Ira Cohen

For Ingeborg Bachmann

Speaking of kisses
that have slipped
now no matter how
hard I look
I cannot find the words
which describe their
like a taste in the
mouth recalled but
not remembered
Only the tongue
of a beautiful
can tell you of the
of forgotten kisses.

                                                                   June 30, 2006

God’s Bounty

My heart is a drum
which keeps beating
in a rhythm which makes
me crazy. The phone
& I don’t recognize the
I am receiving deliveries
I never ordered
Hafiz tells me that
this is God’s bounty
If we knew everything
before it happened
would we ever seek the
or discover how to lose ourselves
in clouds of confusion?
Still fear comes unbidden
while we wait endlessly
for what will never come
Through the window of
your heart you can see
both within & without
I’m going back to bed.

                                                                   March 30, 2006


Dreams of turbaned singers
droning the sounds of the
in deep voices
buried up to their necks
in sand. I am looking from
above on an illusory parapet
Suddenly I want my camera
but it isn’t with me.
Marina says I went to Abaton,
the first of the imaginary places
My blood sugar keeps climbing,
even in sleep. When I wake
I think of death & take a shot
of insulin before breakfast.

                                                                   June 25, 2006

Ira Cohen is a poet, publisher, photographer and filmmaker. He was born in 1935 in New York City to deaf parents. During the 1960s, he traveled to Tangier, where he published the magazine GNAOUA, featuring William S. Burroughs, Brian Gysin, Jack Smith, and Irving Rosenthal. He also published The Hashish Cookbook under the name of Panama Rose. He continued to travel until 1980, when he returned to New York City, where he now resides. Much more can be found about him here & here.

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