Buddhism at Millennium's Edge - Poems 2

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Copyright 1998 by Gary Snyder - Unedited Preview Cassette - duplicate


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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 at work a few times once when i was staying as a guest in 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 realized 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 fine skier i would like to claim him
as an urbane mountain man
longer read your viewpoints by j laughlin he was so modest about his own voyage through his whole life that he published never threw his own press a through little tiny presses on the side and he 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 but you do not come the lamp burns and the table is spread the the learning and wine is decanted yet it is dawn and you have not appeared are you afraid of my dreams they aren't
loving and will not harm you or do you in sleep go visiting the dreams of another

two spoons
after we have made love and are sleepy we curled up 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 my toes your long hair is bit
when you're back and my chest i whisper 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 devil teach 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 law let me genuflecting that sacred place it's useless for you to protest that destroying his ordinary in common to all your sex for me it's the locus of the sacrament the
was the mysteries are impact

what are you smiling about my dear wife asked me this morning at breakfast nothing i said nothing in particular oh she said you're back at that again
imagine the you are a reincarnation of the buddha
media that going to 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
in one more my gm awful 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 the salvation army i guess a worthy and needy man can still get a lot of
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 reenter the food chain he wants to be eaten by a bear i'd like my sweater just to run away in the woodlands let the birds pecked at it and build their
nist's with the great wall please nail me to the big oak
and i'm going to finish with j loughlin 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 he had
and wondering you know how he had the nerve to actually write those poems and published them

there's a real tension between truth and safety
so this is a point when i said i could never pull i can never publish this while jays alive or even really love so i've never read this aloud in public and has never been published my first opportunity to share of anybody is called what to tell still
reading the manuscript pages of loved ones 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 a lookup cabin in grey whipping wind at the north of the northern cascades and wondered if i should go visit pound in st louis but st elizabeth's and studied chinese at berkeley and went to japan instant j puts his love for women
his love for love his devotion his peen is causing of page 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 burnt watson's book translations of suit shirt next in line for a comment on the back september heat the watershed institute meets planting more
work with the blm and we have visitors from 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
put 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 know about what to say or not to say
what to tell to whom and when still
make you

in finding finally finishing with a few points i some other people for this section
is rick fields here
rick fields
are you here rick
just in case
i would ask rick's permission to read from his recent book but you cancer
but i don't think we would object to my reading it and so i'm going to read a few poems 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 even east coast and west coast in colorado they used for years wonderful man
and he recently published it's just little book called for you cancer
this point has gone to 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 macaque persistent
one night i dreamed it was the nail lodged in my throat
the next day heeding the call of the unconscious i saw an ear nose and throat man
a dryness in the larynx nothing more
he gave me some pills and i went off to india reassured
on the cops of the ganges in varanasi chivas city just one hit of the children with the naked sa dues 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 biopsy
eat while the doctor and nurse listened and left that 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 disappeared 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 on
on the shiny film there in the lower left low
i reached or your fingertips pale pink petals brush my cheek
this world's funny how in the light of death everything shines

varanasi a nurse
passing by silver and gold sorry covered corpse dawan a hit twenty year old dharamshala girl says to me tibetans say when you see dead it's good luck
makes people pray

and me sixteen nineteen ninety seven
on my fifty fifth 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 to and deities wrathful and peaceful who rise and fall
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 egrets stand like sentries on stalks 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 general
brees greenhills drifting with the tide from the rising sea

two chinese point
everyone's journey
nah i'm sorry this is japanese this is 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 lipo me by only bob called dazzling on t d mountain
the birds have vanished down the sky
now the last cloud dreams away
we sit together the mountain and i
until only the mountain remains

give you one more from the west
and then i'm going to move on to mountains and rivers about in
this is quoted by
lorca is that doing day
barker 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 strike fire from the pitch
and then he quotes a recent young men from salamanca killed by a bowl who exclaimed my friends i am dying 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 july i managed to find me bring out and fall of nineteen fifty nine kinda made his six fifty six basics
for me one of the most interesting and challenging parts of it
is the keystone point called leah
mountain spirit
and it's a performance piece really and so i'm going to perform it to a nice to say it takes a bit of chianti and a bit of 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 chianti and speaking it retells the story of the play no 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 sweet as 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 at this point decided to pay a visit to the unique groves of ancient bristlecone pine the oldest living beings in the world that are located in the remote upper elevations of the white in the old mountains of eastern california you all 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 yid meteor showers which he also hoped to enjoy
while looking out over the dusk landscape a voice came out of dark challenging him and then asked him to read aloud his famous point on the mountain spirit
it was the mountain spirit that what to do you know the point of about her
he promised he would do that at midnight and then he tried to put this strange encounter out of his mind at midnight however he was awakened he throw that his visitor was indeed the legendary mountain spirit so as the meteoric streaked to this guy he read his point to this mysterious personage and then
the two of them dance the dance or the bristlecone pine
there are stands of bristlecone pine pinus long ever in the mouse at the western edge of the great basin that contain individual trees which are dated well over four thousand and 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
and is partly chanted partly sung probably recited
please relax and make yourself comfortable with the coming weirdness

