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Tom Savage reads his Bamiyan Buddha Poems

I went over to Tom’s apartment on East 11th Street a few weeks ago— it’s just around the corner from where I am—and he read some of his Bamiyan Buddha poems from two of his books, Afghanistan (Fly by Night Press, 2014) and Brainlifts (Strawgate Books, 2008). Tom had traveled through Afghanistan on his way to India in 1971. There he visited the Bamiyam Buddhas. His poems are meditated meditating meditative observations about that experience with the statues and other travelers coming to see them. Anne Waldman told Tom that his poems were subtle and beyond hope and fear, a true Buddhist goal. Tom heard from another traveler that Charles Olson had died and he wrote about that. His Last Bamiyan Poem from Brainlifts was written in 2004 after the Taliban destroyed the statues Tom had visited decades before. Anselm Hollo told Tom that it was one of the best anti-war poems he had ever read.



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