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Best Famous Allen Ginsberg Poems


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by Allen Ginsberg |

Complaint of the Skeleton to Time

Take my love, it is not true,
So let it tempt no body new;
Take my lady, she will sigh
For my bed where'er I lie;
Take them, said the skeleton,

But leave my bones alone.


Take my raiment, now grown cold,
To give to some poor poet old;
Take the skin that hoods this truth
If his age would wear my youth;
Take them, said the skeleton,

But leave my bones alone.


Take the thoughts that like the wind
Blow my body out of mind;
Take this heart to go with that
And pass it on from rat to rat;
Take them, said the skeleton,

But leave my bones alone.


Take the art which I bemoan
In a poem's crazy tone;
Grind me down, though I may groan,
To the starkest stick and stone;
Take them, said the skeleton,

But leave my bones alone.


by Allen Ginsberg |

Wild Orphan

Blandly mother 
takes him strolling 
by railroad and by river 
-he's the son of the absconded 
hot rod angel- 
and he imagines cars 
and rides them in his dreams, 

so lonely growing up among 
the imaginary automobiles 
and dead souls of Tarrytown 

to create 
out of his own imagination 
the beauty of his wild 
forebears-a mythology 
he cannot inherit. 

Will he later hallucinate 
his gods? Waking 
among mysteries with 
an insane gleam 
of recollection? 

The recognition- 
something so rare 
in his soul, 
met only in dreams 
-nostalgias 
of another life. 

A question of the soul. 
And the injured 
losing their injury 
in their innocence 
-a cock, a cross, 
an excellence of love. 

And the father grieves 
in flophouse 
complexities of memory 
a thousand miles 
away, unknowing 
of the unexpected 
youthful stranger 
bumming toward his door. 

- New York, April 13, 1952


by Allen Ginsberg |

Sunflower Sutra

I walked on the banks of the tincan banana dock and sat down under the huge shade of a Southern Pacific locomotive to look for the sunset over the box house hills and cry.

Jack Kerouac sat beside me on a busted rusty iron pole, companion, we thought the same thoughts of the soul, bleak and blue and sad-eyed, surrounded by the gnarled steel roots of trees of machinery.

The only water on the river mirrored the red sky, sun sank on top of final Frisco peaks, no fish in that stream, no hermit in those mounts, just ourselves rheumy-eyed and hung-over like old bums on the riverbank, tired and wily.

Look at the Sunflower, he said, there was a dead gray shadow against the sky, big as a man, sitting dry on top of a pile of ancient sawdust--

--I rushed up enchanted--it was my first sunflower, memories of Blake--my visions--Harlem

and Hells of the Eastern rivers, bridges clanking Joes greasy Sandwiches, dead baby carriages, black treadless tires forgotten and unretreaded, the poem of the riverbank, condoms & pots, steel knives, nothing stainless, only the dank muck and the razor-sharp artifacts passing into the past--

and the gray Sunflower poised against the sunset, crackly bleak and dusty with the smut and smog and smoke of olden locomotives in its eye--

corolla of bleary spikes pushed down and broken like a battered crown, seeds fallen out of its face, soon-to-be-toothless mouth of sunny air, sunrays obliterated on its hairy head like a dried wire spiderweb,

leaves stuck out like arms out of the stem, gestures from the sawdust root, broke pieces of plaster fallen out of the black twigs, a dead fly in its ear,

Unholy battered old thing you were, my sunflower O my soul, I loved you then!

The grime was no man's grime but death and human locomotives,

all that dress of dust, that veil of darkened railroad skin, that smog of cheek, that eyelid of black mis'ry, that sooty hand or phallus or protuberance of artificial worse-than-dirt--industrial-- modern--all that civilization spotting your crazy golden crown--

and those blear thoughts of death and dusty loveless eyes and ends and withered roots below, in the home-pile of sand and sawdust, rubber dollar bills, skin of machinery, the guts and innards of the weeping coughing car, the empty lonely tincans with their rusty tongues alack, what more could I name, the smoked ashes of some cock cigar, the cunts of wheelbarrows and the milky breasts of cars, wornout asses out of chairs & sphincters of dynamos--all these

entangled in your mummied roots--and you standing before me in the sunset, all your glory in your form!

A perfect beauty of a sunflower! a perfect excellent lovely sunflower existence! a sweet natural eye to the new hip moon, woke up alive and excited grasping in the sunset shadow sunrise golden monthly breeze!

How many flies buzzed round you innocent of your grime, while you cursed the heavens of your railroad and your flower soul?

Poor dead flower? when did you forget you were a flower? when did you look at your skin and decide you were an impotent dirty old locomotive? the ghost of a locomotive? the specter and shade of a once powerful mad American locomotive?

