A selection from The Write Stuff on Radio 4
ALLEN GINSBERG writes a Bedtime Collage
I have seen Humpty Dumpty in Bellevue Hospital where doctors
In white masks with electroshock try to put him together again
I have seen Miss Muffet ride a boxcar out of Denver past empty lots
And diner backyards while the ghosts of Whitman and Pound
Smoke marijuana from the ashcans and sit beside her tuffet
I have seen Jack Horner strung out on Benzedrine in a coldwater flat
Beneath the El, begging nickels from the Buddha
I have seen Danton and Baudelaire crawling on the stoops of Bowery
Fire-escapes to read the I-Ching in Fugazzi’s to an
Audience of three blind mice
I have sung all night in Luna Park where Bo-Peep naked with a baseball mit
Dove from a pea-green rowboat with a cat who thought he was an owl
I’ve been wasted all night in the Village Vanguard where Little Boy Blue
Came blow up his horn with Coltrane and Lester Young
I have seen Old King Cole pursued by fiddlers three in straitjackets hymning
Cuban revolution to the tune of Nature Boy or maybe it was Nat King Cole
In Atlantic City I have met a man who wasn’t there. We hitchhiked ten days
Through Nevada, living on Wild Turkey bourbon and grits. He wasn’t
There again today when we made love by the light of the Nickelodeon in Reno.
America, America, one day you’ll put a cow over the fucking moon.
America, America, one day you’ll put a cow over the moon.
(broadcast on The Write Stuff, Radio 4, October 26, 2010)