Meeting Allen Ginsberg (Buffalo, NY, 1975)


A middle-aged Jewish uncle his bald dome
framed by graying locks
a tangled tapestry draping below his ears.

The rhythmic slap of his hands on the drum
his head raised to the ceiling addressing some light that only spoke his name.

"If you want to live, live."
"If you want to die, die."
"If you want to make love, make love."

The college radio manager
told me that he was a prophet
that I should interview him,
a boy with impossibly rosy cheeks a faint mustache
the like that I have seen
on my maiden aunts.

I walked up to him my shambling gait the gone-to-seed crowd around him snickered at this
not yet defiled cherub as I shook his hand a hand I never, really let go of.


from Muddy River Poetry Review, Issue 19, Fall 2018