Saturday, March 22, 2008


(low yellow Renaissance towers
Ocean Beach
mood of Cerulean blue
or copper overlaid with blue plate

Sympathetic to the sweet cypresses
a whale rises from the blue fumes forming a cloud
the mayors of the respective towns are out parading

A crowd gathers, passing the bottle around
some standing in a long curving line.

Some are talking
the waves, etc.
the bigger the better—

The troops are departing by boat
I can see them
            but think of myself—
            as better than nature

There is nothing of the Cliff House worth noting.
The polypus behind me feels like a cancer—
sinews connecting
Detroit and Sacramento
muscles of the
Corn Belt and Valley.

The odd sun shines elsewhere
on a world of republics
the men and women who built them
as any sickness of the remote.

Each penetration of the earth by the sun
is a point on the map
solved by four colors
in the mind’s eye a virgin Iris and her way.

But I, enstatic
a clean plain
at endless altitude
inside the color brown

am formally known as Tibet
the indifference.

footnote to

Tibet is thinking
China is nature

China is the Manifest
Dream of Tibet

Now China is the Air Force
and Tibet is the air for flight

Now China is the air
and Tibet is the ether

Now China is the ether
and Tibet is the air—

What about this
suppression of Tibet?

Barrett Watten
from Opera—Works (Bolinas, Calif.: Big Sky, 1975)
reprinted in Frame (1971–1990) (Los Angeles: Sun & Moon, 1997)
Copyright © Barrett Watten 1975, 1997, 2008

Barrett Watten, reading Tibet” (MP3)

Stand with Tibet – Support the Dalai Lama