Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Walk Poem

1 comment:

  1. "A Supermarket In California"
    -Allen Ginsberg

    What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for

    I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache

    self-conscious looking at the full moon.

    In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went

    into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!

    What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families

    shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the

    avocados, babies in the tomatoes!--and you, Garcia Lorca, what

    were you doing down by the watermelons?

    I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,

    poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery


    I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the

    pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?

    I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans

    following you, and followed in my imagination by the store


    We strode down the open corridors together in our

    solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen

    delicacy, and never passing the cashier.

    Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in

    an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?

    (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the

    supermarket and feel absurd.)

    Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The

    trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be


    Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love

    past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?

    Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher,

    what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and

    you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat

    disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

    Berkeley, 1955


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