Kurt Vonnegut, 11/11/1922-11/4/2007

What part of America is dead?

Only the part that makes no claim on heaven
Is dead,
And if part of you is dead, How do you go on

War is disease, Love is conducted
Like warfare. Business extends war into

It, Love. And Art has always been a fight.
Kurt Vonnegut died last week, on Thursday.
Like a mosquito.

He said, I’m an old man now. But he said it
About what he felt when young he leant
His head against a tree to rest standing

Up, they were on the run through snow,
They had no weapons, it was possibly a birch
Tree, but do you rest your forehead on the cold

Bark, snow all around, or the back of your head,
And shut your eyes? And He could see everything. That’s
How crazy I am! He said. That was going to happen.

See? "I am" – the present, old or young. You have
To be patient, he replied to a young woman with
Large brown eyes, who’d never seen a dead

Body. Yes, he took her by the shoulders and,
He said, made a pause and looking deep
Into her eyes, he said …

We count time. We generally pay on time.
We play for time. We space time, insofar as
Time is our spacing. But we know nothing about it.

Everything … But I don’t think we do .
We are bugs here in the present, in amber. So
It goes, it goes like that. You write

For immature people who perhaps felt like you
When you lean your head and the Tree sees everything
For you and you, for your part, are first old, crazy

Then die young enough, with a young man on your back,
Like a centipede,
Sane, to despise the fact that George W. Bush can stand

Up and proudly say, I’m a war President, which
Is like saying, I’m a Syphilis president. War
Is the worst disease                       

On the planet

[17 April 2007]