Ginsberg Revisited is literally just a column where Senior Editor A. writes Vancouver-themed parodies of Allen Ginsberg poems.

Editor’s Note: This poem was initially written three years ago while I was still on the Left, and was mildly critical of the social justice warriors but not to the extent it needs to be in order to be intellectually honest. I have some sympathy for them because I lived around them for such a long time, they are wrong about almost everything but most of them genuinely believe they are doing the right thing. This new edit is more appropriately critical but I still have a sense of empathy for them, as I express here.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by folk punk running on no food for two days

and not quite enough beer

dragging themselves through East Vancouver streets at four o’clock in the morning heading back to the house of the friend whose parents are out of the country for four insufficient

hours of sleep & one hell of a good story to tell afterwards

desperately anticipating turning nineteen to spare themselves the hassle of finding a boot & relying on the Alcohol God in the meantime

who chased each other around the venue and down the back alley behind Venables trying to get their revenge by shoving food down each other’s shirts

who dreamed of a world with no racism and sexism and ablism and homophobia and transphobia and all the other isms and phobias ceased to exist

who took up political science women’s studies gender and equality studies peace and conflict studies and everything related to help make it this way

put their parents in debt and won’t get a job afterwards

and never once cracked open a history book & discovered the true nature of these things

who stick and poked their stage names on the knees of their friends while drunk & with only the moon and their iPhone flashlights for light

who nearly got busted by their parents a million times and who were only caught when honesty-inducing substances convinced them that owning up was the right thing to do & they told them themselves

who smoked Twizzlers when there were no more cigarettes only to discover they tasted almost like marshmallows

who terrified their friends by lighting their smokes on an open fire while too wasted to be able to stay stable on their two feet

who played Spin the Bottle on a dark night praying that nobody in the group had herpes yet & remembered being twelve again

who walked along Marine Drive to & from the Canadaline & to from McDonalds & to & from the abandoned concrete lot too many times to count who lit a minion bonfire & cackled with ecstasy

who ate more french fries then they knew were good for them because there was nothing else around to eat

who turned vegetarian & vegan for animal cruelty reasons & for health reasons & for convenience but ate enough of those french fries to counteract any good they were doing for themselves

who wrote poems about Chicken McNuggets & Kraft Dinner because they had nothing better to speak of

who nursed their hangovers at Broadway and Nanaimo over 2.95 eggs toast bacon hashbrowns & cups & cups of coffee at Bons time and time again

who wrote their initials wherever they could hoping one day it would become a topic of conversation among confused locals

who watched bands jam in warehouse basements in industrial areas and locked themselves in the washroom so they could draw eyes and psychedelic swirls on the walls using sharpies

who ordered shots at Seven Dining Lounge age seventeen and somehow got away with it

who dyed their hair blue and pink and purple and rainbow and shaved half of it off and pierced their lips and septum and eyebrows and their everything

and now we call them the Greenhairs behind their backs

who who wished the ceiling fans at Astorino’s were just a little bit more powerful

who wrote angry strongly-worded letters to transphobic beer companies and turned to other

brand in the name of social righteousness

and then went back to buying the same beer the next week cause they never really cared

they just loved the adrenaline rush that comes with using the word transphobia

an army of misfits who fit so perfectly together

who assembled at the edge of the Fraser River and brought more and more people to their spot every time they assembled

like a cult; a religion they formed because they had none and needed to stand for something, anything

who puked all over the garbage can at McDonalds because they didn’t know how much nicotine was in that gum

who tried five times to get the stuffed animals out of the crane game at Denny’s & failed because let’s be honest that game is rigged

who partied for what they thought were political purposes

who spent too much of their pay checks on vintage books & Beat Generation brilliance hoping some of it would rub off on them

who dreamed of opening hippie convents in Vancouver & bakeries in Italy and everything in between

who lit cigarette after cigarette in a social context & added more smoke to the already smoky air making it almost unbearable to be out

who journeyed to the Lot, who died in the Lot, who came back to the Lot & waited in vain, who watched over the Lot & brooded & loved in the lot and finally went away to find out the time, & how the Lot is lonesome for her heroes

who walked up & down the Drive too many times to count

who played Cards Against Humanity & stripped & kissed & drank & had the time of their lives

a group of confused young people who really thought they were doing the right thing

and would realize in ten years just how wrong they were

but it was fun while it lasted

-Senior Editor A.

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