AllenGinsbergPA100811

Howl If You Hear Me

Jose 38 Comments

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 …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 38

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  3. J.M. Holland

    how did you know I had poetry in the crusty beginings of my journey? how did you know you had been inspiring be to start digging in that dirt.? how did you know I would take you up on your challenge, even though my street cred is mostly paved with clean white sidewalks and bright green grass made vibrant by killing powder mixed with hose water then trodden by little feet

    I’m in let me stop before i run out

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  16. Post
    Author
    Jose

    This has become much bigger than I anticipated. You’re all added. I gotta wait for a couple more people to contribute. After that, it’s getting posted … hopefully live from Dominican Republic.

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