Poetry: Edward Mycue


Remembering Sinclair lewis I wrote this to connect with our depressing times through the distance screen.

It depends on what you are trying to conserve
You can react
You can remember
You can repeat
But the tree won’t grow.
You can save it
You can dry it
You can burn it
The tree is you
You can share it
You can preserve it
But it will not remain a living tree.
Polish it
Dust it
Worship it
It’s not going to breathe
Neither will you.
You have to let a green thing grow.

(C) Copyright Edward Mycue 2022.

It comes to me that person’s minds have screen doors
that let what’s outside them flow in,
and they also ‘screen’ them.
They may get clogged or are simply
collectors of stray matter that remain.
Among those that remain are similar
to others that got caught in the meshes
on other occasions and that may be created
from the use of blocks of phrasings or
constructions that include:
…as if from…
….in dawn’s ire….
if only for this….
….as if it were….
These may or not be foundational.

(C) Copyright Edward Mycue 2022


“Harvest” is what I mean when I write “coffee to the people”
As the song from my youth intones “you can’t go back to Constantinople”
Tell that to Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Turkey, more in deed
Speaking colloquial Arabic’s and Egyptian’s so many variants growing.

It’s a wiggly wobbly bouncy bunch of speakings so far as the ear hears
And people feeling picked-on, abused, and abandoned every each day.
Chill is a word that seeps up, chill they say, and chill well: it is shaken.

I’m always learning new things to me that are soon forgotten drifting & they
have senses and senslessnesses too and more than “two” and they don’t lodge
deep enough now in the brain and in the body and skin cages (which are also
the brain: for I have experiences in input and retrievals from storage
systems having been over-filled and you have to dredge to get “the fully Incorporated‘ because a little like the dry spices go along way and enter strife territories.)

“You get moody“ my meditations tell me, perhaps over trusting intuitions. Institutions equal poetry appearing out out worthy: as learned forms, some verses. 

Copyright 2022 Edward Mycue.

11 replies »

  1. I believed in progress,
    in the basic goodness of persons,
    that there was a stranger within me,
    an intruder who was not
    me, yet part of me, who swallowed as I drank.
    I’ve lived as if it will die when I die.
    I now begin to see that my ‘stranger’
    inside me is the sharpie fine-pointed pen
    “I” write with, but really is a life force who leads,
    encourages, lifts me through my nights.
    This is not mythic: it is here, now. I pass
    out of history: this continues. while I live
    I am steward, mechanic, actor, helper.
    I matter; my actions matter; my thoughts matter.
    my ending is organized into this great matter.

    © copyright Edward Mycue 22 IX 2016


    a rite, not a ritual, a progression, not a procedure
    a song, not a schedule
    I am in my life and I live it
    –partake it, enjoy it, wonder at it

    I’m green leaves aquiver, red clouds aflutter
    whacky as Christopher Smart talking to cats
    and alone in dark forests in short pants

    I am Niagara River crashing over the Falls
    cascading through the gorge to the Devil’s Hole
    sweeping through into the last Great Lake

    surging into the great Lawrence into my mother Atlantic
    rising forward & into the clouds into hurricanes I cut with the knife of the times

    out onto the rocks the Cape of Good Hope to India,
    South China Sea, sieving through Oceana’s islands
    Pacific kingdoms up past Galapagos and
    north up to my home shore
    Mission Rock San Francisco and my love’s bed.
    I am a fact not a fiction.
    © Copyright Edward Mycue



    An ides of a month is a middle of that month. In Roman days it was known as the deadline when you settled debts.

    Does peace have a pulse for peace? Does our world have a hope? I read seas are rising, glaciers disappearing, crops failing. When 30 years ago I asked great aunt Antonia Bellone how then she felt, she said “disgusted” (memento mori)

    In San Francisco every wave in the Pacific Ocean here at Land’s End where great ships foundered brings back unfinished symphonies: the future appears ugly, sharp paradigm shifts, earth jimjams a jungle, diamond skies, sea change, playground happenings, tree rats scurrying into the canopies, everyone here is there under the surface of consciousness along with all the bungled aspirations, mischances, mistakes, errors, crimes completing apprenticeships, and over the mind a brown shale –roomtone, mouthfeel, reordering parts, rationing emotions.

