Laughing Gas IV | Allen Ginsberg, 1955-56

Allen Ginsberg resting in bed, 1955

to Gary Snyder 

The red tin begging cup you gave me, 

I lost it but its contents are undisturbed. 


Back in the same old black hole 
where Possibility closes the 
last door 

and the Great Void remains 

... a glass 

in the dust reflecting the sun, 
fragment of a bottle 
that never knew it existed 

. . . under a tree 
that sleeps all winter 
till it grows its eyes 
in May heat 

and flowers upward with a thousand 
green sensations 
dies, and forgets itself in Snow 

. . . Phantom in Phantom 

If we didn’t exist, God 
would have to create this 

to leave no room for complaint 
by any of the birds & bees 
who might have missed their 
chance (to be) 

Fate tells big lies. 

. . . And the big kind Dreamer 
is on the nod again 
God sleeps! 

He’s in for a big surprise 
one of his dreams is going to come true 
He’ll get the answer too 
He’ll get the answer too 

Just a flash in the cosmic pan 
— -just an instant when there 
might have been a light 
had there been any pan 
to reflect it — 

— we can lie on the bed and imagine 
ourselves away — 

I’m afraid to stop breathing — 
first the pain in the 

suffocation, then 
the Death. 

Allen Ginsberg, Howl, Before & After, 
San Francisco Bay Area, 1955-56

Walter Lehrman, Gary Snyder, Mill Valley, May 1956

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