Where you can find my thoughts & poems…
Poet Writer Albany NY
Where you can find my thoughts & poems…
And Thus Summon
All Gods … And Words
Obsolete (They Return)
Creation. Soul. Dimension. Time.
AWAKEN “The Dead”
Sound~ECHO Of Crashing Waves Entities
Dying Against All Flesh Bleeding, Bled
As the Smoke Of Her Cigarettes, Her Smell
& The Image Of Her Body All Still Linger,
Like A Poem, Perfume Instilled
Unto That One Perfect Dream
Soar In & Thru
Eternity, A Song
Of Beauty Beneath & Hidden
To Wish To Pray
To Become & Believe
In Some Vacant Thought
R.M. ENGELHARDT 2011
Friday, June 25th, 2010~
Reviewed By Lynn Alexander * Full Of Crow
“Versus”, R.M. Engelhardt
Past their limits
R.M. Engelhardt acknowledges that there is a difference between the passive participant and those who live a passion-driven life, but can often be seen in “Versus” wondering if there is a difference in the end. Passion clearly perpetuates the creative imperative, manifest in poets like Engelhardt as non-negotiable, but to what end? There comes a time in the life of the poet where this question has to be dealt with. It is one thing to accept the terms of “the muse”. It is another to toil in the direction of some outcome, some goal. What, beyond that yielding and succumbing, is the poet desirous of? Fame, significance, appreciation, relevance?
The poet succumbs because he or she must, but it doesn’t end there. The poet is driven to more just as the living are driven to interact in this world beyond survival. We do more than eat and breed and sleep, there is something that pushes us. But why?
In the years that I have been aware of Engelhardt’s work, it is this willingness to examine these concerns head on and in a surprisingly candid manner that I think captures my interest the most in his work, which often gets into the problematic terrain of ego, and the ways that we relate to one another through not only our life’s work but through love and community. He states rather directly in “Versus” that poetry is dead, he comments on the state of popular culture and asks the obvious questions about the poet’s role in it. Why bother, and why persist?
Persistence, I think, is the theme in Engelhardt’s work that prompts people to characterize him as “romantic” as many of the poems convey a sense of pining, portraying people desirous not only of love but of transcendent relationships. “She believes in something unseen”, (8, “Perhaps”) “I’m just sick of passing romances”. (“In Cleopatra’s Eyes”, 9)
In ‘Versus”, we see that relationship between the speakers and both issues: wanting to do more than write, wanting to do have more than a date on a Saturday night. (“toys”, 6, “More than just another dance”, 2) This idea of wanting more, wanting to believe in and have faith in that but at the same time considering one’s observations and wanting to be rational.
Persistence then is challenged by cynicism, both inner and external:
“The time for poets has passed”
“And someone once told me that honest people don’t exist anymore in the 21st century”
“And someone once told me ‘That love…is dead.”
Do we persist, press on anyway? In “Naïve”, Engelhardt describes the urge to avoid the trainwreck. In “Truth” we see people opening boxes, digging through metaphorical “boxes” of expectations mingled with mythology. What happens when people confront truth? Some thrive, some perish, some vanish immediately in the sight of their realizations. This brings us back, again and again, to the questions in “Versus”. What are we after? And can we get there?
‘We all grow older/Still trying to find our way/Like children” (“Any Day Now”, 11)
Many poets grapple with a maturing phase not unlike the point around mid-life when one begins to really take stock about where to put energy, what to be concerned with and what to let go of. Some describe it much like finding their way, having gone through what some describe as a period similar to the honeymoon phase of a relationship. There are burdens in the poet’s world, choices about resources and time and energy and in the beginning there can be a sense of eventual payoff that in later years we learn can be quite elusive. There’s no denying that Engelhardt has love for the craft, but he pushes us to consider what that means, and to perhaps distinguish between the love of writing and the expectations. In some instances, the object of love can be easily interchangeable with “the muse” as both are subjects in these poems of that transcendent longing. The love that leaves for the man who promises everything, the “angel” who vanishes, the losses are connected: the poet wants to believe in more, wants to have faith in more, but life can be a series of losses, followed by grief.
