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Allen Ginsberg Gives me a Rose at Art Park Just Buffalo, Schuper House, June 8, Near Buffalo
by Lyn Lifshin

it wasn't the first time we met. I'd been
at his place in the East Village with another
writer who refused to believe it
wasn't safe after dark, insisted we
stroll thru garbage strewn streets at
midnight, not call a cab. Another
time I wish I'd taken a camera or
kept notes, a diary on the places I
read, kept a photo in my head. Those
years it was as if I lived from suitcase to
suitcase, came home only to pack
again. I wrote Glad Day after that trip
or another one like it. I was happy
to be reading with Ginsberg tho I
hardly see myself in the line of the Beats,
never understand why others do. It
was probably a couple of years later,
reading outside in the park. For some
reason I remember standing around for
hours, driftwood colored bleachers.
None of this might be true. I remember
little about the reading: the size of the
audience. It must have been hot. I
know someone brought cold drinks
finally and we all ran toward him. More
than anything I remember Allen Ginsberg
gave me a rose, a beautiful red one,
or was it white? No, it must have been
red because when I carried it thru the air
port gingerly as if I was balancing a
rose of diamonds and glass, everyone
turned and said what a beautiful
and so sweet. Of course it wasn't the
rose but the Tea Rose perfume I was
wearing. Since the rose came from
Allen Ginsberg I wanted to preserve
it, coated it with dripped candle wax
but it didn't work so I put it in
plastic, pressed it into the heaviest book
in the house, a folio edition of Shakespeare,
all petals pressed into William's words


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