Charlotte Albrecht

Summit English 3/4 : 12/6/04

Poem in the Style of Allen Ginsberg

Fools, Roses, and Obscenities for Avocados

Some mundane indescribable trip to the supermarket chain (the customer is

never right) trying to satiate a hunger for false comfort, eat my

feelings into a drunken silence

Suddenly— Revelation—No joyous epiphany— hateful, blatant reality that

smacks you in the face while you casually peer through tinted windows

of an SUV shielded from a too bright movie set world

World is full of fools like a man in a sagging white shirt stained with

grease—maybe it was clean when he bought it with money he didn't

have ripped it out of the crinkly clear paper pulled out all the tags put

it proudly on (those days are gone)—

blue poverty jeans called "weathered"—like some new trend—ha

Selling roses Gorgeous screaming red roses, Roses, ROSES! gas pump,

Exxon tiger, stop light, grossly obese kids somehow squeezed into

designer clothes, old miserable Kerry/Edwards yard sign, McDonalds

poison wrappers all among the littered broken dreams on the highway

and roses

Roses that metrosexuals, reckless stoner teenagers who never wash their

hair (is that cool, now?) and suburban moms driving in ironic armored

trolls to soccer practice would never stop to buy—

never seen a single vanity plate beside the road pull out a crumpled five

Roses-Man should know that by now but he keeps trying to peddle his foolish

fantasy Roses— either he's such a romantic— a fool to believe anyone

gives— or such a reluctant follower of the system— fool to follow—

Doesn't really matter: fool same as anyone everyone else: Fool


do you actually believe that anything you do will make even a small

difference in this world

Ah now but everyone is keeping score notepad in hand scrutinizing rat eyes,

one, two three— Ah! Right-O— and we've got her, now

So far it's Charlotte:0 World:14 Losing fight I'm a fool SHUT UP!

Don't grumble do your work diligently— but why— Everything counts

but nothing matters

Vague thoughts nonsensical revelation drift away as the car drags itself up to

fluorescent lit Safeway and wistful plastic bags and don't think about

Fool's Paradise anymore— things to buy

Droopy-haired 40 something woman looking for love in the frozen food aisle,

businessman yelling obscenities at an avocado, madness doesn't bother me

Man looking at the ground near the imported pus cheese and I ask him:

'What did you lose'

'My dignity,' scratching voice said 'And my new watch' Shrug I 'Try the

Lost & Found—good luck'

now eating Graham Crackers and ignorance is bliss

I tried to write this poem in Allen Ginsberg's unmistakable style— a daunting task. Still, Fools, Roses, and Obscenities for Avocados does use the same form, punctuation, rhythm, diction, and point of view as many of his more popular poems. Ginsberg often excluded ending punctuation (periods, exclamation points, and questions marks) from his work and used commas only when necessary. Instead, he used an Em or long dash to interrupt a thought with an exclamation or indicate a break in the rhythm. The result is a long, jumbled run on sentence that resembles pure, unorganized thought, each idea running into the next. My poem mimics this style; I never used a period. In addition, Ginsberg's two most famous pieces, Howl and Kaddish do not rhyme. I wrote my poem in free form, to imitate these popular works.

Ginsberg's poems are so interesting because he pairs unexpected words together, often personifying an inanimate object. For example, "unshaven rooms" in Howl. There are odd phrases like, "ironic armored trolls" and "wistful plastic bags" in Fools, Roses, and Obscenities for Avocados, too. Also, he uses metaphor frequently, but rarely never employs similes. For example, in America, he wrote "America why are your libraries full of tears?" He didn't say "like" or "as" as one would if using a simile. My metaphor at the end, where the man loses his dignity near the cheese, is very similar to something Ginsberg would've written. Finally, his attitude varies from poem to poem. Many are cynical and sarcastic, though, just like tone of Fools, Love, and Obscenities for Avocados.