Buddhism at Millennium's Edge - Poems 2

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Copyright 1998 by Gary Snyder - Unedited Preview Cassette


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we also shared an interest in the cultures of india and east asia though my knowledge of mediterranean culture and the classics was scanty laughlin poetic engagement with classical references and themes fascinated and instructed me
i saw jay or a few times once when i was staying as a guest to the bank street apartment he came in as i was leaving we overlapped for half a day he was dictating the letter into a little tape recorder even as we chatted i never wrote a letter to j that he didn't answer looking back i realize that
that letter writing spirit belongs to the old days an old days of which i am part of to a time when people took pleasure in writing letters by hand and we're gratified truly to find others who would be timely and generous in sharing their thoughts and feelings in this medium
but grace and appropriate etiquette good form and good playfulness conviviality and integrity are timeless j loughlin school elegant understated wit and his alertness came out of a poet's mind came out of wild mind she was a plane skier i
like to claim him as an urbane mountain man
no i'm gonna read you a few points by j laughlin he was so modest about his own poetry through his whole life that he published never threw his own press but through little tiny presses on the side and you never advertised anything he wrote but he was very good
and he and he was a great lover of women
why do you never entered my dreams
nightly i await you what you do not come
the lamp burgers and the table is spread the filler knee and wine as d candidate yet it is dawn and you have not appeared are you afraid of my dreams they are loving and will not harm you or do you in sleep go visiting the dreams of and

two spoons after we have made love and are sleepy weaker karate together like two spoons each fitting closely in to the other my arm is around you you my hand holding your breast i can even feel your feet with
here is between your back and my chest i whispered very softly into your ear for a moment you squeeze my fingers and we fall asleep

the goddess
i have seen the goddess with my mortal eyes they were filming down the street it was meryl streep
she was attended by five trailers eight trucks thirty technicians and four policemen
the whole street was illumined with a heavenly please she walked up the steps of the house four times and i know that she saw me and smiled at me she knew that i was her demo t she went into the house but they said the next
teen was inside and i couldn't go in will i ever see her again my goddess but it doesn't really matter i saw her and she knew me

loves altar
let me bow down before the altar of love let me genuflecting that sacred place it's useless for you to protest that this shrine is ordinary in common to all your sex for me it's the locus of the sacrament the
altar where the rich will have the mysteries are intact

what are you smiling about my dear wife asked me this morning at breakfast nothing i said nothing in particular oh she said your back at that again
imagine the you are a reincarnation of the buddha
let me do it everyday yeah
this is good you can all live with this one
what are you smiling about my dear wife asked me this morning at breakfast nothing i said nothing in particular oh she said your back in there again imagine your a reincarnation of the buddha
and one more my g laughlin which actually is sort of partially dedicated to me it's called my old grey sweater not dedicated but i in the point
my old grey sweater in the back of the closet what will you do with it the one with buttons down the front that heavy one i used to wear when i could still cut firewood what will you do with it the salvation army i guess a worthy and needy man can still get a lot
of use out of it but you know i'd really rather not
please take it out into the woods and nail it to that big oak gary jokes that he wants to re-enter the food chain he wants to be eaten by a bear i'd like my sweater just to run away in the woodlands left the birds pecked at it and build their
nests with the great wall please name me to the big oak
and i went to finish with j laughlin by reading a point that i wrote for j that dumb i wrote six or seven years ago while i was reading the manuscript of is collected coins and was so struck by his be
pitiful loved points for all the affairs you had
and wondering you know how he had the nerve to actually write those plans and published them

there's a real tension between truth and safety
so this is a point i said i could never fall i can never published this while jays alive or even read a lot so i've never written this allowed in public and has never been published my first opportunity to share of anybody it's called what to tell still
reading the manuscript pages of flynn's collected poems with an eye to writing a comment how warmly j speaks of part i think back to
at twenty three i sat in the lookout cabin in grey whipping wind the north of the northern cascades and wonder if i should go visit pound in st louis but st elizabeth's and studied chinese at berkeley and went to japan incident j puts his love for women
his love for love his devotion his peen is causing of paid right out there
i'm sixty three now and i'm old and i'm on my way to pick up my ten year old stepdaughter and drive the car pool
i have just finished a five page letter to the county supervisors dealing with a former supervisor now a paid lobbyist who has twisted the facts and gets paid for his lies do i have to deal with this creep
i do
james laughlin manuscript sitting on my desk i read them late last night preparing to write a comment and burn watson's book translations of suit shirt next in line for a comment on the back september heat the watershed institute meets planting more
your work with the b l am now we have visitors will china land managers want to see how us locals are doing with our plan editorials in the paper are against us a botanist is looking at the rare plants in the marsh
i think of how j write stories of his lovers in his poems puts it on lot it touches me so stubbornly courageous or foolish to write so much about your lover's when you're a long time married man then i think what do i
i know about what to say or not to say what to tell to whom and when still
thank you

