Reading this poem for pleasure: (12 minutes 38 seconds)
they changed the forecast today from partly sunny to mostly cloudy: not by prophecy: stuck their heads out the window & tho the instruments didn't agree reduced the gap between prophecy & existent fact: the direct yields abundance, while calculation drags upon the event: I beg that my eyes that are open be opened, that the drives, motions, intellections, symbologies myths--lift, expose me to direct sight: seeing, I color, alter, hide, accent: but what is there, naked & nonhuman? or here, deep & terrifyingly human? are we confined in an atom with fiery nucleus? is there too much room, the ego under threat of dispersion? you--who are you? how do I feel about you? do I hate it that I love to be tied to you by love? untied, wd I be free or lost? but for your own sake: who are you? can I help? is there any thing I can do: are things working out all right for you? what are those black areas? are they parts of you that can't fall into place, come into light? are they longings & fears only dreams whisper? I love you the best I know how: encounter me with belief: are you getting yours? getting & giving yours, mine, & ours, are we resolving most of the areas, are we touching on elation enough? do I love you mostly, or the thought of us together? are you hoping that giving will make up for not getting? that wd be the course of saints: get, too: get it from me: I have it and having it for you, I get mine: who are you, deeper? have I sounded you? was that bottom I struck? but oh up in the heart & around your breasts and to speak of the deep in your eyes, have I come into your measure? are you getting yours? have you been had? You've had me: I float: every cell comes to this: you are beautiful: you are just beautiful: beautiful: thank you: 11:16 a.m: a blur of light just came into the room, lived a few seconds, then died away: my crown-of-thorns, waiting, got the benefit, struck across the middle: the instruments were right in a way: emphasis distinguishes partly sunny from mostly cloudy: if it don't snow it's gonna miss a good chancet: I'll say that: lagging behind the event: running to catch up: to be at the crest's break, the running crest, event becoming word: anti-art & non-classical: in art, we do not run to keep up with random moments, we select & create the moment occurring forever: timelessness held at the peak of time: (just went to take a leak: jay on the back lawn, hopping, looking around, turning leaves) but this may turn back on itself, motion by motion, a continum, held in timelessness racing with time,,,,like a napkin burnt in the ashtray, red beads, flameless, racing around, splitting, dying, turning fiber into ash: held activity: let's have faith to go ahead & see if anything will happen: maybe the tape will run out: (looks a long way off: Muse! Muse! fiery woman, what you got to tell me? tell me: I feel weak so much tape remains: my back's getting sore: I don't sleep good with this going on--slept pretty good last night: woke up once into a country of dreams: wanted to remember them: but mostly cloudy was too bright, even, for them: it was a country, I think: great many people: & no news of my book at the pstffce again this morn: so I don't feel strong about things: I need plenty of help: the crusty world takes no notice: Muse, what must we do to hit the top: it'd better be good: give a little, will you, please?) (I'm bushed:) but you can do worse than be a singer of verses: (I'm the biggest fool that ever was-- assertion's not the way to the top, you're a little round fool-- to follow you off into these woods: who are you anyhow? some kind of a prickteaser?) & so & so & so & so & so & so & so & so & so so (some kinuva sans merci?) lunch: hot dogs and baked beans again: swell: 2/23: 11 cents a can: cheap: hotdogs run you around-- oh let's see: this morning's coffee & a chocolate fudge cookie: maybe 30 cents altogether: & all that energy turned into verse will bring you about four condemnations: transformations! metamorphoses! mitachondria! hell's bells! how my back hurts: even by concentrating, I can't feel any presence to my balls: missing: wd it be masturbatory if I if I touched the area briefly just to make sure? two cool tight weights! thank you: thank you very much: if I had a flute: wdn't if be fine to see this long thin poem rise out of the waste- basket: the charmed erection, stiffening, uncoiling? anyways, that wastebasket is coiled full: wonder if I should stomp in it? in & out: weaving in & out: a tapestry, looking for all the world as if it were alive: (break we that watch up) just took a ride out to the refuge: 100,000 birds: mallards, grebes, teals, herons, Canada