To the Ghost of Ginsberg

by Briggs Helton

Don’t warn me about the blizzard, all winter I walked through Akron, five months of snow, wind chill, and seeping blisters. I swallowed the misery.

Don’t tell me to get the lump checked out, it shrunk, doesn’t hurt anymore, or I’ve learned to ignore it. Let’s find a name for it in a book of astrological signs.

And definitely don’t ask me about my blond-haired girl, with your twinkling crotch-ward look. I love you and all your poetic excesses, but I am no cocksman.

Tell me again about the time we drove to Berkeley. The two of us sleeping in my car, my ear resting against your worn pages. It was there I asked if Jewish angels play harps.

Good god where have you been? My Jonathan, my how our souls were once knit. Go ahead, laugh at my poetic waxing. Was I weft or warp? What color was the yarn?

What a romp we’ll have. Are those clouds really Whitman’s beard? Heaven cannot make us so self-conscious tonight. There is no moon to haunt us.

Briggs Helton is from Wenatchee, Washington, and is the oldest of three children. Briggs was an all-state football player in high school and coached Timpanogos High School shot put, discus, and javelin for two years. He served a mission in Cleveland, Ohio. Teachers that have helped him write better include Mary Symonds, Lance Larson, Kimberly Johnson, Adrian Thayn, and Rick Duerden. Briggs married his best friend, Becca Fyans, last fall. Briggs is a Seahawks and Piero Searuffi fan. His is probably going to law school somewhere. His favorite poets include: Philip Levine, Rebecca Lindenberg, Elaine Equi, and Allen Ginsberg.