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Homage to Kenneth Koch

If I were doing my Laundry I’d wash my dirty Iran
I’d throw in my United States, and pour on the Ivory Soap,
scrub up Africa, put all the birds and elephants back in
the jungle,
I’d wash the Amazon river and clean the oily Carib & Gulf of Mexico,
Rub that smog off the North Pole, wipe up all the pipelines in Alaska,
Rub a dub dub for Rocky Flats and Los Alamos, Flush that sparkly
Cesium out of Love Canal
Rinse down the Acid Rain over the Parthenon & Sphinx, Drain the Sludge
out of the Mediterranean basin & make it azure again,
Put some blueing back into the sky over the Rhine, bleach the little
Clouds so snow return white as snow,
Cleanse the Hudson Thames & Neckar, Drain the Suds out of Lake Erie
Then I’d throw big Asia in one giant Load & wash out the blood &
Agent Orange,
Dump the whole mess of Russia and China in the wringer, squeeze out
the tattletail Gray of U.S. Central American police state,
& put the planet in the drier & let it sit 20 minutes or an
Aeon till it came out clean

 

– Allen Ginsberg

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Understand That This Is A Dream

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Real as a dream
What shall I do with this great opportunity to fly?
What is the interpretation of this planet, this moon?
if I can dream that I dream / and dream anything dreamable / can I dream
I am awake / and why do that?
When I dream in a dream that I wake / up what
happens when I try to move?
I dream that I move
and the effort moves and moves
till I move / and my arm hurts
Then I wake up / dismayed / I was dreaming / I was waking
when I was dreaming still / just now.
and try to remember next time in dreams
that I am in dreaming.
And dream anything I want when I’m awaken.
When I’m in awakeness what do I desire?
I desire to fulfill my emotional belly.
My whole body my heart in my fingertops thrill with some old fulfillments.
Pages of celestial rhymes burning fire-words
unconsumable but disappear.
Arcane parchments my own and the universe the answer.
Belly to Belly and knee to knee.
The hot spurt of my body to thee and thee
old boy / dreamy Earl / you Prince of Paterson / now king of me / lost

Haledon

first dream that made me take down my pants
urgently to show the cars / auto tracks / rolling down avenue hill.
That far back what do I remember / but the face of the leader of the gang
was blond / that loved me / one day on the steps of his house blocks away
all afternoon I told him about my magic Spell
I can do anything I want / palaces millions / chemistry sets / chicken

coops / white horses

stables and torture basements / I inspect my naked victims
chained upside down / my fingertips thrill approval on their thighs
white hairless cheeks I may kiss all I want
at my mercy. on the racks.
I pass with my strong attendants / I am myself naked
bending down with my buttocks out
for their smacks of reproval / o the heat of desire
liek shit in my asshole. The strange gang
across the street / thru the grocerystore / in the wood alley / out in the open

on the corner

Because I lied to the Dentist about that chickencoop roofing / slate stolen off

his garage

by me and the boy I loved who would punish me if he knew
what I loved him.
That now I have had that boy back in another blond form
Peter Orlovsky a Chinese teenager in Bangkok ten years twenty years
Jo Army on the campus / white blond loins / my mouth hath kisses /
full of his cock / my ass burning / full of his cock
all that I do desire. In dream and awake
this handsome body mine / answered
all I desired / intimate loves / open eyed / revealed at last / clothes on the

floor
Underwear the most revealing stripped off below the belly button in bed.
That’s that / yes yes / the flat cocks the red pricks the gentle public hair /

alone with me

my magic spell. My power / what I desire alone / what after thirty years /
I got forever / after thirty years / satisfied enough with Peter / with all I

wanted /

with many men I knew one generation / our sperm passing
into our mouths and bellies / beautiful when I love / given.
Now the dream oldens / I olden / my hair a year long / my thirtyeight

birthday approaching.

I dream I
am bald / am disappearing / the campus unrecognizable / Haledon Avenue
will be covered with neon / motels / Supermarkets / iron
the porches and woods changed when i go back / to see Earl again
He’ll be bald / fleshy father / I could pursie him further in the garage
If there’s still a garage on the hill / on the planet / when I get back.

From Asia.

