Keep The Beat for MayDay Celebration, City Lights

by Diane di Prima

keep it!
was François Villon a Beat ?
the Minnesingers ?
what’s a troubadour ?

what about them guys
we call the
“Wandering Scholars” who
left the monastery
for the road ?

it’s not a “Generation”
           it’s a state of mind

a way of living
gone on
             for centuries
a way of writing too

“Beat” poetry’s older
than the grove of academe
older than
or Pythagoras

it’s one of the ways that
Dionysios plays
tongues of ecstasy

“Romantic” is another
how many more
don’t know

but I know for sure
it’s not a “Generation”
not once
one time / one country

throw in your lot
w/ the gals & guys on the streets
write like you talk
talk like you sing
sing like you dance
                     or love

it’s a risk
           an adventure
& it plays the edge

live close to the edge
& love it
           free to fail
nothing to lose
tongue of ecstasy
no where to go

nowhere to fall but
into the arms
of the Father /Mother
the yabyum