Allen Ginsberg: The Beat Messiah

The Terms In Which I Think Of Reality

  • Allen Ginsberg: The Beat Messiah
    Nanya Jhingran

    I begin our journey not with Howl – which is undeniably the most popular example of Ginsberg’s genius – but with this little favorite of mine. Rather short, pithy, it displays both the absurdity, and the honesty in Ginsberg’s poetry. I look forward to our conversation! Feel free to submit other poems, videos, letters, everything Ginsberg (or even Beat) related!

    Reality is a question
    of realizing how real
    the world is already.

    Time is Eternity,
    ultimate and immovable;
    everyone’s an angel.

    It’s Heaven’s mystery
    of changing perfection :
    absolute Eternity

    changes! Cars are always
    going down the street,
    lamps go off and on.

    It’s a great flat plain;
    we can see everything
    on top of a table.

    Clams open on the table,
    lambs are eaten by worms
    on the plain. The motion

    of change is beautiful,
    as well as form called
    in and out of being.

    Next : to distinguish process
    in its particularity with
    an eye to the initiation

    of gratifying new changes
    desired in the real world.
    Here we’re overwhelmed

    with such unpleasant detail
    we dream again of Heaven.
    For the world is a mountain

    of shit : if it’s going to
    be moved at all, it’s got
    to be taken by handfuls.

    Man lives like the unhappy
    whore on River Street who
    in her Eternity gets only

    a couple of bucks and a lot
    of snide remarks in return
    for seeking physical love

    the best way she knows how,
    never really heard of a glad
    job or joyous marriage or

    a difference in the heart :
    or thinks it isn’t for her,
    which is her worst misery.

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