Thursday, March 28, 2013

Allen Ginsberg....

When Allen died in 1997 a local record store in Indianapolis held a memorial and people were invited to speak. I wrote a poem about my encounter with Allen and read it. I later lost the poem and the cassette that had my reading on it. Just today in a file I found a copy of the poem. I found I still like it and want to share it.

Memories of Allen Ginsberg


brushed from
the thick black beard


onto the tablecloth of
20th Century literature


sung in the flat
off key
New York Jew voice

in the time
after Bob Dylan


in Sanskrit
to the sound of finger cymbals
in the flat nasal voice of the
New York Jew Buddha

It is April 22nd 1970
& I am standing in the light rain
& I am wearing my thrift store coat
& I am on Belmont Plateau
   in Fairmount Park
   in North Philadelphia
   on a weekday afternoon
   by the hippie girl with yellow hair in the
   thin transparent white dress
   who dances
   bare feet on wet grass

   to Redbone
   and Seatrain

& Edmund Muskie
who wants to be president
has come to talk about the earth
on the first "Earth Day"

at the end of the sixties
on Belmont Plateau
in Philadelphia

I am 16
I have cut Catholic school
I took the B bus to Bridge Street
  and rode the El
  past factories
  by warehouses
  past the large brimmed hat of William Penn
  past the Cathedral
  past Rodin's Gates of Hell
  past boat house row on East River Drive
  past the dark streets that border the ghetto
  past the Electric Factory
  past Rittenhouse Square

in my thrift store coat
in the light rain
on the wet grass
by the makeshift stage
the reincarnation of Walt Whitman
the bridge between Kerouac, Cassady & Bourroughs
& The Beatles, Dylan & LSD
in long white robe
& long black hair
& long strands of prayer beads
& small brass finger cymbals
by the microphone
on the small stage
in the light rain
at the end of the sixties
on Belmont Plateau
in Philadelphia
on April 22nd
& we chant
om hani padme om
om hani padme om
om hani padme om
& we chant
Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg