I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
Because I really like myself!
And what I assume you shall assume,
Out-of-doors, or in this room!
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
You are good as I am good—and true as I am true!
I loafe and invite my soul,
Would youl like to share a bowl?
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
A little tiny spear, alas!
My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
parents the same, what do you think of that?
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin—thirty-seven? oh, drat!
Hoping to cease not till death.
When I’m forty, will I have sweet breath?
Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Fruits and vegetables, get thee hence!
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
Oh, this paraticular fruit is rotten!
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Whether it be lark or buzzard,
Nature without check with original energy.
(And I’m not just talkng about having to pee!)
So much depends,
I told my friends,
On a wheel barrow that’s red
Or white chickens, instead!
Petals on a wet black bough
Seem to be faces in the Metro, now.
As I sd
to my friend, Fred,
because I am
I sd, which was not
his name (he gets that a lot)—
the darkness sur-
rounds us, what for?
shall we buy
a goddamn big car
hey, or shall I—
or can we drive far?
drive, he sd, for
Christ’s sake look at yr
what u drivin that way for?
By the road to
the contagious hospital under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the northeast
—a cold wind. Beyond, the waste
Of broad, muddy fields brown
with dried weeds, standing and fallen down
patches of standing water
ing of tall trees
All along the road the reddish purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves
I’m really bored,
Oh here’s a brown puddle we can ford—
under them leafless vines—Lifeless
in appearance, sluggish
dazed spring approaches-
They enter the new world
uncertain of all
save that they enter.
All about them the cold, familiar
wind—Now the grass, tomor—
row the stiff curl
of wildcarrot leaf
One by one objects are defined—It quickens: clar-
ity, outline of leaf
But now the stark
dignity of entrance–oh, now it’s dark!
Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted, they
grip down and begin to awaken—hurray!
I saw the best minds—OK, maybe not the best,
a pretty smart guy from Jersey, stoned, who moved out west,
was naked and hysterical, he had failed his driver’s test,
walking down a negro street at dawn
looking for a fix! he was crazy, man, he was gone!
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
connection to the starry
in a coffee shop in Soho
in the machinery of night
Poverty! And jazz! but their skin was mostly white!
I was crazy when I wrote that obscene ode,
but I dig William Blake and I know the guy who wrote On The Road!