Gregory Corso

Here you will find the Long Poem Elegiac Feelings American of poet Gregory Corso

Elegiac Feelings American

How inseparable you and the America you saw yet was never 
there to see; you and America, like the tree and the 
ground, are one the same; yet how like a palm tree 
in the state of Oregon. . . dead ere it blossomed, 
like a snow polar loping the
How so that which you were or hoped to be, and the 
America not, the America you saw yet could 
not see 
So like yet unlike the ground from which you stemmed; 
you stood upon America like a rootless 
Hat-bottomed tree; to the squirrel there was no 
divorcement in its hop of ground to its climb of 
tree. . . until it saw no acorn fall, then it knew 
there was no marriage between the two; how 
fruitless, how useless, the sad unnaturalness 
of nature; no wonder the dawn ceased being 
a joy. . . for what good the earth and sun when 
the tree in between is good for nothing. . . the 
inseparable trinity, once dissevered, becomes a 
cold fruitless meaningless thrice-marked 
deathlie in its awful amputation. . . O butcher 
the pork-chop is not the pig?The American 
alien in America is a bitter truncation; and even 
this elegy, dear Jack, shall have a butchered 
tree, a tree beaten to a pulp, upon which it'll be 
contained?no wonder no good news can be 
written on such bad news? 
How alien the natural home, aye, aye, how dies the tree when 
the ground is foreign, cold, unfree?The winds 
know not to blow the seed of the Redwood where 
none before stood; no palm is blown to Oregon, 
how wise the wind?Wise 
too the senders of the prophet. . . knowing the 
fertility of the designated spot where suchmeant 
prophecy be announced and answerable?the 
sower of wheat does not sow in the fields of cane; 
for the sender of the voice did also send the ear. 
And were little Liechtenstein, and not America, the 
designation. . . surely then we'd the tongues of 
Was not so much our finding America as it was America finding 
its voice in us; many spoke to America as though 
America by land-right was theirs by law-right 
legislatively acquired by materialistic coups of 
wealth and inheritance; like the citizen of society 
believes himself the owner of society, and what he 
makes of himself he makes of America and thus when 
he speaks of America he speaks of himself, and quite 
often such a he is duly elected to represent what he 
represents. . . an infernal ego of an America 
Thus many a patriot speaks lovingly of himself when he speaks 
of America, and not to appreciate him is not to 
appreciate America, and vice-versa 
The tongue of truth is the true tongue of America, and it could 
not be found in the Daily Heralds since the voice 
therein was a controlled voice, wickedly 
opinionated, and directed at gullible 
No wonder we found ourselves rootless. . . for we've become the 
very roots themselves,?the lie can never take root 
and there grow under a truth of sun and therefrom bear the fruit of truth 

Alas, Jack, seems I cannot requiem thee without
requieming America, and that's one requiem
I shall not presume, for as long as I live there'll
be no requiems for me 
For though the tree dies the tree is born anew, only until
the tree dies forever and never a tree born
anew. . . shall the ground die too 
Yours the eyes that saw, the heart that felt, the voice that
sang and cried; and as long as America shall live, though 
ye old Kerouac body hath died, yet shall you live. . . 
for indeed ours was a time of prophecy without death 
as a consequence. . . for indeed after us came the time 
of assassins, and whotll doubt thy last words 'After 
me. . . the deluge' 
Ah, but were it a matter of seasons I'd not doubt the return of the 
tree, for what good the ground upon which we stand 
itself unable to stand?aye the tree will in seasonal 
time fall, for it be nature's wont, thaPs why the 
ground, the down, the slow yet sure decomposition, 
until the very tree becomes the very ground where 
once it stood; yet falls the ground. . . ah, then what? 
unanswerable this be unto nature, for there is no 
ground whereon to fall and land, no down, no up 
even, directionless, and into what, if what, 
composition goeth its decomposition? 
We came to announce the human spirit in the name of
beauty and truth; and now this spirit cries out in nature's sake 
the horrendous imbalance of all things natural. . . 
elusive nature caught! like a bird in hand, harnessed 
and engineered in the unevolutional ways of 
experiment and technique 
Yes though the tree has taken root in the ground the ground is 
upturned and in this forced vomitage is spewn the 
dire miasma of fossilific trees of death the 
million-yeared pitch and grease of a dinosauric age 
dead and gone how all brought to surface again and 
made t