Stylized line drawing of mark playing the flute

Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb

Agnes Flannegan Chapel, Lewis & Clark College

I was 13 the first time I heard an Alan Ginsberg poem.

I was attending the Fir Acres Writing Workshop at Lewis & Clark College (which I've written about before) and a group of us were wandering around campus.

We discovered that the Chapel was unlocked so went inside.

My friend Nathan took the pulpit and started reading Allen Ginsberg's America.

We lay on the floor as his voice boomed off the wooden rafters, and I was hooked.

I read Howl over and over. I cried when I read Kaddish for the first time.

And I can still hear Nathan's voice echoing out in the holy room in the middle of the night.