Thursday, July 16, 2015

A philosophy of being (yX)



photo by Les Haines


I take my name for a walk, round the block,
down side streets laced with hip hop beats,
up car lots,
mom & pops, past stock boys @ the grocer,
smoking cigarettes on back docks,
                                     awaiting trucks --
to the gate
where we've partitioned greenspace,

                                       like a garden,
                                       like Eden,
                                       like  zoo cages
                                       we keep animals in
confusing dominion
with oppression, giving submission
a bad taste
     
                    we don't say much,
but mean
                   e v e r y t h i n g

drawing echoes from creation's ring
to Cain & Abel's reckoning ---

I had a dream
once til it became too much to fit my back pocket,
until it outgrew the picture frame
in the flap of my wallet,
                                       too heavy to carry
& everyone had a METRO card
W/ enough credit to ride
til their heart's content

& the contents of my heart were not meant
for the upper crust
                               of this planet,
dig your fingers deeper
into my being and you'll find the ancient
river - much older than you can name

I hold my name
                          in trembling hands,
under the surface of the water,
til my reflection settles
                                     & wait
til the last syllable
                             bubbles up -
because it's just another way
to define me
                
                       keeping only one letter,
                              until it too
                                                     becomes too much.

47 comments:

  1. ego is the death of art - that is true - and it is a thin line between giving ourselves with our whole personality into our art and becoming self-obsessed sometimes - i think the secret is the focus - is it life? is it art? is it us? love all the images in this x.. the dreams becoming too small for the back pocket probably is my fav.. the metro part is very cool as well..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is. I tried grouping the letters in a way they were a bit more noticeable - glad you saw the hidden message. I think the trick is def living life to find art, not living art to find life.

      Delete
  2. The poem is alive in its style directly speaking with the readers...love the hidden yet highlighted letters and that inner flow...

    ReplyDelete
  3. & the contents of my heart were not meant
    for the upper crust
    of this planet,
    dig your fingers deeper
    into my being and you'll find the ancient
    river - much older than you can name

    Wow your poetry is always inspired I love "Ego is the death of art!" I wish I had thought of it

    mindlovemisery

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amazing poem with well crafted words filled with astounding allegories.

    Your word pictures are truly exemplary.

    I had a dream
    once til it became too much to fit my back pocket,
    until it outgrew the picture frame
    in the flap of my wallet,
    too heavy to carry

    Fabulous poem.

    Best wishes

    ReplyDelete
  5. Holy cats, this is incredible!

    Love these sections:

    "we don't say much,
    but mean
    e v e r y t h i n g"

    "& the contents of my heart were not meant
    for the upper crust
    of this planet"

    "dig your fingers deeper
    into my being and you'll find the ancient
    river"

    "I hold my name
    in trembling hands,
    under the surface of the water,
    til my reflection settles" ... Man, this is like one of those torture situations, but you're like torturing yourself until you are finally willing to tell the truth about who you are. I adore this.

    "keeping only one letter,
    until it too
    becomes too much"

    This really touches me. I always come back, but I'll come back extra for this one. And yeah, you're right about ego messing up art. You really gave me a lot to chew on. I love poetry that sends me off with a lot to chew on, perhaps even making me reconsider my life views. Excellent job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the yX in the title ... fitting with your name, "why X" ... but also it's the reverse male chromosome identifier. So you're a man, but you're backwards in some regards. Also, the feminine part of you is twice as powerful as the male. ;) What if you were almost going to be a woman, but then that little bitty "y" popped up and changed things for you? Hee hee. I'm just goofing around with you. But still, you get my wheels turning with the details ...

      Ooh, and I just found the AI. Artificial Intelligence. Nice. Man, I love your work. Write more often!

      Oh wait. With the uppercase X in there, it's really "AXI," or "ax I." Or even "ax eye," because I just have to go crazy with everything I read. Maybe you can't really see anything accurately until you cut out your eyes. You know, faith without sight. That sort of thing.

      Delete
    2. Heh. It was definitely intended for "why X" Kinda like a biography of sorts, you know. I could have been a woman though - the leg hair kinda throws it off though, and shaving my legs would not be pleasant. Neither would an axe to the eye. Ha.

