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(an homage to Allen Ginsberg's epic of the same title)

Anthea Jay Kamalnath
[email unavailable]

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by too much mass innovation nurturing their neglected auras, booming fat sympathetic adequacy, looking down at boxed America from pimple clouds, skipping time relatively, self-indulgent Emersons, flipping through classical adaptations, twisting Rubic's cubes, easily amused, aligning pink with green, mixing to their own taste.

           Who, with unblinking yellow eyes, stared at non-toxic marker marks, swallowing, not digesting, the culmination-education, organization kids, leaving the near-sighted for the Queens' railroad tracks, running harder, swimming faster, absorbing better.

           Who greedily masturbated, with both hands, to the songs of Jesus, screaming for the beautiful people, the beautiful people, we are the beautiful people.

           Who looked left, right, up, down, finding nothing but dirty blackness, having no soap to wipe it off, refusing to be another tragedy, making another a casualty, resorting to big bling-blingers: bangers of justice to purge oblivion, who cried out for green grass, sweeping the doormat to their own temples within, only to incense their bodies with big poof-swirls of class grass, eliciting the cool, caterpillar circles foamed from rounded glossed lips, pouting, swaying mindlessly, chuckling off the suffocation.

           Who filed into outlets, department stores, thrift shops, decorating, painting themselves out as their father's creation, idyllic pastels to wanting needy primaries, celebrating aesthetics in narcissistic revelries, perspiring down the catwalk of yet another protest in the Village for the shutting down of sweatshops.

           Who knew that only blood was real, washing limbs with Moses' water, singing cadenzas to no one, yet everyone, walking in the twilight of their own funerals, finding the real, merely peeling off the cover of the fruit, stabbing to keep from screaming, following the footsteps of their ancestors of the green and khaki.

           Who penetrated their own generation's flesh for Uncle Sam, only to silence themselves.

           Who knelt in churches, no desperation, no fear, hands clasped and knees breaking, praying for Harvard money sex happiness, finding heaven in freezers, buying the ticket for the next ride, V W Bugs down to Vansberg Centre, bending their heads down, staring at the imaginary mirror on the floor with pleased smiles.

           Who kissed humanitarianism's wet lips, sealing her promise for war, picking up pickets, sophisticated in poverty, starving themselves into a state of drunken pride, championing for those who they refused to relate, attending global youth hoopla conference pacts, ring-around-the-rosie peace pipe parties, only to ignore the broken vases beneath their own feet, slinking away, avoiding guilt, letting life sort itself out.

           Who butt-fucked in stairwells, thinking there was no penetration, eating each other out in the dark, leaving sin's rapture behind closed doors, gutting open, wanting more, three minutes flat, fighting prim opposition with a penis blitzkrieg of genocide, finding creativity to be novelty, painting Iris across their chests sealing an identity while walking in minority conformity.

           Who sat on their bottoms on cold wooden benches before knights with black cloaks, black because after many minutes, hours, lives the white sheets had been exhausted, with ears drooped down, trying to hear the tick-tocks of picka-picka-pickachu, unhearing to the cold mouthings of the valiant swordsmen, left to be locked up for the rest of their lives, dying at twelve.

           Who typed in abstract art, noises on a keyboard, using genius for more inventive incentives, needlessly throwing American institutions out the window, trespassing private public property, shouting beliefs, hopes, dreams, fetishes to, yet again, no one, demanding to speak, not caring if they were heard.

           Who violently cycloned in bed sheets, shattering glass with moans from humping or from nearly bumping into Fate, seeing dreams vanishing, eaten up by the dawn, watching roaches climb the wall, invaded vocal chords, scrapping their fingernails on sealed glass doors, blocking out angels' laughter, degraded by this divine mockery, demanding a trade-off with God.

           Who pierced their skin with diamonds, becoming their mother's crown to wear in wasteland's parade, drawing five tipped sparkles on their flesh, six six six places on the body, one tip purely for entrance, one to glow in the dark, setting off a bonfire, two hallways down, one to empower, while it secretly hid under a layer of hemp, one to cut through, hoping to enter the circulation, and one to spite Mary, divorcing its mother, challenging her with its spike.