If I could even remember his name or his face / or find him /
When I was ten / perhaps he exists in some form.
With a belly and a belt and an auto
Whatever his last name / I never knew / in the phonebook / the Akashic

records.

I’ll write my Inspiration for all Mankind to remember,
My Idea, the secret cave / in the clothes closet / that house probably down /
Nothing to go back to / everything’s gone / only my idea
that’s disappearing / even in dreams / gray dust piles / instant annihilation
of World War II and all its stainless steel shining-mouthed cannons
much less me and my grammar school kisses / I never kissed in time /
and go on kissing in dream and out on the street / as if it were for ever.
No forever left! Even my oldest forever gone, in Bangkok, in Benares,
swept up with words and bodies / all into the brown Ganges /
passing the burning grounds and / into the police state.
My mind, my mind / you had six feet of Earth to hoe /
Why didn’t you remember and plant the seed of Law and gather the sprouts

of What?

the golden blossoms of what idea? If I dream that I dream / what dream
should I dream next? Motorcycle rickshaws / parting lamp shine / little

taxis / horses hoofs

on this Saigon midnight street. Angkor Wat ahead and the ruined city’s old

Hindu faces

and there was a dream about Eternity. What should I dream when I wake?
What’s left to dream, more Chinese meat? More magic Spells? More youths

to love before I change & disappear?

More dream words? For now that I know that I am dreaming /
What next for you Allen? Run down to the Presidents Palace full of Morphine /
The cocks crowing / in the street / Dawn trucks / What is the question?
Do I need sleep, now that there’s light in the window?
I’ll go to sleep. Signing off until / the next idea / the moving van arrives

empty

at the Doctor’s house full of Chinese furniture.

 

– Allen Ginsberg

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A Desolation

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Now mind is clear
as a cloudless sky.
Time then to make a
home in wilderness.

What have I done but
wander with my eyes
in the trees? So I
will build: wife,
family, and seek
for neighbors.

Or I
perish of lonesomeness
or want of food or
lightning or the bear
(must tame the hart
and wear the bear) .

And maybe make an image
of my wandering, a little
image—shrine by the
roadside to signify
to traveler that I live
here in the wilderness
awake and at home.

 

– Allen Ginsberg

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Cezanne’s Ports

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In the foreground we see time and life
swept in a race
toward the left hand side of the picture
where shore meets shore.

But that meeting place
isn’t represented;
it doesn’t occur on the canvas.

For the other side of the bay
is Heaven and Eternity,
with a bleak white haze over its mountains.

And the immense water of L’Estaque is a go-between
for minute rowboats.

– Allen Ginsberg

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Nagasaki Days

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I — A Pleasant Afternoon

for Michael Brownstein and Dick Gallup

One day 3 poets and 60 ears sat under a green-striped Chau-
tauqua tent in Aurora
listening to Black spirituals, tapping their feet, appreciating
words singing by in mountain winds
on a pleasant sunny day of rest — the wild wind blew thru
blue Heavens
filled with fluffy clouds stretched from Central City to Rocky
Flats, Plutonium sizzled in its secret bed,
hot dogs sizzled in the Lion’s Club lunchwagon microwave
mouth, orangeade bubbled over in waxen cups
Traffic moved along Colefax, meditators silent in the Diamond
Castle shrine-room at Boulder followed the breath going
out of their nostrils,
Nobody could remember anything, spirits flew out of mouths
& noses, out of the sky, across Colorado plains & the
tent flapped happily open spacious & didn’t fall down.

June 18, 1978

II — Peace Protest

Cumulus clouds float across blue sky
over the white-walled Rockwell Corporation factory
— am I going to stop that?

*

Rocky Mountains rising behind us
Denver shining in morning light
— Led away from the crowd by police and photographers

*

Middleaged Ginsberg and Ellsberg taken down the road
to the greyhaired Sheriff’s van —
But what about Einstein? What about Einstein? Hey, Einstein
Come back!

III — Golden Courthouse

Waiting for the Judge, breathing silent
Prisoners, witnesses, Police —
the stenographer yawns into her palms.

