Death Poems - Poems For Death - Death &Amp; Fame

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Death &Amp; Fame - Poem by Allen Ginsberg

When I die
I don't care what happens to my body
throw ashes in the air, scatter 'em in East River
bury an urn in Elizabeth New Jersey, B'nai Israel Cemetery
But l want a big funeral
St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Mark's Church, the largest synagogue in
Manhattan
First, there's family, brother, nephews, spry aged Edith stepmother
96, Aunt Honey from old Newark,
Doctor Joel, cousin Mindy, brother Gene one eyed one ear'd, sister-
in-law blonde Connie, five nephews, stepbrothers & sisters
their grandchildren,
companion Peter Orlovsky, caretakers Rosenthal & Hale, Bill Morgan--
Next, teacher Trungpa Vajracharya's ghost mind, Gelek Rinpoche,
there Sakyong Mipham, Dalai Lama alert, chance visiting
America, Satchitananda Swami
Shivananda, Dehorahava Baba, Karmapa XVI, Dudjom Rinpoche,
Katagiri & Suzuki Roshi's phantoms
Baker, Whalen, Daido Loorie, Qwong, Frail White-haired Kapleau
Roshis, Lama Tarchen --
Then, most important, lovers over half-century
Dozens, a hundred, more, older fellows bald & rich
young boys met naked recently in bed, crowds surprised to see each
other, innumerable, intimate, exchanging memories
"He taught me to meditate, now I'm an old veteran of the thousand
day retreat --"
"I played music on subway platforms, I'm straight but loved him he
loved me"
"I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone"
"We'd lie under covers gossip, read my poetry, hug & kiss belly to belly
arms round each other"
"I'd always get into his bed with underwear on & by morning my
skivvies would be on the floor"
"Japanese, always wanted take it up my bum with a master"
"We'd talk all night about Kerouac & Cassady sit Buddhalike then
sleep in his captain's bed."
"He seemed to need so much affection, a shame not to make him happy"
"I was lonely never in bed nude with anyone before, he was so gentle my
stomach
shuddered when he traced his finger along my abdomen nipple to hips-- "
"All I did was lay back eyes closed, he'd bring me to come with mouth
& fingers along my waist"
"He gave great head"
So there be gossip from loves of 1948, ghost of Neal Cassady commin-
gling with flesh and youthful blood of 1997
and surprise -- "You too? But I thought you were straight!"
"I am but Ginsberg an exception, for some reason he pleased me."
"I forgot whether I was straight gay queer or funny, was myself, tender
and affectionate to be kissed on the top of my head,
my forehead throat heart & solar plexus, mid-belly. on my prick,
tickled with his tongue my behind"
"I loved the way he'd recite 'But at my back allways hear/ time's winged
chariot hurrying near,' heads together, eye to eye, on a
pillow --"
Among lovers one handsome youth straggling the rear
"I studied his poetry class, 17 year-old kid, ran some errands to his
walk-up flat,
seduced me didn't want to, made me come, went home, never saw him
again never wanted to... "
"He couldn't get it up but loved me," "A clean old man." "He made
sure I came first"
This the crowd most surprised proud at ceremonial place of honor--
Then poets & musicians -- college boys' grunge bands -- age-old rock
star Beatles, faithful guitar accompanists, gay classical con-
ductors, unknown high Jazz music composers, funky trum-
peters, bowed bass & french horn black geniuses, folksinger
fiddlers with dobro tamborine harmonica mandolin auto-
harp pennywhistles & kazoos
Next, artist Italian romantic realists schooled in mystic 60's India,
Late fauve Tuscan painter-poets, Classic draftsman Massa-
chusets surreal jackanapes with continental wives, poverty
sketchbook gesso oil watercolor masters from American
provinces
Then highschool teachers, lonely Irish librarians, delicate biblio-
philes, sex liberation troops nay armies, ladies of either sex
"I met him dozens of times he never remembered my name I loved
him anyway, true artist"
"Nervous breakdown after menopause, his poetry humor saved me
from suicide hospitals"
"Charmant, genius with modest manners, washed sink, dishes my
studio guest a week in Budapest"
Thousands of readers, "Howl changed my life in Libertyville Illinois"
"I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided be a poet-- "
"He turned me on, I started with garage rock sang my songs in Kansas
City"
"Kaddish made me weep for myself & father alive in Nevada City"
"Father Death comforted me when my sister died Boston l982"
"I read what he said in a newsmagazine, blew my mind, realized
others like me out there"
Deaf & Dumb bards with hand signing quick brilliant gestures
Then Journalists, editors's secretaries, agents, portraitists & photo-
graphy aficionados, rock critics, cultured laborors, cultural
historians come to witness the historic funeral
Super-fans, poetasters, aging Beatnicks & Deadheads, autograph-
hunters, distinguished paparazzi, intelligent gawkers
Everyone knew they were part of 'History" except the deceased
who never knew exactly what was happening even when I was alive