           Who grew fat off of fast food chains, gobbling up red meat patties while they sprinkled them with urine and ice while on the job, working for It, swallowing pride with each gulp, only to regurgitate it all out again, pouring out bile, flushing it down the toilet in protest, and in turn, wiping away identity, reaching holiness with starvation, the withering deflated balloons of the after-party.

           Who bopped to mad love songs, throat veins throbbing to the beat of a synchronized bass, painting pictures in the midnight air, whistling along, dreaming of the dancing Adonis, in their virgin pink pillows, fantasizing the immoral sacrilegious, feigning purity.

           Who bottled up hope in a jar, popping pills twice a day, vacuuming to keep cunts clean, denying the coming tomorrow, women and men too early, fathers and mothers too late, trapped between the hour glass, erasing any desire to leave.

           Who ignored the Jamaican drumming that filled the spicy air that shot down while they shot up on Telegraph Avenue, contemplating Sino-Chino-Chico-Afro Relations in a Styrofoam cup, swirling dead, arms covered with Saks, begging for change in ironic laughs, intravenously living off of others' plants, engraving their names on grains of rice, orgasms in classrooms, listening to the Communist Manifesto red, backwards combined with Rush Limbaugh commentary by a man of three times their age, a cowboy singing songs of his youth, their page 317 in history, smoke mixing with the smut of their unshaven pits, rain puzzling them, forgetting what crying in the open was like, wires plugged into Jimi Hendrix's hair, winding out to them.

           Who dared Hades, to come up for awhile, there's a keg in here, pressing down the pedal, breaking the sound barrier down I-5, maniacally laughing, drinking instead of pumping gasoline, black liquid death, waking up the next morning to find murder on their bloodless hands.

           Who did nothing, apologized for nothing, mindlessly fighting wars, organized confusion, like their great-great-skinheads, on a vaporized world in an addictive screen, surveying, without focus, crinkled of a sterile imagination thrown away, life through a static blinking pale blue screen, bowing to their masters of capitalism, receiving the new holy book via osmosis.

           Who opened shut eyes, staring with white globs into the trash can, clicking away, sealing scenes into history, awkward fingers around a lens, ghetto genius child, yesterday praised tomorrow without planning ahead or protecting, leaving the Messiah to uncover what they were afraid of, shooting to be shot.

           Who never slept, staying awake to stay alive, learning from those old jungle hunters that falling asleep meant getting a neck slit, working without thinking, printing and panting, tucking themselves in each night, sucking daddy's gun, grazing a trigger, exploding innards, the remains of some useless brain dripping love honey down a white living room wall.

           Who taught themselves how to stop feeling, filling the void with illuminated shadows, having realized that there was no forgiveness for mortality, tasting skin, flying hands, open down, flapping up to hell, finding ecstasy in now, revolving their worlds around what they thought was tomorrow, which was only wishful thinking.

           Who howled inside, resounding a symphony for their ears alone, hoping telepathy would deliver the message to the speed-spinning Earth, wanting to flash off radiance to blind the sun, living in the outline of a graveyard.

           Who deflected their eyes, turning their heads away from the mortician's reminder, letting wheelchairs roll down to heaven, gray hair grow un-dyed, shuddering at Vets with the government's stillborn fetuses, grabbing the seconds hand, stopping Time, delivering flores para los muertos to the living.

           Who were knocked out on the El, begging remorselessly still for clemency, without movement, crushed by a Cubs' stampede of nativism at its best, pushed into the undulant mob.

           Who believed they were in love, all hearts meshed as one, pulsing in unison, gifts wrapped in silk paper, dizzily swirling their souls in puppy love, blonde pony tails lashing out S&M, curly-cues, purple flowers, red suns to gem their cutesy selves, and were children born in time.

           Who shit on broken tile, overlooking Bellevue, an unused playground, and a leftover Christmas wreath, all waiting to be swept away by the sandman, bathed in yellow water, imagining a middle class.

           Who pom-pommed their war wounds: 50 misdemeanors in Philadelphia, 10 federal charges at WTO, Seattle, ignoring the cause, tapping feet to their nightingale turned whippoorwill cries, shaven heads and homemade overalls, lisping voices of resistance.

