I saw my generation’s best minds
gone mad, but still trying to unwind,
and I got so upset
that I’m howling! And yet
I’m not sure what I thought I would find.
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.
COUNSELOR: Hunger is also a bigger problem than most people realize.
COUNSELOR: No, sir, I don’t find it at all amusing.
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.