RA Washington at The Lit in Cleveland – photo by JB


                               For Allen Ginsberg


This was not a generation


It was a genocide.


My corpses piled along internet apathy


Or strewn toward ghosts. The angry children


Fear and pose, play pasts to passive


Flick flowers, grave are you.


The postage stamp heroes we will not be.



This is no generation


For we alarm their shaking jowls


Rooted magic, napalm inside me.


Me for you


Me, this flinging and failing


Me, general of boys who weep gutters


Me, of women who sing at their stolen hoods


Clits singed proper, skirts up.


The money is looking


Me, of stark hovels, the conforming comfort.


Me, broken vows, the worthy say so.



This was no generation


Leaders lobby to stay lobbied


The dope flows, secrets uttered obscene.


Homo, bitch, nigg (with the A)


Before we war ourselves silly trumpets


Cow bells and awkward phrasing


Tweet twit bewitched for inching despair.


Path so disease the puss ooze out in Vogue.


Nights of prayers


People who love too much, shoved just enough


Go, vita


Go, street


Go, ape


                Shitting dawn and no care


Go, Jesus


Go, life


So fuck your womb we know better.


Go, cynic


Go, lists


Go, for goods hatched in distraction


Go, pummel, yes, pummel


For we drag our dicks like clubs, and ambition.


Go, modern


Go, fleets of madness, we all must be.



This is no generation.


Still wishing sit ins matter


Taking riot gear as holy shroud


You, for the well we must keep


You, for the passive rebelling


You, amongst fear, so silent


The violin without strings


You, must be lying


Off alone, left out.


Leftist pleading mercy from wolves


Hail of Marys


Who kept to saying their real names


We men, yelling, bend over, bend over over


Love is lust


So the nut is empty


As workers wallets and your belief


All eyes are pennies, their guts in the street


Taken as litter, and ash trays


You, muse of beer


Neglect as poignant as the news


We might be killing ourselves


No, frank ohara or Sinatra


No, Charles


No talking assholes


Wait – yes, talking assholes


No allen, no jack


No patti, or leroi


Just the forgetting the hettie amongst us now.


No power, black or white


That was them. Them dead. Boomers Florida now.


No deaths to martyr


                                                Malcolm, martin


No bobby, but there is a Jackson and we decided to mourn him.


Or mother, or daddi


Jimi angels all.


This is no generation


This is a forgetting, in place of pasts


Jostling for an us


Amongst fables.

* * * * * * * *

Ra Washington Is a writer living and working on Cleveland’s west side with his wife, historian Lyz Bly. He is the author of 24 books – most recently the novel, Run Along, The FIRE Says – and he operates the bookstore/zine cooperative, Guide To Kulchur, in the Historic Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. He also curates the electronic music label Cleveland Tapes. You can find him on twitter @clevelandtapes.

“Moloch, Moloch” (c) 2012 by RA Washington, used with permission.  The poem originally appeared in his book Primer for the Vanguard Youth, published by Crisis Chronicles Press.


Primer for the Vanguard Youth – cover photo by Steven B Smith