the museum of americana

a literary review

HOWELL—Parody by Morton Milder

Parody of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl

I.

I saw the best minds of my vacation destroyed by madness; starving hysterical naked (not 
         completely naked; midriff-baring, grass-skirt wearing), 
Lovey’s white gloves dragging themselves through the jungle trails at dawn (seven Central
         Time), looking for a cocoanut fix, 
who tattered, ragged, barefoot but pancaked and eye-shadowed roamed a deserted half-acre
         atoll that seemed to have more residents than the housing development at Melrose 
         Place,
who dug tunnels and lived underground for twenty years unaware of the armistice on a desert 
         island
who flew into orbit in a Soviet rocket and came down on a desert island
who sailed weather balloons and were blown off course to a desert island
who surfed and drifted off course to a desert island
who robbed banks and escaped to a desert island
who was Wrongway Feldman, who repaired his plane so that he could fly away to the Love 
         Boat and flew back two seasons later to a desert island, 
all of whom arrived with no way home yet never stayed longer than thirty minutes,
while we remain – sailor, skipper, capitalist, academic (and the rest) – drinking, drugged,
         smoking weed, shooting Benzedrine, paregoric, crack, coconut angel-dust jazz riffs
         wailing, chasing dealers through the desolate alleys screaming and blowing my mind in
         the emergency room at Bellevue. 
(I don’t think that last episode ever aired.)
 

II.

Minnow! Ship of fools who quarantined us for three seasons, three movies and two animated
         spinoffs. 
Minnow! Whose radio was repaired a hundred times to announce each shipwrecked lost soul 
         of the week! 
Minnow whose galley spawned a thousand coconut shrimp dinners. 
Minnow! Minnow the Merciless! Minnow the Leaky! Minnow namesake of FCC Chairman who
         named the Vast Wasteland!
Minnow! Ship of state, unthinking, uncaring, unmanned, unled, unwise, unwell. Solitude! Filth!
         Not too big to fail, but too small to sail. 
Sailure is not an option. 
Minnow who launched Lost in Space, who launched Lost, who launched Survivor. Your tribe
         has spoken:  Let us dine. Let us massage. Let us tattoo. How long can we shelter in this
         place? 
Minnow, reopen your porthole. It’s time to jump ship. 
 
 

III.                

Little Buddy, I’m still with you on the island. At my putting green, in the hammock, stoned on
         coconut juice, listening to the bamboo flute orchestra, while the lost film crew runs from
         the hand-grenade throwing gorilla. 
Little Buddy, I’m with you on the island where we have no restaurants, where we have no 
         opera, on the island where we have no cure.
I’m with you on the island and the island is Riker’s and the island is Manhattan; and the island
         is Madagascar and England and Japan and we can never leave the island, and we are all
         natives and we are all castaways – radio transmitter-toothed hipsters burning for heavenly
         syndication in the starry rerun firmament of nighttime.
 

~~~

Morton Milder is a writer, editor, and playwright born in St. Louis, Missouri, and living in New York City. His work has appeared in La Piccioletta Barca, October Hill, DoveTales Writing for Peace, The Metaworker Literary Magazine and The American Drivel Review. Mort is a co-producer of Rough&Ready Productions, a performance salon for works-in-progress in New York City and on YouTube.