You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower!

And you Locomotive, you are a locomotive, forget me not!

So I grabbed up the skeleton thick sunflower and stuck it at my side like a scepter,

and deliver my sermon to my soul, and Jack's soul too, and anyone who'll listen,

--We're not our skin of grime, we're not our dread bleak dusty imageless locomotive, we're all golden sunflowers inside, blessed by our own seed & hairy naked accomplishment-bodies growing into mad black formal sunflowers in the sunset, spied on by our eyes under the shadow of the mad locomotive riverbank sunset Frisco hilly tincan evening sitdown vision.


by Allen Ginsberg |

A Supermarket in California

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? 


by Allen Ginsberg |

In The Back of the Real

railroad yard in San Jose 
I wandered desolate 
in front of a tank factory 
and sat on a bench 
near the switchman's shack. 

A flower lay on the hay on 
the asphalt highway 
--the dread hay flower 
I thought--It had a 
brittle black stem and 
corolla of yellowish dirty 
spikes like Jesus' inchlong 
crown, and a soiled 
dry center cotton tuft 
like a used shaving brush 
that's been lying under 
the garage for a year. 

Yellow, yellow flower, and 
flower of industry, 
tough spiky ugly flower, 
flower nonetheless, 
with the form of the great yellow 
Rose in your brain! 
This is the flower of the World. 


by Allen Ginsberg |

Hospital Window

At gauzy dusk, thin haze like cigarette smoke 
ribbons past Chrysler Building's silver fins 
tapering delicately needletopped, Empire State's 
taller antenna filmed milky lit amid blocks 
black and white apartmenting veil'd sky over Manhattan, 
offices new built dark glassed in blueish heaven--The East 
50's & 60's covered with castles & watertowers, seven storied 
tar-topped house-banks over York Avenue, late may-green trees 
surrounding Rockefellers' blue domed medical arbor-- 
Geodesic science at the waters edge--Cars running up 
East River Drive, & parked at N.Y. Hospital's oval door 
where perfect tulips flower the health of a thousand sick souls 
trembling inside hospital rooms. Triboro bridge steel-spiked 
penthouse orange roofs, sunset tinges the river and in a few 
Bronx windows, some magnesium vapor brilliances're 
spotted five floors above E 59th St under grey painted bridge 
trestles. Way downstream along the river, as Monet saw Thames 
100 years ago, Con Edison smokestacks 14th street, 
& Brooklyn Bridge's skeined dim in modern mists-- 
Pipes sticking up to sky nine smokestacks huge visible-- 
U.N. Building hangs under an orange crane, & red lights on 
vertical avenues below the trees turn green at the nod 
of a skull with a mild nerve ache. Dim dharma, I return 
to this spectacle after weeks of poisoned lassitude, my thighs 
belly chest & arms covered with poxied welts, 
head pains fading back of the neck, right eyebrow cheek 
mouth paralyzed--from taking the wrong medicine, sweated 
too much in the forehead helpless, covered my rage from 
gorge to prostate with grinding jaw and tightening anus 
not released the weeping scream of horror at robot Mayaguez 
World self ton billions metal grief unloaded 
Pnom Penh to Nakon Thanom, Santiago & Tehran. 
Fresh warm breeze in the window, day's release 
>from pain, cars float downside the bridge trestle 
and uncounted building-wall windows multiplied a mile 
deep into ash-delicate sky beguile 
my empty mind. A seagull passes alone wings 
spread silent over roofs. 

- May 20, 1975 Mayaguez Crisis 


by Allen Ginsberg |

Who Runs America?

Oil brown smog over Denver 
Oil red dung colored smoke 
level to level across the horizon 

blue tainted sky above 
Oil car smog gasoline 
hazing red Denver's day 

December bare trees 

sticking up from housetop streets 

Plane lands rumbling, planes rise over 

radar wheels, black smoke 

drifts from tailfins 

Oil millions of cars speeding the cracked plains 
Oil from Texas, Bahrein, Venezuela Mexico 
Oil that turns General Motors 

revs up Ford 
lights up General Electric, oil that crackles 

thru International Business Machine computers, 

charges dynamos for ITT 
sparks Western 
Electric 

runs thru Amer Telephone & Telegraph wires 

Oil that flows thru Exxon New Jersey hoses, 
rings in Mobil gas tank cranks, rumbles 

Chrysler engines 

shoots thru Texaco pipelines 

blackens ocean from broken Gulf tankers 
spills onto Santa Barbara beaches from 

Standard of California derricks offshore. 


by Allen Ginsberg |

Hum Bom!

