When I was writing poetry all the time it was a constant viewfinder on the world. I often couldn’t walk through the landscape without some bit of reality catching my attention by beauty or irony or brutality or humanness. Camera phones helped me by allocating some of those interactions to visual poems. Many of my video works are these moving poems, and many photos tend to be one stanza works about an encounter out here in reality. Here are three I found recently.
Sharply oil based marker thin an thick.
Cutting down, cutting thin the sentences.
Hurting, we do a lot of hurting, we hurt forever and ever and ever, and one or two times we feel good.
Hubby undid, hubby unsung, hubby unhinged and stingy with the lemonade smiles.
Jiffy quick stop sells sic packs, we need several to clear the heir.
I was wanted but now that I have been unwanted I know what it is to want to be unwantable.
Sometimes life just goes wrong,
For a long time and I think of
Mothers who give their lives for no good kids every day, I would say be worth it, but preachers don’t know shit about the flavors of heaven.
the metaphor for life in this poem will be a glass marble,
but not just any old glass marble but one of those rare ones,
where the glass’ impurities have mingled with the silica to create
a mesmerizing cross-section of textures, layers and levels inside the marble
and when you look into it you think about a tiny universe maybe,
and in that tiny universe there are new countries and new people and
new animals and new water and rivers and trees and new air
but not a single moment of terror or torture or shame or self-doubt
and in that universe there is another you who knows what it’s about,
you know someone who really gets all this shit, and he or she or @# is amazing,
a job killer, a rock star, a badass samurai in a world of dime store villains,
and the life of this other you always shakes out good,
and there are beautiful days and moments and scenes and shit,
all strung together in this amorphous blob of you,
and he or she or @# believes in the world, takes joy from it,
writes poetry and makes prints and paintings and songs,
and can play the guitar or the trumpet like any of our mundane musicians,
can resist temptation, has never smoked, eats well, believes in goodness,
and then outside that universe is another you, but like a god you
that suffers and doubts and cries and can’t get anything right,
and has been made to believe that this is the way it’s supposed to be,
that heaven is a reward and that hell is a punishment that greed is good
and sharing is for pussies, that the world is out to get you, and maybe it is,
and he or she or @# wants to believe the hypesters and the spinners
and the BS reciters, the evangelizers, the equalizers and the righteous-izers,
but somehow this other You-God says fuck all that, fuck all of that,
look at this marble, this cheap, dollar store marble, it sure looks like
a good place to be alive, don’t you think?
in the shadow of notre dame beside the river
i watched as machine gun tour guides passed
the pickpockets and the weary pilgrims.
a baby cried in the tree lined grove in the
reaching shade of the gothic spires.
papa comforted and mama signed for peace.
accordion street beggars traded talent for cash
on foot bridges above the river and below the temple.
they made euros of their tired fingers.
i wished for a cool breeze in the hot parisian sun
none came but i thought i heard a seagull,
which was really just a pigeon looking for love
in the deep shadow of notre dame above the river.
Poetry doesn’t do anything anymore….is the first thing I thought of writing when I started this artist statement.I had forgotten that some people will not be familiar with poetry in the real world. It’s everywhere, in everything and constant if you know how to watch for it.
I have been an artist and a poet and mostly neither at the same time. I have fixed that problem while in grad school in the MFA program for Printmaking. Occasionally I will post one or the other. I may post photos, or a print or painting. I may post a stream of consciousness poem or one of my iPad corrected works. It will always be poetry because poetry is alive in all of it. I cannot guarantee it will never suck.