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


  1. Hi, Jacqueline. Thanks for the link to GuerrillaReads. I'd love to get a submission from you.