Monday, April 06, 2009

In Memorium: Allen Ginsberg RIP April 5, 1997

For Allen

A few days later I saw you
seated at a dusty crossroad
looking toward a vista of waterways
reminiscent of a cranberry bog or saltwater marsh,
maybe the river Styx.
A geography of immensity without habitation
where you sat on an old wooden stool,
with books and papers, focused intently.
One familiarity—your Calvin Klein
Goodwill navy blazer, my favorite;
your pens poking out from the pocket.
I stood quietly to your side waiting to assist you
yet not disturb your concentration.
Finished, you handed me a sheaf of papers,
Here, these are for you—for translation.

Then, you got up and walked slowly down the left-hand road.
I followed but you turned to me and said,
This is as far as you are allowed to go, I don’t have the water rights
for your passage—
a hitch of sadness in your voice,
your face mostly impassive, Bell’s Palsy,
one eye bigger, your face a bit cock- eyed,
but looking straight on
as we finished our business together once again
in clarity and respect, our natural elegance
hanging there a second
as we stared at one another.
I watched you walk off and knew you were finally gone.

Text from Primo Pensiero by Jacqueline Gens
Photo by Myles Aronowitz, 1984