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Allen Ginsberg

(3 June 1926 – 5 April 1997 / Newark, New Jersey)

The Terms In Which I Think Of Reality


Reality is a question
of realizing how real
the world is already.

Time is Eternity,
ultimate and immovable;
everyone's an angel.

It's Heaven's mystery
of changing perfection :
absolute Eternity

changes! Cars are always
going down the street,
lamps go off and on.

It's a great flat plain;
we can see everything
on top of a table.

Clams open on the table,
lambs are eaten by worms
on the plain. The motion

of change is beautiful,
as well as form called
in and out of being.


Next : to distinguish process
in its particularity with
an eye to the initiation

of gratifying new changes
desired in the real world.
Here we're overwhelmed

with such unpleasant detail
we dream again of Heaven.
For the world is a mountain

of shit : if it's going to
be moved at all, it's got
to be taken by handfuls.


Man lives like the unhappy
whore on River Street who
in her Eternity gets only

a couple of bucks and a lot
of snide remarks in return
for seeking physical love

the best way she knows how,
never really heard of a glad
job or joyous marriage or

a difference in the heart :
or thinks it isn't for her,
which is her worst misery.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Thursday, June 30, 2011

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