Tribute to Ginsburg Poem by John Horvath Jr

Pagan Interlude


Subliminal messages over the megaphone
There is a Dan handler in aisle ThreeB:
The gay grocer has a hard-on stacking cucumbers
is a cliche’ for the ‘nineties at the end of millennium
and Goddamn him Ginsburg’s still dead
How we could use his immoral word
in this titpasties pastiche of a world
that passes postmodern
in this postmedieval life
I love the cool fresh breath of Spring’s kiss
in the midst of winter’s foul blasts
That was Sarah said that
remember her
she was the woman I might have married
or had married couldn”t remember which
who haunts my daydreams
or the mother who never was
lost mother of a generation.
Ginsburg– described in one obit
as “that small gay jewish poet”–
would not be the kind
to leave his beloved behind.
And, folks, the special today is poets and puns, at sixth sense a pound
Cheaper than pastrami– somewhat Italian, dark eyes, almond skin.

The who-picks-this-shit-linoleum manager
is on the loudspeaker in his gray tweed jacket
and deck-shoe best speaking of his desk job life
unraveling as he speaks
He is reading HOWL
amid the gasps and shrieks
of little suburbanite ladies
pissing their Depends as he reads
He is thinking this his last act before AK
bursts while he rampages through the Saturday
morning Parking Lot where I heft bags into the Volvo
Chips and Dips for Superbowl Sunday
All of us playing that gig
lined up against the others
pushing toward goalposts
pigskins of our sons and our daughters
inflated past recognition

The universe of poetry is a goddamn
wormhole without Ginsburg who’s still
very much dead
Though middleclass kids
and suburban punks
can still read.

Bio: Chicagoan, educated in the American South (PhD), John Horvath Jr has been a steel mill mechanic, soldier, street poet, and professor of literature and criticism. His most recent books include Illiana Region Poems: Harboring the Enemy (from Zebooks and CONUS: the First Tour Chapbook, new and collected poetry of war . Disabled in a parachute accident, Horvath edits Mississippi”s PoetryRepairShop – Contemporary International Poetry (since 1997) and writes.