d.a.levy | suburban monastery death poem

second zero edition may / Cleveland / 1976

This Poem Is Dedicated With Curious Love To:

BIG LEONARD – discorporated 1966 – REV. DEWEY FAGERBERG – REV. CLEO MALONE – REV. JOHN SCOTT – JEANNE SONVILLE – Tony & Mary Walsh – Hermon Cook – George Fitzpatrick – Frank “SPIDERMAN” Savage – Sammy Franks – Bob Capelli – Linda – G.T. Chappelear – Catherine Tekakwitha – Tim Hall – Ron Lucas – rjs & sandie – Ron Cornman – John Rose – Ron Green – Frank & Vikki – Rusty & Maria – Ben – Jeff – Jack – Simon Emler – Beverly and the lesbian dwarfs of ed sanders.

They want me to justify myself –

Fuck them

j.s. rutherford


you dont understand poetry – poets gamble with life on occasion – but usually they’re just pimps for the system – the total real meaning of this poem is, i dont understand what its all about. Everyone who knows about the light disappears when i ask them, christians murder everyone who gets in their way, the jews havent learned much in 2,000 years, the hindus have ego hang-ups & the moslem are psychopaths. Voodoo (which is the black mans catholicism) is just forgotten. More & More people are getting interested in WITCHCRAFT, which is OK as long as they dont confuse it with Black Magic. White magic is fun & you can learn but Black Magic is dangerous, YOU CANT WIN, & if you’re successful with it, it will catch you in your next lifetime, you’ll probably be reborn a poet in an industrial society.

I once read something about existential boredom & since then, ive been bored – some weird consciousness bend forces me to recognize all my actions as illusionary games designed to fill in the boredom. I cant find the ‘prime cause’….its too easy to say “Its Gods Will” but then everyone tries to explain to me what that means. Does God want us to be bored? Well, Fuck Him. Are we supposed to blow-up the planet & return to energy & spirits ore are we supposed to protect the planet and get liberated thru programmed acts of love? I suspect it is somewhere in the divine mass subconscious that this country is programmed to fall apart – is that God’s will? does that mean all attempts to save this country are against the Will of God? Who are you working for? Almost everytime i commit an act of love, i get an infection!

The only time i am happy is when i am being happy, but that usually brings other people down so they bring me down. Helping people makes my ego feel good but the mystics say get rid of your ego – should i feel bad when i feel good because i did a good thing? (whatever a good thing is?) Helping People for nothing is boring. last year, sex got boring, now if God sez everyone should have lots of children, where are the priests hiding their children? or are the holymen working against the holy mass subconscious – the web – the tantra of God –

So this poem was written because someone asked me to & i was bored & didnt know else to do…

d.a. levy, east cleveland 1968

2 Replies to “d.a.levy | suburban monastery death poem”

  1. My poem. My poem about DA Levy

    I sit in the morning
    before the dirty hydrogen balloon erupts
    revealing its intentions like a self immolating monk
    from behind the steep and ancient upheavals
    whose stony peaks unzip the sky as it passes
    undressing every blue molecule
    only to robe them all in white
    as if the appearance of something pure
    will make today any different.

    I sit in the early morning before the caffeine
    before the dogs
    before the wife
    before the marijuana
    before the radio
    and I read from a poets black bible
    the crimes of better intentions
    the fables of shameless confession
    the entire written body
    of a religion
    where every practitioner is
    god and devil martyr both.

    My even handed destroyers of pretension
    bringing order to chaos
    aligning non-parallels
    soaking charred bones
    in baths of their own blood
    sacrificing the innocent sheep
    of their eyes
    to acquire the forked tongue
    apples of epiphany.

    I see DA Levy spilling ink from his fingers
    on Cleveland City Jail letterhead
    choking on the nuts and bolts
    his digestive rejected
    smoking his own body
    for lack of any other option
    learning who he is not
    from the people who surround him
    but never seeing in them
    any clue as to the person
    he will become.

