Who Runs America?

A poem by Allen Ginsberg, Braniff Air, Denver—Dallas, December 3, 1974

Oil brown smog over Denver
Oil red dung colored smoke
level to level across the horizon
  blue tainted sky  above
Oil car smog gasoline
  hazing red Denver's day
    December bare trees
      sticking up from housetop streets
Plane lands rumbling, planes rise over
      radar wheels, black smoke
        drifts wobbly from tailfins

Oil millions of cars speeding the cracked plains
Oil from Texas, Bahrain, Venezuela Mexico
Oil that turns General Motors
    revs up Ford
  lights up General Electric, oil that crackles
thru International Business Machine computers
      charges dynamos for ITT
  sparks Western Electric
      runs thru Amer Telephone & Telegraph wires
Oil that flows thru Exxon New Jersey hoses,
rings in Mobile gas tank cranks, rumbles
        Chrysler engines
shoots thru Texaco pipelines,
    blackens ocean from broken Gulf tankers
spills onto Santa Barbara beaches from
      Stand of California derricks offshore.

Remember The Fugs?

This isn’t my favorite Ginsberg short poem but it is one of my favorite poem titles of all time.

Consulting I Ching Smoking Pot Listening to the Fugs Sing Blake

That which pushes upward
          does not come back
He led me in his garden
            tinkle of 20 year phonograph
        Death is icumen in
          and mocks my loss of liberty
One much see the Great Man
        Fear not it brings blessing
               No Harm
            from the invisible world
Perseverance
        Realms beyond
                  Stoned
in the deserted city
            which lies below consciousness
                            June 1966

 

Classic Works of Gay Literature

GinsbergIn August of 2010 Proposition 8 in California was struck down by the U. S. District Court. Prop 8 was the ruling that banned gay marriage in California. The issue was subsequently appealed further and ultimately the United States Supreme Court ruled that Prop 8 was indeed unconstitutional, upholding the District Court ruling.

We often read literature to visit unreachable places or to observe the daily life of complete (in fact, fictional) strangers. You don’t have to be gay to explore gay literature. Any books that can open our eyes and, as Kafka says, “wound and stab us'” helps to increase our understanding of humanity, and isn’t that a big reason why we read?

In recognition of Prop 8 being struck down, the Los Angeles Times published a quick list of gay literature in it’s Book Section. Here are the twenty classic works of gay literature. How many have you read? Don’t forget to add the other titles to your reading list:

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