Thursday, December 01, 2005

10 to the 7 to the 5. 10 Defining Moments. 5 Pivitol People. 7 Critical Choices part ONE

A woman I love recently completed an interesting exercise. List 5 pivitol people in your life. List 10 Defining moments. List 7 critical choices. I don't think I will like what I find. I don't know how honest I will be with myself especially in cyberspace. All 10's are defining moments; all 5's are pivitol people; all 7's are critical choices. I reserve the right to do more or less and to revise, revise, revise. Some things I may say a lot or somethings nothing at all... right now.
5-Muhammed Ali- along with Joanne Howard a very beautiful high school english teacher, Ali thrust me into the world of poetry. I would write and recite silly prose like Ali. "moves like a butterfly, stings like a bee, who could it be? Muhammed Ali! He spoke these words before the fight, then Smokey Joe put Ali in flight, When Muhammed came down, Smokey Joe was still there, this was more than Clay could bear..." I still remember the entire thing! Embarrassing! However, in my junior year Joanne encouraged me to enter a poetry competition which I ultimately won. That poem, "Happiness Is" can be found at the end of this blog. I continued to write but was pretty sick of the poetry scene. Well mostly I was sick of mine own ego. I really didn't like any poetry but my own and I new something was wrong with that picture. 1986 I move back to Cleveland and I find this poetry set and... well this poem albeit long winded tells the experience best. It's called Born Agin. Of course the poet who inspired the poem is in the last line or so. Don't know where the edited rewrite copy is right now. I'll insert that one later. A few years later I am hosting a poetry set at the Cleveland Museum of Art. I bring in a group called the Black Poetic Society. People came from 3 or 4 counties to see this! they blew me away. One of the cats in the group was R.A. Washington who has been a poetry mentor, friend, confidant who has modeled much about the artist's life before me. Here he is:
Monkey Musak I have to say I am indebted to the poetry world and poetry community and Mike, Muhammed, Joanne and R.A.
I was once testifying to what Mike did for me at the Nia Coffeehouse and when Mike got to the mic he quipped, "Man I tell ya, give a guy a kidney and he never let's ya forget it!" Hey may be tired of that joke but it still tickles me silly this 8 years later.

Borne Agin

I walked into this joint with my wife and an old friend.
One cowering to my left
The other with the back of my shirt securely clutched in
Both hands
C’mon, C’mon, sez me
Irritated that I was out with two people who would actually
Show their fear
Let’s sit over there
Standing in a doorway
We peered in
A bare light bulb in the center of the room
Hung down
A swinging
and 4th
Like a freshly
Shedding light
Not quite bright enough
To give the corners of the room
Anything other than a
Enter at your own risk
sorta feel

Suddenly my mind escaped back to
My poetry days
My poetry haze
And I remember
I remember how I left the poetry scene
I just didn't dig any
But my own

I’m wrenched back to the future
Of that past
The now
The hear and now
My ears are filled to over-flowing
Filled to exploding
By a cacophony
Of living words
(If it weren’t for the safety valve from my ears
To my mouth)
Pictures with imagery so
juicy my mouth is literally
(If it were not for that safety valve
Surely, I would be deafened)
Living words
I’m drooling
Words that individually
just words
Words together
So strong
They lift me up off my feet
Squeeze the air out of me
Abruptly, return me
To gravity’s
Arrogantly stop time to
Give me a sweet
Negating the impact as I
To the hear
And now
Well sorta
I look at my wife
Her face is blank
Eyes bolted on some guy
At the mic
I wave my hand in front of her face
She only sees the words
Rolling, spilling
Cascading, spewing
Out of his mouth
(If it were not for the safety valve
From the ears to the heart
She would surely be blinded)
As the words hit the floor
Some flatten and spread
And become sticky
The smell of hot, freshly
Concocted Marmalade
Cooling on a porch in
Huntsville, Alabama rises to greet
Some words are slimy
And I reach for a
Handkerchief to wipe the snot from my face
And look around to see
Who needs it
Words sore
Words vex
Words sour
Words soar
Words Ricochet like high powered
Super balls
Causing us to dodge and weave
Duck and cleave
To one another
The room is chin high with these
Chilling us as they seep inside us
These words
Warming us
These words
Burning us as they touch bare
Tearing us as they touch thin
I realize the three of us
Sharing the same moment
Sharing the same
Slowly we separate
Into our own
Self absorbed
Time zones
Our own
Selfishly guarded
The room reappears,
But now it is
Gold tiers that were
Once steps going to who knows where
Now exist of their own recognizance
to go beyond
Just soaked in light
It is almost like the time
God spoke to me while I
Was tripping on acid
looking out over Placid
Landscaped greenery with brooks
That gurgled
Birds that twirped
wind that
the most
Wonderful Symphony
God said
I live and
I can touch you
and reveal My Glory
Even when you are
Out of
Enjoy your trip
And I want time with
you when you come down
And here I was
Coming down
Brown, round clown, sound
The blood in my ears
Ground, bound, found, hound
Is that what he’s saying?
I don’t think I can hear
The blood in my ears
Mound, town, wound
And I hear words fading out
And crashing into nostalgic self
“”Big King Daddy of …
Big King Daddy of what?
Is that what he said?!
At this moment God forges this
And God takes it
And sprinkles it
Into our
Shoving us back
To that single plane
Re-shuffling us together
Like a deck of cards
I take the thought
Form it into words
Take a deep breath
Just to hear my wife say it
The 1st part
What was that?!
And my friend
Say it
the 2nd part
What just happened!?
And I thought I heard God
“He’s one of mine”
About the guy at the mic
I thought he said
“When I count to 3
You will be back in Tremont
The other thing I remember…
The only furniture
In the room
A bean bag chair
The 1st time I heard Michael Salinger read

Happiness is…

Loneliness… an
Eternity- involvement then
Tranquility, Togetherness

Evolution toward total bliss,

Now two Psyches unite, a heart is won

The mind of a lover is totally undone
One heart seeks
The other mind…

Just a friend
So half goes without
And is empty within
The abyss of need
Devotion seemingly
Relentlessly severed

Life struggles to live
And gayety works at not being
As sadness and pain
Complete their cool deed
With but half the effort

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