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The Night I Saw Allen Ginsberg

Table of Contents › Poetry ›

Kenyon Wells

I watched with joy and smirked
With great good fortune, pointed,
Surreptitiously for my friends, at
This queer buddha seated in beatific repose
At a plain round restaurant table.
He offered no howl to rend the murmurs
Of the more or less ordinary diners,
Unaware of his singular presence.
He seemed to engage his plate
In a spirited but muted discussion
As he pushed, pulled, and finally lifted
Forkfuls of green and yellow leaves
Into his open smile.
He drank tea, too, between smilefuls
And wiped at regular intervals,
His noble bearded chin,
Using a bluish railroad handkerchief
Fetched with unselfconscious aplomb
From the somewhat shiny sleeve of
His poetic brown corduroy jacket.
The last time I sneaked a look at him
He was seated amid the dishes,
Cross-legged on the table top,
Eating crème brule with a soup spoon,
Chanting "Ooooooooom" and beaming
At each and every one of us.