Thursday, July 20, 2006

Terese Coe, Don Kimball, and Dreaming On

I went to the Powow poetry reading last night. Don Kimball and Terese Coe were the readers. Both were excellent, although Mr. Kimball was more my cup of coffee. His opening poem was a downright scary psycho-dramatic monologue. Filled with horror story. Scarily good. But most of his poems were much different in content than that one. But as good, if not better. A poem about his brother who drowned forty years ago. One about his 91 year old mother who has begun to fall. A poem about his father. Being a retired family therapist, his poems are often filled with the story of family and people. Even his nature poems are very human. No Robinson Jeffers he.

I’m probably the opposite, especially in this latest series of poems, which are conscious efforts to leave the stories behind while talking about the idea of story. Even the form is rational. In an attempt to transcend the rational. Three feet per line. Three lines per stanza. Three stanzas per poem. I’m still playing with the ultimate presentation for manuscript. But I’m leaning towards this. It will continue onwards with the three. Three poems per chapter. Three chapters per section. Three sections per part. Three parts for the book. For a total of 81 cantos. I’ll keep the numbers accorded to them chronologically, but the placement in the book will differ. And there will be some revisions to the poems themselves, although that will be minimal. Too much would undermine the now. And that’s the plan as of now.

And so are the benefits of attending poetry readings. Not only does one get a chance to listen to different points of poetic views. And appreciate them. Including the open reading at the end (which I did not participate in). But one gets to participate in an internal dialectic later on. Good stuff.
The Dreaming Cantos 32


Fathom not the peaks
of someone’s point of view,
unless it’s really yours—

and then you know it’s never
true. Such depths don’t lie
within our own life’s story.

At best, truth is sensation,
sound. The instant voiced,
it tenders higher ground.

~Son Rivers 2006

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