The Wordcore poetry reading went well the other night and the project seems to be picking up some steam. The poets were great, the poetry diverse. I was even satisfied with the turnout, which wasn’t huge…. but for a poetry reading on a Wednesday night in Lakeland, it was good.
For the sake of anyone reading this who isn’t from around here, let me digress. Lakeland has always been simply known as that city between Tampa and Orlando, and it has been long accepted by the locals that if you want real culture that you must make the drive to one of the surrounding cities. In the last few years though our little city has slowly began coming into its own, particularly via the music scene. The sleepy downtown is starting to wake up with more places to hang out and more venues which in turn is leading to a million and one bands coming out of the woodworks. The local art scene is starting to thrive, but of course I as a writer sit back and watch literature once again being left behind. That was one of the primary motivations for starting this whole Wordcore thing from the start. It hasn’t been easy, club owners aren’t exactly eager to book poetry, and it’s really sad a mainstream chain bookstore gave us a home when homegrown local establishments (who will remain nameless) refuse to show any support for a local poetics movement.
But now with the word spreading and poets and poetry fans coming out, and this thing only getting bigger it only goes to support what I knew all along. There is a scene here for literary art, people want it, they are hungry for it, and that message will be sent to the local anti-poetic establishment of Lakeland.
Happy 4th everyone! In a few hours the sky will be ablaze with fireworks, and I will be in here with beer in hand and the shades drawn. Outside will be a potpourri of sound, thunder of explosives, people hooting and hollering, police sirens and general mayhem.
Then eventually the smoke will dissipate, I’ll be out of beer and we’ll all go to bed feeling empty and getting ready of the belated work week to begin. Empty because the ideals we just finished celebrating are but a dreamy utopia so far from where we are as a country right now, but that’s a conversation for another day.
Truth is I love this holiday for the same reason I love all the other holidays, it’s a day off work.
Cloes to getting to bed to head out of town tomorrow for a little relief from the machine around me. I just wanted to remind everyone to check out the new issue of the online zine Underground Voices. I have one poem featured, “Corner of Cadiz And Menendez”, which is ironically the location of the motel I am heading to in a few hours.
All rambling and bitching aside, life is good!
Thurday night and my weekend has begun. Five days of beer and loafing!
Saturday we’re heading out to St Augustine, a short three hour drive from here for a little weekend getaway. The city, for whatever unknown reason has become a santuary of sorts, it’s too easy to fall off of the tourist track and wander around dark cobblestone alleys at night, or sit on the balcony of our favorite little motel on the corner of Cadiz and Menendez scribbling in a notebook and watching the sun rise over Matanzas Bay. The supposed most haunted city in the U.S. is a city most definitely haunted by ghosts of memory. All the history… all the clashes between Seminole, Spaniard and British….. and now my psychic residue imprinted there for all time for anyone with a curious mind to see.
Wordcore is coming, less than two weeks.
I’m off to kick start this weekend.
This is the worst feeling in the world. You’re day is going well, it’s 11:00 in the morning on a Friday, three hours to go until you clock out and start you’re weekend, your first two day weekend in a long while. Three hours until you swipe that time card and go home to grab that first Corona. Only three hours till freedom and the boss man says you have to work tomorrow. Of course, mandatory overtime is bullshit, you know it, they know you know it…. they can’t make you work, but they can make you wish you had of. So like a mindless sheep you think of the grief, you think of the obligation, and you also think about all the fat overtime pay to pay all those fat overdue bills. You swallow your pride and tell them that you’ll be there…. and you will be there, sick and tired from staying up to late drinking beer and blogging.
You clock out but your day does not get any better.
You have a paycheck in your pocket but it’s already spent.
The wife is mad at you for working the next day, it seems you get grief no matter which way you crumble.
Lucky for me there is good beer and a pack of smokes at my side, good thing I have this blog that someone, anyone may read. Good thing for magazine editors that find some sort of value in my meandering…. waiting for me at home was an email from the editor of Trespass Magazine accepting two of my poems for the upcoming issue.
Another weekend down the proverbial drain, but at least someone is out there reading, and understanding exactly what the hell I’m trying to say.
It’s Saturday night in Polk County Florida, drinking, loafing and drinking beer. Lakeland is the backdrop, beer is a constant, but the loafing is not near enough….. but it is Saturday, and I am actually off work, and now I am loafing, on this blog with nothing much to say.
I’ve drank a few, done a little writing, and now sitting around thinking about poetry, or more precisely, poetry as survival tool.
I can’t compete with capitalism, or the way life is (which is capitalism), I can’t compete with the hardships, I can’t even compete with the poetry elite, but I can survive, with a pen in my hand or a keyboard in front of me, and I don’t even understand why this does the trick… to sit here and ramble on about nothing makes the world stop and all the worries go away. I can sit down and labor over a few lines, and money troubles stop, politics stop, my life stops and there is nothing but the words. I don’t have money and I don’t have success, but I have dreams in my pocket and poems in my heart.
It’s Saturday night, and the whole world has stopped.
Well, my fifty-one verse poem ‘When Dawn Comes Wish Me Forgotten’ is up in the new issue of Dispatch Litareview.
I’ve been sitting on this poem awhile now, waiting for the right moment to release it. For many reasons it is an important piece to me and now I send it off into the world like a nervous parent sending their child off to its first day of school.
I was always adamant that it be a chapbook. Once I made a few copies (literally), but soon realized I didn’t have the money or the resources to do a chapbbok release the correct way, the way I felt this poem deserved.
Last March I debuted the poem at my first spoken word show, and even though hardly anyone was there, it felt good. It was the dictionary definition of catharsis.
So thus far, this poem has been a secret joy of mine, a personal one. Now it’s out there for better for worse, and I hope you are kind.
I’m not the same person that wrote that anymore, but it is where I come from, and I do not believe I could be more honest if I tried.