America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17,
1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I’m sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with
my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next
world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s
sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I’m doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.

I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday
somebody goes on trial for murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid I’m not
sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the
closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after
he came over from Russia.
I’m addressing you.
Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time
Magazine?
I’m obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner
candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It’s always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are
serious. Movie producers are serious. Everybody’s serious but
me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven’t got a chinaman’s chance.

I’d better consider my national resources.
My national resources consist of two joints of marijuana
millions of genitals an unpublishable private literature that
jetplanes 1400 miles an hour and twentyfive-thousand mental
institutions.
I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of
underprivileged who live in my flowerpots under the light of
five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the
next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I’m a
Catholic.

America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual
as his automobiles more so they’re all different sexes.
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on
your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was seven momma took me to Communist
Cell meetings they sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a
ticket costs a nickel and the speeches were free everybody
was angelic and sentimental about the workers it was all so
sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party was in
1835 Scott Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch
Mother Bloor the Silk-strikers’ Ewig-Weibliche made me cry I
once saw the Yiddish orator Israel Amter plain. Everybody
must have been a spy.
America you don’t really want to go to war.

America its them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And
them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia’s power mad.
She wants to take our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader’s
Digest. Her wants our auto plants in Siberia. Him big
bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh. Him make Indians learn read. Him need
big black niggers. Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a
day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the
television set.
America is this correct?
I’d better get right down to the job.
It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision
parts factories, I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

Berkeley, January 17, 1956

Artwork
America
36 x 68 x 32 inches
haikussemblage (beach mat, bendable plastic straws, cellophane tape, orange felt, toilet plunger)
Kio Griffith @kiogriffith

Poem
America
Allen Ginsberg

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