      Delete
    3. LOL. No, that wouldn't be very pleasant. :) I was thinking of it in more of a figurative sense. Hee hee. You're so silly.

      Delete
  6. We say what's in a name? But I guess all is there in a name!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love the title and the significance of holding and carrying the name ~ The ending lines took me away as it reminds me of baptism or beginnings ~ Specially admire the depth of these lines:

    I hold my name
    in trembling hands,
    under the surface of the water,
    til my reflection settles
    & wait
    til the last syllable
    bubbles up -
    because it's just another way
    to define me

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wonderful writing here. esp this:
    "the contents of my heart were not meant
    for the upper crust
    of this planet"
    excellent!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this, the flow, the rhythm. Like a rap song with a hidden message. Always deeper than it appears to be. Way cool piece!! Excellent, indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Genius! Your words sing lyrical beats
    You are a master of language, a flowing with beautiful rhythms
    and meditation.


    Love it! love this poem very much. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like 'drawing echos from creation's ring'.....sold and frugal with literal meanings, it made me think A LOT!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Too small, too big, too much, too caged--and done just right. No death here!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Perhaps ego can be the death of art, yet it can be the sustenance, the salvation, the impetus & fuel as well. Kudos for writing a very strong diatribe against pretension & ambiguity. Your hidden messages were umber-cool. The strength of the piece is that allegorically it makes a statement beyond the scope of you, yet it drips with the molecular/spiritual energy that is you; very impressive.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm always so impressed with the way you write. Your poem is' self-revealing yet also has a message about art, how you feel about it, too big at times if the the ego is allowed to take over. That's true of life. I so enjoy reading your work. It is exceptional.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I like the hidden message. I read it backwards and got Paul is dead, Paul is dead...but seriously though - I love this polemic. Pretension, snobbery, pseudo intellectualism.....all just sliced through this with a sharp katana. The first lines put me in mind of Nawlins, somehow. The last lines blow me away - coupled with: dig your fingers deeper
    into my being and you'll find the ancient
    river - much older than you can name

    I read the last lines then went back and read these again. Incredible. One day when I grow up, I want to try to be as excellent a word smith as you, Master Crafter.

    ReplyDelete
  16. do we go as ego? your pens always make me think - thanks for that ~

    ReplyDelete
  17. Indeed it is. Art should never be supressed or oppressed. It should be free to EXpressed! Love your explanation of your name. It's short and sweet and doesn't take up as much space as a thumbprint, lol! I am not sure about the meaning of the river (of life? - or Styx?) Thanks for the challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  18. very cool piece, X. Love the internal rhyme flow, and the hidden message too! I really like the part about partitioning green space...It would be wonderful if green space could "roam free" like animals that are free and wild, not pacing back and forth behind a fence

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love the rhythmic flow here in this wonderful piece :D
    Excellent write :D

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    ReplyDelete
  20. I thought this poem well written and filled with rich imagery and thoughts. However I find it hard to believe that 'ego is the death of art.' Art by it's very nature is ego-centric. A piece of art, or even a body of art that is produced by an artist is that particular view the artist has of the world. If not then all art would merely repeat itself and all be the same. But as I said I applaude the poem for your point of view. >KB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the meta-sense I hear you. Art is given from the artists perspective andc omes from somewhere internally. The ego I think that kills the art is that of the artist. When they start to see them as separate or above the viewer. Or that they have a greater value. To make any art is to be open to interpretation as well and what you intended may not be what is seen or taken away from the art. I can try to contain it, but then it is not art it is proselytizing.

      Delete
  21. dig your fingers deeper
    into my being and you'll find the ancient
    river - much older than you can name

    My brain is not fully functional(along with a few other parts) but I do want to say this sings like a freaking nightingale, or maybe a death metal chick-singer--with all the stress and beauty that haunt the human condition. I'm left staring down at the water, watching myself dissolve one letter at a time.

