Tuesday, May 12, 2009

428. Poem "The Living and Standing Dead" I Had Wanted to Write for a Long Time

"The Standing Dead." Photograph of dead Jeffrey Pine (Ponderosa Pine?) taken when hiking past the ski hut, on the way up to Mount Baldy, San Gabriel Mountains, with my father Richard and my aunt Jean in the summer of 2006. Can eventually be overlaid as "vispo" to go along with the poem below. Now I have to find some zombie-suit-and-tie-people-in-the-city for a "Living Dead" photograph!

The Living and Standing Dead
(incomplete, but a start)

There was a dimcity of the Living Dead,
Lurking in a sphere in a doomful dread,
Stooped, stoic stones faced black and white,
Draped in veneers, lustered suit and tie.

If you're telling me this is the Peak's Peak
Of Civilization's grandeur Ferris Wheel,
If you're telling me, then I will just shriek--
We'll run back-n-hide in the jungle of fields.

Whatever is left of those jungles of fields.

There was a glumforest of the Standing Dead
Made by the sum of the Hands without Heads.
Too many straws sucked the ground to a drought,
Burning to the beetles' once voracious bouts.

If you're telling me this is the Peak's Peak
Of civilization's landscaped Ferris Wheel,
If you're telling me, then I will just shriek--
We're running to the Nothing left of jungled fields.

The Nothing is what's left of those jungled fields.

I wrote this poem in a Motel 6 the morning of returning to the chaos of "southern California." The chaos in my head dramatically increased because I had been relatively isolated and car-camping for about a week around the San Luis Obispo area. The second line of chaos was my encounter and attempted photography of the Santa Barbara Jesusita fire.... and the chaos keeps piling on from there.... It's funny how I can tip in from one line of chaos to another line... from being too alone and isolated... and then venturing into the realm of being surrounded by too many people.

The point of the story is that the writer was suffering from being in a "dimcity of Living Dead" and then she and her friends tried to run out to the "jungle of the fields" and that is where they found the "glumforest of the Standing Dead" and now the poet has no where left to run to... to find any state of "peace."

Another short thought. Yesterday I met up with Shannon Switzer in Costa Mesa. It was really relieving to see her actually. I haven't seen anyone in the Woven Atom group for a while. I admire Shannon so much because she has this impeccable personality (in terms of a kind, intelligent, sensitive, loveable personality that everyone would glue to like super-power magnets), a big vision (in terms of a career in science and art, National Geographic, science and society), and VERY good networking-go-get-'em skills. She has already proven that to me--Shannon has evolved greatly in a few short months of intern stints in Santa Barbara. So, I am relieved to see her because it's like "here are two girls with really big visions in their heads and no one to gripe to and vent and no one to share the journey with... and then finally you have someone who's going the same direction and you just play off each other's moves and we BOTH end up going somewhere. Eh?" Not a bad deal. Thinking Big can be a lonely journey, especially because most people don't think big--or they thought big and instead they settled with a family and a job and dropped out of the road to going to Mars and back. And the Andromeda Galaxy and back. Shannon and I also talked about people around us "encourage us" but don't help in the process. They are encouragement, but not inspiration. There are people who say "you can do it" in terms of shooting for the stars, and then there are people you meet you can actually merge your heads with--like siamese twinning in the brain to some degree--and then you can shoot to the stars with them!

In a certain way I am sad that Shannon's no longer in Santa Barbara, but in a certain way it's good--she's in the San Diego area--I'm there a lot more frequently now... and that Shannon's no longer in the "heap of clutter" of my head that lies in Santa Barbara.

Inspiration is a rare and precious thing. Grasp it and roll with it, once you have claimed it!

1 comment:

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Poem Continued with an Ocean Stanza: "There was a morgued ocean / with ghosts in our head." Discuss the disappearance of marine megafauna and increased pollution, elements that seem more ghostly and invisible surrounding the mountain as to which the poet escaped. Refer to "Untended Cemetaries" and "Anorexic Ocean / Bulimic Human" taking too much out / dumping too much in.