13 Epiphanies (while stargazing in a backyard in Rutland)

I’m with you in Rockland in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night.”                 – Allen Ginsberg, Howl, 1955.

  1. People often tell me I have a way with words. Nice, right? But also suspicious because they never specify what kind of way…
    (“Hannibal Lecter – he had such a way with people!”).
  2. You can learn a lot about someone by where they recognize Tim Curry from. For me, it’s Muppet Treasure Island. Take that as you will.
  3. Love is not adoration, but duty.
  4. Poetry is the precocious younger sibling of the arts.
  5. Poetry is the Team Instinct of performance art.
  6. Love is not duty, but full-fledged adoration.
  7. One of my favourite lines is from Childish Gambino’s song Telegraph Avenue, and it goes: “We got furniture to move, and we’ll both be 30 soon, in Oakland, in Oakland.” For me, it’s a beautiful example of that delicious paradox of poetry, straddling the intersection between the personal and universal.
  8. All poems lead to Howl like all roads lead to Rome. Howl is like the Mecca of poetry.
  9. All poems lead to Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass is like the Jerusalem of Poetry.
  10. Poetry is pilgrimage: a duty to the object of your adoration.
  11. I tried to write a poem that consisted exclusively of the titles of Christopher Walken movies, in alphabetical order. It was never fully realized, and the world is a better place for it.
  12. I tried to write a parable, but ended with a pair of bulls, my greed and pride, fair and full, to till this soil, soil this blank page, caught between kindness and cruelty. Feel your mastication, recognize your own soul fenestrated. Plot these locations on graph paper, these graphic namings, colonial interface, these violent tendrils, tender filigree of wisdom. This world is a worse place for it. 
  13. I am with you in Oakland, moving a large bedframe. I am with you in Rockland, sopping wet on the asphalt. I am with you in Rutland, gazing up at the stars. I am with you in Jerusalem and Mecca, I am with you in the desert building a solemn tower, I am shattered into a million syllables, I am doing my duty and I am filled with adoration.

[Poem: Circa 2016. Image: Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder]


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