“Senior Citizen Old Boy Joy”

[Peter Orlovsky – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg, New York City, 1995]

Here’s another sliver from the Archives – Allen (on an airplane maybe?) composing directly onto the tape-recorder, a poignant little ditty, (audio – 78 at Stanford – from, as Allen duly informs us, 1992) – “For Peter Orlovsky in Rain” (but surely that’s a mistranscription? – shouldn’t it be “For Peter Orlovsky in Pain“?)

AG: “It’s recording I guess. I don’t know but I suppose it’s recording.  What time is it now? It’s about nine o’clock and it’s the 11th of March, 1992, and I’m preparing this to take along to Idaho (sic)”

[Allen begins unaccompanied singing]

Senior citizen old boy joy/ Senior citizen old boy joy/What you gonna do when your plane comes along?/What you gonna do when you’re all alone?

Senior citizen old boy joy/ Senior citizen old boy joy/When your  boy-friend comes to die/What you gonna do when you close his eye?

Senior citizen old boy joy/ Senior citizen old boy joy/What you gonna do on your own death/bed some day?/What you gonna do when you’ve gone all the way?

Senior citizen old boy joy/ Senior citizen hey oh hey/Senior citizen oh farewell/ Senior citizen, don’t go to hell.

For the first two minutes, improvising, Allen recites the words. For the last approximately minute-and-a-half, he concentrates on the tune.

Short and sweet.   A sad naked moment in eternity.

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