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By X J Kennedy

Ginsberg, Ginsberg, burning bright,   

Taunter of the ultra right,   

What blink of the Buddha’s eye   

Chose the day for you to die?


Queer pied piper, howling wild,

Mantra-minded flower child,   

Queen of Maytime, misrule’s lord   

Bawling, Drop out! All aboard!


Finger-cymbaled, chanting Om,

Foe of fascist, bane of bomb,

Proper poets’ thorn-in-side,

Turner of a whole time’s tide,


Who can fill your sloppy shoes?

What a catch for Death. We lose

Glee and sweetness, freaky light,

Ginsberg, Ginsberg, burning bright.


Kennedy, X.J. “For Allen Ginsberg” from The Lords of Misrule: Poems 1922-2001. © 2002 X.J. Kennedy. Reproduced with permission of The John Hopkins University Press.

Source: The Lords of Misrule (2002)

Poet Bio

Born Joseph Charles Kennedy in Dover, New Jersey, X.J. Kennedy is as well known for his light verse and children’s poetry as he is for his more serious works. His 1961 collection Nude Descending a Staircase won the Lamont Award, and in 2001 Kennedy was awarded the Aiken Taylor Award for lifetime achievement in poetry.

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