Voice (7)

They’re All Phantoms of My Imagining

I needed a young musician take off his pants sit down on the bed and sing me the blues
I needed a teacher could nail me to the Unborn
needed a stepmother’d accomplish my natural mother’s tears
a scared friend of fame wearing locks and T’fillin by the Wall of Tears
I needed a brother was gentle, suffered to protect me from anger
needed a nephew lost, left his rice in the refrigerator with a cold spoon
Comrade farmer cook with me & study Banjo Dharma
Needed Presidents mad So I could write the Nation sane
I needed a father a poet would die
Needed the great companion dark eyes wearied brow tender heart
in the grave
needed an intelligent junkie rebuke my shallow thought with dirty wit
an old girlfriend take my picture, give me a bed —
A college to be kicked out Columbia
scandal jail the clang of Iron madhouse to wake my 22’d year
Invented all these compassion, wept & prayed them into flesh
needed these Creatures to be Allen Ginsberg this myself crying the world awake mid oceans of suffering blood
needed to be the liar of Existence in America
Manslaughter showed me the True Falsehood of Law
Needed a Buddha enlightened I be enlightened
a bed to sleep in, a grave to cover my ashes.

October 1, 1983

Allen Ginsberg
from White Shroud Poems 1980-1985

photo credit: via allen ginsberg project

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