Thursday, April 2nd, 2009...12:22 am

s.a. griffin | walt whitman’s beard

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A shadow portrait of myself inside Walt Whitman's bearded photograph hanging at The Hirschhorn Museum in Washington D.C. Walt Whitman, progenitor of all things that might go beat in the night. Photo by S.A. Griffin

A shadow portrait of myself inside Walt Whitman’s bearded photograph hanging at The Hirschhorn Museum in Washington D.C. Walt Whitman, progenitor of all things that might go beat in the night. Photo by S.A. Griffin.

Walt Whitman’s Beard

~ to be read by Zach King-Smith June 27, 2009 at The Riverwood Poetry Festival

write like your ass is on fire
dress reality sandwiches in madness
eat naked lunch
unfuck yourself
pull daisies
wear flipped wigs
ride the railroad earth that never sleeps
live impossible music
that you cannot help but sing
live the way you write because you have to
because you want to
because beat is love
is art is god
and love is all we have
sing it in the shower
sing it in your sleep
in your wake dreaming
beat is your skin’s forwarding address
outlaw is the burning river of your hair
the night alive with visions
the way you invent the air
when the words
come rushing thru
the poem is where the streets collide inside
your bones as wild history
as the unemployed future
unwrapping the present
the 1st amendment hallelujah choir that sings
backup for the blues
the poem is a wilting hatred called the news
an indestructible lotus
that is always the news
a red wheelbarrow in the ancient rain
small like love
an emperor of ice cream being chased down the
lonely street of dreams where you live
your mind erect inside the windy city of change
a bus called further with no destination
Dillinger’s opus gunfire
Homer’s golden fleece
the ghosts of Venice West
tony scibella’s kid in america shopping at the 99 cent store
a funny style cat
The Lady
and poets beware
she is watching
she is listening
Cassady’s hammer
a mile high underground
railroad between left of west Los Angeles
and west of west Denver
beat is whoever and/or whatever the hell you want it to be
it is that sacred promise pumping inside the four walls of
your reality show teaching the dead to sing
a blood river
a rank stranger
it is all things holy
a holy fool
a holy goof
a bottle of smoke
a sore dove on the wing
the myth of youth rocking
to the pneumatic fuck of cities
the free rent inside the apartment of this ongoing moment
the alive people all around you
who are the saints alive
the father most of us never had
and never will and don’t you know
that god is really Pooh Bear
a Times Square junkie called Huncke
the mother Ginsberg bop of be
a vortex sutra
Branaman’s nude eyebrows
an apocalypse rose parade wearing
Charlie Plymell’s final moccasins
Lord Buckley who is always
temporarily strolling thru your garden
shouting, “Hep cats eat everything!”
a river of red wine
Jack Micheline coming in at 90 to 1
riding Skinny Dynamite
the polis of Olson
the unvert of Spicer
the Mingus of Macker
Charlie Parker blowing Bob Kaufman
be an abomunist
join only your hands and legs
swim Ruggle’s lifeguard in the snow
nail yourself to Winans’ second coming press
dance the revolution of Diane di Prima
be a beatnik nun on fire like Philomene Long
and hang your habit inside the rebel cafe
eat co-existence bagels and
holy soul jelly rolls
drink no tomorrow
ride the mother road
wear no seat belts
it is a 1959 Cadillac high on process
sing third class junkmail oracle
give away poems like the welfare department
let the poem fuck freely
rabbits everywhere
as you ride levy’s ghost pony into
Kerouac’s golden eternity
live the book of the dead
cover the world with lines
write Ted Joans lives on every sidewalk
be a happiness bastard
a rat bastard
be completely forgotten
swim in the fallout of Corso’s Bomb
go third eye into that good night
explode and swing with the best minds of
your generation for it is the only
iteration that matters
get Jackson Pollock
remove time’s baggy underwear
skinny dip in the future here now
play wild guitar
live in the shadows
know the light
fear no darkness
beat is a drive in movie till dawn
hummingbird logic
cockroach angels and ministers
Rimbaud in Africa
a meditation
a prayer
a breath
it is nothing
it is everything
forget that I said or wrote any of this
remember where you come from
never know where you are going
get there
you will
paint moustaches on the moon
tag the sun
wear your inside out
be Thoreau talking to Emerson saying
all criminals are outlaws
not all outlaws are criminals
and there are no rules
except the ones you follow
now go

S.A. Griffin 4/1/09


much more on S.A. Griffin can be found here…

Flyer for Walt Whitman's Beard, a two day gig produced by my wife Lorraine and I to help celebrate National Poetry Month, 1996. Back when she was working there as the head of serials. Flyer by Andy Takajian. We also produced a chap with the same name, now there's a poem making this a trifecta.

Flyer for Walt Whitman’s Beard, a two day gig produced by my wife Lorraine and I to help celebrate National Poetry Month, 1996. Back when she was working there as the head of serials. Flyer by Andy Takajian. We also produced a chap with the same name, now there’s a poem making this a trifecta.

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