Letter Poem to Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Dear Mr. Ferlinghetti,
or would you prefer to be addressed,
as your majesty?

The poetry capital of the world is really a kingdom with invisible gates of many dismissive decisions,
in our shared hilltop neighborhood being an unknown poet comes with the aura of shame and disgrace,
anyone with a Mac and a few hundred dollars can do the same thing without your blessings or reasons,
printing only 12 books a year doesn’t a publisher make and please read me out once before hitting erase,

Everything done in North Beach comes with a fight because most of your subjects are racing quickly,
the City Lights beam could illuminate the world and only publishes cool-lucky subjects about once monthly,
seeking their fair share of slim recognition from a court that only seems to meet a few times a yearly,
you seem more than satisfied being the cool-hipster-king-of-the-beach with everything being driven politically.

Look all around our North Beach neighborhood to experience the real current of a Beat legacy,
our brothers and sisters are peddling their loose pages of poetry for pennies in the streets,
hang out in front of Specks for a night of smoking and drinking if you don’t believe me,
while the lighthouse of poetry just across the street seemingly richly silently sleeps.

Has it been so long since you published ‘Howl’ that you’ve forgotten what it is howling about so loudly ??
the poets here have met their demise because they came looking for someplace to be heard and belong,
finding a fife-dome instead while the incoming treasure is being used to build a monument to poetic hypocrisy,
unless you’ve made it in some other cool-hipster-writing-club the line for this one is more than decades long.

Leave your backpack at the door and all hope of engagement with it while taking a card instead and go,
you’re really not what we’re looking for they seem to like to say and it’s not very good or anywhere near,
rhyming is annoying as is everything else and you’re not already cool with packaging and wrapping just so,
poets from all over the world come here seeking their dreams of acceptance and find waiting a nightmare.

Roy screams at everyone on the streets because the poet and painter inside has nowhere else to go,
the North Beach kingdom publishing gates closed down his mind and will to write or paint many years ago,
Elvis C. tapes his prose to the walkways and though he’s a drunken thieving lier his work has pretty good looks,
the list is endless and can be viewed at the hotels filled with starving mad poets listed in their guest books.

Many of the most talented subjects in your kingdom are just one step away from begging or dying,
we only live once and you made yours so if you ask me for my worthless opinion as fellow poetic whores,
we the poets of North Beach became this way while living in the silent shadow of a long distance howling,
re-read and embrace your past and let go of the reigns while dissolving your publishing kingdom doors.

Living here has made me a poet mostly against my will and i may be truly bad or mad for thinking like this,
as it stands now the City Lights club is not one in which i wish to belong nor is it likely i’ll be invited this way,
there should be a wall of the empire store for ALL neighborhood writers and poets separated from the abyss,
because that’s what all of our visiting hipster-thinker and readers have come here looking for anyway.



All the best minds are destroyed by madness howling through the street,
starving hysterically naked at dawn and looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly meet,
starry dynamo in the machinery of night with poverty and trixx.

Hollow-eyed and high we sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness,
cold-water flats floating across the tops of contemplating jazz cities,
who bared their brains to just under heaven and saw angels redress,
staggering on tenement roofs illuminating those who pass through universities.

Radiant cool eyes hallucinating about light tragedy among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for seeming crazy & publishing obscene ode,
cowered unshaven in their underwear and burning money in a wastebasket moore,
windows in the skull listening to terror through the busted wall with their beards old,

Belts of marijuana eating fire in a painted hotel room and drinking turpentine to death,
torsos purgatoried themeselves night after night with dreams of drugs as waking nightmares,
alcoholic cocks and endless balling down an incomparable shuddering blind breath,
clouds and mind lightning leaps toward poles illuminating the motionless world between stares.

Peyote solidities in halls of drunkenness down the green backyard tree cemetery at dawn,
rooftops in storefront boroughs take teahead joyrides with neon blinking traffic lights,
sun and moon with tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks and ashcan gone,
kingly lights of mind are chaining themselves now to endless subway rides.

Noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering and mouth-wracked,
battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of zoo’s cerebral detox,
who sank all night in submarine light then floated out and sat through the stale beer back,
fugazzi in the afternoon listening to the desolate crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox.

Seventy hours of continuous talk from the museum park pad to Bellevue then to the bridging,
lost battalions of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops of fire escape doors,
windowsills of empires stake out of the moon while yacketayakking screams and vomiting,
whispering facts of memoric anecdotes through eyeball kicks of hospital jail shocks and wars.

Intellects disgorged in total recall for a week of nights with brilliant eyes of doom,
meat to cast on the pavement vanishes into nowhere zen leaving a trail of empty postcards,
suffering sweats and bone-grinding migraines in a bleakly furnished room,
wandering around and around at midnight wondering where to go next in the railroad yards.

We went without while leaving broken hearts with lit cigarettes in boxcars going slow,
snowstorms toward lonesome farms with grandfather we nightly studied telepathy,
the cosmos will instinctively vibrate at your lonely feet through the streets of Idaho,
visionary indian angels thought they were mad while gleaming in supernatural ecstasy.

Jumping in limousines because of smalltown winter rains near Chinatown,
lounging hungry and lonesome seeking jazz or sex near a fireplace with a group of newbies,
following brilliant conversation about eternity is like a hopeless frown,
ships disappear into volcanoes of lava and ashes with scattered poetry casting shadows of dungarees.

Reappearing and investigating the beards in shorts with big sexy pacifist dark eyes,
skins passing out incomprehensible leaflets with cigarette holes burned into their arms,
protesting with pamphlets the narcotic tobacco haze of capitalistic communist lies,
Union Square is weeping and undressing while the sirens wailed all of the alarms.

