A Variation on a Poem, "A Supermarket in California", Written by the Beat Poet, Allen Ginsberg, Published in his Collection of Poems, "Howl and Other Poems", in 1956
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Arthur Andersen, for
I reviewed financial statements through dinner hour ad nauseum
subconsciously thinking of my audit fee.
In my hungry fatigue and looking for adjustments, I examined
balance sheet accounts, vouching countless transactions!
What errors and irregularities! Multiple assertions
misstated outright! Loans in the revenues! Improvements
in the expenses, interest in notes payable—and you, Bernard Madoff, what were you doing down in the investments?
I heard you questioning of each: Who reconciled
bank statements? Who confirmed receivables? Are you my Auditor?
I wandered in and out of the general ledger,
following you, and followed in my imagination by the
We performed audit procedures together in our
solitary fancy testing inventory, searching for unrecorded
liabilities, and never documenting one test.
completed. What opinion have you decided to render?
(I touch your audit manual and dream of our odyssey in
Accounting Land and feel absurd.)
Will we work all night through endless spreadsheets? The
overhead lights add shadows to documents, as darkness descends, hiding our loneliness.
into the wee hours of the morning, back to our silent office?
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