Although I have been tacky about my blog presence, I write a lot. And although I write less than every day, I spend days upon days, hours pressed next to hours swimming and sometimes drowning in the world of words and meaning. Because I am multi-genre writer, and also because I see all art as political- that is every work of art supports or reinforces the status quo or questions, opposes, seeks to disrupt or destroy the status quo, and/or suggests alternative directions and positions towards the status quo- I find myself from time to time not just writing but considering what I should be writing.
I don’t consider why I write; it is somehow connected to the at of breath and the idea of finding a certain joy in the clarity words can bring or even in the confusion they can elicit. I write as an act of love. But I do consider the direction of my foci. What are my imperatives? Certainly some come from my continual reaching towards more precision in my craft that is not attained by bowing to the agreed ideals of what is a good poetic line or who are the best poets, (meaning I don’t aspire to write like Emily Dickinson or Rita Dove although I have found music and lessons in each) But form to me (“Content is ancillary to form” says Pfiester, but I often disagree) is a small part of my internal dialogue. For me the continual questions is what is important to be said in these times, in this place, with the current human condition, with the current global malaise. What does my heart need to say that is strictly personal and possibly very quiet? What do I need to scream? What should I be investigating? The form it should take emerges organically as poem, story, essay. All of that to say I write, and muse, occasionally amuse, myself if no one else, far, far more often than I blog here (or anywhere else) and somewhat less often I get a chance to share some of the result of the writing that emerges from those meditations in performance.
Recently I was a part of Say No to Torture (http://www.wesaynototorture.net/ More on that later. Waiting for some Youtube to link you to- you, the unknown you who are dipping in to see if I have anything to new say.) I also just read with the Revolutionary Poets Brigade in an a Pakistani Poetry celebration where we read poems from Pakistani poets as well as our own poetry and ate wonderful samosas. And those of us who were not ascetics or teetotalers drank wine. I love the opportunity to share and with the audience two dynamic feminist poets out of Pakistan Attiya Dawood http://www.attiyadawood.com/arti11.html and Kishwar Naheed http://www.poetrytranslation.org/poets/Kishwar_Naheed (How can one resist a poet who titles a poem “We Sinful Wmen”).
But here I am with some new readings where not only me but other skilled poetic voices are also grappling with what needs to be said in these times and what is the best, read most effective, read most skillful way to say it.
This Sunday October 24 at 3:30 PM I am one of the featured readers in Avotcja’s ongoing series Now relocated to the The Other Change of Hobbit Bookstore (how could I resist reading in a sci fi/fantasy bookstore. I’m considering reading one of my short stories from my recently completed sci fi short story collection. I have to time it out. I try to never hog the stage. So, we’ll see. THE MUSIC OF THE WORD (LA PALABRA MUSICAL) 3:30PM Sunday featuring me and MUTEADO & MARK G (of Tres Santos) & you on the Open Mic= Vengan todos & tell everyone to tell everyone!
Another exciting up coming reading is “A Post Election Campaign- Poetry You Can Believe in” on Wednesday November 3 7PM at the I-Hotel 878 Kearny. The reading will feature the Kundiman poets (poets from an Asian poetry retreat collective) Buchanan Anhvu, Carolyn Ha, Jai Arun, Jennifer Kasagawa, Debbie Yee, along with an African-American contingent including Arisa White, Kevin Simmonds http://kevinsimmonds.com/ (event organizer- check out his Orient project which looks at Afro-Asian crossings and crossroads http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1982103950/orient-a-new-anthropology... ) and me.
Please come, to one event, come to both.
And I’ll be back at this blog spot soon- really, really I will...