POEM FOR ALLEN GINSBERG by A.D. Winans

I saw the best minds of my generation
Destroyed by success and greed
Smug fashionable poets turned businessmen
Who rode the National Endowment For the Arts pimp train
Ignoring Captain Cool and his magic airplane

I saw the best minds of my generation
Loitering at closed down amusement parks
Self-proclaimed geniuses who tossed restlessly in their sleep
Like a pair of naked dice on a worn Las Vegas craps table

I saw the best minds of my generation
Laying lifeless in glass coffins
Hands folded in self-gratification
Eyes blinking like a pinball machine

I saw the best minds of my generation
Hanging out at San Francisco topless bars
Searching for paradise
Who Championed Stalin at Spec’s Bar
Trading favors like trading cards
Fat and content smoking Cuban cigars
Filling out their poetry festival lineups
Looking like an old dime dance hall queen

I saw the best minds of my generation
Looking like James Bond understudies
Cruising the casinos of Reno and Las Vegas
In between being chauffeured through
The neon lit streets of Atlantic City
Looking for the Now, Wow vision of their
Personal Zen masters
Pretty-faced aging celebrities
Hungry for the admiration connection
Who carried the star fuck media message
Inside their chemically induced minds
Who overcome with ego
Wandered the streets butter-cheeked
And Crisco greased
In search of their 15 minutes of fame

I saw the best minds of my generation
Walking down Hollywood and Vine
Ignoring the long lines of hungry eyes
waiting to devour them
Who floated across congested
Los Angeles freeways
Looking for the right off-ramp
Who stopped to partake the pleasure
Of heated swimming pools
And Roman orgy bathhouses
All the time contemplating their navels
And recording contracts

I saw the best minds of my generation
Bare their not so tight assholes
To aging agents wrapped in silk sheets
Autographed by the King of the Beats
I saw the best minds of my generation
Gangbanging aging groupies
From San Francisco to New York and back
While accumulating frequent flyer miles
Sad-eyed space cadets from the Gregory
Corso School of bad boys

I saw the best minds of my generation
Expelled from Motel Six
for writing bad graffiti
In the men’s room
Who necked in the back alley
Of Gino and Carlo’s Bar
While seeking the favors of Poetry Magazine
In between ATM withdrawals

I saw the best minds of my generation cowering
In New York subways
On their way to literary parties
Lusting after host and hostess alike

I saw the best minds of my generation
Standing naked in fear
Burning out there counterfeit talent
At New York elite restaurants

I saw the best minds of my generation
Listen in terror as the 4-walls
Came crashing down on them
Lady obscurity coming to claim them
Like a faceless hat check girl
Let loose in the morgues of America

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3 Responses to “POEM FOR ALLEN GINSBERG by A.D. Winans”

  1. Ray Foreman Says:

    Al, definitely a masterpiece. Writing this gives meaning to writing that is mountains above the day to day work that floats in the sea that passes for writing petry.

  2. Al, definitely one of my favorite poems that you have written. Powerful with images and emotion! Pleased to see it here.

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