Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Allen Ginsberg

"I Saw Allen Ginsberg"

mark and i are
in a bus station diner in White River Junction
on a Sunday night in November
when these four guys walk in
and i say to mark
that my god one of america's greatest poets
just walked into
this bus station diner
here in White River Junction
and he says
well it's not as if Linda Gray walked in
and i say who's she
and he says she's on Dallas
and he doesn't think anyhow
that it's very likely
that great poets eat poet dinners
in places like
a bus station diner
in places like
White River Junction.

the bus station diner
is not a cool diner
not one of those
old bright chrome-filled diners
where some bee-hived curt efficient waitress
who's been there twenty-some years
will sass you
but this is rather
a tacky imitation,
a run down place,
in a run down town.

i shake the poet's hand
tell him he is great
thank him for some great reading.
And what do you do the poet asks
and i say my friends and i
have a restaurant in Essex Junction
-- that's over by Burlington.
And then the poet says i look familiar
and wonders "are you one
of David Dellinger's sons?"
i wish i am but ain't;
i'm from the midwest and know Dellinger
only from newspaper stories
a long time sixties ago
in various Michigan versions of
this bus station diner
in White River Junction.

Then I return to my seat
in the bus station diner
in White River Junction
& try not to stare
at the man who wrote
one of the greatest,
one of the greatest of all,
try not to stare
at the man
the amazing
-- November, 1986