“angels, loving them, and the irreparable soul”

“Angels, loving them, and the irreparable soul”

She’s an angel with invisible wings.
I am ready and wanting to be her everything,
but I would settle for being something.

The beauty in her eyes only eclipsed by the
energy of her soul. I try to forget her, even
if it is just for a few hours at a time.

How do you forget something so beautiful
that it saved your life just by its presence. That
is a lie, I do not want to forget her for second.

I have come to the realization that I know nothing,
and need nothing, but I want plenty. It is one thing
really, to have the chance to be something.

shawn king

Colaborative Lab Test Run: Scene-By-Scene Poem

CoLab

We’re starting this new thing in DD, where we use Hoogle Gangouts to live stream the creation process. In these segments, Shawn and I (occasionally assisted by Guests of the show) will live  create and edit poems/flashfiction based on different prompts. These prompts come in various shapes and sizes, from image macros we find on Reddit, to a 30 second clip of a song we heard on the radio. Anything that inspires can become fuel for creation. This is what came out of our unrecorded test session:

DestinationDetour
Co-Lab 001:

Seen by Scene I
JM Romig and Shawn King

Deafening stillness suffocates
the room.  Pouring emptiness out
from my eyes . Dry-heaving
onto my blank page.
Self-editing the script
nobody will follow. My unwritten, untitled, autobiology
could be mistaken for a blood stain on my living –
room carpet.

Chemicals could be used to strip away the mildew,
that is a thin veneer covering
the frail humanness of this
too still, breathless room.

I want to scream,
to act in a way that will break
the monotonous
silence.
but, frameless,
and wordless
I float, in otherness,

Outside of it all –
sits the Other,
unaware of my metaphysical quandary.
Unaware of me, the other side of the veil.
The forgotten spend their energy grasping for the unattainable,
each interminable moment of eternity.

 

“Poets: The Internet and Us” by Shawn King

Virtually everyone I know under the age of eighty is now online. My grandmother uses Facebook better than some Twenty somethings. Poets I know fall in every possible range of tech savvy. Some forgo books of any sort and just self publish through various social media outlets. While others try and avoid the screen, and technology in general, as much as possible. These are sort of the extreme ends of the spectrum, but I have only been involved in the poetry scene as a whole for a year now, and I know several people that fit each of these descriptions.

Recently an article was published in the New Yorker about internet poetry as a sub genre of Alt Lit. The main focus of the article was on Steve Roggenbuck. He is an internet poet who mainly publishes his work through YouTube.

 

“What does it mean to be an Internet poet? Since 2010, Steve Roggenbuck, a twenty-six-year-old who lives in rural Maine, has been producing poetry that is made, distributed, and viewed almost exclusively on the Web, taking the form of tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and image macros. He became best known for a series of videos that are a mix of Walt Whitman and Ryan Trecartin, showing Roggenbuck either in bare apartments or out in the forest, manically improvising poems that celebrate the cosmos and our place in it. In one video, he screams at a gray sky, “Make something beautiful before you are dead.… Maybe you should stand in the rain! You’re alive right now!” But this ain’t no tree-hugger or Iron John. There’s an intensity and an edge to his work, verging on violence, which is at once terrifying, hypnotic, and completely moving.”  (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2014/05/if-walt-whitman-vlogged.html)

 

I take umbrage with much of what is said right here. I will give them intense, but edgy, terrifying, hypnotic, and moving I am not okay with. Anybody can act intense for 3-5 seconds at a time. I find the general feeling for me to be nauseating and disorienting. Nauseating is simply a matter of all the jump cuts, but what disorients me is partially due to the pacing, but mostly the fact that at the end of an eight minute video all I can remember are the last few lines. Large portions of these videos are nonsensical and obviously doing nothing more than trying to get a rise out of the viewer. I also don’t think anybody would make it through even a single page of a poem written in this style. I realize this is most certainly of little importance to Steven Roggenbuck, but he has entire videos where it is trying to stake his claim as a poet, or at least explain why he is a poet. If you want to be known as the modern day Walt Whitman you might want to try writing.

