Words, by Bob Brown
Bob Brown's Words -- buy from Rice University    Press.

The front cover of           Words

Dedication           page



Signed Page

150 copies of this book set by hand and privately printed on hand-press each copy has been signed by the author

This is No

Bob Brown

Title page


I but bend my finger in a beckon and birds, words of birds, hop on it, chirping.



I5, Rue Guénégaud PARIS


Page 1


Operating on words -gilding and gelding them

In a rather special laboratory equipped with

Micro and with scope -I anesthetize

Pompous, prolix, sesquipedalian, Johnsonian

Inflations like Infundibuliform

Only to discover by giving them a swift

Poke in the bladder they instantly inspissate

And whortle down the loud- writing funnel.

Experimentally pricking with a sterilized needle

The centipedantic adjective Pseudepigraphous

I find it just goes Puff! and guiltily seeks

Sanctuary behind the dictionary.

All clearly classical words fray easily

The wooliest ones show undeniable traces of

Mouthy cotton. Weevil words bore.

Altiloquential ones when dropped in the

Specimen jar brimming with alcohol

Die torturously unhappy deaths from drowning

While wassail words run around the slippery rim

Making whoopee, shouting for a ducking

Coming out aglow to slip their warm little

Hands in mine with quaint curtsies from the

Lady ones and hearty "Thanks for the drink,

Old man," from their cheery red-cheeked mates

'Tis then I reach for the Laboratory Record and

Happily indite a new-found formula

WW -|- I = 1

(Words and I are one)


Zany Zed's Inarticulate Skeleton

OOze thrOugh the adenOidal Ogling OOs

TeeTer on T-bones of ToTTering TTs

Blow BuBBles with the BaBBling BBs

ExErcisE Erotic ElEphantinE knEEs

Juggle Joyous Jugfuls of Juicy Jungly JJs

ItinerIze Impy Inky ItItIs IIs

Play PoPeeP with sheePish PPPs

Zip in Zig-Zags with the Zany Zeds

Page 2


Nirganth, Persian Princess

Petal of Spring


Jewelled fingers and toes

In the golden grass

Of the Garden of Love

Singing the

Soul Song of Spring To her swan-headed zither

Widowed Nirganth

Burdened with black baubels

On the flower-lit bank of the

Brook of Spring

Her sobbed song

Attracting full-mated, tail-tossing

Goats and ducks

And curious, timorous virginal things

With tails between their legs

Nirganth stands

Stark, alone and straight

As the stately, solemn fruitless palm

Behind her

Between two full-branched bearing trees

And two others with

Main limbs lopped off

Page 3

Nirganth, widowed

Greets seminal Spring

With ritual

Sighing her plaintive

Autumnal dirge

Mid cavorting, inquisitive goats


Death of Words

Honor- Chastity

Ugly wounds- Abbatoir


Immortality- Suicide

Religion- Punishment


Page 4


Lady Godiva


Did you keep me

Awake all night

Last night


Lifting white-hot sheets

On my perpendicular tent-pole

A lonely maverick

Making camp in the

Desert of my bed

Gazing through

Gossamer gloom

For glowing glimpses of

Your dimpled


White Bottom

You siren centaur

Clattering night mare

In the cobbled street

Below my scholarly garret

I am no



Jet black stallion

To be whinnied at Neighed at


By the vicious mind of a

Flare-eyed China-toothed Nipple-dappled


Back -biting





Pinto pony


Montana Mare

Like you


Is not serene

In the Dome

A perfect composite of

Lord Byron and

Elliot with the accent on the George

And I have gazed calmly upon the

Sphinx and Mona Lisa

Yet tremblingly I tiptoed past

The Dome Duplexity

Without fluttering an eyelash

Page 5


There is no great gulf between the Love life of the Dogs in the village street of Royat and Other dogs or even human beings Only a subtle distinguishing finesse of Full-blooded frank expression. With Royat dogs spring is always here

Hope lurks forever

Just around the next lamp-post

They bark and bite, snarl and scratch

Purr and piddle, play ceaselessly at Fornicopulation

Even as talkie actors in gilt ritzyrooms.

