(sung to the tune of Ginsberg's "Howl")

I have seen, with my own eyes, a pretty representative cross-section of my
generation, all equally naked
beneath their scrupulously chosen clothing,
dragging methodically from funky cigarettes in search of any fix at all,
staring blankly with burning, starry eyes, well into the night, at anything
but textbooks,
who sat upon the tops of cars in darkness and sincerely contemplated Beavis
and Butthead and Eddie
gallivanting staggering on roofs, painstakingly illuminating their
substantial and literal limits,
who dissipated to universities, 2-year colleges, or jobs (wow, jobs!), for
which they never stopped to think
and thank our commander- in-chief from Arkansas,
who were suspended occasionally for tasteless t-shirts or harmlessly
smattering school windows with
variously artistic and witty graffiti,
who cowered before girls, barely in need of a shave, burning their money on
the cool underwear that no one
but they would ever see,
who during fleecy botanical parasitic pilgrimages dreamt of Scorcese and
beards and NYU,
who rented hotel rooms after prom in hopes of purging their rampant libidos
in forcibly nocturnal paradise,
with creams and pills and latex impersonality, where they dreamt of alcohol
loosening up for them a place
to place their cocks and balls,
who had seen the world and in 6 months could legally drink in Canada,
who, light of mind and full of wine, sang songs they saw performed live in
cramped and sweaty halls,
who feasted on Subway and the batteries from which their Walkmans sucked out
life until the noise of
WLLZ could no longer blast the music drained of brilliance,
whose mainstream lifeblood was beer and CD jukebox radio (Fugazi and crack
for only the most remote),
whose unspoken aim was to cross the bridge of tolerated duration from the
local park to the local bar,
to whom platonic wasn't a word in the Schlitz dictionary or the Molson
vomiting sour nothings and fictitious anecdotes into the ears of any who
would listen,
who wasted away behind brilliant eyes and in front of Total Recall and Sega
Hockey seven days a week,
who lived euchre games as if the blueprints of existence laid the foundation
of Trump Plaza in Atlantic
the excitement of aimless imperialists of personality in bleak furnished
rooms and school hallways,
whose broken hearts laid the tracks which led toward lessons never learned
in those neglected textbooks,
who lit cigarettes from boxes boxes boxes 'cause the foil-wrap didn't fit
the image,
to whom Edgar Allen Poe and John Paul II were either peasants or kings from
Europe or Kansas,
whose baseball allegories made angelic their murky inside humor about the
Indians and Angels,
gloating of hitting the ball like a natural, all the way to Baltimore, if
only they were mad enough,
who rented limousines for homecoming and meticulously pored over each coming
situational impulse,
meticulously pored over each coming situational impulse, meticulously pored
over each coming situational
whose knowledge of the whereabouts of Houston or Africa or how to speak
Spanish or how to play jazz left
hungry their need to know and understand one another and themselves,
who disappeared to Chicago or Cancun, Mexico, for a break from one lesson,
only to find themselves
learning infinitely more (out of the frying pan, into the fireplace),
who tried to find sexy in leaflets of incomprehensible beauty, eyes and skin
a certain color, yet would in the
here and now settle for almost anything,
who hid cigarette burns in the backseats of cars they said were not their
who gave not even a glance to the stack of pamphlets (HIV and ACT) they were
handed each year,
who broke a sweat dominating everything in the gymnasium to impress the
other skeletons,
who wore turtlenecks to hide the scars of battle accrued during the last
who nervously drew pictures in those textbooks of arrows and faces and
wondered afterwards if they really
were genitals,
who uncontrollably guffawed in terror of being someone who enjoyed a good
fuck up the ass,
who gloated of having been blown or being in love or (rarely) both, who
mornings and evenings privately
wasted semen to shameful radio ballads, visualizing whomever came to mind,
who giggled in anticipation of the encounter, preceded by hiccups and
followed by sobs,
whose blatant heterosexuality and allowance of anything else as long as it
didn't touch them was to each
an inwardly intellectual stance,
who had never heard the word "copulate," but wanted to so badly, even if it
took bottles of beer to make the
ultimate cunt out of whomever was convenient,
who snatched from the trembling just one thing which was everything and then
was nothing by sunrise,
who labeled whores based on the night before, and who were ignorant of
Adonis but would've gladly taken
her in,
who faintly hoped that their limited knowledge of movies and maybe Ginsberg
could keep away the
beckoning of the unemployment office,
who grew up on stories of how much worse it used to be, how grandpa hiked to
a one-room schoolhouse
through snow banks in borrowed shoes with his brother on his back,
who claimed identification with Morrison and Joplin and Hendricks and other
icons who were crowned in
pseudo-suicidal oblivion before our lives began,
who nervously joked of crabs and gonorrhea over lamb stew and rivers of
Mountain Dew,
who lambasted a musical concept of romance they would have gladly and
privately embraced,
to whom "Under the Bridge" and "Jeremy" provided not only lofty listening
but anthem,
having never heard "Harlem Nocturne" or the symphony "Pathetique,"
who united in rock'n'roll mourning at the death of Kurt Cobain and chuckled
in yellow blase at that of
Richard Nixon,
who would choke down lung heart feet tail or whatever they wrapped up in
tortillas and sold dirt cheap at
Taco Bell,
and would plunge into a meaty second, loving it now and utterly negligent of
its consequences later,
whose concept of time was rationed out by nothing more than alarm clocks and
fashionable Mickey Mouse
who would be successfully unsuccessful at anything but giving up and growing
old and crying,
who would both embrace and shun flannel as the sinister drunken intelligents
of Seattle deemed
who jumped off any platform they ever climbed, this regularly happens for
just one free beer,
who sang with the radio out the windows of their parents' cars, Japanese and
American, rarely European,
harmonic moans beneath the blast of installed Pioneers,
who barreled down highways and Main Street hyper-aware or utterly careless
of one another's hot rods,
who used to run cross-country or play soccer or none of the above with equal
whose plain John Denver faces have faded and will fade into irretrievable
who prayed to the depths of their souls that chance would illuminate this
girl's breasts or that girl's hair,
who slept alone, the reality of their youth having been sweetly accepted,
who reminisced about that break in Cancun, Mexico, and passionately lamented
the mount that got away,
who were hypnotized by a radio which planted in them the seeds of insanity,
or so the songs said,
which would inevitably lead them to the madhouse, or suicide, or lobotomy,
or potato salad,
some of whom would decompose in dormantory rooms, ingesting pizza and
electricity hydrotherapy
psychotherapy amnesia and more pizza,
who overturned every personal promise, vacillating like a dead-locked game
of primal ping-pong,
ceaselessly searching for the visible, what tears could stain and fingers
rock and roll, and love, and dreams, and echoes, soul, and bodies, (mother
shuns the telephone at 4 a.m., the
yellow paper rose, the true imaginary, every little bit of everything except
the books, ******)
whose latex safety net stood tall as the pinnacle of chasm, animal lust from
soupy disease,
whose obsession (driven alchemy) would go each week unsatisfied,
the images of which would carry them through five days of elements and nouns
and verbs,
and syntax and prose of which no amount could aid the speechlessness and
shaking when pleas for
nakedness were rejected,
nothing left to say, the madman left to beat in time to pulsing dreams of
the unknown down there,
whose lone diversion after was to blow the suffering and find some solace in
any shadow of a band the
radio could offer,
with the sketchy honest finger-pointing heart of the poem of life's
assignment good for a thousand little

jason christopher kirk [email protected]