August 9th, 2024


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  • Photos by Yosuke Yamahata, August 10, 1945. Poem by Allen Ginsberg, 1978.

    The true picture of the past flits by. The past can be seized only as an image which flashes up at the instant when it can be recognized and is never seen again…every image of the past that is not recognized by the present as one of its own concerns threatens to disappear irretrievably.

    — Walter Benjamin

    Nagasaki Days

    I — A Pleasant Afternoon

    for Michael Brownstein and Dick Gallup

    One day 3 poets and 60 ears sat under a green-striped Chau-
    tauqua tent in Aurora
    listening to Black spirituals, tapping their feet, appreciating
    words singing by in mountain winds
    on a pleasant sunny day of rest — the wild wind blew thru
    blue Heavens
    filled with fluffy clouds stretched from Central City to Rocky
    Flats, Plutonium sizzled in its secret bed,
    hot dogs sizzled in the Lion’s Club lunchwagon microwave
    mouth, orangeade bubbled over in waxen cups
    Traffic moved along Colefax, meditators silent in the Diamond
    Castle shrine-room at Boulder followed the breath going
    out of their nostrils,
    Nobody could remember anything, spirits flew out of mouths
    & noses, out of the sky, across Colorado plains & the
    tent flapped happily open spacious & didn’t fall down.

    June 18, 1978

    II — Peace Protest

    Cumulus clouds float across blue sky
    over the white-walled Rockwell Corporation factory
    – am I going to stop that?


    Rocky Mountains rising behind us
    Denver shining in morning light
    – Led away from the crowd by police and photographers


    Middleaged Ginsberg and Ellsberg taken down the road
    to the greyhaired Sheriff’s van –
    But what about Einstein? What about Einstein? Hey, Einstein
    Come back!

    III — Golden Courthouse

    Waiting for the Judge, breathing silent
    Prisoners, witnesses, Police –
    the stenographer yawns into her palms.

    August 9, 1978

    IV — Everybody’s Fantasy

    I walked outside & the bomb’d
    dropped lots of plutonium
    all over the Lower East Side
    There weren’t any buildings left just
    iron skeletons
    groceries burned, potholes open to
    stinking sewer waters

    There were people starving and crawling
    across the desert
    the Martian UFOs with blue
    Light destroyer rays
    passed over and dried up all the

    Charred Amazon palmtrees for
    hundreds of miles on both sides
    of the river

    August 10, 1978

    V — Waiting Room at the Rocky Flats Plutonium Plant

    “Give us the weapons we need to protect ourselves!”
    the bareheaded guard lifts his flyswatter above the desk
    – whap!


    A green-letter’d shield on the pressboard wall!
    “Life is fragile. Handle with care” –
    My Goodness! here’s where they make the nuclear bomb

    August 17, 1978

    VI — Numbers in Red Notebook

    2,000,000 killed in Vietnam
    13,000,000 refugees in Indochina 1972
    200,000,000 years for the Galaxy to revolve on its core
    24,000 the Babylonian Great Year
    24,000 half life of plutonium
    2,000 the most I ever got for a poetry reading
    80,000 dolphins killed in the dragnet
    4,000,000,000 years earth been born

    Summer 1978

    Allen Ginsberg

    Ginsberg sat at a great distance from the sorrow, and though a great poet, the poem was ultimately about him and not about the reason so many gathered at Rocky Flats, the dull horror of a yellow hazed day with hot radioactive winds blowing, so many dead and the wind burning the very marrow out of the living.

    August 9th, 2024

    Stoning two birds

    Halley Suitt (Webbly 2.0ischenfrau and mother) and Jeannine Gailey Hall (tech writer and poet) take their lickin’ from Madame L. this morning in a brilliant post that includes the line..


    more cowbell’s please, Charlotte.

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