Posts Tagged ‘Howl’

Response to “It is Not Necessary” Cont. and in Connection with Sweet Joel

Friday, March 15th, 2013

It is not necessary to whistle
To be alone,
To live in the dark.

Out in the crowd, under the wide sky,
we remember our separate selves,
the intimate self, the naked self,
the only self who knows how the nails grow,
who knows how his own silence is made
and his own poor words.
There is a public Pedro,
seen in the light, an adequate Bernice,
but inside,
underneath age and clothing,
we still don’t have a name,
we are quite different.
Eyes don’t close only in order to sleep,
but so as not to see the same sky.

We soon grow tired,
and as if they were sounding the bell
to call us to school,
we return to the hidden flower,
to the bone, the half-hidden root,
and there we suddenly are,
we are the pure, forgotten self,
the true being
within the four walls of our singular skin,
between the two points of living and dying.

Eve’s Apple Bottom

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Eye Candy?

No, not for my precious cavities!

My holes made whole by nine foot knolls that

know me too well. My green escape from

Hell when there’s no one to tell of this special


spelt wrong in this book.


Like two foot gnomes who possess old cold pain

but never complain in the rain.

Their bodies were stained by pain-


or the pinschers that piss. Me off

wearing the weaved green on my sleeve.


Lips are chipped and chapped from

the Kiss that can kill. So, cold I know

when you are naked in snow and The

wind will blow.



Greetings from San Francisco

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

For Spring Break, I am in San Francisco visiting with my Mom, who moved here about a year ago. Before I get all braggy about how BEAUTIFUL this city is, I need to come clean about a couple of things. First I should admit that I threw an enormously irrational temper tantrum when I found out she was moving here because HOW COULD SHE LEAVE ME ON THE EAST COAST ALONE? And second, I spent a sizable amount of my first visit to the Bay area wrapped in a blanket on the couch in a state of panic because HOW WAS SHE GOING TO SURVIVE WITHOUT ME ON THE WEST COAST? Luckily my strange anxieties have dissipated (unlike the ever-lingering fog) and I have come to realize how freakin’ cool this city is and how much cooler my Mom is for moving here.

Today was a long day- we walked for miles along the Embarcadero and accidently drove over the Golden Gate Bridge on the way back to our apartment (which just so happens to be on the opposite side of the city). I also had a nerd-attack and forced my family to stop by City Lights bookstore. It’s on the corner of this great street that borders Chinatown and Little Italy. Inside there are three flights of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with some of the most famous and obscure books, all meshed together. The third floor was devoted solely to poetry books and was where I lingered for a little too long. I snapped some photographs for your viewing pleasure. Check it:

photo 1


photo 2

photo 4

I hope you are all enjoying your time off as much as I am. Ps- do I get extra credit for posting over Break??



Making up for absences!

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

This is the only time I’ve been able to sneak away to blog since internet at the Hilton in DC cost $13 a day! Excuse me, I’m a broke college student, I don’t have that kind of money floating around. Anyway-to Howl!

I tried reading all the way through a couple times, but I could never focus enough to get through the whole thing. Instead, I looked up the poem online and found a site where Ginsberg read his poem. ( This was great because I actually listened to the whole thing (both parts!). I did get tired of the repetition of “who” at the beginning of each line, but Ginsberg discusses a lot of controversial and to me, shocking concepts. I even had to look up a few of the words, like pederasty. I thought it was interesting how Ginsberg interpreted the punctuation and pauses in his poem. I definitely read a lot of the line breaks and lack of punctuation in places differently than he did, especially with all the exclamation points at the end of the second part. I hate exclamation points. You never know the intonation with which they were meant to be read and they just make me think of when I was a kid and I would add a hundred exclamation points to letters or papers when I was super excited about something. But I think in the second part of Howl Ginsberg does a good job of using exclamation points to give his poem a sense of madness that wouldn’t be achieved otherwise. Although I’m still debating if I like that he used exclamation points for the entirety of the second part. He could have used less. Maybe.