I
Whom bomb?
We bomb'd them!
Whom bomb?
We bomb'd them!
Whom bomb?
We bomb'd them!
Whom bomb?
We bomb'd them!

Whom bomb?
We bomb you!
Whom bomb?
We bomb you!
Whom bomb?
You bomb you!
Whom bomb?
You bomb you!

What do we do?
Who do we bomb?
What do we do?
Who do we bomb?
What do we do?
Who do we bomb?
What do we do?
Who do we bomb?

What do we do?
You bomb! You bomb them!
What do we do?
You bomb! You bomb them!
What do we do?
We bomb! We bomb you!
What do we do?
You bomb! You bomb you!

Whom bomb?
We bomb you!
Whom bomb?
We bomb you!
Whom bomb? You bomb you!
Whom bomb?
You bomb you!

- May 1971

II
- For Don Cherry


Whydja bomb?
We didn't wanna bomb!
Whydja bomb?
We didn't wanna bomb!
Whydja bomb?
You didn't wanna bomb!
Whydja bomb?
You didn't wanna bomb!
Who said bomb?
Who said we hadda bomb?
Who said bomb?
Who said we hadda bomb?
Who said bomb?
Who said you hadda bomb?
Who said bomb?
Who said you hadda bomb?

Who wantsa bomb?
We don't wanna bomb!
Who wantsa bomb?
We don't wanna bomb!
Who wantsa bomb?
We don't wanna bomb!
We don't wanna


we don't wanna

we don't wanna bomb!

Who wanteda bomb?
Somebody musta wanteda bomb!
Who wanteda bomb?
Somebody musta wanteda bomb!
Who wanteda bomb?
Somebody musta wanteda bomb!
Who wanteda bomb?
Somebody musta wanteda bomb!
They wanteda bomb!
They neededa bomb!
They wanteda bomb!
They neededa bomb!
They wanteda bomb!
They neededa bomb!
They wanteda bomb!
They neededa bomb!

They thought they hadda bomb!
They thought they hadda bomb!
They thought they hadda bomb!
They thought they hadda bomb!

Saddam said he hadda bomb!
Bush said he better bomb!
Saddam said he hadda bomb!
Bush said he better bomb!
Saddam said he hadda bomb!
Bush said he better bomb!
Saddam said he hadda bomb!
Bush said he better bomb!

Whatdid he say he better bomb for?
Whatdid he say he better bomb for?
Whatdid he say he better bomb for?
Whatdid he say he better bomb for?

Hadda get ridda Saddam with a bomb!
Hadda get ridda Saddam with a bomb!
Hadda get ridda Saddam with a bomb!
Hadda get ridda Saddam with a bomb!

Saddam's still there building a bomb!
Saddam's still there building a bomb!
Saddam's still there building a bomb!
Saddam's still there building a bomb! 


III

Armageddon did the job
Gog & Magog Gog & Magog
Armageddon did the job
Gog & Magog Gog & Magog
Gog & Magog Gog & Magog
Armageddon does the job
Gog & Magog Gog & Magog
Armageddon does the job

Armageddon for the mob
Gog & Magog Gog & Magog
Armageddon for the mob
Gog & Magog Gog & Magog

Gog & Magog Gog & Magog
Gog Magog Gog Magog
Gog & Magog Gog & Magog
Gog Magog Gog Magog

Gog Magog Gog Magog
Gog Magog Gog Magog
Gog Magog Gog Magog
Gog Magog Gog Magog

Ginsberg says Gog & Magog
Armageddon did the job.


by Allen Ginsberg |

A Western Ballad

 When I died, love, when I died
my heart was broken in your care;
I never suffered love so fair
as now I suffer and abide
when I died, love, when I died.

When I died, love, when I died
I wearied in an endless maze
that men have walked for centuries,
as endless as the gate was wide
when I died, love, when I died.

When I died, love, when I died
there was a war in the upper air:
all that happens, happens there;
there was an angel by my side
when I died, love, when I died.


