“What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman” —Allen Ginsberg A Supermarket in California “think of Ginsberg’s A Supermarket in California, for instance—a revision that, come to think of it, gets us past the avant-garde/mainstream, or post- avant/School of Quietude, faultline that has troubled our thinking on poetry for so long.”—Barrett Watten, “Entry 06: Sylvia Plath’s Collage” http://barrettwatten.net/texts/entry-06-sylvia-plaths-50s-collage/2010/01/ _____________________________ What thoughts I have of you tonight— Walt Whitman, as I cruise down the aisles Under the neon lights with a headache— Self-consciously thinking of my hungry fatigue Shopping for images, cruising the supermarket— Dreaming of the cute pouty grocery boys! What peach-fuzz and penis penumbras!— Old queens shopping at night! Aisles full of fags! Queering the avocados, fondling the tomatoes!— And you, García Lorca, going down on zucchini? I saw you, Walt Whitman, boyless & lonely— Poking among the cold meats in the locker Eyeing the grocery boys like I’m doing now— Asking things like: How’s your pork chops, baby?
“What price is your big banana, cute Angel?”— As I wander along with other moiling queens Followed in my imagination by the store dick— Tailing me down the open corridors of Safeway Such fancy-tasting artichokes, my dear— Possessing every tender chicken delicacy Where are we going now, Walt Whitman?— Which way does our beard point tonight? I touch your book & dream of your odyssey— You & Miss Ginsberg here in the supermarket We stroll all night through the solitary aisles— Dreaming of the lost America of love past due When will it finally arrive, my fellow lonely Poet— Ah, dear father, graybeard, lonely old teacher? What America did you have in mind back then— When lilacs last in your dooryard bloom’d? And the great star early droop’d down in the— In the great western sky of the night As I mourn’d, yet shall mourn with each— Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to bring Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star— Thinking of him who Charon took away Now here I am in a CA supermarket— Lost in aisles full of black water’d Lethe?