and finally finally finishing with a few points i some other people for this section
is rick fields here
rick fields
are you here week just in case
i would ask rick's permission to read from his recent book fuck you cancer
but i don't think rick would object to when reading it and so i'm going to read a few points from this
rick feels as i'm sure many of you know rick
he's the editor of to yoga journal he's been the editor shambala son he's done good work in is coast and west coast in colorado they used for years wonderful man
and he recently published it's just a little book called for you cancer
this point is gonna here we go
there was the cloth slight irritating no more than trying to clear my throat of some minor an obstruction
a test for tuberculosis negative for ulcers negative x-rays negative allergies negative tropical disease specialist negative psychics came up with disastrous dramatic past lives
but still cause persistent
one night i dream it was the nail lodged in my throat the next day heeding the call of the unconscious i saw an ear nose and throat ma'am
dryness in the larynx nothing more he gave me some pills and i went off to india reassured
on the guts of the ganges in varanasi chivas city just wanna hit of the children with the naked subdues and my voice broke to a froggy whispery croak
when i got back to the states i have a hard lymph node above my collarbone taken out and biopsied while the doctor and nurse listened and left at the o j trial on the radio i called next friday afternoon
i'm sorry he said it's not good
here we go i thought as the floor disappear beneath me

petals for marshall
i spilled the flowers pale pink petals funny what can scare you in this world one day pale pink petals scattered on the table another day great black pit has three little shadows spilled scattered backlit or
they're in the lower left loan
i reach for your fingertips pale pink petals rush my cheek
this world's funny how in the light of death everything shines

varanasi benaras
passing by silver and gold sorry covered corpse dawan a hip twenty year old dharamshala girl says to me to say when you see dead is good luck
makes people pray

and me sixteen nineteen ninety seven
on my fiftieth birthday two years to the day from my first chemotherapy i'm still alive against all odds they say to celebrate i meditate for half a day on strange tibet and deities wrathful and peaceful who rise and fall
with my breath in emptiness later in the day a dip in the to pacific a wave lifts me up turns me down
then a kayak in bolinas lagoon seals pop up in pairs like us curious inquisitive parking protective
two snowy ingrid's stand like sentries on stilts long necks coiled strike like snakes floating aimlessly rising and falling water flashing from the curved blades what are the odds of me being here today golden sunlight gentle br
these greenhills drifting with the tide from the rising sea

two chinese point
everyone's journey
nah i'm sorry this is japanese this early sixteenth century japan everyone's journey
through the world is the same
so i am done with regrets
here on the plains of nasu
i placed my trust didn't do
and here's one by limo me by only bowl called zazi on g t mountain
the birds have vanished down the sky
now the last cloud dreams away
we sit together the mountain and i
and you're lonely the mountain remains

give you one more from the west and then i'm going to move on to mountains and rivers about in
well this is quoted by
barca in his is doing day
forecast says
work is talking about blood and death and poetry actually he first quotes a woman for a lot more bella of the seventeenth century who dying in childbirth on the highway says the blood of my entrails covers the horse and the horse's hooves strength fire from the pitch
and then he quotes a recent young men from salamanca killed by a bowl who exclaimed my friends i'm going my friends it goes badly i've got three handkerchiefs inside me now and this i put it makes for

