33 Lines for Ginsberg
Beatiest of beats let me address you
as you America. Let me bless you
charleychaplin poet that you are
like Ferlinghetti spreadeagled in air
like Sandberg in Chicago like Burroughs AWOL
as you build up your argument to howl
at the barriers and choices in all existence
your words' steam engines go the distance
freshness and fury and spirit all churned
together till somehow they have learned
to answer back as good as you get.
No one has shouted down America yet
and made America listen and pause.
You move inexorably clause by clause
explain to America where to get off
with a smile and a laff and a wave and a cough
as you smell the world 's most exciting flower.
I'd rather think of you in Morden Tower.
I like to think of you reading there
with your beat poet friends in the city where
I was trying so hard for the ordinary life,
not to be a poet and not to write,
(and about the same time in London town
Denise Levertov wandered around)
what, not be a poet, what a waste of breath,
what a crime, what a sin, what a loss, what a death
and whatever my country its state or time,
Ginsberg you gave me permission to rhyme,
for politics, passion came down to this,
the word was the sword, just word with an s,
a reason to dance and a mandate to sing,
a line to scribble and a truth to bring,
to throw your mantle over everything
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