H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n






“La Goulue” Considers His Lines


O, I could wow ‘em

                  when I had the stage—

                                    I had those boys

singing in the aisles

                  calling out my name with roses


                                    O those hip shakes, O let go!

                  & wild, wild eyes every night

under the lights—


so when you called, I o’erlooked

                  my torso, once without a stitch


                  of fat, & saw I’d not be what I was yet

O the hap of it, to be


in my chartreuse gown & my

                  feathers again, to sing &

                                    leap again—if only once—&

feel my legs carry me up

                  in my fishnet stockings & slippers, to

turn again & sing again—


                  so I dream, alone on my bed, & peer

into that mirror & see

                                    that sweet-faced boy now

                  valiantly—is it age? hoping

to live out some fantasy?—

                  or art, the love, the feel of it—


moving out into those lights &

                  just letting go, letting be, the rush of

breathing in a wild turn,

                                    sighing again


                                    & again, beyond the image

                  we make for ourselves.

                                                      O to come again for you,

come once more

                                    to that dazzling light!



[Originally published in NHS 2001, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs01/cope.html.]