Today we bid farewell to one of the original beat poets, Lawrence Ferlinghetti who died at 101, please listen to him read the Assassination Raga.

As many of you who follow me know, I had the good fortune of studying Buddhist studies and creative writing and poetry at Jack Kerouac School of  Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa (Institute) University from 1989-1994 and came back to TA there a few times.  Almost all of the living beat poets would convene there every summer to teach classes and we would read together and there would be weekly impassioned performances at the Boulder Theater. It was an interesting mix of sacred and profane- tortured souls sipping cigarettes and dark espresso to a semi- psychedelic magic sex dharma- ‘we are here to change and awaken society’ brightness. I’m privileged to have been and be- even a tiny part of it. The photo below was our current class while I was at Naropa, a tad thinner and god only knows how many years younger, but my heart, somehow more healed in it’s rawness.

You can see Anselm Hollo, Jack Collum, Anne Waldman, Allen Ginsberg. Below that is the only known picture of me during the Summer Writing program. Many classes took place outdoors on the lawn, and our readings outside in a tent. It was a magical time, and I think you don’t really appreciate what you have until it’s gone. A lot of my teachers, most from Naropa, have passed on now, and I’m making a strong decision to wake up and be happy each and every day in this brilliant and fleeting life. There are no guarantees, no ultimate insurance plan that we will have another life, or continue in any way.  Let’s make this one real and not squander even one second. 101 Lawrence…well done!

Love to you all, from the depths of me.

daw at naropa outside

Can you tell who is me, 1993 or 1994. Naropa Summer Writing Program, Boulder Colorado.


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