    Ripening memories pressing upward, stardust a diminishing gusher, thickening light a sea scar.

    RUMBLE SEAT PIERCE-ARROW Lately, when i have dreamed of HOME what appears is that river bottom cabin where 2 men lived and took my brothers and me out in their boat fishing and just seeing the shore life as my father jack kicked back reclining at shore dreaming baseball. Back to that time and of the Pierce-Arrow with the rumble seat trunk where we rode free to the sky: cars and with dogs in them cars with the rumble seats the mid 1940′s that were old even then and guys back from World War II who had them and we loved them, ducking down into the space inside when windy or cold or you were afraid –or my dad or and the guys were a bit worried. We bounced over potholes, roots, humps heading down to the river and their cabin, some tributary of our Niagara River. I remember those two guys who lived down there after, back from the war, and the one who’d had a leg off used to grab me to haul me over these ditches and trees, the blond hunk with the missing leg but some replacement (and I think now it was my first crush on a guy) in his 20′s who my dad used to play baseball with and the other guy my my dad’s buddy from their boy scout days or from the Tuscarora reservation near Niagara. Lately, when I have dreamed of home what appears is the rumble seat.

    Art Lund sang Joey from THE MOST HAPPY FELLOW (‘in the whole Napa Valley’– from Frank Loesser’s musical of Sidney Kingsley’s depression-era play THEY KNEW WHAT THE WANTED ), Vaughn Monroe deeptoned Mona Lisa; Nat King Cole, had his easy way with Nature Boy. Then it’s Ebb Tide, The Unchained Melody (‘Time goes by so slowly/and time can do so much….), & Teresa Brewer wailing: Let me go/let me go/Let Me Go, Lover ./Let me be/set me free/from your spell.’ [—oh, yeh. yeh, yeh.] My brother David’s absolute favorite: Perez Prado’s (It’s) Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White (‘when you’re in love’—That must have been his Joanie Parker song.). [I was sixteen that summer working as old Mr. Flanagan’s helper at the Campfire Girls’ camp, south of Dallas, on a ridge above the Big Brothers’ camp below, where my best friend Frank ‘Nicky’ Knickerbocker worked-his mother got us our jobs.] Spin to Perry Como singing No Other Love (have I/only my love for you,/only the dream we knew,/into the night I cry/hurry home, come home to me,/set me free/ free from doubt/ and free/ from longing.- from Rogers & Hammerstein’s ME AND JULIET). Now switch into ‘It’s always like this/I worry and wonder,/your lips may be near/ but where is your heart?’ (The Song From Moulin Rouge). After that is Shake Rattle & Roll (‘You wear those thin dresses/and the sun come shining through./I didn’t know honey all that belonged to you.’ Adults were shocked at those lines, yet we were not so lascivious as they were I think.) Now skirl/ swoon to Vic Damone crooning Eternally the soaring theme of Charlie Chaplin’s LIMELIGHT movie [By the end of that summer of nineteen fifty-three I thought I loved Ellie the Campfire Girls’ summer-camp cook’s boy friend also from her North Carolina college a football hunk working in that Big Brother camp in that valley below]: “though the stars may cease to shine/my love shall always be/forever true and loving you / eternally.” My youth now seems a good earth original today so achingly beautiful. Great grandmother Jane Kennedy Delehant had often intoned “Backward, oh backward/ o time in thy flight/ make me a child again/ just for tonight.” Night! So now in this time/ over tim I think it, write, say it now recalling that summer I was 16.

    The cats have no intentions.
    Except for her eyes, Obidiah is white
    as the commode bowl.
    Van Rijn, smaller than Doug’s boot,
    is black. That boot
    has great intentions.
    When Margaret first sees Van Rijn
    she’ll say she ‘loves’ him.
    Large word: ‘love’.
    Margaret’s no mapmaker.
    She wanders that country.
    Doug ‘digs’ the oceans.
    Margaret will come back,
    pass out of range, of love,
    full of tears, enthusiasm,
    for things were truth known
    full of rain, storms.
    Doug never gets past Seal Rocks,
    but he’s gone again
    to walk through park to sea.
    Obidiah is white.
    Van Rijn is black.
    The boot has great intentions.

