soak the edge
The inside of thought is where everything teems and stirs with a thousand cracks is where the water meets the shore like threads pulled taut that soak the edge
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Out of the Blue: A Message from the Messenger
Last night, I had a dream of incredible clarity, every visual
detail authentically pronounced, and it remained with me all
morning long. I have learned from past experience that when
such dreams occur to pay them heed. To pay attention, because
they hold a particular truth that will manifest one day in my
waking life, in some future circumstance. A signpost.
I have done this all my life but typically I dream of places,
unusual locations steeped in visual details that I have never
been before. Then, at some future point (weeks, months, years
later), I find myself there in that exact location, just as my dream
of the same place flashes before me. It always unnerves me.
But uncharacteristically, last night's dream was not of a place.
It was of a person ...
Archangel in my bed. Cool white sheets. Open balcony door.
Slight breeze. Smell of a freshwater lake just beyond. Warm
breath on the back of my neck.
He said, "I got married. But I think it was a mistake."
And I replied. "Why are you here?".
"I don't know ...", he answered, expectantly ...
The moment lingered as it always does in such dreams.
My eyes soaking up every visual detail, including the
subdued turmoil in his downcast eyes. Feigned indifference
that failed to hide his heart.
Can I disambiguate the message in my dream with a trumpet
blast? A belief that all angels remain free, and still fly high?
Full sails? Heading out of the blue with the wind on his back?
Friday, March 09, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
A Postmodern Sublime
Eco+poetics is not Nature poetry. If traditional Nature poetry is a
meditation on (the pastoral beauty of) a landscape, eco+poetics
describes both the bird and the bulldozer. Not a transcendent
prayer nor a travelogue, it denotes an invasion. If Nature poetry
colonizes, tracks and contains a wilderness, traps it in a dichotomy
(Nature vs Humanity), if it is predatory and voyeuristic, eco+poetics
is a provocation; it is cinéma vérité.
Writing a poem is a little like terraforming, making use of available
resources to create an artificially assembled and self-sustaining
ecosystem of thought. It's elements (a poem) interact with an
environment (readers and their sociopolitical context) to leave a
lasting impact, it's meaning.
James Englehart in Ecopoetry Manifesto describes eco+poetry
as connection. And while I don't agree with everything he declares,
I accept his notion that it is;
"a tension between numerous disciplines that surround it - an interdisciplinary creature, whose purview includes science and the arts."
Eco+poetics implies a call to action, implores stewardship,
and upholds an ethos of concern; the poet-observer as an
agent for environmental change. The poet-observer as a
postmodern moralist, and the poet-observer as activist.
In today's climate, there is no current landscape, no
ecosystem that is untouched by the clang of human
intervention, by technology spiralling out of control,
toxic by-products soaking the edges of everything.
Writing a poem about Nature that ignores its politicization
An 18th C. notion of the Sublime fears and reveres Mother
Nature, holds it up as magnificent and powerful; it reveres
the beauty of a hurricane. But an eco+poetical sensibility
implicates a Revised Sublime, populates a wilderness with
(the calamity of) people. This leads to awesome spectacles
of ecological disaster, surreal devastations of war waged
on a landscape even if bathed in a breathtaking sunset.
A Revised Sublime contains this tension as a warning.
It is a complex beauty entangled in power, like oil on
water or acid on earth.
Eco+poetics presents an environment-in-crisis as a tool
for political change. It insinuates interconnectedness, and
begs for redress. Maybe it is a desperate plea to
expand the Golden Rule into a higher consciousness,
an (innate?) need to apply equal respect to every
non-human life. A nod to the Nepalese for their
respect for all life, and in great reverence for
aboriginal values, a Revised Sublime exposes the
impact of large-scale human activity on ecosystems.
Beginning simply, with the form of a poem, and
transcending through pipelines past hungry polar
bears, it rises through noxious air in one interconnected
breath. Conversely, Richard Lowe's scheme to get-kids
back-to-nature implies that we have somehow left it.
Really?! Separate? As if ...
An eco+poetic message reminds readers that bulldozers
and birds share the same air. Aware of the poet/poem/poetics
(and all related industries from lumber to EMFs), it soars
beyond itself to become the voice of change within a larger
literary 'ecosystem', a habit of mind that recognizes unavoidable
connections between the complex sociopolitical realities of
culture and natural ecologies. And taking it further, then
As it turns out, anyone with lungs and breath has a voice
(if not a responsibility) to defend an ethos of interconnection,
to terraform new habits of mind, one word, one breath, at a time.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
"Love is so short, forgetting is so long."
You are that relentless flap of wings across
an endless sky through cloud-into-cloud,
or a last drop of rain that clings to the edge
of something offshore. Whereas I am a ladder,
a shadow that leans against double dead dusk
and reaches up to a fleet of incoming stars,
which is where you last hid.