Some Names from Paterson? If you insist….


The Lonely Street,

by William Carlos Williams

School is over. It is too hot
to walk at ease. At ease
in light frocks they walk the streets
to while the time away.
They have grown tall. They hold
pink flames in their right hands.
In white from head to foot,
with sidelong, idle look—
in yellow, floating stuff,
black sash and stockings—
touching their avid mouths
with pink sugar on a stick—
like a carnation each holds in her hand—
they mount the lonely street.

Paul Weingarten

A Meaningless Instutition

by Allen Ginsberg

I was given my bedding, and a bunk

in an enormous ward

surrounded by hundreds of weeping,

decaying men and women.

I sat on my bunk, three tiers up

next to the ceiling,

looking down the grey aisles.

Old, crippled, dumb people were

bent over sewing. A heavy girl

in a dirty dress

stared at me. I waited

for an official guide to come

and give me instructions.

After awhile, I wandered

off down empty corridors

in search of a toilet.

Dream, Paterson, Fall, 1948


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