    Many of us could never go home even when we had not left it. Home is a windsong in our hearts. These hearts have exploded, repositioned themselves, ending as much the mends themselves as the remaindered hearts. This then is ‘home’.

    You don’t need contrition for a condition. Maybe an explanation will do. Maybe it’s an act– not a crime. You don’t need permission to seek sublime. It’s the condition. Don’t ask vindication. Brighten the dark. No negatives first. Follow your thirst. Trust intuition. It’s the condition.

    (C) Copyright Edward Mycue


  4. Our San Francisco Poet–Edward Mycue (Ghana 1961-63)
    Posted by John Coyne on Wednesday, February 20th 2013: [San Francisco has produced many fine poets over the years. I, for one, grew up reading the Beats: Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Diane di Prima, Neal Cassady, Anne Waldman and Michael McClure. The list goes on and on. They were the poets of the ’50s and early ’60s, and then in 1970 Edward Mycue came to town. Edward Mycue (Ghana 1961-63) had ETed from the Peace Corps because of family needs at home and he returned to the U.S. to work for HEW in Dallas before arriving in San Francisco on June 1, 1970. He joined the new Gay Liberation Movement, began to work for Margrit Roma and Clarence Ricklets’ The New Shakespeare Company, and started publishing his poems. Since 1970 his poetry, criticism, essays and stories have appeared in over 2000 journals, magazines, on the Internet and everywhere literature is read. He is called by many, “one of the best living poets in San Francisco.” He lives, eats, and breathes San Francisco. So, it was only a matter of time before he would publish a collection of poems on the City by the Bay. Entitled Song of Francisco this collection of 10 poems is now available and Ed has been nice enough to allow me to publish one of his poems from this new collection.]

    Memory Tongue

    San Francisco, you
    blind, handsome city,
    your harbor has a stone
    in its mouth.    You
    get washed in our
    histories    you write
    in our lymph    once
    calf-white     like your
    promise      now memory-
    tongued, eggshell-
    thin, raving      for
    healing  this
    desperate geography.

    © copyright  Edward Mycue from Song of San Franciso published by Spectacular Diseases (c/o Paul Green, Flat 29, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, Cambs. PE1 2SN UK
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    Our San Francisco Poet–Edward Mycue (Ghana 1961-63)
    Posted by John Coyne on Wednesday, February 20th 2013     



     I went to Ghana in 1961 in the first Peace Corps group to go abroad,
     landing in Accra,end of August, via Dakar, Senegal and The Azores from Washington DC
    where President John F. Kennedy met us in the Rose Garden,
     then was photographed with each of us at his Oval Office desk. 
    Fifty of us, twenties to thirties, a charmed generation trusting progress 
    and a basic goodness of all persons. 
       All the while there seemed to be a stranger within me, 
    an intruder who was not me, yet part of me, who swallowed as I drank
     and who’d die when I’d die.

       Our ‘strangers’ are sharpie fine-pointed pens who write us,
     life forces leading, lifting us through our nights.
       Who /what this is baffles me. It’s not mythic. It is here now. We pass from history. 
    This life force continues.
       We’re stewards, mechanics, actors, helpers. Actions matter, thoughts matter.
      All flow into this great final matter. 
    We believed in progress, in the basic goodness of all persons.
    There was a stranger inside of me, an intruder, who was not me,
    yet part of me
    who swallowed as I drank: 
    I’ve lived as if he’ll die when I die.
    I now begin to see that our ‘strangers’
    within us are the sharpie fine pointed pens
    we thought “we” wrote with, but really are the life force,
    forces who lead, encourage, lift us through our nights.

