ginsberg America

America by Allen Ginsberg


     America I've given you all and now I'm nothing.
     America two dollars and twentyseven cents January
          17, 1956.
     I can't stand my own mind.
     America when will we end the human war?
     Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
     I don't feel good don't bother me.
     I won't write my poem till I'm in my right mind.
     America when will you be angelic?
     When will you take off your clothes?
     When will you look at yourself through the grave?
     When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
     America why are your libraries full of tears?
     America when will you send your eggs to India?
     I'm sick of your insane demands.
     When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I
          need with my good looks?
     America after all it is you and I who are perfect not
          the next world.
     Your machinery is too much for me.
     You made me want to be a saint.
     There must be some other way to settle this argument.
     Burroughs is in Tangiers I don't think he'll come back
          it's sinister.
     Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical
     I'm trying to come to the point.
     I refuse to give up my obsession.
     America stop pushing I know what I'm doing.
     America the plum blossoms are falling.
     I haven't read the newspapers for months, everyday
          somebody goes on trial for murder.
     America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
     America I used to be a communist when I was a kid
          I'm not sorry.
     I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
     I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses
          in the closet.
     When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
     My mind is made up there's going to be trouble.
     You should have seen me reading Marx.
     My psychoanalyst thinks I'm perfectly right.
     I won't say the Lord's Prayer.
     I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
     America I still haven't told you what you did to Uncle
          Max after he came over from Russia.

     I'm addressing you.
     Are you going to let your emotional life be run by
          Time Magazine?
     I'm obsessed by Time Magazine.
     I read it every week.
     Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner
     I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
     It's always telling me about responsibility. Business-
          men are serious. Movie producers are serious.
          Everybody's serious but me.
     It occurs to me that I am America.
     I am talking to myself again. 

     Asia is rising against me.
     I haven't got a chinaman's chance.
     I'd better consider my national resources.
     My national resources consist of two joints of
          marijuana millions of genitals an unpublishable
          private literature that goes 1400 miles an hour
          and twenty-five-thousand mental institutions.
     I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of
          underprivileged who live in my flowerpots
          under the light of five hundred suns.
     I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers
          is the next to go.
     My ambition is to be President despite the fact that
          I'm a Catholic.
     America how can I write a holy litany in your silly
     I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as
          individual as his automobiles more so they're
          all different sexes.
     America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500
          down on your old strophe
     America free Tom Mooney
     America save the Spanish Loyalists
     America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
     America I am the Scottsboro boys.
     America when I was seven momma took me to Com-
          munist Cell meetings they sold us garbanzos a
          handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the
          speeches were free everybody was angelic and
          sentimental about the workers it was all so sin-
          cere you have no idea what a good thing the
          party was in 1835 Scott Nearing was a grand
          old man a real mensch Mother Bloor made me
          cry I once saw Israel Amter plain. Everybody
          must have been a spy.
     America you don't really want to go to war.
     America it's them bad Russians.
     Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen.
          And them Russians.
     The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia's power
          mad. She wants to take our cars from out our
     Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Readers'
          Digest. Her wants our auto plants in Siberia.
          Him big bureaucracy running our fillingsta-
     That no good. Ugh. Him make Indians learn read.
          Him need big black niggers. Hah. Her make us
          all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
     America this is quite serious.
     America this is the impression I get from looking in
          the television set.
     America is this correct?
     I'd better get right down to the job.
     It's true I don't want to join the Army or turn lathes
          in precision parts factories, I'm nearsighted and
          psychopathic anyway.
     America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

ginsberg America

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