Hemingway once wrote, "He defends [his friends] when they are attacked, he gets them into magazines and out of jail. ... He writes articles about them. He introduces them to wealthy women. He gets publishers to take their books. He sits up all night with them when they claim to be dying ... he advances them hospital expenses and dissuades them from suicide."
T. S. Eliot declared that he "is more responsible for the twentieth-century revolution in poetry than is any other individual."
Donald Hall remarked that he "is the poet who, a thousand times more than any other man, has made modern poetry possible in English."
He gave birth to Robert Frost. He introduced Joyce to Harriet Shaw Weaver and then invited him to Paris, changing everything.
As a writer, Ezra Pound was aware of the inside, as a human...he was aware of the outside.
This was important enough for me to pause the futbol match...write...and share.
This blog is in response to a lovely thank you I just received from a girl who goes by the name of Billimarie, I call her the Typewriter Poet. She also wrote THIS blog about the recent Poesia Para La Gente Metro reading we all did. It includes the awesome poem she typed up along the journey!
I forgot exactly how we met but I do know it was on Facebook. After looking her up I invited her to join us on the poetry train, because she embodied what Poesia Para La Gente is all about.
Here's the thing, the Typewriter Poet doesn't need to perform a poem, she doesn't need to be heard (in the conventional way), nor is she interested in promoting herself. She only wants to type poems for people, for free. Spending time with her on the train made me think that maybe she wants to form a road of communication between symbols and her internal voice that's already communicating with our collective conscience. And then I realized she's already been doing that. And isn't that the nature of poetry? You meet her and realize how calm, collected, peaceful she seems, not exactly your everyday poet. (relax, it's a generalization!) There doesn't seem to be a struggle, but I could be wrong. But then again, she doesn't need a struggle, she's found her purpose, or so it seems. Imagine doing what you love, doing it day-in and day-out. Now imagine if what you're doing happens to be a ritual of non-verbal communication in a language of symbols, with your community - as an act of altruistic, free expression. Imagine if what you're doing is praying...with the community, free of doctrine and with a smile. Imagine that.
The Typewriter Poet carries her pink typewriter just about everywhere and writes for free, for anybody, at anytime. She's even taken her typewriter on "tour" throughout the Pacific Northwest. She does this for the love of poetry. And maybe for the love of people. I'm not quite sure yet. She has nothing to sell, only to save, though she doesn't know it. She's saving the art and spirit of the voiceless word freshly strung together by ribbon and ink onto paper, spoken-less, accessible and free...
On behalf of typewriters, and those who choose to redefine what it means to have a voice, thank you Ms. Typewriter Poet.
follow her adventures at http://www.typewriterpoetry.com
RIGHT NOW will never happen again, so we compose our memory with snapshots of life's better notes. The melodies of what we hope for are forever stamped onto records, playing through the chirping of birds and the sounds of waves embracing us.
(photo Ventura Beach)
Los Angeles speaks to us in symbols cultivated by a collective soul. Today only variations of a few whispers in primary colors are heard by a select few. Tomorrow English will be heard in Spanish, storefront signs along Sunset Blvd will be written in Hangul and apologies will be painted on walls that only this cities culture can translate. This city, in absence of voicelessness, is where the universe can begin... and end.
Winter is when we learn how to hold our breath, and listen to silence. As the snow slowly melts, 'Patience is a Virtue' is found written on the petals of Spring. But Summer; this is when we soak our souls under the shades of history hidden in trees. And Autumn is a time for anthologies, pages slowly falling from heavens not so far from reach. With the help of gentle winds we can glance and read the stories in the clouds above and ask for nothing in return, realizing that everything has already been given.
Top photo - Laminated copy of the first ever issue of Gidra. What is Gidra?
"In April 1969 a group of students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) founded a newspaper dubbed Gidra, a monthly publication that took a radically progressive political position. These five students—Mike Murase, Dinora Gil, Laura Ho, Colin Watanabe, and Tracy Okida—desired a visual media that would bring to light issues not featured in the mainstream media. Dubbed by the authors as the “Voice of the Asian American Movement” Gidra ran from 1969 until its final issue was published in April 1974. " (More on Gidra Here)
Bottom photo - to the right of Traci Akemi Kato-Kiryama are several of the founding staff members of Gidra; Mike Murase, Evelyn Yoshimura, Doug Aihara, and unfortunately I didn’t get the name of the woman in the red coat.
These photos were taken last night at the 1st & 3rd Tuesday Night Cafe in Little Tokyo. As part of the programming of the Tuesday Night Project, the Tuesday Night Cafe is on it’s 15th year…woohoo! Last nights reading was standing room only, making it obvious that TNP’s mission and the communities needs are aligned just right. The amount of creativity and caliber of talent was just a tiny bit of proof of how much this city has to offer.
But what I wasn’t aware of was Gidra. Another layer of Los Angeles, proof yet again that there’s more to Los Angeles than just creativity and talent. The people of Los Angeles have a history of using creativity to build a foundation of strength, a voice for political advocacy.
And these guys are still active in the community. Last night they were asked how they avoided “burn-out,” something I’ve personally been researching a lot lately, and Mike Murase’s response was -
"We never became cynical, we still have hope, and we still believe in what we do."
i usually take the same road, to the same house, knowing that i'll find the same door. it's the door that my key doesn't open. over the weekend i took a different road, one i didn't know. i slammed my soul into a dark wall. my soul crumbled, with the wall. the key was useless. i discovered that the house i live in is open, with walls made of delicate but fierce love that catches fire when my heart pines for what my soul needs.
It's simple to lose Yesterday
when we have faith that there might be a break in the clouds.
And instead of waiting, we run
where we have never walked before.
Its simple to imagine a Tomorrow, when all dreams come true and boredom becomes a way out; unsettled and longing for desire.
If heaven is lost in Today, Today should be desired. Building a heaven held up by pillars of faith and dreams is a challenge worthy of losing time to.
Some call it peace, some call it heaven. It's that space between the moments of collapse. Found between our ancestors wisdom that we choose to never follow, and those arms we only go to when we shouldn't. It's that place we learn from, but only realize its importance once we choose to forget it ever existed. Some call it peace, some call it heaven. I call it Los Angeles.
(photo San Pasqual Stables / Lower Arroyo hiking trail)
I want to sink myself deeper, deeper into the deepest
of the muddy waters,
where your footprints float
and drift away from a recognizable you.
the waters where your handprints stain
the deepest of the even deeper muddy waters
that still touch a sinking me.
handprints that save a sinking me