Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Poetry Day

Yesterday was Poetry Day. What a day it was. Historically my listening skills have been closely coupled with my intellect. An engineering lecture requires constant conscious integration of new information structures with those you are already familiar with. I used to try to do the same with poetry. "Oh that makes sense, oh I see the pattern there, oh that image/metaphor/allegory describes/alludes to/demonstrates this or that fundamental truth." As soon as you start thinking about the poetry while you are listening to the poetry you cease to be truly listening. Yesterday I used recently acquired skills to allow myself to do a lot more true listening. My intellect was focused on observing my response. I was moved. Waves of emotion danced over my body as I simply listened to spoken words. Given, those words were intricately crafted, charged with icon shattering potential, capable of melting down the dye forms of language itself. I will attempt to quote Nah-ee-lah and say "I do not live in abstraction." Well I am trying to remain aware of that fact; constantly reminding myself of the limitations of my own thought. I met John Sobol and Fortner Anderson. I experienced a "Master Class" given by Anne Waldman. I listened to archived recordings of Alan Ginsburg. I relaxed and absorbed the ambiance at Casa del Popolo. I walked the frigid streets of Montreal. I slurped veg-pho in China town. I felt ever so briefly part of something bigger. I shared myself with a stranger and touched her life. I allowed my life to be touched. I thrice answered the question "Are you a poet?" incorrectly. We are all poets. Time to begin my work of disembodied engineering. Find it, know it, be it.

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