Sunday, 6 May 2012

Things To Do On Speed by Ted Berrigan

mind clicks into gear 
& fingers clatter over the keyboard 
as intricate insights stream 
out of your head; 
this goes on for ten hours: 
then, take a break: clean 
all desk drawers, arrange all 
pens & pencils in precise parallel patterns; 
stack all books with exactitude in one pile 
to coincide perfectly with the right angle 
of the desk's corner. 
Whistle thru ten more hours of arcane insights: 
drink a quart of ice-cold pepsi: 
clean the ice-box: 
pass out for ten solid hours 
interesting dreams. 


Finish papers, wax floors, lose weight, write songs, sing songs, have 
conference, sculpt, wake up & think more clearly. Clear up asthma. 
treat your obesity, avoid mild depression, decongest, cure your 
treat your hyper-kinetic brain-damaged children. Open the Pandora's Box 
of amphetamine abuse.


Stretch the emotional sine curve; follow euphoric peaks with descents 
into troughs 
that are unbearable wells of despair & depression. Become a ravaged 
scarecrow. Cock your emaciated body in 
twisted postures 
scratch your torn & pock-marked skin, 
keep talking, endlessly.


Jump off a roof on the lower East Side 
Write a 453 page unintelligible book


Dismantle 12 radios 
string beads interminably 
empty your purse 
sit curled in a chair 
& draw intricate designs 
in the corner of an envelope


"I felt it rush almost instantly into 
my head like a short circuit. My body 
began to pulsate, & grew tiny antennae 
all quivering in anticipation. I began 
to receive telepathic communication from 
the people around me. I felt elated."


get pissed off. 
Feel your tongue begin to shred, 
lips to crack, the inside of the mouth 
become eaten out. Itch all over. See 
your fingernails flake off, hair & teeth 
fall out. 
Buy a Rolls Royce 
Become chief of the Mafia 
Consider anti-matter.


Notice that tiny bugs are crawling all over your whole body 
around, between and over your many new pimples. 
Cut away pieces of bad flesh. 
Discuss mother's promiscuity 
Sense the presence of danger at the movies 
get tough 
turn queer


In the Winter, switch to heroin, so you won't catch pneumonia. 
In the Spring, go back to speed.

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