    What this is baffles me, but it’s not mythic.
    It is here now. We pass out of history. This life force continues. 
    While we live we are stewards, mechanics, actors, helpers
    We matter, our actions matter, our thoughts matter. 
    In our end all our beginnings are organized into this great matter.
    Most everyone here thinks the world of it.
    Yet here is not the world: that atlas speaks other climes.
    Here’s mind’s province. Beyond here worlds have
    No cause looking back, now. Out there becomes then a here.
    From personal to political to spires, further and higher to travel.
    What was here then, there, remains. Here, now, resting time, still we seek.
    Beyond circles is twisting, continuing. Turning what was then back, forward,
    Here returns, but not here’s beginning. 
    That words dream motion makes life glorious
    puts raw silk to silence, gives music tongue,
    reveals nature becomes prairie garnet and peridot 
    leaving the wind behind In all the rainbow colors. 
    © Copyright    Edward Mycue  


  6. HOME

    • Many of us could never go home

    • even when we had not left it.

    • Home is a windsong in our hearts.

    • These hearts have exploded,

    • repositioned themselves, ending

    • as much the mends themselves

    • as the remaindered hearts.

    • This then is ‘home’.

    • © Copyright Edward Mycue


  7. How we begin/ why we go on/ who will we be/ where will it be/ when will it end/ what’s it mean — a baby questions! Three are “it” questions. (One of my meditations over years on the pronoun “it”.) “So it was/ life became/ ir/ regulated. / ‘It’ developed/ during cen-/ turies/ there,/ for ‘it’ / got so/ diff/-i/-cult.”
    A California poet Robinson Jeffers, ejected from tribe by critics led by Yvor Winters of Stanford University, warned against creature-specificity wherewith humans are placed way up & over the top of the pecking order.
    Howard Zinn who died recently said “…human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives.”
    San Francisco poet/ philosopher/ teacher Lawrence Fixel who died several years ago might well have added: “But we know that already.”
    Paul Valery, a French Poet/ philosopher/ teacher who’s ART OF POETRY says in “A Poet’s Notebook” “….the habit of long labor at poetry has accustomed me to consider all speech and all writing as work in progress that can nearly always be taken up again and altered; and I consider work itself as having its own value, generally much superior to the product….no doubt the product is the thing that lasts and has, or should have, a meaning of itself and an in-dependent existence; but the acts from which it proceeds , in so far as they react on their author, form within another person more skillful and more in possession of his domain of memory….a work is never necessarily finished, for he who made it is never complete, and the power and agility he has drawn from it confer on him just the power to improve it….he draws from it what is needed to efface and remake it. this is how a free artist, at least, should regard things. And ends by considering as satisfactory only those works that have taught him something more….”
    western Americans josephine miles, ann stanford, richard hugo, theodore roethke were supremely fine poets, wonderful critical writers, gifted teachers. lawrence fixel, stanley burnshaw and northrup frye in my experience were great thinkers who understood poetry, and fixel and burnshaw wrote it well.
    I ended selling pencils & books, was a gardener & oddjobsman , few years a teacher, and worked 6 years for US dept of health education and welfare. many times, i thought and many times i just blurted or bled onto paper. Seriously a poet noon in my 20’s until now my moonrising my vocation came and i surrendered willingly. I have been a worker poet.
    Many gifts may be small ones, yet be real. In a time and place where it has been possible, in the end i have written as i breathe, lucky to do both. but i’ll add here that
    Poetry is an odd and restricting term. marianne moore (“i too detest it…but find in it ….”) and william carolos williams (“but men die every day for want of what is found there….”)– forms and the meter and syllables and the cadence and the syncopation and the lineation could be annoying. i don’t censor myself when i am writing with the corset “poetry”. just start writing. later you may discover a seed there and if not then you have some compost for some other seeds. i hate poetry that restricts you. but in it miss marianne moore said there is a place for the genuine. and i love what is genuine. it’s worth pursuing.
    i don’t feel sincere, nor insincere. one grows into technique and into one’s own vocabulary. and it’s a good idea to play/ really PLAY/ with the forms.
    in the early 1970′s william dickey and i were in the same group who met monthly sometimes at his place. bill was a forms & technique genius, the best i have ever known and it didn’t hurt his poetry. he’d say: ed, you know what you have here is…with a twitch here or a tweak there…a rondo…a villanelle…..and you can work it that way if you want…or not. Sometimes it helped the poem to do so. i liked having my choice about final shaping, but i never liked writing to a form. my way is not that. (of course, another person may do or feel differently.) things got up my nose. but that made my path.
    i went to n.r.crozier technical high school in dallas, texas beginning 1951 and had this (many thought ‘severe’) woodshop teacher mr. butler who wanted us not to get hurt with the tools, some of them quite dangerous –the electric planer, the table saws, and so on–: he was a magnificent teacher teacher and quite nice to me. not once did i get that big paddle that was used judiciously and forcefully and it seems not infrequently. he must have been in his 40′s then and loved differences in woods and form as a stimulus to invention.
    i keep banging out stuff with no publication plans..
    “there” is where they come from: ‘there’, for the inside to outside and i don’t pay attention to the shape the outside becomes. of course . I may change it, reshape it in mixed arrangements. from impulse (pulse)because i feel the time is a worn thread.
    a dumpster of memory and idea that is only phenomenologically momentarily necessary. if the moment passed without proceeding and how to make poetry work fun. if fun is the right word here. and is it poetry if it isn’t fun in the making no matter how serious the content? well maybe, but i’d have to fiddle with the ‘fun’ concept.
    “Making” is the operative word really: and the pleasure or satisfaction of making something well and the thrill of the doing in the making. Here’s my poem that arrived that way:
    There is a stranger within me,
    an intruder who is not me
    and is a part of me.
    We co-exist and yet it’s he
    who habitates as I exist.
    He swallows and I drink
    who’ll die when I die,
    or so I think.
    © EDWARD MYCUE San Francisco The Richmond District #1