           Who wailed out angst in mechanically plucked strings, thinking they were enchanting divine incarnations, blowing out infested air, cooling pork, sweating out picks, crackling about not wanting to slit grooves to their souls, crying to show all.

           Who were the only people who ever fulfilled their impulses and saw their minds' idleness become realities, killing those they saw fit to be killed, hurting those, eating those, fucking those, stealing those, miming those, ah, Heidi, they almost caught you, maybe they caught me, action's foundation was for someone else's demise, overlooking themselves again.

           Who branded themselves individuals, tattooing consumerism across their asses, laura's butt wasn't laura's, it was tommy's, wiggling out of taboo, grinding to what she called independence, claiming the old didn't see, recreating a self in their new global village.

           Who tried to find a plug for the ozone hole, never managing to fill the big gap in their brain, filling the latter with putty called compassion, finding humor in their own misunderstanding, wanting all, regretting none.

           Who sucked out all the juice, leaving mucus to replicate, sloth conquering their skeletons, infiltrating the marrow, worthless s.o.b.s from their mother's eyes, lamenting her own failure, her artwork ripped to shreds by its sperm donor, feces carefully pulled out of the body, poking out a requiem for the million mini-snakes p.o.w.s' letdown.

           Who venerated money, making it their underwear, sticking it any hole available in Silicon, giving up on the dung-titled-dignity, prostituting themselves, like the naked curves of the bitching fox on Bourbon, with her puffy sore nipples protruding alert, anxiously lactating in hope of a tremble of closed deal.

           Who turned in dream pipes for sarcasm, nailing goddamn ideals to that fucking tree and letting them bleed, coloring red roses, springing on the remains of poppies of old, acknowledging what everyone else should have already, what the limping Viagra-addicts couldn't.

           Who wrote in broken sentences, spoken in hieroglyphics, deciphered into jibberish, Korean symbols standing for American mistranslations, plastered on symbols of thugness, obsessive curses forming into the modern minstrel, catching the black man with his pants down, singing with no melody, spouting ambitions of soiled gauche.

           Who stole talent from no one, stemming from those not so foreign, siphoning from the old, paraphrasing jingles, blank canvases equate art, representing their mental desert, topped with a cherry.

           Who woke up, having been chased through churchyards screaming, running from gargoyles' inferno, hung over, dangling off the bridge, tempting the River Walk, reflecting on the misshapen refracted light staring back at them, pondering whether to raise their horizons by drowning or to settle for the sea beneath.

           Who wandered, lost in their liberty, demanding a tyrant for their republic, aimless without leader, fickleness their virtue, holocausting leaders with transcripts, holding fast to valued waste-words, framed in justified layouts.

           Who lied, molding eyes on arms, teeth on ears, seeing through touch, talk blocking hearing, defending their survival against the overflow of disorganized information, holding their testicles while on the stand, pledging and alleging.

           Who exploited themselves, aside from others, billboarding their identities, yellow when the world danced around the sun, black when the night eclipsed the merriment, white when offices glowed with paper stacks, pillaring the future, blending with the spectrum, only to pitch its higher frequency, holding up black filters.

           Who were forced fed, radioactive tracers attached to IV lines detecting stupidity, thrusting another's thoughts down, blocking out their own, conforming mind and hand to a letter grade, etching out variations on a theme, line organizations, never once running away, yearning to destroy these charlatans, wanting to overthrow their cubic zirconium thrones, forcing them to realize their stone-lined seats were circumvented by mere pebbles, chiseling away in Little Rock.

           Who spat phlegm, bathing others, flying spiders on cherry walls, turning in the Torah, true believers marching Nazi Jews, subverting home food, anguished in understanding, beating their backs, committing suicide by loving too much, afraid of weakness, joining the divinity.

           Who curled up in fetal positions, sprinting to run backwards, Sanrio backpacks chiding them along, vocalizing oh baby baby god forbid they weren't innocent, baby killer complexes, wrapping jealousy in garbage bags, flushing it down with the bile, freeing it out through dorm windows, au pair flights for half price.

