Gary Snyder

Hymn to the Goddess San Francisco in Paradise

If you want to live high get high   — Nihil C.


Up under the bell skirt
caving over the soil
white legs flashing
     — amazed to see under their clothes they are
     this makes them sacred
& more than they are in their own shape

the wildest cock-blowing
     gang-fucking foul-tongued
          head chick
     thus the most so —


high town
high in the dark town
     dream sex church
     YAHWEH peyote spook
 Mary the Fish-eyed
vomiting molten gold.

san fran sisco
hung over & swing down
          dancers on water
     oil slick glide
     shaman longshoremen
     magical strikes —
howls of the guardians rise from the waterfront.

— state line beauties those switcher engines
     leading wagons
warehouz of jewels and fresh fur
car leans
     on its downhill springs
          parked on mountainsides
white minarets in the night
     demon fog chaos.
bison stroll on the grass.
     languid and elegant, fucking while standing
          young couples in silk
               make-up on.

crystal towers   gleam for a hundred miles
     poison oak hedges, walld child garden
& the ring of mountains holding a cool
     basin or pure evening fog
     strained through the bridge
     gold and orange,
beams of cars wiser than drivers
     stream across promenades, causeways,
     incensed exhaust.

smiling the city Hall Altar to Heaven
     they serve up the cock  tail,
there is higher than nature in city
     it spins in the sky


quenching the blue flame
tasting the tea brought from China
cracking the fresh duck egg on white plate

passed out the gates of our chambers
over the clear miles, ships
forever such ecstasy
     wealth and such beauty
     we live in the sign of Good Will…

(the white-robed saint trim my locks for
     a paltry sun… life is
     like free)
rolling lawns clippt and the smell of gum tree.
boiled crabs from a saltwater vat
          rhine wine.
bison and elk of Chrysopylae
eels in the rocks in the wave
olive oil, garlic, soy, hard cheese.

Devas of small merit in Jambudvipa
plucking sour berries to eat:
shall ascend to an eminence
scanning the scene
     fog in
     from the Farollones
long ship low   far below
     sliding under the bridge
     bright white   red-lead
          — blue of the sea
     on that ship is me


— smilers all on the nod nap on cots
but the slither   & breakfree
     tosst slipper up on the toe
          & the white thighs open
               the flesh of the wet flower

crossed eyes gleam   come
     flowery prints and
     yellow kettles in a row
     breast weight swelled down

kind chairmen smile around.
generals and presidents swallow
     hoping   they too   can come

     turn back dead tourist
     drop your crumb your funny passport
— fall back richer spenders
     think you make with wild teenager
          on hard forever
          crust in jewel
          — you are too old
the san francisco fake front strip tease
phony, sweaty,
last a minute and they stink and die

     & love is for ten thousand years
          (damnd square climbers give me pains)
them wilty blossoms on her sweaty brow —
     the flute and lute and drums

     police cars siren down on Fillmore
     fog clears back away
     the police close in
          & shoot the loose
     & clouds are slipping by

& hide it in your pockets

— it all becomes plain sky.