The Weekly (hah!) Tangent, #2

Even Trekaholics have other interests. I know I do. The friends who know me a little TOO well refer to me as "the cesspool of knowledge;" I'll pick up on interesting tidbits, trivia, intellectual flotsam, etc., only to whip out same at incomprehensibly inappropriate moments ("Where did THAT come from?!?!?").

This section is for something non-Trek that is nevertheless a product of my skewed sense of reality and talent for mangling the English language to occasionally amusing effect. Sort of like an embryonic Mark Leyner, or Dave Barry forced to type with his tongue.

And without further ado...strap on your seatbelts and hang on.

* * *


One of the more famous 20th-century poets is Allen Ginsberg, whose epic "Howl" still holds the power to shock even decades later. Here are the opening verses:

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, 

angelheaded 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 fiats 'doating 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,

And so on.

I'm not much of a poet. I like poetry, but I hate analyzing it.

I far prefer butchering it.

In that spirit, I offer the following, a paeon to the best minds of my generation.


I saw the best minds of my generation spoiled by Muppets, counting historical shapes,

puppeteered through sesame streets at dawn looking for the number six,

cloth-headed youngsters yearning for the pungent slovenly collection of the sneery misanthrope in the trashcan to the right,

who innocence and lintballs and ping-pong-eyed and wired sat up snickering in the supercilious brightness of primary-color sets lounging across the tops of boxes contemplating Taz(manian devil)

who bared their butts to Henson under the felt and saw Snuffleupagan creatures sauntering on public broadcasting sets illuminated,

who passed through elementaries with animated eyes entertaining Maine and Klieg-light comedy among the teachers of yore,

who were extolled on the airwaves for lazy & highlighting unseen codes to the windows of the world,

who showered in unshaven baths in underwear, washing their ducky in water and listening to the murmuring of Bert through the wall,

Who got famous in their lilypads warbling through lyrics with a belt of showtunes on PBS,

who ate cookies with Letter L's or drank milk in Friendship Alley, left, or dry-cleaned their torsos after every show,

....ah, heck with it. What about Naomi?

Last Updated: August 31, 1997
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