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A Supermarket in California

Written by: Allen Ginsberg | Biography
 | Quotes (15) |
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whit- 
man, 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 fam- 
ilies 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 delicacy, and never passing the cashier. 
Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors 
close in an hour. Which way does your beard point 
tonight? 
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the 
supermarket and feel absurd.) 
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? 
The trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, 
we'll both be lonely. 
Will we stroll dreaming ofthe lost America of love 
past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent 
cottage? 
Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage- 
teacher, what America did you have when Charon quit 
poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank 
and stood watching the boat disappear on the black 
waters of Lethe? 



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