see less who you love lie you use ceaseless we will have lie you use red sandstone
home gleaming do all my he sees less we look lie use red sandstone and white do all my feet
driving all night self from reno through cool porch bridgeport past mall old experience glue past tongues of obsidian flow stopped to
and the ain't gold granite the use of the east sea 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 role that timber lying
where are the oldest living beings thrive all rock and air
thank you for your help
i go to the path term norms in the day the climbing i e
find an opening where a steep dirt side road whole our perch in the road dry all
the on pine boughs sinead of view to the last chance range
and make a camp
nearby a rocky point
passing a tidy scat arrangement on a ledge stand on a dark red sandstone strata outcrop at the edge played after plein of desert ridges darkening east were dim to blue black
he is
a voice says
you know you know fame one universe the for own resolve mound
here is real
yes like the lines walking on walking underfoot or turns but what do you know of minerals and stone for
or a creature to speak of all that scale of time white far
still i'd like to hear that on hand
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 then
who am i talking to i think
walk back to camp
evening breeze up from the laps from the valleys salt in death venus and a 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 key specs fading in the east puffs i'm sailing dark blue cloud a big our laws soft swift with between the trees unroll the bedding
stretch our blankets on the crunchy dry pine needles some water rosin is 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
is is there ever and us gig 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 ghosts the kick their own scholes like a ball what's it all for
a mediocre swift and streaking like a tossed white pebble or came down the sky
the mountain spirit stamps their old woman like ragged hair
in the glint of elgon altair didn't him solder on the bar saying i came to you
i can't say no
so i speak
the point the mountain spirit
walking on walking underfoot or terms streams and mountains never stay this name
walking on walking underfoot griff turns streams and mountains never stay this
in two or three rock dives as the mountains lifted and opened under underground out does dover show layers of
display how it leaves
but chris's fractured looming friction only soon to fall each base a heap of risks taylor sleeps below flanks better flakes whether it off the barry block tricked off an old clicked on and settle somewhere ever lower down gives a guy
glimpse of streaks and streams war and slide a braided great team but wash blind where cliffs lead to the raise the 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 was glide where cliffs lead to the raise a necklace
sky calcium spiraling cells no land plants in when sands and stones wash down the baron flanks of make my swollen a plans slurry to the beach ranges into rubble all shores buried by debris or laughing try a lapping trust
of types slacks and lagoons all i'm rich we wash soothing sales and silts a thousand miles of just debrief see bottom record ways swirled turned into old by squiggly slime swimmers many armed millions of tiny different tracks
it's criss crossing through the mud
try lot by winding salts lunch calcite ridges dire term babies drifting all sorts of quartz see seemed three hundred me
million years the rolling on and then
ten million years ago and ocean floor glides like a snake between the nice the continent crunch me up old sea bed till it's high as alex sandstone layers script does way
finding tracks and limestone shyness like snow where ancient the in his room
when the x strokes stop the silence grows deeper
peaks like buddha at heights send waters streaming down to the deep center of the turning world
and the mountain spirit always wondering hillsides the like walls cloud pebbles smooth dos slashing in the see old woman mode and you
years shifting sand tell the wind nothing this is cheap blindness
mountains will be too does then when
listen go needles are green scarlet ends them on flowers are grant
mountains the the people to stories from the past of i not gathering baskets quickly fall of help but grinding caribbean healing
landscapes herds and flocks towns and claims great teachers from all lands tucked in volvo cars empty hat stored in baby christmas mouth kneeling for tea in
zima securities one small room
phlox creeping phlox lake lavon time come again
what came on walking underfoot earth turns
the mountain spirit whispers back
all our and saw is sacred to the real
bristlecone pines living on on the taste of carbonate dolomite spiraled standing coiling deadwood with the living four thousand years of mineral glimmer spaced out
up growing in the icy scary sky like bones under summer stars the mountain spirit tend me
like ripples on the king real see the dance the pine tree old arms old limbs twisting twining scattered comes across the ground still the route foot down
and then she's calling
ceaseless we'll have lives
red sandstone and white dolomite
a few more shooting stars
back to the bed roll sleep till dawn

