The VGP Literate No. 1

Yesterday’s Tibet

Crushed indigenous population,
commanded over their religion
– atrocities, violent chainsaw nightmares –
began highways and strip mines
vomited up cheap hotels and supermarkets
strung wires garroting beautiful vistas
turned sacred lakes to cesspools
turned magic into cartoons on t-shirts
marched ugly armies with terrifying fire power
to keep the peace
made their own language
the tongue of country

Of Thee I Sing




Manchurian Corp.

Mao is a vampire
drinking Coca-Cola –
Walt Disney animatronic fists
Mickey Mouse on the airwaves of Brazil –
Watch yourself watch yourself go to Tibet –
The universal money
is shiny plastic
called “bling” –
Planet G20
beast with a million eyes




Hong Kong Bardo

Flitting through Hong Kong airport
a leaf-blown ghost confused by my karma –
standing in the wrong line
or frozen in one spot check-in
while secret calls are made
for the 2 gigantic
Indian men gorged to bursting, petulant –
but a few hours in the Hong Kong airport
will make a petulant unhappy ghost
w/ huge stomach & tiny mouth –
scratchy bored explanations that are incoherent –
prickly sweat gathering at the memory of a neck –
the STARBUCK’S croissant a Chinese lantern
dissolving into dust
fingers of dust
tongue dry hanging cow-like –
eyes blurring
as this world goes away
in a whisper of desperation –
the black out preferable?
the kiss-off preferable?
get me to the church on time
station to station hearse to hearse
black plume lady won’t you go out tonight?
nova moon collapsing black tar black hole
Black Sunday I am my own Barbara Steele
gigantic eyed B-movie scream queen
staring into the empty mirror
of dissolving stars, falling sputniks –
a brief quiet in the industry of the dead
hurtling to their destinations




Allen Ginsberg said “MARC OLMSTED inherited Burroughs’ scientific nerve & Kerouac’s movie-minded line nailed down with gold eyebeam in San Francisco.” Olmsted teaches the on-line course “WRITING KEROUAC/SITTING BUDDHA: Spontaneous Poetics & Big Mind” at His book, WHAT USE AM I A HUNGRY GHOST? – POEMS FROM 3-YEAR RETREAT (VCP Press, 2001), has an introduction by Ginsberg.

3 Replies to “The VGP Literate No. 1”


    We are in a hollow world,
    Where people are headless chicken,
    Bloody revolutionaries, brute force charging together
    To slay, the meditating monks.

    Alas! Where are the sane voices?
    All dried up,
    Fearing brutal comrades.
    As dry chaff in the storm,
    Or flies over dead corpse.
    Lifeless jokers, dancing meaninglessly.

    Closed streets of Lhasa are red,
    With the blood of monks and lamas.
    Some have crossed to a,
    Paralyzed other kingdom,
    To avoid brutal repression,
    Meeting hollow and stuffed comrades.

    I cannot dare to open my eyes,
    To see death’s kingdom,
    Violent sunlight on shattered bodies,
    Dead land-ruled by cactuses,
    Raising of a dead man’s head,
    Under the cluster of dying stars.

    It is death’s world
    It is a paradise for ghosts
    Moving alone
    Trembling with fear
    Lips kissing the dying soul.

    Revolutionaries have no eyes
    In this Death Valley
    Bullets select their own targets,
    Poor monks grope together
    Speechless on this mountain of dying kingdom.

    Hollow ideas, sad realities
    No conception, no creation, no emotion
    Havoc is made in the silent valley.
    Only for a desire
    To live and let live.

    Alas! Roof of the failed world,
    Looking-The defender of faith,
    The Holy One, the Absolute wisdom,
    Have mercy, save us.

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