for Allen Ginsberg

Here in Santa Barbara,
evening fog obscured
the last few days of Hale-Bopp.


Small stresses of the day
grew more intense
and more absurd
and made me act more generous
in public.


The fall of Easter
eventually confirmed
the spring we had suspected
to have been here all along.

It was midweek
I heard that you
were sick,
now you are a fleeting headline
in the local Sunday news.

Would you have rather
been a locomotive?
You would still be sweating
unrhymed words
drifting into lines
and spreading onto pages
of entire books.

Would you have us all believe
you'd grab a comet by the tail?
You'd know the stripes;
you'd recognize that tiger
burning bright.

The snowball's cloud
has burst
and now
we listen
to the hiss.

We have been
but now
must sleep alone.

For fear of sleep
we're up all night
composing lines on you.

What would you have done?

Who simply wished a bit more time.
Who clawed about for signs of life and came upon the beast itself.
Who'd say anything and often did.
Who I bet would not admit it if you asked him.
Who came from New Jersey and so had a heart.
Who died three deaths in his last week.
Who just needed sleep after all those phone calls.
Who finally will see that it was just a sunflower all along.
Who reminded us of Uncle Walt.<O:P>
Who might have been our last committed supercommunist.
Who made a million dollars with his words.
Who got so caught up in the truth he barely had the time to write.
Whose words were scrawled, instead, on an abandoned farmhouse wall
while outside a snowstorm could foretell the doom,
and it was cold.
Who wouldn't know that farmhouse wall has since been torn down.
Who, the last few years, always seemed to stare in two directions.
Who cried when bullied by the rain, became a teardrop world envisioned
and delighted by the setting of the setting sun.
Who couldn't see the sun, but took up sunning anyway.
Who tranced himself enough to dance: the May Queen of Xbalba.
Who, badgered into thinking we had nothing to connect us
sank into the ocean, leaving nothing to protect us
but a list of words and phrases.
Who tried, but couldn't always get it right, but tried.
Who learned he was a visionary Indian angel.
Who couldn't help but worry that the night would one day
vanish into night.
Who, so sickened, soon retired to his bed, enlightening the corners
of his room.
Who so loved the world, returned to it eventually.

Who could think of lilacs on a morning such as this?

Should we be more emotional
'cause one more ash
drops from a "filtered" cigarette?

And what will happen now?

All of us are up all night.

Ferlinghetti's up all night
with Allen Ginsberg dying.

Allen Ginsberg was a boy who never saw it coming.
Allen Ginsberg couldn't sleep but sleep sure could.
Allen Ginsberg couldn't sleep but now he must.
Allen Ginsberg, you have left us all awake instead.

Keck's Garden's irises go brown
but others are surrounding us.

Even crows are silent.