But the dogs of Royat never think of

Pulling the shades down or the sheets up Openly in public they purify their bodies Fornify themselves happily

Against the rigours of a cold world

Grinning with dripping red jaws

Wagging lively laughing tails

Enacting the commonly recurrent functional Momentary crises of existence

Out in the middle of the street

All day long industriously rehearsing their Realistic Passion Play in public

Page 6

Looking down a little on their peers Saintly solemn Oberammergauers and other Formal puffed-up pallid passion players Who, like barnyard roosters Piously await the Peal of the Angelus Before paying their Pompous duty calls







pants! louey


gants! cants

Page 7


Down haunted horridors

Asceptic nurslings wriggle Balancing bed-pans

Brandishing hastily-snatched

Baby pink catherters

Burying their blazing cheeks in the Public dirty -clothes bag

Hiding behind lavatory doors

To lure into hot pursuit

Scalpel-eyed satyric internes Practicing interment

With one obsidian brow

Lifted for the Main Chance

And the other

Well up the Main Hatch

Assisting at Caesareans

Making vermiform appendixes squirm Helping stitch up livid belly seams Forgetting surgical scissors inside. Clanging through town in helmets

Astride brass-lunged ambulances Courageously picturesque

Volunteer Out-snuffers of The Eternal Fire

Page 8

Poking probing fingers into All too human apertures Bringing yowling Babes Rosebuddy and blistered Into this drab dripping Wood Turning them up to impulsively Talcum their mucilaginous mucosities Daintily dabbing the bawling bastards With demi-rouge compacts Inadvertently slipped from Viscous concealment by Nuzzly Leda-necked goosey nurslings In their paroxysmal Spasmodic scurrying Down haunted horridors


The goosipers are

Conking on the corner

Scanning the air

Spanning the air

Piercing clouds with

Hypodermic noses

Ajiggle waiting in

Cock-eye-strained eagerness

The snowy arrival of the

Aerial opium

Pigeon squad

Page 9


Freshly-new, mentally-lithe

Sound, cleanly-sane

Sportsman in Life

Eager modern art experimenter

Rimbaud reincarnate

Pioneer in the Infinite

Fourth dimensional venturer·

Harry Crosby discovered

The Ultimate Pole

Located neither North nor South

First nor last, here nor there

As a human projectile

Self-shot into the

Blinding black centre of his Sun Crosby's grey ashes were not Scattered alone over Manhatton

But flashed for a full


In a bursting rainbow meteor

Trailing resplendent sparks

A scintillating shower of

Formulated Futurity

Glowing radiantly through

Time-Space from hopeful

Realms of Rising Suns to

Earthy haunted sad-eyed Setting Suns,



Blanched boned grinning hollow dice

Cupped ruby glistening pips

And big bloody spat-out teeth

Spewed from a

Purple plush-lined box

At you

Your dice, Pan!

Has Little Joe been around tonight

Page 10

And mole-eyed mousey people Squinted up at the spectacle Clutching for their Faith Frantically in miraculous reticules

Brilliant explorer of Chaos

Daring delver in the Eternal

Harry Crosby accepted gallantly the Only sporting chance life offered Entered in an uncertain trial heat

By an unknown proprietor

Without even by-your-leave

He vaulted the flimsy fence into Forbidden fields of Elysium

Sprang out in independent Freedom Finished the race under his own Flying colours

Daring to draw down divine wrath

Fearlessly he crashed a

Defiant fist into the

Menacing grinning skull of

That big swaggering bully Existence He sent hollow Reality reeling . Burst the thin silly shell of

