ferlinghetti’s people

When I was around 19 or 20 I walked out of a Lawrence Ferlinghetti reading and wrote this poem. I have mellowed with age. A bit.

ferlinghetti’s people
yes
there’s Christ in the back row, third seat
and the nodding mother of long tresses
to whom all is truth, and truth is all

swirling blossoms anoint foreheads
toes sticking from sandals, painted, dirty
beads from Indian Joe’s Frontier Village
pot in the pocket, makes them proud

and kaleidoscope minds seek
love and self out of hate
self and hate out of love
hate and love out of self

fingers snap, with eyes closed, chins up, arms stretched —
feeling, believing, seeing, knowing
This Beat Poet Who Is Cool, Man
and has the answers with the reputation
and when this cool, the “new,” the war, and Johnson are over
will they become the solid, stolid citizens whom they now decry?
having hearts of writhing puckered penguins
minds of flashing vocabulary (equals nada)
tongues of computered clay and

souls of mashed bananas
in a soppy smog gutter
three days old.

— Luther Allen

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One Response to ferlinghetti’s people

  1. susanissima says:

    Dang! This is scathing and brilliant, Luther! I’m just reading it now, on the last day of July, in Spain. Twice. I love it!

    Thanks, btw, for visiting Still Life with Tortillas.

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