“Whimper” by Trish Hopkinson


Allen wore his skin inside-out. When he blushed, the air around was rose-colored. When he cried for his lovers, for himself, for his mother, the tears poured within; a well for which there was no bottom, no bucket from which to draw or drink. He sacrificed the sacred, his lamb of passion—a savior of poets. He pushed his spectacles to the top of his nose to see forward and envisioned emotions as alphabetic symbols. I whimper.

His organs and intestines stretched out from left to right, neatly arranged in rows and bound with string, then sold under City Lights. Pieces rich with iron-clad allegory, some chewy, some tender, all meta-life. Unadulterated exposition, sun-seared and out in the open, beneath heat, atop cold, blue veins lay aching. Flip the front cover and let the oxygen in. He howls, “Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!”

Turn hope humbly on its heels and send sympathy to Hell. Our sensitivity is bullshit. Our smallness is truth. God is an excuse—flippant and fantastic, fiery and crude, spun from cells spun from atoms, all still spinning cerebral. I turned thirty and left God roadside to hitchhike his way home, his back toward me, his thumb outstretched.

(after Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”) (206 Words)

Justin’s Note: Trish Hopkinson has always loved words—in fact, her mother tells everyone she was born with a pen in her hand. She has two chapbooks Emissions and Pieced Into Treetops and has been published in several anthologies and journals, including StirringChagrin River Review, and The Found Poetry Review. Hopkinson is co-founder of a local poetry group, Rock Canyon Poets. She is a product director by profession and resides in Utah with her handsome husband and their two outstanding children. You can follow her poetry adventures at http://trishhopkinson.com/.

It’s hard to find good prose poets, and Trish is one of them. Ginsberg was one of them, “A Supermarket in California,” proves that much. If Trish was born in a different decade, perhaps she’d be enshrined in the poetic lore with the rest of the beatniks who hit the road, bound for infamy.


One thought on ““Whimper” by Trish Hopkinson

  1. Reblogged this on Trish Hopkinson and commented:
    So pleased to have my prose poem “Whimper (after Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’)” published in The Chaotic Review. Watch for my interview with the founder/editor Justin Hilliard later this week!


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