These are poems that capture that shimmering moment in time and allow it to illuminate our lives. They are the poems, mostly small, that come from perfect attention - the result of a moment, rendered timeless.
The book also comes with some wonderful tips for writers from Allen Ginsberg.
The single problem: I could find the Beat, but where's the Hip Hop?
Even my friends who think poetry is boring and ponderous and Buddha a smiling statue (thanks probably to some stodgy professors 20 years ago) couldn't put this book down when they spotted it on my coffee table. With a sly sense of humor and enormous knowledge of his subject, Gary Gach has taken a single (and often misunderstood)theme and compiled a "panorama" of examples that give life and texture to Buddha and Buddhism.
What he has done is kind of like a hundred talented photographers, using radically different techniques, having their crack at one single image or subject, each in his or her own way. Uniting dozens of other voices, Gach has given texture and spirit to his subject.
What surprised me the most is that this book never gets old -- I read it over and over again, sometimes a page, sometimes a poem at a time.