Current Life on this planet

Eager to get at the

Kernel of Creation

Page 11

Foreseeing possible insufficiency

As an individual atom

Newcome in the Unknown

A half-formed single-sexed Neophyte in the

Universal Empyrean of Unity

And being born companionate

Humanly he mated in death

To full-form, complete, create

A free future conjugate

For further brilliant adventure

Even ultimate achievement in the


Blinding black centre of

Seven Trillion Whir1ing Suns


The Natural Cynicism of a

Newspaper Man, the

Distrust a baker has for a

Pie, the

Way a butcher

Looks at tripe

Page 12


8 A. M. 9 A. M. 12 M. Coffee, cereal Office $$$$$$$$$ Brunch cigarettes, eggs chasing the dollar

1 P.M. 5 P.M. 7 P.M.

Office $$$$$$££ £ Cocktails Dinner

dollar-golf chasing

8 P. M. __________________ 1 A.M.

talkies chasing the tail tail-chasing



Yes God

I've looked around

Seen the quaint devices and

Funny commonplaces you bragged about

It's all right God

I understand you're an altruist

Plus God

I know you had a high purpose &

All that God

In breathing your sensen

Semen-scented breath

Into clay pigeons Chinks Brazies

Yanks Frogs Turks and Limeys

It's a great little old world you made God

But now I'm ready for another eyeful

Mars Heaven Hell &/or

What have you got Gott

Come on with your Cummingsesque etceteras


I, who am God

Wear lavender pyjamas and

Purr poetry

Should I, who am God

Dirty my ear on the ground

Striving to catch the

Idiotic waltzing lilt of

Rhyming red-eyed dervish

Twirling white pink poet mice

In union suits?

Page 13

If I I would only


Darling Sit


Were marooned on a Dry-eyed in its center

Little old Scanning the seas

Eye of an islette For you

Dear Dear

Fancy in poetry

Now that aeroplanes

Anchor to stars

Is a trifle old-fashioned Poets who used to yank down

Whole stellar systems to stuff Their mental mattresses To-day tug lonelily at their

Inelastic celluloid galluses

Trying to lift by boot-straps

Leaden cloddish earthen poetry feet.

Aeroplanes have made the Muse shy

As Pegasus shied of old on

Encountering unexpected comets.


Big fat gaping minds

Gazing into books

Lumbering after thoughts

Lean lithe print

Glancing back at them

Keeping well ahead

Fat old minds

Creaking at their work

Blithe, fresh running type

Circling swiftly

Round them

Page 14


I have etched and etched

Scratched a thousand

Coppers, zincs and alloys

Filled them with criss-crosses

Zig-zags and cross-hatches

Like finely-woven spider-webs

I might have spent my time

To more purpose

Weaving panama hats

For all the public cares

About real Art

And now Old and broken


In spite of my exhausting effort

To make the Brooklyn Bridge

Look true to life

As accurate as a photograph

With every cable stretched taut and

All the finely scratched little lines

Just as God put them in our thumbs

I face failure and renounce

The unappreciative public

In future I will devote myself to

An even subtler Art

From this day onward

I will scratch my back

For my own exclusive selfish pleasure

Page 15

Scratch and scratch it

Backwards and forwards

This way and that

With an old yellow-fingered

Chinese ivory back-scratcher

Shaped as a long-nailed

Grasping ghostly hand

With all my skill

I will scratch

As finely as the finest etching

Grave with supreme technique

Superb sworling compositions

On my back where even I

Cannot see my masterpieces

My art shall henceforth be

Concealed from all

Art for Art's sake


Writing with a

Fountain pen

Is dull work

Gimme a regular pen

Or a fountain

Page 16


Lord God we have in Common

This good language

To nourish us

Lord God keep us

From stammering it

Sipping it

Stuttering it

Snuffling it

Dribbling it on our

Pouter-pigeon breasts

A letter at a time

Like gruelish alphabet soup


Apathy of life

Immobility of mind

Sat-on souls

God -on your dump-heap

Throne of punctured tyres

Off Pegasus

Sitting there stolidly

Straight through eternity

Flattening piled tins of

Sardined souls

God -do you never feel like

Getting up to stretch and yawn

Say in the seventh heaven

Just to give the soul-boys

An occasional inning


New York 1930


Twisting the rails of


Winding up phonographs

Pushing adio plugs

Dropping nickels down slots

Jiggling telephone hooks


Diddling with spark plugs

Cranking cranky Fords

Twisting rhinoceros rails

Rhino talks!

Page 17

The snatch of life

Belonging most to me

Is an embroidered, mind-woven strip of being

Fringed along one side by

Lace of dreams

The other edge bound tightly by a

Creamy Chinese silk-band of awakening.

On this strip I sit cross-legged

Weaving the fabric as a caterpillar spins its cocoon

Using threads of experience and imagination in

undreamed design.

I put into it all the unborn butterfly stuff I have

In that small space I am a conscious chrysalid

Neither crawling nor flying

Weaving motifs of the spirit into a colorful scheme

upon which psychic soul-surges play throbbing

melodies that elude me when I wake.