Engelhardt closes “Versus” with a shout-out to those who persist, who don’t give up, who keep searching and don’t give in, who stay true to the realm of dreams.
In celebration of National Poetry Month, Albany Poets is proud to
present the 2011 Albany Word Fest featuring the poetry,
spoken word, and music of upstate New York. This year’s event will
take place on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at The Linda
(339 Central Ave., Albany).
This year’s event is the 10th anniversary of the Albany Word Fest and with
that in mind, Albany Poets is promising big things.
Thom Francis, Albany Poets President, says, “When we started
this event ten years ago on a Saturday afternoon in Thatcher Park,
we never thought it would become one of the biggest ‘mark-your-
calendar’ events of each and every year. We are very proud of
how we have been able to continue hosting one of the biggest
poetry open mics in upstate New York for ten years.”
The 2011 Albany Word Fest will kick-off with the 12-Hour Open
Mic at 7:00AM at The Linda. Albany Poets Vice President
Mary Panza says, “After the success of the last two 12-hour open
mics, we have decided to do it again, but this time, during the day.
This will give poets a better opportunity to share their work and
also give the audience more time to appreciate the talent in the
poetry and spoken word community.” This open mic for poetry and
spoken word will be held from 7:00AM – 7:00PM.
Poets who wish to participate in the open mic can sign up online
by going to the Albany Word Fest website, www.albanywordfest.com
until 5:00pm on Friday, April 15. Performers will also have a limited
opportunity to sign up at the event itself. Each poet will have 10 -15
minutes to share their work. The open mic is open to all poets and
spoken word artists with no style or content restrictions.
After the Open Mic, starting at 7:00PM, the 2011 Albany Word Fest
brings the annual Psycho Cluster F*#k to the The
Linda featuring poetry, music and spoken word from upstate New
York artists David Fey, Olivia Quillio, Avery, Daniel Nester,
Poetyc Vyzyonz, Mother Judge’s Open Mic Showcase, Metroland’s
Best Poets of 2011: Mary Panza, R.M. Engelhardt, and KC Orcutt,
and much more.
Admission for this event is $10.00. Tickets will be available for purchase on
The Linda’s website and at the door on the day of the event. This event is
open to all ages ( 21+ with a picture ID required to drink).
The 2011 Albany Word Fest is sponsored by Albany Poets, McGeary’s,
The Linda, and the very generous donations of supporters of the arts
in upstate New York.
A TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
DIRGE FOR AMERICA
Another dead song for a dead man
A dead art in no man’s land.
For Being REAL
As they stop the world,Judge and destroyall that which theycannot make
FOR WE THE PEOPLE BELIEVE IN …
Anarchy Archery Douche-Beggary38 Flavors & Fifty Stars Officially
And nothing more.
For to say the least it’s yourApathy Banality AbsolutelyAn Analogy, Abruptly. America SoBlow MeFrom Sea to Shining Sea &Lovingly Bitterly Swallow Me
Or ? You can Literally Be, Continue In The Middle OrSee-Dream OfVespucci, Liberty With SymmetrySynchronicity or Being
So Are We Truly Free?
Re-discovered or The Undiscovered CountryLand Of The BraveThat Has Never Truly Ever Seen
So America I ask you beg you Please;
Tax Me Take Me Fuck Me Love Me And Then Silently Leave Me
In The Dark.
But Please,Don’t Use Me, Tread On MeAbuse Me or Ever Break My Heart
For NowLady Liberty is walking the streets & Looking To Make A Buck, & Is Saying “Heeeeeeeyyyy Chhhhiiiinnnna”
How Are You?
While, like an angry lover, Jealous, she watches your
And Domestically, MajesticallyAnd Carefully
She says ever so softly; PAY UP.
Democrat Republican Soccer Mom White or BlackWelcome to the Homeland The Tea Party & The Land Of The Numb
WHERE WE THE PEOPLE, ONCE BELIEVED
In This, This World
And Not Merely
The Dead Sound, Dull Thud Of It,As It’s Soul Is Bleeding Out.
(Don’t Tread On Me)
R.M. ENGELHARDT 2011