Reading: It’s been a long time by Joanne Kyger

Beat poetry is something different. Joanne Kyger (1934-2017), associated with the San Francisco Renaissance, was influenced by Zen Buddhism, lived in Japan, traveled in India with Ginsberg. I like this song of hers:

It’s been a long time
During the beat of this story you may find other beats. I mean
a beat, I mean Cantus, I mean Firm us, I mean paper, I mean in
the Kingdom which is coming, which is here in discovery.

It is also Om Shri Maitreya, you don’t go across my vibes,
but with them, losing the pronoun. It is Thy, it is Thee,
it is I, it is me.

Machines are metal, they serve us, we take care of them. This
is to me, and this is to you. You say you to me, and I say you
to you. Some machines are very delicate, they are precise, they
are not big metal stampers, She made enough poetry to keep
her company.

My Vibes. You intercepted my vibes. The long shadows,
the long shadows, the long shadows. My sweet little tone,
my sweet little tone is my arm.

On what Only: The song that girl sang the song that girl sang

Lovely how that first stanza feels so different from serious academic poetry, ain’t it? Maitreya is the future Buddha, a perfectly Enlightened One, who will come when the dharma will have been forgotten. So we can scrap our pronoun, it doesn’t matter because it’s everything.

The lines about the machines are wonderfully stoned. Maybe the delicate and precise machinery is language, which is no big metal stamper but allows us to create something that can keep us company (some regard of poetry!) But let’s not interrupt her chanting, ssst.

Instead, let’s enjoy this with some psychedelics: