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American Sentences
Organic Poetry



"First Thought is Best in Art, Second in Other Matters."
— William Blake

             I Background (Situation, Or Primary Perception)

  1. "First Thought, Best Thought" — Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  2. "Take a friendly attitude toward your thoughts." — Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  3. "The Mind must be loose." — John Adams
  4. "One perception must immediately and directly lead to a further perception." — Charles Olson, "Projective Verse"
  5. "My writing is a picture of the mind moving." — Philip Whalen
  6. Surprise Mind — Allen Ginsberg
  7. "The old pond, a frog jumps in, Kerplunk!" — Basho
  8. "Magic is the total delight (appreciation) of chance." — Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  9. "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes." –– Walt Whitman
  10. "...What quality went to form a man of achievement, especially in literature? ... Negative capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason." — John Keats
  11. "Form is never more than an extension ofcontent. — Robert Creeley to Charles Olson
  12. "Form follows function." — Frank Lloyd Wright*
  13. Ordinary Mind includes eternal perceptions. — A. G.
  14. "Nothing is better for being Eternal

Nor so white as the white that dies of a day." — Louis Zukofsky

  1. Notice what you notice. — A. G.
  2. Catch yourself thinking. — A. G.
  3. Observe what’s vivid. — A. G.
  4. Vividness is self-selecting. — A. G.
  5. "Spots of Time" — William Wordsworth
  6. If we don’t show anyone we’re free to write anything. –– A. G.
  7. "My mind is open to itself." — Gelek Rinpoche
  8. "Each on his bed spoke to himself alone, making no sound." — Charles Reznikoff

             II Path (Method, Or Recognition)

  1. "No ideas but in things." "... No ideas but in the Facts." — William Carlos Williams
  2. "Close to the nose." — W. C. Williams
  3. "Sight is where the eye hits." — Louis Zukofsky
  4. "Clamp the mind down on objects." — W C. Williams
  5. "Direct treatment of the thing ... (or object)." — Ezra Pound, 1912
  6. "Presentation, not reference." — Ezra Pound
  7. "Give me a for instance." — Vernacular
  8. "Show not tell." — Vernacular
  9. "The natural object is always the adequate symbol." — Ezra Pound
  10. "Things are symbols of themselves." — Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  11. "Labor well the minute particulars, take care of the little ones.

He who would do good for another must do it in minute particulars.
General Good is the plea of the Scoundrel Hypocrite and Flatterer
For Art & Science cannot exist but in minutely organized particulars." — William Blake

  1. "And being old she put a skin / on everything she said." — W. B. Yeats
  2. "Don’t think of words when you stop but to see the picture better." — Jack Kerouac
  3. "Details are the Life of Prose." — Jack Kerouac
  4. Intense fragments of spoken idiom best. — A. G.
  5. "Economy of Words" — Ezra Pound
  6. "Tailoring" — Gregory Corso
  7. Maximum information, minimum number of syllables. –– A. G.
  8. Syntax condensed, sound is solid. — A. G.
  9. Savor vowels, appreciate consonants. — A. G.
  10. "Compose in the sequence of musical phrase, not in sequence of a metronome." — Ezra Pound
  11. "... awareness ... of the tone leading of the vowels." — Ezra Pound
  12. "... an attempt to approximate classical quantitative meters . . . — Ezra Pound
  13. "Lower limit speech, upper limit song" — Louis Zukofsky
  14. "Phanopoeia, Melopoeia, Logopoeia." — Ezra Pound
  15. "Sight. Sound & Intellect." — Louis Zukofsky
  16. "Only emotion objectified endures." — Louis Zukofsky

             III Fruition (Result, Or Appreciation)

  1. Spiritus = Breathing = Inspiration = Unobstructed Breath
  2. "Alone with the Alone" — Plotinus
  3. Sunyata (Sanskrit) = Ku (Japanese) = Emptiness
  4. "What’s the sound of one hand clapping?" — Zen Koan
  5. "What’s the face you had before you were born?" — Zen Koan
  6. Vipassana (Pali) = Clear Seeing
  7. "Stop the world" — Carlos Castafleda
  8. "The purpose of art is to stop time." — Bob Dylan
  9. "the unspeakable visions of the individual — J. K.
  10. "I am going to try speaking some reckless words, and I want you to try to listen recklessly." — Chuang Tzu (Tr. Burton Watson)
  11. "Candor" —Whitman
  12. "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."  — W. Shakespeare
  13. "Contact" — A Magazine, Nathaniel West & W. C. Williams, Eds.
  14. "God appears & God is Light

To those poor souls who dwell in Night.
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of Day." — W. Blake

  1. "Subject is known by what she sees." -A. G.
  2. Others can measure their visions by what we see. –– A. G.
  3. Candor ends paranoia. — A. G.
  4. "Willingness to be Fool." — Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  5. "Day & Night / you’re all right." — Gregory Corso
  6. Tyger: "Humility is Beatness." — Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche & A. G.
  7. Lion: "Surprise Mind" — Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche &A.G.
  8. Garuda: "Crazy Wisdom Outrageousness" — Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  9. Dragon: "Unborn Inscrutability" — Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  10. "To be men not destroyers" — Ezra Pound
  11. Speech synchronizes mind & body — Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  12. "The Emperor unites Heaven & Earth" — Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche
  13. "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world" — Shelley
  14. "Make it new" — Ezra Pound
  15. "When the music changes, the walls of the city shake" — Plato
  16. "Every third thought shall be my grave — W Shakespeare, The Tempest
  17. "That in black ink my love may still shine bright." –– W. Shakespeare, Sonnets
  18. "Only emotion endures" — Ezra Pound
  19. "Well while I’m here I’ll

       do the work —
and what’s the Work?
     To ease the pain of living.
Everything else, drunken
— A. G.

  1. "... Kindness, sweetest of the small notes in the world’s ache, most modest & gentle of the elements entered man before history and became his daily connection, let no man tell you otherwise." — Carl Rakosi
  2. "To diminish the mass of human and sentient sufferings." — Gelek Rinpoche

Naropa Institute, July 1992        
New York, March 5, 1993        
New York, June 27, 1993        

* Quoting his mentor; Louis Sullivan.

Allen Ginsberg "Mind Writing Slogans" copyright © 1992, 1993 by Allen Ginsberg, in What Book: Buddha Poems From Beat To Hiphop, Gary Gach, ed., copyright © 1998 by Gary Gach. Parallax Press.