Sunday, May 6, 2012

POETRY: "My Sad Self" by Allen Ginsberg

to Frank O'Hara

Sometimes when my eyes are red
I go up on top of the RCA Building
             and gaze at my world, Manhattan--
                       my buildings, streets I've done feats in,
                               lofts, beds, coldwater flats
--on Fifth Ave below which I also bear in mind,
                    its ant cars, little yellow taxis, men
                        walking the size of specks of wool--
Panorama of the bridges, sunrise over Brooklyn machine,
        sun go down over New Jersey where I was born
           & Paterson where I played with ants--
my later loves on 15th Street,
       my greater loves of Lower East Side,
             my once fabulous amours in the Bronx
paths crossing in these hidden streets,
    my history summed up, my absences
            and ecstasies in Harlem--
            --sun shining down on all I own
               in one eyeblink to the horizon
                     in my last eternity--
                                            matter is water.

        I take the elevator and go
               down, pondering,
and walk on the pavements staring into all man's
                                                plateglass, faces,
              questioning after who loves,
        and stop, bemused
               in front of an automobile shopwindow
        standing lost in calm thought,
            traffic moving up & down 5th Avenue blocks behind me
                    waiting for a moment when...

Time to go home & cook supper & listen to
                    the romantic war news on the radio
                                         ...all movement stops
& I walk in the timeless sadness of existence,
    tenderness flowing thru the buildings,
           my fingertips touching reality's face,
    my own face streaked with tears in the mirror
           of some window--at dusk--
                                     where I have no desire--
    for bonbons--or to own the dresses or Japanese
                       lampshades of intellection--
Confused by the spectacle around me,
       Man struggling up the street
          with packages, newspapers,
                                     ties, beautiful suits
           toward his desire
       Man, woman, streaming over the pavements
           red lights clocking hurried watches &
              movements at the curb--

And all these streets leading
       so crosswise, honking, lengthily,
              by avenues
       stalked by high buildings or crusted into slums
              thru such halting traffic
                                screaming cars and engines
so painfully to this
       countryside, this graveyard
              this stillness
                                     on deathbed or mountain
       once seen
              never regained or desired
                                  in the mind to come
where all Manhattan that I've seen must disappear.


No comments:

Post a Comment