Note to a Friend on the Back of Allen Ginsberg’s Poem, Death and Fame

by Mark Chmiel

This poem is pure Allen,
Lovable and vain Allen to the end

You gotta love him–
Evidently, lots of men did

Rereading this poem
Lights my fire

“He taught me how to meditate, now I’m an old veteran of the thousand day retreat–”
“I felt more love from him at 19 than ever from anyone”

“Howl changed my life in Libertyville, Illinois”
“I saw him read Montclair State Teachers College decided to be a poet–”

Reminds me of saying on sign as you enter some Zen monasteries:
“Don’t waste your life”

Allen did (read his journals from the fifties, relentless neurosis!)
And didn’t

Thomas Merton claimed
“It’s the reality of personal relationships that saves everything”

Ah, Walt’s adhesiveness!
The way, the truth, the life!Death and Fame