National Poetry Month? What about National Poetry Life?
“Outside the large single window the crepuscular light was dying out slowly in a great square gleam without colour, framed rigidly in the gathering shades of the room.” From ‘The Tale’ by Joseph Conrad
National Poetry Month is over. Done with. We don’t have to worry about that pesky poetry interrupting our daily diet of incomplete sentences and expostulatory outrage, soundbites, digitized communication, implied meaning couched in winks, guttural grunts, and 42 character toots. We won’t be bothered by meter, the resonance of words; we won’t be forced to contemplate a construction of emotional images for at least another year. Hallelujah!!
At least that’s what I thought.
Until I read this sentence above. I hadn’t read a piece of prose like this for quite a while. It’s quite … poetic. It’s the first sentence of the story. It goes on - “The irresistible tide of the night ….”
I have been mulling over the idea of Poetry Month for, oh, about a month now. I realized something. Poetry is a Visual Art. It is created and lives on the page. The way a line of poetry lays on paper is as important to the experience of a poem as is the juxtaposition of vowels and consonants and how they roll together or jut up against one another. Sometimes a poem is not meant to be understood, nor is meaning meant to be extrapolated from it in order to enjoy the reading of it. Many people would argue with this idea, but I believe a poem is best experienced on a very personal level. The how and why of a poets ‘intention’ in writing a poem is as irrelevant and unattainable to the reader as is the ‘meaning’ in a pattern of stars in the sky. We can project an interpretation upon it, but it remains just that – an interpretation, it is not a part of the piece of work itself. Much like the screen does not contain the movie that is projected upon it.
It’s always fun and exciting to hear poetry read or recited or interpreted, to see a ‘performance’, but I always feel as though something is missing in the communication at that point. It is a one-sided exercise. I miss being able to stop, sit back and cogitate on the way a phrase or image is put together, to live inside a personal epiphany unleashed by the reading, and reading over and over if desired, of a poem. The piece above by Joseph Conrad, which is poetic prose, caused me to stop and read it several times and then put down the book, walk away, sleep, wake, and still have it alive in my consciousness this morning. It painted a picture of a feeling, an evocation of time and place, of color and light, that struck an emotional chord in me.
I wish life was like that. I wish our everyday experience of each other and the people around us, even strangers, could allow us, inspire us, to be contemplative, to respect the experience of a conversation, the time spent together, or even just being here on earth.
I met a man on the street the other day during a walk. We have lived as backyard neighbors for twelve years. We have had one brief conversation over the fence. There are reasons for this. First off, he’s extremely hard of hearing, and there is a fairly sizable downhill grade between the houses, and, until recently we have had a hedge of trees between our yards. (Thanks to the drought these trees are no longer an obstacle.) He saw us walking our dog and he stopped and pointed out of his car, “That’s the little dog I talk to through the fence!” and he looked up at us trying to make the connection between our dog, us, the fence, his years of knowing the dog and who the heck are these people anyway? He’s 92, and his wife was being taken away in an ambulance, and he stopped to recognize our dog, who was wagging her tail when she saw him.
I wish it was called Human Poetry Life. Not just a month.
"Welcome to Happiness" in Theaters and VOD:
For those of you who are interested, I had the unique and wonderful experience of participating in a new film. Oliver Thompson’s 'Welcome to Happiness
' is coming to local theaters all over the country and will be available as VOD (Video on Demand) May 20th!
It is rare in our business of film and acting to come across such a perfect melding of Production, Writing, Casting, Crew. It is truly like juggling cats in a thunderstorm.
”Welcome to Happiness
” is such an experience. My role is short, but it DOESN'T MATTER. I am pleased as a belly-
rubbed Koala to be a part of it. I hope you all will take some time to support this incredible adventure as well.!! You can watch the Official Trailer Here
2nd Sundays Residency Returns to TRiP:
is coming back to celebrate a bit of the Poetry of Life next month, Sunday, June 12
, at TRIP in Santa Monica
. It’s a time we can all get together and perhaps take the time and pay some good attention to each other and with each other. To celebrate and enjoy the poetry of our own lives.
Who knows, maybe somebody will even get up and speak some poetry, or sing some poetry, or even just think poetic thoughts.
Hope to see you all there. You won’t ever know what you are missing if you aren’t there, and it would be a shame to miss you.
Watch for info on the guests who will be playing, it will be a gas … I know it.
In the meantime – work is moving fast and forward on making a Release date for the 2Ton Bridge Full-Length Album
– coming your way September
A fantastic team working together with Jill Kettles, Jesse Vargas, Alex Gaynor, Marvin Etzioni, Cincy Steve, Pirates Press, Bernie Grundman, Clay Pasternak …
There’s so much coordination, many eyes and ears and moral support contributing to this momentous release. Keep an eye out for it and spread the anticipation!!
Chris O’Connor and I. These harmonies go back 38 years. We pick it up and - BOOM - there it is. The source. It’s in the marrow of our souls. 2 of “The Biddle Street Boys” - we’re missing John O’Connor here. He is on his way to the Northwest to pick up where he left off about 15 years ago, touring with his
original songs - one of the old school original REAL world Folkies.
Thanks for being here!!