The Cosmology of Finding Your Place


By Edward Dorn



presented april 10, 1969 at the united campus christian fellowship benefit reading for the draft resisters league, Lawrence.




Photo by R. Rusk


      The Resistantism of all other places

      On the floor among filters and the Spillings

        The cosmology of the floor of the Nation

        The cosmology of finding your place

          The cosmology of smelling and feeling your Natural place inside the place,

                        feeling the filters

           feeling the rock, feeling the roll

           feeling the social spray at that level

             low down, with the filters and the feet

             feeling the place you can fold all four legs

             and be man's best friend to the End, among the filters and the feet,

                        in the rock, and in the roll

           in the clock and in the roll, in the hole

           of the social bilge The Great White Dog

          of the Rockchalk, seeks his place Seeks

        The place for Him there, tries every scrap of Space The Great White Dog of

                        The Rockchalk Cafe

        moves under the Social seeking his own Place

      in the constant present snap of eternity

      listening with the german dislocated castenet

     His Nose Is under the great pin ball rolling in heaven above

                thru the barren terrain of feet He moves

   from place to place seeking his place

   The resisters the dogs seek their place

  WAYNE KIMBALL told me all this

  WAYNE KIMBALL sits in the booths, WAYNE KIMBALL

 knows about the Great White Dog of the Rockchalk

   The Great White Dog of The Rockchalk doesn't The Great White Dog has been there

   Western Civilization is Beer

     The Great White Dog of The Rockchalk

     went thru the door of Western Civilization

      Which is north of the Barbershop

      and north of the sailor pants incense shop

        The Great White Dog went between all that

        and the Gaslight, The Great White Rockchalk dog shakes hands

                        with both paws indiscriminately

        For he Seeks his own true place on the floor

          He disregards the social He seeks the Place

          he seeks The Space his soul can occupy

          In His restless search he looks only for the Place

          Where he can come to rest in his own true Place

          and that might be on the floor of the rockchalk

          The great White Dog is not Interdicted by opinion

                He accepts the floor of the Rock Chalk as an Area,

                        like any other, he will test that space

        He is preoccupied only with the Search

      The Great White dog of the Rockchalk is not social

        WAYNE KIMBALL told me all this, WAYNE KIMBALL

        is social, he knows only persons, he doesn't

        give a shit for the floor of the Rockchalk

   WAYNE KIMBALL is neurotic like us, he wants

        to smoke Grass, WAYNE KIMBALL sits in the booths

        WAYNE KIMBALL drinks beer, has a part time job

         pretending to be literate, WAYNE KIMBALL uses

                the telephone and all other public Utilities

                including Cocaine, The Great White Dog

                of the Rock Chalk is full of shit and can't shit

                until he finds his place, WAYNE KIMBALL has diarrhea

        WAYNE KIMBALL hasn't got a driver's license

        WAYNE KIMBALL is thin and knows everything that happens

        He has ears, He is a corrupt little mongrel like us

   turned on to everything hopeless and bullsIiit

     The Great White Dog of The Rockchalk is dumb

        and doesn't know anything but his instinct for the search

        for his place somewhere in the litter

      of the filters and tile literally dropped dreams

        of the Great Rock Chalk, he smells the dreams on the floor

                dropped from between the legs

          of young English majors, ejected from between the

                Dual Spraycans of the fraternizers

          He seeks his place on top of this matter

           among tile feet of the privileged nation on the floor

        of the Great shit, Rock Chalk Rock Chalk White Rock Chalk Dog,

                And WAYNE KIMBALL

        Smokes cigarettes and Thoreaus them ontoOntoOntoOnto the floor

      already predicated by cancer, the slow movement of Cancer

                and I love these dogs because

      they are us and more us

     than we are and they seek their places as do the true

        whether they are Resisters or just scared or both

   They are the twin dogs of creation in our image

 and I give them both the floor as I give the Resisters This Poem

        from the throne of Belief as the

 Egyptians Gave and took from the Dogs Their access to Heaven

That we may all be Gods and seek our Place.




From Edward Dorn, The Collected Poems 1956-1974 (Bolinas, CA: Four Seasons Foundation, 1975).


Notes:   The Rockchalk Cafe was a seedy bar at the end of Oread Avenue, much favored by hippies, yippies, bikers, and student radicals; when I last visited Lawrence in 1988, it was still there.

Wayne Kimball was a dog.