In the fall of 1968, in the wake of the Summer of Love, the author abandoned New York for San Francisco, staying on through the winter in poet Diane di Prima’s house on the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park. At Diane’s is a frank, sometimes raw, close-up journal of that historic time, which echoes through world culture to this day. Diane had moved west a few months earlier with her four young children and her husband Alan Marlowe. Her kitchen was macrobiotic, and her house was a microcosm of the idealism and spiritual questing of the time, celebrating the full moon with communal psychedelic trips. Allying herself with the Diggers, who were giving away food in the park, Diane entered into her long study of Buddhism with zen master Suzuki Roshi at the San Francisco Zen Center. Along with Diane and Alan and the evolving cast on Oak Street, the author regularly drove across town in the family’s VW bus for early-morning zazen (zen meditation) at the zendo. It was a wild scene in Haight-Ashbury in those days, with Hell’s Angels, Diggers, and other anarchistic types blurring the line between liberation and selfishness. In the midst of life, Diane was writing her best-seller Memoirs of a Beatnik for Olympia Press, distributing and adding to her fierce Revolutionary Letters, and operating Poet’s Press. Accompanied by oracles from the I Ching, the author faithfully chronicles the life of the house.
At Diane’s is available by mail-order direct from the publisher, Fast Books, P.O. Box 1268, Silverton, OR 97381. Please add $4 for packaging and postage.