So Unconscious Desire

Poets on walls. So nice to have them come out of the pages and present themselves as larger than life. Even as graffiti.

Neruda. “It  happens that I am tired of being a man.” The first line of “Walking Around,” one of my favorite poems. “Just the same it would be delicious/to scare a notary with a cut lily/or knock a nun stone dead with one blow of an ear./It would be beautiful/to go through the streets with a green knife/shouting until I died of cold.” Here Pablo sports a flower at his ear.




“She walks in beauty, like the night /Of cloudless climes and starry skies; 
/And all that’s best of dark and bright 
/Meet in her aspect and her eyes…” Byron wrote these lines in 1814, stunned by the sight of his ravishing cousin, the Lady Wilmot Horton, at a party in mourning dress.

And Maya Angelou.


Life doesn’t frighten me at all.

Not at all.

Not at all.

And I would like to add my humble contribution. Back in 1985 when I got my MFA at Columbia, the poetry collection I wrote as a thesis had the title “So Unconscious Desire.” Inspired by a perfect graffito that I saw sprayed in orange and green on a boarded up storefront on 19th Street between 2nd and 3rd, long erased except in my mind’s eye. I think I’d like to go paint that again on a rock somewhere.


Filed under Jean Zimmerman, Poetry, Writers

6 responses to “So Unconscious Desire

  1. That would be great. Send them to me at jcz at ix dot netcom dot com.

  2. Anonymous

    I’ll take some this weekend. Is there a way to send them through this link?


  3. If I ever go through those shoeboxes of old photos…
    Those tweet-poems sound great. I’d love to know more about them. Is there a link of some kind to images?

  4. Anonymous

    If you ever find it, I would love to have a copy.

    In the meantime, you might consider visiting Ciudad Juarez Mexico, where we live now and which has a vibrant graffiti/poetry project under way. Twitter-length poems appear at random all over the city.

  5. I used to have a photo of the door, don’t know where it is now unfortunately. It certainly was an inspiration.

  6. Ian Brownlee

    My now wife and I lived on 19th street in the late 70’s/early 80’s and walked by that door daily. The phrase was perfect and lives on in at least two other mind’s eyes.

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