    it’s Sunset and it’s Richmond Districts today
    there seemed to be a stranger within me, an intruder

    who was not me, yet part of me, who swallowed

    as I drank and who’d die when I’d die.

    Our ‘strangers’ are sharpie fine-pointed pens
    who write us, life forces leading,
    lifting us through our nights.

    Who /what this is baffles me. It’s not mythic. It is here now. We pass from history. This life force continues.

    We’re stewards, mechanics, actors, helpers.

    Actions matter,
    thoughts matter.

    All flow into this great final matter.

    © Copyright Edward Mycue 19 May 2023 Friday afternoon


  9. ODD:* Assaults 

    When odd’s conceived by folk or group, there is often unconsidered determination slid into the mix.

    Some will consider discrimination in these matters part of sleeping virtue they might need to backup.

    Just as in an orchestra there are the horns and the woodwinds who for some’s an alphanumberic seed.

    And just as music ripples and reappears, so also fates, fears, hates, and towering swelling within, without.

    Blind, handsome, odd: so over to you busy otherwise. You are all we’re waiting for every day you have the time

    © Copyright  Edward Mycue  Friday  May 26, 2023  9:00am

    *Assaulting Asians, Latinos, Blacks, Homos, unknown, disabled, histories 



    Since we have learned that not every time

    are beliefs of our own absolute convictions

    though I must say echoing Jackie Gleason’s
    1950’s HONEYMOONERS 1950’S TV series’

    utterances of “What a disgusting development”
    have come to now

    knowing now we’ll be safer, at home

    together, dealing groans
    each everyday

    ourselves and

    all we desire is to have someone,

    maybe you help us reorient to that

    which we knew so well
    just yesterday. 

    © Copyright Edward Mycue, May 30, 2023 Tuesday



    Is what’s not possible:
    in such circumstances
    the operator unavailable

    and life’s floating bridge
    holds an orchestra
    wondrous and tender

    winds horns strings gongs
    gold French horns shine
    legendary hairy conductor

    plus Maria Callas soprano
    without her cokebottle focals
    swooping down the stairs

    her gossamer scarf snags
    in the tryout she survives
    in Dallas in 1959 we saw

    sisters Janey, Arda, me
    born 1946, 1947, 1937
    Jane died last year 2022

    Does anyone recall through
    the years if they’d tell you

    © Copyright Edward Mycue June 4, 2023 Sunday 5:10pm


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