off your clothes and get into bed’


The centuries have changed little in this art,
The subjects are still the same.

“For Christ’s sake take off your clothes and get into bed,
We are not going to live forever.”
“Petals fall from the rose,”
We fall from life,
Values fall from history like men from shellfire,
Only a minimum survives,
Only an unknown achievement.
They can put it all on the headstones,
In all the battlefields,
“Poor guy, he never knew what it was all about.”
Spectacled men will come with shovels in a thousand years,
Give lectures in universities on cultural advances, cultural lags.
A little more garlic in the soup,
A half-hour more in bed in the morning,
Some of them got it, some of them didn’t;
The things they dropped in their hurry
Are behind the glass cases of dusky museums.
This year we made four major ascents,
Camped for two weeks at timberline,
Watched Mars swim close to the earth,
Watched the black aurora of war
Spread over the sky of a decayed civilization.
These are the last terrible years of authority.
The disease has reached its crisis,
Ten thousand years of power,
The struggle of two laws,
The rule of iron and spilled blood,
The abiding solidarity of living blood and brain.

[…] – Kenneth Rexroth (1930’s)


~ by circumvolve on March 8, 2009.

2 Responses to “‘For Christ’s sake take off your clothes and get into bed’”

  1. Many more Rexroth poems and other writings are online at http://www.bopsecrets.org/rexroth


  2. I first discovered this poem whilst reading your work entitled “The Relevance of Rexroth”, which is a brilliant introduction. Great appreciation for your work. Thanks for the link to the blog!

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