Saturday, April 30, 2005

Gnostic Consciousness 

The message is: Widen the area of consciousness.

--A.G., epigraph to Kaddish and Other Poems (SF: City Lights, 1961)

As his student I found that Allen transcended his persona and that he utterly loved poetry and music -- his knowlege was vast -- and he was completely engaged in the world and its many probelms to the end. I found him generous, attentive, and thought he had a wonderful sense of humor. I have an essay, with many first hand living details to back up what I write here, published in The Tricycle B. Review online, I'll have to find it and post part of it. His fame made him a target (and in many ways he was wide open to it -- esp. his frank and candid talk) from people from many different places, but his poetry and his great spirit endures -- he was an important teacher, major poet, and lighting rod cultural icon -- I am still trying to absorb and honor his example.

There is a song Allen wrote called "Gospel Nobel Truths," (it's not something he's going to be remembered for), but it's something I hum every now again as I walk around -- it's a tender little song:

Work like the sun
Shine in your heaven
See what you done
Come down & walk

Sit you sit down
Breathe when you breathe
Lie Down you lie down
Walk where you walk

Talk when you talk
Cry when you cry
Lie down you lie down
Die when you die

Die when you die
Die when you die
Lie down you lie down
Die when you die

--Tom Devaney

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