America by Allen Ginsberg


cat 4th

The following poem excerpt  was written in 1956 by Allen Ginsberg. (Obviously there is NOTHING contemporary about it, because —  you know, things are like, different now.) 


America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twenty-seven 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  weapons deals.

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 Independents?
America why are your libraries full of tears?

America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery  NAFTA trade is too much for me.                                                                       I’m sick of your insane demands.

You made me want to be a saint  slut-shamed me into chastity.


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.

I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for
murder. My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I’m addressing you.
You’re always telling me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious.



Movie producers are serious. Everybody’s serious

but me.

I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against us.
We haven’t got a chance.
We’d better consider our national resources.
Our national resources consist of twentyfivethousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about our prisons nor the millions of underprivileged  who live in
our flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns. We have abolished the whorehouses of France,  Tangiers  Nevada is the next to go.


how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
America you don’t really want to go to war.
America it’s 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.

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 our emotional life be run by Time Magazine Access Hollywood?
I’m obsessed by Time Magazine Access Hollywood.
I watch it every week.

America Sacco & Vanzetti Trayvon Martin should not have died.                                     America save the Spanish Loyalists  Syrian Refugees.
America I am the Scottsboro boys Central Park Five.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I’m a Catholic   Jew



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 LGBTQIA  shoulder to the wheel.

— Allen Ginsberg ‘America’




A call for peace, free education, elimination of student debt, adequate health care, green jobs and radical authenticity for the USA.


18 comments on “America by Allen Ginsberg

  1. Raj Krishna says:

    history is cyclical in nature..isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John W. Leys says:

    One of my favorite Ginsberg poems. I think he’d love your updates. It’s sad that it’s still relevant at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. poeturja says:

    Love how you updated this, Christine! First read Ginsburg when I was 16 and his work is sacrosanct, to me, but I think he’d enjoy the update tremendously!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Vicky V says:

    It’s a sad time for both our countries. Hoping this wave of fear and hatred subsides soon. Great update of a great poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the updates you added! I like Ginsberg’s work – especially his piece called (I think) “Please Master” (hilariously explicit), and “Supermarket”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Darryl! Ginsberg was tongue in cheek about a lot of things, but in the end, he made some great commentary. He definitely went over the top. In the current ‘election madness’ I was looking over his poems and thought ‘Dang, nothing has changed!’which inspired this post.

      Thanks for reading and for your great comments 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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