A Mind Market In Oregon

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Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlofsky-Naked
This was written 10 years ago, almost to the hour the day Allen Ginsberg died. In the morning he died, before I knew that he was dead, I picked up "Howl" and a few other books at a bookstore in Ashland, Oregon. You see, I was a teacher of crazed juvenile delinquents at the time and I was constantly giving a student interested in poetry, "Howl." I read Howl at a cafe called Daddy O's; I ate a sandwich called The Sacred Cow. It was a good sandwich. Then I went back home and learned of Ginsberg's death. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of Ginsberg's work, but I appreciate all that he did in the name of poetry and peace. Interestingly, I had worked my way through the Modernists by this time and was fully studying Whitman's work at the time when Ginsberg died. More at the behest of Lawson Fusao Inada. Though reading Whitman as a 30 year old man is more appropriate then reading him as a 20 year old man.

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What thoughts of you I have tonight, Allen Ginsberg, in a holy shroud of poetics and lysergic language, more dead then alive past this evening's light

Where the streets writhe in ancient agony, morning comes as to little surprise, an aftermath in a dawn of cyber bookstores and virtual cafes

Where we sit and drink an artificial energy drink, talking frenetically of 'a map of a mind' and the essence of spent spoons and too much sugar

Who gave us impetus to shred our skulls to wander from staggered drained lost epiphanies, to lose ourselves in patterns of hallucinogenic entropic visions from memory in a school yard in awe of asphalt waiting for my mom to be done with her Jazzercise class when I was 15

Where the walls and ceiling of Dairy Queen breathed in fluorescent light, wondering about when your America was gone in the golden age of whispers and half-truths in the Eisenhower Era with the blatant gore of racism and Mile's so high, a blue man's listless surge through blue bars

Where I wandered into The Blue Dragon bookstore, mapping my thoughts with weed and caffeine, digging for poetry

Where I found Howl, Zora Neal Hurston and Cortazar's Hopscotch, unaware that you had shirked your vehicle this morning and I then eating a sacred cow read your words of jazz and history in Daddy-O's

When my father would dream in the memory of his generation living in a post-war Utopia of Suburbs along rivers and a booming timber industry

Who dreamt of Red Rider, lizards and God on Latin tongues untold would not speak your words, not even in heaven, while Kaufman dredged non-sense for sense and Burroughs got down in Junk, and Karoac and Cassidy belched fire and disbelief in freak filled binges of tea and tapes and speed, all visions in history

Where herstory never told nor sung, lost among some thistle-weeds and brambles on sea-shores, while you from land to land across oceans beat truths unheard of in our white houses at home

Where I remember the stench of my electric sweat in a park filled with ominous outhouses, all metal mouthed and Moloch groaned in the trees across a creek nonsense and I terrorized and alone drove home to find the Circle Jerks on TV, my parents porpoises and all this without going down

When naked, this actually happened, too, street lights beckoned me in brown, dirt fields stripping my lethargic soul away from my wild mind and my young flesh, staring at hallucinating truths at 8 O'Clock at night and my first horrific breath

So where are you now, Allen Ginsberg, how are you known? Are there lots of young men? And who will speak now that you are gone?

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