August 9, 1978

IV — Everybody’s Fantasy

I walked outside & the bomb’d
dropped lots of plutonium
all over the Lower East Side
There weren’t any buildings left just
iron skeletons
groceries burned, potholes open to
stinking sewer waters

There were people starving and crawling
across the desert
the Martian UFOs with blue
Light destroyer rays
passed over and dried up all the
waters

Charred Amazon palmtrees for
hundreds of miles on both sides
of the river

August 10, 1978

V — Waiting Room at the Rocky Flats Plutonium Plant

“Give us the weapons we need to protect ourselves!”
the bareheaded guard lifts his flyswatter above the desk
— whap!

*

A green-letter’d shield on the pressboard wall!
“Life is fragile. Handle with care” —
My Goodness! here’s where they make the nuclear bomb
triggers.

August 17, 1978

VI — Numbers in Red Notebook

2,000,000 killed in Vietnam
13,000,000 refugees in Indochina 1972
200,000,000 years for the Galaxy to revolve on its core
24,000 the Babylonian Great Year
24,000 half life of plutonium
2,000 the most I ever got for a poetry reading
80,000 dolphins killed in the dragnet
4,000,000,000 years earth been born

Summer 1978

 

– Allen Ginsberg

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Wales Visitation

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White fog lifting & falling on mountain-brow
Trees moving in rivers of wind
The clouds arise
as on a wave, gigantic eddy lifting mist
above teeming ferns exquisitely swayed
along a green crag
glimpsed thru mullioned glass in valley raine—

Bardic, O Self, Visitacione, tell naught
but what seen by one man in a vale in Albion,
of the folk, whose physical sciences end in Ecology,
the wisdom of earthly relations,
of mouths & eyes interknit ten centuries visible
orchards of mind language manifest human,
of the satanic thistle that raises its horned symmetry
flowering above sister grass-daisies’ pink tiny
bloomlets angelic as lightbulbs—

Remember 160 miles from London’s symmetrical thorned tower
& network of TV pictures flashing bearded your Self
the lambs on the tree-nooked hillside this day bleating
heard in Blake’s old ear, & the silent thought of Wordsworth in eld Stillness
clouds passing through skeleton arches of Tintern Abbey—
Bard Nameless as the Vast, babble to Vastness!

All the Valley quivered, one extended motion, wind
undulating on mossy hills
a giant wash that sank white fog delicately down red runnels
on the mountainside
whose leaf-branch tendrils moved asway
in granitic undertow down—
and lifted the floating Nebulous upward, and lifted the arms of the trees
and lifted the grasses an instant in balance
and lifted the lambs to hold still
and lifted the green of the hill, in one solemn wave

A solid mass of Heaven, mist-infused, ebbs thru the vale,
a wavelet of Immensity, lapping gigantic through Llanthony Valley,
the length of all England, valley upon valley under Heaven’s ocean
tonned with cloud-hang,
—Heaven balanced on a grassblade.
Roar of the mountain wind slow, sigh of the body,
One Being on the mountainside stirring gently
Exquisite scales trembling everywhere in balance,
one motion thru the cloudy sky-floor shifting on the million feet of daisies,
one Majesty the motion that stirred wet grass quivering
to the farthest tendril of white fog poured down
through shivering flowers on the mountain’s head—

No imperfection in the budded mountain,
Valleys breathe, heaven and earth move together,
daisies push inches of yellow air, vegetables tremble,
grass shimmers green
sheep speckle the mountainside, revolving their jaws with empty eyes,
horses dance in the warm rain,
tree-lined canals network live farmland,
blueberries fringe stone walls on hawthorn’d hills,
pheasants croak on meadows haired with fern—

Out, out on the hillside, into the ocean sound, into delicate gusts of wet air,
Fall on the ground, O great Wetness, O Mother, No harm on your body!
Stare close, no imperfection in the grass,
each flower Buddha-eye, repeating the story,
myriad-formed—
Kneel before the foxglove raising green buds, mauve bells dropped
doubled down the stem trembling antennae,
& look in the eyes of the branded lambs that stare
breathing stockstill under dripping hawthorn—
I lay down mixing my beard with the wet hair of the mountainside,
smelling the brown vagina-moist ground, harmless,
tasting the violet thistle-hair, sweetness—
One being so balanced, so vast, that its softest breath
moves every floweret in the stillness on the valley floor,
trembles lamb-hair hung gossamer rain-beaded in the grass,
lifts trees on their roots, birds in the great draught
hiding their strength in the rain, bearing same weight,

