Sunday, June 3, 2018

Revolution on Canvas: Brian Martinez Pens a Letter to Dear Ginsberg...

photo © Mark Butkus 2010
Poetry from the Indie Music Scene.

Dear Ginsberg...

I wrote a letter to Ginsberg and
and sent it to the sky,
through my eyes and to the
nearest stars and with pupils
opened wide, I cried and cried,
unashamed, uninhibited. the
angels read aloud to Ginsberg,
sitting in some heaven ness sky,

I proclaimed,
Oh Ginsberg you made me weep
and weep the teariest tears
for all my years, although
only twenty, I aged with you
and sat in my skin
rocking and creaking
like nana's old rocking chair.

And a soft chuckle,
short gasps of breath
that otherwise would have
been the screams of
beauty like some lonely
streetlight that begs
to be stood under,
orange skinned
and orange tinged...

And to hear you sacrifice
yourself time and time again
and splattered your bloody
ink and your invisible
soul to me and to others
and I wiped my eyes once
again...

I proclaim oh Ginsberg,
you made me wish for a soft body,
and soft hair,
naked touches,
and the power of the nail
that scratches and marks
the skin and be handled
and and and and,
for the cool soft sweat
and shivers under the covers...

You made me want to
jump off balconies and
out of windows testing the limits
of constructed worlds
and falsehoods that look
like movie sets,
and find the rubber air bags
to catch me,
and say ha! I knew it!

Ginsberg,
I apologize for stealing
your style,
I promise I'm not
making a dime...

Ginsberg,
how am I supposed to
write what you have already
written? How will I see
everything anew,
and fresh,
will they come to me?
Or will I have to dig
under the graves of dead
plants, dead water
to see a reflection,
a simile,
a verse?

No wait,
Ginsberg,
don't tell,
don't kiss,
don't kiss and tell,
stay silent,
I don't want to know,

I want to know,
but i want to know...
I'll know
when I see it,
when I feel it,
when I smell it,
and when I do, I'll weep
for me,
weep for you,
weep for the world,
weep for everything imaginable,
weep for dusty roads,
and highways,
weep for new clouds,
and new adventures,
weep for weep,
weep for weep's sake.
for this I will sleep and wake.

Dear Ginsberg, thank you.


— Brian Martinez


"This is poetry and prose straight from the biggest mouths and hearts in the independent music scene" reads a back cover blurb to Revolution on Canvas (Ad Astra Books). This 2004 volume of poetry from the indie music scene edited by Rich Balling had the stated intention that 50 percent of all profits would go to the National Center for Family Literacy.

Dear Ginsberg... by Brian Martinez seems an appropriate poem to revisit on the day of Allen Ginsberg's birth in 1926. It is the sole contribution by Martinez in Revolution on Canvas. Balling published a sequel in 2007 — Revolution on Canvas 2: Poetry From the Indie Music Scene.