Friday, July 31, 2009

upon once again reading Howl -- a book I am returning to the store tomorrow

                Ginsberg is the typical poet who lies, who says the opposite of all realities merely to bend things back on his own horrible experience, evoked and seduced by his own horrible mind. If he says of other authors “Their books are published in Heaven” he means appeal only to hellions. If he says “this novel will drive everbody mad” he means only mad people enjoy it. If he says “so and so is equal to Buddha” so and so isn’t worth Buddha’s shrug. He speaks of the “downfall of America” (a country barely starting!) in the same manner as that one Apocalypse revised from an older book foreseeing the end of Rome (hated by prophets, but not by God), which went in long detail to describe the destruction of the world – which really equates to the poets own ego: loss of integrity, philosophical suicide. Well how does commit philosophical suicide, poetical suicide? Plath was a literalist – follow Zizek’s manner if you want results. He is one of our pretty suicidals, through and through – which would at least be honest! – but in fact, Ginsberg is a self promoter who is both ugly in every sense, but wishes to strip naked and make people see just how ugly he is. That William Williams recommends him demotes Williams in my eyes. And when you sit back and read his howling poem, be prepared to interpret askance everything said straight:

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked”

I’ve spent my best year swith the worst minds and souls in my generation, who were already strung out, brutal, venereally infected--repeat criminals.

I marvel at those who read such a poem and think “how true…how beautiful.” I tried hard to like this poem, wanted to like it, to like anything by Ginsberk – in a way I needed to! – but I couldn’t. I find nothing redeeming about it.


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