Bob Kaufman


Five square miles of ultra-contemporary nymphomania,
Two dozen homos, to every sapiens, at last countdown,
Ugly Plymouths, swapping exhaust with red convertible Buicks,
Twelve-year-old mothers suing for child support,
Secondhand radios making it with wide-screen TV sets,
Unhustling junkies shooting mothball fixes, insect junk,
Unemployed pimps living on neon backs of
Unemployed whores.

Bisexual traffic lights, red-faced, with green shades,
Fastest guns in video West slinging lisps with slowest fairies in ivy East,
Unlit starlets seeking an unfilled galaxy, with an opening,
Ranch Market hipsters who lost their cool in gradeschool,
Yesterday idols, idle, whose faces were made of clay.

Horrible movie-makers making horrors that move,
Teenage, were-kids, hot-rockers, rolling with the blows,
Successful screen writers drinking down unsuccessful screams,
Plastic beatniks in pubic beards, with artistically dirtied feet,
Recreated Jimmy Deans, pompadours looking for sports-car mothers,
Sunset strippers, clothed to the hilt — and no further.

San Francisco poets looking for an out place, looking way out of place,
Televised detectives getting waves from television defectives,
Disk jockeys with all-night shows and all-day habits,
Bored Fords, with nothing in their future but grease jobs,
Hindu holymen with police records clear back to Alabama,
Mondrian-faced drive-ins featuring hamburger-broiled charcoal
Served in laminated fortune cookies.

Channel Something piano players down to their last mom,
Down-at-head pot-smokers with down-at-heel eyes,
Death-faced agents living on ten percent of nothing,
Lady painters with three names having one-man shows of expensive framing,
Unemployed Broadway actors with nothing to offer but talent trying to look stupid,

In-group sick comedians, a lot sicker than their comedy, REAL SICK,
No coast jazz musicians uncommitted, waiting to be committed,
Scoopy columnists with two punctuation marks, both periods,
Native-son Woodmen of the West, utterly convinced that Donald Duck is Jewish,
Legions of decency borrowing their decency from the Legion,
Impatient Cadillacs trading in their owners for more successful models,
Lanky Calypso Singers, caught with their fads down, trapped in beat coffee cups
With small-chested actresses, bosomed out by the big breast scene,
Unsympathetic dope-peddlers, who refuse to honor credit cards,
Carping critics refusing to see what’s good, just because it isn’t present,
Lonely old De Mille-divorced God, seeking a new producer
With a couple of rebuilt commandments…
Hollywood I salute you, artistic cancer of the universe!