April 2015 – PAD: Day 3: Howling at the Moon

On April 3rd 1956 Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg was banned in the United States on the justification that the title poem was obscene. On October 3rd 1957, the court ruled otherwise and the book was published.

Howling at the Moon

with acknowledgement to the late, great Allen Ginsberg

He saw the best minds of his generation
destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked
but he kept on telling it how it was
he just kept on keeping on
at once peering forward with jaded hope
all the while looking back in anger

and the beat goes on

From Kerouac and Burroughs
to Buddha and Waldman
Non-violently shooting from the hip
sticking it to the man in Washington Square
‘Frisco Bay and the north Cascades
the tune the modern poet hums
mindlessly, muselessly comes
subconsciously from the Dharma Bums
love running from Cassady to Orlovsky and always
always to mankind in spite of, because of…
What words now Allen, dear Allen
for the Rainbow Song – you, its very own unicorn are gone?

but the beat goes on

they wanted to silence you then they wanted to fête you
from courtroom to Pulitzer we echoed you
from Vietnam to Bangladesh via the War on Drugs
we followed you, we adore you long after
as you did Blake
They could not shut you up
they will not shut us up
the Rainbow is brighter than ever
the Unicorn lives on in your words
resounding across the generations
still howling at the moon still holding
holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!

I bought my copy in a supermarket in California

and the beat goes on

*the first line is a paraphrase of the first line of Howl and the antepenultimate is the last line of Footnote to Howl

One Response to April 2015 – PAD: Day 3: Howling at the Moon

  1. Pingback: 2015 April PAD: Day 3: Howling at the Moon | Iain Douglas Kemp Writes – Without Anaesthetic

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