Saturday, May 13, 2017

I Have Eaten

Fresh baked bread to die for, better than sex, when hungry
Grandma’s Icebox chocolate pudding in green dishes
Holiday House ice cream sodas and Shirley Temples in Malibu
My mother’s zucchini casserole and lentil salads when the cupboards were bare
My father’s left-over lamb roast cooked in white beans
I have eaten cherry pie at Knox Berry Farm
Babushka’s perrogi cross country on AM Track in 1965
I ate the crisp wafers of the body of Christ numerous times

I've eaten killer Big Macs with Tsultrim Allione over 20 years ago 
     on road trip with dakinis 
Borscht at Christine’s with Allen Ginsberg on First Avenue
Drank Vanilla shakes in Boulder with Harry Smith whose teeth were rotten
Remember well those cannolis from the North End

Verandah’s crepes
Richard Wizansky’s ginger meatballs
Catherine Mariott’s Noodles High
Joan Marrs’ pickled cauliflower
Ellen Snyder's grape leaves
Mimi's Bueberry Bomb
Peter Gould's Key Lime pie
Usual fare at Packers Corner Farm

These are memorable 
and on and on

I eat through heaps of garbage, psychic dross
Do Chod, cook for others
I'm fulfilled
Now I eat air, drink water
My head bald with Chemo
Preparing for what’s next


Jacqueline Gens
Shelburne Falls, MA


An old draft revised on May 12, 2017
one sleepless night at 1:30 AM 
and still tinkering

Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Annual Losar Poem : Year of the Fire Rooster/Bird


Original art by Ingmar Pema Dechen, 2017


Year of the Fire Rooster/Bird

Ever awake among the slumbering
Lively harbinger of whatever awaits
Each day no task too daunting
For just as the sun rises
You’re always ready for any occasion
Reliable, precise, and to the point
No poison too toxic nor lethal
For that bright display which cheers us on
O great Fire Bird who arises from ashes
To transport us beyond our limits
In shining iridescence to meet our purpose
We welcome your daily summons
Into the fray at day’s break

Jacqueline Gens
Tsegyalgar East
Dakini Day, 2.21.17



Please credit Jacqueline and Ingmar if you you forward their image and poem. They are currently collaborating on rendering all sixty animal/element combinations into illustrated/poems. To read more about this project called "The Mansion of Elements" visit here.  There you will also find poems from 2007 to the present. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Remembering Gelek Rimpoche (1939-2017)


A tender moment with Philip Glass, Gelek Rimpoche and Allen, 1989


Today,  I learned of Gelek Rimpoche's passing, a sad event for his many students and people whose lives he touched. Born in 1939, Gelek Rimpoche was one of the last of his generation to be educated traditionally--a rigorous training from early childhood. He proved an effective Teacher to Americans having many prominent students such as Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass, Richard Gere, and others. 

One day in 1989 when I had begun to work in the office of Allen Ginsberg, I remember well the first time I met Rimpoche and heard his unique voice (he favored the Rimpoche spelling as opposed to the more common Rinpoche) via a phone call he made asking to speak with Allen who was not in his office. He wanted to ask If Allen could be on his board of Jewel Heart or something official like that. I remember listing to him Allen's other dharma obligations. In any case,  he was quite engaging with very good English. Later I traveled a number of times with Allen to Ann Arbor, MI where Rimpoche at that time  gave weekly teachings in a small Gonpa above his garage. He was a marvelous master of Tsongkhapa's lineage and the lam rim  teachings.    Although,  I felt more drawn to the Dzogchen teaching, at the time, I really respected his methods and to this day employ his analytical meditation technique--which is extremely important as a base for one's understanding of the so called "nature of mind."



Gelek Rimpoche and Allen had a lot of fun. Often when Gelek Rimpoche stayed with Allen in his rather humble six floor walk-up apartment on East 12th Street, I would see them together while delivering Allen's mail. Gelek Rimpoche was especially fond of telling many ribald tales about the sexual practices of monks in Tibet which  Allen found amusing. They also shared a keen love of the daily news--Allen, the NYTimes and Gelek Rimpoche, CNN. 
I remember during the first Iraq war we were all watching George Bush Senior on CNN and Gelek Rimpoche saying that he (George Bush senior) had no idea of the karmic implications of his policies for America. 

My sincere regards to all of Gelek Rimpoche's many fine students who are among the most kind and generous dharma practitioners in America. The apple, as they say, does not fall far from the tree. To learn more about Gelek Rimpoche's teachings and Jewel Heart visit:


Jacqueline Gens and Gelek Rimpoche at Allen's kitchen table--
photo by Allen Ginsberg circa early 1990.s


Jacqueline Gens
February 15, 2017

*Photo taken with Allen Ginsberg's camera in Ann Arbor, MI 1989 by Gloria Boyajian

On Lion's Roar  you can read a series of articles by Gelek Rimpoche



Sunday, February 05, 2017

Join us for a Presentation of our HATCH Grant Conway Rags to Paper on February 11, 2017

Please join us for a celebration and presentations by HATCH grant Recipients




WHERE: Buckland Community Center on Main Street in Shelburne Falls, MA
DATE AND TIME: February 11, 2017, 5:30-7:00 PM
Refreshments provided, FREE but 5.00 donation requested
                                                                                                 
Papermaking is an ancient tradition that is an important base for the evolution of cultures world-wide. Before the advent of modern papermaking from trees, paper was made from natural fibers or rags.

As part of the upcoming Summer 2017 Town of Conway Aniversary, Tsegyalgar East will participate in the 250th Anniversary for the town of Conway in a number of events through Kahndroling Paper Cooeprative, Khaita Dance and Shang Shung Institute. For a full list of these events visit, here. 

Khandroling Paper Cooperative will give a public presentation on February 11, 2017 of its Conway Rags to Paper Project for which it received grants from the Greater Shelburne Falls Business Association and Massachusetts Cultural Council. 



    
The Conway Rags to Paper Project will collect, process, and beat in our Hollander beater cotton rags from Conway residents to create pulp which will then be used in making handmade paper specifically for the 250th anniversary of Conway. This paper will become the base to contain writing by participants and artist members related to the history, stories and personal connection to the town of Conway, which will then be mounted in a variety of formats (ex: scrolls, mural, and folding books,) using various printing methods (stamping, stencil, calligraphy, printing) for exhibition during the three-day anniversary.

In our presentation we will bring examples of our handmade paper and text. Please join us for a fun and informative event!


  


               
















Saturday, February 04, 2017

Walking the Plank of Uncertainty

I stepped from Plank to Plank 
A slow and cautious way 
The stars about my Head I felt 
About my Feet the Sea 
                                                      -Emily Dickinson