 

Whether or not you are a fan of poetry, it holds a place among the sacred facets of humanity. There is a reason that the texts of all the major religions are written in verse. I have had poets say to me that nobody has the right to decide what is good or what is bad poetry. I don’t walk around with different colored stickers placing them on other poets work, but if you are an artist and you hear something that is sublimely beautiful it hits you harder than a freight train. I have never pondered my decision, it should be something that just kind of is.

“A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is to wish to hold on to it, to possess it and give weight in one’s life…There is an urge to say, ‘I was here, I saw this, and it mattered to me.” -Alain de Botton

 

To me what Alain de Botton says right there is the core of why poetry exists. If your goal is to scream about your grandfathers cock then I don’t begrudge you that right, but it to me is not poetry. This is all I have to say on this matter. I think Steve is doing some wonderful things with his vlogs, and I will explain myself now.

 

That is the end of my criticism of Steve Roggenbuck. I could probably keep blabbing about whether or not I think he is a poet, but I do want to cover the very positive things I see here. Technology is an extension of humanity not the end of it. The work that he is producing is inevitable in my opinion. “their is a feedback loop we script intention into our designs and those designs in turn script our subjective experience. our ability to create virtual future possibilites, to inform future thoughts, to build a creative playground for the mind. ” Jason Silva, shots of awe.

The experience of delving headlong into social media is very much like watching one of Steven’s vlogs, but it is spread out over a longer time period with no jump cuts. The very framework of experiencing the internet is the catalyst for the Internet Poetry scene. As our lives become more digital you are going to continue to see this kind of scatter brained psychedelically paced art. Futurist Timothy leary has stated that the pc is the lsd of the 90’s. The definition of the word psychedelic is to make manifest the mind. This blog is going a tad long now, so I will end with this. Until our own experience as humans catches up to the internet, I believe much of what we see is going to be in this vein, but poetry has a chance to take back its own future. The internet is that chance, and I believe in this regard all poets can learn from Steve Roggenbuck. There is going to be a part two to this blog in a few days.

“Friday Night Writes” by Shawn King

“Friday Night Writes”

In the last ten months since I have started regularly attending poets hall there have been some really awesome open mics. Last Friday night was featured by local poet Greg Brown. He kicked things off with his own awesome brand of poetry, which I would describe as down to earth and life oriented. He did a series of poems that were tied together with the theme of breathing. I had heard some of these before, and to match my memory they were very strong. His entire set was very strong, but then at the end using some self-deprecating humor he joked about how the following poem might not be very good. It was untitled and the perfect way for him to end his set on a resounding high note. I heard several very good poets boisterously voice their enthusiasm for his reading of the untitled piece as soon as he finished.

Their seems to be this effect at Poets Hall where the open mic fuels the feature to step their game up, but last Friday I think Greg Brown going first flipped the script. He nailed his reading perfectly in my opinion, and we had a full cast of awesome poets to continue the energy into the open mic. Two entertaining acoustic musicians opened the night, and I followed with my long time friend Eric Larson. I have no idea honestly how I read, but it was very awesome to read on stage with my friend playing guitar. I have gone and watched him play probably a hundred times out and about Erie in various bands he has been a part of. Sean Thomas Dougherty was up right after me. This was incredible for me, I had that energy in me that you get right after you read, and then a poet I look up to and literally learned from followed. The rest of the night was crammed full of strong poets. All five of the community poetry laureate nominees as well as Tracie Morell and Bigg Wash read during the open mic. It was an incredible evening, and I highly recommend that anybody who has not attended an evening at the Erie Poets Hall should do so in the near future.

A great opportunity to get out to the hall would be next Friday May 30th.  My partner in crime here at Destination Detour, Josh Romig, is going to be having his second feature at Poets Hall. I will say that  Josh is very entertaining and a very strong writer.  If you have the time you should come check him out next Friday.