I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked,

Dragging themselves through the Negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

Who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

Who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,

Who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,

Who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,

Who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,

Who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,

Who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night

This poem is about: 
My community


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