Howl
for Carl Solomon
by Allen Ginsberg




I



I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo
in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural
darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering
on tenement roofs illuminated,

who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-
light tragedy among the scholars of war,

who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the
windows of the skull,

who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and
listening to the Terror through the wall,

who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana
for New York,

who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried
their torsos night after night,

with dreams, and drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,

incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping toward
poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time in between

Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over
the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun
and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan
rantings and kind king light of mind,

who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on
benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering
mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light
of Zoo,

who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's floated out and sat through the stale
beer afternooon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack of doom on the hydro-
gen jukebox,

who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum
to the Brooklyn Bridge,

a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes
off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon,

yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and
eyeball kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,

whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes,
meat for the Synagogue cast on the pavement,

who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture
postcards of Atlantic City Hall,

suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings and migraines of China under
junk-withdrawal in Newark's bleak furnished room,

who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to
go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,

who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome
farms in grandfather night,

who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy and bop kaballa beacuse the
cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,

who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were
visionary indian angels,

who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,

who jumped in limousines with teh Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter
midnight streetlight smalltown rain,

who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and
followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless
task, and so took ship to Africa,

who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind nothing but the shadow
of dungarees and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,

who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the F.B.I. in beards and shorts with
big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,

who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capital-
ism,

who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing
while the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the
Staten Island ferry also wailed,

who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery
of other skeletons,

who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing
no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,

who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals
and manuscripts,

who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with
joy,

who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and
Caribbean love,

who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and the grass of public parks
and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may,

who hiccupped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition
in a Turkish bath when the blonde & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,

who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the
heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb and the one
eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden
threads of the craftsman's loom,

who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a sweetheart a package of
cigarettes a candle and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down
the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and come
eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,

who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed
in the morning but were prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks
under barns and naked in the lake,

who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero
of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver--joy to the memory of his
innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses' rickety
rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely
petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown
alleys, too,

who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhat-
tan, and picked themselves up out of basements hungover with heartless Tokay and
horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,

who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for
a door in the East River to open to a room full of steamheat and opium,

who created great suicidal dramas on the aprtment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the
wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,

who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom
of the rivers of Bowery,

who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad
music,

who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build
harpsichords in their lofts,

who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky
surrounded by orange crates of theology,

who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow
morning were stanzas of gibberish,

who cooked rotten animals lung feet heart tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure
vegetable kingdom,

who plunged themselves under a meat truck looking for an egg,

who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time,
& alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,

who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to
open antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,

who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts
of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the
nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister
intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,

who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown
and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not
even one free beer,

who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the
filthy Passaic, leaped on Negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wine-
glasses barefoot smashed phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930's German
jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans in
their ears and the blast of colossal steamwhistles,

who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to each other's hotrod-Golgotha
jail-solitude watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,

who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision
or he had a vision to find out Eternity,

who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in
vain, who watched over Denver & brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away
to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,

who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other's salvation and light
and breasts, until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,

who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden
heads and the charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatrz,

who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or
Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus
to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave,

who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their
insanity & their hands & a hung jury,

who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and subsequently presented
themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads and harlequin
speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,

and who were given inssstead the concrete void of insulin metrasol electricity hydrotherapy
psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia,

who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly
in catatonia,

returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the
visible madman doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,

Pilgrim State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of
the soul, rocking and rolling iin the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love,
dream of life a nightmare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon,

with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement
window, and the last door closed at 4 AM and the last telephone slammed at the
wall in reply and the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental
furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that
imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination--

ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you're totally in the animal
soup of time--

and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a suden flash of the alchemy
of the use of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrating plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and
trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental
verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation
of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus

to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless
and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to
conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,

the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might
be left to say in time come after death,

and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band
and blew the suffering of America's naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma
sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio,

with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to
eat a thousand years.





II



What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains
and imagination?

Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children scream-
ing under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the
parks!

Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch
the heavy judger of men!

Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Con-
gress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgement! Moloch the vast stone of
war! Moloch the stunned governments!

Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch
whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch
whose ear is a smoking tomb!

Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in
the long streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories dream and croak in
the fog! Moloch whose smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!

Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks!
Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of
sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!

Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream Angels! Crazy in Moloch!
Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!

Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a
body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I
abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!

Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capi-
tals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks!
monstrous bombs!

They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting
the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!

Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!

Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!

Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! High! Epipha-
nies! Despairs! Ten years' animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad
generation! down on the rocks of Time!

Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade
farewell! They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to
the river! into the street!





III



Carl Solomon! I'm with you in Rockland
where you're madder than I am

I'm with you in Rockland
where you must feel very strange

I'm with you in Rockland
where you imitate the shade of my mother

I'm with you in Rockland
where you've murdered your twelve secretaries

I'm with you in Rockland
where you laugh at this invisible humor

I'm with you in Rockland
where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter

I'm with you in Rockland
where your condition has become serious and is reported on the radio

I'm with you in Rockland
where the faculties of the skull no longer admit the worms of the senses

I'm with you in Rockland
where you drink the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica

I'm with you in Rockland
where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the harpies of the Bronx

I'm with you in Rockland
where you scream in a straightjacket that you're losing the game of the actual
pingpong of the abyss

I'm with you in Rockland
where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is innocent and immortal it should
never die ungodly iin an unarmed madhouse

I'm with you in Rockland
where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from its
pilgrimage to a cross in the void

I'm with you in Rockland
where you accuse your doctors of insanity and plot the Hebrew socialist revolution
against the fascist national Golgotha

I'm with you in Rockland
where you will split the heavens of Long Island and resurrect your living human
Jesus from the superhuman tomb

I'm with you in Rockland
where there are twentyfive-thousand mad comrades all together singing the final
stanzas of the Internationale

I'm with you in Rockland
where we hug and kiss the United States under our bedsheets the United States
that coughs all night and won't let us sleep

I'm with you in Rockland
where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls' airplanes roaring
over the roof they've come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself
imaginary walls collapse O skinny legions run outside O starry-spangled shock of
mercy the eternal war is here O victory forget your underwear we're free

I'm with you in Rockland
in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America
in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night








home

Nizrael ** Philosophy ** Poetry ** the Doors ** Gustav Klimt ** G-Spot ** Archives (Guestbook) ** Links