Howl If You Hear Me

Jose Vilson Jose

Allen Ginsberg is the man.

As a resident Lower East Sider and poet, I’ve always heard of his stuff, and respected him on street cred alone. Little did I know that this whole time, I’d already been exposed to Ginsberg through one of my already favorite poets, Amiri Baraka. In “Somebody Blew Up America,” he has a meme that always begins with “who,” just as Ginsberg’s “Howl” does in the first part of his seminal piece, and very coincidentally, just as my entries always end.

At some point, this must have prompted Taylor the Teacher (along with listening to some Pink Floyd) to ask me whether or not Ginsberg inspired me to tag my entries the way I did. Of course, the ingenious mind that she is, she thought it’d be a cool idea to turn this into a poetry meme. Follow the rules:

1. My first line will start off just like Ginsberg’s:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked, …

2. The rest of the poem is where you come in. Write your next post, and make it about anything you want. No really. Not that you wouldn’t do it anyways, but …

3. At the end of the meme, sign off like I do, starting with a “who …”

4. Link back to this post for the rules and the origins.

For example, I’ll start off with “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked …”

and Taylor might write her next post sign-off with “who never understood the power of the Internet until that last post …” and mzvirgo might follow up with, “who is really more than just a gossip blogger,” and JD might chime in with, “who wishes the UFT were a more perfect union,” and so on and so forth.

I’m calling on anyone who’s reading to chime in, even if it’s something small. In 2 weeks time, I should have enough sign-offs to complete the first part of the poem from everything you all said. I’ll also complete parts 2 and 3 based on who responds to the call.

So …

Tracy. Bam. Talda. -1-. Damian. Jeff. NYCEd. Hugh. J. Dakar. BBC. LeeSee. AM.

CTG, aulelia, Bill, JM Holland, Wayne, Joanne

I was ready to link all of you, but my keyboard’s melting …

jose, who saw the best minds of his generation emboldened by madness, hungry, hysterical, enlightened …