it’s May Day
Ride a white swan like the people of the Beltane. It’s their day.
It was Allen Ginsberg’s day in 1965 in Prague, though it didn’t exactly go as planned:
On May 1, 1965, after being deported from Cuba (triggered by his calling Che Guevara “cute,” according to Ginsberg) Ginsberg visited Czechoslovakia, and was supposedly spontaneously elected King of May by Prague’s citizens during an outdoor parade. Celebrating Czech nationalism, the “King of May” election had long been banned by the communist régime and was the first of its kind in 20 years. The ceremony Ginsberg participated in – and may have helped plan – was in fact a carefully planned demonstration by a group of Czech students who would later stage the student uprising of 1968.
Here’s a great snippet of his reading the poem inspired by his trip. Dig it–that’s Neal Cassady by his side.