Philip Whalen

Philip Whalen passed away June 26, 2002
A Zen Buddhist memorial service will be held for Zenshin Philip Whalen
at Green Gulch Farms and Zen Center on Sunday, September 1 at 2:30 p.m.
Richard Baker Roshi officiating; there will be a chance for appreciations.
Green Gulch is located at 1601 Shoreline Hwy (Highway 1) just south of Muir Beach.

Feel free to submit a memory or devotion.

John Aiello * Charles Plymell * Valery Oisteanu * Eddie Watkins * Mary Sands

Bonnie Finberg * Jay Larson * Lawrence Carradini

Photograph copyrighted by Larry Keenan
Photograph copyrighted by Larry Keenan




"What an unholy curse, now, for a poet to go blind & lose his eyes! And what can we do? Just gather there beside your bed, try not to weep, reading this last book of poems to you --"



Advisory over
The computer
That Whalen
Has perished.
The death
Of yet
Marked man
Is done
To my desk
Back into
The webs
The past
Went back
To read
A poem
Over 14
Months ago
In anticipation
Of this
Very moment

Wrote Whalen's memorial
That long ago?"

"I dreamed
The story,
Then wrote
The electric whisper
The river down
In words-":


Philip Whalen
Dead too
Old graybeard scribe
To tabernacles
Of blindness
The spirit mist
Of the still
Blue morning

Has its end
Or man
Live these
Infinite fists
Of time
To predetermined schedules
Defined limits
The blossoms separate
From the stem,
You're gone
The shape
Of some
Secondary 'form'
Into sacred realms
Of wind
Without proportion
Into the mouths
Of invisible worlds
The light reigns
More fear
Of darkness"


Whalen is dead
A vast community
Of poets
The human memory
Of his body
If he were
Still here tonight
Most likely flash
The butterfly knives
Of both eyes
In counter
Clockwise motion

"When it's
Your time
Forth willingly
With big
Golden heart
In step
With God
Gone back
To the last
Holy place
Beside the icy
White-foaming water
In an endless
Blue hood
Of stars-"

--John Aiello;
Midnight, 6-26-2002:
This the day of Whalen's death--

Philip Whalen, Charles Plymell, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Philip Whalen, Charles Plymell, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
1963, outside City Lights Bookstore



Phil Whalen's City

I was on Sandoz or Owsley/ panicked in '63
Found my way to Phil's house/ he gave me tea
Gave me his Blake book/entered his little garden
He gently pushed my head down to a flower
I walked back home in a new kind of power.

--Charles Plymell

The Paradox of Self & Other
     to Philip Whalen

Invisible zen-detective rides the dragon boat
In search of Buddha's from Ch'ing Dynasty
With the shadow of Gertrude Stein
To the Temple of the Rehabilitation of Dreams
A Modern Agnostic Rationalist?
Buddhist with Beat connections
Poet with organic intensity
Drinking his heavenly Tea
Immortality surging from the depth
Buddha university in space
Philip sleeps on a white Lotus.

--Valery Oisteanu

Already on the other shore
where did you go from here?

The light you shed on things still sings.

--Eddie Watkins

You were never a big vegetable
unless vegetables are great men
on mountains

                                with hats

--Mary Sands

He sang the unstruck note,
and fell into the weather,
long since reconciled
to shadow storms.
He promised something once,
forgot, lost among
scented memories
that tax the mind
until the heart breaks.

--Bonny Finberg

dear friend:

words came

wet with impernament tears
phillip whalen's glasses are

i didn't know
     i had missed the final date
proof of silence
               and innocence

--Jay Larson

Disquieting Muse

     for Philip Whalen

I can¹t hear you.
The phone keeps feeling
for something steady, while

everything else
is change.
I pick up the receiver

and hold it
like an ice pop
to my ear.

     About the republic -
History is an explanation.
Bananas fall from oak
trees, and rise
from the center of our
galaxy, shooting stars,
away. Our galaxy is less
than what we
see, though we see only our self
and that is not the world.
It is
a planet
    We¹ve never spoken,

yet I will miss your no more words
and eat the ones you¹ve left.
The phone will feel for something

steady, while everything else

hear you.

--Lawrence Carradini

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