From a Recent Notebook

Of course, Diane di Prima is in My Canon

Because  she honored Suzuki Roshi’s unprecedented presence
Because she made  the case for old-school being literally in touch
Because she gave primacy to cosmology
Because I gifted C. with two of her books for her 29th birthday
Because reveling in her new Dharma name (as I in M.Y. Salzman)
Because chanting for “may it continue”
Because being as alive to me now as she was 8 years ago
Because taking pride in hand-made/heart-made correspondence
Because surviving dad’s brutality and writing out her healing
Because reminding us of going beyond sadness for ourselves alone
Because the politics in a few of her Revolutionary Letters  make sense
Because stating the obvious that a writer is she who writes throughout her weeks
Because inspiring a class called, “Making Life Bearable”
Because championing—what else?—DIY
Because clearing the detritus from her desk and being wryly gentle
Because writing Lebanon war haikus in 2006
Because imagining the bizarre phenom of trying to make love on Skype
Because the only war is the war against the imagination
Because celebrating her friend who was the seer of potentiality
Because  it being common sense to introduce the youth to her
Because I send her words to people in a hundred letters
Because she showed poetry as no big deal and the greatest deal ever
Because being SF Poet Laureate to spread the Good News of poesy for all
Because writing on the spot—Bam!— as I am right now
Because evidently enjoying her own mind, expanding her own heart
Because her refreshing lack of dogmatism
Because her penchant for bad boy husbands that eventually vanish
Because inspiring my review of her works for New Yorkers I loved
Because a thousand pieces of mail, om mani padme hum
Because who else would I rather write about?
Because a better role model x 1000 than Kerouac
Because her feminism being very close to Rita Gross’s
Because her happy hermeneutics of retrieval (Pound and all the age-old poets he retrieved, she devoured in her teens and twenties)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *