New Years Greeting


[Allen Ginsberg]


[Ron Padgett]

From the recently-published Wait Till I’m Dead – Uncollected Poems (edited by Bill Morgan), a “New Years poem” (written in New York, “2 a.m. January 4, 1992”, and published in The Northern Centinel volume 205, number 4. Fall 1993)


(for Ron Padgett)


It is a beauteous evening calm and free

Spanish voices on Our Lady Help of Xtians steps

a new year’s come, eternity & I can’t eat baloney

& avoiding any salt probably can’t drink Schweppes


You’ve got to hand it to the Doctor’s Hospital

Your heart your liver kidneys and arteriosclerosis

Fortunately sick going in I came out well

Before my time the threat of Death a nosy gnosis


This can’t go on forever short of breath weak heart

Wasn’t my fault don’t drink don’t drive don’t smoke

don’t stir sugar in my coffee don’t you start

up with me ’bout eating bacon sniffing coke


I could have suffocated didn’t but live on

upon this earth I walk and eat and write this poem to


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