“Dream Record: June 8, 1955” – Allen Ginsberg

Comments 6 Standard

A drunken night in my house with a
boy, San Francisco: I lay asleep.

I went back to Mexico City
and saw Joan Burroughs leaning
forward in a garden chair, arms
on her knees. She studied me with
clear eyes and downcast smile, her
face restored to a fine beauty
tequila and salt had made strange
before the bullet in her brow.

We talked of life since then.
Well, what’s Burroughs doing now?
Bill on Earth, he’s in North Africa.
Oh, and Kerouac still junps
with the same beat genius as before,
notebooks filled with Buddha.
I hope he makes it, she laughed.
Is Huncke still in the can? No,
last time I saw him on Times Square.
And how is Kenney? Married, drunk
ad golden in the East. You? New
loves in the West–

Then I knew
she was a dream: and questioned her
–Joan, what kind of knowledge have
the dead? can you still love
your mortal acquaintances?
What do you remember of us?

She faded in front of me–The next instant
I saw her rain-stained tombstone
rear an illegible epitaph
under the gnarled branch of a small
tree in the wild grass
of an unvisited garden in Mexico.

6 thoughts on ““Dream Record: June 8, 1955” – Allen Ginsberg

  1. Holy cow, brilliant. Have you read Kerouac’s treatment of Buddha’s life story? I was quite surprised at the depth of the Dharma knowledge in that book…not sure why, but that’s not what I expected out of old On The Road Jack.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, I haven’t! To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Kerouac.
      Ahaha, so this is random: But in Buddhism, how is reincarnation a thing but souls aren’t? I really can’t understand this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not a big Kerouac fan, either, which is why I was surprised at the style he employed for the life of Buddha. Your question is one that I raise ALL the time with my more-Dharma-than-thou friend Bernie. He’s consulted lamas, gurus and sundry other lofty titled Tibetans and has yet to give me a satisfactory answer. I even called b.s. on the Anatman (no soul) theory in Buddhism in an older post called Spooky Action At A Distance. It’s things like that which make me utilize a ton of Buddhist practice and philosophy without actually BEING a Buddhist, whatever that means.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh wow, this Bernie guy’s been around, hasn’t he?
        Haha, more “x-than-thou” friends. My friends that do philosophical conversations are “more-Richard-Dawkins-than-thou”, so I get a lot of pitying glances and things get pretty frustrating for all parties in the conversation.
        There’s a class on Coursera that I’m taking, “Buddhism and Modern Psychology”, that provides an explanation that there might an essence outside the five aggregates that continues on after death, but this theory is recent and Western. So, we’ve decided that he left out the existence of something that is basically a soul, just not called that, that he coincidentally forgot to mention. Sounds solid. But with the Anatman theory, the Buddha would have really been like, the closest thing to an internet troll possible in his era, for this to be a serious possibility.
        But I guess it’s not uncommon for people to utilize Buddhist wisdom without taking the full plunge, the professor for “Buddhism… “ followed that path, and with the current mindfulness craze, some people are going a bit deeper with that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, Bernie’s 76 years old. And yes, that means that I spend a good deal of my social life debating what is or isn’t Buddhist with an old guy from Brooklyn. It’s more fun than it sounds.

        Liked by 1 person

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