February 22, 1997


Comments about Death &Amp; Fame by Allen Ginsberg

  • Gold Star - 11,674 Points Michael Morgan (12/30/2014 11:35:00 AM)

    Bravo! A sympathetic self-portrait/eulogy, though the self-as-subject-type expressionism would boggle even Whitman. Lots of good characterizations, here; lots of nice ghostly evocations; lots of nicely palpable sensual data. Creating a sympathetic self- the geist of the poem- is perhaps Ginsberg's forte. Curiosly observant of the tradition wherein the deceased is visited by 'presences' with whom he interacted. Only natural, I suppose. (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie Pha Thanh Gian (4/27/2005 10:59:00 AM)

    Nice poem! Lots of sensual and vibrant emotions infused in 1 long self-eulogy! Daring and intimate... (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Poems About Death

  1. 1. Let Me Die A Youngman's Death , Roger McGough
  2. 2. And Death Shall Have No Dominion , Dylan Thomas
  3. 3. Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  4. 4. Death Is Nothing At All , Henry Scott Holland
  5. 5. Because I Could Not Stop For Death , Emily Dickinson
  6. 6. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O.. , Dylan Thomas
  7. 7. Nothing But Death , Pablo Neruda
  8. 8. A Poet's Death Is His Life Iv , Khalil Gibran
  9. 9. A Dream Of Death , William Butler Yeats
  10. 10. Father Death Blues , Allen Ginsberg
  11. 11. A Death Blow Is A Life Blow To Some , Emily Dickinson
  12. 12. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , William Butler Yeats
  13. 13. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner , Randall Jarrell
  14. 14. Death Wants More Death , Charles Bukowski
  15. 15. A City's Death By Fire , Derek Walcott
  16. 16. The Beauty Of Death Xiv , Khalil Gibran
  17. 17. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An .. , Phillis Wheatley
  18. 18. Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  19. 19. Death Xxvii , Khalil Gibran
  20. 20. After Death , Sara Teasdale
  21. 21. First Death In Nova Scotia , Elizabeth Bishop
  22. 22. On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea.. , Phillis Wheatley
  23. 23. The Death Of Joy Gardner , Benjamin Zephaniah
  24. 24. Death Leaves Us Homesick, Who Behind , Emily Dickinson
  25. 25. A Ballad Of Death , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  26. 26. I Have A Rendezvous With Death , Alan Seeger
  27. 27. For The Anniversary Of My Death , William Stanley Merwin
  28. 28. Gacela Of The Dark Death , Federico García Lorca
  29. 29. Go Down, Death , James Weldon Johnson
  30. 30. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  31. 31. On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, , Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  32. 32. On The Death Of Anne Brontë , Charlotte Brontë
  33. 33. Death &Amp; Fame , Allen Ginsberg
  34. 34. On Death , Anne Killigrew
  35. 35. The Death Of The Hired Man , Robert Frost
  36. 36. Death Fugue , Paul Celan
  37. 37. As At Thy Portals Also Death , Walt Whitman
  38. 38. An Elegy On The Death Of A Mad Dog , Oliver Goldsmith
  39. 39. On Hearing Of A Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  40. 40. Holy Sonnet X: Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  41. 41. Love &Amp; Fame &Amp; Death , Charles Bukowski
  42. 42. All But Death, Can Be Adjusted , Emily Dickinson
  43. 43. Death , William Butler Yeats
  44. 44. Fugue Of Death , Paul Celan
  45. 45. If Death Is Kind , Sara Teasdale
  46. 46. Don'T Fear Death , Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok
  47. 47. On The Death Of Rev. Mr. George Whitefield , Phillis Wheatley
  48. 48. Death Of A Cockroach , Robert William Service
  49. 49. A Death-Bed , Rudyard Kipling
  50. 50. Death , Heinrich Heine
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