Many Loves by Allen Ginsberg

  “Resolved to sing no songs henceforth but those of manly attachment” (Walt Whitman)

Neal Cassady was my animal :
he brought me to my knees
and taught me the love of his cock
and the secrets of his mind
And we met and conversed,
went walking in the evening by the park
Up to Harlem, recollecting Denver,
and Dan Budd, a hero
And we made shift to sack out in Harlem,
after a long evening,
Jack and host in a large double bed,
I volunteered for the cot, and Neal
Volunteerd for the cot with me,
we stripped and lay down.
I wore my underwear, my shorts,
and he his briefs -
lights out on the narrow bed I turned to my side,
with my back to his
Irish boy’s torso,
and huddled and balanced on the edge,
and kept distance -
and hung my head over and kept my arm over the side,
And he seeing my fear stretched out his arm,
and put it aound my breast
Saying “Draw near me” and gathered me in upon him:
I lay there trembling, and felt his great arm like a king’s
And his breasts, his heart slow thudding against my back,
and his middle torso, narrow and made of iron,
soft at my back,
his fiery firm belly warming me while I trembled -
His belly of fists and starvation,
his belly a thousand girls kissed in Colorado
his belly of rocks thrown over Denver roofs,
prowess of jumping and fists,
    his stomach of solitudes,
His belly of burning iron and jails affectionate to my side:
I began to tremble,
he pulled me in closer with his arm,
and hugged me long
    and close
my soul melted, secrecy departed, I became
Thenceforth open to his nature as a flower in the shining sun.
And below his belly, in white underwear,
tight between my buttocks,
His own loins against me soft,
nestling in comradeship, put forth & pressed
into me, open to my awareness,
slowly began to grow,
signal me further and deeper affection,
sexual tenderness.
So gentle the man,
so sweet the moment,
so kind the thighs that nuzzled
against me smooth-skinned powerful,
warm by my legs
That my body shudders and trembles with happiness,
remembering -
His hand opened up on my belly,
his palms and figners flat against my skin
I fell to him, and turned, shifting,
put my face on his arm resting,
my chest against his,
he helped me to turn, and held me closer
his arm at my back beneath my head,
and arm at my buttocks tender holding
    me in,
our bellies together nestling,
loins touched together, pressing and
knowledgeable each other’s hardness,
and mine stuck out of my underwear.
Then I pressed in closer and drew my leg up between his,
and he lay half on me
with his thighs and bedded me down close, caressing
and moved together pressing his cock to my thigh and mine to his
slowly, and slowly began a love match that continues in my imagination to this
    day a full decade.
Thus I met Neal & thus we felt each other’s flesh and owned each other bodies
    and souls.
So then as I lay on his breast with my arms clasped around his neck and his cheek
    against mine,
I put my hand down to feel his great back for the first time,
jaws and pectorals
of steel at my fingers,
closer and stiller,
down the silken iron back to his waist,
the whole of his torso now open
my hand at his waist trembling,
waited delaying and under the elastic of his briefs,
I touched the smooth mount of his rock buttocks,
silken in power, rounded in animal fucking
and bodily nights over nurses and schoolgirls,
O ass of long solitudes in stolen cars,
and solitudes on curbs, musing fist in cheek,
Ass of a thousand farewells, ass of youth,
youth’s lovers,
Ass of a thousand lonely craps in gas stations ass of great painful secrecies of the years
O ass of mystery and night!
Ass of gymnasiums and muscular plants
Ass of high schools and masturbation ass of lone delight,
Ass of mankind, so beautiful and
hollow, dowry of Mind and Angels,
Ass of hero, Neal Cassady, I had at my hand:
my fingers traced the curve to the bottom of his
I raised my thighs and stripped down my shorts to my knees,
and bent to push them off
and he raised me up from his chest,
and pulled down his pants the same,
humble and meek and obedient to his mood our silence,
and naked at long last with angel & greek & athlete & hero and brother and boy of my dreams
I lay with my hair intermixed with his,
he asking me “What shall we do now?”
- And confessed, years later, he thinking I was not a queer
At first to please me & serve me,
To blow me and make me come, maybe or if I were
Queer, that’s what I’d likely want of a dumb bastard like him.
But I made my first mistake,
and had made him then and there my master, and
Bowed my head, and holding his buttock
Took up his hard-on and held it,
Feeling it throb and pressing my own at
His knee & breathing showed him I needed him, cock, for my dreams
    of insatiety & lone love.
-And I lie here naked in the dark, dreaming

Allen Ginsberg, Arctic. August 10, 1956

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