Ginsberg in the Gutter/Neon Madman on Main Street

Yesterday the jester turned tricks for the crowd
Pestered passersby on Main Street
Proudly whored himself around
From light to dark and back to light
All day and night below my window
Camped out outside in pigsty park
Playing a cardboard cutout tramp
And I admit it:
I blew my own wad to go get blow and blown
I helped enable him to disable himself
Til he tabled the hooker with a heart of mold fable
And was later labeled as a drug addled vagrant.
When I went down to join his crowd I should’ve yelled so loud
And I still would if I still could
But I’m cursed with killer nurses
Who force-feed me spoonfuls of splenda
To help the sedatives go down
Then take their fill, disperse, and go to town
So I call out for help on my cell
But it steals my voice
And sells it back to my ear
So I pray to god to help
And cannibal priests instantly appear
To animal my soul
And prey on me
With bottles of screw-top Beaujolais
Filled with holy blood they chug and try to plug me with
But I deny myself their drink
And cry out “Fitzgerald wouldn’t swig this when Gatsby was on the brink”
But out my throat no sound comes
Just a whimpered sigh
So they mainline me with wine unwilling
As I point out back to the alley where the jester’s gone to cry.
They poke their heads out windows
They all stare but no one sees
When I retch from my disgust
They fetch a bucket
Toss my upchucked words out
Raid my medicine cabinet
And blame it all on my disease
So I leave my own apartment to shoot all the marbles that they’ve lost
I’m done being its tenant
They can pay the cost of rent

I crawl out the bathroom window
Go back to my loony tune lagoon
Fall down the fire escape
In a fetal ball position
Land flat on my face
In the vomit they defenstrated
Health the cost of freedom
The cost twice that of the price
As another little boy lost above
Already readily races to take my place
Leaving me nose down in my pile of puke
The muddled reflection face to face with me
I extend my hand
He lends me his
His beard moves the mouth that says to me
“I’ve been more blessed and cursed than the rest
I’ve seen the best and the worst
And I’ll tell you all about it
But I gotta go shave it first.”
I say, “You could be Ginsberg if you would just clean up.”
He howls, “I thank my lucky stars I ain’t you
So just shut up.”
We’re interrupted by helium laughter nearby
From the jester hanging high and dry
Face paint smiling ear to ear
Crying his eyeliner out
Face-planted in the gutter
I suppress a shudder
Utter, “Take that neon costume off”
The raving neon madman stands
Replies, “You don’t look so hot yourself, so don’t pretend that I need help
But if you got change or booze I’ll dance sing cus chant make a 3 ring circus
Or can-can.”
I leave the clowns and go to town

Or plan to
But I screech to a stop in the red-light district
Among the other parked car curs
Where two ladies of the night
A tramp in ermine furs
And Venus wearing rags
Strut up in their stilettos to ask which one I’d like.
I wave them along and turn to leave
Spurned they rave “You fag!”
My voice comes back to ask, “Do I have to pick?”
As I glance between the two
Who say, “You can’t f*** us both
With your single, little dick.”
I say “You’re both so tempting
So cut a guy some slack.
Give me both your numbers
And if I choose, I’ll call you back.”

I flash my green and hit the gas
But the tank is all used up
Its needle points to empty
But mine is full of bodily fuel
And there’s no wind behind the mast
Its sails hang limp, but mine’s erect
So I eject and run for cover
Inject my lover til she’s empty too
Suckle at a heroine’s pointy teat
Then leave her for another few
End up lost down rainy side streets
Hitch-hiking for rides
But when cars come from either way
My thumb subconsciously hides.
Cosmetic amphetamine brains
Talking cosmic politics
See me soaked through with acid rain
And offer me a lift
Chanting “There’s always room for one more,
And for one more, always a gift.”
I wonder where they’re going
They wonder which way too
No maps show where these roads go
None of us have been here before
Richard Prior’s driving, but Kerouac’s in tow
They say “We need a leader, why can’t it be you?”
I look both ways and flip a coin
Refuse to join them, they speed off
Before I flipped I made my choice:
I’ll take the road that goes to the doctor
To see if he can fix my voice.

The doctor lets me right in
And asks me “What is wrong?”
But the words just won’t come out
Around my split, broken tongue.
I gargle, hiss, and spit
Hit and miss
He stops my slobbering nonsense
Says he knows to cures:
Laughter’s always the best medicine
But to me, who can’t even talk, that has no allure
He says words have power too,
But not so much to heal
They’re mightier than the sword
And to me, this shows appeal
Stitching together my tongue he says
“Son, best be careful:
This can turn pens to rubber
And melt a rifle barrel.”
And me, I can’t speak just yet
But I know the first thing I’m gonna say:
I’m gonna call up Venus
And I’m gonna tell her, “Hey.”





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This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

ZiXiang Z. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm
I absolutely love this piece. The rawness of the writing. The very surreal descriptions. The feel of the poem. I think that you very strong to tackle a topic like this with maturity. Hope to read more from you!
:)
 
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