Allen Ginsberg in Liverpool

For Adrian Henri (1932-2000)


Liverpool You took him to the Cavern; he jammed
with Trevor, drummer with Faron
and the Flamingos, chinged
his finger-cymbals, played Tibetan rhythms.

Everyone thought him the gear
—the little Jew
with the long hair.
You said later, “He’d talk
to anyone. Anyone at all.”

He walked down Mathew Street
like a bloody saint, holier
than Ringo or John, a new messiah

serenaded by fab red guitars
with suitcase-size amps
yeah yeah yeah yeah

And you and McGough were writing
Batpoems
Batman on telly hipper
than the Avengers

had yourselves immortalized
in front of Cousin’s bakery:
“Batman Cometh with
Steak & Kidney Pies,
Meaty, Tasty.”

You wanted to paint
“The Arrival of Christ
into Liverpool” and here
was Allen Arrived,
the little Hairy Fella
in front of the ’Pool graffiti
“Long live the Pope.
King Billy forever.
Mick is gear.”

The breeze off the Mersey
lifted his locks
as you hustled him from

The Cracke to the Phil,
horn of a Bibby freighter
on the Mersey,
more pints and ten bob notes
ding ding ding

he regaled Liverpool
as the “Center
of the consciousness of the universe.”

Next morning, your cat meowed to be fed.

Appeared in Electric Acorn 14