Never go to Bulgaria, had a booklet & invitation Same Albania, invited last year, privately by Lottery scammers or recovering alcoholics, Or enlightened poets of the antique land of Hades Gates Nor visit Lhasa live in Hilton or Ngawang Gelek’s household & weary ascend Potala Nor ever return to Kashi “oldest continuously habited city in the world” bathe in Ganges & sit again at Manikarnika ghat with Peter, visit Lord Jagganath again in Puri, never back to Bibhum take notes tales of Khaki B Baba Or hear music festivals in Madras with Philip Or enter to have Chai with older Sunil & Young coffeeshop poets, Tie my head on a block in the Chinatown opium den, pass by Moslem Hotel, its rooftop Tinsmith Street Choudui Chowh Nimtallah Burning ground nor smoke ganja on the Hooghly Nor the alleyways of Achmed’s Fez, nevermore drink mint tea at Soco Chico, visit Paul B. in Tangiers Or see the Sphinx in Desert at Sunrise or sunset, morn & dusk in the desert Ancient sollapsed Beirut, sad bombed Babylon & Ur of old, Syria’s grim mysteries all Araby & Saudi Deserts, Yemen’s sprightly folk, Old opium tribal Afghanistan, Tibet - Templed Beluchistan See Shangha again, nor cares of Dunhuang Nor climb E. 12th Street’s stairway 3 flights again, Nor go to literary Argentina, accompany Glass to Sao Paolo & live a month in a flat Rio’s beaches and favella boys, Bahia’s great Carnival Nor more daydream of Bali, too far Adelaide’s festival to get new scent sticks Not see the new slums of Jakarta, mysterious Borneo forests & painted men and women Nor mor Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, Oz on Ocean Way Old cousin Danny Leegant, memories of Aunt Edith in Santa Monica No mor sweet summers with lovers, teaching Blake at naropa, Mind Writing Slogans, new modern American Poetics, Williams Kerouac Reznikoff Rakosi Corso Creely Orlovsky Any visits to B’nai Israel graves of Buda, Aunt Rose, Harry Meltzer and Aunt Clara, Father Louis Not myself except in an urn of ashes
It’s only recently that I’ve come to understand that writers are not marginal to our society, that they, in fact, do all our thinking for us, that we are writing myths and our myths are believed, and that old myths are believed until someone writes a new one.
I think it’s a beginning for authors to acknowledge that they are myth-makers and that if they are widely read, will have an influence that will last for many years — I don’t think that there’s a strong awareness of that now, and we have such a young culture that there is an opportunity to contribute wonderful new myths to it, which will be accepted.
I first saw Lou Reed perform in 1977, first covered his songs in 1980, and first recorded and released his songs in 1983. By the time we met in 1985, he had already helped define the trajectory of my life. Musically, Lou Reed was profoundly important, but there was another component to his public…