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Lions Roar : November 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2006 83 offhand Tibetan. I did a version that I had worked out from Suzuki Roshi’s English telegraphese translation. First Robert Bly read. Trungpa was drunk, as ever, and while Bly was reading, he did something very strange. He picked up the big gong and he put it over his head while Bly was reading. Bly couldn’t see be- cause we were all lined up parallel, so he didn’t see what was going on there. The au- dience was tittering a little bit and I leaned over and said to Trungpa, “You shouldn’t do that. They’re making a benefit for you, they’ve come here to do you a favour. You shouldn’t be carrying on like that.” And he said, “If you think I’m doing this because I’m drunk, you’re making a big mistake.” Then Gary Snyder read, and while he was reading Trungpa Rinpoche took the gong and put it on my head. So I just sat there figuring, well, he must know what he’s doing, or if he doesn’t, I don’t, so I’m not going to get in the way. I’m not the host, I don’t have to worry about it, though Gary was a friend of mine. After it was over then I read, and he didn’t do anything. I asked later why not and he said, “Because you don’t know what you’re doing.” A couple of weeks later I asked him why he had done that, and he said, “Well, Bly was presenting Robert Bly—a big ham, so to speak. Gary Snyder was presenting Gary Snyder as sort of the finished Zen product. You know, neat and perfect and proper shoes and all of that.” He said that the people in the audience were his students and he didn’t want them to get the wrong idea of what was the ideal version of a poet. Later, he wrote a spontaneous poem say- ing Robert Bly presented Robert Bly, Gary Snyder presented Gary Snyder, Ginsberg was Ginsberg, but only Trungpa was the original drunken poet. That was the kind of original take I had on poetry from him. That year we gave a reading in New York, this time with Anne Waldman and William Burroughs and Rinpoche and myself, and afterward I drove up with him to Karmê-Chöling, the retreat center in Vermont, then called Tail of the Tiger. On the way back, I read him through Ker- ouac’s Mexico City Blues, ’cause it’s a four- Institute of Transpersonal Psychology INSTITUTEOFTRANS PER SONALPSYCHOLOGY1 97 5 G raduate E ducation for M ind, Body, & Spirit 1069 east m eadow circle palo alt o, ca 94303 650.493.4430 • www.itp.edu Counselors Practitioners Organizational Leaders Research Education Business Consultants Health Services Spiritual Guidance Community Service Coaching CareerTraining Personal Growth Residential and On-line Distance learning Community openings for enrollment call today 650.493.4430 • www.itp.edu ph.d . • m.a . • one-year certificates Clinical Psychology • Transpersonal Psychology • Spiritual Psychology • Counseling • Creative Expression • Spiritual Guidance Education & Research • Indigenous Wisdom Studies • Coaching f schools & colleges