Classroom

by Mark Chmiel

It was back in 1982
We had a guest in our theology and lit class
Ten years older than me
He’d come of age in the Sixties

Allen Ginsberg had recently been in town
Our guest kvetched about Allen:
“At the reading he was wearing a suit!”
As if that constituted a felony

In that early period of Reagan bluster
Our guest needed the old Allen
The rad Allen the Howl Allen
The Hebrew Socialist Revolution Allen

Maybe our guest didn’t know that in the Seventies
Allen had become a Buddhist
Had become convinced of impermanence
Including the impermanence of Allen Ginsberg

 

 

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