light painting

Beat, like this

(after Rumi)


When someone asks how Ginsberg lived

take off all your clothes

            like this.


What does "Beat" mean ?

It means the same as

            right now and

            right here and

            with you.


If someone wants to know what

Kerouac's books were about

take them on a drive

            in the night

            on a fast highway

            without any destination.


And if they don't understand

Burroughs obsession with word virus

tell them to try pretending for a day

that everything in advertisements is true

            and see how they feel.


And if someone starts to go on

with their learned ideas about Buddhism

read them

            Ginsberg's Sunflower Sutra

            Snyder's Riprap

            Kerouac's Dharma Bums.


And where are the Beats now

            play Pearl Jam, Radiohead,

            Bob Dylan

            Nine Inch Nails and Patti Smith.


And if someone asks why they

should read Beat

tell them to sit in a mall

and try to find one face

            full of joy.


And if anyone wakes up

from their mind fog of ego schemes

long enough to really see the food

on the end of their fork

tell them about

            the naked lunch.


If the doctors are still cheerfully

prescribing antidepressants

to poor suckers too sensitive to cope

with the cities of Moloch then

            stand up and

            howl !


If someone wants to know which

of the Beats were gay

have a stranger of unrevealed gender

kiss that person in darkness

            like this.


And if someone asks if anyone

is still reading the Beats

read them this poem

            like this.