Tags: julia vinograd

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For the Young Men Who Died of AIDS - Julia Vinograd

The dead lovers are almost as beautiful
as razor-edged spaces in the air where they used to walk.
Do you remember his hand lazily playing
with the rim of a glass, making the ghost of a bell sound
for his own ghost, and the talk didn't even pause?
The glass is whole. Break it; break it now.
Break everything.
How can people go on buying toothpaste
and planning their summer vacations?
Vegetables would care more.
The potato has a thousand eyes all mourning for the lovers
who lived in their deaths like a country
foreign to everywhere for a long time before dying.
A long time watching people look away.
The potato only met them under the earth
after their deaths and it still wept. And we do not.
The ghost bell makes barely a sound forever.
The dead lovers are still in love, but no one else is.
He took his hand with him, a grave is as good
as a briefcase to keep the essentials in:
a smile, bones, a way of biting his lip
just before looking into your eyes.
Shoulder blades cutting into summer like butter.
All the commuters in a rush hour traffic jam
are cursing because the lovers are dying
faster than their cars.
The child sent to bed without dinner cries
for the lovers, also sent to bed early and without.
Unfair. Throw the dishes against the wall. Break them.
The dead lovers are almost as beautiful
as when they were alive.
You can hear the rim of a glass
tolling for the ghosts to come home.
Break the glass, break the ghosts. Pull down the sky.
Break everything.
Dance on the fragments. Scream their names.
Get splinters of ghosts under your skin
torn and bleeding because it hurts,
because it hurts so bad.
-- Tea!

Ginsberg - by Julia Vinograd

No blame. Anyone who wrote Howl and Kaddish
earned the right to make any possible mistake
for the rest of his life.
I just wish I hadn't made this mistake with him.
It was during the Vietnam war
and he was giving a great protest reading
in Washington Square Park
and nobody wanted to leave.
So Ginsberg got the idea, "I'm going to shout
"the war is over" as loud as I can," he said
"and all of you run over the city
in different directions
yelling the war is over, shout it in offices,
shops, everywhere and when enough people
believe the war is over
why, not even the politicians
will be able to keep it going."
I thought it was a great idea at the time
a truly poetic idea.
So when Ginsberg yelled I ran down the street
and leaned in the doorway
of the sort of respectable down on its luck cafeteria
where librarians and minor clerks have lunch
and I yelled "the war is over."
And a little old lady looked up
from her cottage cheese and fruit salad.
She was so ordinary she would have been invisible
except for the terrible light
filling her face as she whispered
"My son. My son is coming home."
I got myself out of there and was sick in some bushes.
That was the first time I believed there was a war.