okay i'm going to finish with work
the very much urine
guys are getting off easy united
yeah i learned to powdering forgery in india
in north india and four or five hours it's what i consider normal
but this last point is the most recent point i've written i guess as the most recent thing
i haven't read just when in public except to a few friends up in the mountains in fact when i wrote it i thought this is not a poor mahler renamed by yours
sure people get on mobiles but what the heck
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 on when she was gone for good part of the summer linda 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 form that i called donegal
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 sit
earth spirit please don't mind if cement trucks grind and plant spirits wait a while please come back and smile
ditches lines and dreams forms and pores and didn't doors the house begins son for power cedar for citing fresh skin polls for framing gravel for crunching and all engine for bucks
daniel peeling moth are singing map for pounding bruce for pondering chuck for poor marine david drywalling staining crawling stew for drain rock kurt for hot wire during for cold beer
carol for brave laugh till she leaves crew greaves given for painting each window frame get read again garden cucumbers for lunch fresh tomatoes crunch poor for indoor pants and grimm's ted for roof tiles tarp
april curls sawdust swirls trucks for hauling barrels for burning old bedrooms disappearing wild turkeys watching deer disdainful bull frogs croaking david parmenter for bringing flooring oak at night though his mill burned down
he's still coming round sandra tracing manzanita on the tile wall shower sliding doors smooth new floors old house a big all now because a stable to beg the meat stein on the table robin got a room to write a point and no more nights 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 sink this has been fun as ever
summer of ninety seven
where'd you read my vote

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 you long and if anybody would like to raise a pointer to will do it
some of that stuff about the fifth millennium

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

that one
the all
i don't know what i expected
yeah i guess so

well i hate to say it but the biggest surprise i shouldn't be surprising is how a certain number of certain certain quarters or territory's of them are american not alleged to say white american buddhists sort of end up sounding like protestants
i shouldn't be surprised
we will work through that too
you got a lot of time to hit earth
anybody else yeah

where we i come here i can't understand what you're saying in law
well it wasn't the theme as the novel
there was not deceived as the novel
so we've got two different industries going there now okay but you know what can i say with absolute what was it like it was like life
yeah i'm not gags normal dharma bums does reflect some real life events and situations and the and a certain tone and feeling some of it is purely fiction not so it is a novel you know it's not a biography or something people have a hard time remembering
including so university professors you should know better yeah
hi you lock
yeah sure
oh yeah
what he's going so fast as a those lines of boardroom or effigies just make it it up
one more
oh i'll leave that to the scholars with 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 my intention is to push it out some place else but to borrow some of the conventions and some of the dramatic strategies are of no drama which i admire as one of the most perfect dramatic forms in the 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
oh i just love watching
well they're young
how do i feel about growing on
well i do notice it sometimes
although i didn't notice until about four five years ago and then i started getting aches and my shoulders and you know what is it doesn't arthritis knee get older there's little things that come along you know you have you learned that you figure i going to adapt once in while but then we learn to adapt we just do other things know like i
think i'm saving europe for my old age
as long as i can keep going up in only in alaska or up your sea kayaking you're moving out the mount zaki going up amount of room in there will be ready for culture when i'm in a wheelchair and they get will be around darkness
yeah rebecca

the point of one
what was the last page
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 i feel lady

you don't like cave art yeah oh i'm so deeply moved by cave art job
and in such a puzzle
and there's not you come up against a wall where you know that there's never been any answers to some of these questions and soldier it becomes really a place timidity really in the most frustrating thing about visiting the caves in france
ah most of them are they want to stay in a very long
i would have do you know i've talked about this we measure one night you you'd have to get some special permission which is nice to get from the a friendship bureau of archaeology to be allowed to go and spend twenty four hours or forty eight hours in germany caves using instead of electric lights say candles
that you 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 on at the time name
good ah 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 i left my first 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's actually all over the place ah if you are careful and know where to look and we don't always talk about it too much because there's a lot of vandalism wanted to but one kinda 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 arch from and on every continent the planetary treasure full of images is a graph graphs and graphics that are suggestive to us and we don't know how or why
why now so there is so touching base there were so be very our kid in human nature that some of us are working yet
and so i call that for lack of a better word the ancient buddha
there's some great sutures about the ancient water
okay thank you very much
the yeah
oh yeah
our side
also available in africa
china for been around for the