Sound Familiar?

The news that Barack Obama is willing to support amnesty concerning illegal wiretapping of American citizens by the communications companies,(see: (presumably  as a piece of real- politic to gain the White House) reminded me of this bit of prose by Allen Ginsburg, written almost fifty years ago in July, 1959. 


“The stakes are too great-an America gone mad with materialism, a police-state America, a sexless and soulless America prepared to battle the world in defense of a false image of its authority. Not the wild and beautiful America of the comrades of Walt Whitman, not the historic America of William Blake and Henry David Thoreau where the spiritual independence of each individual was an America, a universe, more huge and awesome than all the abstract bureaucracies and authoritative officialdoms of the world combined.

Only those who have entered the world of spirit know what a vast laugh there is in the illusory appearance of worldly authority. And all men at one time or other enter that Spirit, whether in life or death.

How many hypocrites are there in America? How many trembling lambs, fearful of discovery? What authority have we set up over ourselves, that we are not as we are? Who shall prohibit an art from being published to the world? What conspirators have power to determine our mode of consciousness, our sexual enjoyments, our different labors and our loves? What fiends determine our wars?

When will we discover an America that will not deny its own God? Who takes up arms, money, police, and a million hands to murder the consciousness of God? Who spits in the beautiful face of poetry which sings of the glory of God and weeps in the dust of the world?”

0 thoughts on “Sound Familiar?

  1. hi steve,
    read your blog entry this morning, then a little james tate. here’s one for you:
    Little Poem With Argyle Socks
    Behind every great man
    there sits a rat.
    And behind every great rat,
    there’s a flea.
    Beside the flea there is an encyclopedia.
    Every now and then the flea sneezes, looks up,
    and flies into action, reorganizing history.
    The rat says, “God, I hate irony.”
    To which the great man replies,
    “Now now now, darling, drink your tea.”
    Hope you’re all safe and dry. Here in California, a fog of wildfire smoke has covered the bay.


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