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, numberĀ 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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