Fuck You, Allen Ginsberg II

I’m writing to you again, Ginsberg.

This time, not as some misplaced pine for a boy I don’t know anymore.

This time, not as a metaphor for the blame I can’t place on anyone else.

This time, it’s just for you.

I guess you could say I refuse to give up my obsession.

I hope you’re rolling in your minty, cancerous grave.

You write pretty words.

Wrote, sorry, you’re dead now,

(You died just before your seventy-first birthday)

(I only know this because Wikipedia told me)

You wrote pretty words.

Pretty, mixed up words that became rantings about sanity and America and Walt Whitman in a grocery store.

Words so pretty even I was convinced that they had meaning.

But you were an ugly man, Ginsberg.

An ugly, mixed up man with a beer belly and stained undershirts and a frizzy, greying beard.

Is it obsession or just disdain?

I don’t much care for you, sir, yet I can’t stop seeing connections to you.

Your real first name is Irwin, and I’m Irvine.

We’re both Jews, which doesn’t really mean anything but it’s there.

We’re both “poets,” I guess, although I don’t think I can put myself at your level because I’m not even twenty and I most certainly do not have poems beloved around the world.

Then again, I have a professor who knew you and he says he doesn’t even consider you a poet,

So maybe neither of us are poets or we’re both “poets” or you’re a poet and I’m nothing yet.

Are we both holy? Holy, holy, holy…

Do you know you spawned a generation of artists who glorify your work?

(Mostly young men)

Who read Howl and smoke pot and think they’re some kind of intellectual.

Dreams, drugs, waking nightmares etc.

But as that aforementioned professor also said, this glorification of your work leads to the glorification of you as a person, and he thinks that you’ve lead plenty of men to be drunks who hit on their creative writing students.

He also thinks you and Kerouac and rock ‘n’ roll and jazz lead to the bastardization of Canada, so who knows if I should trust him.


(Mostly young men)

Who love you, Ginsberg, often turn out to be insufferable, with an idea placed in their heads by “Howl” and On the Road and Kill Your Darlings that doing drugs will make them more of an artist.

You came to the university I now attend

(decades back)

to give a talk and you spent twenty minutes going on about how people are just souls or spirits or whatever and that intergenerational sex shouldn’t be stopped but I don’t think it had anything to do with spirituality,

I just think you wanted to fuck teenage boys in your fifties.

I’m all for free speech, sir, but you were a paedophile.

I can’t separate the artist from his work.

Does any of this even make sense?

What do I know, right?

I’m just a kid, who am I to judge award winning poet Allen Ginsberg?

Another professor said my work reminded her of you, she said a poem I wrote titled “Fuck You, Allen Ginsberg” reminded her of your work.

I was insulted and flattered and found it funny because I’ve only ever read one of your poems.

I mean, it’s hard, right?

Maybe you weren’t all bad.

You were an advocate for gay rights and marijuana legalization and you were against smoking cigarettes which is really, truly, all good with me.

But you were an ugly, mixed-up man.

I’d like to kindly ask you to exit my life.

Which I guess is really more on me than on you.

Fuck you, Allen Ginsberg, if that wasn’t clear enough.

Starving hysterical naked.

Just, fuck you.

Fuck You, Allen Ginsberg

I bought a copy of Howl (And Other Poems) and it made me think about him.

I remember the time we stood outside a pub and both silently realized we had hid our smoking habits from each other when it had mattered what we hid from each other

(eight months back)

His were hand rolled, and I thought of course and laughed in my head.

Mine were minty and cancerous.

I bought a copy of the Pocket Poems Number Four of Howl (And Other Poems) and it made me think about him.

Just like anyone saying Ginsberg or Kerouac or wearing a white fisherman sweater makes me think about him.

And I’m not in love with him anymore, I swear to God and my new boyfriend, I’m not.

Dumplings remind me of him and he was my first love

(eight months back)

but I never told him that.

I remember the place we went to on our third date or something and it was cheap and in London’s tiny Chinatown and he read my short story but I don’t think he understood it.

I bought a copy of the Pocket Poets Series Number Four of Howl (And Other Poems) by Allen Ginsberg with an introduction by William Carlos Williams and I sent him a message

(minty and cancerous)

and it seemed easy and it was the first time we talked since February

(eight months back)

and it’s been three days and I still don’t know how to feel about it.

I don’t even know who he is anymore, to me anymore or who he is anymore.

The day after I bought a copy of Howl (And Other Poems) I walked to a museum and paused occasionally to pull my frigid hands out of my mid-November pockets and type a slow message to him;

A picture of my copy of Howl (And Other Poems) that cost me four dollars and ninety-five cents and “Who am I, 2015’s His Name Here?”

“There are so many better things you can be.”

He carried the same version of Howl (And Other Poems) around in his pockets

(Pocket Poets)

Not sure if he still does but he continued our conversation by admitting he wants to display “Big Howl” (a copy I gifted him for his seventeenth birthday) on the coffee table at his new apartment if his flat-mates will stand for it and if they can find a coffee table.

I remember he used to read passages when he was drunk at parties, an annoyingly, endearingly pretentious habit.

I bought a copy of Howl (And Other Poems) and I’ve read thirteen lines.

I remember when we rolled blunts on his bathroom tiles

(minty and cancerous)

and I remember sleeping in his childhood bed and I remember walking his dog and I remember collapsing halfway up his street and choking on my sadness because I couldn’t let him see me so weak because I was hurt because I remembered because I rode the train alone because I ignored the other passengers because with tears streaming down my flaming cheeks because “I’m a passionate guy” because I was just a kid because it’s been almost two years so why does it hit me like it was yesterday sometimes because I’m not in love with him anymore I swear to God and my new boyfriend and everyone.

So, fuck you, Allen Ginsberg.

Fuck you and your poem for making me feel so much before I even turned a page.