SECTION ELEVEN
POETRY PAGE FIVE

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COLUMN FIFTY-SIX, FEBRUARY 1, 2001
(Copyright © 2001 Al Aronowitz)

[Bob Rosenthal, who studied poetry under Paul Carroll, Ted Berrigan, Joel Oppenhiemer, Bernadette Mayer, and Alice Notley, is a poet and a writer who has co-written and produced five plays.  His 1970's Cleaning Up New York was regarded as a cult classic.  His latest collection of poetry is Viburnum (White Fields Press, Tennessee).  He has taught workshops at The Poetry Project, Snug Harbor, and the Naropa Institute.  He worked as Allen Ginsberg's secretary for 20 years until Allenís death and currently is a Trustee of the Allen Ginsberg Trust.  Bob is also an adjunct Professor of English at New York Technical College.  He is currently writing his account on the business of Allen Ginsberg and has written three other books of poetry, Morning Poems, (Yellow Press, Chicago, 1972), Rude Awakenings, (Yellow Press, Chicago. 1976) and Eleven Psalms (1999).  He is married and has two sons.]

ODE TO CYNICISM 

I alone know what is what
my virtue is unparalleled
trust me
I know where I am going
you will come with me
for you have no say
what you say has no meaning
deconstruct the path
there was no path anyway
deconstruct death
it's not there
to lack life
is to lack sneers
crime is down
nobody is worth killing
there is not a president nor civil rights leader
worthy of a bullet
I'll save the rainforest
by eating a chocolate bar
or is it ice cream?
corporations do know what's best
I will launch my name in dotcom-dom
millions will buy my shares
I am richer than you
I am better looking than you
I go among you wearing my brands
my name is an Orifice
surrounded by B's
I like children
on TV
I really like dogs
having animals complete me
animals talk to each other
"Hi Siggy you're cute."
"Nice seeing you, Venus."
think how good I am
stooping to scrape up poop!
I've branded these Chinese characters on my limbs
one means awesome
the other means something like fat
I broke up with my lover
because he wouldn't break up with me
years later I took liters of G
I e-mailed him exactly what I thought
the nervy bastard did the same
I refused my food
the waiter didn't speak English
I screamed in my sleep
It didn't bother me
I didn't hear myself
I feel closer now to Napster
I really feel good about
my faster connection
I am in my Northface
laughing at you
why should I organize my building
they all speak Japanese
I think the worst thing about me
is that my jeans are Levis-Strauss
why did I say that?
I walk among you in my black Columbia hat
I bypass Starbucks because I am good
now that I am just like you
without liking you
I just had the illest thought
when I die
you do too
so
follow me
to the end
which was
after all
a long time ago

5/24/00  ##

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