Friday, January 9, 2015

An Ode at the Steps of the Library

As I prepare myself for my next poetic project, I decided to compose a portion of my journal entry last night in a modified form of Saphhic Strophes. I wish I knew the lady's name who made the passing comment, but I am immensely grateful. Really, people have been extremely kind to me as I have been pouring my heart out in poetry every day. As I have said before, just for people to stop and listen is an immeasurable gift and to see them smile with delight with every recital, is truly a joy.

Yes Keats

At my stand in the freezing degrees
to read the public poetry while they
shuffled by in their bulging winter bundles,
I sat smiling.

One lady quickly passed but made the point
that she is an author and had bought my book
and read it, then pausing and turning
on the marble steps

she said, “You are an excellent writer.”
before running inside and out of the cold.
Her kind phrase kept me warm
the entire day.

Behind me, I could hear the ice cracking
in the frozen fountain hardening into 
a solid, cloudy pool with a few flakes
of flurried snow

drifting in swirls upon the surface
at the bottom of an ornate basin
of stone overseen by a statue of a sage
making meditative

statements distilled from a lifetime
of careful contemplation, tirelessly
preparing for a perfectly illuminating

— a fitting figure in a frozen world.
Yes Keats, the wisdom is kept and left unsaid,
never disclosed or exposed to a world’s

retained in the perfection of detached
consideration. Let us chisel your name,
again and again, in the frozen flow
of ageless stone.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What the Simplest Actions Say

Every single moment of every day
we make a statement of our natural state
and the varied ways we socially relate
that through our actions we communicate
and despite whatever we may claim
our interest are with what we are engaged.

Even while we casually walk
every step we take as we make our way
is a definitive declaration
of the immediacy of our place,
the tempo and cadence of our pace
and the direction of our determination.

(a fun little piece I scratched out last night while waiting for the subway)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Grazed by a flying Falcon

Fantastic encounter I had yesterday in Prospect Park.  I was taking a short break from rehearsals and making a video of the tiny birds flittering around and gleaning grains from the grass when a surprise swooped into the frame.  I have only been this close to a flying falcon one other time in my life at Lafayette Park in San Francisco in 2002, but this time, I have it one video.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Great Audiences

To have great poets, there must be great audiences, too.
- Walt Whitman

Yesterday, I had one of the most wondrous experiences of my life. Someone approached me while I was sitting in the park and the first statement this person made was asking a simple question, "Would you read me a poem?" I could have wept. I could only say, "I will read you poetry until you ask me to stop."

Photo by Jerry James
From thereon ensued a wonderful conversation where the reading of a number of poems was interspersed with some of the most engaging and exciting conversation. We spanned topics ranging from ponderous issues of cognitive theory to the gems of the most simple considerations.

I have been enjoying a particular number of wonderful exchanges with people lately. The other day I had a fascinating conversation with two young students in mathematics. - I still hold the position that if a person really wants to be a member of the avant-garde, they should study math, because people in that field are so ahead of the curve most of the world doesn't even know they exist. There is no doubt that people in the field of mathematics are in the forefront of broadening the intellectual and imaginative horizons of humanity and I have made note to a number of people that the some of the ideas of French mathematician Everiste Galois on the symmetry of polynomials served as an important inspiration for one of the most important angles of many of the syntactical formulations in my poem Martha.

As a parting comment, I told them both that I will look for them in the years to come as recipients of the most distinguished Fields Medal. One of the students modestly dismissed this and said that his friend would probably win the medal but he doubted that he would. I told him that there is no question that he is capable of winning the medal. I told him, "That potential is within us all. Never deny yourself your potential for greatness."

Monday, June 23, 2014

For the Last Romantic

My favorite labyrinth, the Seed Labyrinth by Sara Jones

There are some who believe poems are writ
from the sophisticated theories we invent
as if inspiration was the conscript
of a very specific determinant
that was made with formulas and instruments
so that the unexpected was from intent
and surprise was merely mismanagement
from a factory of ambiguousness.

Then reading your verse earlier today,
listening to the words and all they say,
I began to float on the music they made
from the melodies in every phrase
along the correspondence you arranged
with the chords inlaid and delicately played
and carried by a cadence sustained
by the beat of your heart upon the page.

Poems are not contrived from designs,
they are released from within, deep inside,
and the deeper one’s concentration dives
the higher one’s inspiration flies,
making brazen leaps to span the divides
in the endless potential of our lives
from the wonder of a child’s awakening mind
to the timeless kindness in a grandmother’s eyes.

Garrett Buhl Robinson