for David Shapiro
& John Ashbery
You used to wear dungarees & blue workshirt
sneakers or cloth-top shoes, & ride alone
on subways, young & elegant unofficial
bastard of nature, sneaking sweetness into Brooklyn.
Now tweed jacket & yr father's tie on yr breast,
salmon-pink cotton shirt & Swedish bookbag
You're half-bald, palsied lip & lower eyelid
continually tearing, gone back to college.
Goodbye Professor Ginsberg, get your identity
card next week from the front office so you can
get to class without being humiliated dumped on the
sidewalk by the black guard at the Student Union door.

Hello Professor Ginsberg have some coffee,
have some students, have some office hours
Tuesdays & Thursdays, have a couple subway tokens
in advance, have a box in the English Department,
have a look at Miss Sylvia Blitzer behind the typewriter
Have some poems er maybe they're not so bad have a
good time workshopping Bodhicitta in the Bird Room.

--- Allen Ginsberg
From Broken Land
Poems of Brooklyn

©2007 New York University Press
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