2011 04 07
What thoughts I have of you tonight,
Allen Ginsberg, with your bristling beard
like Saturn with his curling goat horns,
for I drive down strip mall among stores
shimmering bright with lights after dusk
that glitter on metal shells of zooming cars,
and look up but I cannot see any moon
for skies are bright with metropolitan lights.
In my bored misery of existential faith
pretending national government of power
will not be shut down by tea-drinking clowns,
I turn into vast parking lot outside Walmart
and walk slow under shimmering purple sky,
hoping to find civility and justice for all
packaged for sale in plastic under blue signs.
Striding through great glass sliding doors
like arch over a cathedral of a lost religion,
I see hundreds of people walking long aisles
pushing carts heaped with clothes, boxed food,
movie disks, romance novels, music disks,
cheap furniture, plastic bottles, and brooms
to decorate hidden homes of their sitcom lives.
I see Homer playing on an electric piano,
and Ovid reading computer magazines,
and Dante trying out a new white Eye Pad,
and Shakespeare playing a war video game,
and Milton lacing up a pair of hiking boots,
and Dali looking into heart of a chicken egg,
and Bob Dylan buying bikes for his kids.
I see you, Allen Ginsberg, childless prophet
of madness and grinning, lonely, old grubber
poking among meats and drawing smiley faces
in frost on glass of open refrigerator doors
as you eye grocery boys asking each one,
are you my angel come with a bright sword
for I am King of May wearing a plastic crown
thrusting pen spears at dragons of oil-rigs.
Allen Ginsberg at Walmart stops at a table
with romance novels and programming books,
but covers them with books about Buddhism
and sexual Tantra and spiritual enlightenment
and star messengers and pictures of Green Tara
who floats meditating over lotus of sweet truth,
and he leans on his cane with a painful smile
and beckons I approach like Saturn in his cave.
I open my black book splattered with drops
of rain smearing words of poems I wrote,
and he takes fountain pen forged by Vulcan
dipped in black blood of generals and tyrants,
and scribbles ten thousand thought spells,
and draws cartoons of Moses on Mount Sinai
meditating with Buddha under light of Jehovah
who glides over Earth in a silver flying saucer.
Where are you going, mad Allen Ginsberg,
with beard bristling full of spiders and snakes,
because doors of Walmart stay open all night,
so we could find Walt Whitman in vast parking lot
trying to open door of his rusty pickup truck,
and we can drive together along Chattahoochee
and sit on river shore passing around a pipe,
and sing mantra spells from our holy books.
Will we laugh, dreaming of lost America of love,
as we race howling over bridge of tomorrow
past shining automobiles on superfast highways
home to apartment complex by a shopping mall
with giant flat-screen televisions and computers
that weave ten million minds in supersoul cyberspace,
liking pictures and thoughts in face-book world,
and twittering endless stream of conscious hopes.
Dear father greybeard, mad old courage-teacher,
what America thriving on ambition and greed
and ruling Earth with roaring bull of Wall Street,
did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry
and you got out on smoking bank of Zarathi,
and stood watching boat disappear in mist
on black water of Lethe in forest of missiles
that spread steel claws over great cities of glass.
I saw you on stage in Seattle, ageless jester
shouting into a microphone, whom bomb
we bomb you, as audience of college students,
aging hippies in suits, and thought-painters
listened in polite silence under golden lights,
then clapped with deference for prophecies,
glad you did not howl and strip down naked
as they drove to Star Bucks for a cappuccino.
I wandered alone Seattle to Denver to Miami,
sitting under bridges at midnight writing poems
and listening to terror from quiet car engines
that hummed on highways toward my paradise,
and walked wearing backpack full of words
to play stringless guitar by water fountains
while tourists threw dollar bills in my fedora.
I see you no more in Walmart or Manhattan,
mad Allen Ginsberg, prophet of secret truth,
so are you walking with Walt Whitman now,
holding hands with Dionysus in Elysian fields,
dancing and laughing with Orpheus and Lorca
where sun always shimmers on distant hills
and apples fall ripe into your generous hands?