    He learned about himself from only himself
    hurling chunks of broken concrete at
    police cruisers,
    scorching suburban lawns
    with a tongue of open flame as he passed
    his body the breadth of an army
    back to the cities inner,
    stomaching the cold realizations that
    living the bloody existence of a warrior poet
    among a population of sleepy
    accepting comfort seekers
    can only so concisely announce.

    I hope that you would find some small
    incident of my life to make you proud.
    I hope that you can see I did my best
    to shoulder the load
    that you took the time to gather
    and shouldered so well
    during your short time.

    I still feel the isolation
    of 125 dollar a week rust belt hotel rooms
    meditating on the death of DA Levy
    while roaches
    with cameras for eyes
    fucked in the walls
    spirit possessed by the drunken demonic ghosts
    of a 1950’s royal typewriter
    that consumed and stored the
    madness of every hand that
    ever danced across its keys
    crossing back into my
    body like the Holy Ghost
    and then again back into the steel machine
    hanging myself nightly from a cross of
    empty bottles wearing a crown of cigarette butts
    never finding enough sadness to fill me
    but still searching all the same.

    D.A. Levy murdered at age 26 by neo-McCarthy disciples
    a bullet of leaden light buried between his earthly eyes
    finally cleansing Cleveland Ohio of all that is obscene
    leaving the poets who came after to grow up in the
    redundant homogeneity of right winged moralities
    the fine white lung collapsing dust of stone quarries
    and the heretical polluted spectacle of a river catching fire
    and then burning for a week after
    no one sure of the correct technique
    to extinguish burning water
    because that knowledge died with DA
    it is a knowledge only a poet could possess
    never mind the activist in him murdered as well
    who may have found the means to plug the pipes
    of the polluting offenders
    Stuffing the gaping ends of their corruption with
    police blotters and financial reports
    bibles soaked in kerosene
    and then lighting them like a wick
    to burn back and detonate at the source
    saving the Cuyahoga from its bewildering ignition.

    The self titled toilet lama of Lake Erie, DA Levy
    I see him now a boy on Euclid Avenue
    moving through the conservative crowds
    briefcases bumping his elbows
    and necks ties tight and clean as nooses
    his body there shuffling in the stream of business executives
    intuitively distrusting every cop he passes
    though still influenced enough by youths innocence
    to be uncertain why
    his mind strung above him like a kite
    in the steel gray sky
    looking down from a perspective
    the police or executives could never fathom
    their minds tethered to their own spinal cords
    pondering the Browns chances this season
    thinking of church meetings
    doctor’s appointments
    republican candidates
    thoughts running plain and linear as calendars.

    Young DA must have felt perpetually uneasy
    as if he was being secretly photographed
    as if someone was taking notes behind his back
    He must have seen the hammers shadow long before it fell.
    He must of have known the dismal early fates
    of the brightest burning lights.
    He must have felt the hostile return
    as he absorbed the vicious reverberations
    of police, politicians and judges
    even the Cleveland Plain Dealer
    whose job he performed with more competence
    and no pay.

    He must have felt them closing in
    guns drawn to murder R Crumb obscenities
    save our fair city
    Cleveland Ohio
    from the growth pains
    of internal progression
    but let their complacence grow
    piggishly obese
    spilling over the gross belt of the suburbs
    like an overfed stomach.

    He must have smelled the smoke of the river before
    his death condemned those of us left behind
    to ponder
    the impossible mystery of its
    ironic flowing ash.

    He must have felt each missed connection
    as if
    it were his own lack of vision
    that made
    the world that murdered him
    to dull
    to incise
    the lead blanket
    of its own
    living sleep.

    When I am there now
    walking in that city
    I still hear his voice singing
    from every building
    vibrating the girders
    of the Federal building
    until the windows shatter
    falling like raindrops
    but landing like blades.

    His song details a folding collapse
    and tells of the hulking hollow rubble
    that was once a shining city
    now left
    beside the river
    to smoke forever
    beneath Ohio’s
    silver sky

    a smoldering heap
    of what once was
    his “lonely tombstone charm”.

    Copyright @ 2007 Jason Wittmer

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