Broken down and crying in naked white gymnasiums and trembling before other skeletons,
detectives in policecars shrieked from the neck with delight for committing no crime fits,
wild cooking pederasty and intoxication howling on their knees in the subway stations,
involuntary drunken dragging off of rooftops while waving genitals and manuscripts.

Fucked in the ass again by saintly motorcycle cops screaming with joy,
blew and are blown by those seraphim human sailors of caressive love,
balling in the morning grass of public parks and evening rose-gardens of coy,
in cemeteries we scatter semen freely to whomever comes our way from above.

Endless hiccups trying to giggle but wound up with a sob that sounded like a holler,
partitions of blond & naked fallen angels came to pierce them with a bent sword,
loveboys lost the three old shrews of fate with the one eyed heterosexual dollar,
the shrew winks the womb and sits on her ass while making you extra board.

Olden threads of the craftsman’s loom copulate ecstaticly with a bottle of beer,
packages of sweetheart cigarettes light a candle and fall off the bed of relentless,
continuing along the never ending floor and down the fainting and cracked hall mirror,
visions of an ultimate cunt with come eluding across the last gyzym of consciousness,

Millions of girls tremble in the sunset flashing their buttocks near a naked lake of zeros,
red eyed in the morning and yearning  to sweeten their snatches as our sunrise glows,
whoring through a myriad of stolen night-cars with a book of poems from secret heroes,
joyous memories of innumerable lays in empty lots & diner backyards with rickety rows,

Caves upon mountaintops with gaunt waitresses near a familiar lonely roadside picnick,
uplifting petticoats & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns & hometown alleys,
fading out in vast sordid movies about shifted dreams that  woke with a sudden panic,
basement hangovers with heartless horrors of iron dreams & unemployment valleys.

Snowbank docks doors to open to a room full of steam-heat and opium pipes,
walking in their shoes full of blood they created a great suicidal drama that delivers,
apartments upon cliff-banks under the wartime blur of the moons floodlights,
heads shall be crowned with an oblivion of the imagination and muddy bottomed rivers.

Weeping at the romance in the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and a bad buy,
sitting in boxes and breathing in the darkness under the rising bridge of harpsichords,
vacant lofts coughing on the sixth floor crowned with flame under the tubercular sky,
surrounded by orange crates of theology scribbled all night long rocking the boards,

Rolling over lofty yellow morning incantations we were prosing stanzas of gibberish,
cooking rotten animal lungs with heart tailed borsht & tortillas dreaming of a kingdom,
plunging themselves under meat trucks looking for eggs and throwing off their watches,
cast your ballot for an eternity of clocks in the head each and every day of the next decade,

Wrist cutting successively and unsuccessfully three times giving up with antique stores,
grow old and cry being burned alive in innocent flannel suits amid blasts of leaden verse,
tanked-up clatters of iron regimental fashion nitroglycerin shrieks of the fairies whores,
mustard gases of sinister intelligent editors were run down by the drunken taxicabs hurst’s.

Absolute reality jumped off the bridge and actually happened to walk away unknown,
forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways singing to the lasses,
falling out of subway windows in despair for one filthy free beer or a small loan,
leaping criers all over the streets danced barefoot on smashed wineglasses.

Smashing records of nostalgic jazz and finished the whiskey with a bloody vomitorium,
moaning in your ears are the blast of colossal steam-whistles blowing silently,
barreling down the highways of past journeyies to watch our hotrod jazz incarnation,
driving cross-country in just three days to find a vision of our only eternity.

Journeying to die and come back lonely and brooding waiting in vain,
watching is a way to find out the time for lonesome heroes sedated,
fall on your knees to hopelessly pray for each other’s due salvation,
lights and breasts beam until the soul is momentarily illuminated,

Minds crash in jail impossibly waiting for golden headed criminals to behave,
charms of reality in their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,
retiring to cultivate a habit and rock tenderly to the black locomotive grave,
demanding sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism left with insanity pizazz.

Throwing salad at Dada and then presenting themselves on the madhouse granite steps,
shaven heads and harlequin speec of suicide with family demanding instantaneous lobotomy,
given walls of concrete instead and the void of electro-hydro-psycho-therapeutic pinging amnesiatics,
humorless protests overturned once symbolically resting for an endless moment in a catatonic tsunami.

Returning years later with balding under a wig of blood with wards of madtown madmen pointing tears,
shedding fingers to the visible foetid halls bickering with the echoes of your rocking and rolling truck,
in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love you dream of a life without long nightmares,
bodies turn to stone as heavy as the moon with all of our mothers finally free to fuck,

The last fantastic book flung out at four a.m. of the tenement window suture,
the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply to the sharpened off-set,
the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture,
the yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger in the empty closet.

Imagining nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination for the pleasantly insane,
we are far from from safe while you are really about the total time of the mind we mapped,
suddenly flashing through the icy streets obsessed with the alchemy of the variable vibrating plane,
dreams dreamt with incarnate gaps in space-time through images juxtaposed and trapped,

Archangels of souls between visual images have joined the elemental verbs and nouns,
dashes of consciousness jumping together with the obsession to recreate syntax,
poor humans measure prose and stand before you speechless with sounds,
shaking in rejected shame and yet confused about the naked dance traxx.

Endless souls conform to the rhyming thoughts in my suffering head,
we burn angels to beat the time of putting down unknown destiny,
what comes after death is to reincarnate roses in a ghostly red,
clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow blow the mind nakedly.

Love is like a saxophone cry that shivered down the cities,
aether-waves beat the heart of an absolute poetic life,
butchered up and out of our own broken down bodies,
good to eat for another thousand years of our strife.

Transmogrified from Alan Ginsburg’s “Howl”