Groan thru breast and neck, a great Oh! to earth heart
Calling our Presence together
The great secret is no secret
Senses fit the winds,
Visible is visible,
rain-mist curtains wave through the bearded vale,
gray atoms wet the wind’s kabbala
Crosslegged on a rock in dusk rain,
rubber booted in soft grass, mind moveless,
breath trembles in white daisies by the roadside,
Heaven breath and my own symmetric
Airs wavering thru antlered green fern
drawn in my navel, same breath as breathes thru Capel-Y-Ffn,
Sounds of Aleph and Aum
through forests of gristle,
my skull and Lord Hereford’s Knob equal,
All Albion one.

What did I notice? Particulars! The
vision of the great One is myriad—
smoke curls upward from ashtray,
house fire burned low,
The night, still wet & moody black heaven
starless
upward in motion with wet wind.

 

– Allen Ginsberg

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The Lion For Real

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“Soyez muette pour moi, Idole contemplative…”

I came home and found a lion in my living room
Rushed out on the fire escape screaming Lion! Lion!
Two stenographers pulled their brunnette hair and banged the window shut
I hurried home to Patterson and stayed two days

Called up old Reichian analyst
who’d kicked me out of therapy for smoking marijuana
‘It’s happened’ I panted ‘There’s a Lion in my living room’
‘I’m afraid any discussion would have no value’ he hung up

I went to my old boyfriend we got drunk with his girlfriend
I kissed him and announced I had a lion with a mad gleam in my eye
We wound up fighting on the floor I bit his eyebrow he kicked me out
I ended up masturbating in his jeep parked in the street moaning ‘Lion.’

Found Joey my novelist friend and roared at him ‘Lion!’
He looked at me interested and read me his spontaneous ignu high poetries
I listened for lions all I heard was Elephant Tiglon Hippogriff Unicorn
Ants
But figured he really understood me when we made it in Ignaz Wisdom’s
bathroom.

But next day he sent me a leaf from his Smoky Mountain retreat
‘I love you little Bo-Bo with your delicate golden lions
But there being no Self and No Bars therefore the Zoo of your dear Father
hath no lion
You said your mother was mad don’t expect me to produce the Monster for
your Bridegroom.’

Confused dazed and exalted bethought me of real lion starved in his stink
in Harlem
Opened the door the room was filled with the bomb blast of his anger
He roaring hungrily at the plaster walls but nobody could hear outside
thru the window
My eye caught the edge of the red neighbor apartment building standing in
deafening stillness
We gazed at each other his implacable yellow eye in the red halo of fur
Waxed rhuemy on my own but he stopped roaring and bared a fang
greeting.
I turned my back and cooked broccoli for supper on an iron gas stove
boilt water and took a hot bath in the old tup under the sink board.

He didn’t eat me, tho I regretted him starving in my presence.
Next week he wasted away a sick rug full of bones wheaten hair falling out
enraged and reddening eye as he lay aching huge hairy head on his paws
by the egg-crate bookcase filled up with thin volumes of Plato, & Buddha.

Sat by his side every night averting my eyes from his hungry motheaten
face
stopped eating myself he got weaker and roared at night while I had
nightmares
Eaten by lion in bookstore on Cosmic Campus, a lion myself starved by
Professor Kandisky, dying in a lion’s flophouse circus,
I woke up mornings the lion still added dying on the floor–‘Terrible
Presence!’I cried’Eat me or die!’

It got up that afternoon–walked to the door with its paw on the south wall to
steady its trembling body
Let out a soul-rending creak from the bottomless roof of his mouth
thundering from my floor to heaven heavier than a volcano at night in
Mexico
Pushed the door open and said in a gravelly voice “Not this time Baby–
but I will be back again.”

Lion that eats my mind now for a decade knowing only your hunger
Not the bliss of your satisfaction O roar of the universe how am I chosen
In this life I have heard your promise I am ready to die I have served
Your starved and ancient Presence O Lord I wait in my room at your
Mercy.

 

– Allen Ginsberg

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