Jacob Rabinowitz wrote this elegy not long after Allen passed away & he hadn’t had a chance to include it in a book for quite some time after. He’s included it in his collection of poems Peep out of Me available through Invisible Books.
A note of preface from Jacob:
I have no interest in relating here what small claims I may have to anyone’s attention, except this one: Allen considered me his friend. There can be no higher or more appropriate validation for offering my little verse tribute than this.
Elegy for Allen Ginsberg
Now the Twentieth Century’s his – none begrudge him the final three years.
All that Williams or Pound ever planned – he achieved and proved right and made clear,
thought’s materia prima, where Being is one with perception, the rough
as unfussily, artlessly art as the shape of a Zen-garden rock.
certain incident details of time: things he said, clothes he proudly bought cheap
so’s to show how the government lied; Montblanc pen, and the full-scribbled page;
and his incense and tankas and bells. All the mortal montage of his things,
to the tears that are hot in my eyes — now I see, whom I’ll not see again.
and I made him too little return on the much that he gave and forgave.
the cruel youth of some judgements I made – more my shame if at times I was right.
one so good that beside him I look, as without him I feel, like the damned.
I was angry to see them at all, and enraged because not many times
For the service the most had a prayer, and a few of us, scotch, on our breath.
while the Buddhist priest groaned out his chant in the ears of a great many Jews.