Sunday, June 2, 2013

Poets with birthdays in June...Allen Ginsberg

Now there's a name to be reckoned with when it comes to mid-20th century literature: Allen Ginsberg. Think of him, think of Kerouac...think of the Beat Generation.

At the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Kerry said: "As an icon of the Beats, Ginsberg was involved in countless political activities, including protests against the Vietnam War, and he spoke openly about issues that concerned him, such as free speech and gay rights agendas."

Of course, these topics aren't shocking in 2013, but they were whispered about, if spoken about at all in the 1950s and 60s, I know.

Kerry quoted the first lines of Ginsberg's poem Howl, then said: “However, times have changed. Here we are in the second decade of the Twenty First Century, and I'm wondering if we have anything to howl about... If you do have a rant, then let us hear it.”

Yes, ma'am, I have a rant. Indeed I do. I hope Ginsberg would have liked it. I know he might have liked the first two stanzas, and I think he would have agreed with me.

Homemade Apocalypse

we’re an endangered species, man,
we just have to face it
this world soon will be destroyed
Mankind will erase it

animals, they’re not digging wells
for oil, and they’re not fracking
brains to see what Man has done...
that’s what Man is lacking!

debates rage on
and on
and on
and we’ll still be debating
when oil’s all gone
and Earth’s shut down—
now where’s your octane rating?

way back in the 19th century, man, 
were invented 
but gas was cheaper
went faster 
and farther,
carrying the grim reaper

sure, solar power's
expensive to install
but dig that geothermal...
man, it’s nearly cheap as gas
and when apocalypse comes to pass
we’ll be glad
we didn’t have
a backyard nuclear reactor

right now so many power sources
(except sled dogs, and carriage horses)
can kill us all
if they shut down
or blow us up
and we’re the clowns
for allowing the powers-that-be
to produce our electricity
by burning natural gas

Kipling knew it in 1907,
man, he didn’t say
“Alberta is heaven
he said the city
near our house

Note: the electricity in our house is produced in Medicine Hat, next to the South Saskatchewan River, using the reserves of natural gas under the ground.


Marian said...

preach it, Kay. well done.

Small Kucing said...

a visionary.

yeah we have a lot to rant about but how many are listening :(

De said...

You had me at that title. Love the rhyme and rhythm here.

Sam Edge said...

Well done kay. You are in the heart of the new industrial revolution right now. I was In Ft Mac last year and It was quite a spectacle.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

Question for you, Kay. How do you write?
You are excellent and prolific.
By hand, computer?
Just curious! said...

Kay, that's it, don't hold back. I know, they're fracking under my home town and soon EVERYONE will be able to light their tap water on fire. Disgusting. See "Who Killed The Electric Car?" It might even be at your library. Heartbreaking.

Loved your style in this. I could have the Kerouwackiness of it!! Amy

Hannah said...

It's disturbing, Kay and your rhyme that climbs and powers this poem forward powerfully...well written!!

Maggie Grace said...

Everyone's rant just flows so well. Wonder if that's what blocked up rage feels like unleashed in words. That flow. Seems many of us share the same values and issues which are now haunting us. Great words woven together give this a power punch!

Margaret said... many power sources can kill us...

very sobering. And I googled the documentary Amy mentions above... will watch it soon. Thanks!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

You nailed it, kiddo. It gets crazier and crazier......One of my long time friends has devoted thirty years to the clean energy movement and the amount of inventions suppressed by big money interests is unbelievable.

Susan said...

OwWoooooo! Very clear!

Jessica Arsenault said...

It's hard to fix junk when your in the junk. I like your take. They knew it when they started! Now what? We know what but how?

Kerry O'Connor said...

Well, we can never say that we were not warned.

Lolamouse said...

Love your rant, Kay! This would be great spoken aloud.