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Dreaming of Allen Ginsburg on William Burroughs' Birthday


A vaguely familiar location,

East Village, Hoboken, Soho.

He was on the other side of the street.

I thought, I must speak to him.

I knew he was dead.

"Allen, Allen Ginsburg," I called out,

as I walked toward him.

"How is heaven, or wherever you are?"

He was holding something, a gold medallion

or a religious medal, he looked young.

He didn't notice me.

He wandered down the street,

across an intersection.

I called louder, trying to get his attention.

"Allen Ginsberg, Oh Soul, Allen, wait."

He kept walking, in his own thoughts,

like he had someplace he needed to go.

He turned the corner out of sight.

"Allen, Allen, Allen." I shouted,

then stopped, feeling embarrassed,

there were other people on the street,

what would they think? This man

yelling at a ghost, or at empty space -

someone only I could see

named Allen. Maybe they couldn't see me.

I realized I didn't know where I was

& what I was doing there.



[Originally published in NHS 2007, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs07/Bob_Rixon.htm.]