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The pervasive warmth
and all-touching light
of the long-risen sun
finally opes and dissolves
my darkened dream world,
and brings me out of my blankets
and into my sandals,

then onto the long brown couch
to gaze up
at a red Ganesha
reclining from a tapestry:
his one long-nailed hand bearing a flower,
another an axe...
yet another hand commanding peace
in that formless, open-palmed symbol
most Westerners associate
with Snider and Kerouac's
beatified Buddha,
or Siddhartha Gautama as
that other great 'Prince of peace'
was called in his youthful palace
and in the verdant wild forests
by the passionate Samanas,
ostensibly austere
monks of strange and secret ways,
fond of spirit-seeking self-torture

despite the flooding sunshine,
I can't shake
a mood of madness-tinged melancholy
as I grab a glowing banana
from the chess-board kitchen

and so, practically desperate,
I take the unusual step
of giving electricity and rein
to that mesmeric square-demon
the cable television set,
but I'm only mystified
at the crass and cliched tough cop movies,
the tacky, howling talk shows,
the mini-demonic, formulaic cartoons,
not to mention the hubris-flaming
news shows,
brimming with already decided conversations
and such an air of show-biz idiocy
that I couldn't believe the leaders
of even our semi-depraved society
could draw their information
from such a dismal source

and as for the rest
I can only process its savage stupidity
by seeing it as unintentional satire,
an educational montage
of flipping channels:
flying windows
into frightening fractions of American culture:

Molloch-ruled microcosms
given to the worship of
jaw-jutting, gun-waving narcissism,
primitive sports,
petulant and myopic intellectual pretension...

essentially such a half-world as
the existence of which
is hard to fathom
millennia after Trajan and Epicurus,
Jesus, Orpheus, and Pythagoras...

so I turn off
the square mini-demon
and assuage my clouded mind
with a cold glass of hard cider,
and consoled in the mystified consolation
that despite my seeming downfall,
the pearls of the popular world
seemed more than before
as lowly costume jewelry...

So I seek out a coffee-table tome
devoted to the artist Van Gogh
and, troubled and entranced
by the art and stories,
for many hours I peruse the book,
mixing it with my own thoughts,
contemplative catatonia, and artistic neurosis,
all spaced out by dizzying draws
of Indica marijuana fumes...

until day's clouds had drifted by,
Apollo's chariot had descended into
the sky-scraper lined hills,
and only the mad moon
hung in the sable sky...

whereupon I said
a brief beatnik prayer,
sought my bed,
assumed 'corpse pose'...

and meditated on a thorny white rose
as the vaudevillean state of waking
gave way
to the twilight zone of repose

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The following comments are for "beatnik morning"
by seanspacey

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