Little devils clicking
in his eye flashes
– Johannes Beilharz (1979)
From the poetry collection Rural Ditties (1980), typewritten on my trademark Olympia manual, acquired used for $35 in Boulder, Colorado, in 1977. This booklet saw an edition of 1 (the hand-sewn original) and circulated widely among a crowd consisting mostly of myself.
Rural Ditties reflected my influences at the time, which included John Milton’s pastoral elegy Lycidas (from which the title derives) and John Ashbery, my travels (to Mexico, for example), my viewings (including movies starring Jack Nicholson), Spanish wine (there is one poem in which the Marqués de Cáceres plays a major role), music, etc.
Rural Ditties also coined the term pomegrenade, which blends the essences of poem, grenade and pomegranate and represents a type of small poem flung at the audience to hopefully explode – in their minds – in zillions of juicy little kernels.