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Death and Fame

Written by: Allen Ginsberg | Biography
 | Quotes (15) |
 When I die
I don't care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River
bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
But l want a big funeral
St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in 
 Manhattan
First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother 
 96, Aunt Honey from old Newark,
Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sister-
 in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters 
 their grandchildren,
companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan--
Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya's ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche, 
 there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting 
 America, Satchitananda Swami 
Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche, 
 Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi's phantoms
Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau 
 Roshis, Lama Tarchen --
Then, most important, lovers over half-century
Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich
young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each 
 other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories
"He taught me to meditate, now I'm an old veteran of the thousand
 day retreat --"
"I played music on subway platforms, I'm straight but loved him he 
 loved me"
"I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone"
"We'd lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly 
 arms round each other"
"I'd always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my 
 skivvies would be on the floor"
"Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master"
"We'd talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then 
 sleep in his captain's bed."
"He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy"
"I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my 
 stomach
shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips-- "
"All I did was lay back eyes closed, he'd bring me to come with mouth 
 & fingers along my waist"
"He gave great head"
So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commin-
 gling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997
and surprise -- "You too? But I thought you were straight!"
"I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me."
"I forgot whether I was straight gay queer or funny, was myself, tender 
 and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head,
my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly. on my prick, 
 tickled with his tongue my behind"
"I loved the way he'd recite 'But at my back allways hear/ time's winged 
 chariot hurrying near,' heads together, eye to eye, on a 
 pillow --"
Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear
"I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his 
 walk-up flat,
seduced me didn't want to, made me come, went home, never saw him 
 again never wanted to... "
"He couldn't get it up but loved me," "A clean old man." "He made 
 sure I came first"
This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor--
Then poets & musicians -- college boys' grunge bands -- age-old rock 
 star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con-
 ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum-
 peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger 
 fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto-
 harp pennywhistles & kazoos
Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60's India, 
 Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa-
 chusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty 
 sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American 
 provinces
Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate biblio-
 philes, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex
"I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved 
 him anyway, true artist"
"Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me 
 from suicide hospitals"
"Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my 
 studio guest a week in Budapest"
Thousands of readers, "Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois"
"I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet-- "
"He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas 
 City"
"Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City"
"Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982"
"I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized 
 others like me out there"
Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures
Then Journalists, editors's secretaries, agents, portraitists & photo-
 graphy aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural 
 historians come to witness the historic funeral
Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autograph-
 hunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers
Everyone knew they were part of 'History" except the deceased
who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive

 February 22, 1997



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