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Poems

Travels with Allen

I met Allen Ginsberg
when he was still in advertising
just after he’d moved to the West Coast.
We came up with some amazing jingles
for mouthwash, almost like haiku:
“It’ll knock the communism right out of yr mouth.”
I was there at the Six Gallery Reading,
thinking it would be a good place to get laid,
except Kerouac had already scored all the chicks,
and most of the guys too.
And thanks to those jugs of wine,
I really had to go to the bathroom
by the time Allen had ripped Moloch a new one.
I followed them to the Chinese restaurant afterwards,
but could only scrounge enough cash for a few egg rolls.
I hopped a ship with them to India, but got bored
with Peter Orlovsky taking all that opium only
to throw it up in the morning. I was there
when the Czech students crowned Allen King of May.
You should have seen them carrying Allen
on their shoulders, resplendent in his makeshift regalia.
I still see Allen Ginsberg every time I walk
into the supermarket and try to buy what I need
with my good looks. The cashier’s never quite
convinced, but Allen’s pockets are big enough
to lift whatever I need, and then some.

By Joshua Keiter

reader, writer, actor, singer, teacher