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Off On Off

I have not felt myself expire,
have not sensed the moment,

when the soul leaps upward,
out of the old, awkward corpse,

which is curious, for one would
think it highly obvious or

apparent, you know, when
you move from so encumbered

to wispy and energetic; but where
does one hang his hat or fasten

an adjective or two onto the 
succinct noun?  There should be

a point of passage, but instead 
there was only a lack of conscious

by one half my soul; then,
the awakening of the other.

- Ward Kelley

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Painting by Ken Peters

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Poet's note:

Jack Spicer (1925-1965), was an American poet who published several collections during his brief life. Trained as a linguist, Spicer was active in the San Francisco poetry scene during the 50s and 60s. Perhaps today he is most renown for his theories describing poetry as dictation from a source outside the poet; theories he delivered in a short series of lectures in Vancouver where he portrayed poets as radio receivers.  He died at San Francisco General Hospital from alcohol poisoning; his last words were, "My vocabulary did this to me."