My Dream of Gary Snyder

1 May 2018

one for Joe Mills

In mine, I gaze upward at a REM-state version of that spacy restaurant at LAX,
the disk with a 360-degree diadem of windows, and I’m ascending a staircase
on one elegant, arched white strut curving to the apex of a saucer-shaped suite

suspended beneath the ivory nexus. On the top step, when I ease open the door
of that lofty coastal lookout for the traffic of the air, Snyder is there, watching

television, black and white, solid-state, in a carved mahogany cabinet. The fare
is re-runs of Gilligan’s Island, a show that wasted more than enough of my time

in my teens: Ginger flaming my fantasies and the Professor providing my only
role model beyond an utterly witless sailor and a captain who ran his ship
aground three hours from Hawai‘i, marooning his goofy crew and passengers

for three years of prime time between the Executive Assassination of Youth
and the Summer of Love. Snyder slouches on a couch in the same clothes,

haircut, and youth he wore on the cover of Riprap. My arrival doesn’t divert
his attention. His arms are crossed behind his head. He’s chewing bubble gum.

My eyes drift to the flickering comedy, and my mind floats from the situation
until, amazed at my own ears, I hear myself say, “Oh, here comes the good part.”

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