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.
the sight, bustled off to the ready-made,
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
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