Remember the summer

We were obsessed with

Burroughs.

Anything spontaneous

the clash of thunder

close enough to subdue

the mad-paced hours.

Anything inciting

like stroke lightning

the scent of combustion

ready to ignite.

Everything electric

that made us come alive,

Our hearts caught between

whale song and sigh

spontaneous downpour

intermittent silence

sporadic as a summer storm.

Leonid Afremov  “Rains Rustle”

99 thoughts on “Summer with Burroughs

  1. Dear Holly,
    Between whale songs and sighs is where this poetry lies.
    Burroughs is an odour of combustion, one can never forget.
    You are the heart, one will always remember.
    Adore this poem!!! xoxoxoxo

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  2. I know Whalesong.

    It’s been here before,
    calling my blank space to the oceans…

    filling what’s frightened
    with darkness
    and rain
    and tiny bulbs of twisted light…

    torn out of shape
    by the stormfront
    and the music
    and the love.

    I know the Whalesong.

    It’s scared now,
    and lonely
    and lost…
    waiting for all these walls to fall…

    and you in the rain where we capture it all.

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  3. Definitely feel that damp electric air, the flashing and rolling boom. I thrilled at the sound of clacking hard soles of leather shoes trying to race ahead and giving up. I agree with the comments on whale songs and sighs. Beautiful imagery.

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      1. I remember as a child of strange imaginings living in a Floridian 1918 Queen Anne style home nestled in a 4 acre English garden with my Southern Socialite grandmother, the last of the Victorians. My mother still had two years of highschool to complete and my father was away in the Navy. This was my grandmother’s chance to influence my outcomes. She was in shock at the Slam poetry and writers like W. S. Burroughs who was 20 years younger than she was. But, she understood it because she had lived through the upheaval of two world wars, had survived the depression and knew how that had added a national fatalism to our consciousness. She saw it as a urgent examination of ourselves and so she embraced it and helped me absorb the meaning of it all. The slams were quite exciting with poetry taking on a raw urgent voice compared to the quiet and dignified 19th century. “Burroughs said language was from outer space, and I was hooked. Feel the beat of the Beat Generation. Scandal was now a public endeavor normalized by the transition of three generations in my family. What I don’t raise an eyebrow to, would result in my grandmother clutching her pearls and asking God to deliver her from her sins of consciousness. Then she would wink at me and smile. Underneath her resolute Victorian skin was a literary genius who wanted all to see, feel, and understand the power of language. That was the early lessons in opening to new things, even if comprehension wasn’t possible. And what I remember of Haight Ashbury was Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. That place birthed a lot of counterculture genius in the arts.

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        1. Let me guess , this lovely old home was somewhere Near . the panhandle. Your Grandmother sounds fabulous and I can relate having spent every summer from age 8 with my own southern belle grandmother in Thomasville. I can imagine the culture shock of what was happening in the 60’s In literature and behaviors and many other things. I can imagine the hippies and Beat Generation were as appalling and shocking as the rise of surrealism and Dada. My grandma was very proper and strict Too but kind. Definitely had her own ideas as too what was acceptable and found many norms quite shocking. my Dad was also in the military, stationed many places where I couldn’t go. I did go with him to Germany and from there I split at age 18. I’m eternally grateful to grandmother for taking me in after raising six of her own even if she did warp me. 😊

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          1. Thomasville! You were just up the street from me. Our paths cross again and our grandmother’s raised us under similar circumstances. I’m always thrilled to discover these things. It goes with that excellent creative synchronicity we share. Family living with grandparents while parents worked or served the country was common where we lived. I have family in Thomasville and we went there often as a kid. The old Thomasville highway was only a block from the house. I remember our relatives were all good people and I loved to sit quietly and listen to them talk about their good ole days. They treated me very well. I think that is because my grandmother gave me a lesson in good manners each time to make sure I was well tuned to gentlemanly behaviors before I arrived. That is so cool. 🤗✨

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          2. I do remember the pecan farms. They have been there forever. It was a lovely drive with the trees and small ponds scattered along the way. Just down the road near the state lines is my ancestral farm, Hinson Florida and Havana Florida on Highway 27. The area was part of a Presidential land grant as compensation for service in the Revolutionary War. It was 1790 when the family moved from their farm in North Carolina and Florida wouldn’t become a state for almost another 55 years. Near the old family homestead is the family grave with 6 generations of my grandfathers and their families resting side by side under some very large Pin Oak trees complete with the required hanging moss. My grandfather left the farm and lived in Thomasville and taught at the school. He left to serve in WWI and then moved to Tallahassee after falling deeply in love with my rather captivating grandmother. I think I’ve told you most of what happened after that. 😉

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          3. We are southern born and bred, y’all. Such beautiful history!
            The family cemetery sounds a lot like yours though I never go there anymore. The southern moss hangs over the tombstones and statues. There’s a grave there of an unknown soldier from the civil war/ revolutionary war, I’ve forgotten which now.

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          4. Isn’t it cool to be a leaf in the tree of history? I admit, I’m fascinated with history and the connections of people up and downstream of historical events. On my mausoleum door, I’ll have a Latin inscription which translate to. Life was hard, I need the rest.

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  4. A pleasant weekly production Coeur de feu.
    We may still be in touch before Year’s end, but just in case:
    Joyeux Noël et bonne année.
    Frölische Weinnachten (Und ein glükig nieuw Jaar) (need to check the spelling on that last one)
    I hope you can spend it – with all due precaution – with your loved ones.
    🎄 🙏🏻💕

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