Wednesday 8 April 2015

G is for Ginsberg

Today's letter brings you yet another Beat poet in Alan Ginsberg. I liked this photo, the cloud of cigarette smoke seems to sum up the 1950s to me. I confess I don't know much of his work and found 'Howl' to be utterly impenetrable, but this one I rather like. It was written much more recently (1980) but has the same political anger and rather in-your-face attitude.

(homage to Kenneth Koch)

If I were doing my Laundry I'd wash my dirty Iran
I'd throw my United States, and pour on the Ivory Soap, scrub up Africa, put 
all the birds and elephants back in the jungle,
I'd wash the Amazon river and clean the oily Carib & Gulf of Mexico,
Rub that smog off the North Pole, wipe up all the pipelines in Alaska,
Rub a dub dub for Rocky Flats and Los Alamos, Flush that sparkly Cesium out of Love Canal
Rinse down the Acid Rain over the Parthenon & Sphinx, Drain Sludge out of the Mediterranean basin & make it azure again,
Put some blueing back into the sky over the Rhine, bleach the little Clouds so snow return white as snow,
Cleanse the Hudson, Thames & Neckar, Drain the Suds out of Lake Erie
Then I'd throw big Asia in one giant Load & wash out the blood & Agent Orange,
Dump the whole mess of Russia and China in the wringer, squeeze out the tattletale Gray of U.S. Central American police state,
& put the planet in the drier & let it sit 20 minutes or an Aeon till it came out clean.

(Linking back to the A to Z Challenge)


  1. Thanks for a great and fun read! Love the wit. Howl can be too howly, agree with you there.


  2. He sounds very angry to me. Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

    Smidgen Snippets & Bits


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