Two Poems by Jason Bates

What Would Allen and William Do?

by Jason Bates

I saw the best minds of my generation contented by convalescence, shooting at daydream enemies,

dragging themselves through cubicle mazes looking for

a looser necktie,

bearded skeletons looming over printers

like junkies on a chill midnight

with dreams, and nicotine fixes, hovering forever

just five, ten, twenty minutes away,

who are envious of men who have less life but face

outwardly of having more freedom,

who jump down from tall couches only to land on

the coldest wood flooring that money can buy,

who fight back against the Ugly Spirit with passive

aggressive panache,

I am with you in Ginsberg

​where my howls are bitten tongues,

I am with you in Burroughs

where my mind soaks in red Yage punch,

I am with you in here

​where we may never escape

where we do not hide the madness.

The Girl Who Wore a Beret like She Didn’t Care that it Was a Beret

by Jason Bates


She fits into a hug

like we were adding

pieces to a puzzle

started years


Left out

on a table – edges complete;

the corners filled in

Scattered pieces wait

in the box

like so many pairs

of broken glasses



we walked on the grass


feeling the embrace

of masoned arms


Photographic evidence

on kosher film

frozen, not posed

I passed

on the opportunity

to snap one back

when you leaned


the tree –

Marlboro man style

Jason Bates will interject movie quotes into conversations even when the person on the other end has never seen the movie being quoted. His writing has appeared in Before I Leave...Lit Zine, Figroot Press, and aLiteration Magazine, and upcoming in River City Poets Anthology. He is also the founder of Spider Mirror Journal.

Image by Erica Zabowski, found on Flickr:

#marchapril2018 #poetry #thebeatgeneration #jasonbates

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