IV Thus digging all the way to New York, finally face to face with you, in your crowded apartment on 12th Street, translating for you and the Misty School poets from China I'm grabbing at the meaning of each word--lost among big-nosed devils and their heaps of accumulated materials, among faces of the hungry, crushed, wronged, murdered, drugged-- face to face with you and your Buddha dancing in the tangka on the bedroom wall--you talking faster and faster trying to explain what happened in Tibet, what is still happening, to the closed ears of the Misty poets who believed things had changed for the better: no more killing, temples being restored with government money --till your sudden explosion roaring through foam, finger pointing at my nose: "What the hell do you know, damn it! What do you know?"--silence, stunned faces, tears, "I'm just translating, Allen" hanging your head as Bob led you away by the hand, Misty School poets fled to the kitchen Me standing alone in front of the Buddha, feeling wronged, voice thundering in my skull "What do you know?" but how could I know unless I went there--?? until you returned with two books, White Shroud and Collected Poems, opened the covers, wrote amid the lotus blossoms "Sorry to yell for Buddha" and took my hand lifting it to your mouth--I made a vow to journey in the direction your finger had pointed. In Tibet, how I gazed at the highest land, once the bottom of the ocean, now churned to the top, the massive landscape of rocks and bare mounds patched with thin grass-- herds of sheep and yaks rolling here and there like summer clouds, winding paths smoothed by pilgrims' hands and knees--their religion embedded in sky, earth so far and near, their sunburnt faces caked with dust and cow dung, angelic from all angles, their smile that rises from death, from the unforgiveness of earth, constantly breaking into a naked joy for small things--like laughing at Chinese soldiers who eat vegetables like sheep or horses --faces where pain and joy are carved into each wrinkle with perfect harmony. Thousands of gazelles give birth, their blood dyeing the grassland scarlet, the sky darkened by geese, gathering to feast on placenta, their droppings becoming food for the newborns--in the High Land where life constantly bleeds into death and vice versa songs and dance are scarce--nomads occasionally stand in a circle, raising arms or lifting legs in slow motion "above 20,000 feet we no longer sing or dance" they say the most important thing is to breathe, to breathe and gaze-- at the sky through dust, at souls through wind-- if souls are wind as nomads believe, then what lies beyond?