Steve Jorgenson

I Am Unbeaten

that is to say

I am not a dead beat

I was not a friend 

of Allen Ginsberg

I never drank

with Jack Kerouac

There’s no provenance

to my poetry

Ferlinghetti

was not my father

I am unbeaten

that is to say

I carry the burden of myself

without a literary Christ

to save me

from the weight

of who I am

sluffed-off onto

other men or deities

I stand on the bottom 

of my words

period

that is to say

I am not really beat

or of the beat period

I am unbeaten

Gary Snyder

did not rip my rap

William Burroughs

never shot my cat

and I never rode 

with Cassidy

that is NOT to say

I am undefined

or unimpressed 

by impressionists

or threatened by

surrealists

I am not censored

drubbed

or defeated by thugs

I am not waiting

for an offbeat drummer

or someone else

to sing of myself

I am not battered

and bludgeoned

I was never a beat

I am unbeaten

period.

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