So he projected from his own desire and from his own unconscious a sexual urge which he felt was normal to the unconscious of most people, though forbidden for the most part to take part.
”I’ll go into the bedroom silently and lie down between the bridegroom and the bride.”
He projected as he did in another poem, orgy, City of Orgies, as he called New York, he projected physical affection even to the sexual—or his phrase is “physical affection and all that is latently implied” between citizen and citizen as part of the Adhesiveness which would make us function together as a community rather than as a nation “among the fabled damned of nations,” which was his phrase in the essay “Democratic Vistas.”
Walt Whitman is one of my spiritual teachers and I am following him in this poem, taking off from a line of his own and projecting my own actual unconscious feelings of which I don’t have shame, sir, which I feel are basically charming actually.
THE COURT: I didn’t hear that last word.
THE WITNESS: Charming….
BY MR. WEINGLASS:
[Mr. Foran having completed his investigation of the connection between the poet’s sexual and spiritual interests, Mr. Weinglass then commenced his redirect examination.]
Q: Do you have a poem before you entitled “Howl”?
A: No, I don’t have that. It is in another book than this one.
Q: Can you recall that poem without reference to the other book?
A: I can’t recite it all. I know fragments of it, yes.
Q: Could you recite to the Court and jury the fragments that you can recall?
A: 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
angelheaded hipsters burning for the
ancient heavenly connection to the
starry dynamo in the machinery of
who poverty and tatters and hollow-
eyed and high sat up smoking in the
supernatural darkness of cold-water
flats floating across the tops of cities
who bared their brains to Heaven
under the El and saw Mohammedan
angels staggering on tenement roofs
who crossed through the United States,
cross country seventytwo hours to
find out if I had a vision, or you had
a vision or he had a vision to find
who were expelled from the academies
for crazy & publishing obscene odes
on the windows of the skull,
who broke down crying in white
gymnasiums naked and trembling before
the machinery of other skele-
who were dragged off the roof waving
genitals and manuscripts,
who screamed with delight in police-
cars for committing no crime but
their own wild cooking pederasty
who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars
boxcars racketing through snow
toward lonesome farms in grandfather
who moved through universities with
radiant cool eyes among the scholars
of war hallucinating Arkansas and
who coughed on the sixth floor of
Harlem surrounded by orange crates
who protested the narcotic tobacco
haze of Capitalism,
who chained themselves to subways for
the endless ride from Battery to
holy Bronx on benzedrine until the
noise of wheels and children brought
them down shuddering battered
bleak of brain all drained of brilliance
in the drear light of Zoo…
What sphinx of cement and aluminum
bashed open their skulls and ate up
their brains and imagination?
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans
and unobtainable dollars! Boys
sobbing in armies! Children screaming
under the stairways! Old men weep-
ing in the parks!
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Mol-
och! Moloch the loveless! Moloch
the heavy judger of men!
Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse
and Congress of sorrows! Moloch
whose buildings are judgement! Mol-
och the vast stone of war! Moloch
the stunned governments!
Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!
Moloch whose blood is running
money! Moloch whose soul is electri-
city and banks!
Moloch whose smokestacks and anten-
nae crown the cities!
Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless
hydrogen! Moloch whose name is
Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch
in whom I am a consciousness with-
out a body! Moloch who entered
my soul early! Moloch whom I
abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light
streaming out of the sky!
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments!
invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries!
demonic industries! monstrous
They broke their backs lifting Moloch
to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios,
tons! lifting the city to Heaven
which exists and is everywhere about
Dreams! adorations! religions! illumina-
Ten years’ animal screams and suicides!
Real holy laughter in the river! They
saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy
yells! They bade farewell! They
jumped off the roof! to solitude!
waving! carrying flowers! Down to
the river! into the street!