21 May 2009

'youthful, caressing, boisterous, tender
middle aged thoughtful, ten thousand noticings of shore ship or street,
workbench, forest, household or office, opera-
that conning his paper book again to read aloud to those few chinese boys & girls
who know enough american tongue to ear his hand-
loath to select one leaf from another, loath to reject a sympathetic page
-the tavern boy's look, a stone prisoner's mustache-sweat, prostitute in the sun, garrulous old man waving goodbye on the stoop-
i skim leaves beginning to end, this year in the middle kingdom
marvel his swimmers huffing naked on the wave
and touched by his desperado farewell, 'who touches this book touches a man'
tip the hat on my skull
to the old soldier, old sailor, old writer, old homosexual, old christ poet journeyman,
inspired in middle age to chaunt eternity in manhattan,
and see the speckled snake & swelling orb earth vanish
after green seasons civil war and years of snow
white hair.'

i love old whitman so by allen ginsberg, november 1984

(i was reading through this book today & came across this poem, ironic bc i am so deeply in love with whitmans work right now)