Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Jesus! I Paid Money For This!"

For Allen Ginsberg - 1980 Recital, Bisbee, AZ

Sitting on a hard-backed folding metal chair
with today's sour lunch roiling
in my intestines,
I can really appreciate you Allen!

Wanting nothing more than a healthy shit
in a reasonably clean toilet,
I sit here squirming in pain,
marveling at the similarity
between my bowels' discomfort
and the sight of an aging faggot
masturbating his senses
with a queer rhythmic rocking
and twitching.

The Port-A-John outside
this deconsecrated church where you vomit
inane repetitious pathos
offers no sanctuary.
It has no lights
and some men don't care where
or on what they piss.
Much like you I'd say, Allen.

Perhaps my gastronomical distress
will produce an appropriate applause.
Perhaps this pain will be worth it
when a thunderous stinko fart claps
its response to your performance.

Now THAT would be a poem, Allen!

OK - I can see the torches being lit and the rope being knotted into a nice noose. Get over it. I wasn't a homophobe then and I'm not now. I was less intimidated to speak my mind back then, nor wasI afraid to use language that only those who were actually what was being named could use. This was written on the back of a paper plate on a Bisbee sidewalk shortly following Ginsberg's recital. After I destroyed the restroom in the Hotel Bisbee, actually, with a stench that probably still lingers today. The black bean burrito lunch consumed in some aging hippie granola-crunching restaurant nearly killed me. They probably never read the warning signs about washing your hands. But back to Ginsberg. Yes, I know how he strode like a giant acress the literary stage. He was the originator of rant as literature. Who am I to argue with the critics? There was a slate of poets that weekend. Two stand out. Ginsberg - who completely disappointed me - some poets just shouldn't be allowed to read their own work! Jared Carter - who blew me away. Then a bunch of others, some of which became famous - or as famous as poets tend to get these days. To be honest - I think Ginsberg himself would have liked this poem. If you are offended - sorry. If you like this poem because you think it bashes gays - you're an idiot and you didn't get it!


  1. Jeez, Bill, is this still bothering you? Ha, ha.

    Remember talking with Bobbie Louise Hawkins on the porch of the Copper Queen after the reading?


  2. Surfed onto your blog earlier today and was impressed by the photo. In your remarks on your poem about A.G., I was touched that you remembered me from my one visit to Bisbee, many years ago. Also, thanks for listing my first collection as one of your “Favorite Books.” Maybe someday our paths will cross again!