Ginsberg had some EXCELLENT lines–I’m going to list my top favorites (Oh and these are the lines I picked out because of the way Ginsberg read them, I don’t know if I would have picked different lines if I hadn’t heard the poem read aloud….):

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

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

because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,

the lava and ash of poetry scattered in
fireplace Chicago,

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

^^^^The last one was hands-down my favorite^^^^

Mental Illness in Howl

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Be warned, this post is merely the rantings of an obsessed psychology and english major!

Basically the gist of this post is that I am swooning over the mental health references in Howl Part One. On page eighteen, the line where he writes:

“and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia.”

The images of being treated with millions of kinds of therapy and other methods and them all not working to relieve your pain is a real issue in the mental health world. Many people are dragged through all of these treatments just to find they aren’t better. Or even if their symptoms do subside then they are left with this empty shell of themself and who they used to be. Medications leave you fatter, apathetic, diabetic, dry-mouthed, with flat affect staring in a world you no longer participate in. ECT leaves you confused, bewildered, forgetful and trying to recall the memories of your life and where you put the car keys. You can see the desperation when Ginsberg writes of a “harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,” any thing to escape the torture that is depression, and yet they instead continue to suffer with mental illness and lose their identity as a result of various treatments. Ginsberg suggests that the only relief is suicide or lobodomy which seems to remove your ability to feel emotions, of any kind. Insanity may be torture, but some people would rather suffer with their illnesses than lose a part of themselves to treatment. Just something to think about… Sorry it’s so intense haha.


Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

So this is the “official” post of what you can replace Moloch(!) with!

Mine was “Screw/Fuck you!”

The Verbs of “Howl”

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Since “Howl” itself is a verb, I became curious about the other verbs Ginsberg uses to portray the “best minds” of his generation…

and here they are, in the order in which they appear in “Howl.”

(9) saw. destroyed. dragging. looking. burning. sat. floating. contemplating. bared. saw. staggering. passed. hallucinating. were expelled. publishing.

(10) cowered. burning. listening. got busted. returning. ate. drank. purgatoried. leaping. illuminating. chained. brought.

(11) sank. floated. sat. listening. talked. jumping. screaming. vomiting. whispering. disgorged. vanished. leaving. suffering. wandered. wondered. went. leaving.

(12) lit. racketing. studied. vibrated. loned it. seeking. thought. were. gleamed. jumped. lounged. seeking. followed. converse. took. disappeared. leaving. reappeared. investigating. passing.

(13) burned. protesting. distributed. weeping. undressing. wailed. wailed. wailed. broke down crying. trembling. bit. shrieked. committing. howled. were dragged. waving. let. fucked. screamed. blew. were blown. balled. scattering. come.

(14) hiccuped. trying. wound. came. pierce. lost. winks. does. snip. copulated. fell. continued. ended. fainting. sweetened. trembling. were. sweeten. flashing. went out whoring.

(15) faded. were shifted. woke. picked. stumbled. walked. waiting. open. created. shall be. ate. digested. wept. sat. breathing. rose. build.

(16) coughed. scribbled. rocking. rolling. were. cooked. dreaming. plunged. looking. threw. cast. fell. cut. gave up. were forced. open. thought. were growing. cried. were burned. were run down.

(17) jumped. happened. walked. sang. fell. jumped. leaped. cried. danced. smashed. finished. threw up. groaning. barreled. journeying. drove. find. had. had. had. find. journeyed. died. came back. waited. watched. brooded. loned. went. find. is.

(18) fell. praying. illuminated. crashed. waiting. sang. retired. cultivate. tender. demanded. accusing. were left. threw. presented. demanding. were given. overturned. resting.

(19) returning. bickering. rocking. rolling. turned. *fucked*. flung. closed. slammed. emptied. twisted. are. am. are. ran. obsessed.

(20) dreamt. made. trapped. joined. set. jumping. recreate. stand. shaking. rejected. confessing. conform. beat. putting. say. rose. blew. shivered. butchered. eat.

Of all the verbs that repeat (jump/cry/wail, especially), Ginsberg chose “Howl.” And that means something. But what?