The John Berryman & Hart Crane Dreams & Ode to Harry Langdon by Doug Draime

I don’t know why there’s black
grasshoppers on my feet and,
I’m standing and looking down a long white
corridor, at the end of which, is Hart Crane
selling apples to John Berryman. They both
look really fucked-up.

The black grasshoppers are replaced by sea
shells from Big Sur. And my
feet have shrunk to fit
                 the sea shells. John Berryman
has make-up on, to make him look
like Mme. Blavatsky.

John Berryman is showing a book he wrote
about Stephen Crane to Hart Crane. Hart
Crane doesn’t look very impressed and wants
his money back for the black
grasshoppers he bought from John Berryman:
the very same grasshoppers that were on my feet.

Hart Crane is jumping rope. John Berryman
leans against the white wall of the corridor
wiping his make-up off. Hart Crane is saying
something to John Berryman I can’t hear.
John Berryman sticks his tongue out.

The sea shells are replaced by tiny half moons.
Hart Crane has the sea shells over
his ears.  John Berryman is adjusting his turtle
neck sweater and watching re-runs of Gunsmoke
on a black and white tv.

John Berryman is doing push-ups and Hart
                  Crane is watching.

Hart Crane is eating candy from his father’s candy
factory. John Berryman is looking at a map of St. Louis.
I look down at my feet and the half moons
have been replaced by half suns and the half suns
are as red as Dillinger’s betrayers dress.

John Berryman is gathering wood for a fireplace that isn’t
there and piles it up in the corner like china dishes.
Hart Crane has make-up on, to make him look
             like Edith Piaf.

Hart Crane is wiping his make-up off.
John Berryman is running in place.

The half suns are replaced by my own boots. John
Berryman is trying to sell the half suns to Hart Crane.
Hart Crane is looking through his wallet. John Berryman
is shining the half suns on his sleeve. They both
look really fucked-up.

Ode to Harry Langdon
I lift the
heaviest weight
in the world

and when I
shoot myself

a cannon
to a
it’s a

that you
pop corn
movie goers

Doug Draime’s most recent book is More Than the Alley, released in 2012 by Interior Noise Press. Also author of seventeen chapbooks, most recent of which, and still in print are: Dusk with Carol (Kendra Steiner Editions) and Los Angeles Terminal: Poems 1971-1980 (Covert Press). His writing, which includes poetry, short stories, and plays have appeared in hundreds, if not thousands of magazines, newspapers, online journals, and broadsides. Awarded small PEN grants in 1987, 1991, and 1992. In more recent years he has been nominated for several Pushcart Prizes. He currently lives in the foothills of the Cascade mountain range.