Friday, May 27, 2011

Speaking of the beats . . .

When I wrote that Kerouac-esque poem I remembered in college I was supposed to write the college life's version of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" for an assignment. I have dug it up and transcribed it here:



I saw the best souls of my university destroyed by apathy, compromise, stubborn and easy ignorance, dragging themselves through books and friends looking for fulfillment,
hipsters plunging covetous for academic, physical, or emotional power into late-night libraries gymnasiums and coffee-houses
who read Sedaris out loud in public places under eyes and someone laughs
who walk the sidewalks and burst out into loud songs that do not glorify the self
who stretch arms with eyes closed and open mouths flooded with noise
who masturbate wild in bedrooms, bathrooms and prayer closets
who speak in tongues in small groups and share the latest visions of the night
who tongue their girlfriends in havens in Jackson with booze and marijuana
who intelligently discuss the news and God while drinking tea brewed in a teapot
who speak to God with each other for hours crying hugging and giggling
who sit around the tables eating never-ending attempts at making the others laugh
who pour chunky vegetable soup on bodies and beds with warning
who gather with new poems and Starbucks every week desperate for a line of worth
who walk calmly to the staircase at 3 A.M. and smash the great nerf gun into tiny bits
we keep telling our stories, the embarrassing ones we keep to ourselves, and we cry eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani because we know we are not who we are and this is just a few years and then we’ll be okay, but maybe forever we won’t and we don’t know what to do.


What clock tower shaded the base innocence and illuminated youthful pride and youthful desire?
Moloch! Pretense! Agitation and unobtainable peace! Misguided community!
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the self-loving! Music Moloch! Moloch the way we dress!
Moloch who smiles too much or not enough! Moloch who doesn’t recognize God! Moloch in always being where everyone else is!
They are restless lifting Moloch up to where it doesn’t belong!


I’m with you in Ormston
where you’re with God more than I am
I’m with you in Ormston
where you battle against social rewards
I’m with you in Ormston
where you can sing only until quiet hours
I’m with you in Ormston
where you pray for revival
I’m with you in Ormston
where you cry O the condition of man
O call us Hebzibah O Shekinah come we want Your power
I’m with you in Ormston
in my dreams we leave with nothing and become pilgrims, like the true children we were created to be