On Allen Ginsberg’s Poetry

Jordan McQueen
Jordan McQueen

It may be the case that my generation
believes
in tumultuous celebration of Ginsberg’s poetry;
Cuing unflinchingly
a curtain-call to action,
an eruptive demise of blind tradition,
and audible roars of self-activism.

Perhaps even the generations
sleeping in graves
under cherry trees and magnolia leaves,
believe the same;
As they rinse through revelations
and pathological formularies
of his anti-militarism, counterculture, and
anti-bifurcation of sexual dichotomies –
Granting him
an unconventional status –
not unlike Hollywood beauties –
That has impregnated cults,
sprouted schools of thought,
and catalyzed mechanics
of the naked body.

I do not,
however,
feel my generation
nor the ones
under this universe.

I was reading the poem
New York to San Fran
featured in the February edition of Poetry magazine
during my train ride to Philadelphia
past Monday evening,
and what I felt
was neither arousal nor incitement.
 
On the contrary,
I was swiveling in confusion,
feeling amply homosexual, and caught
in states of hypnosis and hysteria –
A suspended mind, undulating
between tunnels of absolute vacuum
and an explosive crash of all the five senses.
I felt afloat, as if pinned to an air molecule,
between a marble floor and a marmalade sky,
with clouds breaking into sweat and thunder,
windows crashing into symphonic screams,
wooden tables bleeding at their ankles,
winds gushing in kicks and chortles.
I felt paralyzed
by the power of imagery.
I felt humbled by the sounds of Om.
I experienced simultaneously,
emptiness and totality,
suffused adequately with noxious verbiage –
Moans of hydrangeas,
orgasms of pansies,
bursts of poppies and purple periwinkles.
I felt ignited by allusions
to Strauss and Brahms and Beethoven,
and deaths at Wars across gouging oceans.
I felt hypnotized  –
Frozen and speechless, the way I was
by Magritte’s masterpiece from 1938,
Time Transfixed.

Upon reaching 30th Street Station,
I folded my magazine,
rode up the rows of gray escalators,
tapped on a pillar and sang a song.
Feeling volatile –
Like a pinafore of butterflies.
 
Ginsberg did to me
What Summer does to the water lilies–
Stupefy, mesmerize, and hallucinate.
Not roused to action, not incited to violate,
but pushed to the tip of wonder and awe,
Lidocaine-d, anesthetized, and ultimately
set free. TC mark
 

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