geese & two excellent flyers from which there is no refuge: one, the short-necked, long-tailed red hawk: he browses the marshes & for the little bird, little bird he is carefully looking: & way overhead, turning, the quiet, black vulture: two avenues flesh can take: the tight red & the loose dark meat: red ambulance & black hearse, brazen reminders: and the birds fly among, regarding & regardless: the trash collectors came while I was gone & took the week's waste away: we are purged: even a house has the incoming & outgoing energies & losses by which it is maintained: the garbage truck says on the back "We aim to serve, not disturb": sophisticated assonance & & & & & & & intellections are scaffolds, trellises we wish some vine of feeling would take to & possess completely: spider build a circle hung in the squares of: bird light on & sing from the top of: we build them even for the windsong's tenuous life: chance a vine will ramble up it busting into leaves & roses, giving the robin a place & making all the air around fragrant: we build these structures because we have hope, at least: we're flat & lifeless, but these erections, they have hollow spaces, room: we mean to change--that is, a spouting is going to go on: good, bad, & indifferent are gonna clutter up all around, rise through the lattices of held space and sing all together, rose, thorn, smear of birdshit: gonna rise right up out of the ground where the dreams wait and be red & gold and laughing to beat the band: intellections are bowls we hope to fill: motions on the prowl: don't cut them down or bust them up so the water spills & the vine hunts aimlessly over the ground: do not be impatient with us: we're coming along & meantime entertain yourselves with the dry beauty of our joists & timbers, slats & designs: if nothing ever breaks into leaf still we meant to encourage the vine: we like the call of the robin & his early visit & the color of his hen's eggs & the way he stands on the lawn, erect-- dressed for a wedding: intellections have a use, don't think they don't: if the vine couldn't find a natural tree, what would become of it? if structure without life is meaningless, so is life without structure: we're going to make a dense, tangled trellis so lovely & complicated that every kind of variety will find a place in it or on it: you just be surprised: & forgive us: who mean song direct & fierce: (this day ended in spite of all mostly sunny) a dark night of stars ensuing: help me: I have this & no other comfort: the song, the slight, inner unmistakable song you give me and nothing else! what are you, some kind of strumpet? will you pull out on me? look: I have faith: I have faith: come or go: I'll always love you: I have nothing else: I have nothing else besides you: will you tear me to pieces? I'll go on without you, until you come again: then in the flare of song we'll make a common flame: if it ain't one fantasy it's anothern: where are you, reality? come out of there: you drift around in the background, drooping like a suckegg dog: probably I'd like you all right if I could get up close enough to know you: are you pieces of things not quite fastened? what's your face like? frowns & bitters? witchy? scrawny? warty? withery? maybe I've given you a horrible mask and behind that you're beautiful: or is this another dream, reality's dream? then, is reality to be free of fantasies, those I hang between us, those I cast on you? fact is, I'm having this conversation with a piece of paper! and "you" are a figment of imagination and "you" have no mask & if you did no face wd be behind it: all this is just coming out of my head: the factory of fantasies: some beautiful, some terrifying, some this, some that--but all, paper & thin air! a hundred dragons and furies, satyrs & centaurs--and one Muse! get food: get water: get sex: bank account, nice car, good address, retirement plan, investment portfolio, country-club membership, monogrammed shirts, summer home, cabin cruiser, big living room (furnished modern) Money Power Food Water Sex--and who needs paper conversations, words revved up in a fine motion and a headful of dragons? reality, I've got a feeling you can be awful nice! but if the only reality I can get is a spare, hard-bought one, why turn on the fantasies and let there be gorgeousness, color & motion, red & gold fabrics and fine illusioning silks! the man with bills to pay dreams with a Muse! reality is knowing what you want and how to get it: (A.R. Ammons)
This is an excerpt from the book Tape for the Turn of the Year
Context: He was typing on a roll of adding machine paper. It is a book length poem. He typed nearly daily until he ran out of tape. It was 1963.