The Allen Ginsberg-Charles Schulz Mashup You Didn’t Know You Needed
Electric Lit relies on contributions from our readers to help make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive. Please support our work by becoming a member today, or making a one-time donation here.
“Grief (For Linus Van Pelt)” Part I
I saw the children of my neighborhood destroyed by mangle comics, disease comics, and gory
comics, aggravating hysterical fussbudgets,
dragging themselves through the sarcastic streets at dawn looking for an angry plaid ice cream,
angelheaded blockheads obligated to play outside whenever the starry dynamo in the machinery of
night is shining,
who spanking and roughnecked and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural
darkness of second childhoods floating across the tops of suburbs contemplating the chromatic
who bared their brains to The Great Pumpkin under the El and saw goldfishes or horses or lambs or
chimpmunks staggering on suburban roofs illuminated,
who passed through kindergarten with a piece of candy hidden in their ear hallucinating caramel
and Beethoven among the scholars of income tax,
who were expelled from the nursery for crazy & publishing mud pies on the windowsills of the
who cowered in toy rooms in diapers, leaving their candy bars on the sidewalk and listening to the
test patterns through the wall,
who got busted in their sandboxes for putting their hand into a glass of milk,
who hit one another with a piece of sod or drank lemonade in Paradise Alley, or hit their balls in
the rough and were accused of killing snakes,
every winter it’s the same thing, girls in stadium boots,
incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping toward kite-eating
trees, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,
humiliation of bare soup, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, balloons supposed to be round, not
square, storefront comic racks of joyride soda fountain blinking traffic light, oh, you dirty
balloon, you better come back here, trash-can lid rantings, the hustle and bustle of the city,
to me there’s nothing more depressing than the sight of an empty old candy bag,
until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered
bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,
who sat there trying to make people think the wind is blowing,
a lost battalion of platonic tricyclists rolling along the curbs, whose last pitches flew over
the backstop and rolled down the sewer,
yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball
kicks and shocks of taxes, theology, tadpoles, tamales, time-tables, tea and Tennessee Ernie,
who sat listening to the ocean roar, supposed be home taking a nap, scared of a piece of fuzz on the
suffering Eastern sweats and bubble gum-chewings and migraines of macaroni under candy-
withdrawal on bleak curbs,
who drew a line clear around the world wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,
who just when you began to learn the technique your parents took away your blanket,
who studied muskrat or mole? Mackerel? Or maybe mouse? Magna charts? Mahler telepathy and
bop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet,
who loned it through the streets here on earth among millions of people, while that tiny star was out
there alone among millions of stars,
who thought they were only aggravating when thirty-three marshmallows gleamed in supernatural
who was doomed to go through life with nothing but a face face,
who lounged, all nervous and tense, with nothing more relaxing than to lie with your head in your
who put the girl in charge of the salt mines leaving behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees and
the lava and ash of poetry,
whose poem is supposed to have feeling, whose poem couldn’t touch anyone’s heart, whose poem
couldn’t make anyone cry,
who gets depressed because he doesn’t know how to turn the set on,
who while eating supper was fooling around and was told ‘try to act like a human being’ and
replied "define human being,"
who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other
who bit parents in the neck and shrieked with delight in cribs for committing no crime but their
own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,
who was a mess when he ate and a mess when he played and a mess when just standing still, but was
at least consistent,
who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, now what brought that on? Are
you out of your mind? What are you trying to do, disgrace our family? Oh, the humiliation of it
all, we’ll probably have to move out of the neighborhood,
who went untouched and unmarred by modern civilization,
who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob handing out lists of people’s
who without your blanket would crack like a piece of old bamboo,
who is just about to starve to death when his grandma comes up with a baked-bean hot dish! The
little kid wonders where the beans came from… then he notices something! His bean-bag is
who if somebody likes you, he pats you on the head – if he doesn’t like you he kicks you,
who learned in medical circles the application of a spiritual tourniquet,
who wept at the romance of Halloween with their paper bags full of rocks and bad music, who
said these rocks are especially groomed to be hurled in anger!
who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness, always felt sorry for amoebas, and in all the excitement
forgot to feed the dog,
who wasn’t sure whether he was going to end up in an orphanage or the humane society under the
tubercular sky surrounded by orange crate racers of theology,
sometimes I think I’m a kind of vacant lot myself!
who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning
were stanzas of gibberish, paypur, dore, howse, welkum, nice, spune!
awl this reeding is hard one mi eyes!
who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom, boy, I’m
glad I’m not a lizard! I wonder if there are any dogs on the moon?
who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg, whose stomach has matured early,
who last year was the only person you knew who had three hundred and sixty-five bad days,
who threw their watches off the roof to "see time fly," & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day
for the next decade,
in all the world there’s nothing more inspiring that the sight of someone who has just been taken off
who shot him behind the Davenport this actually happened and if that isn’t fatal I don’t know what
who had to erect some sort of mental fence to keep unpleasant news out of his mind,
and who therefore ran along the icy sidewalks obsessed with a sudden set of flashcards, only three
years old and forced to go commercial,
who barreled down the sidewalks of the past journeying to each other’s sandbox-Pigpen-solitude or
who tricycled seventy-two hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had a vision
to just to find out insults seem to travel farther when the air is thin,
who nervous, lacking confidence, stupid and with poor taste and absolutely no sense of design,
yet the type of personality that will probably inspire a heroic symphony, a personality so simple
that it defies analysis,
a fourteen-carat blockhead, a blockhead, a nitwit, a numbskull!
I’m only trying to give Charlie Brown a little destructive criticism! Did you ever see a thief with
such a round head?
I’ve been confused from the day I was born,
I have never pretended to be able to solve moral issues, I’m only human, I was an only dog, maybe
I could blame it on society!
ah, Linus, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you’re really in the total animal soup of
you’re the only one who will follow me wherever I go!
if I were the only girl on earth, would you like me?
when you’re a dog you don’t have to worry like that… everything is clear cut, they’re just imitation
I’ve never really seen an eclipse, that lemonade is full of weeds, what would you do if the moon
fell right on your head?
can a person tear aside the veil of the future?
how about a pail of sand, old friend? to recreate the syntax of poor human prose and stand before
you aggravating and doomed and shaking with shame,
putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death, the life you save may be a
and rising sort of tender-hearted, unable to bear to see the frightened faces of crazy salesmen,
with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand
the wrong person fell off that tricycle!