A Vision of Rotterdam

Gregory Corso: Vision of Rotterdam


September 1957 summoned by my vision-agent

via ventriloquial telegram

delivered by the dumb mouths stoned upon Notre Dame given golden fare & 17th Century diagram

I left the gargoyle city


Two suitcases filled with despair arrived in Rotterdam


Rotterdam is dying again

steamers & tanlers

unload an awful sight

May 1940 stevedores lead forth a platoon of leukemia

Pleasure ships send metalvoiced rats teeheeing a propaganda of ruin

A cargo of scream deafens the tinhorn of feeble War

Bombers overhead

Young blond children in white blouses

crawl in the streets gnawing their houses

The old the sick the mad leave their wheelchairs & cells and kneel in adoration before the gentle torpedo of miracles.

Bombers unanswerable to the heart

vitalize & Sunday afternoon dream

Bombs like jewels surprise

Explosion explosion explosion

Avalanche on medieval stilts brought down 1940

Mercy leans against her favorite bombardment

and forgives the bomb


Alone Eyes on the antique diagram

I wander down the ruin and see

amid a madness of coughing bicycles

the scheme of a new Rotterdam humming in the vacancy