I .
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the Negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the
machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness
of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on
tenement roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light
tragedy among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows
of the skull,
who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and
listening to the Terror through the wall,
who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for
New York,
who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their
torsos night after night
with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,
incomparable blind; streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping toward
poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,
Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the
rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and
moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and
kind king light of mind,
who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on
benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering
mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light
of Zoo,
who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's floated out and sat through the stale beer
after noon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen
who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the
Brooklyn Bridge,
lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off
windowsills off Empire State out of the moon,
yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball
kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,
whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for
the Synagogue cast on the pavement,
who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of
Atlantic City Hall,
suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings and migraines of China under
junk-withdrawal in Newark's bleak furnished room,
who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go,
and went, leaving no broken hearts,
who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms
in grandfather night,
who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos
instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,
who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary
indian angels,
who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,
who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight
street light smalltown rain,
who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed
the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so
took ship to Africa,
who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind nothing but the shadow of
dungarees and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fire place Chicago,
who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the F.B.I. in beards and shorts with big
pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,
who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,
who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while
the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Staten
Island ferry also wailed,
who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of
other skeletons,
who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in police cars for committing no crime
but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,
who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and
who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,
who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and
Caribbean love,
who balled in the morning in the evenings in rose gardens and the grass of public parks and
cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may,
who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a
Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,
who lost their love boys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual
dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing
but sit on
her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads of the craftsman's loom,
who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a
candle and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on
the wall
with a vision of ultimate cunt and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,
who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed in the
morning but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks under barns and
naked in the
who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of
these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver--joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls
in empty
lots & diner backyards, movie houses' rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt
waitresses in
familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, &
alleys too,
who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan,
and picked themselves up out of basements hungover with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third
Avenue iron
dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,
who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door
in the East River to open to a room full of steamheat and opium,
who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the
wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,
who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the
rivers of Bowery,
who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords
in their lofts,
who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky
surrounded by orange crates of theology,
who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow

morning were stanzas of gibberish,
who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure
vegetable kingdom,
who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,
who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, &
alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,
who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to
antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,
who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of
leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine
shrieks of the
fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by
the drunken
taxicabs of Absolute Reality,
who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and
forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free
who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the filthy
Passaic, leaped on Negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot
phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and
threw up groaning
into the bloody toilet, moans in their ears
and the blast of colossal steam whistles,
who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to each other's hotrod-Golgotha
jail-solitude watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,
who drove cross-country seventy-two hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or
he had a vision to find out Eternity,
who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain,
who watched over Denver & brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the
Time, & now
Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other's salvation and light
breasts, until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,
who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden heads
and the charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,
who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to
boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the
daisychain or
who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their insanity &
their hands & a hung jury,
who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and subsequently presented
on the granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide,
instantaneous lobotomy,
and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy
psychotherapy occupational therapy ping-pong & amnesia,
who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic ping-pong table, resting briefly in
returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible
mad man doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,
Pilgrim State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the
rocking and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a
nightmare, bodies
turned to stone as heavy as the moon,
with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and
the last door closed at 4. A.M. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the
last furnished
room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a
wire hanger in the
closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination--
ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you're really in the total animal soup
of time
and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy
the use of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,
who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and
trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs
and set the noun
and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna
to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless
intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the
rhythm of
thought in his naked and endless head,
the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left
to say in time come after death,
and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and
the suffering of America's naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani
saxophone cry that
shivered the cities down to the last radio
with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a
thousand years.


What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming
under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the
heavy judger of men!
Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress
sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the
Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch
whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear
is a smoking
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the
long streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories dream and croak in the fog!
Moloch whose
smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!
Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks!
Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless
hydrogen! Moloch
whose name is the Mind!
Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream Angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker
in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!
Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body!
Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in
Moloch! Light
streaming out of the sky!
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals!
demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous
They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the
city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!
Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the Americanriver!
Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!
Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs!
Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years' animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad
generation! down on the
rocks of Time!
Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade
farewell! They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river!
into the street!


Carl Solomon! I'm with you in Rockland
where you're madder than I am
I'm with you in Rockland
where you must feel very strange
I'm with you in Rockland
where you imitate the shade of my mother
I'm with you in Rockland
where you've murdered your twelve secretaries
I'm with you in Rockland
where you laugh at this invisible humor
I'm with you in Rockland
where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter
I'm with you in Rockland
where your condition has become serious and is reported on the radio
I'm with you in Rockland
where the faculties of the skull no longer admit the worms of the senses
I'm with you in Rockland
where you drink the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
I'm with you in Rockland
where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the harpies of the Bronx
I'm with you in Rockland
where you scream in a straightjacket that you're losing the game of the actual pingpong
of the abyss
I'm with you in Rockland
where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is innocent and immortal it should
never die ungodly in an armed madhouse
I'm with you in Rockland
where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from its
pilgrimage to a cross in the void
I'm with you in Rockland
where you accuse your doctors of insanity and plot the Hebrew socialist revolution
against the fascist national Golgotha
I'm with you in Rockland
where you will split the heavens of Long Island and resurrect your living human Jesus
from the superhuman tomb
I'm with you in Rockland
where there are twenty-five-thousand mad comrades all together singing the final
stanzas of the Internationale
I'm with you in Rockland
where we hug and kiss the United States under our bed sheets the United States that
coughs all night and won't let us sleep
I'm with you in Rockland
where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls' airplanes roaring over
the roof they've come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself imaginary
walls collapse O skinny legions run outside O starry spangled shock of mercy the
eternal war is here O victory forget your underwear we're free
I'm with you in Rockland
in my dreams you walk dripping from a seajourney on the highway across America
in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night
San Francisco 1955-56