Allen Ginsberg

My Sad Self

To Frank O’Hara Sometimes when my eyes are red I go up on top of the RCA Building and gaze at my world, Manhattan— my buildings, streets I’ve done feats in, lofts, beds, coldwater flats —on Fifth Ave below which I also bear in mind, its ant cars, little yellow taxis, men walking the size of specks of wool— Panorama of the bridges, sunrise over Brooklyn machine, sun go down over New Jersey where I was born & Paterson where I played with ants— my later loves on 15th Street, my greater loves of Lower East Side, my once fabulous amours in the Bronx faraway— paths crossing in these hidden streets, my history summed up, my absences and ecstasies in Harlem— —sun shining down on all I own in one eyeblink to the horizon in my last eternity— matter is water. Sad, I take the elevator and go down, pondering, and walk on the pavements staring into all man’s plateglass, faces, questioning after who loves, and stop, bemused in front of an automobile shopwindow standing lost in calm thought, traffic moving up & down 5th Avenue blocks behind me waiting for a moment when ... Time to go home & cook supper & listen to the romantic war news on the radio ... all movement stops & I walk in the timeless sadness of existence, tenderness flowing thru the buildings, my fingertips touching reality’s face, my own face streaked with tears in the mirror of some window—at dusk— where I have no desire— for bonbons—or to own the dresses or Japanese lampshades of intellection— Confused by the spectacle around me, Man struggling up the street with packages, newspapers, ties, beautiful suits toward his desire Man, woman, streaming over the pavements red lights clocking hurried watches & movements at the curb— And all these streets leading so crosswise, honking, lengthily, by avenues stalked by high buildings or crusted into slums thru such halting traffic screaming cars and engines so painfully to this countryside, this graveyard this stillness on deathbed or mountain once seen never regained or desired in the mind to come where all Manhattan that I’ve seen must disappear.

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