Eulogy to Allen Ginsberg
haven't thought of Allen Ginsberg in a long time. He once gave me
a new worldview, new to me, anyway. Among others in the beat generation,
he shaped my thinking. He gave me the idea to float over myself and
my niche, seeing things as a humorous, satirical crow might, looking sideways
at myself as an actor in a spoof on life.
My goal, in 1965,
was to live in a flimsy wooden apartment building in New York, a grimy
place with a dirty naked window, a single unshaded lightbulb dangling from
the ceiling, a dirty old roach infested mattress. I wanted to live
on French bread and red wine, and hang around coffee houses, hearing the
brilliant thoughts of Ginsberg and Ferlingetthi and their friends.
I wanted to suffer for ART, and maybe, maybe, someday, have some brilliant
thoughts of my own.
I forgot to do
that, but some of the time, I have remembered to be the humorous crow.
Did I let them down, or were they a little bit pleased to see another crow
watching the show from outside the circle?
They were, in a
sense, my parents, the Beat Poets and writers. They raised a generation
of us, and now they begin to leave us. They were wise and brave and
outspoken, even in the midst of McCarthyism. Who is as wise and brave
as they? Who can lead our young toward enlightenment when most of
us wallow in a self-centered hole of materialism and fear?
Am I suddenly supposed
to be wise and brave? I need more time!
Hell is when your
gurus die and you aren't ready to take their places.
- Dandelion de la Rue