The Lion of the Beats


Valery Oisteanu

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 106 in 2003.

a sitting meditation for Allen Ginsberg

Maybe immortality will come calling on East 13th Street
And feel the void left behind in the big loft
Maybe the bold flag-bearers for the beats
Will march tonight throughout Tibet
Maybe the Dalai Lama will proclaim your spirit as a Divine Entity Lion of Dharma
How come you came to die so soon?
Love dies, body dies, flowers die
But the anarchistic spirit keeps growing
Last drink, last phone call, last joint
Last poem, last new moon like a withered white rose
The circle has closed
Now we are the flag-bearers with long hair for the hippie generation The voice of the beatniks, of generations possessed
Now is the time for the post-beats, the freedom-obsessed
E=mc2 at 2:00 A.M., April 5, 1997
The hour of our discontent
The portals of heaven are opened by Buddha
It's hard to amend your untimely death, your brave song's end
The monks are chanting, led by Rimpoche
Aum Mane Padhme Aum
We read together at Chinese Chance, at St. Marks Church, at TNC And finally at Huncke's memorial
Allen Ginsberg, you asked my friend, what is his name again? Pointing towards me
Too late now,
My name is sitting Shiva, in sitting meditation
For the lion of the freedom
For the lion of New York