Electric Review

Culture & Criticism Since 2003

“First Cure”

Cover courtesy of City Lights Press. All rights reserved.

First Cure

For Allen Ginsberg’s Ghost

(this)
Morning I heard
You writing
Your epic Kaddish
All over again

(there)
At the
Kitchen table
In the pale
(mid)
Night lamplight
(writing)
In twin rainbows
Of ink
On onion
Skin parchment

(these)
Tear-stained webs
Of words
In linen
Blue pools
(out)
Line the
Skeleton casket
Of old
Lady past
(out)
Lining the
Thirsty crypts
Of a memory

(roads)
Sans purpose
(glinting)
Yellow bones
(“who)
Were you
Dear mother?”

(madness)
Blinks twice
(at)
A blank unknown

(“who)
Am I
Dear mother?”

(silence)
Answers ash
(as)
Poet confronts
His own
Broken mirror

(words)
Like swords
(tear)
Stained on paper
(serving)
As the
First cure
On my
(never)
Ending journey back

by John Aiello

November 22, 2021

Written immediately after telephone conversation with Ginsberg biographer Michael Schumacher on Kaddish in manuscript.

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This entry was posted on January 3, 2022 by in 2022, January 2022, Poetry and tagged , .
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