Ginsberg, Like You, I Feel the Pull
Dangerous to flip though the Weeklies
they capture vulnerable minds, the buzz—
hunger-edge yearnings to be satisfied
the allure of exotic Happy Hours
the nightlife throb—plays, burlesque,
fringe—late shows set in back alleys
beg you out of the house into the
fray of bodies who wield themselves wily
for pleasure to perform. The calling is loud,
boisterous, buoyant, stirring the brainwaves—
endeavors that catapult the peace of a quiet evening
reading, disturbing a good night sleep.
Polish the mind, Ginsberg said, it is not the poem
you must fuss with, it’s in the breath—the message
from the senses enable the vision that lands on
the page one frame at a time—caustic they fume
like an apricot sour, or soft, a Smith and Hawkins
you want to sip and swim immersed venerable soul.
There is not enough time to read every paper
explore every page or eat in every restaurant,
embrace every beautiful person, enfold your arms
comfortable into each S curve waist your body
imagines, longing always to nest, so let the papers rest.
Tomorrow there is somewhere to be—
always tomorrow, or next week, some random
day the mind has already fled to—
Was this how you planned to live your life?
Did you want to be here now? Present. Buddha.
Slow, cooking beans, chopping vegetables—being
centered. Taking long walks easy on Sunday
mornings. Ideals like memories fade fast.
How to get back—it’s in the breath
you’ve heard, there were conversations
with gurus, there were moments of insight
there was that revelation that time you slipped
out of your body—but then some president
had to go start an illegal war. But then, you
live in the best imperialistic country ever.
And you had a sore throat and you had fifty
friends who called and everything speeded up
and there was that calendar filled into next year
already by July and of course your breath
All the people needed you—expected you to show up
at the corner Polish restaurant, follow your hunger
to eat Chinese noodles or pan sautéed fish—they
knew what you liked—exalted you, but you are gone.
So many leave so fast these days cause there’s no time
to cut vegetables, cook slow beans all day, we must join
the nightlife, see the plays—take our mind off the shit
happening, drown ourselves in litter busted lives
we fill to no end with the crap slave-driving corporations
exploit to sell. There are alternatives
if we look beyond—when we breathe
the last breath, step across an altar waiting, it’s okay
now you exhale—then there is the one final inhale—
long and slow while the soul leaves—it’s hard to
take that last breath in, hard to suck—hard to fill
each cavity when you know you’re gone for good.
Julene Tripp Weaver has a private counseling practice in Seattle. Her book, No Father Can Save Her, is published by Plain View Press. Her chapbook, An AIDS Case Manager Wails Her Blues, is writing from her work through the heart of the AIDS epidemic. Her poems are published in many journals, including Drash, Menacing Hedge, Gutter Eloquence and Future Earth Magazine. Most recently, her work is included in Garrison Keillor’s collection, Good Poems American Places, and in the anthology, Wait A Minute, I Have to Take Off My Bra. She does wordplay on Twitter @trippweavepoet and has a website, julenetrippweaver.com.