ON MEETING ALLEN GINSBERG

 

 

ON MEETING ALLEN GINSBERG IN TEL AVIV 1961

 

It was Erev Rosh Hashana,

the Jewish New Year.

We had just returned to Tel Aviv,

knowing we had left our hanging hearts behind

in Jerusalem.

 

Our crumbling house was on the beach.

We opened the creaking door.

And straight for the bedroom.

 

“Someone’s been sleeping in our bed.”

My beloved said, opening the door.

 

An unforgettable bared head

sprang from beneath the sheets.

 

“Hi! Bernard Kops. I’m Allen Ginsberg and

this is Peter Orlovsky. My lover.”

Peter, was deep in sleep.

He snored like a Picasso Bull.

“Thank you so much for letting us borrow

your room.”

The New York poet minstrel said,

Seducing me with his smile

As he jumped out of bed.

“Orlovsky!  Wake up.”

The poet shook his foetal lover.

The beast stirred  and became a gay goy boy

who blew a sleepy kiss and

quickly returned to bliss.

 

Later, over coffee, Allen forgave us

for being less than delighted

that he had purloined our space

and soon we all puffed away to paradise.

“Hey! Kops! I hear there’s a small

Synagogue where we can

All get high on prayer.”

 

Longing for sleep we declined his

kind offer.

“Allen! We would like to rest today.”

“I understand.”

His wonderful Chutzpah melted us into smiles.

 

“Let’s go then,” He said

cuddling his nodding Orlovsky

“And get good with God.”

 

And they were out of the door.

 

 

In the evening we walked along the deserted shore.

There was a feeling of the end of the world.

Our infant son pointed joyously

at the golden tightrope of horizon.

We deeply breathed in the angry sea

and the fresh September air.

 

Allen came back later.

“Guess what?” His eyes wild with child delight.

“We dropped in on Martin Buber.

I tried to pull his beard.

He was not amused.”

 

Dear innocent monstrous Allen

again, for schtick, offered us his joy stick.

We refused. He shrugged.

“Thanks! We’ve had some wonderful crazy times

And now we must leave for other climes.

It was so miraculous, meeting Martin Buber.

But now we must be off to Castro’s Cuba.”

They waved, we wavered, and off they went.

This parting was such sweet sorrow.

We hoped they would not come back tomorrow.

Peter and his Orlovsky suddenly

belonged to the past.

Everywhere to go and nowhere to belong.

And now they were out of sight.

And we dived

Backward, deep into the quiet night.

We hoped they wouldn’t miss their flight.

 

 

 

 Bernard Kops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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2 Responses to ON MEETING ALLEN GINSBERG

  1. Dave Tomlin says:

    Is this supposed to be poetry? To criticise anything pertaining to such a hallowed subject as Ginsberg is daunting, but in this case it must be done. The word ‘poetry’ brings to mind such qualities as, lyricism, sublime imagary, at the least a little talant in syntax and dare it be said, beauty. However, in these days of anti-retro deconstructionalist post-modern works these qualities seem to be deliberately avoided, while prose, cut into small sections and the lines placed one below another goes under the guise of poetry. As prose the above memoir might be considered passable, but as poetry 0/10 is the verdict.

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