the long point mountains and rivers without in that i managed to find me bring out the fall of nineteen fifty nine kinda made his six fifty six twenty six
for me one of the most interesting and challenging parts of it
is the keystone point called the
mountain spirit
and it's a performance piece really and so i'm going to perform it that is to say it takes a bit of chianti innovative voicing
in i'm still learning how to do it the point follows to some degree the structure of the japanese noh drama and it's those styles of charity and speaking it retells the story of the notably know mumbai in north american terms the north american way to tell
this story go like this
throughout western north america there are tales of mountain spirits sometimes fierce and jacket sometimes smooth and swedish rainbows sometimes seen as an old ragged woman now some years back in san francisco there was a poet who made his reputation largely
the on the basis of a point that he had written about the mountain spirit even though he had not actually visited the mountains very much himself
so when we're the sport decided to pay a visit to the unique robes of ancient bristlecone pine the oldest living beings in the world that are located in the remote upper elevations of the white indio mountains of eastern california you'll know where that is
after considerable travel he made his way into the white mountains and he set up camp after as it was getting dark is it happened it was also the time of the annual pierce a huge meteor showers which he also hoped to enjoy
while looking out over the dusk landscape a voice keep out of dark challenging him and then asked him to read aloud his famous poem on the mountain spirit
it was the mountain spirit know what to do you to the point about her
he promised he would do that at midnight and then he tried to put this strange encounter out of his mind that midnight however he was awakened he saw that his visitor was indeed a legendary mountain spirit so as the meteoric streaked through this guy he read his point to this mysterious personage and then the to
ooh of them dance the dance with the bristlecone pine
there are scads of bristlecone pine pinus one guy ever in the mouse at the western edge of the great basin that contain individual trees which are dated well over four thousand years old those that live on the bone white outcroppings of dolomite from the cambrian seabeds five hundred million years ago
go live to be honest they are thought to be the most ancient of living beings
so this point does a kind of story
it is partly chanted partly sung probably recited
please relax and make yourself comfortable with
becoming weirdness

ceaseless we love lie you use ceaseless we do you love lie you use red sandstone
home gleaming all my feet
sees less we live lie use red sandstone and white do all my feet
driving all night owl from reno through cool torched bridgeport past mall old xpo glue past tongues of obsidian flow stopped to and
the granite fee use of the east sierra front
ah here i am arrived in britain bishop owens valley called by yahoo not do not so long ago
ranger station on main street
i'm a traveler i want to know the way to the white mountains and the bristlecone pines she gives me maps here the trail to the grow that timber lying
where are the oldest living being used for i if all rock and air
thank you for your help
i go to the path term lord
in the day the climbing i e
find an opening where a steep dirt side road whole a perch in the road dry it all
prickly pinyon pine boughs she'd have you to the last chance range
and make a camp
nearby a rocky point
passing a tidy skip arrangement on a ledge stand on a dark red sandstone strata outcrop at the edge plane after plane of desert ridges darkening east were in to blue black
he is
a voice says
you know you know fame
one was in those is the for oil of mound
here is real
yes like the limes walking on walking under burger turns but what do you know have been hurled sam's don't for
a creature to speak of all that a time why far
still i'd like to hear that land
i answer back
tonight is the night of the shooting stars mirror fuck the brilliant star of perseus crosses the rich at midnight i'll read it can
who am i talking to i think
walk back to camp
evening breeze up from the flats from the valleys salt and death
venus and the new model sinking deep blue glow behind the palisades to the west needle clusters schering in the wind listen close the sound gets better
mountain ranges biol t spec fading in the east puffs i'm sailing dark blue cloud a big our rules soft swift with between the trees unroll the building
stretch our blankets on the crunchy dry pine needles some warm browsers ground
formations dip and strike my sleep
approaching in a dream
peter ghosts that kick their own schools like a ball happy ghosts that stick a flower in their old scholes mti good and de vaul that's another stupid dream for streams and mountains clouds and glaciers
yours is there ever an escape erosion always wearing down shearing thrusting deep plates crumpling still uplifting ice carved circuits didn't reddick endless fractal stream bed riffs on hillsides better
or ghosts that kick their own scholes like a ball what's it all for
a or swift and streaking like a tossed white pebble or cut down the sky
the mountain spirit stamps their old woman my ragged here
in the glint of elgon altair done him solder on in iraq saying i came to you
i can't say no
so i speak
the boy the mountain spirit
walking known walking underfoot or turns streams and mountains never stay this name
walking on walking under foot griff turns streams and mountains never stay this
in to earth rock dives as the mountains lifted and and underground out does dover seashell layers of
display how it leaves
but christmas fractured looming friction only soon to fall each face a heap of risks taylor sleeps below flakes better flakes weathered of the barry block tricked of an old futon and settle somewhere ever lower down gives a guy
glimpse of streaks and streams war and slide a braided gritty but wash blind where cliffs lead to the raise a necklace sky
trick off an old to time and settle somewhere ever lower down gives a glimpse of streaks and streams war and slide a braided gritty but wash glide where cliffs lead to the reason necklace
calcium spiraling shells no land plants in when sands and stones washed down the baron flanks of magma swollen or plans slurry to the beach arranges into rubble old shores buried by debris or laughing and trough a lapping trough of tight flats and lagoons
all i'm rich we wash soothing shales and silts a thousand miles of just debrief see bottom record wave swirled turned into old by squiggly slime swimmers many armed millions of tiny different tracks criss crossing
through the mud
trilobite by winding salts lunch calcite ridges dire term babies drifting all swash of quartz see seemed three hundred
million years be rolling or and then
ten million years ago and ocean floor glides like a snake between beneath the continent crunching up old sea bed till it's high as alps sandstone layers script of
winding tracks and limestone shyness like snow where ancient the games room
when the axe strokes stop the silence grows deeper
peaks like buddha at the heights send waters streaming down to the deep center of the turning world
and the mountain spirit always wondering the all sides feel like walls of cloud pebbles smooth dof slashing in to see old woman mount and here
here's shifting sand tell the wind nothingness is sheep blindness
mountains will be too does then when
before god needles are green scarlet ends de mon flowers are brand
mountains feed the people to stories from the past of by not gathering baskets quickly fall of help that grinding carrying healing
ghosts of last landscapes herds and flocks towns and claims rate teachers from all lands tucked in volvo cars empty hat stored in the be christmas mouth kneeling
for fourteen in v mama carotenes one small room
gurus locks the flocks lake long time
come again
walking on walking underfoot earth terms
the mountain spirit whispers back
all our and saw is sacred to the real as such
bristlecone pines live long on the taste of carbonate dollar mind
spiraled standing coiling deadwood with the living four thousand years of mineral glimmer spaced out growing in the icy scary sky like bones under summer stars a mountain ski
really tend me
like ripples of the king and see the dales the pine tree old arms old limbs twisting twining scattered homes have crossed the grown stale the right foot down
and then she's gone
ceaseless we'll have lives
red sandstone and light dollar mind
a few more shooting stars
back to the been rolled sleep till dawn

