A Manifesto…an Explanation…a Warning…

This is a platform to present my poetry, though I hesitate to use the term. I don’t like or read much poetry, or understand it for that matter, all of which will become evident if you read any of this stuff. When it comes to art (and I use the term advisedly) people tend to want explanations. So here goes.

I think of my poetry as a lyrical free associative stream of consciousness synthesis of hip hop jazz riffs assembled using snippets of ideas and emotion colliding with yearning and skewed perceptions. It might help if you think of it as linguistic collage, one part poetry, one part science, two parts private neuroses, add a dash of natural history, shake well and serve. If poetry were radio this would be an alternative station.

My poetry is an attempt to analyze the nature of reality – the physical dimension, spirituality amid the realm of the senses, a concept of self, mind vis-à-vis body, mankind’s predicament, how we love, why we hate, where we’re going, and what it all means.

I have no answers, only personal observations, conjecture, speculation and interpretation. It’s what I feel and think about what I see and experience. I complain, I warn, I celebrate. I cry out and sing out, moan with pleasure and with pain. Sometimes I grab you by the lapels, get in your face and demand that you see! Or I tease and obfuscate to puzzle and perplex you, hoping you’ll be intrigued enough to look further (and see farther).

A particular poem expresses what I’ve felt at one time or another, but not what I feel all the time. I don’t feel inspired by flowers, clouds, puppies and weddings. I am moved by suffering, redemption, injustice, indifference, intolerance, fear, cruelty, insight and human contradictions and resilience. You know, the fun stuff.

Some of my poetry is a technical exercise in structure vs. organic content, by which I mean joy or pain, or whatever we as thinking meat may be feeling. I have been urged to focus more on the bright side of life. At first I felt frustrated by the assertion that a poem can’t reach people if it’s all darkness with no light. I disagree. That’s like telling a visual artist who chooses to work in black and white that he needs to use more colors. I think different people respond to different kinds of art in different ways at different times. Sometimes you want to dance. Sometimes a sad song is exactly right for the moment.

So I’ll stick to what I do the way I do it. Because I’m beginning to suspect that reading these poems can actually engender an involuntary physical reaction by the reader, not dissimilar to what one might experience after exposure to toxic waste or radiation. Or a warm embrace. The more I write, the more I begin to suspect that ingesting these poems (and what is reading but eating a writer’s thoughts, a form of intellectual cannibalism) can literally alter brain wave patterns.

Given that, I hesitated before deciding to share any of this. After all, most poetry comes from a dark and private place, an intersection of purpose and failure, aspiration and temptation. But ultimately, all art is a plea for understanding from the artist who, in one way or another, is asking, Can you not see this is how things are?

Of course, I realize that foisting (inflicting?) one’s private neuroses onto an unsuspecting public invites criticism if not outright censure. So be it. At least in this case you’ve been warned.

  1. hjakajohnleake says:

    Poet13’s question nods at the navel hilarious dude says, this stuff’s as bad as Haiti or as good, what haunts the known inhabits the unknown in vice of verses.


    • bwilkinson says:

      But for consciousness, would it matter? By the way, who the hell turned on the light?



      • I still don’t see a thing, feel some heat, i thought you were by.
        a parsley sprig takes light to grow
        nuclear spring ruined the meadow
        lots of people got the wrong idea
        looked in a sink and saw a sea
        took to the hills and climbed a tree
        found the thought was America


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