from Guerrilla, free newspaper of the streets, Volume 2, Number 2 (Surrealists, 1925 – Artists & Writers Militia, 1968)
Guerrilla is edited by Allen Van Newkirk and Susan Hodges and published occasionally as a broadside of poetry and revolution. It is reprinted here as a special supplement. The newspaper is distributed free in the immediate community. Mail subscriptions by donation. All corporations, federal and state agencies by minimum $10.00 donation. Free to any human being held against his will in any army or prison. Guerrilla, 1107 W. Warren, Detroit, Michigan 48201.
[Web Archive note: This centerfold insert is a two-sided 15 x 22 inch poster, of which this page can be considered the front side. The other side of the poster is rendered at https://www.fifthestate.org/archive/69-december-26-1968-january-8-1969/poetry/ .]
ART MATTERS LITTLE TO US, WE PROFOUNDLY HOPE THAT
WARS AND COLONIAL INSURRECTION WILL ANNIHILATE THIS WESTERN CIVILIZATION WHOSE VERMIN YOU DEFEND EVEN IN THE ORIENT… WE ASSERT THAT WE HAVE FOUND TREASON AND WHATEVER ELSE CAN HARM THE SECURITY OF THE STATE MORE RECONCILABLE WITH
THAN THE SALE OF LARGE QUANTITIES OF LARD TO A NATION OF PIGS AND DOGS.
“The banner goes out to the filthy landscape, and our gibberish drowns out the drum,
“In the great centers we’ll nurse the most cynical prostitution. We’ll massacre logical revolts.
“To the lands of pepper and monsoon!—to serve the most monstrous exploitations, industrial or military.
“To be seen again here, no matter where. Conscripted to good intentions, ours will be the ferocious philosophy; ignorants for science, debauchers for comfort; the death gasp for the population that goes. This is the real progress. Forward, march!”
—trans. Tom Mitchell
We must make an art that will function so as to call down the actual wrath of world spirit. We are witch doctors and assassins…This is a theater of assault. The play that will split the heavens for us will be called “The Destruction of America.”
LORPFAT’S FIRST INTERROGATION
Unposed. What terrible question
beats the psyche in this poem.
Her winged face. Snake
whipped & coiled about her choked
answers. Gasps of thin lovers
in the swollen lips of imagination.
Another lady will ask the real questions.
Will plead her case. Squat. Piss.
Blood—the poem calls fire. The victim
in the thoroughly abstract. Turned inside out
is the world. Surrounded by poets.
Enough to declare war, revolution,
to invent what hostages she needed.
Shot at dawn
Abolition of the family! Even the most radical
flare up at this infamous proposal of the
LORPFAT’S SECOND INTERROGATION
Name. Rank & serial number
staked out in its own compromise.
Psyche burned eros in her light.
Love in her deathhold.
Wrestler. Slaver. Diseased.
Her assemblies vetoed restitution.
Murdered. & raped. Fate defined politics
& the rest walked. In Democracy
new questions were prepared. Lovers ate
& lost. Except the answered. Beat
their hands. Hired poets.
Studied the inquisitions
I will kill by word and by deed and by my vote and with my own hand, if I am at all able, whosoever shall overthrow the democracy at Athens, and whosoever shall hold any office after the overthrow of the democracy and whosoever shall help establish a tyrant; and if someone else shall kill one of these, I shall consider him holy in the eyes of the gods and the divine powers, as having killed an enemy of the Ahteriians; and I shall sell all the property of the dead man and give half to the killer and I shall hold nothing back. If someone dies while killing or trying to kill one of these, I will treat him and his children with the kindness which was shown Harmodius and Aristogeiton and their descendants. And all oaths sworn at Athens or in the army camp or anywhere else against the people of Athens, I abolish and renounce.
All the Athenians shall swear to this over unblemished sacrifices in the legal form before the festival of Dionysius; and they shall pray for prosperity for the one who keeps it, but for the one who breaks it destruction both for him and for his whole family.
(From an Athenian law of 410 B.C., reenacting a law of Solon, quoted by Anocides in his defense speech, On the Mysteries. Translated by Sam Abrams and K.J. Maidment.)
LORPFAT & HIS MAGIC SLAPSTICK
Metal birds burned in the wind.
The women put their lies like knives
like the heads of lovers on the tables
their bodies were. Hot flying things.
The whole century
stood on its dumb feet. Raised its arms
& walked through out faces. Spit
their smoking bodies into the soft desires
history wore. Flags moving in & out
of the phony revolutions she declared.
This poem is surrounded by real poets.
