Poetry / creative writing

A Supermarket in Southern California

           What thoughts I have of you tonight, Allen Ginsberg, for
I rode my bicycle uphill on the classic highway, passing a pink Cadillac. 
          Countless black SUV's safely parked under lean palm trees, all left behind by me,
paddling  straight on El Cajon Boulevard, before turning left to the farmer's market:
trust Henry's for life.

          I saw you, Allen Ginsberg,  passing steely outdoor shelves, touching shivering
flowers in the afternoon, red, yellow and white.
          Automatic doors open with a preluding  hum -  cool air in orange odor,
limelight  and inviting music, raining down from the ceiling.

          All sorts of pills and powders. I heard questions:  Will these make us younger?
Slaughtered salmon for omega-3?  Do you want to live forever?
          Two elderly ladies, studying the ingredients-list of Kay's Muscle Whey, 
seemed entertained. I think of your poem and feel absurd.

         We strolled over to the vegetables corner where bundles of tired cilantro
wedded with parsley, side by side complemented red bell peppers.
         Without worrying, we tasted sweet cherry tomatoes and a roasted pumpkin slice.
         Housewives, marveling the sight, bustled off to the ready-made, 
pre-cooked-meal refrigerators. 
          Where are we going, Allen Ginsberg? These doors never close. It's 24/7.
A young couple, side by side, she: caressing her baby; he: opening the glass door,  
choosing the family package of Asian spring rolls.
          When he turned, he  showed us his pale face. Ben? I recognized him in the 
split of a second, then pushed my cart and hurried off to the everything-bagels, 
hiding and inhaling the unique fragrance of sesame oil fried onions and warm 
poppy seeds.
           What do you say now, Allen Ginsberg? Blood rushing in white noise, effortlessly 
overriding the sine-waves of the neon light; He never wanted to settle,
no kids no family. striving for liberty and freedom of thought. That"s why he had left me.
          Wild and free like a mustang. Didn't he know they are chased, 
auctioned and broke? Or - even more likely - simply shot; an expensive trade-off.

          I headed to the exit - before he even had a chance to see me; I left, with a 
bitter-sour taste in my mouth. I'll never get the hang of -- this.
          Ah, dear friend. What have we lost, with you leaving our realms. Hope you had
the coppers to pay the ferry man and safely passed Styx, not looking back to us, the 
eternally struggling children of the Beat Generation.

by B. R. ianniello