Funny how it all fits. It is 5:03 a.m. And I am looking at inspiration staring me in the face. I am looking for poetry. Hehe. Tonight I saw POETRY. I saw the film ‘Poetry’ at the Tiff Bell Lightbox on King. What a heavy, real, heart-wrenching and sad film. I am going to be terribly biased but it also revealed old truths between gender taking place in Korea. Hmm. It said a lot about women. That was not intended. I had no idea. We’re so emotionally strong. And it only affirmed the sentiments I have between poets and their relationship to ‘the mother’. Oh What an ordeal. After the film, having stepped out of doors; the avoidance of such truths was so intensely revealed before me. It made me see how easy it is for one to retreat into the woods to escape the hollyhock of the city; the passion and buzz that steers us away of what is internal; mainly the emptiness that pervades all existence–especially those people that are out downtown on a Saturday night buzz buzz. The film had an unusual and clever depth about Poets themselves. How they survive; how they exist in a group; at readings. How they are so dysfunctional and also seek to evade themselves once they know they are poets. Then there are those special people who are more than poets–or at least this is what I will call it here–those individuals that live ‘in’ their poetry rather than write it until they are ready. In this instance, the protagonist didn’t realize it herself.
Unable to sleep and irritable, because I told, what I will call, a ‘poser’ poet off recently. I am sure there is true likeness to entering in to their inner poet but, I don’t see it before me these days. Perhaps one day he’ll grow into his own but for now; I must nurture my own poet. It’s all poser-like exploration if it isn’t humble and true between relationships and poets–that deep listening is most required and the peacefulness, not necessarily solitude. Poetry is … I usually won’t define it as it’s limiting to do that, but there is one thing I can attest to. A Poet must never look outside [as Rilke wrote in Letters to a Young Poet] and they so often do. They spend years doing just that. Taking courses, going to readings, postulating, yelling out their words, trying to sound intelligent. Poets must go in. And it doesn’t matter where the poet is at. Whether he’s in grade three or working in a factory or working as a professor or a poetry specialist. Whether she’s living in a hut, on a mountain, in the woods or hanging out in the middle of a city’s major intersection, on a subway platform, in her home. The poet must go in. If the poet does not go within her/himself then he/she [they] remain without. [Within/Without] The more inward; the more outward for the poet. It’s so simple and yet, we remain, throughout life, ever lost, seeking for the moment of the ‘in’. It makes me laugh. I find it so funny. And when I have gone in there is always the mystical magic of a universe colliding to make sense for me. This morning, I arose and I sat here contemplating these very things. Initially I thought of Rilke’s letters to a Young Poet then, I was drawn to two books. This is what I do when I need to go in, when I look at inspiring from within, I pull out a poet that calls me. One that speaks with its inner voice to mine. Usually, one from my shelves. This morning, I heard Wislawa Szymborska and then Dara Weir crept in…see the problem is–even for me–I do whatever I can to avoid myself and avoid the going ‘in’. There is no need for conversation with others; it doesn’t matter where one resides [emotionally, mentally (psyche), place or time, spiritually, psychically, etc.] Although, most of us look for what is easier to get to ‘in’– get to that place or that connection. For me, it is pretty basic, I can sit at my desktop and I can start to feel the in. I’m that connected and gifted. I’m fortunate. But, usually, it is easier for me in the wee hours of morning and in the darkness. However, its also easier for most of us among the quiet sunshine or the sound of wind or near the trees. But, the other poets in this room of my own help. They are present. I can feel them if I settle in comfortably enough.
I open a random page to Dara Weir’s book of Selected Poems 2009. After Szymborska, I remain flat. I picked Weir up at Type Books a few years ago. Love that store. [i digress] I find the perfect poem just ‘in’ the instant of opening the book. I seek to examine my sentiments for the moment and in opening the book I find just the very thing! How perfect is this universe of ours! It gives us, in painful self-examination, exactly what we need. I am attempting to reconcile myself to an argument I had with a fellow ‘poet’ I was getting to know more intimately. Funny, this poem is far too appropriate for mere coincidence.
Here is the poem:
Twisted, Fucked-up, Poor Excuse
They were entertaining a serious arguement
Concerning what they believe to be the dis-
Integration of the personal pronoun I as a
Viable sign for the self. A herd of mad
Bull elephants could be heard approaching
The city limits. Obviously they had all the
Time in the world. Rust was blossoming on
Them and they didn’t notice it, but it was
Fascinating anyway. A boulder big as the
State of Texas was about to fall on the side-
Walk where they were talking but they were
In the midst of dismissing that curiously dis-
Integrating ironic lyrical I. A 9.5 on the
Richter scale earthquake was just getting
Started but they were stomping their feet
Saying I,I, I, and didn’t really notice it.
Barbed wire clarity, one of them moaned.
Never self-celebratory, one of them sighed.
I was on my way to visit a good friend’s
Grave, to visit a fox, box turtle, and a
String of Buttons. But what really stung
Was how during all of their mind-bending
Ratiocinations and obsessed self-consultation
They never once mentioned “me”.
~ Dara Weir
I do wish that poets weren’t so full of themselves. It’s become quite boring for me. I am more interested in spending the next month staying at home, going ‘in’ and writing my own
self-indulgent observations. I am certain the words, the verses, the stanzas, the phrases, the pitter-patter will come. Thus, clarity abounds. There’s no question, going in is hard work, uncommonly simple, yet, so difficult and avoided to varying extremes. Unfortunately, once one has entered the business of poetry as community it can stop becoming authentic. It becomes so much more, in tandem with the adage of the universal law between cause and effect, it also becomes so much less. Ah, inspiration! I will never cease to find you hiding hither, thither!