N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 3 :   S p e c i a l   E d i t i o n

L o n g   P o e m   M a s t e r p i e c e s   o f   t h e   P o s t b e a t s







Photo by Dion Olivier w/ Suzi Kaplan Olmsted.



Karmapa In America ‘08


Touching the Void mountain

climbing book read by Berkeley intense young man

void opens from tunnel over concrete veins of highway

FORTUNE COOKIE fast delivery ghetto

red motor chair Granny diabetes taking a spin

portly East Indian man, buzz flat top cocks eyebrow corny wrestler

daring action (in deeper fear)

eyes locking w/ me –

he thinks the world bullies him – perhaps right –

 but this wrestling match already lost

“& the winner is…Decay!”


Earth Bearing Witness 8 centuries of the Buddha

glass case statues on the way into security

airport checkpoint I pause – look at them all

“Crowned Buddha”

Black Crown Karmapa for sure

on my trip to Seattle to see his new 17th face

Whisper Transmission Tibetan lineage Head


clear, unlocatable, nondiscursive,

naked emptiness-awareness

 is the authentic lama”

         Jigdral Yeshe Dorje


Virgin America’s purple–lit air cabin reading

William Gibson’s latest cyberpunk novel –

which happens in the present –

electronica music in the toilet – a

trumpet doing a mediocre stab at Miles –

I could be frightened in this Bardo

Distance to go

73 miles – red jet on USA map –

Google journey graphics back of the

heardrest in front of me


In the bathroom mirror I am shocked that I’m old


But the smell

\in the airporter bus is the same

from last century

 like a pink chip in an old urinal


-           Karmapa in America

-           Panic in the Disco

-           Return to Forever




-           - Paramount Theater marquee 5/31/08 Seattle, WA


Later in the Seattle bar

back of seat sticker

crossbones dakini?



Hawaii islandspeakthe word you use when you don't use the word”

But the waitress did have a Buddha tattoo

giving me sugarless Red Bull –

in 2 weeks 2 days sober 23 years

3 times w/ 17th Karmapa

3rd time by invitation only

he acknowledged he was

back will be back

“like Groundhog Day” movie said

Dzogchen Ponlop –

over and over

(“But he does it for us”)

Bill Murray actor returning

vast space Karmapa

in Seattle of the skateboard

homeless punks of

gloomy sky

every 3rd on crank

I’ve heard though already

apparent their

harsh energy


Exploring the night by myself

mad professor in the all ages club

where The Melvins played

The Black Angels

I am a Black angel

of the Black Crown Karmapa

I wrote Black Leather Tantra

and was old even then


but I still like this dark planet

 illumined black light

glowing purple

in a dream

in a skull


Skywalking night

Space Ghost Coast-To-Coast


Soon I leave your physical form

O Karmapa

less soon I leave mine

talking to the 20 year old w/ Dharma parents

born in Halifax saw Trungpa Rinpoche when he was 5

He pieces together my Naropa U. backstory

“You knew Allen Ginsberg?” he guesses


“You’re old school!”

Gave him my card after we sat

took Chenrezig empowerment together


looked at my ticket – I’d sat in wrong seat, wrong row & nobody’d come

Over and over we come back for us

I’m the Black Angel of the Black Crown

over and over

I’ll eat less meat

though skull cup runneth over

Over and over 

like Groudhog’s Day he does it for us

and the world needs help


Black angels unite

coast to coast

10 directions

black light poster

peace sign skateboard

down from the sky







[Used by permission of the author.]



Allen Ginsberg said, "Marc Olmsted inherited Burroughs' scientific nerve & Kerouac's movie-minded line nailed down with gold eyebeam in San Francisco." Olmsted has appeared in City Lights Journal, New Directions in Prose & Poetry, Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, Signs Of Life, (a Manic D Press anthology), Processed World, Flesh Eater Chris D's Bongo Chalice, Blue Satellite and a variety of small presses. His work includes two books, Milky Desire (Subterranean Press, 1991) and Résumé (Inevitable Press, 1998). In the 1980s, Olmsted’s band The Job was part of the San Francisco New Wave, playing the Mabuhay and other local clubs of the day. Allen Ginsberg, taken with the punk scene, performed his poem “Birdbrain” with their backup on a number of occasions. Olmsted has also made two short films, Burroughs On Bowery, a portrait of the Naked Lunch author, and American Mutant, with Burroughs, Ginsberg & Timothy Leary. His latest film project, The Count, stars Dion Olivier, lead singer of Late Young. Olmsted, a senior student of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, has studied Buddhism since 1974 and completed a 3-year retreat supervised by his teacher. His book about that experience, WHAT USE AM I A HUNGRY GHOST? - POEMS FROM 3-YEAR RETREAT (Valley Contemporary Press, 2001), has an introduction by Ginsberg. Later, he was encouraged to teach in the San Francisco chapter of Tharchin Rinpoche's students, Last Chance Gompa, now in Oakland. Marc Olmsted's current book project is Don’t Hesitate: 23 Years Knowing Allen Ginsberg, a memoir including their correspondence.