America Again (after Ginsberg)
by MICHAEL CORRIGANread by the author
One of your citizens is singing in the desert
A widower who lives with a noisy cat
Hear my song
This is alarming
What’s going on?
All my friends are sick or gone
Your economy is sinking
We are taking down the world with us
What can I do? Buy a new Ford?
The university is for sale
The Dean says retire now
Write that reminiscence of times past
Hoards of men and women camp in the parks and on beaches
A few workers build bridges to hide the homeless
The local porn shop offers a stimulus package
My church is the theatre
I search for the magical want ad:
Wanted, playwright, guaranteed 50 grand a year
My God is the pigeon-toed Jew from Duluth
Ask him what the matter is,
Oh to hear him talk
I’m a dreamer waiting on Stockholm
You’ve won the Nobel Prize
Royalties for six months: three dollars and thirteen cents
Social Security sees gaps in my work record
I’m a Celtic bohemian, I say, lucky to get this far
And too old for the marines
I have a lover in a parallel universe
The girl who won’t set me free
Is it a fantasy or a false memory?
Come on, you’ve all been here before
That lover you knew for a short while
Like the girl from the Red River shore
When will your cowboys read Ginsberg?
When will Walt Whitman get off that Brooklyn Ferry
To celebrate and sing again the body electric?
Where are the poets to replace those who lost hope or drowned?
We need all hands on deck
Uncle Walt will find a dark Irish captain
Anything is possible
Before Charon with his fiery eyes
Poles us across that dark river
About the Author: Michael Corrigan’s first book, Confessions of a Shanty Irishman was a memoir that garnered considerable critical praise. His second, The Irish Connection and Other Stories, was compared to a “proper pint of Guinness, to be shared round the table amongst friends and strangers soon to be friends.” He is also the author of The Filmmakers and Byron, noir thrillers set in Hollywood and Idaho, respectively.