1/29/84 N.Y.C., by Allen Ginsberg

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By Allen Ginsberg (1926–97), from Wait Till I’m Dead, a volume of his uncollected poems that will be published by Grove Atlantic in February.

Up late Sunday, late nite reading thru New York Times
Danced slow motion Tai Chi once,
boiled water, hot lemonade purifies the liver
Twice more the 13 steps of Tai Chi,
cleaned my face, teeth, altar in my bedroom,
filled seven brass cups with water & laid them out straight rowed
Sat for an hour — Why’d the New York Times call Living Theatre riffraff?
Has CIA taken over culture? am I a mad bohemian with bad bile?
The steamheat radiator burned down ancient forests,
my window was open, excess heat escaped
I could hear chattering & cries of children
from the church steps across the street —
well-dressed adults stepped out fur-collared
as I looked up from my pillow —
hundreds of fluffy snowflakes filled the air
above East 12th Street’s lamps & cars
floating down like dandelion seeds from gray sky
floating up and drifting west and east by the fire escape

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