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The Eight Candle: I Wanted To Be Him

Meryl Meisler, another excellent photographer, was making a new book called SASSY 70’s about the 70’s, Jews, disco, Brooklyn, and a few other things like sex. She asked me for an Allen Ginsberg poem. She knew I loved him.

Allen Ginsberg
or I Wanted to be Him
Part One
When I moved to New York City
in the 70’s from Ansonia small
factory town in Connecticut
Allen G was who I wanted to meet.
My friend Jean Boudin she was a Good Beat Poet
she said Allen will see anyone
if they’ll buy him breakfast. She
found his number from Kenneth Koch
and I, an office temp at Rochester Button
had plenty of breakfast money.
In the diner he was Allen Ginsberg.
Ask me anything he said, in exchange
for two eggs. How can I be a poet
like you? Not having read even one word
I wrote he said You Are a Poet,
Esther Cohen. Can I quote you?
I asked. You have my lifetime permission
He said and all these years later, I am.
Part Two
A few weeks ago at a poet’s retreat
in San Miguel de Allende the British
Poet laureate, a Sir, he did not like
my poems. You he said infusing the You
with Ultimate British Disdain You
He repeated are in the same category
as that American poet Allen Ginsberg.
At long last, I replied.

About the Series. Postcards for Hanukkah is a sequence of eight photo-poems by Matthew Septimus and Esther Cohen. Each day, for the eight days of Hanukkah, we will release a new postcard, which we hope give some light to you.

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