Lew Welch

Taxi Suite (excerpt: 1. After Anacreon)

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When I drive cab
I am moved by strange whistles and wear a hat

When I drive cab
I am the hunter. My prey leaps out from where it
hid, beguiling me with gestures

When I drive cab
all may command me, yet I am in command of all who do

When I drive cab
I am guided by voices descending from the naked air

When I drive cab
A revelation of movement comes to me. They wake now.
Now they want to work or look around. Now they want
drunkenness and heavy food. Now they contrive to love.

When I drive cab
I bring the sailor home from the sea. In the back of
my car he fingers the pelt of his maiden

When I drive cab
I watch for stragglers in the urban order of things.

When I drive cab
I end the only lit and waitful things in miles of
darkened houses

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Lew Welch