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Ed Friedman

Poetry Archive
  Ed Friedman
Born in 1950, Ed Friedman grew up in Los Angeles. After
Ed Friedman
graduating from the University of California at San Diego with B.A. in Literature and Poetry, he moved to New York City and joined the burgeoning Lower East Side poetry community. Friedman has served as the Artistic Director of the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church since 1987. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, he has curated the Project's Wednesday Night Series, organized annual symposiums, and edited The World literary magazine. Some of his books include Mao & Matisse (Hanging Loose Press), Drive Through the Blue Cylinders (Hanging Loose Press), and The Funeral Journal (Jensen/Daniel).

"...I value Ed Friedman's poetry's transparency and unanticipated delineations of the day world. These are new New York School poems—zany, in an unhurried but ebullient line: they're genial (full of genies) and happy".
— Alice Notley

Isolated Bourgeoisie

Ed Friedman
I am isolated bourgeoisie
who would gladly write for the masses
if only I knew them as friends and co-workers.
We'd talk about our families and then make plans
to renovate the world that's crushed us for generations,
knowing it has done so not as some personal vendetta,
but like unconscious machinery of misguided
motivations, interests, and lack of self-esteem.
The day is cold. The sky is blue and cloud-strewn,
My wife is recovering from alcoholism, and
We're going to Washington to protest even one more
Cent being allocated for stupid B-1 bombers instead of schools.
Would you like to come? I know there's room on the
yellow bus we're borrowing from the neighborhood
vehicle cooperative. Why yes I would, but first I have to
drop by with some food for a friend on 6th street who's
been out of work since she unionized her shop. OK,
I'll walk there with you. No let's skip. We'll get there faster.
You call this a plan? I call it action,
so far the action of writing a scenario for
social life with fewer gaps for entertainment of
privileged sentiments. A more flamboyant art will follow
on the heels of higher expectation that you will understand
in the broadest and most practical terms. The smell of toast.
Scrambling of eggs. A thorough shimmering in the
rooftop ponds. This, what is coming upon us, we are
bringing on full bore instead of suffering what we wish
were merely otherwise.

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