           Who asked too much of enough of a little, falling back on rights, hammering over un-intermitting phrases, stepping stones off to the beginning of the bottom, gesticulating the Sun and the Globe, tracing the shape of a herald, attentively there for twenty minutes.

           Who were numb, bloodless, water running through, pumping the heart clean of emotion, jaded, having been fried too many times, sizzling giggles helium cries for no reason, grease spread in and out, burnt bread with no butter.

           Who birthed hearts lacking, announcing Ethiopian hunger wars with tearing heart strings, while butchering alter egos under the table, stuffing their aortas and ventricles with beezlebubs, transferring their cultivated sincerity, hate fostered once again.

           Who tolerated too much, black holes sucking in everything, growing larger, muffling stretch marks, blurring the collection of water droplets into one massive sea, tsunami invasion of the great white lake, claimed citizens of the world, stapling the white flag to cover their nakedness.

           Who vacillated in a vacuum, devoid of air, gasping as each fills his lungs with chlorine, stiffened KLA legs racing to the next appointment, darkened by flaring headlights, hollow noises rattling off the smooth trail.

           Who trusted no one, not even themselves, paradoxes creeding *[hmm?] attention, declamations of their being mistaken for another, beseeching recognition to come play with terror.

           Who awed at emptiness, plugged in from all holes, chained to Apocalypse's intelligence age, insensitive to the touch of plastic, discovering the old with glee, holes bloated to the point of orgasm, but missed, having peaked too early, keeping wet stains as mementos to be hung in closets, evidence of now.

           Who grew up with their eyes closed, manicured nails, jailing eyelids, reflecting on the mesh within, cuddled tightly, squeezing the puss out of brain comedos, mothers' breasts stand horse blinding, seeing ahead, seeing themselves.

           Who walked, losing their way, entranced to the valley of light, following the map alone, flower feet blooming in the January lunar light, figure-eighting off-beats, looking up to find that it was there all along, reeling back down in fear of pain.

           Who set themselves on fire, leaving the Constitution on the shelf, dreaming the American impossible hurrah, peeing red white blue on Chinatown walkways.

           Who traveled in packs, driven along by wheels already set in motion, unquestioningly attacking their destination, gang-banging in midnight sprees, incestuous admiration for collective efforts, individuals of the union, all climbing the Needle at once, only to slip down due to nature's Seattle rain, descending to broken backs vibrating on cracks of granite.

           Who wept for princesses they never knew, their toes' tingling eeriness dictated by media and its snake hairs encompassing their necks, directing wailing cries to left, angry shouts to the right.

           Who pretended they were some other race, different, inhuman, who would awaken from the cocoon, spread the cardboard propellers and fall, barely breaking asunder, remaining alive always, refusing to be grounded, one here, one there, staring at themselves in mirrors, fixated on each antithesis, seeing slammerkin consecrated, calla esthetics vilified, Buddha's belly slashed, Allah's vestments stripped, the muted dealings plowing through coffee's dirted fields, stem cells imitating ad infinitum to aeternitas, flower beds formed from compulsion, killing the roots of others within, morphing the motor in the robotic complex CEO man into guru, Zen is there in the Bread Basket, which fed America, completing the successive depression, and Babylon into famine.

What divine became their shield, only to gut them, eat them, tickle their innards, and when met with rejection, leeched onto a tree, swinging pendulum their swaying hopes and brains, in her death?

           Phaedra! Incest! Entropy! Confusion! Wrist slits and surging gas prices! Youth silenced ever never forever! Boys grabbing undesirably flesh! Bastard military sons wandering decayed streets!

           Phaedra! Phaedra! Horror of Phaedra! Phaedra the rejected! Punishing Phaedra! Phaedra the guilt giver of men!

           Phaedra the unrelenting bridge! Phaedra the temple of confusion and injection of poison! Phaedra whose churches are brothels! Phaedra the swift quill on each sentence! Phaedra the executioner!

           Phaedra whose body is but silicone! Phaedra whose temptress is mere pornography! Phaedra whose fallopian pubes are flowers at funerals! Phaedra whose lips are pain's mattress! Phaedra whose liver is a marsh of money!

