Po Boy Views
Tea and Oranges
There is no new poetry, there are only new poets. Excited wild wide eyed innocents and morose mud-stomping posers alike and as if new, continue to splash additional tattoo-like thoughtless art-ink letters (flotsam really), to wash upon the blank bleached skin shores of crushed vegetable pulp. Bayou crab traps. Fishing lures. Beignet crumb clues from mind meanderings, words forming, strung together, or scattered; painting pictures resonating in our mind’s eyes, whose sole purpose is literary terrorism. Once arms are taken up there is no quarter given.
The words are the party line of life making calls to the imaging thesaurus of thoughts, dreams and, crystallized faith fomenting feelings……………. Ideas and beliefs signaled by so many Mississippi River curves and Mid-City angled lines; so many words, so many pictures. Water lines and flooded houses.. Star analogies hung on the Spanish moss oaks of the indigo night sky; the prickly cosmic hitchhiker stickers giving them importance, meaning, value and merit; hung in the endless infinite otherwise ninth ward vacant heavens with the moon shining like pattern baldness on Pete Fountain’s pate. There is no new poetry, there are only new poets, ghetto word soldiers armed with loaded language, sniping bayonet words to be fixed together, reminiscent dots interpretively connected forming the images that reverberate, vibrate, resound, echo, catch fire, explode,. Boom.
Thoughts and feelings; these are heartset street musician guitar strings that have always been a little out of tune, strum them; these are fruits of our backyard banana trees, pluck them anew like emotional fruit, sometimes ripe, sometimes not. We open our minds, accept the call, stringing the feelings and experiences of pasts, presents and futures together. Born in pain and nurtured into comfort with the Abita Amber visions, dancing desires, dreams, fancies and fantasies fed by the tropical winds approaching. One plodding, skipping, racing heartbeat hoof in front of another.
An emotional New Orleans gumbo ya-ya served to our mind-senses is a flavor of what has already been recognized, identified, tasted already digestedly known. Learn that we already know that which is not already known. Learning nothing new, anew, somnambulating second-lining into a greater wake-fullness, wiser than we think, dumber than we look. Newness: the old shirt that we find at the bottom of our awareness laundry pile. Whatever doesn’t register we envision, make up, imagine. Confusions of grandeur.
Reading poetry brings to
Mind, the inebriated gathering
Of river foam, humid September
Nights under the sly Orion
Constellation, wearing SPF 50
Gossamer beer shadow glasses
And burlesque queen lusts.
Louis Armstrong conducting an
Orchestra on the volcanic shores
Of the make-believe Ballroom
Washing your cares away with
Oil spill tones extorting all his
Shoeless children to come dance
Down by the riverside.
Read again and read it again; fathom, digest and envision intrinsic meaning from the words poured forth, spread out and condensed into bite sized form and fashion, tid-bit teasing surprised poultry pausing mid-road to find rhythm or rhyme, dancing beach tar queen, smoky sloe eyed, sandal-footed wordsmith courtesan; beckoning, one step ahead of our stumbling ability to keep up. That crab stepping pirate leaving hints and allegations that whisper “I know and you do not, repeat after me, repeat after me, assess, dissect and leave no more informed than when you took up the task.” Rooftop stranded significance exists only as the meaning was implied and not as you imagined.
Selfish writer expounding Kindness
Compassion charity truth and love.
Cloaked nuances of sex and power
Hide agendas in shadowed rhetoric
Placate me not with false promises.
Come clean villain expose your lies
Serpents swallowing tail’s testimony line
By line X marking the spilled ruby blood
Spots at the foot of the umber innocent’s
Crucifixion turning into self immolation
Disguised as sheaves of sleeping grain
Prestidigitation of the symbolic wordsmith, now you see hidden meanings, now you don’t. The ingredients remain constant, the only constant is the change, the only change has slipped between the cushions of your consciousness and you search for the meanings of poetry as for dimes and pennies to buy another pack of Lucky Strikes. I recall cold comfort from cheerless climes. Mona Lisa smiles, stumbling blocks, stepping stones, the painted sign advertising ‘Undertaker, Gravedigger, Auto Repair’. In the beginning mine eyes saw the glory and now the expressions become another jambalaya served up by pensive Polymnia for Orpheus her son, who reposes in the dirt yard playing with rollypollies. Pray she slakes his mind’s thirst, satisfies his hearts desires, watch his soft lips repeat the food of words meanings: the moon and sauerkraut; for better or for worse and to Hell and back if you really care.
The bard then takes pity with meter and rhyming
Next easing our plight mastering tempo and timing
Our simple mind’s eye comprehends easy relevance
Because truth be told there’s no strain on intelligence
As ditties likewise recited from youthful awareness
Reveal evidence of poetry’s magnanimous fairness.
Grown jaded and graying into ill-tempered maturity
Still savagely take pleasure from youthful obscurity
Words crooned hypnotic while on soft knees seated
Sing song sweet narratives blurred lessons repeated.
And pity the blind fool who performs (when they can)
The arabesque that starts with “there once was a man…”