Meryl Meisler, excellent photographer (and etc.) is publishing a NEW BOOK about the 70’s, Jews, disco, Brooklyn and a few other things. Here’s her site. http://www.merylmeisler.com She asked me for an Allen Ginsberg poem. Here it is for Meryl, for Allen G., and for you.
or I Wanted to be Him
When I moved to New York City
in the 70’s from Ansonia small
factory town in Connecticut
Allen G was who I wanted to meet.
My friend Jean Boudin she was a Good Beat Poet
she said Allen will see anyone
if they’ll buy him breakfast. She
found his number from Kenneth Koch
and I, an office temp at Rochester Button
had plenty of breakfast money.
In the diner he was Allen Ginsberg.
Ask me anything he said, in exchange
for two eggs. How can I be a poet
like you? Not having read even one word
I wrote he said You Are a Poet,
Esther Cohen. Can I quote you?
I asked. You have my lifetime permission
He said and all these years later, I am.
A few weeks ago at a poet’s retreat
in San Miguel de Allende the British
Poet laureate, a Sir, he did not like
my poems. You he said infusing the You
with Ultimate British Disdain You
He repeated are in the same category
as that American poet Allen Ginsberg.
At long last, I replied.