Comets and Candles.

11745827_425481754291085_3369972655557085935_n New poets enter the  poetry world  with all the urgency and brilliance of comets only to be informed that the trail of fire behind them and the scorching light they carry within amounts to “a good performance” as if they are an affectation of light rather than light itself.  “Performance poet” is a phrase like “dancing bear” or “juggling monkey”.  The verb trounces the noun.

Every time a poet writes and reads it is a fight against definition – That is our brand if one is needed.  We are comets and candles. We are fighters and failures:  future past and present.   We are heroes and cowards.  We are at the heart of revolutions because revolution is at the heart of the poet.  We are self harming healing celebrations of what it is to be alive. Each time we write we set the world alight.   Today is National Poetry Day.

11794573_1099323486762930_742546470954603890_oWe poets. We go to the edge. We jump off and we write what it feels like as we drop.  We write about the flight or the fall for no other reason than we must. And while doing this – without knowing it would happen  we grow  wings and  rise on thermals. We fly through warm weather and cold.    Nothing I love more than writing a poem:  I also love to read on stage. I am a performance poet if all poets who read aloud are performance poets. The key to reading poetry is in the voice.  The body follows.  Every poet could do worse than watch the plays of  Tim Crouch to understand “performance” and truth on stage.

4 thoughts on “Comets and Candles.

  1. When my poetry was volcanically cooling and forming corals deep in the salty depths, I grew gills. Never found my wings… just the scars where they were ripped out. Yes, poets know something about metamorphosis.

  2. I love that line!

    “\We are self harming healing celebrations of what it is to be alive”

    If there is anything that makes life worth living, when you feel it is too messed up, too barren, too repressed, then art says “here it is” . Inherently we celebrate, we explore, and when this gets thwarted, when who we are is being denied, rebellion breaks out. From the individual to the collective. Poetry, (all of art) dives right into the struggle, the strangeness, joy of being here, validating experience as it goes, so that wherever here is, whatever we are becomes revealed in art. As you said once Lemn, ‘Art doesn’t have a message, IT IS the message’.

  3. Horrible to think anyone would think that way. To hear a poem read by by the one that created it is so much more meaningful. It’s heaven!

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