by Allen Ginsberg |

Howl

 For 
 Carl Solomon 


 I 

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by 
 madness, starving hysterical naked, 
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn 
 looking for an angry fix, 
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly 
 connection to the starry dynamo in the machin- 
 ery of night, 
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat 
 up smoking in the supernatural darkness of 
 cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities 
 contemplating jazz, 
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and 
 saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tene- 
 ment roofs illuminated, 
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes 
 hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy 
 among the scholars of war, 
who were expelled from the academies for crazy & 
 publishing obscene odes on the windows of the 
 skull, 
who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burn- 
 ing their money in wastebaskets and listening 
 to the Terror through the wall, 
who got busted in their pubic beards returning through 
 Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York, 
who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in 
 Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their 
 torsos night after night 
with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, al- 
 cohol and cock and endless balls, 
incomparable blind; streets of shuddering cloud and 
 lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of 
 Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the mo- 
 tionless world of Time between, 
Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery 
 dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, 
 storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon 
 blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree 
 vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brook- 
 lyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind, 
who chained themselves to subways for the endless 
 ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine 
 until the noise of wheels and children brought 
 them down shuddering mouth-wracked and 
 battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance 
 in the drear light of Zoo, 
who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's 
 floated out and sat through the stale beer after 
 noon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack 
 of doom on the hydrogen jukebox, 
who talked continuously seventy hours from park to 
 pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brook- 
 lyn Bridge, 
lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping 
 down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills 
 off Empire State out of the moon, 
yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts 
 and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks 
 and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars, 
whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days 
 and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the 
 Synagogue cast on the pavement, 
who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a 
 trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic 
 City Hall, 
suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grind- 
 ings and migraines of China under junk-with- 
 drawal in Newark's bleak furnished room, 
who wandered around and around at midnight in the 
 railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, 
 leaving no broken hearts, 
who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing 
 through snow toward lonesome farms in grand- 
 father night, 
who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telep- 
 athy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos in- 
 stinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas, 
who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking vis- 
 ionary indian angels who were visionary indian 
 angels, 
who thought they were only mad when Baltimore 
 gleamed in supernatural ecstasy, 
who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Okla- 
 homa on the impulse of winter midnight street 
 light smalltown rain, 
who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston 
 seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the 
 brilliant Spaniard to converse about America 
 and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship 
 to Africa, 
who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving 
 behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees 
 and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fire 
 place Chicago, 
who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the 
 F.B.I. in beards and shorts with big pacifist 
 eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incom- 
 prehensible leaflets, 
who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting 
 the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism, 
who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union 
 Square weeping and undressing while the sirens 
 of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed 
 down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also 
 wailed, 
who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked 
 and trembling before the machinery of other 
 skeletons, 
who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight 
 in policecars for committing no crime but their 
 own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication, 
who howled on their knees in the subway and were 
 dragged off the roof waving genitals and manu- 
 scripts, 
who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly 
 motorcyclists, and screamed with joy, 
who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, 
 the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean 
 love, 
who balled in the morning in the evenings in rose 
 gardens and the grass of public parks and 
 cemeteries scattering their semen freely to 
 whomever come who may, 
who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up 
 with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath 
 when the blond & naked angel came to pierce 
 them with a sword, 
who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate 
 the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar 
 the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb 
 and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but 
 sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden 
 threads of the craftsman's loom, 
who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of 
 beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a can- 
 dle and fell off the bed, and continued along 
 the floor and down the hall and ended fainting 
 on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and 
 come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness, 
who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling 
 in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning 
 but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sun 
 rise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked 
 in the lake, 
who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad 
 stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these 
 poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver--joy 
 to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls 
 in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses' 
 rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with 
 gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely pet- 
 ticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station 
 solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too, 
who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in 
 dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and 
 picked themselves up out of basements hung 
 over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third 
 Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemploy- 
 ment offices, 
who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on 
 the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the 
 East River to open to a room full of steamheat 
 and opium, 
who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment 
 cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime 
 blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall 
 be crowned with laurel in oblivion, 
who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested 
 the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of 
 Bowery, 
who wept at the romance of the streets with their 
 pushcarts full of onions and bad music, 
who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the 
 bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in 
 their lofts, 
who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned 
 with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded 
 by orange crates of theology, 
who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty 
 incantations which in the yellow morning were 
 stanzas of gibberish, 
who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht 
 & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable 
 kingdom, 
who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for 
 an egg, 
who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot 
 for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks 
 fell on their heads every day for the next decade, 
who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccess- 
 fully, gave up and were forced to open antique 
 stores where they thought they were growing 
 old and cried, 
who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits 
 on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse 
 & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments 
 of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the 
 fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinis- 
 ter intelligent editors, or were run down by the 
 drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality, 
who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually hap- 
 pened and walked away unknown and forgotten 
 into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alley 
 ways & firetrucks, not even one free beer, 
who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of 
 the subway window, jumped in the filthy Pas- 
 saic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street, 
 danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed 
 phonograph records of nostalgic European 
 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and 
 threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans 
 in their ears and the blast of colossal steam 
 whistles, 
who barreled down the highways of the past journeying 
 to each other's hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude 
 watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation, 
who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out 
 if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had 
 a vision to find out Eternity, 
who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who 
 came back to Denver & waited in vain, who 
 watched over Denver & brooded & loned in 
 Denver and finally went away to find out the 
 Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes, 
who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying 
 for each other's salvation and light and breasts, 
 until the soul illuminated its hair for a second, 
who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for 
 impossible criminals with golden heads and the 
 charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet 
 blues to Alcatraz, 
who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky 
 Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys 
 or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or 
 Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the 
 daisychain or grave, 
who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hyp 
 notism & were left with their insanity & their 
 hands & a hung jury, 
who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism 
 and subsequently presented themselves on the 
 granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads 
 and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding in- 
 stantaneous lobotomy, 
and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin 
 Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psycho- 
 therapy occupational therapy pingpong & 
 amnesia, 
who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic 
 pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia, 
returning years later truly bald except for a wig of 
 blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible mad 
 man doom of the wards of the madtowns of the 
 East, 
Pilgrim State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid 
 halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rock- 
 ing and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench 
 dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a night- 
 mare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the 
 moon, 
with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book 
 flung out of the tenement window, and the last 
 door closed at 4. A.M. and the last telephone 
 slammed at the wall in reply and the last fur- 
 nished room emptied down to the last piece of 
 mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted 
 on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that 
 imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of 
 hallucination--
ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and 
 now you're really in the total animal soup of 
 time--
and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed 
 with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use 
 of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrat- 
 ing plane, 
who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space 
 through images juxtaposed, and trapped the 
 archangel of the soul between 2 visual images 
 and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun 
 and dash of consciousness together jumping 
 with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna 
 Deus 
to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human 
 prose and stand before you speechless and intel- 
 ligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet con- 
 fessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm 
 of thought in his naked and endless head, 
the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, 
 yet putting down here what might be left to say 
 in time come after death, 
and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in 
 the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the 
 suffering of America's naked mind for love into 
 an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone 
 cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio 
with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered 
 out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand 
 years. 

