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
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
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
“Allen! We would like to rest today.”
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.