okay i'm going to finish with work
they can very much you know
you guys getting on with you tonight
yeah i i learned to me how to read poetry in india
the in north india and four or five hours is what i considered normal
but the flashpoint is the most recent point i've written i guess as the most recent
i haven't read this when in public access to a few friends up in the mountains back when i wrote it i thought this is not a point modern renamed body else
except people get on the locals but what the heck
it's called the summer of ninety seven we built an addition onto our house this summer
at the same time that my wife carol
who is a wrestling with a very rare and complicated kind of cancer
i had to go into a very drastic surgery in washington d c and she was gone for good part of the summer window then came back just when this thing was finished are almost finished and so she comes into the story too
ah so this is called the summer of ninety seven is written in a form that i call doggerel
you'll see what i might what i mean
west of the square old house on the rise that was made when the pond was done where we used to sleep out where the trampoline used to set
earth spirit please don't mind if cement trucks grind and plant spirits wait a while please come back and smile
ditches lines and drains forms and pores and didn't doors the house begins son for power cedar for citing fresh skin polls for framing ravel for crunching the and all engine for bikes
daniel peeling moth are singing map for pounding bruce for pondering chuck for plumbing david drywalling staining crowing stew for drain rock kurt for hot wire gary for cold beer
carol for brave laugh till she leaves crew greaves give for painting each window frame good read again garden cucumbers for lunch fresh tomatoes crunch tor for indoor pinch and grimm's ten for roof tiles
tar paper curls saw dust swirls trucks for hauling barrels for burning old bedrooms disappearing wild turkeys watching deer disdainful both frogs croaking david carpenter for bringing flooring oak at night though his mill burned
down he's still coming round sintra tracing manzanita on the tile wall shower sliding doors smooth new floors old house a big all now because a stable to bang the meat stein on the table robin got a room to write a point and noble
tonight's our walking to the john got indoor plumbing two years before the end of the twentieth century
carol finally coming all peaking at her many rooms oak and pine trees looking on or kitkat dizzy house now has another wing so we'll pour a glass and think this has been fun as ever
summer of ninety seven
where'd you very much bush

