Today sees the last day of the Tibetan Buddhist Kalachakra Empowerment Ceremony, currently taking place (some would say, quite significantly, quite auspiciously) in Washington DC. Full details on Kalachakra for World Peace, 2011 can be found on the official web-site. Tomorrow (Saturday) will feature Tenshug – a Long Life Empowerment Ceremony for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Presentation of a Special Award to Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche (the chairman of Central Tibetan Administration) by the North America Tibetan Association. It will also feature the viewing (and subsequent dismantling) of the Kalachakra sand mandala (a representation of the Kalachakra deity, his palace, and 721 surrounding deities) – the mandala, as it appeared Tuesday morning, may be glimpsed here:
At the end of the ceremony (on Saturday), the mandala is dissolved, ritually, in water to symbolize the impermanence of life.
Ritual and remembrance. The poetry reading can, of course, be a sacred ritual too. The memorial readings, GTOs, weekly evocations of Allen, at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club, continue. Ted Melnechuk, “Poet, Neuroscientist, Editor, and friend of Ginsberg from their college days in Columbia through the end of his life” and Eliot Katz, poet and fellow-activist, are the two latest participants. Melnechuk reads the cento “Soliloquy” (he can be seen and heard reading it here). Eliot, well, his GTO #10 will be up on the site next week. Stay tuned for more GTOs upcoming.
The case of Russian (Ukranian) New York-based poet Alex Galper and the refusal by the UK authorities to allow him entry into the country to take part in a poetry event, perhaps, deserves noting. Alex, as newspaper accounts point out, was a sometime student of Allen’s at Brooklyn College (he graduated in 1996). His iconoclatic free-wheeling sensibility (examples of his work can be found here) is hardly of a type that would endear him to the authorities. Nonetheless, this seems less about art, and artistic expression, than about bureaucracy. English PEN’s Jonathan Heawood is quoted: “The current points-based visa system places a huge financial and bureaucratic responsibility on artists. To invite just one artist to the UK as a “licensed sponsor” costs over 500 pounds [approximately $790]. This might be affordable for large institutions, but is far too expensive for small groups. The UKBA [UK Border Agency] don’t understand writers and artists..”
Alex Pytlarz has started a project “to design one line a day from Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl until I reach the end”. His progress and full-sized images can be charted on his Flickr stream
Meanwhile, Kenneth Capps continues on his sequential project of reading (and recording) every poem in Allen’s Collected Poems. [2018 – regrettably, links to these two projects are no longer available]