    ReplyDelete
  22. those last few lines was a splendid ended... there is so much in a name

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hey X, Here's my email: sonic3237@hotmail.com


    Write to me today if you get a chance. :)

    ~Charlie Zero

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your last line is hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  25. To find the name within that has no word no letter no thought..
    To live the name within that lives eternal without past without
    future.. eternally now.. to be or not to be.. a stupid question..
    for an animal with life.. to live or not to live. a sad equation..
    for an animal who forgets to live.. to embrace life with all
    emotions.. senses integrated in site.. to be now is life
    is love is light..:)

    A gift for you;
    your friend F or
    6 AND
    now..:)
    once upon a time
    007 visits me..
    now 006 visits
    you.. now..:)

    No sweat.. no fear..
    the mysteries
    of life are safe
    with
    me.. now..;)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow. This poem has such depth and self-awareness. A bit sad the dream getting too heavy for your back pocket..........hard to keep dreams from getting unwieldy sometimes. LOVE digging your fingers deeper to find the ancient river. LOVE this poem, kiddo. Keep stringing those letters together - you have a gift.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love your use of the hidden message, which is so true. Ego and pride are the death of many things, not just art, but selflessness and humility, love and grace, are all sacrificed to ego if we cling to it. And that the poem as a whole supports that hidden message and how it relates to you. Very nice take on a philosophy of being. Peace, Linda

    ReplyDelete
  28. All surrounding with years become so symbolic! We need just one letter to recall a few stories. and share them,...and keep a heart open for others' people stories...

    ReplyDelete
  29. Very impressive in style and voice. So many great lines... love the 'hidden' message.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wow. Wonderful. And yes, the hidden message is truth. Thank you for this.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Taking yourself for a walk can be very reflective..where have I come from where have I been and where will I walk to next in the journey. Some dreams are too big for us to carry and some are too small to grow..We need to find space in our hearts to carry the load we were meant to carry. And I would dig my fingers deep into ancient rivers for there I would learn much..get the riverbed earth on my hands..underneath my nails..become the river for in the river there is a sense of healing for me..Your words are stronger and I can feel you are embarking on a quest..a higher revelation will soon appear. You are taking a journey into your inner self..leave doors open so you might see, taste and feel everything that is awaiting you...truth is within you...embrace it my friend...you have a voice that needs to be heard. When the artist becomes larger than his art..he has lost his vision..just my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Nothing much I can add to what has been said.... so, sigh, I will just say we are each defined one letter at a time & by the reflections we leave as we pass down this path called life!

    ReplyDelete
  33. What I like best about your poem is the image of frailty and vulnerability at the end. I also think many of us have these dreams that have grown too big for these small pockets.

    ReplyDelete
  34. You have a great way of passing messages, obscure or hidden between your lines. A reflection on life and dreams, very delightful read indeed. Well done. Greetings!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Another poem that deserves to be read a few times, masticated thoroughly, swallowed and digested. Each time I read it, I received a different gift, but the one that will hang with me:
    I had a dream
    once til it became too much to fit my back pocket,
    until it outgrew the picture frame
    in the flap of my wallet,
    too heavy to carry

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hey X--a very cool sort of hip-hop feel here and wonderful leaps and play--that you graciously carry us along on--as I get older my name feels less and less real--but so does everything! Thanks. k.

    ReplyDelete
  37. One letter to be defined you say? Have to keep adding letters at my bay, may take a good long while and they may stretch a mile lol

    ReplyDelete
  38. The problem with coming late to a poem like yours is that everything I wanted to say has already been said about it... but it also feels to me almost like 2 poems. The first part is street art, a walk through a modern cityscape, coping with jostling and constraint, crowds and loud beats. The second part then runs deeper, more quietly, like a hidden river.

    ReplyDelete
  39. So much conviction in your words. I love this.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Identity and ego are not easy bedfellows. The one often merges into the other. However minimal evidence of one, except by poetic threads, can keep the ego a mere ghostly smear in the mirror. A delightful read.

    ReplyDelete
  41. i know I left a comment, conviction is everything you are in pocket or out X marks the spot, hey X I'm back on Mondays, Wednesday and Friday I guess I just can't live without my Xs pun indented :) catch up eventually truly.L

    ReplyDelete