Monday, September 05, 2005

Ode to Failure

Many prophets have failed, their voices silent
ghost-shouts in basements nobody heard their dusty laughter in family attics nor glanced at them on park benches weeping with relief under the empty sky. Walt Whitman viva'd local losers- courage to Fat Ladies in the World Freak Show!
nervous prisoners whose moustached lips dripped sweat on food lines-
Mayakovsky cried, Then die! my verse, die like the workers'
rank & file fusilladed in Petersburg!
Prospero in Shakespeare's latest statement burned his Power books & plummeted his magic wand to the bottom of dragon seas
Alaxander the Great failed to find more worlds to conquer!
O Failure I chant your terrifying name, accept me your 54 year old Prophet epicking Eternal Flop! You Pantheon of mortal bards, I hasten this ode with high blood pressure rushing to the top of my skull as if I wouldn't last another minute, Like the Dying Gaul! to
You, Lord of Blind Renoir, deaf Beethoven, armless Venus de Milo, headless Winged Victory! John Lennon who never wrote his 9th symphony
I failed to sleep with every bearded rosy- cheeked boy I saw in Germany
My tirades destroyed no Intellectual Unions of KGB & CIA in bed togehter in their turtlenecks & underpants, their woolen suits & tweeds
I never dissolved Plutonium or dismanted the nuclear Bomb before my skull lost its hair
I have not yet stopped the Armies of entire Mankind in their march toward World War III
I never got to Heaven, Nirvana, X, Whatchamacallit, I never left Earth,
I never really communicated the delicacy of these thoughts to the clapper in the back row
I never learned to die.

by Allen Ginsberg from Collected Poems 1947-1980. Liberties taken with syntax as its a transcription of an audio file.


A Hairy Snail said...

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.

Albert Einstein