They are the ghosts the words suggest.
They have warned us. Any more tricks
with colors & vowels & our tongues
will disappear. In pools of their blood.
The poem cut off its leg. Layed down.
Laughed to death…
Smohalla, Nez Perce tribe
My young men shall never work. Men who work cannot dream, and wisdom comes in dreams.
You ask me to plow the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother’s breast? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest.
You ask me to dig for stone. Shall I dig under her skin for bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again.
You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich like white men. But how dare I cut off my mother’s hair?
It is a bad law and my people cannot obey it. I want my people to stay with me here. All the dead men will come to life again. We must wait here in the house of our fathers and be ready to meet them in the body of our mother.
The fact is there is no art
no vision in the west there is no
definition cannot be made “reason”
for unalterable and predictable action.
You could see
how it operated in antediluvian Florence
men there must have thought they
“made something more than protective walls
not against water, against men—
(The central difference between Medieval
and Renaissance is simply expanded commercial enterprise
isn’t that the “spirit of the age?”
Ghiberti’s doors are the doors
to the biggest bank, and bank doors
may be “the gate to paradise”. The Baptistry
is clearly a bank (those doors
would fit the Chase Manhattan as well)
tourists have never mistaken that—
the iron grating was put up
to protect the gold being rubbed off
by their inquisitive fingers.
RIMBAUD’S AMPUTATED LEG TO HELL
Dead poets know the red poems. Red dog. Red deer. Bone-
I stuck my tongue in her mouth.
Our mouths filled with snow.
The ocean in our lips. & love
was intelligent to us. Grew fangs
& stalked our maiden names.
Down wind the poets held hands
with the widows. Fake widows
turned their husbands to words.
Smelled them if they bled. Red.
Red. The red dog poet chased—
Art matters little to us, we profoundly hope that revolutions, wars, and the colonial insurrections will annihilate this Western civilization whose vermin you defend even in the Orient, and we call upon this destruction as the least inacceptable state of things for the mind…We assert that we have found treason and whatever else can harm the security of the State more reconcilable with poetry than the sale of ‘large quantities of lard’ to a nation of pigs and dogs…
LORPFAT WAS SAYING AS HE BLEW THEIR BRAINS OUT
Allen van Newkirk
Feelings have nothing to do with it. Are islands.
Things poetry floats through maybe. Words
on waves invisible radios make.
Beep. Proclaim the dead dead. Beep.
Let the sound lift its burning thighs. In love
there is only image in love with an opposite
desire. Wholely image. Knowing mirrors
any of its faces.
Some hot death in the pipes of this city.
Beat it. Listen to its peculiar mating call.
Voici le temps des Assassins
WHEREAS the government of the United States of America forces men to carry weapons & learn to kill with them, &
WHEREAS that government imprisons the bodies of men who resist the enforced carrying of weapons & killing of other men, acting in fact as hired killers, & thus doing ungodly injury to their immortal souls, &
WHEREAS that same government employs those hired killers to destroy the lands & properties of smaller nations in all parts of the world that is by no legal or moral right the preserve of the United States of America, &
WHEREAS that same government uses its hired killers to destroy the economies of other nations in order to enrich the economy of the United States of America, &
WHEREAS the government of those United States uses its hired killers to take away the lives of men, women & children in any nation of the world it may want to terrorize at any given moment, some of those nations having been:
MEXICO, LAOS, VIET NAM, CUBA, GUATEMALA, LEBANON, CAMBODIA, NICARAGUA, THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC &
WHEREAS the United States government openly encourages & supports dictators in their suppression of human rights & dignity in the nations where the United States has not yet or recently sent its armed killers, some of these nations being:
SPAIN, PORTUGAL, FORMOSA, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, BOLIVIA &
WHEREAS the United States uses its financial good fortune to coerce & influence the governments that are not dictatorships but which may ignore the urgings of moral & social improvement in favor of economic bribery by the United States, some of these governments ruling in:
CANADA, THE UNITED KINGDOM, JAPAN, PANAMA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND &
WHEREAS the United States government declares that human life outside its boundaries is less important than the American notion of economy, so that Indians & Nigerians starve while American farmers destroy their own crops, & so that Vietnamese babies are burned to death by the machines of the Boeing Aircraft Corporation, &
WHEREAS the United States government seeks by unilateral actions of violence & terror to destroy the efforts toward peace & world order & justice, those efforts made by international bodies such as the United Nations, & agreements to seek peace, such as those of 1954 in Geneva,
I DO SOLEMNLY, & from this moment forward,
on the government of the United States of America.