Larry Schug, The Lights Go Out During the Super Bowl

Larry Schug

The announcers prattle on and on
about the lights dimming during the Super Bowl.
I think, why am I watching this crap?
and finding no reason but that the tv is on,
I pull a book from the bookcase,
open it randomly to a poem by Gary Snyder,
a poem about girls finding bear scat on a mountain trail,
not metaphorical scat, real bear shit on a real trail
and all that implies in the real world of women and men,
bears and berries, birth and death.
If you know Gary Snyder’s poetry,
you know a poem about bear shit is not bullshit.
If Gary Snyder was here,
I would tell him, this is good shit!
Thanks, Gary.
I don’t give a shit if the lights ever come back on.

10 thoughts on “Larry Schug, The Lights Go Out During the Super Bowl

    • Maren–Thanks for your kind words. I’d be just naïve enough to send the poem to Gary Snyder, but have no idea how to contact him. Do you? I googled him to no avail as far as finding any contact info.

  1. Memories! I heard Gary Snyder (and Allen Ginsberg who showed up, too, unexpectedly) read at Kent State U. in 1971. Yes, do send this to Gary Snyder.

  2. Brings back a great memory of hearing Gary Snyder here at CSB/SJU back in 1969. In response to someone saying “So you don’t find your inspirations in watching TV?” Gary said: “Not if it’s turned on.”

    • And I recall the body experience when Gary Snyder spoke “and deer tread through my hair”. We were there together, Mark!
      Last time I heard Gary was on NPR and the interviewer asked where he was. Don’t recall his specific response, but it was something like: 3000 feet elevation in the Cascades, facing East.

  3. Larry, Brenda and Mark, I’ve never heard Gary read, but had the honor of having my first published poem in “Red Clay Reader, vol. 4, in 1967. He, along with Kelly Cherry, Max Steele, Arianne Marcus (who interviewed him in the book), Harry Golden, Jim Applewhite, Julie Suk, Charles Edward Eaton, Betty Adcock, Heather Ross Miller, all had work in this book. Little did I know. In fact, I knew nothing back then. In 2010 I needed a writing boost, and contacted Gary, asking for his autograph in the book. He emailed, “Sure, I’d be glad to. yrz, Gary.” I sent 2 copies, a journal in which I had poems (audaciously signed to him), origami and several other poems, offering the extra copy if he had lost his over the years. He had lost his, and kept one, graciously returning my copy, a short hand written letter commenting on my poems, thanks for the copy, and a comment on his part of the interview, and several signatures in the book with a note after the interview. His poem in the book is: “By the Tama River at the North End of the Plain in April.” What a lovely man and poet.

    In spite of being grateful for all this, I think I’d trade it for having heard him read.

  4. Even though I played football in high school and have always been a “fan,” I’ve turned the lights out myself with increasing frequency. Give me Gary Snyder over Tom Brady any day of the week, even Sunday.

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