Monday, August 29, 2005

Circular Spirals of Soggy Contemplative Contemplation

I'm in a contemplative sort of mood. It might be the rain. We haven't really seen rain in a while. Suddenly the sky opened. I think Jimmy Hoffa's body floated down my street yesterday. This is a reminder of what is yet to come. Not Jimmy Hoffa, the rain. Soon. Very soon.

So now the wheels are turning. And getting a bit rusty.

Maybe I should contemplate more. Maybe I should contemplate less. Maybe I should set my alarm clock. I am reminded of a Zen koan that is something to the effect of, "if you've eaten your rice, then wash your bowl." The idea is that we should live in the present moment. Right here. No here. This moment. This one. Now. This little tiny moment. Oops, no this one. Even more specifically, it could be said that we should let go of all of the other moments that we simultaneously live and re-live in our mind.

We need to let go of living and re-living and just live. This moment. Right here. Nope, this one. Right now. This little teeny tiny moment. This delicious little piece of a moment. Here. Now.

I don't think that we -- and of course I am using the collective we -- are very good at living in the present moment. It's damn hard. The moment keeps shifting. Changing. Moving. Changing again. We have expectations and fears and creepy crawly bump in the night ideology. However I do believe we -- here we go again -- are very good at living in every single solitary other moment, including moments that do not now, never have, and never will exist. These non-existent moments tease us. Tantalize us. Draw us into their non-existent existence. Like a spiral. And we like it. Hate it. Simultaneously. And there is something beautiful about the realization of the liking and the hating and the contradiction. The journey. No, I'm not talking about the band or Steve Perry. That would be a capital J, but I'm not sure they deserve it.

And I must confess, I love using the proverbial we. The collective we. I won't put we in quotes. It would seem too pretentious. I love this collective we because it depersonalizes whatever I happen to be saying in any given moment. It is philosophical rather than actual. I can detach from the words. The moment. I can hide behind the tangent. Maybe within the tangent. It is mathematical. Sinusoidal. I am outside of the words. The moment. I remain anonymous.

And maybe this is why I write. And maybe this is where I want to remain. But as I have said, I am a contradiction. Long ago a friend of mine once told me that he had spent years trying to get to know me. He spent years trying to get inside some space that he felt was closed. I laughed and told him I was an entry way without a door, but rather consisting of an open space for one to easily walk through, unobstructed. Okay, I know I've never been good at metaphor. If you have a better one, I'm open to hearing it. But I digress. He told me the walls were stone and the guard at the opening was fierce. I guess he wasn't very good at metaphor either. And I disagreed. Even now, I disagree. In actuality, I feel there is often far too much on the page. But that may be because I am rather verbose. Hey, you over there, I heard that!

And what I find most interesting at this moment is the fact that I am relaying this tale on this page. I spread the words out onto the universe like Veganise on whole wheat bread from Great Harvest bakery. Damn they have fine bread. I am rambling like rain water dragging dirt and leaves and the occasional piece of polished glass down uneven alley streets. Completely aware of the fact that I have no point. But having a point, I believe, is completely overrated.

Although I am always curious to hear your point. Well, not you over there, but the rest of you, most definitely.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Revolutionary Ramblings on Restless Rhythm

"If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you." Henry Rollins

Words. Syllables strung together forming melody like whispers. I am intrigued, entranced, perhaps even a bit obsessed. The written word. The spoken word. Rhythm. Rhythm. Rhythm. I am verbose. It has always been this way. However the sound of words strategically placed. Listening. Listening. Obsession. The sound of words placed forward and backward and sideways gleaning meaning, or not. Yes, I may very well require a twelve step program.

And in this beautiful world of word, language, rhythm, sound, I find a pretense that creates a distortion. An inaccessibility that divides us. I want to unite us through words, through language, melody, rhythm. I write specifically about this with respect to poetry, although I could most certainly argue that that are individuals working in a variety of artistic mediums that carry the same pretense of the "highbrown/lowbrow" debate that I find preposterous and limiting. Please feel free to apply these meanderings to various forms of artist expression. I will not specifically discuss other art forms in this post, although I could. It saddens me that there is a debate about what poetry (and art, see above or have you forgotten already) is and isn't, as if we could or should define and structure language, communication, syllables in this way.

I want all words, all expression, valued and visible. We are gloriously, beautifully flawed as human beings. For one moment, let us embrace this. Value it in ourselves. Value it in others. Listen. Listen. Learn something from our stories. Different. Similar. Our imperfections shining brightly. Embrace the perfection of our imperfection. Laugh at our contradictions. Breathe in and out. For a moment, let us stop being so fucking frightened all of the time. Let us let go of "what if" and simply do, live, be present, accept the beauty in small moments.

Poetry is not meant merely for the printing of words on pages of ground up pressed and polished former trees, to be lost in dusty literary journals, but rather, we should post our words on government buildings, display phrases in bathroom stalls, plant ideas at the corner bus stop. I want to find words on parking meters, phrases on fire hydrants. Let us write our words in chalk on sidewalks, and write new words when the rain washes them away.

This can begin with you.