Monday Morning Poetry: Rant, From a Cool Place

“I see no end of it, but the turning

upside down of the entire world”

—Erasmus

We are in the middle of a bloody, heartrending revolution

Called America, called the Protestant reformation, called Western man,

Called individual consciousness, meaning I need a refrigerator and a car

And milk and meat for the kids so, I can discover that I don’t need a car

Or a refrigerator, or meat, or even milk, just rice and a place with

no wind to sleep next to someone

Two someones keeping warm in the winter learning to weave

To pot and to putter, learning to steal honey from bees,

wearing the bedclothes by day, sleeping under

(or in) them at night; hording bits of glass, colored stones, and

stringing beads

How long before we come to that blessed definable state

Known as buddhahood, primitive man, people in a landscape

together like trees, the second childhood of man

I don’t know if I will make it somehow nearer by saying all this

out loud, for christs sake, that Stevenson was killed, that Shastri

was killed

both having dined with Marietta Tree

the wife of a higher-up in the CIA

both out of their own countries mysteriously dead, as how many others

as Marilyn Monroe, wept over in so many tabloids

done in for sleeping with Jack Kennedy – this isn’t a poem – full of

cold prosaic fact

thirteen done in the Oswald plot: Jack Ruby’s cancer that disappeared

in autopsy

the last of a long line – and they’re waiting to get Tim Leary

Bob Dylan

Allen Ginsberg

LeRoi Jones – as, who killed Malcolm X? They give themselves away

with TV programs on the Third Reich, and I wonder if I’ll live to sit in

Peking or Hanoi

see TV programs on LBJ’s Reich: our great SS analysed, our money exposed,

the plot to keep Africa

genocide in Southeast Asia now in progress Laos Vietnam Thailand Cambodia

O soft-spoken Sukamo

O great stone Buddhas with sad negroid lips torn down by us by the red

guard all one force

one leveling mad mechanism, grinding it down to earth and swamp to sea

to powder

till Mozart is something a few men can whistle

or play on a homemade flute and we bow to each other

telling old tales half remembered gathering shells

learning again “all beings are from the very beginning Buddhas”

or glowing and dying radiation and plague we come to that final great

love illumination

“FROM THE VERY FIRST NOTHING IS.”

by Diane DiPrima
Evergreen #88, April 1971.

Poet Laureate of San Francisco Diane Di Prima has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

If you are one of the many people who donated to the Diane Di Prima Funddraiser last year, THANK YOU SO MUCH. We were able to raise over $10,000 for her relief which was incredibly helpful. It’s been a long and difficult road for Diane health wise, in part because she seemed to have several different health problems going on at once, and now we finally know why. Diane has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, a degenerative disease that attacks the central nervous system. Diane has expressed to me that opening a new fundraiser here at Giveforward is the best way for her fans to help give back. As she expressed to me in an email: “I am doing much better. Once I was actually diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and treated for it, things calmed down..I am much stronger, and get around better. I could certainly use another fundraiser at this time, though. I am not working (teaching classes, or doing one-on-one tutorials) and don’t think I will be in the foreseeable future. I would like to concentrate on my own writing, and getting some books out that are long over due.” Please once again extend your extraordinary kindness to our favorite feminist national treasure Diane Di Prima. Spread the word, the love and the dough! ABOUT DIANE DI PRIMA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_di_Prima ABOUT PARKINSON’S DISEASE: http://www.pdf.org/

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