Poem pertains to the first reading of "Howl" by Ginsberg in October, 1955.
|BUT TO SLEEP WITH ALLEN GINSBERG
I am determined to sleep with Allen Ginsberg.
He's over there, sloshing down cheap red wine,
tinkering with lines of some new poem.
I sip white, watch and wait,
undo my neckline
one button lower.
You must remember this is 1955.
He steps forward, rising like a rabbi
to us, a curious, cautious congregation
anticipating his first experimental breath.
"I saw the best minds of my generation..."
he bellows, balloons.
I am determined to sleep with Allen Ginsberg...
But this is 1955, the FBI is watching tonight.
He heaves another breath of momentum,
throws himself into a passion.
A rant of defiance, a challenge to system.
We follow his voice, resonant, brave.
I imagine his coarse black beard
tickling over my breast...
But the FBI, U.S. senators are watching tonight.
We want to follow this new Messiah,
chain ourselves to his star.
We want that he rival priests' Sunday sermon.
I am determined to sleep with Allen Ginsberg,
feel his breath enclosed in my nipple-stars...
But this is 1955, the FBI, U.S. senators,
old McCarthyites are watching tonight.
He falls back, exhausted and weeping.
We're wailing back, "Go! Go! Go! Go!"
I want to toss myself to Allen Ginsberg,
make myself his inspiration of flesh...
But the FBI, U.S. senators, old McCarthyites,
the D.A. proclaiming obscene--
The whole world, watching tonight.
I re-do the button of my blouse.
You must remember,
this is 1955.