A Supermarket in California
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Walt Whitman, for I walked down the sidestreets under
the trees with a headache self-conscious looking at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit supermarket,
dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and what penumbras! Whole families shopping at night! Aisles full of
husbands! Wives in the avocados, babies in the tomatoes!–and you, García Lorca, what were
you doing down by the watermelons?
I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the meats in the
refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What price bananas? Are
you my Angel?
I wandered in and out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and followed in my
imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting artichokes, possessing
every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.
by Allen Ginsberg
from Collected Poems 1947-1980
Harper & Row