Life, poetry in general is about experience and language. How you present this rare magic is key. The writer or poet is not an expert. It’s how you present it. In other words? Each God is a God and each man is a man or for that matter woman. A line is a line and beauty is beauty. Tragedy is tragedy and you own both. There are no workshops or religions that can ever teach you to be you or how to live or write. You must find these words by yourself and then put them down on paper or find your own way, your own path in the dark.
Poetry in any language old or new is the voice us all. A reflection of humanity. Even perhaps a note, a prayer, a mantra or a sign to future generations telling them tomorrow holds what today has lost. Through these voices find yourself.
And, of course, that is what all of this is – all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs – that song, endlesly reincarnated – born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket ’88’, that Buick 6 – same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness.
A shaman and a writer each serve as their communities’ seers by engaging in extraordinary acts of conscientious study of the past and the present and predicting the future. An inner voice calls to the shaman and an essayistic writer to answer the call that vexes the pernicious spirit of their times. Shamanistic writers induce a trance state of mind where they lose contact with physical reality through a rational disordering of the senses, in an effort to encounter for the umpteenth time the great unknown and the unutterable truths that structure existence. An afflicted person seeking clarification of existence cannot ignore the shamanistic calling of narrative exposition. Thus, I shall continue this longwinded howl – making a personal immortality vessel – into the darkness of night forevermore.
“Being a poet isn’t something you are or choose. It’s something that happens to you at irregular intervals and with no guarantee it will happen again. You can disregard it when it does happen but you can’t turn it on. All you can do is wait.”