Howl: The Jose Vilson Version

Jose Vilson Jose

This was definitely one of my biggest projects I’d ever undertaken on this blog. If you’re unfamiliar with how this came about, refer to here. Thanks to all the great bloggers who contributed (and even those of you who e-mailed me to give me a head nod about this project). Also thanks to Taylor for the initial inspiration. As promised, here’s the howl.

Howl (originally by Allen Ginsberg, covered by Jose Vilson with a little help from some friends linked below, 2008 ©)


I saw the best minds of my generations destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked
wanting to end virtual rants with bangs, but settle for poofs
crippled by concern for their children’s well being, shot through with fear, play outside doubtful
who know there are only two sides, and whoever is not on one side is on the other
who are feeling the echo of the clock in the rhythm of their veins
who believe that the only way to fight is to force people to think
who want to know your morning routine
who are tired of watching the best and the brightest leave the teaching field
who remember When I Was Your Age, and just as generations past, is convinced life was better then
who want to know why people still settle for “for some reason …”
who feel very powerful armed with a red pen
who occasionally need to be reminded they must learn how to crawl before they can walk
who are still waiting for a ticket to ride
who will won’t be spending the upcoming holiday in the City of Lights
who think little hiccups are the key to future success
who thinks kids’ journey through education is rough enough without having to dodge political crossfire on the way
who always wondered what others were doing when they were with the kids
who are saddened by the destruction of a digital generation
whose head aches from the absurdity of all this
who are very happy to be off, if just for a few days, and who’s also very happy to be headed to a party with some colleagues
who are content with life and a cocktail and believes that there is nothing wrong with me after all
who believes that sometimes a well-placed wave says and does more than a downpour
who despair the suffering of the immigrant will never cease and by extension crushes our souls, it’s a death by a thousand cuts
who have learned to love unconditionally
with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.


What conglomerate of steel and marble bashed upon their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?
Moloch! Nastiness! Savagery! Corruption! Foreclosure and rising poverty! Feudalism and another world order! Globalization and corporatization of water!
Moloch! Moloch! Moloch the barbarian! Moloch the money-maker! Moloch in your mobile device! Moloch the bigger brother!
Moloch the prison industrial complex! Moloch the scissor of the tape to World War 3! Moloch the one for whom we must call 911! Moloch the destroyer of buildings that come in pairs!
Moloch whose ruthlessness files its nails in the grandest citadels! Moloch the disease mongerer! Moloch the provider of smoke and mirrors!
Moloch the half-man / half-death knell! Moloch whose voice deceives like a fox! Moloch whose disciples deliver images of a heavenly-painted turncoat! Moloch whose colors resemble the sky, the blood, and the mass in our eyes we refuse to use!
Moloch who turns away the most sacrificed! Moloch who drinks the blood of fossils and spares us none! Moloch whose hairy palm extends to the poor with straw hats and smacks them with the other! Moloch who breaths fire into the crops of a thousand Abrahams!
Moloch whose hair is made of gristle and construction’s dust! Moloch whose heart is made of ire and brimstone! Moloch whose stomach is lined with the skin of the bodies of a million sons and daughters! Moloch whose feet strike the streets like matches in the summer!
Moloch in whom we trust! Moloch in whom we fund and believe! Moloch in my reflection! Regret in Moloch! Disaster and addiction in Moloch! Holy shit and fuck in Moloch!
Moloch who bumped into me on the street today! Moloch who prayed to us in our holy establishments! Moloch keeps me in close company! I sing songs with Moloch! His spirit alive and well in the 3000 mile distance from sea to shining sea!
Moloch! Moloch! Searching high beams! Glass encasements for people! Infectious misogyny! Armaggedons merging! Cowardly leaders! Well-aged teenagers! Missing allies! Unholy jihads! Less-than-halfway houses! Inbred officials!
They enslaved and degraded billions to uplift Moloch! Condos, speakeasies, iPods, on high! A world capital emulating Atlantis submerging the world around us!
Lessons! Assessments! Homilies! Inebriations! Promises! Gone down the Potomac and Mississippi!
Speeches! Ruminations! Blog posts! Commentaries! Religions! The whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!
Eureka! from ocean to ocean! Confluences! Breakdowns! Decades of dedications and candles lit! True intelligent designs! New pride! This generation! wrapped on the wrist by Time!
Real celebration just down the block! We are all witness! The hands waved! The cacophony! The flinging and tossing! They jumped from their pedestals! To peace! Kissing! Dressed in their best Sunday outfits! Down to the river! Into the street!


Reader! I’m with you in New York where you’re finding a ticket for new work
I’m with you in New York where fear for your children scares you more than your own life
I’m with you in New York where the clock has no hands but it has a beat
I’m with you in New York where the morning is brightest with enlightened with new ideas
I’m with you in New York where things were never actually how they used to be
I’m with you in New York where power comes in all forms of writing utensils
I’m with you in New York where our future is highly dependent on our present actions
I’m with you in New York where the pressure is building
I’m with you in New York where people will eventually smile, nod, and strike up interesting conversation with you
I’m with you in New York where victors and heart donors get the best of us each and every time
I’m with you in New York where this young poet waits for the by-and-by to come by, but postponing it in the meantime
I’m with you in New York where the skyline promises you all that is not granted
I’m with you in New York where I woke up one morning, wanted to reach for a skyscraper’s needle and inject myself with all the city’s energy …

Thank you. I need to record this, don’t I?

jose, who waited 11 years to eulogize the man …