I understood long ago that selecting one title and writing a series of poems (usually 60-70, sometimes more) worked well for me. I also agree with Paul Valery & his idea that; “a poem is never finished, only abandoned,” This liberating notion inspired me to continue to edit and revise and add to poems I had written decades before.
Take some time to consider the truth of where you really are. Even sitting still we are space travelers around the sun. If the Universe is still the "externization of the soul" as Emerson noted, are we not standing on the precipice of a vast en-starred symbol of an infinite expanse? A living painting of the eternal or an icon of the living heart of God?
The first books of poetry I bought back in 1988 or so were The Lords & The New Creatures by Jim Morrison (Simon & Schuster 1970) and Arthur Rimbaud's Complete Works Translated by Paul Schmidt (Harper & Row 1976) and they were both life altering for me. Both Authors were Transcendental visionaries that had written an astonishing array of poetry in a short period of time before dissapearing completely at a young age. Jim Morrison was so influenced by Arthur Rimbaud that he corresponded directly with Professor Wallace Fowley, who had written a new translation of Rimbaud’s poetry in the late 60’s. Both of these books opened up a new way of experiencing the ordinary world to me and challenged the way I thought poetry should be presented, and both would end up being some of my greatest influences as a Poet and still inform my work to this day. I still have both books here with me, they continue to convey the deep human longing and divine mystery (which is at the heart of the center of any real poetry), and to inspire and to transform again and again what I believe poetry can be.
The Lords and the New Creatures @
Arthur Rimbaud: Complete Works @
Rimbaud and Jim Morrison: The Rebel as Poet @
Poetry and painting are "sister arts" & are meant to compliment one another. Poetry is imagistic & remains the art of suggestion- it should open up endless possibilities of meaning & be resistant to literal or linear interpretation. What matters is how a poem touches the individual heart.
I usually write a collection of poems
under one title. These poems can be edited
and revised and the sequence can always be added
to at a later time. This is important because it means the
poems are living and can evolve as ideas develop about them.
I think it is important to maintain a quality of innocence within the creative process. I remember Jim Morrison said it was a "quality of ignorance or self deception” needed for the Poet to survive. Too much control suffocates the spirit right out of any work of art. -T. Byron Kelly
A continuous, resolute beginning. The recognition of the eternal and the salvation of human dignity. Art remains the recapitulation of the soul.A mode of tangential understanding which heals. The true enemy of art is the illusion of death, the boundary of anxiety which separates men from the divine and keeps the truth caged in our hearts. The greatest gift would be shared affirmation of "otherness". The communion which explodes the illusion of power, secularity and subjugation. Art/Poetry are a means through which the brotherhood of man may be shared. Ultimately there must be a unification of the forms as we come closer to that center that contains the reasons(the mystery). The center is caged in darkness(of the fallacy of death). The true destiny of art is going to be the formation of unity through faith and transcendence-a supreme religion or undogmatized love,the celebration of the one in the all.As N.O. Brown has noticed; "Poetry is true war".// As an active artist, I seek to create a confirmation or faith which goes beyond the boundary of anxiety and separation.I find connectedness through various forms(poetry, painting, music) by insisting on spontaneity. An image that I paint could very well become a chorus in a song. Paying close attention to my dreams and the soft voices inside my imagination, and allowing these to shape within my being's center(an emanation of my heart), this is the affirmation of the symbolic through faith. An invisible loving which manifests itself through patience and is never controlled. The hidden becoming known.My work will always seek an affirmation or communion while creating a liberation of the ordinary. /Neurosis as a grounding upon which the battlements of illusion or madness are constructed. The "cure" of the neurotic fate of mankind is transcendence or faith. The difficulty surrounding critical design begins with literal absolutism. Reality or boundary is the point of panic when the literal is superseded by the symbolic infinite. The danger of literalism is that it is denial of the function of the universe(which relies upon incongruity and change). The divine begins where the safe world is destroyed. Thus the neurotic or the grief and panic associated with this delusion is simply a determined loss. The surrender of the ego to the stars if you will. The formulation of any single creative theory which could be utilized to enhance analysis in a formal sense would be next to impossible(since absolutism,control and power are illusion). It is more correct,then, to stipulate the neurosis or madness as the connecting referent point through which all great art may affirm itself. We may notice the reaching of the artist into the unknown,describe his or her gesture,belief,inspiration;but this is all that may be concurred through the observance. We are curious bystanders at the crossroads of conscious and unconscious thought. Imagination, then, is the child of the dream and the mind. Poetry is a state of Grace./
Graduate Thesis 1995
I am beginning a great process of formatting a very large amount of my poems over a 15 year span-bigger than "Equinox",it has been called *Project End Of Days*; and a bit of verse by Goethe and some Longfellow I came accross seemed just right this afternoon-
"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."
"In broad daylight, yesterday,
I read a Poet's mystic lay;
And it seemed to me at most
As a phantom, or a ghost"
To Bishop Sigrist-
I think Proust's book is more non-linear in many respects, and defies the awkward tradition of the novel, which has the art form kind of stuck in a kind of quick sand for generations now. Part of the appeal of the novel is the incessant need for literalism and Proust's work is more poetic or suggestive I believe. I remember Jim Morrison said "Time is a straight plantation" and this line always struck me somehow as well. Remembrance is a book of memories and this is something we all have in common really in our own minds and hearts, we are carrying it with us all the time actually. I started to write a poetry version of this idea a few years back titled Vandalia, it is a poetic memoir and is about half finished now. I don't think it was something I could have begun at age 25 or 40, it took some years behind it to undertake.