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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gary Snyder

A record of a talk/reading with poet Gary Snyder and others from a few years ago -- it was a practice in recording observations. The event was held on the anniversary of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

GARY SNYDER talk notes

by Jonathan Falk

May 18, 2005 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, Oregon
About to watch G Snyder speak & Jerry Franklin. big art deco cups in ceiling, roar of conversing crowd of 2,000 or so about me in murkiness
stripper at Union Jack's in MAX light rail here, dark hair & pierced, s & m
stain glass & regal old trim ilahee manager white hair speaking first
laidback voice
says Gary, Jerry, just spent one day in blast zone
Kathleen Moore -- environmental prof.
Fred Swanson -- he invited Gary to come up to St. Helens, 57 years after going there
Kathleen & Fred blonde - grey hair balding
she says we need poets & scientists -- Gary & Jerry
He's talking about long term science project
both speakers grew up in NW both draw inspiration from NW
Snyder -- 18 books
Danger on Peaks
born in SF
1960s in Japan
lives w/ wife Carole
she says integrity
nobody's that good -- he say (referring to applause)
white shirt
reading from Danger on Peaks
pointed goatee brush of hair
his wife was mtn. climber
measured, deep voice
danger, foolishness
The mountain
3 mtns. -- back between prose & poetry
walked slowly
conspiratorial voice
describes climb wi old timer
just like Issa
he's holding book
small behind podium
St. Helens before
slow, whispering, measured voice
8 - 13 - 1945 -- 1st climb of Mt. St. Helens
hid crying
growl -- onomatopoeia voice
compares to Hiroshima ?
500 H-bombs
very long sentence
Pearly Everlasting
he went back in 2000
trees like toothpicks
premature clapping (from audience)
He says, am I allowed to write about this
rude to write about nature
talks about outer space
rocks in Antarctica -- scientist told him
unclear WHEN poem end
former wife making web sites
castor & pollux rise
almost like singing
coyote asking turds for advice
expressive hand spread open
commercial signs by interstate
warm springs 1954
personal mixed w/cosmic
elegy for his sister poem
struck by a car -- directly
final section
Robinson Jeffers ref.
poem about two people holding hands, on 9/11 jumping
he's honored to speak about commemoration
will be many more

Jerry Franklin is being introduced
Old growth forest
tie, balding, glasses
from Camas -- he says
we have enough facts
not a catastrophe to him -- Mt. St. Helens
slightly nasal, forced voice
A kid in a candy store for scientists
moonscape-predictions were wrong
life came back very fast -- 10 days later, upon landing in helicopter the colonisation came from inside the blast zone, not outside
he says scientists can't predict things, should be humble

Franklin & Snyder will speak
Snyder comes back out
Just got ecology book in his hands
Snyder notes -- how do know when to do nothing
Snyder -- brown shoes,
jeans, hands folded
Snyder points out that Weyerhauser trees grow fast.
Snyder criticizes giving St. Helens human qualities
after Franklin asked
him about human responses

(questions from audience)
Snyder cupped hands, couldn't hear
Snyder complains about media coverage
forest fires = forest destroyed, but not which kind
Has Gary got inspiration w/ tree plantations -- NOT YET, he answered
Gary looking out to audience, eyes covered
What was amazing on this visit -- 800 foot high hummocks, Gary says
so much green, mellow voice
vision for next 200 years (question from audience member) CHANGE
keeping democratic constitution -- Gary says
nature will follow up
Jeffers -- human explosion -- not cosmic bliss

back home --
last things --
woman asked him about global warming -- she didn't believe apparently
he said he'd talk w/her about other things first
drinking glass of wine
THEN global warming discussion
he bowed as at Reed grad. 1993 or whenever, hands folded,
they gave him & Franklin Pendleton blankets, they walked offstage
said he'd like to chat w/Bush that style!

Night before I had dream I was working for harsh employers w/ R. in house in forest moving stuff
missed Snyder due to working.
Then the earth turned upside down, and I was walking slowly, my feet stuck on the ground above me, sky below my head

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