Page III

America Revisited

America I came here looking for myself and now we're both lost.
America the second nuclear alert in seven months June 3, 1980.
What fireworks, Ginsberg!
America you shouldn't have frightened me into social insecurity.
I thought I'd never finish this poem I swear.
It's all your fault I'm not the one who started it.
I was 25 years old then now I feel like forty.
I haven't respected myself since our disagreement over Vietnam
          I hope you're satisfied.
America when will you calm down?
When will you act your age?
When will you normalize relations with inner space?
When will you please come home from the moon?
I do believe you've taken this thing a bit too far.
You made me want to relive my adolescence forever.
America when will you establish a meaningful dialogue with the
When will you teach sex education to your ministers of war and
When will you finally yield the right of way to future
I don't wanna grow old and sad and sit on a parkbench and cry.
I'm obsessed with my youth enough as it is.
I look at it every morning in the mirror.
I don't mind telling you I'm beginning to like what I see.
America when will your elected officials take the role of
          Robin Hood seriously?
I know you're an anarchist at heart.
Why don't you just admit it nobody's listening anyway.
When will you clean up your act?
You've made a fine mess of things.
Steven's in the nuthouse they might not let him out I think
          it's serious.
When will you provide for his peace of mind and promote his
          sexual tranquility?
Everyone I talk to is already burning their closet doors and
          football jerseys I see it all now Gay businessmen in
          grey flannel suits with pansies in their lapels
          running the Bay Area Rapid Transit not to mention
          the Staten Island Ferry O Walt Whitman what visions
          I have of orgasmic happenings in public places
          Heavy breathing on the radio at boyscout jamborees
          in tearooms hockshops highschool lockerrooms
          drugstores where aphrodisiacs are dispensed free
          of charge by the government if there is one even in
          New Mexico's crowded american legion halls When I
          came home from Syracuse by rail I was cruised up and
          down every aisle I kid you not and I'm not even good
          looking I here declare the beginning of my final
          sexual revolution Mother Daughter and Ginsberg-
          Spirit when I grow up I want to be more famous than
          Anita Bryant.

America I have the key to all your daughters' chastity belts.
You cannot deny me I mean business.
I know this is your way.
America Kent State did this to me I don't have any regrets.
America exonerate the Berrigan brothers.
America free Benjamin Sasway this very minute.
America save your children of the Love Canal.
America Harvey Milk must not die.
All the history books are talking about how you did them in.
I won't tell the FBI a thing.
I don't trust myself on my own recognizance.
Even my lawyer advised me against starring in this poem.
America I deserve an Academy Award nomination for this
        performance alone I know it's gotta happen sooner or later.
I can still remember my bill of rights after highschool civics.
Gimme one good reason why not.
OK what have you to say for yourself now?
I hear America singing on MTV.
America shut up don't talk to me like that I can't even hear
          my own self think.
If you don't like the tone of my poem you can leave I really
                       wouldn't mind.

And another thing America it's that cuban that cuban and the
          madman Q'addafi. And that cuban.
The castro's in Angola The castro's in Ethiopia The castro's in
          Grenada Mozambique Nicaragua and the People Magazine
          The castro won't leave me alone The castro's in
          every letter of the international alphabet soup Oh
          my gosh How he be in so many places at once?
Now the cuba want guantanamo bay Give her that she take
          everything tampa to hudson bay just you wait and see
The castro no care about world order Him no play straight pool
          Him try wreck two-party system Him with terrible
          third world force Where him learn that nasty stuff
          Where him go to school Princeton?
That cuban real godless satanic power.

No need to tell me I already know the Marines are coming again
                          I can read.
Does the tide come in every day?
Do the waves wash the sands from one beachhead to the next?
Do more people watch the superbowl than vote in the
          Presidential election?
Is the gross national product of General Dynamics more than the
          GNPs of Luxembourg and Iceland combined?
America let's set the record straight once and for all.
I destroyed my draft card years ago.
I can't afford a one-way passport and refuse to sign any more
          loyalty oaths.
I get seasick just thinking about all those naval bases in the
          Indian Ocean it's ridiculous.
America are you being ridiculous or is this your idea of
          having a fucking good time?
It's also high time I told you off for all the friends you've
          hooked on alcohol and cocaine.
America quit interrupting me I'm not finished yet.
When will you have a change of heart?
When will you accept the verdict of eternity?
When will you issue an immediate restraining order on the
                      arms race?
I would've gladly paid my taxes except for all those bombs.
I've run out of primal screams and enough fingers and toes and
          spy satellites to keep track of all this.
Everyday somebody wants to build a new missile system.
America stop the criminal MX subway I want off.
How many times do I have to say this?
Silos are for grain.
America feed your forty million poor.

