Was November 9th's result as shocking as our millenial minds would have us think? Or was it just a simple unmasking we hoped would play the part forever? In "America-In Memory of Allen Ginsberg," poet Karen Petersen invokes the fight and the fury of the original American angst of the Baby Boomers to tell the downfall of her generation and the foundation that gave rise to today's alarming event. Qianjing Meng's photography creates a platform with old world shackles carrying the voice of the modern revolt.
America–in memory of Allen Ginsberg
BY Karen Petersen
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by greed
smugly walking the glassy steeled streets of Manhattan
in Prada and Gucci
Moloch adoni! Wall Street we adore you
the second, third, fourth home sits empty
while homeless thousands in their cardboard boxes are pushed
away into the shadows, into the forgotten realms
there is no balm of Gilead, the broken heart stays broken.
I saw the best minds of my generation wantonly feeding themselves senseless, a meal at a time, spending hundreds, thousands on wine and confit
while the rest of the world with hunger on its back and in its belly
kept its nose pressed to the restaurant glass, drooling
and righteous anger was evicted by ruthless landlords
before it could strike,
passed by all too quickly as the yuppie jogger in Brooks Brothers shorts
happily circled the park, credit card maxed out.
I saw the best minds of my generation acquire amnesia
vomiting cash all over themselves, drinking drinks with silly names
desperately trying to be seen at the latest club, young studs,
twiggy beauties, shiny cars, accouterments all
while the middle class broke its back trying to walk down the staircase
like princes and princesses, keeping up with the Jones’...
just who are the Jones’, because they lied to us,
lied to us and I am so tired.
Dreaming of America
I’m with you on the bus, gone to protest in an empty capital
Congress long gone to a tea party paid for by lobbyists
the great house deserted while our young boys and girls
die in forgotten lands with sand in their mouths,
grabbing at their hearts, last breath fading into the blue sky of war
die in dying cities, rotting towns in this country
meth-headed high horsies rockin’ all the way to oblivion.
I’m with you in spirit, in my dreams
as I walk through the corridors of power
howling anyone home and the earnest men and women
come to help me not knowing their days are over.
Jobs gone, opportunity gone, civil war whisperings,
the ties that bind us have been sold off to the highest bidder,
the baby drowned in the bath water, nobody home.
Crying all the way to Wichita, I’m lost in the Western night
unhinged by the struggle, waiting in vain
black birds circling overhead.