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By Charles Olson



            And I am asked—ask myself (I, too, covered   

with the gurry of it) where

shall we go from here, what can we do

when even the public conveyances


          how can we go anywhere,

even cross-town

                         how get out of anywhere (the bodies   

all buried

in shallow graves?

Charles Olson, “The Songs of Maximus: ‘Song 2’ ” from The Maximus Poems, published by the University of California Press. Copyright © 1983 by Charles Olson. Reprinted with the permission of The Literary Estate of Charles Olson.

Source: The Maximus Poems (University of California Press, 1987)

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Poet Bio

Charles Olson
Charles Olson grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts and spent summers in Gloucester, Massachusetts, which was to become the focus of his writing. In 1951, Olson became a visiting professor at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, working and studying here beside artists such as John Cage and Robert Creeley. He subsequently became rector of the college. Olson's ideas came to deeply influence a generation of poets, including writers such as Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, Ed Dorn and Robert Duncan. See More By This Poet

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The Songs of Maximus: SONG 1

                     colored pictures
of all things to eat: dirty
               And words, words, words   
all over everything
                                              No eyes or ears left   
to do their own doings (all

invaded, appropriated, outraged, all senses

including the mind, that worker on what is
                                                                  And that other sense   
made to give even the...

By Charles Olson

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