American Ginsburg Gothic

May her memory be a blessing.

ALLEN GINSBERG: And tho’ I am the King of May
RUTH BADER GINSBURG: Dissent speaks to a future age. It is not simply
GINSBERG: The Marxists have beat me upon the street / kept me up all night in police station
GINSBURG: to say “My colleagues are wrong, and I would do it this way,”
GINSBERG: Followed me through springtime Prague, / detained me in secret and deported me from our kingdom by airplane.
GINSBURG: But the great dissents do become court opinions.
GINSBERG: Thus I have written this poem on a jet seat in mid heaven.



Poets Answer an Age-Old Question: Why did the chicken cross the road? (part 2)

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Allen Ginsberg

I saw the best hens of my generation destroyed by butchers, roasted, rotisserie-basted,
wandering across the street at dawn looking for a bawdy cock.


Elizabeth Bishop

The art of crossing isn’t hard to master–
when asphalt’s hot, it helps if you cross faster.

Gertrude Stein

The road
is a road
is a road
is a road
to cross
like a boss
and eat moss.


Click here for part 1 (featuring Dickinson, Whitman, and Shakespeare).

Allen Ginsberg calls the Poetry Crisis Line

COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, how may I help you?
CALLER: I saw the best minds of my generation …
COUNSELOR: Are you sure? I mean, how can you tell?
CALLER: …destroyed by madness…
COUNSELOR: That is sad. Mental health issues can be very difficult.
CALLER: …starving…
COUNSELOR: Hunger is also a bigger problem than most people realize.
CALLER: …hysterical…
COUNSELOR: No, sir, I don’t find it at all amusing.
CALLER: …naked…
COUNSELOR: And I don’t care who you’ve seen naked.
CALLER: …dragging themselves through the negro streets…
COUNSELOR: Excuse me?
CALLER: …at dawn…
COUNSELOR: I wasn’t asking when; I just–I don’t know where to start with that. First off, the term is African American–
CALLER: …looking for–
COUNSELOR: –unless you’re talking about the streets themselves. Then it’s OK to say blacktop.
CALLER: –an angry fix…
COUNSELOR: Sometimes it’s appropriate to be angry; it’s not always the anger that needs to be fixed.
CALLER: …angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery 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,
COUNSELOR: Well why didn’t you say so? Transferring you to the Stream of Consciousness Desk.



Read the original here.