America I am working overtime on an equitable division of labor.
I demand a sexual opinion.
My queer bill of health has been certified by the American
          Psychiatric Association.
I'm trying to conduct myself accordingly.
I have acquired the proper attitude.
I will not lower my voice.
I won't get out of the way.
I have very little to say to the heterosexist press.
I still make love against the national interest.
I am looking for more gainful employment tomorrow.
I consider myself qualified for the next equal opportunity.
I'm retooling to the best of my capacity.
I am reconstructing the free world in my own image.
I'm delegating my authority with all deliberate speed.
I sure am taking my time.
I wasn't born this clumsy you know.
I never was any good at russian roulette.
I think I can handle the Mideast situation.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
I've got my telephone lines tapped as well.
I'm turning up the volume.
I'd like to see that instant replay of the 1960s again.
I certainly wouldn't mind a more aerobic social life.
I'm making do with as much of the world's resources as I can
                  manage to utilize.
I once felt called to a higher purpose.
I continue to intervene overseas against my best intentions.
I must be getting nostalgic.
I can't help myself it's not easy being a superpower.
I haven't missed a trick one night this week.
I'm hustling my ass in arms sales to the Third World.
I ain't pussyfooting around in the Caribbean no more.
I knew it would come down to admitting this someday.
I always wanted the courage to give up Puerto Rico.
I hope you can accept my confiding this in you.
I've never been happy keeping anything top secret.
I now see myself in a new light.
I am broadening my horizons to include the Persian Gulf oil
I'm embarked upon a fiscal policy of restraint.
I bailed out Chrysler Corporation as fast as you wouldn't
          believe it.
I am full speed ahead with toxic waste cleanup.
I'd bet my national health insurance policy on it.
America I'll raise you 20 cents the price of first class postage.
I don't seem to have much choice in the matter.
I'd prefer the most direct route available.
I've given my two weeks notice.
I'm vacating the premises immediately.
I won't be back by popular demand so don't wait up.
I've had enough of this New Deal up to here.
I'm kicking out of the regulatory stops.
I'm revving up my diesel engines.
I'm at 130 in 6 seconds flat.
I'm cutting through the red tape and the federal wilderness
I ain't slowing down for no congressional investigation.
I'm making a detour to the far left.
America I refuse to relinquish my mineral rights without a
          good fight.
I'm rolling up my sleeves be careful.
I've been on my good behavior since I got kicked out of Saigon.
I know I let that motherfucker warcriminal Kissinger off too easy
                  I'll get him yet.
I'm moving right along.
I don't have much time left in the half-life of this poem so
          listen up.
I never said I wanted to be part of this monstrous
          bureaucratic thing.
I should've known better than to trust the New York Times.
I can't help free enterprise with all these environmental nuts
          running around.
I'm calling in the National Association of Manufacturers.
I never heard better advice in my life.
I'm putting the whole damn countryside and continental shelf
          up for sale lock, stock and porkbarrel.
I have no other means of child support honest.
I'm cashing in my food stamps that's it.
I wouldn't dream of touching the military budget.
I've never taken personal insults lightly.
I'm warning you Russia hands off Poland.
I won't take anymore excuses about spheres of influence.
I'm preparing my pershing missiles for Western Europe right
          now don't ask me why.
I'm afraid I haven't heard the last of this one yet.
I'm sick and tired of having to explain myself to the peaceniks.
I'll have you believing me before the next commercial
I'm running off at the mouth again.
I can't take the heat in El Salvador.
I made more sense before rigging the last free election.
I become so confused when the details get too technical.
I haven't been drinking.
I won't be intimidated by the rebels.
I'm making my last stand south of the Rio Grande.
I'm gonna cut 'em off at the isthmus of Panama.
I'll teach the poor Nicaraguans a history lesson or two mark my words.
I sensed the mandate of my electoral landslide all right.
I could be mistaken though it wouldn't be the first time.
I also have to credit a $500 billion international debt compounded
America I have been asked to deliver this coup de grace free of charge.
I will next attempt to balance my checking account with a
          constitutional amendment.
I realize this isn't exactly what the founding fathers had
          in mind.

O Mother forgive me I cannot tell a lie.
I lie awake at night playing with myself.
I fall asleep dreaming Peoria is in flames.
America who said the holocaust ended in 1945?
Manifest Destiny gobbles two million Cambodians without a belch.
This death-wish is too much for both of us.
I wash my hands of the entire thing.
America this is my last confessional poem.
My closet collects laundry nothing more.
It looks like I'm gonna start preaching again.
I won't go back to the Church.
When will one of your Presidents go to Nagasaki and Hiroshima
          to lay a wreath and beg forgiveness?
America down on your knees.
America we can't go on seeing each other this way.
Sam, all my friends are becoming suspicious.
Sam, tell 'em it ain't true.
I can't take you anywhere it's embarrassing.
I'm tired of making excuses for your silly behavior, staying out
          all night and never bringing the boys home.
America stop teasing I wanna finish my poem right away.
Be a grand old man and go to sleep real soon.
Sweet dreams America with a wave of my fairy wand.

                                                           Newark, DE - Provincetown, MA
                                                                                         May 1980 - August 1983


The Day After    page 1
Poem Against the Reagan Administration    page 2
At a Rally in Washington Against the Draft    page 2
America Revisited    page 3
Poems for a Small Place to Rest    page 4   page 5   page 6
What He Would Not Tell Him    page 7
Waking Poem    page 7
Moon    page 7
Laborers    page 7
Spring 1980    page 7
Lebanon 1982    page 8
As the Latin American War Approaches    page 8
Poem for Immediate Disarmament    page 8
To Whom It May Concern    page 9
Song of the Little Girl    page 10

to the collection The Book of Awakenings