 II 

What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open 
 their skulls and ate up their brains and imagi- 
 nation? 
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unob 
 tainable dollars! Children screaming under the 
 stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men 
 weeping in the parks! 
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the 
 loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy 
 judger of men! 
Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the 
 crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of 
 sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! 
 Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stun- 
 ned governments! 
Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose 
 blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers 
 are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a canni- 
 bal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking 
 tomb! 
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! 
 Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long 
 streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose fac- 
 tories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose 
 smokestacks and antennae crown the cities! 
Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch 
 whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch 
 whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch 
 whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! 
 Moloch whose name is the Mind! 
Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream 
 Angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in 
 Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch! 
Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom 
 I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch 
 who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! 
 Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! 
 Light streaming out of the sky! 
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! 
 skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic 
 industries! spectral nations! invincible mad 
 houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs! 
They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pave- 
 ments, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to 
 Heaven which exists and is everywhere about 
 us! 
Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! 
 gone down the American river! 
Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole 
 boatload of sensitive bullshit! 
Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! 
 gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! De- 
 spairs! Ten years' animal screams and suicides! 
 Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on 
 the rocks of Time! 
Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the 
 wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! 
 They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving! 
 carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the 
 street! 

 III

Carl Solomon! I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you're madder than I am 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you must feel very strange 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you imitate the shade of my mother 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you've murdered your twelve secretaries 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you laugh at this invisible humor 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where we are great writers on the same dreadful 
 typewriter 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where your condition has become serious and 
 is reported on the radio 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where the faculties of the skull no longer admit 
 the worms of the senses 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you drink the tea of the breasts of the 
 spinsters of Utica 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the 
 harpies of the Bronx 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you scream in a straightjacket that you're 
 losing the game of the actual pingpong of the 
 abyss 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul 
 is innocent and immortal it should never die 
 ungodly in an armed madhouse 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where fifty more shocks will never return your 
 soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a 
 cross in the void 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you accuse your doctors of insanity and 
 plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the 
 fascist national Golgotha 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where you will split the heavens of Long Island 
 and resurrect your living human Jesus from the 
 superhuman tomb 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where there are twenty-five-thousand mad com- 
 rades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where we hug and kiss the United States under 
 our bedsheets the United States that coughs all 
 night and won't let us sleep 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 where we wake up electrified out of the coma 
 by our own souls' airplanes roaring over the 
 roof they've come to drop angelic bombs the 
 hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls col- 
 lapse O skinny legions run outside O starry 
 spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is 
 here O victory forget your underwear we're 
 free 
I'm with you in Rockland 
 in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea- 
 journey on the highway across America in tears 
 to the door of my cottage in the Western night 

 San Francisco 1955-56