Allen Ginsberg:
The Rock And The Dust
And As Personal As It Got
Copyright Dr Martin Jack Rosenblum

I often heard the settling of the rock in your
Writing and when I sold postcards you
Sent me about werewolves to a library
To buy a guitar keeping photocopies
On that early thin and slimy paper
I wondered if when we spoke
At a protest you were leading in
[Having slept in damp sea air sheets straight as a tent]
San Francisco right after you shaved your beard
You heard the angels as you said you did .
Oh I never doubted what you said but
Got confused when you tried to play
Along with your vision of William
Blake or with Bob Dylan for
Your work inspired Patti Smith (and you cannot
Do the music you heard
Just replace it elsewhere .
Infuse it someplace else as with the skull waters
Rolling over vapid beaches of thin dust in the awful
Noon air along a beach in Maui as I fought demons
That rode in on waves of peculiar fright and elegance :
The small miracles observed not in a text but along the
Spine of the book which had little fissures in it and a
Nervous title written in gold leaf .

Page 2
But Walt Whitman sparkled from the wheels on
Sunday along a dirt road in a vehicle better than
A book upon skull waters rolling and Charlie
Parker was a junkie
A hard bop angel
Or scattered on: omens and curses ripped from the
Magic as I enter this now for real with respect for
Your manic drive to make all things equal
Though they are not
All things beautiful
Though they are not
As well in Life magazine rising from the river in a photo [again coming out of night
air and wet bedding]
Taken in India I wondered what a Jewish hepcat from
America was doing in that sacrificial water for it is dry
Where you came from and very joyous
With no meditation and then the time in
Madison at a love-in when I wandered from
The library and accidentally came upon all these
Folks drifting about something I really did not get
As I was studying William Blake’s canon and so while
Pissing on a bush with you and hearing your Blake
Mumble rasping with the water toppling off leaves
Onto the ground did not realize the Library was
Not where William Blake urinated -
And so went back to my finely wrought books

Page 3
And tore them into shreds that became Objectivist
Rocks not from the dust on shelving but in a batch
Of stuff located in various rooms
Varied locations as your words pushed me
Off into what experience wrote through innocence
Or the apples on the cutting board
They require eating and some small bits of chatter
That just comes in through the window left open .
Your work was too jagged
Too honest to be less than.
And your politics not Doc Holiday’s card game :
So that it all came to me down on the spirit farm
Was as personal as it gets .
And though I would never publish this stream
That is not unlike water dripping from those bushes
I would on the fifth anniversary of your merge into a
Field of raging breath maybe not unlike you
Standing in the alley behind the flash cards
For Subterranean Homesick Blues begin
A howl that is as personal as it gets - for this
Is how your pages turn into references that
Have no spot except in who you were
Tonight in memory’s plain sight
As the only vision that has the unsettling
Rock as so much dust on a bed sheet’s dry curve

This is an oral poetic diatribe on Allen Ginsberg that is not
published but instead spoken on 26 April 2002 in Milwaukee
at a gathering to mark the fifth anniversary of his death.
It is available here for download to your unconscious not
as a poem but as a voice.

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