The host of The Troy Poetry Mission R.M. Engelhardt let’s his views & thoughts be known on the recent false accusations against the Nation magazine and a young but well meaning poet who simply wrote a poem in regards to the plight of homelessness in America.
Writing and poetry is all about characters, narrative and advocating for the rights & beliefs of all, not just some writers and the meaning of 21st century poetry started a very long time ago which has apparently become “lost in translation” to many journalists and magazines riding the wave of popularity. Poetry has never died. Never will.
In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times.”
— Bertolt Brecht
R.M. Engelhardt‘s new book The Bones of Our Existence, A Journal 2046 will be revealed March 15, 2016 online and is “an entirely new concept in regards to the way the book is to be released as well as to be presented.”
This book will be absolutely free to the public and is one man’s journal of poems set in the aftermath of the post-apocalyptic future of 2046 written by an unknown survivor who in the forms of prose and poetry looks back and reflects upon his life, loves and battles (within and without) over the last some 40 years.
The book is part science fiction, part humanity and even part Thoreau, but mostly it is the memoir of a man, who like the future we all thought would get better, has lost his way but who still believes that the words, our souls and our voices, poetry still … and will always matter.
It’s another Monday morning. I shower, drink my coffee and get dressed for work. In the background my wife is playing classical music on the radio when suddenly from the kitchen I hear the words. “He’s dead” she says … He’s dead. With the lilt of her voice as knowing shock. I walk into the bedroom and hear the song, one of my all time favorites, Is There Life On Mars playing while the news anchor tells me that one of my heroes, one of my favorite rock stars David Bowie is dead at the age of 69 from cancer.
Like most people my first response is disbelief. How is this possible? Cancer? Ironically, I walk outside and have a smoke. Look on my phone to confirm the truth as if it was all a mistake.
But David Bowie is gone. He’s dead. The man who sold the world. The icon whose music reached me and that left a lasting effect on me musically and artistically as a writer and as a definition of my time and generation. His lyrics defined my teenage years as the quiet, somewhat quirky kid with glasses who stuck to himself. The kid who liked writing poems and song verses that no one knew of. That kid with the shaded lenses who wanted to secretly wanted to be a rock star himself who instead wound up a poet. Sure, over the years as time went by there were other influences (Bukowski, Morrison and even Rimbaud to name a few). But there was no one as creative or as talented or even as brave as Bowie who was never afraid of what other people thought or to take chances. To find new ways of expression or to change his style or appearance. Bowie was the man who made me believe that if you want to be whoever or whatever you want, to really be who you are that you can become it. His lyrics were poetry and reached me. Especially the song “Heroes”.
So thanks David. For the music, the words and the style. For being a part of my imagination and of course, for proving to us all that we can be heroes.