My Alba by Allen Ginsberg


Now that I’ve wasted

five years in Manhattan

life decaying

talent a blank

talking disconnected

patient and mental

sliderule and number

machine on a desk

autograph triplicate

synopsis and taxes

obedient prompt

poorly paid

stayed on the market

youth of my twenties

fainted in offices

wept on typewriters

deceived multitudes

in vast conspiracies

deodorant battleships

serious business industry

every six weeks whoever

drank my blood bank

innocent evil now

part of my system

five years unhappy labor

22 to 27 working

not a dime in the bank

to show for it anyway

dawn breaks it’s only the sun

the East smokes O my bedroom

I am damned to Hell what

alarm clock is ringing


NY 1953


Malest Cornifici Tuo Catullo by Allen Ginsberg


I’m happy, Kerouac, your madman’s Allen’s

finally made it: discovered a new young cat,

and my imagination of an eternal boy

walks on the streets of San Francisco,

handsome, and meets me in cafeterias

and loves me, Ah don’t think I’m sickening.

You’re angry at me. For all my lovers?

It’s hard to eat shit, without having visions;

when they have eyes for me it’s like Heaven.

SF 1955

Malest Cornifici Tuo Catullo : Latin for

Things are bad for your Catullus, Cornificus

The Beats : Allen Ginsberg


On Burroughs’ Work by Allen Ginsberg

The method must be purest meat

and no symbolic dressing

actual visions & actual prisons

as seen then and now.


Prisons and visions presented

with rare descriptions

corresponding exactly to those

of Alcatraz and Rose


A naked lunch is natural to us,

we eat reality sandwiches.

But allegories are so much lettuce.

Don’t hide the madness.

San Jose 1954

A Dream by William Allingham


On, on, a moving bridge they made

Across the moon-stream, from shade to shade

Young and old, women and men;

Many long-forgot, but remembered then,

And first there came a bitter laughter;

A sound of tears a moment after;

And then a music so lofty and so gay,

That eve morning, day by day,

I strive to recall it if I may

Ireland by Francis Ledwidge


I called you by sweet names by wood and linn,

You answered not because my voice was new,

And you were listening for the thousands of Finn

and the long hosts of Lugh.

And so, I came to a windy height

And cried my sorrow, but you heard no wind,

For you were listening to small ships in flight,

And the wall on the hills behind.

And then you called us from far and near

To bring your crown from the deeps of time,

It is my grief your voice I couldn’t hear

In such a distant clime

He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by W B Yeats


Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light;

I would spread the cloths under your feet;

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

The Irish Wolf by James McCarroll


Seek music in the wolf’s fierce howl

Or pity in his blood shot eye,

When hunger drives him out to prowl

Beneath the rayless northern sky:

But seek not that we should forgive

The hand that strikes us to the heart,

And yet in mockery bids us live

To count our stars as they depart.

We’ve fed the tyrant with our blood;

Won all his battles-built his throne-

Established him on land and flood,

And sought his glory next our own.

We raised him from his low estate;

We plucked his pagan soul from hell,

And led him pure to heaven’s gate,

Till he, for gold, like Judas fell.

And when in one long, soulless night,

he lay unknown to wealth or fame,

We gave him empire- riches – light,

And taught him how to spell his name.

But now, ungenerous and unjust,

Forgetful of our old renown,

He bows us to the very dust;

But wears our jewels in his crown.