My history teacher was talking about the failure of the American dream. In our context, of course.

I had a dream, too. It was about writing.

Where am I going with this? I don’t know, really. I wanted to swear off poetry yet I am still here.

A Supermarket in California
Allen Ginsberg

        What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for
I walked down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache
self-conscious looking at the full moon.
        In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went
into the neon fruit supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
        What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families
shopping at night! Aisles full of husbands! Wives in the
avocados, babies in the tomatoes!–and you, Garcia Lorca, what
were you doing down by the watermelons?

        I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber,
poking among the meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery
boys.
        I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the
pork chops? What price bananas? Are you my Angel?
        I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans
following you, and followed in my imagination by the store
detective.
        We strode down the open corridors together in our
solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing every frozen
delicacy, and never passing the cashier.

        Where are we going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in
an hour. Which way does your beard point tonight?
        (I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the
supermarket and feel absurd.)
        Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The
trees add shade to shade, lights out in the houses, we’ll both be
lonely.

        Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love
past blue automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
        Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher,
what America did you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and
you got out on a smoking bank and stood watching the boat
disappear on the black waters of Lethe?

Advertisements

Spent the day wallowing at a friend’s house. I didn’t want to return to school and study, but I have to because exams are on Saturday. I tried to chase these thoughts away by sitting at the balcony, looking at clouds. I took photos all afternoon.

These clouds made me think of an Allen Ginsberg poem:

Song
Allen Ginsberg

The weight of the world
       is love.
Under the burden
       of solitude,
under the burden
       of dissatisfaction

       the weight,
the weight we carry
       is love.

Who can deny?
       In dreams
it touches
       the body,
in thought
       constructs
a miracle,
       in imagination
anguishes
       till born
in human—
looks out of the heart
       burning with purity—
for the burden of life
       is love,

but we carry the weight
       wearily,
and so must rest
in the arms of love
       at last,
must rest in the arms
       of love.

No rest
       without love,
no sleep
       without dreams
of love—
       be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
       or machines,
the final wish
       is love
—cannot be bitter,
       cannot deny,
cannot withhold
       if denied:

the weight is too heavy

       —must give
for no return
       as thought
is given
       in solitude
in all the excellence
       of its excess.

The warm bodies
       shine together
in the darkness,
       the hand moves
to the center
       of the flesh,
the skin trembles
       in happiness
and the soul comes
       joyful to the eye—

yes, yes,
       that’s what
I wanted,
       I always wanted,
I always wanted,
       to return
to the body
       where I was born.

The weight of the world is love. Maybe if I tell it to myself more often, soon enough I’ll believe it.