Tuesday, August 09, 2011



This is my first time reading CA Conrad and I am honestly lost. This is of course, not a bad thing. Whenever I'm lost, I get this feeling that is a combination of despair and hope. A mash of panic and excitement. I used to believe that when I read a poem, I need to be able to understand it. To make it comprehensible so that it's worth something. But now, not anymore. I'll read a poem, any random ones that are kind enough to find me, and just immerse myself in it.

This is what I am experiencing as I read his poem. I have no idea what it is about. I have no idea what it's supposed to mean. If there is a wisdom to it. What I know is that I love it. Now, Blogger can't seem to retain the original appearance of the poem so I'll just include the first part of it i.e. Confetti Allegiance. This is the (Soma)tic Poetry Exercise that comes before the actual product/poem "Love Letter to Jim Brodey" (Click on the poem to read what he wrote after his (Soma)tic poetry exercise)

Is there a deceased poet who was alive in your lifetime but you never met, and you wish you had met? A poet you would LOVE to correspond with, but it's too late? Take notes about this missed opportunity. What is your favorite poem by this poet? Write it on unlined paper by hand (no typing). If we were gods we wouldn't need to invent beautiful poems, and that's why our lives are more interesting, and that's why the gods are always meddling in our affairs out of boredom. It's like the fascination the rich have with the poor, as Alice Notley says, "the poor are more interesting than others, almost uniformly." This poem was written by a human poet, and we humans love our poets, if we have any sense. Does something strike flint in you from the process of engaging your body to write this poem you know and love? Notes, notes, take notes.

The poet for me in doing this exercise is Jim Brodey and his poem "Little Light," which he wrote in the bathtub while listening to the music of Eric Dolphy, masturbating in the middle of the poem, "while the soot-tinted noise of too-full streets echoes / and I pick up the quietly diminishing soap & do / myself again." Take your handwritten version of the poem and cut it into tiny confetti. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and toss the confetti poem in. Add garlic, onion, parsnip, whatever you want, pepper it, salt it, serve it over noodles or rice. Eat the delicious poem with a nice glass of red wine, pausing to read it out loud and toast the poet, "MANY APOLOGIES FOR NOT TOASTING YOU WHEN YOU WERE ALIVE!" Take notes while slowly chewing the poem. Chew slowly so your saliva breaks the poem down before it slides into your belly to feed your blood and cells of your body. Gather your notes, write your poem.

Don't ask me what (Soma)tic Poetry Exercise is. I am still trying to understand it myself. The best I can do is to point you to certain links that might help you love this bigger than life poet more and more. I know I do :)

0 poetic mutterings: