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Tired but awake,
Oh Ginsberg and Kerouac -
I am beat
Thoughts begin to racquetball,
of Ginsberg’s peaches and Whitman’s lilacs
in a field of green and Diane Di Prima,
just Diane Di Prima, in her translucent garb,
completely exposed
as vulnerable as can be, breaking a heart
in every line

Then they bounce off to other places,
like the milk you forgot to buy,
or the mildewed laundry you’ll have to hang
on the flank-y drying rack
in the afternoon moon,
or that long-awaited
from a friend
taking up space,
while dust bunnies flop around,
left and right, with every hesitant
primordial blow
that you feed them

Then again, back to
Auden’s weighing clocks, ticking away
at something you can’t quite grasp
or would like to, as the signal
n stiles carmona Jan 2021
Where'd you wander off to? I was one lonesome night-shift from writing another piece entirely – Allen y Federico, chasing Whitman as he climbs the paywall guarding Bohemia, ashen fog of beard left trailing in his wake. Ah, but here you are, my High Court of Muses! Lavender castoffs of two mechanical empires, camped outside on the supermarket pavement: awaiting a dawn delayed by the skyscrapers it hides behind. The Best Minds Left Standing... Lorca’s feet beating faraway Gitano rhythms; Ginsberg spouting love-letters re: the weeds’ anarchic growth from the concrete cracks... and one smaller sycophant.

I’ve offerings of oranges – Spanish nostalgia reduced to contraband – ‘stolen’, bruised, saved from dumpster fates. Wouldn't you have done the same? Isn’t food waste just state-sanctioned sacrilege? Naranjas, clementinas, full miniature moons split into crescents: I figured (halved) you'd (quartered) be starved (eighths). You savour each sacred drop of juice in ways I've yet to master. I’d always been preoccupied with expiry dates... Moloch who sets up shop inside my brain... yet time melts between my lips and I am with You under UV floodlights. I am with You where the overhead glow may not be starlight but it’s not the worst alternative. I am with You – until the checkout boy steps out for a cigarette and when Allen’s eyes follow in pursuit, I’ve lost him again. Holy, he mutters into his final segment of fruit; holy, I repeat, imagining Eve’s overeager sprint into the wide-open prisons of thought.
    I am a woman cloved in two, better half wrapped in citrus peel and tied with string – para tí, maestro Lorca. Does it bother you that these buildings stand closer to the Sun than you could have ever reached? Yet you were nothing short of an Icarus, and how close you came! Abstract wings borne from words and notoriety! Your mythology was written to fit a flamenco guitar – if they don’t know that, they don’t know you – through musical folklore, Franco tried to **** that which was immortal. His legacy is a nation of graves and a granddaughter in the gutter press.
    I begin to feel that history is a ripple-effect of looking over one’s shoulder and deciding “you’d hate it here.” There’s always the dawn. You wait for it with practised patience – pervasive optimism – the ability not to end an “always was” with “and always will be”. Is it all you’d waited for? Has time diminished its novelty? Will you write it down and tell me what I’d slept through?
    Out cold, you turn me onto my side so I don’t choke when Moloch finds his way out.
just a writing exercise rly lol. direct response to ginsberg's 'a supermarket in california' about his literary hero, walt whitman (i feel like it'd make even less sense without having read that beforehand). one day i'll write something that isn't too long for folks to bother reading - until then...
f Jan 2021
why did that
grilled cheese make me sad?
sometimes i think it would be
easier to be a painter
with colors instead
of words in their head
or a photograph
whose retina self-absorbed
cans of blue cheese
and stinky farts that
pop out ***** *******
of master electricians
while plugging in light bulbs

i give up lol
Marco Aug 2020
Here, starry, open road
   the promise of finding God or Yahweh or Buddha
   on the highway,
the roof down, wind in our hair and dirt,
   red sand of the canyon vast around us, setting sun and personal American dream,
   drifting further into your arms and our souls mile by mile,
the burning blue of the sky ahead, inflamed by all the reds and oranges the dying sun can
    possibly bleed,
and my hand, drifting on the driving wind,
   finds its way into your heat-swept hair, soft and dark and handsome,
   all memory of cold end of '47 erased in the face of your warmth
as we fly down the street -
   I'm sorry I only gave us six decades,
   I would have aimed for more if I'd known about your untimely nightfall…
-but this Cadillac is stolen, fast, free and green;
   wheels burning hot in their devotion to carry us anywhere,  
   the leather backseat our warm and welcome marital bed,
for this, surely, is our honeymoon -
Yes, indeed, we got engaged in that small cot in Harlem,
   said "I do" on the cool, cracked asphalt of some nightly Texan road.
You promised me forever,
   swore me eternal love & friendship in your own voice,
  with your own words -
     the sweet, darkest-soul-illuminating true Western twang of your blue-eyed,
     full-and-clear-hearted vow.
What of it now?
   Where your voice? Where your face, your knees, your hands -
   Where your shoulders made strong by carrying all of
   Where your feet glued to gas pedals and roadside sand,
   where your soles -
Where your soul but up in Heaven, surely?
   Up in Heaven…

And us - him, me, her -
   left behind, to drown in ***** or go mad with longing,
   to be forgotten by the dead.
And nothing of you now
   but highway ashes and lovesick poems, black-and-white camera roll…
inspired by Allen Ginsberg's writings about Neal Cassady
Marco Aug 2020
Holy, black typewriter, frenzied,
spits out strangers’ love letters, desperate, the ink band half dried
(but ultimately returns to its grave of  dust).
Withered books, yellow pages carelessly leafed through, devoured
(pay no heed to the traffic - walk and read),
falling from one pain into the next;
such are beginning and middle of these days...
And benzedrine fever dreams are fleeting,
as elusive as great insane private revelations
mentioning Ginsberg and Hendrix by name
- a swirling fata morgana of Buddha, Dharma, cult,
and a thousand angelic punks, punk angels, safety-pin-winged,
dreams about Neal and I (not I) being cops -
revealed to my hands in a crazy stupor, darkening and
illuminating the whole café, unaware-

and I know that Marlon knows a jeweler, knows
his hands -
how does that fit in here?

These days waste by, racing, crash-trickling like waterfalls,
like the Niagara Falls that made Joe cry -
and now I watch him cry,
shamelessly, inconsolable in the face of beauty,
crying like he’s never seen water,
as he hands me another case - Morpho menelaus -
dead, killed, (killed on Denver roads), escaping freedom
in the giant hands of a not-so-average Joe (secret hero of this poem),
his eyes glued on life, and full of tears
and his dad didn’t want a daughter neither, wanted no children at all-
And down in Mexico (where he is now, or was last)
the plywood violin plays the open-highway-blues
for a not-so-sober Jack who loves and hates and loses.
Somewhere amid the British-American chaos: a pair of twins
suffered at the hands of their mother,
suddenly forgotten on the road...

Speaking of “mother”: Soon I’ll miss a wedding, and
- come to think of it - so will Jack, won’t he,
the other one,
with his red lips and olive green canvas, with his
made-in-vietnam imitation of
father Dunkirk’s blood, fallen soldier, 1916 Jesus didn’t rise -
How to lose my mind positively, flush out the memories?
Swimming at midnight: the cold lake homely in my bones
all washed over by iodine-orange water.
Mark hums sweet country tunes, wheat between his lips, "hey la, my boyfriend's back" -
and the sun never sets
and the coffee is always cold
and all the pages are black.
And Springsteen lies on the nightstand, his spine turned to me,
sharing his makeshift bed with Kerouac and butterflies, and

a cruel storm of stories that sends my head spinning
makes it so that - unable to form in the hurricane -
poems cower in the back of my throat
like predators waiting to jump on their prey, and -
any minute now, I beg them, any moment-
but they shake their Rottweiler heads and bare their crocodile teeth,
taunting me, saying
that the wordy intelligence of others dumbs me down,
burns me out, charcoals my brain with the soot,
leaves me without originality; no
mind for my own words, no
regard for the verses crying to happen, only
the need to write, write, write,
stupidly, like a dog is forced by instinct,
the insatiable need to spill, to transform, to twist, distort, to prophesy, to-

Some  journal entry reads: healthy coping. Think:
Growth is inevitable.
God is inevitable!
Pain, and fury, and love, are inevitable! Luck -
To take this earth and make it yours,
this oyster,
and realize that it’s also everyone else’s;
(boys, no, kings of summer)
inevitably working together to create beauty,
only one glass case away from bewitching your living room,
from taking its seat right beneath the busy hand of God
and hold up the mirror:
this beauty was you all along. And me. And Him,
and everyone else.
This Father wanted a Son, wanted a daughter, even,
this close to the face and hand and chest of God,
the old fear of 23 turns into excitement
with all our eyes, full of tears, glued on life -
even now -
This is, essentially, a summary about my July in 2020.
It was disturbing enough
to wake me
in total darkness
And I chose then
in my kind of horror
to go to the bathroom to ***
Shaking my head
In the wee hours
Not again
Why does this always happen to me?!
Not only is he a ghost
He’s a very old ghost
So what am I supposed to do with that?

She was dead serious
This voice in my head if you will
‘But you don’t understand’ she explains
And I wonder where this is going?
‘He’s in love with you’

Now what?

There’s a list somewhere
that I compiled years ago
Of questions that never had the chance
to be posed
Although approved officially by Robert
and perhaps by Bob as well
I was going to revise it
to make them even more
Robert said that I was a genius
but to stop showing off
Questions concerning Jack,
Mass media,
The World War
in which they never fought
not for one second.
I think now
that I would like to have added
Something regarding
middle class conventions
and their subsequent
And what it must have been like
to aspire to them
In the 40s
When instead there was
Times Square and The Village
****** and Bop
Errant ****** activities
And the San Remo
Huncke suicided
by misbegotten sidewalks
And hapless blue precincts

Robert mentioned a brief car ride taken
in some Confederate State
Maybe he was in the backseat
and a joint was passed to him
who doesn’t indulge
if you will
Although pulmonary carcinoma
would claim him in no time at all
It was his finest moment
Sandwiched gleeful between these two
The radio not working
Now they are all dead
And I would like to think
That they are together again
encased in squeaky automotive  
Somewhere unearthly

Laying in bed
before sleep comes
in the new year
KNX newsradio
read the press release
It was cancer
It was terminal
There would be nothing further
and I said nothing the following morning
Staring at a wall of books and
climbing along on a rolling wooden step ladder
This isn’t even my department
The people coming through the door
were grim and silent
having bought their plane ticket to NY
To sit by his bedside
While he lay in coma
With Bessie Smith records
play softly nearby
and atmospheric
This was not a time for personal aspirations
Nor nursing the loss of a regretfully
jettisoned exchange
And although I had been warned previously
About a certain someone being
and possibly ******
and very short-tempered
and I had wondered
how it would all go down
On the telephone
The two of us had shared a brief
‘What is he looking at?’ moment
That time here in LA
He staring at me from
a bit of a distance
on the court
And me in my chair with yet another
turning my head around to look behind me
to see again nothing
(God knows how many times)
Until I
An idiot
Realized that it was me that was
The subject of his eye
And I thought again
As I had done in the morning mirror
My god
My hair looks terrible

That list whereever it is
Perhaps in that laptop
That leans against my bedroom wall
on the floor
over there to my left
The one that I always pass
On my way to the john
The one that I stumble by
in the dark,
THAT list that exists
in my brain,
THAT I still tinker with,
THAT list exists
I would like to think
in both;
a list of questions that will always have
no answers.
To Allen
Who loves me.
Tyler Matthew Jun 2019
I watched the morning newscast
and found my mind straining to
get out.
Out into a widening desert,
sky open and black above save for
the piercing light of billions of stars
like holes in a living room curtain.
You can call me crazy for it,
but I thought I saw Ginsberg
looking at me through the window
with a sunflower behind his ear.
In fact, I'm almost certain this was anything but an hallucination as my cat pounced at the window
(she never liked my poems either, Allen)
and startled me back into reality.
The television, right, the newscast.
Nuclear bombs and
tariffs on Mexican goods and
oh look, the president is playing golf with the Queen.
I turned it off when I saw he hit a bogey,
parted the curtains, and thought, "That's it, I'm pleading insanity. See you in Bellevue, Allen."
Ron Gavalik Jan 2019
The guy who wore a scarf at the bar,
he chose not to write
because he's ‘no Hemingway.’
I told him no one stops me.
Memories of Ginsberg, Frost, Thomas,
and even Bukowski's drunken ghost
make me feel at home in my words.
That didn't change the guy's mind,
so I told him to drink up
and do something else.

-Ron Gavalik
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