           Phaedra whose eyes are AM/FM combined! Phaedra whose pyramids of yesteryear cuss on the cross like what's-his-name Jesus! Phaedra whose sweatshops froth indigestion! Phaedra whose cables hang her sons!

           Phaedra whose love is perverted and lost! Phaedra whose soul is caca clogging sewer holes in Lafayette Square! Phaedra whose wealth speaks of novelty! Phaedra whose fate is to hang on every star! Phaedra whose name is Prosperity!

           Phaedra in whom I die slowly! Phaedra in whom I wish for God! Indefinite in Phaedra! Cunt in Phaedra! Homesick and weary in Phaedra!

           Phaedra who adopted me her son! Phaedra in whom I am a vibrator without a generator! Phaedra who spread my legs aching! Phaedra who I shit on! Resurrect in Phaedra! Heaven falling to my knees!

           Phaedra! Phaedra! Electronic innovation! undiscovered new heights! whitewashed activists! egocentric philanthropists! sinister corporations! welcoming klans! pedagogical harlots! invisible priests! superstitious clocks!

           They died publishing Phaedra in Playboy! Boeings, magnolias, televisions, millions! publishing the whore in Playboy that replicates itself, in the Times and Post, surrounding us!

           Virgin Marys! trips! menageries! ecstasies! cummings! flowing from the American gulf!

           Goals! idols! pontifications! spirituality! the raft sunk, built of brick! Panaceas! from the gulf! stigmatas and lethal injection! swallowed whole! Visions! Depressions! Faith! Seconds of silence and echoing screams!

           Jesus walking on the gulf! Down in Georgia, they saw it all! the desperate knees! the ringing hands!

           They said never no! They stayed put! to God! to life! L'chaim! forgetting! widening eyes! throwing money! Back to the gulf! at Jesus' feet!

Hiedi Bonner! I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you are wiser than I am
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where they prick your shaven skin
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you must be happily lonely
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you charge me with plagiarizing your thought
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you cry unforgotten yellow, telling me I don't understand.
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where your condition has been improving, quite contradictory to the reports of the buzzing bees
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where the machines that chain you, carrying food into your veins, into your head, into your heart, into your spleen, you succumbing to the end, can never find your kidney
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you scream as they dig their hands into your mouth, ripping out the music box, killing the ballerina, throwing the machinery to the floor, forcing you to barf out your mind, raping you abstemious with nutrition
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you will unveil the mystical quandary of your holograph, seen laughing on my dinner table plate
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you and your mollified gladiators all starve yourselves in competition, listening to your unheard speeches, toilet conversations, pills tucked into the side of your cheek smiling
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you will resurrect Marshall Applewhite, and both of you will lead us into a victory of the sun, applesauce in hand
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you screech that it is over, I have won, they have won
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you calmly remind the ladies in green that you are in the know of the next libertarian uprising
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you die over over over again, snorkeling in Southern Californian sun, heaving your torso with cackles as they warp you again
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where you call the nurses ugly, proclaiming your beauty, frustrated by their insolence, demanding to talk to a real whore
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where the others have gone and never returned, hiding behind the Malibu hills, getting laid, echoing paradelles of amour
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where we make love to capitalism, favorite of capitalisms, freedom that will not let us touch and won't return the favor
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
where we are slammed into the wide world of man by our own tractors, grazing with the cows, finally animals of both the black and white, until the grass grows greener and the BMWs and Benzes levitate away from Utopia's forest       made-up flowers limp.
           O shit brown waves to drown in
           O sweet land of succulent prizes, give us today our daily head
           O country tis of thee we're home
I'm with you in Vansberg Centre
in waking hours you balance yourself in my mind, tiptoeing diagonally from bouncing in Baltimore to lynching in Iowa, unraveling at my feet the very product of our modern fright

© 2001 Anthea Jay Kamalnath, all rights reserved
 appears here by permission

Author Notes

           Each passage with a "Who...." refers to something specific -- a current event in the past five (1994) to seven (1996) years. It's not just incoherent rambling. I didn't want to annotate and specify exactly what each who is referring to, not only because most authors don't annotate their work, but also because I want the reader to have some say in what the piece means to him or her.

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