My fabric is a heavenly warp, a field of

daisies sparkling with little naked girls x

carrying mushroom umbrellas.

'The feel of my giant fingers in the fairy

web gives me the thrill of creation

I embroider loud laughs playing leap-frog

with sneezes, pile up a tempting red­-

ripe mountain of kisses before a pale

yellow sterile womb that looks like a

deflated balloon.



May be as bad

As dancing

Toe to toe in patent leather pumps

Twinkle twinkle tickle tickle

With a tailless feather


Maudlin blabbing

Little itching


Page 18

Picking out any thread I watch it run

through the whole living web like fire,

diving with sizzling sounds into purple

ponds filled with aniline green pollywogs

which it strings as Brazilian bugs on its

golden self and hangs as a necklace over

the gleaming burnished ebony breast of

a negress who comes up from the center

of the pool with laughing lips and re-

deeming white flashing teeth

Sometimes I lie soft as down on my silken

magic carpet and press a button which

gives me a pleasant physical thrill and

puts me instantly in touch with all

humanity .

We rub hands, noses, all extremities, in-

­cluding thoughts, and float warmly

down a rich river exquisitely perfumed

with essence of life, waving to Noah's

arks of animals trooping along on the

banks, like children bound for a circus


Flower show

Peering Peeping-Toms

Poached-egg eyes

Goggling at pansies

Flower show

Sagging pot bellies

Lifted enamel faces

What do people show

To the flowers

Flowers show?

Pouchy-eyed human parasites

Glowering at defenseless

Airy orchids

Page 19

I have seen blacksmiths

Blowing and bellowing

Paper-hangers slapping on glue

Con-men running away

With policemen puffing in pursuit

But for years I have

Peered through venetian blinds

At poets

Without yet catching a glimpse of

One at work

I thought

Anthony Trollope

Had polished off the

Three volume novel


When along came

Anthony Galsworthy

In the reading-machine future

Say by 1950

All magnum opuses

Will be etched on the

Heads of pins

Not retched into

Three volume classics

By pin heads


STARK AS A TREE stark naked STARK AS POETRY stark mad

Page 20


(count the lines)

She was

Bacchus's Bastard Daughter

With a

Dusty cluster of

Wooden nutmegs in her hair

One aventurine eye

A tinsley laugh ha ha !


Fashioned of green gold tooth fillings And a hollow

Decadent air

Fit mate for a

Mooing minister's

Legitimate son


Varlet, bring me paper

No! Not that kind

I would write in ink

As red as your hair

Of nights and beddy battles

Dedicated on the fires

Lily-white page

To all bloody

Blushing ladies unfair

Page           21

With a humble bow to culture

The ship's steward

Flung back the door of the

Veneered bookcase in the

Lounge and there

Dressed in Hart Schaffner and Marx

Impeccable business suits appeared

Nine hundred and fifty-six

Reading books

Ready for any tourist, or other American

To browse hungrily among

The ship gave a lurch

The passenger ran for the rail

My God! he cried

Books in America

Frijoles in Mexico

Leaning far out over the sea

He relieved himself

The steward approached

I thought you wanted a book sir?

We have them in the

Natty sixty dollar suitings

For tired business men

There's a lot of stern-jawed

Purposeful Western books

In Stetson hats

Shown in strong silhouette

I thought you wanted to

Read one of our best

Copyright American novels



The British, God bless them

Discipliners of the world

Hard-mouthed unfeeling masters

Stern hoisters of tea

Ask them for bread

And they give you

A scone

Page           22

The traveller blinked at him and

Replied sourly--

No I distinctly asked for an

Ingersoll watch

It's so refreshing just to sit and

Hear one tick

Page           23

And you

Have pointed your practical finger

At Jack and his beanstalk

Called him silly

Trading cows

For coloured beans

Tell me then

You cow-traders

What do you get for

Your mooing bossies

One half so fanciful and

Soul satisfying

As coloured beans

That stalk cuto heaven

Coloured beans

That produce giants

You who know beans no better

Than to thrust them

Up your nose


It isn't

Baking bricks

That makes them

So hard

It's telling them

At the start

/ They can be

Nothing but bricks