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September On Jessore Road Analysis

Author: Poetry of Allen Ginsberg Type: Poetry Views: 212

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The Fall of America1971Millions of babies watching the skies

Bellies swollen, with big round eyes

On Jessore Road--long bamboo huts

Noplace to shit but sand channel rutsMillions of fathers in rain

Millions of mothers in pain

Millions of brothers in woe

Millions of sisters nowhere to goOne Million aunts are dying for bread

One Million uncles lamenting the dead

Grandfather millions homeless and sad

Grandmother millions silently madMillions of daughters walk in the mud

Millions of children wash in the flood

A Million girls vomit & groan

Millions of families hopeless aloneMillions of souls nineteenseventyone

homeless on Jessore road under grey sun

A million are dead, the million who can

Walk toward Calcutta from East PakistanTaxi September along Jessore Road

Oxcart skeletons drag charcoal load

past watery fields thru rain flood ruts

Dung cakes on treetrunks, plastic-roof hutsWet processionsFamilies walk

Stunted boysbig heads don't talk

Look bony skulls& silent round eyes

Starving black angels in human disguiseMother squats weeping & points to her sons

Standing thin leggedlike elderly nuns

small bodiedhands to their mouths in prayer

Five months small foodsince they settled thereon one floor matwith small empty pot

Father lifts up his hands at their lot

Tears come to their mother's eye

Pain makes mother Maya cryTwo children togetherin palmroof shade

Stare at meno word is said

Rice ration, lentilsone time a week

Milk powder for warweary infants meekNo vegetable money or work for the man

Rice lasts four dayseat while they can

Then children starvethree days in a row

and vomit their next foodunless they eat slow.On Jessore roadMother wept at my knees

Bengali tonguecried mister Please

Identity cardtorn up on the floor

Husband still waitsat the camp office doorBaby at play I was washing the flood

Now they won't give us any more food

The pieces are here in my celluloid purse

Innocent baby playour death curseTwo policemen surroundedby thousands of boys

Crowded waitingtheir daily bread joys

Carry big whistles& long bamboo sticks

to whack them in lineThey play hungry tricksBreaking the lineand jumping in frontInto the circlesneaks one skinny runt

Two brothers dance forwardon the mud stage

Teh gaurds blow their whistles& chase them in rageWhy are these infantsmassed in this place

Laughing in play& pushing for space

Why do they wait here so cheerful& dread

Why this is the House where they give children breadThe man in the bread doorCries & comes out

Thousands of boys and girlsTake up his shout

Is it joy? is it prayer?"No more bread today"

Thousands of Childrenat once scream "Hooray!"Run home to tentswhere elders await

Messenger childrenwith bread from the state

No bread more today! & and no place to squat

Painful baby, sick shit he has got.Malnutrition skulls thousands for months

Dysentery drainsbowels all at once

Nurse shows disease cardEnterostrep

Suspension is wantingor else chlorostrepRefugee campsin hospital shacks

Newborn lay nakedon mother's thin laps

Monkeysized week oldRheumatic babe eye

Gastoenteritis Blood Poisonthousands must dieSeptember JessoreRoad rickshaw

50,000 soulsin one camp I saw

Rows of bamboohuts in the floodOpen drains, & wet families waiting for foodBorder trucks flooded, food cant get past,

American Angel machineplease come fast!

Where is Ambassador Bunker today?

Are his Helios machinegunning children at play?Where are the helicopters of U.S. AID?

Smuggling dope in Bangkok's green shade.

Where is America's Air Force of Light?

Bombing North Laos all day and all night?Where are the President's Armies of Gold?

Billionaire Naviesmerciful Bold?

Bringing us medicinefood and relief?

Napalming North Viet Namand causing more grief?Where are our tears?Who weeps for the pain?

Where can these families go in the rain?

Jessore Road's children close their big eyes

Where will we sleep when Our Father dies?Whom shall we pray to for rice and for care?

Who can bring bread to this shit flood foul'd lair?

Millions of children alone in the rain!

Millions of children weeping in pain!Ring O ye tongues of the world for their woe

Ring out ye voices for Love we don't know

Ring out ye bells of electrical pain

Ring in the conscious of America brainHow many children are we who are lost

Whose are these daughters we see turn to ghost?

What are our souls that we have lost care?

Ring out ye musics and weep if you dare--Cries in the mud by the thatch'd house sand drain

Sleeps in huge pipes in the wet shit-field rain

waits by the pump well, Woe to the world!

whose children still starvein their mother's arms curled.Is this what I did to myself in the past?

What shall I do Sunil Poet I asked?

Move on and leave them without any coins?

What should I care for the love of my loins?What should we care for our cities and cars?

What shall we buy with our Food Stamps on Mars?

How many millions sit down in New York

& sup this night's table on bone & roast pork?How many millions of beer cans are tossed

in Oceans of Mother? How much does She cost?

Cigar gasolines andasphalt car dreams

Stinking the world and dimming star beams--Finish the war in your breastwith a sigh

Come tast the tearsin your own Human eye

Pity us millions of phantoms you see

Starved in Samsaraon planet TVHow many millions of children die more

before our Good Mothers perceive the Great Lord?

How many good fathers pay tax to rebuildArmed forces that boastthe children they've killed?How many souls walk through Maya in pain

How many babesin illusory pain?

How many familieshollow eyedlost?

How many grandmothersturning to ghost?How many loves who never get bread?

How many Aunts with holes in their head?

How many sisters skulls on the ground?

How many grandfathersmake no more sound?How many fathers in woe

How many sonsnowhere to go?

How many daughtersnothing to eat?

How many uncleswith swollen sick feet?Millions of babies in pain

Millions of mothers in rain

Millions of brothers in woe

Millions of childrennowhere to go


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