the women as as many as questions yeah that's right i said i would answer questions for heroes
back to work i won't keep your lawn and if anybody would like to raise a pointer to will do it
some of that stuff about the fifty of millennium

that's why some of my friends and i call this year but you guys can maintain a recall forty nine thousand nine hundred money
two warriors to the second volume
well sure i'll let you go home
oh okay

that what
what i expected
yeah i guess so
well i hate to say it but the biggest surprise and i shouldn't have been surprised is how a certain number of certain certain quarters certain territory's of them
american alleged to say white american buddhists sort of end up sounding like protestants
as i shouldn't be surprised them
we will work through that too
we got a lot of time they hit it isn't
anybody else yeah

we we're not going to here i can't understand what you're saying it

well it wasn't the same as the novel
it was not deceived as the novel
so we got to be different industries going there now okay but you know what can i say it was obvious what was it like it was like life
he was like what you did then
yeah now gag novel the dharma bums does reflect some real life events and situations and and a certain tone and really and some of that is purely fiction not so it is a novel you know it's not a biography or something people have a hard time remembering that you
leading so university professors you should know better yeah
hi u lock
yeah sure
oh yeah
what he's going so fast as isn't that with those lines of poetry or i figure he's just make it up
one more
oh oh we get to the scholars of the future to figure out
yeah it has it's points of intersection and also it's very different
it could be in all in somebody's sort of know draw my hands it could be made virtually into a no drama but that's really not my intention nor my intention is to push it out some place else but to borrow some of the conventions and some of the dramatic strategies of no drama which i admire as one of the most perfect dramatic forms in the work
world and it is a poetic dramatic form as the most of the of the text is poetry in not solve it's wonderful for
i just love watching
well they're young
how do i feel about going on
well i do notice it sometimes
although i didn't notice it till about four five years ago and then i started getting aches and my shoulders and you know what is it doesn't arthritis we get older there's little things that come along
you have you learned that you figure i can go to adapt once in awhile but then we learn to adapt you just do other things like i think i'm saving europe for my old age
as long as i can keep going up you know in the in alaska or up your sea kayaking you're moving out the mountains are keep going up the mountains were they will be ready for culture what i mean a wheelchair and they get will be around are easy
the yeah we go
the point of one
what was the last great
the point of mindfulness is the you pay attention
i don't know how that's the answer to your question the whole thing

i'll take one more and let you vote to go yeah young lady

you don't like keyboard yeah oh i'm so deeply moved by kmart
and in such a puzzle
and there's not you come up against a wall where you know that there's never been many answers to some of these questions and so then it becomes really a place to meditate really and the most frustrating thing about visiting the caves mean of france
ah most of them are they want to stay in the grey long
i would have do you know i've talked about this reclaim national one know you you'd have to get some special permission which isn't easy to get from the a french chef bureau of archaeology to be allowed to go and spend twenty four hours or forty eight hours in some these caves using instead of electric lights say candy
oh so you would get a light on the walls that was there when they painted them and you can see them as they were probably quote intended to be seen but also to feel the space feel the temperature which is cool the dampness and to try to put yourself somewhere towards the mind that painted them at the time
neymar painted on the next step and understanding and appreciating keyboard is going to have to be living with them and living that way in the caves a little that nobody is allowed to do it at the moment ah so that's gonna crush dream
without having to go to france or europe you know there is a remarkable array of petroglyph and pictographic are here in north america
it actually all over the place ah if you are careful and know where to look good and we don't always talk about it too much because there's a lot of vandalism wanted to but one can know you know indulge one's interest in rock ark speculation and rock ark visiting right here in north america wonderfully by hearing
california not going very far and this is like a planetary it's a planetary treasure because rock i and on every continent the planetary treasure full of images is a graph graphs and graphics that are suggested to us and we don't know how are
why now so there is so touching base there were something very our kit in human nature that some of us are working yet
so i call that for lack of a better word the ancient buddha
there's some great hookers about the ancient water
okay thank you very much
the of
car outside
what is also available
china for determined to the