Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Hate Poetry

A Different View of Diamond Head

"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act, as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty; and precisely the same difference prevails today among human creatures."


A Working Artist Making People Happy in Waikiki
(see his wheels?)

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."


That's "Haute" Dog!

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self."

Aldous Huxley

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."

Alexander Graham Bell

Actually I revere poetry.
But not the way it's presented in snooty publications that I otherwise enjoy, like the NEW YORKER.
They run only "challenging," good-for-you stuff that demands a thesaurus and a masters degree in the current, insular, expert-driven jargon to "get."
The enjoyment it conveys to its devotees must be the shallow, acid satisfaction of exclusion.
Makes your heart sing, doesn't it?

How nice for "them."

But the rest of us, we need to re-read Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Rilke, Whitman, Basho, or Richard Wilbur to get our fix of words dancing with deceptively weighty import.
They make it simple and welcoming,
so you may go deeper as you grow
yet still resonate to the

the true.

Well a tough little weed of authentic beauty is attracting attention to the vacant lots, gunshots in the night, and strangely proud despair of once-mighty Detroit.

There at the epi-center of "whats gone wrong with America" is a prime example of what is best in our country: a craftsman with nicotine stained fingers, a retired mechanic who can fix cars as well as conundrums, a fiercely honest, yet compellingly stark-gentle soul who produces Real Poetry, proving that this miraculous species, yet thumbs it's nose at the hot-house imprisonment attempted by academe.

Words, those impish little gods, will find a mouthpiece, one who has been made ready by a life at the working-edge of grass roots, in da street, a democratic genius presenting a scornful, sage appraisal of the
"way things are going."

This is no hot house flower.
This is the guy you want to have a shot, and a smoke, and a convo with at 3am as the sirens wail:
Meet Mark Durfee
AKA "The Walking Man"
on his coffee stained, eponymous blog:

This grizzled wanderer/biker/war veteran/no-bullshit workman has recently produced something like 100 straight days of Real Poetry at his blog!
The rythmn and gravity of his words are the exposed beams of a meaning that had been torturing your abilities to express it; Then Mark dashes it off and posts it for us to read,
in a form that is spare, and rich, and usually inspiring.

I feel that I have made a friend, hell, I know that I have.
This poetic voice has my vote:
Mark, you may speak the keen truths that knife through our coats, and walls,
for me, for millions.

We remember comon sense, responsibility, and governing based on more than "say anything" power games, and spoils for the rapacious.
We remember a trust and a solidity that has decayed:
just like Detroit it's perfect emblem.
So visit The Walking Man.
Obtain there his slender new volume, beautifully named:
Poetry and Prose of Detroit"

If I know you as well as I think I might, you'll taste something fresh, yet beautifully familiar: your own
despair & unquenchable hope
dancing cheek to cheek, down the broken sidewalks
of Detroit
at close to midnight.
For reals!
A L O H A cloudia