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Allen for all to see (and see all)!

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Father Death Blues

(Don't Grow Old, Part V)
by Allen Ginsberg


Hey Father Death, I'm flying home
Hey poor man, you're all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going

Father Death, Don't cry any more
Mama's there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store

Old Aunty Death Don't hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans

O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts'll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest

Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body's gone
Father Death I'm coming home

Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues

Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we'll work it through

Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn

Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.

Homework

by Allen Ginsberg
Homage 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 t…

A Supermarket in California

by Allen Ginsberg

What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for
I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache
self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went
into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families
shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the
avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what
were you doing down by the watermelons?

I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,
poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the
pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans
following you, and followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our
solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen
d…

An Eastern Ballad

by Allen Ginsberg


I speak of love that comes to mind:
The moon is faithful, although blind;
She moves in thought she cannot speak.
Perfect care has made her bleak.

I never dreamed the sea so deep,
The earth so dark; so long my sleep,
I have become another child.
I wake to see the world go wild.

The Lion For Real

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by Allen Ginsberg

"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 Hippogri…

Chinatown

by Yosha Bourgea

An overcast San Francisco afternoon.

Chinatown. Pulling me by the arm,
my mother walks quickly past the sidewalk markets
where they sell old soft oranges,
cabbages, bad radios, cheap shoes.
I have a cold. My head is full
of dreams and I cannot keep up.


I dream a saucer-eyed dragon
grinning with long, lolling tongue,
breathing white porcelain clouds
across the sky. They drift, aimless boats,
sticks flagged with leaves
and set upon the river. Old man in a jacket
tosses me a good luck orange, but I miss.
It bobs along the curb, then goes under.


Again I let go of her hand.
Like a leaf floating on water
I lose myself quickly in the rush
of coats. Where am I going?
I am the drowning boy.
Nothing to look for now,
not abandoned mother, not lost luck.
The current closes my eyes.
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The Gift Outright

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The End Of Science Fiction

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by Lisel Mueller



This is not fantasy, this is our life.
We are the characters
who have invaded the moon,
who cannot stop their computers.
We are the gods who can unmake
the world in seven days.


Both hands are stopped at noon.
We are beginning to live forever,
in lightweight, aluminum bodies
with numbers stamped on our backs.
We dial our words like Muzak.
We hear each other through water.


The genre is dead. Invent something new.
Invent a man and a woman
naked in a garden,
invent a child that will save the world,
a man who carries his father
out of a burning city.
Invent a spool of thread
that leads a hero to safety,
invent an island on which he abandons
the woman who saved his life
with no loss of sleep over his betrayal.


Invent us as we were
before our bodies glittered
and we stopped bleeding:
invent a shepherd who kills a giant,
a girl who grows into a tree,
a woman who refuses to turn
her back on the past and is changed to salt,
a boy who steals his brother’s birthright

Let Us Meditate the Virtue

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by Donald Hall


Let us meditate the virtue of slogans.
Let us declare onomastic* solutions
to difficulties largely unnameable,
and by the mottoes

of euphemism contract verbal righteousness.
Let's indite bulletins to tell everyone
the Jargon of Things, to name Lifestyles, to learn
the Tongue of High Coy:

Do you desire to purchase a beverage?
We thank you for not smoking. Have a nice day.
May we share these suggestions with you? Let us
praise exultation,

never calling a route salesman a milkman,
nor an officer of the law a cop, nor
a senior citizen old, nor a starving
freezing bagwoman

poor. When we can't alter ills that upset us,
we will change their names to prevent compassion
from disturbing our ungulate composure:
words to deny worlds.

Vocabulary voids original sin;
cavalry of the lie reaches Calvary
just in time--to bugle Christ down from the cross.
But: no nails, no Christ.








*Onomastics or onomatology is the study of proper names of all kinds and the ori…

The Windhover

by Gerard Manley Hopkins
To Christ our Lord
I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dáwn-drawn Falcon, in his riding Of the rólling level úndernéath him steady áir, & stríding High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl & gliding Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird, -- the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty & valour & act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion Times told lovelier, more dangerous, o my chevalier!
No wónder of it: shéer plód makes plóugh down síllion Shine, & blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gáll themsélves, & gásh góld-vermílion.



Just Now

by W.S. Merwin


In the morning as the storm begins to blow away
the clear sky appears for a moment and it seems to me
that there has been something simpler than I could ever believe
simpler than I could have begun to find words for
not patient not even waiting no more hidden
than the air itself that became part of me for a while
with every breath and remained with me unnoticed
something that was here unnamed unknown in the days
and the nights not separate from them
not separate from them as they came and were gone
it must have been here neither early nor late then
by what name can I address it now holding out my thanks

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Grace

by Rafael Jesus Gonzalez


Thanks & blessings be
to the Sun & the Earth
for this bread & this wine,
this fruit, this meat, this salt,
this food;
thanks be & blessing to them
who prepare it, who serve it;
thanks & blessings to them
who share it
(& also the absent & the dead).
Thanks & Blessing to them who bring it
(may they not want),
to them who plant & tend it,
harvest & gather it
(may they not want);
thanks & blessing to them who work
& blessing to them who cannot;
may they not want - for their hunger
sours the wine & robs
the taste from the salt.
Thanks be for the sustenance & strength
for our dance & work of justice, of peace.

Arms Full

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by Rebecca del Rio


Gratitude means showing up on life’s doorstep,
love’s threshold, dressed in a clown suit,
rubber-nosed, gunboat shoes flapping.
Gratitude shows up with arms full of wildflowers,
reciting McKuen or the worst of Neruda.


To talk of gratitude is to be
the fool in a cynic’s world.
Gratitude is pride’s nightmare,
the admission of humility before something
given without expectation or attachment.


Gratitude tears open the shirt
of self importance, scatters buttons
across the polished floors of feigned indifference,
ignores the obvious and laughs out loud.


Even more, gratitude bears her breasts, rips open
her ribs to show the naked heart, the holy heart.
What if that sacred heart is not, after all, about sacrifice?
Imagine it is about joy, barefoot and foolhardy,
something unasked for, something unearned.


What if the beat we hear, when we are finally quiet is simply this:
Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.




Cult of the Warrior

by Al Markowitz
originally published on November 12, 2007
On Memorial Day, for all the Veterans who marched against the War in Iraq and were jeered. Keep the faith!


A palpable silence of reverence where “soldier”
is synonymous with hero revered.
Where service in battle is holy and
mysterious dark foreigners feared.
We venerate our soldiers’ presence on the always far front
and with heads bowed in adoration try
to show off our symbols of public support –
as long as they shut up and die.

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